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How to get your kid into an elite computer science program

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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:13 PM
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How to get your kid into an elite computer science program
High school seniors are facing stiffer-than-ever competition when applying to the nation's top computer science programs this fall. But admissions officers and professors at elite tech schools can offer tips aimed at helping your child get accepted come spring.

With early applications to elite colleges at an all-time high, the nation's highest-rated undergraduate computer science programs are bracing for an uptick in applications between now and January.

The numbers are daunting. Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science in Pittsburgh expects to receive 4,000 applications this year and will accept only 400 of them. Similarly, Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., expects its applications to increase again this year, after rising 15% in each of the last two years. Last year, Harvey Mudd accepted 21% of its 3,144 applicants.

To get accepted to an elite computer science program, high schoolers need a combination of good grades in challenging math and sciences courses as well as extracurricular activities that show passion for the field.

Selective computer science programs look at the math and laboratory science courses taken by students during high school. Harvey Mudd, for example, only accepts students who have taken a year each of calculus, chemistry and physics. These classes don't have to be honors or AP level - although that helps - as does receiving A's or B's in these classes.

"We're looking for evidence of intellectual achievement," says Mark Stehlik, assistant dean for undergraduate education at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science. "We look at your high school GPA, and if you have really good SAT scores. We look at what kinds of classes you've taken, if some were AP classes or classes at a local college or summer programs. You have to have the baseline intellectual ability to get in the door."
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:10 PM
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1. But, but . . . I thought our schools were so
terrible that all of our students were failures and that none of them learned any science or math?

Do I need the sarcasm thingy?
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:14 PM
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2. Making a major contribution to the school seems to be effective..
A new stadium ought to do the trick...
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