Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. So far, the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook has helped more than 10K students choose a college, get in, and pay for it. Get your free copy: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM

What colleges do I match?

fran1024fran1024 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Hi! I am currently a high school junior, and I need help figuring out what colleges match me. I am interested in microbiology, public health, or epidemiology areas. I really need to go to a school that has really good financial aid, too, because my family is broke af (like 7k for a household of 3). I want to go out of state, too, because my home life is terrible (mom has mental illness, so she doesn't work at all, and my older brother is always trapping and has a bad drug problem. Who knows where my dad at?) So not a school in the Dakotas/Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin area.

Some of my stats:
-GPA: 4.0 unweighted, 4.7 weighted
-Rank: 1/300
-ACT: 33 (I plan to retake again, just to see if I can get better)
-APs: My school only has two, Human Geo and Bio, but Bio fills two class periods instead of one, so I didn't take it. I got a 5 on AP Human Geo.
-Courseload: Junior Year: At school: NJROTC, PLTW Principles of Engineering, Honors French 4. At a community college: Calculus 1 and 2, General Biology, US History, Composition 1, Intro to Lit, Microeconomics, and Physics (across both semesters)
Senior year will be similar, I will be taking honors French 5, PLTW Civil Engineering and NJROTC at school and 4 courses/semester at the community college.

For extracurriculars:
-last year, I did National History Day, and I got 1st place at state and 2nd at nationals for my research paper
-over this last summer, I did research in a microbiology lab and I still am, there's a chance my work I've done with my mentor, a post-doc, might get published later this year
-varsity volleyball, softball and basketball (captain of volleyball junior year, probably senior year too) (co-captain for softball sophomore, junior, and probably senior) (all conference awards in volleyball and softball) (all-state academic for volleyball) (I would try to get recruited for volleyball, but I have no idea how that even works )
-president of the Math Team (I usually place at regionals, but never too high at state lol)
-school store manager (I basically chill there when I don't have class, since my college class meet at weird times)
-NHS VP this year, I might run for pres next year
-In NJROTC, this year I'm Public Affairs Officer (I've had a few of my articles about my unit featured in the local/state newspaper) and commander of the Academic Team, and a member of the Physical Training team and on the Color Guard. Next year, I'm likely to be Commanding Officer, which is the top leadership position for the unit of 160 cadets.
-Upward Bound, which helps me with ACT prep, scholarships, and college apps
-I work like 24/hrs a week at movie theater after practice and on weekends, but a sizable chunk of this money goes towards paying for my car and its expenses, which I need to get between college, high school, and sports

My counselors have been pushing me to apply for Ivies, because my school is a large, public school with like 95% of students low-income and 50% ELL/immigrant, so we've never sent anyone to an Ivy. The closest we've gotten has been Tufts, Georgetown, and Carleton, and those were super big deals. But when I look at the accepted threads for Ivy's, there's no way I could get in >_< let alone afford them. I'm scared to take out loans, because my cousin did when he went to a state university, and now he's struggling to pay them back.

Do I fit any of the Ivies? What schools do I even match?

Replies to: What colleges do I match?

  • TN034154TN034154 Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    You seem really good for the ivies and some matches might be the Bostons, MIT, etc (Ivy League calibers), but you also want to apply to a couple of safeties. But you are a pretty strong ivy applicant. What were your sat's?
  • fran1024fran1024 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I haven't taken the SAT or any subject tests, my school only requires the ACT. I am taking the PSAT in October (hopefully I can get National Merit Scholarship). Should I take them? Are they necessary?
  • TN034154TN034154 Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    For the ivies yeah, you should research which colleges require what. Some require sat I + 2 sat II, some just thee sat, and some even sat + 3 Sat II
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 1,455 Senior Member
    Have you run the NPC? Loans are indeed something to either avoid or at least minimize if you have to take any.

    I wouldn't call MIT a match for anyone. However, I am thinking that you might have a chance at the Ivy's or equivalent (Stanford, MIT) due to a combination of your excellent stats plus their having some interest in geographical diversity. Also, many of the Ivy's (and MIT and Stanford) are actually quite well endowed, and therefore they can give very good need based aid in some cases if you get it (it appears that you should qualify for aid).

