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I'm lost

OhthreeOhthree 3 replies1 threads New Member
I'm deeply interested in corporate structure, building and managing teams to accomplish goals, investment, and entrepreneurial efforts in general. Growing up poor has pushed me to love the idea of making money, and has led to a lot of thought to how much it can influence a person's life. I've focused a lot of my time to further my business centered club because of this.

I don't know what schools to apply to, and I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm a first-generation college student and my parents wouldn't offer me any help anyway because of our soured relationship. I feel out of place and kind of crushed by the idea that I'm so lost when my friends and peers are getting help from their families about this college stuff.

I would love to go to a competitive and renowned undergraduate business program like Stern, Wharton, Booth, Haas, Ross, or Tepper but I don't know how realistic any of that is for me.

For context, I am a relatively poor Junior in high school hailing from Middletown, New York. I'm half Filipino, half white but I identified as Pacific Islander on college board and SCOIR (Philippines is an 'island in the pacific', not sure if I'm allowed to phrase it that way though - hoping to capitalize on the fact that many schools have a lack of Pacific Islander representation). I earned full aid to attend The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and earned around a B average there over my three years so far. For the most part, I've been unsupported in my effort to gain a higher education which I think I could expound on in my essays, but I'm entirely uncertain if it's worth the application fee for me to even try to get into the schools that I listed. My toxic home environment affects me deeply, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to go to a boarding high school in the first place.

I'm taking Honors stats this year, which is the only honors course I have taken. I'm also taking pre-calculus AB, a US history course, my third year of Latin, and the mandatory fourth form ELA class. The courses I started with my freshman year were of a much lower caliber than most of my peers since my public middle school didn't offer the higher math courses and such that my peers were offered at their schools. I've done better empirically in my math and English courses than my language and history courses over my time here. I'm planning on taking the AP Stats, AP ELA, and SAT Subject Math 2 tests. I have taken the PSAT and received 1270 (out of 1520). I have taken a practice ACT test and got a 27 on my own time. I'm going to take the next ACT test that is available and hope to improve to at least a 32 (i don't have an official score set yet).

I've made some great successes in my business-related extracurriculars at Lawrenceville - creating my own entrepreneurial centered club and leading a dedicated following for the projects that I came up with over my time here. We have held a fundraiser for a cancer hospital selling bubble tea, we even brought in a speaker (Mark Tatum) to help the teams my club formed to compete in Delaware's Diamond challenge, and we are currently holding an all-school virtual design challenge with a Harvard professor judge and another Lawrenceville alumni entrepreneur. I'm currently trying to create a business as an extension of the club I made to host similar competitions but make it into sort of a league platform with a more head to head approach to these design challenges and earn money through entry fees. I was hoping to market this to my school as well as other similarly ranked boarding schools - I think if I talk to the right people I could make it happen which could give colleges an idea of where my head is in terms of interest in money-making pursuits.

I am also the head editor of a publication but that doesn't really help with getting into business undergraduate schools. Aside from that, I've volunteered my time consistently over the last two years. I did a few projects during my freshman year, but during my sophomore summer, I traveled to Africa to do community service there for 3 weeks which was quite fun and fulfilling. In my junior year, I traveled to the local preschool near Trenton and spend time with the children there every Tuesday for two terms.

I don't know how much of an insight this gives you into my interests and situation but It's a start. I'm nervous that my subpar performance in school compared to my A-graded rich peers will be huge competition for me in my effort to get into a top school. I also received a disciplinary mark on my transcript for possession of Marijuana, something I used to cope with my home and academic stresses.

I was hoping maybe someone on the internet could offer some insight that I couldn't get otherwise. Not sure if this is the right sub but I'm looking for advice of any kind and some guidance to possible majors and schools I should consider. Thank you for reading
17 replies
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Replies to: I'm lost

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6589 replies10 threads Senior Member
    If you are finishing your junior year, you should have been assigned a college counselor. That's one of the perks at a school like Lville. What have they recommended and what is your reaction to each of those options? That might make the input of people here who don't know you more constructive.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4974 replies86 threads Senior Member
    edited May 16
    Yes, the feedback of your current GC would be helpful.

