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California Institute of Technology -- #12 (tied) National University (US News & World Report)

California Institute of Technology is a private institution that was founded in 1891. In 1907, astronomer George Ellery Hale, the first director of the Mount Wilson Observatory and a member of the school’s board of trustees, began molding the school into a first-class institution for engineering and scientific research and education. By 1921, Hale had been joined by chemist Arthur A. Noyes and physicist Robert A. Millikan. These three men set the school, which by then had been renamed the California Institute of Technology, firmly on its new course. Millikan and his successors have led the Institute to its current academic and scientific preeminence.

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Faculty and students work together to pursue new knowledge about our world and search for the kinds of bold and innovative advances that will transform our future.

Caltech’s 300 professorial faculty members offer a rigorous science and engineering curriculum to approximately 1,000 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students, providing one of the nations lowest student-to-faculty ratio. Caltech offers generous financial-aid packages to ensure that a Caltech education is accessible to all students; more than half of Caltech students receive need-based assistance.

If you are passionate about science and engineering and being in the forefront of leading and original research, then CalTech may be an option for you!

Admissions Requirements

Application Fee$75
Standardized TestsSAT or ACT (Essay optional)
SAT Subject Tests

Mathematics Level 2 and 1 SAT science subject test: biology (ecological), biology (molecular), chemistry, or physics

AP and IB examsYou may self-report.

Supplement Questions/Essays (found in the Writing Supplement section in My Colleges tab on the Common Application- Questions are updated August of every year.)

6 Required Questions. 6 Supplemental Essays to get to know you better as a student, scientist, and person, and ascertain who you'll be on our campus.

One teacher recommendation (1 math or science teacher evaluation

1 humanities or social sciences teacher evaluation)

From Your High SchoolSchool Report, Transcript
International Students

TOEFL and International Financial Aid Statement of Intent. Along with SAT or ACT and SAT Subject Tests. Does not accept IELTS.

Early ActionNovember 1, decision by mid-December
Regular DecisionJanuary 3, decision by mid-March

**Caltech’s Short Essay Questions: Respond to all short essays (100 to 250 words):

  1. Describe three experiences and/or activities that have helped develop your passion for a possible career in a STEM field. These are 3 essays of 10-120 words each.

  2. Much like the life of a professional scientist or engineer, the life of a “Techer” relies heavily on collaboration. Knowing this, what do you hope to explore, innovate, or create with your Caltech peers? (250-400 words)

  3. Caltech students are often known for their sense of humor and creative pranks. What do you like to do for fun? (250-400 words)

  4. The process of discovery best advances when people from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech’s community? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)

Academic Parameters

When applying to an institution, it is important to look at the academic information of previous applicants. This includes the SAT/ACT test scores, SAT Subject test scores (if available), GPA ranges, or class ranking. By looking at these data points, you may assess where you fall and how likely is your admission into this college. Please note, there are students who do fall below the middle range and are still admitted, but then their application has one or more factors that boosts their application, such as a special talent, a recruitable athlete, legacy, racial or socioeconomic minority. Use the chart below to see where you fall and if you may raise your test scores and grades to keep your application in the running.

Testing/GPA Guidelines

Middle 50 SAT (means the 50% of incoming students scored at or higher)

SAT Composite Score: 1520-1570SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 740-780SAT Math: 790-800

Middle 50 ACTACT Composite: 35–36
SAT Subject Tests

SAT Math 1: 790-800
SAT Math 2: 800–800
SAT Physics: 770-800
SAT Chemistry: 780-800
SAT Biology: 770-800

Rank96% in the top ten percent of class

IvyBound Consulting featured Harvard University on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from March 11-16, 2019

Day 1 • CalTech University

According to US News & World Report, CalTech University is ranked #12 in National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Please check their website to read up on these indicators. We are using US News for its popularity, but by no means should they be the only source in determining your “best fit” college. Your best fit colleges should be determined by your academic goals, your personality fit, and financial considerations.  

CalTech University:
Private, total undergraduate enrollment of about 961 students, with a campus size of 124 acres.

Founded in 1891.

Suburban: located in Pasadena, California, approximately 11 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Tuition & Fees:
$52,362 (2018-19).

