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College List Help Needed!

akabrownyakabrowny Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
Hello! I'm currently a rising high school senior planning for applications coming up soon (Aaaa!). I go to a STEM-oriented public school ranked top 10 in California, and I had to test in to attend.

Here's some info about me:
-4.25 GPA (4.0 sophomore year, 4.6 junior year so there's some improvement there I guess)
-33 ACT (planning to re-take to get a 34 hopefully)
-7 AP's: AP Calculus AB (5), AP US History (5), AP Music Theory (super upset because I bombed the sightreading which led to a 4), AP Biology (4), AP Language (4), AP Euro (3), AP Chemistry (3 which is OK for not taking the class)
-Senior year: AP Physics 1, AP Gov/Econ, color guard, AP Psychology, AP Literature, yearbook, AP Calc BC
-SAT 2's: 770 Math 2, 740 Biology E, and 700 Chemistry (not submitting).

-Top leadership positions in marching band and yearbook
-Secretary of Astronomy club this year/last year, and in NHS and CSF. Also in Mock Trial last year/this year
-Interned under a psychology professor this summer at a graduate university
-Have many awards from playing piano for the last 8 years. Passed advanced CM level with honors.
-Went up to level 5 in vocal CM, but stopped because of money issues

I plan to major in either Biology, Psychology, or Biochem with a minor in music, and I plan to become a doctor.

My main issue is cost. My parents own money for my grandma, but it's under their name so I'm afraid it may affect my financial aid. My parents' income is about 75,000 and they told me they can't pay much because my sister will be attending college soon, and they expect me to get a full ride so she can have more college options, which I totally agree with and support. However, that means I'll be in debt, so I want to minimize that as much as possible since I plan on going to medical school.

Besides that, I would like to know if anyone knows any good pre-med schools with a more liberal population! I would only mainly like to attend college in the East/West coast as well. Also, how does my college list look so far? Any recommendations/adjustments? I also plan on cutting down the list since application fees will add up. Thank you for reading this lengthy post!

Here is my list so far:

Reaches:
Wellesley (this may be a match as well, not sure... but this is my top choice >:D< )
Tufts
Vassar
Washington University in St. Louis (not sure how I feel about this one)
Johns Hopkins
UCLA
UC Berkeley
USC

Match:
Scripps College (also a top choice but I don't think I can get much financial aid :( )
Smith College
UCSD
UC Davis
Brandeis
Boston University
Carleton (not sure about this one either, but the application is free so what the heck)

Safety:
Pepperdine (based off everyone telling me I'll get in for sure)
St. Olaf
Bryn Mawr
Syracuse University

Replies to: College List Help Needed!

  • SrabookwormSrabookworm Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Take a look at Rice University as well - it seems to align with your interests and with the schools you're currently looking at!

    Try applying to independent scholarships - scholarships from the school are somewhat out of your control, but by applying to a bunch of independent scholarships, you can bring the cost down. A lot of the schools you're looking at are on the expensive side, but with financial aid, they can be affordable. (Also for what it's worth, I looked at WashU in St. Louis as well and really liked it [and also got decent financial aid offerings] so I'd give it a thumbs-up!)
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,725 Senior Member
    edited July 16
    Do you know the amount of money that your parents are holding for your grandma that is under their name? Have you tried the net price calculators with this money included?

    An income of $75,000 may get you significant aid at schools that meet full need, especially once your sister begins.... But.... I also don't know how much money your parents are holding for your grandmother. This will be included in your FA calculation.

    You should also apply to schools that will give you big merit. How much will your parents contribute?

    Independent scholarships will likely not give you enough money and will only be for one year. I disagree that scholarships are beyond your control. If you do your research and apply wisely, you can have control.
  • akabrownyakabrowny Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Thanks for the input! I'm not sure how much they're holding, but I've done the EFC for Wellesley (meets 100% need) with that money included and I'll still have to pay $6000 a year at the least. My parents are only able to contribute a couple thousand dollars a year at the most. Also, I'm afraid of applying to scholarships because I've heard that you have to include that in the FAFSA, even when you're enrolled in college, which will reduce the aid you get.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 28,365 Senior Member
    It depends on the school -- lots of schools reduce loans first, do it could still help you.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,725 Senior Member
    edited July 17
    I am not familiar with all of the schools on your list ( many but not all). I would leave the schools that meet full need and/or give large merit for your stats. Any school that does not meet this criteria should come off.

    Syracuse is an academic safety. It is very expensive- you need to investigate whether they will give you enough money.

  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,725 Senior Member
    I believe you will get automatic huge merit at the U of Alabama. This school should be on your list.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 30,561 Senior Member
    Can the money from your grandma be shifted?
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 2,323 Senior Member
    Using the numbers your parents say they can afford, you would graduate about $16k in debt. I think a Wellesley education is well worth that and the amount is chicken feed compared to what you will incur as a medical student.
  • VryCnfsdVryCnfsd Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Since Wellesley is your current top choice, contact them and ask them how the money your parents are keeping for your grandma will affect your financial aid. Please don't just assume one way or another. I contacted several colleges about FA, and they were all very willing to explain their policies so that we could make an informed decision.

    You may also want to do that with each of the schools before applying.
  • akabrownyakabrowny Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    That's a great idea, I've never thought about contacting the college directly haha. Thanks for the replies anyone! I am hoping to talk to my parents and ask them to transfer my grandma's money. If they do that, will it no longer be reported on the FAFSA? Does the FAFSA only account for CURRENT money in checkings and savings?
  • elena13elena13 Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    Yes, when they complete the FAFSA they will list what is currently in their accounts that day. So, look into what can be done about transferring it. Make sure you have some financial safeties on your list as well as some that give big merit for your stats. With Wellesley, if your parents can help a little, you can earn $3000/summer if you work hard and have a small part-time job during the school year. It seems like you would end up with a pretty small amount of debt for the quality of the education. My daughter had fairly similar stats. Wellesley was the one school that waitlisted her this year, but I still think you have a good chance. Good luck!
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