A few other answers assume you were rejected at MIT/Stanford, etc. I am not seeing that stated so I’ll frame this from the standpoint that you didn’t apply to those – perhaps because of cost and that you’re hopefully next year will magically be different (in terms of ability to pay- but I’m guessing).
My Stanford kids talk about one percenters . . . but they’re referring to transfer students. If you think < 5% admit rate for freshman is bad, wait until you see the admit rate for transfer students. That said, I have a student right now who will go through the transfer process this next year. Granted he’s a super special case, but consider why he makes a good candidate relative to your candidacy. He’ll be following a research team with a corporate relationship. The science team he’s been working with is basically getting transplanted and he gets to go too. Do you think you can get that level of coordination and support?
I agree with the others who suggest you embed yourself at one of the 2 schools. There’s a ton you can get out of a big public school experience. Get involved outside of the classroom! You’ll need it later.
Remember that your career will last 50+ years. At some point you may need to manage people – non-science people. You will surely have to interact with non-technical people. Now is the best time to practice that. Join a few well thought out groups. Learn how to interact socially with all kinds of people. Hone your academic skills while you are becoming a more well rounded adult.
As for getting in, it is definitely possible. But it may not make sense. In other words, you know you need to go for a masters – assuming this is field driven – so prepare to rock 4 years in GA or FL and then move to your dream program. The only reason I’d let you (if you were my student) attempt the transfer mess is if there was a particular team you *have* to work with and you just can’t wait any more. Since you don’t even have your future field clearly defined, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
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