The California Institute of Technology, also known as Caltech, was founded in 1891 as Throop University. After a few subsequent name changes, this elite university became the California Institute of Technology in 1920.
California Institute of Technology Acceptance Rate
Today, Caltech is a world-renowned institute for science and engineering. This private college is located in Pasadena, CA, and is known for its extremely competitive admissions. The Caltech acceptance rate is just 6%, which is one of the lowest in the country.
Caltech Admissions: GPA, SAT, ACT, and High School Courses
There are no solidified GPA requirements for Caltech admission. However, applicants should aim to be in the top 5% to 10% of their class. They should also have a target GPA of at least 4.19 to be considered for admission.
If you decide to submit scores, you’ll need a near-perfect SAT score for Caltech admission. Members of the 2024 Caltech graduating class had average SAT scores of 1510-1570. The range of ACT composite scores for the class was 35-36.
It’s important to note that in 2020, Caltech dropped SAT Subject Test scores as a requirement for admissions. Confirm with your counselor whether any or all of these tests mentioned will be required for you.
While high school curriculum requirements vary, and not all schools offer AP courses, if yours does, you should be taking them (and doing very well) to be considered for California Institute of Technology admission. Since Caltech is a science, math, and engineering school, you should have a strong background in those subjects.
The 5 Factors Caltech Admissions Is Looking for
Although numerous factors will ultimately determine whether you are accepted to Caltech, there are five distinct factors that the school has deemed as “very important” to the California Institute of Technology admissions process:
- Standardized test scores [excluding current moratorium]
- The rigor of your high school course load
- Application essays
- personal/character qualities
In addition, the school has deemed GPA, class rank, and extra-curricular activities to be “important” to the admissions determination committee.
Caltech Essay Tips
In general, you’ll want to use the essay prompts as opportunities to say something about yourself that is not already covered elsewhere on the application. This should be something personal or something genuine and honest about yourself.
Relay your passion for learning and your love of the school. Don’t forget to have fun with the prank prompt, which allows you to show off your humorous, fun side and potentially help you stand out from thousands of other applicants!
California Institute of Technology Admission Tips
There are about 8,000 students who apply to Caltech each admission cycle. If you plan on being one of them, we have some tips to help you out.
Caltech does not consider any kind of “demonstrated interest,” so it won’t affect your chances for admission if you have contacted an admission officer, visited campus, or taken a campus tour.
The school does give applicants the option of using either the Coalition Application or the Common Application. They don’t use their own unique version.
The California Institute of Technology requires all international applicants to submit TOEFL scores and an International Financial Aid Statement of Intent.
Unlike some other elite schools, Caltech does not require undergraduate interviews.
The best way for you to improve your chances of acceptance to Caltech is to make an effort to shine through your essay answers and teacher recommendations.
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