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May. 9th, 2009 @ 05:58 pm Carnegie Mellon--reach?

Do you know the transfer rate for Carnegie Mellon (Mellon College of Sciences)? I'm a math major.

I asked my professor for a rec., and he said that he has said no to students before but he won't say no to me. He said that he would give me a really glowing recommendations to three colleges of my choice. I'm confident that he will because we talked for like an hour.

Am I aiming too high again? On their web site, they said that they care more about college transcripts than HS transcripts. I have a 4.0 GPA at a 2-year college (2.9 GPA in HS), and I will have my associates by the end of this school year. I'm planning on staying another year to take physics, biology, and some lit. classes because some colleges aren't open in the spring to transfer. Plus, I want to rigor up my transcript.

Oh, and I understand that grad school is more important regarding getting my Ph. D, but I just want to try this out. I'm going to be happy at any of the colleges I end up at, but I just want to know my chances at this school.
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From:chase_maxim
Date:May 10th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
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I think with that much college, most transfer schools will generally disregard your HS work. It doesn't hurt if you can explain away your HS stuff, or at least give them some idea of why you'll be kicking ass now but not a few years ago. And particularly why you'll be doing great things upon your arrival at that particular school.

If you don't get in, it's probably not due to your HS record -- schools are finicky, and a rejection isn't necessarily based on your objective qualifications. I got rejected by less desirable schools than I got into, for example. Either way, make sure you have a solid back-up plan, so you don't get stuck without options.

I will say I'm not sure how it will look if you continue at CC after getting your associate's (or how it will affect financial aid, if any). But sounds like you have a plan there anyway.
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From:polymathic
Date:May 10th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
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You're right, if you have 2 years of college, HS transcipts are irrelevant.
From:u_n_t
Date:May 10th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
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1. get on collegeconfidential's transfer forum.
2. carnegie mellon specific stats:

* Number of transfers who applied for fall term: 642
* Number of transfers who were admitted for fall term: 59
* Number of transfers who enrolled for fall term: 32

overall transfer rate: (59 / 642) x 100 = 9.19003115.

that percentage is low.

can i make a school suggestion? apply to rice university. it's transfer rate is on par with its freshmen (23-5%), but it's a) a better school b) more receptive to transfers.
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From:heart_over_head
Date:May 10th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
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I really would apply to Rice, but they require the SAT/ACT, and I haven't taken those tests yet. I'm kind of scared that I might not do well if I do take it, too. I know it's irrational, but I'm scared that it might take some meaning away from my 4.0 or something. I was a horrible HS student.
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From:solitudeofheart
Date:May 10th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
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is a SAT/ACT required for transfer students? i heard from several people that it's not... i didn't think you could still take it after high school?
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From:polymathic
Date:May 10th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
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Whether standardized test scores are required for transfers varies from college to college, so check with their admissions office. If you score well, it can sometimes boost your chances, if you score OK, they'll probably pay more attention to your coursework.

Anyone can take the ACT, many adults returning to school, and CC transfer students who think they will do better it than the SAT do. Don't think you can take the SAT II's after HS, but you can take CLEP exams, which sometimes grants credits, and sometimes waives GE requirements or pre-reqs. One would think that someone getting an A.A. in Mathematics would at least do well on that part of the test. Studies have show that the ACT Prep computer programs (which include tests from previous years, and often >$100) are just as effective as prep courses, which usually run $1500. The only thing more effective is one-on-one tutoring. If you do have (or want) to take the ACT, using prep software over summer or winter may be useful.
From:u_n_t
Date:May 10th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
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some schools will waive the sat req if you never took it during hs. no harm in calling to confirm. rice is a REALLY GOOD school to attend, don't give up the opportunity to apply.
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From:polymathic
Date:May 10th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
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Don't apply for A.A. graduation if you plan on taking more classes! Federal (and state) aid will be available for 150% of the required credits for your course of study, usually 90 for Associates, and around 180 for most Bachelors.

Definitely apply, and get some experience tutoring or doing research (maybe directed study) in the meantime. Also, throw in some extracurriculars if you haven't already. Cast a wide net with your apps, go for both reaches and safeties.
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From:heart_over_head
Date:May 10th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
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How would you do research at a 2-year college? Oh, and I did tutor math for 1/2 a year. Then I stopped tutoring. Should I start up again? I also have 4 officer positions in some service clubs.
THanks.
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From:polymathic
Date:May 10th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
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It's great that you already have some extracurriculars (not to stereotype math majors). :)

Since teaching and research make up 80% of most academic's jobs, getting as much experience tutoring and TAing as an undergrad will definitely help your grad school applications (transfer, too). They say teaching is the highest form of learning, because it demonstrates not only your comprehension of the material, but you ability to communicate it. Also, high performing students entering grad programs are much more likely to get departmental fellowships to teach or TA introductory courses to undergrads, if they have previous experience.

Some rare few community college instructors do engage in research, even though they are so busy teaching, and have little time. Ask around the relevant departments to see if any profs need an RA. Also, most colleges have some version of directed/independent study, where you and a professor devise a specific course of study, often culminating in a research paper, experiment, performance, or whatever. If there are higher levels or other types of maths that you haven't taken yet, that might be a better option, but it's your call.
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From:heart_over_head
Date:June 2nd, 2009 07:05 am (UTC)
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Thanks so much for your help, polymathic! Funny about the math major stereoptype. I've actually never met a math major involved in Student Programs at my college before, and my 2-year college is one of the biggest in the nation. They're all business majors.

I think I'll start tutoring again, and I'll ask around if anyone is into research. Thanks a lot; I appreciate it. =)))