This is so long - I am sorry. We are a completely overwhelmed family from Texas and almost every "smart kid" we know goes to either University of Texas or Texas A & M. I don't see either as a fit for my junior daughter and we really need to get our poop together on this - she has exceeded our skill set. She recently visited Rice and she loved EVERYTHING about it. But the admissions rate is low (high teens) and her ACT is low for them and I feel like no one really understands who gets in (over 50% of valedictorians are rejected???), so I am working this weekend to nail down some solid thoughts. Help me, please.
I think this is what ya'll will need:
Money will come in to play. She is white, parents income around $80,000, wants to go to grad school so I don't want her taking a lot of debt for undergrad.
Act: 28, but she is severely dyslexic and we just realized she could get extra time for it and will be taking in June with extra time. Hopefully that goes up to at least a 30 - maybe more.
Class rank: 2 of 450ish
Unweighted GPA: 4.0
Total AP classes at graduation: 9 (including every science and math AP class that our school offers). She doesn't have any test scores back yet.
2 years regional science fair with high placements including 1 year best in fair and multiple independent awards (and she will do it again senior year)
2 years state science fair
1 year Intel International Science Fair
NASA High School Aerospace Scholars Class and qualified for a merit week at Johnson Space Center (no cost program)
Attending Rensselaer Polytech's merit based PREFACE program (no cost program)
3 year varsity letter athlete (and will finish w 4 years)
2 year letter in band including 2 years drum corp @ WGI Dayton, 1 year as a World Class Scholastic
3 years math & science team (multiple placements) - will finish w 4 years
3 years Project Lead the Way engineering program - will finish w 4 years. She will also be speaking at PLW teacher's conference in Florida in the fall regarding how to do science fair with no university/corporate lab access (she did hers all on her own with no one to guide her research)
2 years robotic team (will finish w 3 years and 1 year as president )
2 years Student Council (will finish w 3, 1 as officer)
2 years National Honor Society (will finish w 3, 1 as officer)
Volunteer work mostly peer tutoring
Major is physics (leaning toward bio physics right now, but IDK if the bio part will stick.)
About her - loves research, collaboration, is competitive but keeps it under control mostly, hard worker. Also, will do poorly in a snobby/overly preppy/superficial kind of group - she is not sorority material. She is genuinely kind (like she will thank the janitors for mopping the floors ) and kind of child like in that she is not very worldly and would love to jump in one of those jumpy house and talk string theory at the same time. She is not a partier. She will interview VERY well as we have spent much time helping her to hone "come across as normal" skills and she is gifted with more social graces than a lot of nerdy science kids.
Her favorite things about Rice were: quickness that kids get research access, strong but small physics dept, casual and super friendly attitude of students, professors took time to speak with us when we were wandering around, residential college (she loved the mix of people), the cloistered feel/so pretty/looks like hogwarts/OMG they are the owls! It looks like Hogwarts and they are the owls!!!
Things I liked : strong financial packages, safe area/cloistered, small college geared for success (graduation rate like 97%), residential college, friendly atmosphere, in Texas.
Help me out. I think we are going to visit Wash U. She will be at Rensselaer this summer. Where else?