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You do need to have a backup plan. A D in Algebra does not bode well for a STEM major. I think @3scoutsmom is just testing to give you realistic advice. We see a lot of students out here who can't block & tackle, but build elaborate plans for the future that may not be realistic. So sometimes you will get suggestions that you neednto make sure you are taking care of the basics.
Your thread title struck me as odd -- I was almost a geology major in college, but lots of the classes weren't "fun". You kind of have to try out intro classes in some of those fields to see what you think once you get to a school they offers them.
Yes, of course there is more to people than grades. But not every career path is right for every person. It is definitely a warning sign that you didn't do well in Algebra; I think that is all people are trying to say. (You are talking to someone who is not a geologist because I had bad chem grades). :)
Sorry -- you don't get to decide whether others can go review your other posts for more info.
Regarding Geology as a major, I think of the types of jobs as things like working for oil companies, working for the US Geologic Survey, maybe working for a state government or park service, or teaching. I'm guessing there are some jobs in private industry related to mining or other industries that are impacted by geologic features or earthquake or volcanic explosion risk. An example might be a company that lays underwater cables in the ocean. I bet some natural science museums have at least a part time geologist on staff.
You can probably Google and find more info if you just look for geology as a career, and also Google for open jobs. Look at the jobs to see what degrees are required and the locations. I don't think if the Midwest as a hotbed of geology jobs, but I'm sure there are some.
My favorite part of geology classes was lab, but I didn't get very far into the class sequences before changing majors. I liked studying rock samples. My reason for changing majors was mostly about my abysmal performance in a weeder chem class and feeling like the remaining chem sequence (which included 2 semesters of organic at my university for a geology major) was insurmountable for me.
More regarding outside scholarships. Many schools reduce need based aid when you get them, and your out of pocket attendance doesn't change. Some schools reduce loans or make other adjustments, but not all. Also, many outside scholarships are just for 1-2 years, and you may have to transfer someplace more affordable after the first year. Transfers often get worse financial aid, no merit aid, sometimes can't transfer all credits, and have to start over socially and building relationships with profs/mentors.
The best aid comes from the schools themselves. Don't count on outside scholarships to help you afford schools where the NPC doesn't look good.
A school you might add is Dickinson (meets 96% of need -- check their NPC).
You can't count on your mom "making it work". You need her to look at the NPCs with you; it will help you figure out some schools to drop. And large outside scholarships are VERY competitive (more so than top colleges). Also, even if an app is free, you have to pay to send test scores & file the CSS profile if they require it.
Drop Berkeley now. No aid for OOS students. Same for UTX Austin. And NYU -- lousy aid. Unless you have some insanely great EC you haven't mentioned, drop Stanford. You don't have the "pop" to get in there. Purdue is an out of state public and may not be affordable.
Lots of these colleges won't take your college credits. If you are counting on that reducing your college cost, it won't for a lot of them.
You need to add a couple of in-state publics to make sure you have affordable options. You are lucky to live in a state with something like Bright Futures -- pay attention to their requirements and deadlines to keep that option open. You could end up with no affordable choices and missing that opportunity -- don't let that happen. Your mom might be willing to take out big loans or put her own retirement at risk, but you know that isn't a good idea. So keep those options on the table.