2 answers

What is the best way for me to get accepted into a very selective school, e.g. Stanford or Cal Berkeley, which is known for its success in computer science?

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I am going into my junior year of high school and hoping to major in Computer Science in college. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Stanford or another, similarly selective school that has had success in its computer science department. I first got interested in computer science a few years ago whilst in middle school, and have since started developing my own website and apps, and would love to have the opportunity to further my knowledge in computer science and start my career at Stanford. #computer-science #college-advice #college-prep

2 answers

Loida’s Answer


Hello Tom,

Amazing, you seem to be on the right track! First, lets talk about academics-you need to have a stellar GPA, excellent SAT scores (yes, they look at PSAT's too) and any/all extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs, student government, volunteer oppts etc..). Practice writing essay's as they ask you to write one for admission's purposes. Second, I would start a github account with any/all things you have done and create a nice portfolio on your website highlighting your work (i.e. apps, websites etc.). I would even improve someone's website for free, just to get some stars under your belt. As far as expanding your knowledge, you don't need to wait to get there to learn programming, in fact it would benefit you dearly if you learn some now-Coursera, EdX and Khan Academy are excellent places to begin learning about Computer Science (some of them have college credit courses too!) Best of all, you can add all the classes you take on your personal website and they would be impressed. This day in age, the competition is fierce, so playing sports, joining clubs and excellent grades, simply are not enough. You need to stand out and do something more than the ordinary, so think outside the box, because that's what Colleges and Universities are looking for.


Good luck Tom!

Rachel’s Answer


<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>