    There will be many colleges that would love to have you, but the highly selective ones you mentioned are probably not even realistic reaches with a B average and ACT of 27.

    Can/will your parents pay anything for college? It is likely that your budget will be the greatest determinant in choosing your college.
    edited May 16
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  • Bill MarshBill Marsh 503 replies5 threads Member
    Your career aspirations and what you’ve done match up perfectly with what they do at Babson College in Massachusetts. Your numbers don’t, but there are always exceptions. You’ve done a good job of selling yourself here, so maybe you can do the same thing there.

    As others have said, start with your guidance counselor. I would also contact Babson to schedule an interview and plan a visit. You’re such a good match, they just might be interested.

    PS - The Philippines are definitely Pacific islands.
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  • OhthreeOhthree 3 replies1 threads New Member
    @gardenstategal We've only started talking recently, but since I'm no longer on campus because of the global pandemic the whole college counselor thing hasn't been very helpful. So far he has just told me to look at schools and write what I think about them, but It still doesn't help me that much in terms of knowing how realistic of a chance I have to be accepted into any of the schools I'm interested.
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  • OhthreeOhthree 3 replies1 threads New Member
    @Mwfan1921 I'm on my own with all of that - they wouldn't even be able to give up any money if they wanted to.
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  • OhthreeOhthree 3 replies1 threads New Member
    I'll take a deeper look into Babson - I had Babson written down as a school I would be interested in looking further into but didn't know that it was a business / entrepreneurial centered school. Thank you, @Bill Marsh
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4974 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Ohthree wrote: »
    @Mwfan1921 I'm on my own with all of that - they wouldn't even be able to give up any money if they wanted to.

    Your parents are going to have to fill out financial aid forms with/for you, will they do that?

    Do this to get an estimated FAFSA EFC, and tell us the result:

    https://fafsa.ed.gov/spa/fafsa4c/?locale=en_US#/landing

    Your FAFSA EFC will determine if you are eligible for a Pell grant. It will also allow you to access Federal Student Loans, which are limited to $27K in total ($5.5K frosh year, then 6.5/7.5/7.5K).

    Also, for each school on your list you should run the net price calculators (NPCs) on their websites to get an estimate of your costs. NPCs may not be accurate if your parents are divorced, own a business, or own real estate beyond a primary home.


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  • CounselmomCounselmom 37 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Poets and Quants undergrad has lots of information specifically about business schools. Think about where you would feel most comfortable—city vs rural, large vs small, etc. Try to identify a number of schools that interest you and attend virtual visits. You want a range or reach, match, and likely schools.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6589 replies10 threads Senior Member
    You might put Bucknell on your list. It sounds like you would like a school with an undergraduate business degree. Rutgers? Indiana University? Put together the list and let your CC tell you what makes sense. Agree that Babson could be good.
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1769 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Could a more knowledgeable poster chime in with details on qualifying for free or reduced application fees?

    Are there also reduced fees/waivers on tests and sending test scores?
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  • EconPopEconPop 597 replies10 threads Member
    edited May 17
    In our state, the family fills out a 2-page form regarding family finances and status and turns it into the school or the main administrative office in that city. Some kids even retrieve/return the forms to the cafeteria personnel.

    When that student starts the college application process, both the Common App and the Coalition App ask the student if they qualify for aid such as Free Lunch. If the student checks that box, those platforms will then prompt the HS counselor (whose school email and phone # have been provided by the student) to verify the Free/Reduced Lunch status. If the counselor verifies, all application fees are waived for that student on both platforms.