    How far is your state flagship from your home? You don't have to actually go very far physically to be far enough to avoid home trauma.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 3,779 Senior Member
    It sounds like you are going to need a full ride. Study very hard for the PSAT. If you are a National Merit Finalist, there (likely) will be full rides available. If your PSAT qualifies your for National Merit Semifinalist then you will have to take the SAT to get a "qualifying score" to move to Finalist.

    With regard to SAT Subject Tests, if they would be a financial hardship for you to take, then I believe most schools will waive that requirement. Here's what Princeton's website says about it:

    "In addition, we recommend, but do not require, the submission of two SAT Subject Tests, which often assist us in the evaluation process. We have no preference for the specific SAT Subject Tests applicants choose to take. However, if you apply for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, we recommend that you take either mathematics Level I or II, and either physics or chemistry.

    Some students may find the cost of taking and submitting SAT Subject Tests to be prohibitive. Please note you will not be penalized for not submitting SAT Subject Tests if the cost of taking the tests causes financial hardship. In such instances, we will rely on rigor of coursework, strength of recommendations, quality of writing in the essays and any other information available to us."
  • fran1024fran1024 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I ran the calculator for a few of the selective schools, and most of them I would go for almost free (like $4000 final cost, but that's brought down to $1000ish via work study; I do plan to apply for a lot of scholarships too.) When I run the calculator for slightly less selective schools, the financial aid would leave me still needing to cover like $5000-$10000 after work study :/. But I am mainly concerned about actually getting in, because it seems like the schools that are extremely hard to get into have the best financial aid.
    My state's flagship is in the same city that I live in, only a 15 minute car ride from my house.
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Two things to investigate:

    NMS. are you planning on taking the PSAT/NMSQT ? Score high enough and you'll have access to some great options with aide up to 100%

    Take a good look at needs based aide from highly selective schools (Ivys, Stanford, MIT, etc). You'll be suprised at how much you would qualify for,

  • ams220ams220 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    If your father is out of the picture, you will need to apply for a waiver of the non-custodial parent information for almost all schools that use CSS. It's doable, and waivers are granted, but I just wanted to let you know about that, as most meet full-need schools want financial information from both parents.
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 6,678 Senior Member
  • sheepskin00sheepskin00 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    I would say you have a reasonable chance at the Ivies. No guarantees, of course, but your class rank and GPA are excellent. Your ACT could come up a bit but it's pretty solid already. Your ECs are good as well. People here will try to tell you that unless you've done research at NASA, you shouldn't even bother with the Ivies but you shouldn't listen to them. Apply to the ones that appeal to you. They're all excellent academically but have very different campus cultures and you love one and not another. They're not interchangeable. So before you worry about whether your record would get you in, you should research them and figure out whether they even appeal to you beyond the prestige. There are a lot of comparably prestigious universities and colleges you might like better. But whatever your preferences, you ought to apply to a few top-15 schools. No guarantees, but no one would dismiss you out of hand. Your application would get serious consideration.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,568 Senior Member
    I ran the calculator for a few of the selective schools, and most of them I would go for almost free (like $4000 final cost, but that's brought down to $1000ish via work study; I do plan to apply for a lot of scholarships too.) When I run the calculator for slightly less selective schools, the financial aid would leave me still needing to cover like $5000-$10000 after work study . But I am mainly concerned about actually getting in, because it seems like the schools that are extremely hard to get into have the best financial aid.

    Yes, typically the schools with the best need-based aid also are the most selective.
    It sounds like you'd have a very good shot at many schools that claim to cover 100% of demonstrated need, provided your parents cooperate in completing the FAFSA.
    https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2016-09-19/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need
    (All the Ivies are on this list, but so are many other excellent private schools.)

    Schools with the best merit scholarships tend to be much less selective.
    http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    @tk21769 Your points on needs based FA at selective schools and merit aide at less selective is spot-on
Sign In or Register to comment.