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East Coast Colleges on the level of UC Berkeley

kei04086kei04086 Posts: 496Registered User Member
Hi all,
I'm a current junior and trying to figure out where I want to apply. My top schools are Harvard and Princeton but obviously those are reach schools for all so I'm trying to find safeties/matches to apply to. I have family in the East Coast so I want to find some there (I live in California). I've been told UC Berkeley is around a match for me. What schools in the East Coast are around the level of UCB in terms of reputation, education, etc. (I don't need to worry about cost since I have very low income and will definitely qualify for aid). I'm interested in biology and chemistry although not necessarily on a premed track. I may consider engineering also.

Thanks for the help
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Replies to: East Coast Colleges on the level of UC Berkeley

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Posts: 8,952Registered User Senior Member
    Unfortunately, most colleges in the US do not meet need. In state residents get a discount and california residents are so lucky to have Cal Grants etc so that attending UC's is not too painful. Outside of CA, the only colleges that meet need and cover 100% of it (ie, best choices for low-income students who don't want to be gapped) are listed here:
    http://www.collegegreenlight.com/blog/colleges-that-meet-100-of-student-financial-need/
    Start exploring those located on the East Coast.
  • NROTCgradNROTCgrad Posts: 1,203Registered User Senior Member
    Consider Davidson College in North Carolina. Meets need WITHOUT loans (Princeton also meets need with no loans). Washington University in St. Louis is not east coast, but mid-west, and meets need without loans.

    Personally, if you cannot get into Princeton or Harvard, I recommend staying in California and going to one of its excellent UC branches -- Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Irvine, or UC-San Diego.

    Avoid students loans if at all possible. Also consider looking at small liberal arts colleges (such as Davidson, above) which often will give generous scholarships to students with excellent SAT/ACT scores.

    GOOD LUCK!
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Posts: 1,838Registered User Senior Member
    When reviewing the list of "100% meet needs" colleges, also take into account that some/many are also "need aware". These schools take into account your need for aid as part of the admissions process.

    http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2010/03/23/colleges-where-need-for-aid-can-hurt-admission-odds
  • kei04086kei04086 Posts: 496Registered User Member
    I was thinking along the lines of schools that meet demonstrated need. Do you have any recommendations from that list to start looking more closely at? I don't know much on east coast schools. The UCs are backup in case I have no choice but I'd prefer private schools.
  • beyphybeyphy Posts: 2,156Registered User Senior Member
    Many of the schools that meet full demonstrated need have very competitive admissions.

    For example, if you look at Kiplinger's best value in private universities, most of the schools in its top 25 are ranked within the top 25 in U.S. News (the exceptions are Tufts, Elon, and Boston College.) All of these schools have very competitive admissions:

    http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-private-colleges/index.php
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,960Registered User Senior Member
    edited February 6
    The "most comparable" east coast schools to Berkeley in terms of some obvious characteristics (big public schools with good overall reputation, and offer good financial aid for California residents) are University of Virginia and University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, but even those are different in many ways (for example, if you want to major in engineering, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University are usually considered better choices; they are cheaper at list price but with worse financial aid).

    For financial aid, go to each college and search for the "net price calculator" to get an estimate of financial aid and net price. Do not assume that all "meets full need" schools will produce similar financial aid packages or net prices. They may differ considerably because:

    * Their calculation of "need" may differ (most schools have their own methodology and additional forms beyond FAFSA, although UCs and CSUs use FAFSA only).
    * Their expected student contribution varies (typically between $4,000 and $10,000 per year; note that direct loans are limited to $5,500 for frosh year, and student work earnings expectations are typically $3,000 to $5,000 per year).

    Some "meets full need" schools may have more expensive net prices for you than some schools which do not "meet full need".
    Post edited by ucbalumnus on
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,960Registered User Senior Member
    If you have Berkeley-level stats (3.7+ unweighted GPA and 700+ each SAT section or 3.9+ unweighted GPA and 600+ each SAT section for Letters and Science, or 3.9+ unweighted GPA and 700+ each SAT section for Engineering), then you may also want to consider some of the full ride merit scholarships:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/16451378/#Comment_16451378
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/16224918/#Comment_16224918

    If you make National Merit, there are more:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/16465904/#Comment_16465904
  • WestSeattleMomWestSeattleMom Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
    Look at Wash U in St Louis. Smart motivated kids. Lots of them there on scholarships. Lots of east coast kids but more laid back and collaborative which might appeal to a California raised student. Tons of options from great engineering to sciences (awesome med school) and outstanding business. Not many kids from Missouri so everyone is far away from home.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 19,689Super Moderator Senior Member
    I don't need to worry about cost since I have very low income and will definitely qualify for aid
    I nearly spit out my tea when I read that. Everyone seems to have covered the right options: merit and colleges that meet need.
  • kei04086kei04086 Posts: 496Registered User Member
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/1611803-chance-for-caltech-mit-princeton-berkeley-p1.html

    My stats are posted here if you want to check it out and see where I would fit best. Thanks for all the help
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,960Registered User Senior Member
    In that other thread...
    kei04086 wrote:
    Weighted GPA: 4.6 (10-12) 4.412 (Academic)

    Unless you specify what the weighting method is, weighted GPA is meaningless. What is more meaningful is your unweighted GPA (or UC/CSU weighted GPA for UC/CSU applications).
    kei04086 wrote:
    low income (less than 100k)

    $99,999 per year is not "low income"; it is about double the median household income in the US. Even the most generous "meet full need" schools will expect some parent contribution (in addition to student contribution) at this parental income level.

    Run the net price calculators on every school's web site to get estimates.
  • kei04086kei04086 Posts: 496Registered User Member
    4.6 is the UC GPA (4.625 now after semester grades)
    I should have clarified that my actual income for the purpose of applications is 0 because I have no income in the US.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Posts: 1,795Registered User Senior Member
    You said you live in California but have no income. Are you a dependent student? Are you a california resident for tuition purposes? If so, just go to school in California.

    You need to realize that even with a low EFC, if you are relying on need based aid only, a good deal of meeting your need is going to come from loans at any public school unless you also get merit money.
  • 2018dad2018dad Posts: 839Registered User Member
    4.6 is the UC GPA (4.625 now after semester grades)
    IS that UC GPA capped or uncapped?
    Also what's your unweighted UC GPA?
  • kei04086kei04086 Posts: 496Registered User Member
    I'm not sure if it's capped or uncapped. My unweighted is 3.974 ish. For purposes I am a California resident and permanent resident (I have a green card). My income comes directly from Korea so I technically have 0 income that's reportable through taxes
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