Do I have a chance at CalTech?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: December 2002 Archive: Do I have a chance at CalTech?
By Acdbx (Acdbx) on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 03:24 pm: Edit

What kind of chance do I have at CalTech, Harvey Mudd, UCBerkeley, and UCLA? Right now, I'm a 15 year old junior[does it help at all that I skipped 7th grade?].

Honors English 1: B/B
Pre-Calculus: A/A
Biology: A/A
World History: A/A
Spanish 1: A/A

Honors English 2: A/A
AP Calc AB: A/C [ugh.. got caught helping another student on a test.. not going to happen again]
Physics: A/A
Chemistry: A/A
Spanish 2: A/A

Honors English 3: B/B
AP Calc BC: A/A
AP Physics: A/A
AP US History: A/A
Spanish 3: A/A
Art: A/A

summer[cc]: Math 9C

AP English: A/B
AP Spanish: A/A
AP Econ: A/A
AP Chemistry: A/A
AP Gov't/Const. Law: A/A
[cc]Math 9D[adv. math for engineers]: A/A

summer[cc]:Math 35[intro to linear alg.]: A/A

Rank: 6/440[projected... i'm ~30 right now]
SAT I: 800M/750V
SAT II: Math IIc: 800, Physics: 800, Writing: [750?]

EC+awards: piano for 8 years, tutoring underprivileged children[2 hrs/wk, 20 wks/yr, 10/11/12], volunteer at hospital[9 hrs/wk, 10 wks/yr, 10/11/12], CSF, Academic Letter[>3.85 GPA], AMC contest[got to the AIME.. how would I say this?], Nat'l Merit Semi-Finalist

work: peer tutor [4 hrs/wk, 30 wks/yr, 11/12, $6.75]

Will I have a chance at CalTech, Berkeley, LA, Harvey Mudd? I don't think I'll get glowing rec's, but more likely positive ones, and I'm sure I can write a very good essay.

By my $0.02 on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 03:44 pm: Edit

You would most likely have to explain the C, right? This means that you would have to tell them you cheated; academic dishonesty is frowned upon by any university and will seriously hurt your chances. Of course, you can always choose not to mention it, and hope your high school does it put it on your record (which it might not because it's a first offense), but they'd leave them wondering why you got such a bad grade that one semester. Damn man, I would say you have a very very good chance without that one mistake, too bad though.

By dude on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 03:50 pm: Edit

The C in calculus is going to hurt - at HMC/Caltech particularly. Try to get some research experience if Caltech is your top choice - I visited this summar and they seem to virtually require it. If you're out of state, don't get your hopes up for any higher-level UC school unless you have some state/national extracurricular recognition (nat'l merit is irrelevant) in addition to your scores. I'd say (rough estimate):

Caltech - 30% (would probably be 45 if not for the C, and could go up further if you get ISEF or state science fair recognition for research)
HMC - 55%
Berk - 65%ish in state, 10% out of state
LA - 70%ish in state, 15% out of state

By asfd on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 04:51 pm: Edit

Wow...u sound just like me. i've got pretty much same stats with B's in honors english, and rest A's. I am also doing tutoring and all that junk. I have already applied to caltech, stanford, berk, ucla..but it seems like both of us have a decent chance. Except that C in calculus. not like you could do anything about it now though.

i dunno if this is true, but the sat score report says that ucla accepts 5% outta state while berkeley accepts 13%..does that mean its harder to get into ucla than berkeley for out of state?

By tim on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 06:39 pm: Edit


ucla isnt necessarily harder to get into berkeley from out of state. dont put too much weight into pure statistics. chances are, berkeley receives higher caliber student applicants. i had a 4.0 and 1580 and applied only to berkeley and not ucla from my state (michigan). while it may not be universally agreed upon, most sane people would agree that berkeley is a better overall academic institution than ucla.

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