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Narrowed my CompSci colleges? What do you think

IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
So I believe I have figured out my top ten schools for computer science based on possible FA, tuition, prestige, strength of program, strength of college as a whole, greek system, opportunities after graduation, and whether or not I have a chance of entry. Here they are
Cornell
UC Berkeley
UIUC
Carnegie Melon
UT Austin
Umich at Ann Harbor
University of Washington direct admit
Purdue
Umiami (legacy, my mom went there)
USC

What do you think about these choices? Are there stronger colleges that I may still have a chance of getting into? Are there any that aren't good for CompSci that I am misinformed about? I know some of these are reach but I am going to focus on my admission essays over the summer.
Post edited by IntBacc on
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Replies to: Narrowed my CompSci colleges? What do you think

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013
    possible FA

    ???

    How do you figure that the OOS publics are possible sources for FA? Have you had your parents run the NPCs on these schools' websites?

    There are schools on your list that you may get NO financial aid.

    What is your likely EFC? Have your parents said how much they'll pay each year?

    What schools are your financial safeties? These are schools that you know for sure that you have all costs covered.


    How would we know if there are better or other schools that would be right for you when you didn't include your stats?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013

    Originally Posted by IntBacc
    I have a fair amount paid for but I would need student loans at most of these schools.



    ???

    What's the "fair amount" that you have covered? How much do you have for each year of college (for sure).

    You can borrow the following amounts:

    frosh 5500
    soph 6500
    jr 7500
    sr 7500

    to borrow more is NOT recommended and would also require willing and qualified cosigners, who must requalify each year. Taking out more loans is not recommended because you end up with too much debt.

    The bottom line is that you have no need to borrow extra amounts. A CS degree is not so unique that you have to go to some special pricey school that requires a bunch of debt. If you were to do that, you'd quickly become disappoined after you graduate and find out that the other new hires who went to "lesser schools" and don't have debt are getting paid the same amount as you.
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    I tried to include a wide range of schools and when I said financial aid that was mostly based on average freshman grants given (and the legacy scholarships at Umiami because my mom attended). My parents said they will pay for full room and board at any school and then $50,000ish for tuition. I know many of these schools tuition alone is greater than 40000 a year but I'm banking on possible scholarships. If not I'll fall back to UW or Umiami with legacy.

    Here are my stats

    I'm currently a junior candidate for the IB full diploma
    All gpa's are unweighted because my school does not weight or rank
    I am a white male

    Freshman Year:
    Physical Science
    Honors English
    Advanced Algebra
    Competitive Marching Band
    1 Semester health/1 semester foods and nutrition
    Cisco Discovery 1/2
    Freshman GPA 3.7ish

    Sophomore Year:
    Honors English
    Honors American History
    IB math SL 1
    Honors Chemistry
    Cisco 3 - Received my Cisco CCENT for networking this year
    Spanish 1
    Sophomore GPA 3.7ish

    Junior Year:
    IB HL English
    IB SL 2 Math
    IB SL 1 Chemistry
    Spanish 2
    IB HL 1 History
    Cisco 4
    Junior GPA 3.8ish

    Junior Summer:
    Physics online

    Projected Senior classes:
    IB HL English
    IB HL math
    IB SL 2 Chemistry
    IB spanish 3/4
    IB HL 2 History
    IB SL Art

    Projected unweighted cumulative GPA 3.7-3.8ish
    I will be testing in IB HL English, IB HL Math, IB HL History, IB SL Spanish, IB SL Art, and IB SL Chemistry

    I am also a candidate to receive an IB full diploma so I am:
    Taking the IB theory of knowledge course
    Writing historical investigation
    Writing extended essay
    Writing theory of knowledge presentation and essay
    Doing CAS hours and a collaborative project which is founding and running a club (freedom of knowledge)

    I took the ACT and got a 31. I am studying over the summer and hoping for a 34
    I will be taking SAT subject Math 2 and Chemistry studying with Barron's books so hopefully I can get 750 or above

    Extracurriculars:
    Lacrosse 9th-10th
    Church Nursery 9th-11th
    Freelance computer technician 9th-12th
    Freedom of knowledge club co-founder and president 11th-12th
    Possible key club participant 11th-12th
    Competitive marching in band 9th
    House manager for ASTRA play company 9th-12th
    Fencing 9th-10th
    Church religious ed teacher 9th-10th
    I received my Cisco CCENT certification in 10th grade
    Upgrading school computer labs 9th-10th
    Painting 11th-12th (for CAS)
    FFA 9th grade did livestock project and my pig won class champion
    Over 500 hours of community service between Astra and church involvement

    Job:
    I have been employed by a local ISP/computer repair shop since freshman year. During the school year I work an average of 20 hours a week and over the summer I work 30-40 hours a week. I worked both as an ISP and computer technician
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013
    when I said financial aid that was mostly based on average freshman grants given


    That info is worthless for your circumstance, because you're OOS and most aid is for instate students and not available to OOS students. Much of that aid is state or fed grants, and again, you're not eligible because you're not a resident and you wouldn't qualify for fed grants.


