The BEST chance for admissions

Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: August 2003 Archive: The BEST chance for admissions
By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 12:42 pm: Edit

Hi there,

I am a very qualified all-around student. The only thing that is low are my ACT scores (24 first time from April). I plan on being an engineering major but I realize that engineering students are very competative when it comes to test scores (28-32 usually). I'm doing some prep and am showing good progress, but to tell you the truth i don't care much for test scores so I'm just shooting for at least a 25 at the moment.

Two of the top schools i plan on applying to are the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois-UC. These two schools have an average ACT of abou 30 for engineering students. However, I thought of an idea.

I notice that kids applying to liberal arts departments at those 2 schools have lower ACT scores (25-27) which is more in my range. My grades are over the middle 50% so I look significantly stronger when applying to those departments. Do you think its possible to put down that I am applying to the college of Arts and Sciences for example, get in, and by the time schedueling comes say I decided to be an engineer? How about going in "undeclared," getting admitted and then say that I want to be an engineer? Is this possible? I've heard of kids doing it but im not sure how they faired. Do you think if I do one of the 2 things i said I could get into those 2 schools any easier? Thanks all!

By Xyz155 (Xyz155) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 02:37 pm: Edit

Yes, many people do that. The only catch is it is not like you can suddenly show up on the first day of school and suddenly go "hey i want to change my major." Usually you'll have to take a variety of classes to help you find the major that is right for you and then after a year or 2 you can transfer into the engineering school as long as your grades are good enough.

By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 03:00 pm: Edit

Ok thanks, Xyz155. I take it that you played the scenario if i went in under the college of arts & sciences? What about going in undeclared? If i put undeclared down on the application, the colleges will know that i will have had 6-8 months to think of a major. When i go to meet my counselor at the college for the first time to get courses picked out and all, could I tell him/her then that I would like to be an engineer and start off the first day of school like a kid who put down engineering on his application? I'm guessing I can do this but again, i'm not 100% sure. I wanna try and graduate in 4 years if i can and I don't wanna be held back a year if putting "undeclared" in the major spot is going to hold me back. If putting undeclared down won't let me pick a major when i meet with the counselor in the spring, then I won't do it.

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 03:02 pm: Edit

How hard is it to switch from engineering to something non-engineering?

By Drusba (Drusba) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 05:53 pm: Edit

At UIUC, you can go in undeclared, which puts you in the A&S school. However, you are not going to be able to switch to the engineering school until at the earliest sophomore year, and, of course, that school has to accept you then for you to enter. Basically, you stay in whatever school (A&S, Eng, Edu, etc) that you were admitted to for one year. However, that does not prevent you from taking freshman year chemistry, math, and physics classes that most freshmen in engineering (and many other schools) take. Not starting out in engineering may set you back somewhat from a 4 year schedule but as long as you take those chemistry, math, and physics classes in freshman year, it won't be much (it is a difference of maybe one course). Note, however, that graduating within 4 years in engineering even if you start in engineering is the exception and not the norm because course requirements are so severe and because many do co-op or other work programs. Switching from the engineering school to another school is usually easier than vice versa.

By Brettbat (Brettbat) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 06:35 pm: Edit

There is a reason why the scores are high...The schools want students who can handle engineering courseload which can be overwhelming...They feel that higher the test scores the better the can adjust to harder work.

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 07:10 pm: Edit

Listen to Drusba about UIUC. I'll be attending UIUC next year, and it's very difficult to transfer into the school of engineering. Plus, your freshman year, you won't be able to get into the first year engineering courses without being in the school of engineering, which will make graduation take longer. You should just apply to the school of engineering as early as you can (meaning early october since UIUC is on rolling admissions) and if you score higher on your ACT, you should get in.

By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 08:56 pm: Edit

I'll probably just apply to the school of engineering. I do plan on applying to UIUC and Mich very early (like send in my application to Mich by the end of the month and to UIUC in Oct). I am guessing that my ACT score will be around a 26 or so. Would that make me more competative early on? I would assume that the earlier I apply, the better chance I have of admission.

As for saying test scores really tell how a kid is going to do in college, I say that is BS. Just because a kid gets test anxiety like severly (not me) and scores really low but is near a 4.0 in school doesnt mean hes gonna get straight C's. In fact, I have seen kids with 30+ ACT scores get into Michigan and flunk out because it was too hard, while the kid with the 26 got straight B's. Oh well who knows no one can accurately predict a kids score. Thank goodness they look at other things like courseload, ECs, essays, etc. My essay for Pitt and ND I must say is quite awesome. Its about my leg problem, which the doctors think might be or could develop into cancer. It's very suspenceful!

By Nakattacks31 (Nakattacks31) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 08:57 pm: Edit

thedad...and anyone here...ive ben working on my essays..wondering if you guys would check them out under "my personal statement"...thanks a lot guys

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 10:07 pm: Edit

are you in state in MI or IL?

By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 10:17 pm: Edit

no i live in OH

By Drusba (Drusba) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 09:08 am: Edit

To give you some idea of what it may take to get into UIUC's school of engineering go to the following which gives the breakdown by class rank and test scores for entering freshmen in 2002: and scroll down to "Educational Profile of Entering Freshmen."

Also the following comes from Illinois' answer to FAQ's on the site for applicants to its school of engineering:

"Using the scores of a recent freshman class, it is estimated that:

"Students with an ACTc [composite] of 32/SAT of 1500 and who are in the top 1% HSPR [high school percentile ranking in class] will have an excellent chance for admission.

"Students with an ACTc above 29/SAT above 1350 and who are in the 10% HSPR will have a good chance for admission.

"Students who do not meet the above criteria will need to present strong factors in their personal statements to offset their less than competitive academic credentials."

By Sunshine916 (Sunshine916) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 09:29 am: Edit

oooooo that sounds intimidating Drusba...


sorry i have no advice but i wanted to say hi. i should probably email u back one of these days

By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 10:33 am: Edit

Ok, I did see that page with the 32 ACT, etc and chances of admission. I am in the top 10% of my class if that will help me.

I see that personal statement part. Any idea wha they mean by strong factors in the essay? Like I said, I wrote a pretty good essay about my bone condition. Think that will help immensely or are they talking about writing about academics and such?

Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page