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Feeling lost and breaking down

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Replies to: Feeling lost and breaking down

  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 729 Member
    These schools purport to meet 100% of financial need (link below). We started with this list to narrow down schools to which my nephew should apply because he knew he'd have to find funding. Also, while there are some schools that are nearly impossible to gain acceptance to, others have more reasonable acceptance rates (e.g., College of the Holy Cross, Connecticut College, Occidental College) http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2016-09-19/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 729 Member
    Also, some things I've learned from my nephew applying to private colleges that meet full financial need: Start early-sign up for interviews early (most have alumni interviews so you don't have to travel to the school); if the college visits your school or holds an event in your area, go to it. Certain colleges, like College of the Holy Cross, track demonstrated interest so participate in online student chats for the college in which you're interested, follow them on Facebook, etc.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Yep, there are some great colleges on that list. Grinnell is especially known for fantastic need-based aid, and they have the midwestern geographic/ethnic diversity boost factor. (No engineering, though.)

    Don't limit yourself to such a list, though. There are a lot of schools that don't necessarily meet 100% need across the board, but will still do so for those on the low end of the income scale. It's the kids in the mid-range who often don't get their full need met. Or, they're counting on merit aid to cover some of their costs *after* need-based aid, and then they learn that merit and need-based aid do not *stack* - every merit scholarship they get just comes off of the top of their need-based aid, and their costs (which are untenable in real life for their families) remain the same. Each "slice" of the financial-demographic continuum has to strategize accordingly - it's a very different picture depending on where you fall.

    This lists also reminds me that on the opposite end of the spectrum from the male-dominated schools I suggested, it's definitely smart to consider women's colleges (both on and off @Emsmom1's 100%-of-need-met list). Some very high-quality women's colleges can be easier to get into than comparable co-ed schools for no other reason than single-gender schools being less popular. STEM at Smith, for example, is fantastic (plus all the resources of the five-college consortium) and actually has stronger stats for various measures of post-college success than for women at co-ed STEM schools. Not on the list but with some excellent aid opportunities is Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, which ranks #4 on the US News list of "Most Innovative" schools. #3 on that same list is Berea College in KY (not a women's college - shifting gears), another excellent school which does not charge tuition but rather offers a work-study program for all students.

    Basically, if you think outside the California-feeding-frenzy box, there are tons of amazing opportunities out there.
  • akiddocakiddoc Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    Your 3.75 is plenty competitive. UCSB, UCD, and UCI are all within reach, depending on SAT. Be sure to apply for accomodations on the SAT if you are severely vision impaired. The 5 C's are a stretch, to say the least, unless you absolutely ace the SAT. Definitely look at Occidental. Great school.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
  • GeoffWii2GeoffWii2 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    edited February 22
    You could also apply to the Jack Kent Cooke College Scholarship also. It's designed for high achieving , low income students. Go to jkcf.org to check them out
  • Kelvin82Kelvin82 Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    edited February 23
    Thank you so much for all of the kind suggestions! @GeoffWii2 @aquapt

    @akiddoc I have never received 5 Cs. I have received 6 Bs while working to support my family. I know that is not an excuse, and in no way does that justify the dip in my GPA, but I wanted to explain my circumstances a bit more. Freshman year was where I took all honors classes, and maintained a 4.0 average. As soon I turned 16, I began to work to support my family. I received 3 Bs in sophomore year, and 3 Bs in my first semester of junior year. For my second semester, I currently have all As; hopefully I can keep it up.

    I wanted to give a quick update. I received my SAT scores today, and I got a 1440. I'm planning on retaking it in hopes of raising my score. I just wanted to ask if my decision is a good one.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Congrats on the SAT score, @Kelvin82 - a 1440 is nothing to sneeze at! It's really your call whether you think you can raise it with a reasonable amount of effort. You have a lot on your plate, and it won't be worth doing a boatload of test-prep at the expense of your grades! If you took the test and felt like being a bit more "seasoned" at the types of questions asked, the timing of the test, and test-taking strategies would have helped you to do better, then do some prep and give it another go. If you felt like you were "on your game" and have trouble imagining doing better, then maybe it's better to put your effort elsewhere. My D has a friend who took it three times, spent lots of time preparing, and scored exactly the same every time. Everybody's "point of diminishing returns" is different.

    But first, if you haven't already, you should apply to the Questbridge Prep Scholars program. That application is due March 17th. https://www.questbridge.org/high-school-students/college-prep-scholars

    They typically want to see slightly better grades than you have, but they give close consideration to personal circumstances, and your SAT score is well in range. If you get into this earlier group, you'll have an advantage to get into the College Match program when that application opens in the summer.
  • Kelvin82Kelvin82 Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    @aquapt I don't plan on majoring in an engineering field; my interests lie in chemistry and computational biology. I'm also interested in the humanities, and I've always wanted to minor or double major in english. I did summer activities that reflected my interest (Girls Who Code) and participated in competitions (won silver key in Scholastic Art and Writing, regional and state medals at Science Olympiad, and was a finalist for a national essay contest).
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 28,819 Senior Member
    What is your SAT breakdown?
  • Kelvin82Kelvin82 Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    edited February 25
    @intparent 680 EBRW 760 math

    On practice tests I usually scored in the 700s range for EBRW. The test I took was administered by my school (I was approved for accommodations) and the proctor was late. That led to me panicking, and I believe that mental anxiety affected my reading and writing scores.

    I took math after lunch, so I felt more prepared and relaxed going in. I definitely want to retake, because I know I can raise my reading and writing scores and hopefully be done with SAT testing.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    @Kelvin82 , of the Questbridge schools, Carleton jumps out at me as an especially good fit for your cluster of interests (and your personality, based on my obviously-limited impression). They're extremely strong in the kind of sciences you like and also in humanities/writing. As a smaller LAC, they make it easy to blend areas of interest. Their admissions are holistic and fit-based - demonstrated interest is very important to them. If you're interested in the school, make contact early and often. They also have excellent summer programs for HS students, in sciences, CS, humanities and writing, with need-based scholarships: https://apps.carleton.edu/summer/apply/scholarship/ And Californians and Asians, while not super-scarce, are not over-represented (a little over 10% of each).

    As for the SAT, it's actually great that your first score was so uneven. It sounds like you have an excellent chance at pulling your verbal score up, and you've already nailed down an excellent math score. That's a better situation than having to try to squeeze out incremental improvement on both sides. You've already done well, but since your transcript isn't flawless, an even more stellar score would be a big help. It's definitely worth a retake to break the 700 barrier on the verbal, which doesn't sound like it will be a stretch at all. Can you ask to take the math section first next time?
  • Kelvin82Kelvin82 Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    @CADREAMIN this is long overdue, but thank you so much for your inspirational words. I feel so much happier knowing that there are viable options out there, and that I am focusing on myself and not obsessing over my peers' stats.
    @aquapt I'll have to check with my SSD coordinator if I could take math first. Thank you for mentioning Carleton College; I took a quick peek and really liked that I could design my own major. I also looked at Wellesley via questbridge, and the general atmosphere appealed to me. I also liked that there was the option of cross registering with Olin and MIT. I know people who are going to Wellesley, and they all love it. Sigh.
  • latinvibeslatinvibes Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    The QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Application closes at the end of march!!! I HIGHLY recommend applying!
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