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
@BurntKnight It's not a survivorship bias. People just know that schools like UCB are incredibly selective. It doesn't mean you WON'T get in, just that you shouldn't get overconfident. People generally don't brag about being rejected, so just because you don't know of any 4.0/36 people being rejected, doesn't mean that they aren't.
@Karamellikespi I'd say there's no more of a drinking culture than at most colleges. I've heard that athletes (sorry to bring it up again) may experience more pressure to drink with their teams at parties, but it depends on the team and the person.
I personally don't drink at all, and I haven't had trouble finding like-minded friends. There are some campus-sponsored events and parties each semester. There is also AC After Dark, which sponsors activities purposefully to give options besides partying/drinking. I've gone to a couple of their activities, like movie nights and ice skating. And of course, different clubs and organizations have their own get-togethers and events. However, a lot of the time, it'll probably be you and your friends just hanging out.
There is an option when you complete your freshman room survey to indicate if you would like substance-free housing. There is usually a floor or two designated for this. In my freshman year, though, it was the first floor of a dorm that was otherwise very much NOT substance-free.
@CottonTales I don't want to have an extended argument on this thread. I just wanted to present an opposing point of view to prospective students. @CorryBernstein has a lot of good points in their follow-up posts as well, which I think are also valuable for prospective students.
It is objectively true that recruited athletes (not club) have lower admissions standards. I was actually defending athletes by saying they still have to qualify by meeting certain academic benchmarks. Nobody gets in who is completely unqualified, regardless of athletic status.
Lazy did not refer to athletes at all. It was a follow-up to the line "Nobody at Amherst is an idiot." Some people do struggle in classes, but I'm claiming it's not due to a lack of intellect. Sometimes it IS laziness, sometimes it's a struggle with time management, sometimes the subject just isn't the right fit.
Okay, first thing is that if you're OOS at UC Berkeley, they won't give you enough aid for you to attend. If you're not a CA resident, you need to cross it off the list.
I don't want to crush your dreams, but I think you need to reconsider your list. Yes, you are an under-represented minority, but a 3.6 and a 1370 aren't competitive for most of these schools (although the 33 is significantly better). You'll need to pick a few reaches and then make sure you have matches and safeties you love.
All these colleges are very different from each other. What are you looking for in a school? Right now, the only common thread I see is prestige. Do you want a small school or large? Urban, suburban, rural? What kind of vibe? You might want to check out some women's colleges, like Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke, for prestigious LACs that are a little easier to get into.
I have a chronic illness that sounds very similar to yours, which caused me to miss a lot of school in high school too. I was also looking for a small school with minimal partying atmosphere.
I go to Amherst now, which I agree would be a reach for you, along with Williams and Wellesley (which was also one of my top choices). If you get your SAT up a bit, you'd be in a more comfortable position.
If you're interested in Wellesley, also look into Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke, both beautiful schools with great academics but a little easier to get into. Other schools you might like: Allegheny, Susquehanna (has business administration major), Earlham (if you are willing to go a little further from the Northeast), Muhlenberg (previously mentioned).