how to optimize my application, as well as other questions

Answers to various questions regarding the SMART Scholarship application process. Includes many tips and statistics.
sstepbackk
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:44 pm
Contact:

how to optimize my application, as well as other questions

Post by sstepbackk »

Hello!
I was curious to know if it would be wise for me to apply for the SMART scholarship, as well as what I could do now to optimize my chances should I apply. I have some more general questions regarding the application towards the bottom.

Here is a general overview of what I've accomplished thus far in college.
GPA: 3.6
Majors: Applied Mathematics (focused in CS) as well as Computer Science
Minor: Data Analysis
Class Standing: Rising junior
Current Employed Positions: CS tutor, Resident Assistant (RA,) Ski Coach
Extra-Curricular(s): Robotics Club President
Previous Awards: Academy excellence in computing, Deans List - High Honors, Deans List - Honors
Other: I have a certificate stating I understand the fundamentals of machine learning
Things to note:
> I am considering triple majoring with the third degree in either pure mathematics or statistics. At most this would push me back by one year.
> If I do apply, I would be at the minimum time requirement (1.5 years)
> I am passionate about artificial intelligence / data science


I am anxious because I currently have little to no experience in the CS field. I have developed and demonstrated leadership skills, however I am worried as I read on here that some applicants have a GPA of 3.8 while others have a GPA of 3.6 with field experience. Would the skills and information I have listed above allow me to be a competitive applicant?

More generalized questions:
> Where would be a good place to start looking to see if placement locations have a focus on CS or mathematics?
> How long into the application does it take until applicants hear back?
> What is the statistic of CS / mathematics applicants being accepted?


Thank you so much in advance! Please let me know if you have any questions or need any more information.

Biomed
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:32 pm
Contact:

Re: how to optimize my application, as well as other questions

Post by Biomed »

sstepbackk wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 pm

> I am considering triple majoring with the third degree in either pure mathematics or statistics. At most this would push me back by one year.
Not worth it, especially if it sets you back another year. If you are already getting an Applied Math degree, what is the point in triple majoring with pure mathematics/statistics? This is coming from someone who also has an applied math degree.
sstepbackk wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 pm

I am anxious because I currently have little to no experience in the CS field. I have developed and demonstrated leadership skills, however I am worried as I read on here that some applicants have a GPA of 3.8 while others have a GPA of 3.6 with field experience. Would the skills and information I have listed above allow me to be a competitive applicant?
Your saving grace is the fact that you are CS, which is the top recruited major in the SMART Scholarship (26%) according to the 2019 Award Statistics. Most CS people I know work for defense contractors or the private sector since they pay way more than the government. This means there is a shortage of civil servants who know CS (except maybe the NSA), so you might get lucky if an SF takes a bet on you. However, you didn't list any internships or research experience under your belt, so unfortunately you are not as competitive as someone who might have these experiences even with a lower GPA than yours.
sstepbackk wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 pm
More generalized questions:
> Where would be a good place to start looking to see if placement locations have a focus on CS or mathematics?
Filter by STEM field on the SMART website to hunt for the Sponsoring Facilities that are recruiting for CS/Math.
sstepbackk wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 pm
> How long into the application does it take until applicants hear back?
Applications are due in December; semi-finalist notifications go out in February. If you make the cut as a Semi-Finalist, you hear back between April and July if you are awarded. If you don't hear anything by July, assume you weren't awarded. I think a final email goes out to everyone stating this.
sstepbackk wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:31 pm
> What is the statistic of CS / mathematics applicants being accepted?
26% for CS, 4% for Mathematics. Searching the SMART website is your friend.

Post Reply