    My parents said they will pay for full room and board at any school and then $50,000ish for tuition

    I don't think any school charges more than $50k for tuition. So, if your parents will pay $50k per year for tuition PLUS will pay for room and board, then why would you need any aid at all????
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Not per year, $50000 total. I have a couple extra sources and possible scholarships but I'm hoping I can get total tuition for a college for $100000 or less. I know it's a stretch at most of these but I figured I definitely won't have a chance if I don't apply. I'll figure out the financial situation when I see what colleges I get accepted to and what I am offered.

    I am looking for advice on compsci schools, not the financial packages at them. (I know I am probably dreaming but I really want to go to a better school the UW or Umiami)
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Also, and I have no statistics or proof to back this up, but I have heard some people say that a few of these schools can be very generous when it comes to FA loans/grants/scholarships even for out-of-staters.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013
    So, are you saying that your parents have said that they'll pay about $15k for room and board, and they'll pay about $12k towards tuition each year? So, then can pay about $27k per year towards college.


    I'll figure out the financial situation when I see what colleges I get accepted to and what I am offered.


    That is too late. You could end up with NO affordable options. That gets people into trouble. Then they end up at a CC, taking a gap year, or taking out ridiculous loans.


    I don't know who these "people" are that are telling you that these OOS publics are generous with aid to OOS students. They aren't. And your current test scores aren't high enough for much/any merit at some of the schools that give merit. And, frankly, it sounds like your parents wouldn't qualify for much aid anyway.


    Please have your parents run the NPC calculators on UIUC, Purdue, Cal, UTexas, etc websites.
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    My backup schools if I don't get offered any aid are UW as an In state student and possibly Umiami with legacy scholarships. I will have my parents run NPC calculators. And yes, I would estimate 27k-30k a year is about what I can afford. with no loans
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    And since I am obviously terrible at searching for colleges, what colleges would you recommend that have good computer science programs but won't break the bank. I am willing to take out some loans but I would prefer to keep them to a minimum.
  • Debater1996Debater1996 Posts: 61 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Since I live near both of them, I know that UIUC and U Michigan Ann Arbor are both excellent schools. UIUC is a definite match, and U Michigan is as well.
  • BusyMeiBusyMei Posts: 5
    edited May 2013
    University of Washington is a good computer science college.

    Regardless of cost, your current stat is below average for many of the colleges you listed so that put them in the unlikely catagory. You should have a couple more match and likely colleges for your stat and budget.
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    If I could raise my ACT to a 33-35 and get over 750 on the SAT math II and Chem then I should have a better shot at many of those colleges, shouldn't I? I know my GPA is .1 or .2 below the average unweighted gpa for a lot of the schools I am applying to, but I am hoping that full IB along with my work experience and higher test scores help. Also, on some of the colleges websites (like cornell) they say that a stellar essay can make up for lower stats. I believe I can write an above average essay, hopefully making my application that much better
  • BusyMeiBusyMei Posts: 5
    edited May 2013
    Of course it doesn't hurt to try, go for it :)

    All I am saying is your list is top heavy both for your stat and budget. Just make sure you have a couple more match and likely colleges for your stat and budget. You don't want to end up with very few choices or no choice because of rejection or high cost.

    I am an alumni of one of the college on your list. My husband is an alumni of another one your list. I have 2 kids in college now. I am familiar with many of the colleges on your list. They are good computer science colleges (I am a CS major also) but they won't do you any good if you can't get in or can't afford them.
  • IntBaccIntBacc Posts: 92 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I assumed I was a match or in that range for:
    UIUC
    UT Austin
    maybe UMichigan
    UW seattle
    Purdue
    UMiami especially as a legacy

    and then the rest are anywhere from low to high reach. My problem is there aren't really any good compsci programs besides at UW in Washington. I may have to just apply for something like WSU as a backup even though I have absolutely no desire to go there. (That is unless I can find an OOS that is cheap as a safety)

    p.s. Thanks for the encouragement. I've found this forum to be pretty discouraging to people below Ivy league status like me. Although it has been a wealth of information and made me step up my game
  • whenhenwhenhen Posts: 91
    edited May 2013
    What makes you think Washington State isn't a good school for CS? Sure when you compare it to U Washington, it may not be as good at the graduate level, but at the undergrad level what quality differences have you heard about?
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