Social and academic life at Caltech centers on the eight student houses, which the school describes as “self-governing living groups.” Student houses incorporate an admired Caltech tradition: dinners served by student waiters. Only freshmen are required to live on campus, but more than 80 percent of students remain in their house for all four years. Types of campus housing available: coed dorms, apartments for married students, apartment for single students, special housing for disabled students, other housing options.

Admit Rate:
Most competitive.

CalTech has a percentage of 54% males and 46% females. Ethnicity/Race: 36% Asian, .02% African American, 18% Hispanic, 10% Multiracial (non-Hispanic), 27% White, 8% International.

Religious Affiliation:

Other Awards by US News:
#12 (tie) in National Universities, #9 in Best Value Schools, #12 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings

Day 2 • School Mission, Mascot, Sports

University motto:
The official motto is  “The truth shall make you free.”

Caltech’s mascot is the Beaver, an homage to nature’s engineer.

Orange and White.

Caltech has athletic teams in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, fencing, men’s and women’s soccer, swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s water polo. Its teams (with the exception of the fencing team) play in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which Caltech co-founded in 1915. The fencing team competes in the NCAA’s Division I, facing teams from UCLA, USC, UCSD, and Stanford, among others.

Day 3 • Academics/Top Undergraduate Majors/Student Life

The student-faculty ratio at California Institute of Technology is 3:1, and the school has 67 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 98 percent. Caltech participates in a significant amount of research, receiving grants from institutions such as NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services, among others.

Academic Calendar:
Quarter system

Top Undergraduate Majors:
Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Physical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; and Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

Highly-ranked Graduate programs:
Found in Aeronautics, Applied Mechanics, Astrophysics, Bioengineering, Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Materials Science.

Research Labs:
The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, and owns and operates large-scale research facilities such the Seismological Laboratory- one of the world’s foremost centers for geophysical research – and a global network of astronomical observatories that includes the Palomar Observatory and the W. M. Keck Observatory.

Student Life:
The Caltech student body as a whole has a long history of planning and carrying out elaborate pranks both on campus and across the country. Integral to student life is the Honor Code, which dictates that “No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.”
Students can choose to participate in any of more than 100 clubs that represent a wide range of interests, besides the varsity sports. The Honor Code governs life at Caltech, affording students such privileges as take-home tests, permission to collaborate on assignments, and the keys to campus buildings.

Day 4 • Notable Alumni

Companies such as Intel, Compaq and Hotmail were founded by Caltech alumni. Famous film director Frank Capra also graduated from Caltech. Caltech has 22,930 total alumni worldwide, Twenty-two alumni and 15 non-alumni faculty have won the Nobel Prize like : Nobel laureate Carl D. Anderson, proved the existence of positrons and muons, Nobel laureate Edwin McMillan, synthesized the first transuranium element, Nobel laureate Leo James Rainwater, investigated the non-spherical shapes of atomic nuclei, and Nobel laureate Douglas D. Osheroff, studied the superfluid nature of helium-3.

Day 5 • Applying to Caltech? Be Collegebound with IvyBound

Looking at first-time, Freshman Applicants: (Class of 2022)

Admission Rate:
6.6% (including early applicants)

Total Applicants:



Yield Rate:
43%- Number of students who actually attended or matriculated once admitted.

Early Option:
Early Action (November 1 is the deadline)

Regular Deadline:
January 3

Admission Requirements:
See Table above

Admissions into this prestigious University, California Institute of Technology, is extremely competitive as the acceptance rate is decreasing each year. With the increase of sheer number of applicants, how do you stand out and get admitted? If CalTech is one of the colleges on your list, use this invaluable worksheet to plan and prepare to apply to CalTech.

IvyBound Consulting offers personalized college admissions services to help you create winning college applications that surely gets you admitted. Choose from one-on-one counseling services, college admissions online course- Applications That Get You Admitted!, private Facebook group membership, and essay review and editing services.

Next week, I will cover, US News Week’s #12 (tied) Nationally Ranked University, Dartmouth. Stay Tuned.

Be Collegebound with IvyBound!

* Sources used: the college website, common data set, college factual, US World News, other websites.

Hey guys, welcome to the episodes Be Collegebound with IvyBound! I’m your host, Ruchi S. Kothari. I’m super excited that you’ve joined me.

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