    I think a similar process occurs with the College Board in regards to waived fees for testing and sending scores. If the student requests the waiver, the CB will contact the HS counselor to verify the student's lunch status.

    With the CSS, once a student/parent fills out the financial information, the software automatically assesses the family's financial status and decides immediately if the family will be charged for sending CSS Profiles to individual universities. If the family falls below the income limit, each $18 charge is waived every time. Simply fill out the form to send to the colleges of your choice, and at the end the software will waive the costs.
    edited May 17
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  • Doodoo27Doodoo27 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I agree that CSS is really important and gives a more detail picture than Fafsa when it come to filling aid. When you fill out both documents though, make it clear that your parents will in no way help you.

    As I'm sure you know, you need to improve your senior grades and test scores. This doesn't only improve you chances of getting into good business schools, but also make you more likely to receive scholarship from some of the schools.

    Also I think you should still apply to some of the schools you listed above. While business schools usually do take people with better grades/scores that doesn't mean that they always do. You should apply where you like(but still be reasonable with some safeties and some targets).

    As someone who recently graduated from a "preppy" boarding school, I don't think you pay any attention to your classmates. You should never compare yourself to them especially since your circumstances have been so different. There were people in my school who paid top dollar for private counselors and could not get into any top schools. On the other hand, a friend of mine(who was in the exact same situation as you, parents/grades) worked her butt of senior year and got into Duke, Berkeley, NYU, BostonU, etc. Colleges understood that she even though her grades weren't as great as her richer peers, she had to do a lot more work to get to where she was.
    If you keep up with you extracurriculars, make sure to take a challenging senior year workload, improve grades/test scores, and stay positive you could get yourself into nice college that supports and pushes you.

    Make sure to start your college applications early, and put a lot of effort into essays( if you're a good writer you can use it as a platform to talk about the struggles you've faced). Also even with the pandemic you may still be able to find online programs, classes, or even internships to beef up your resume.

    Okay last bit. Here's a possible list of colleges that you should look at that I think you have a good chance to get into, but are also still work ranked.
    Any UC except for Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Merced
    University Texas of Austin
    University of Washington
    NYU
    University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
    University of Notre Dame
    University of Pittsburgh
    Boston College
    George Washington University
    University of Buffalo - SUNY(I really think you should apply here since it's your state school)
    William and Mary

    Hope this helped, and also if you don't mind, could you update me on what your plans are? I'm really curious.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4974 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Doodoo27 wrote: »
    I agree that CSS is really important and gives a more detail picture than Fafsa when it come to filling aid. When you fill out both documents though, make it clear that your parents will in no way help you.

    It doesn't matter that OP's parents won't help them, their expected financial contribution (calculated primarily on parents' financials) will be the same whether or not parents help pay for college.

    If schools took into account that a parent refuses to pay for college and offered a student more FA due to that circumstance, then every parent would say they refuse to pay.


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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9741 replies371 threads Senior Member
    edited May 17
    Will your parents fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profile financial aid forms? You'll need one or both of those every year to get financial aid.

    The first thing you need is a financial safety. If you're low income the NYS Excelsior Grant would cover ~$7k of tuition for a SUNY. The ~$5500/year federal student loan could cover fees and commuting costs at a SUNY. Would your parents let you live at home and commute?

    You need to study for the ACT/SAT and score as high as you can. OOS publics don't generally offer a lot of aid to students from other states, but some privates do. You need to check each college's admission requirements to see what their admission requirements are. Then check their financial aid page to see if they offer grants and what the eligibility requirements are.
    edited May 17
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10281 replies70 threads Senior Member
    edited May 17
    Okay last bit. Here's a possible list of colleges that you should look at that I think you have a good chance to get into, but are also still work ranked.
    Any UC except for Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Merced
    University Texas of Austin
    University of Washington
    NYU
    University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
    University of Notre Dame
    University of Pittsburgh
    Boston College
    George Washington University
    University of Buffalo - SUNY(I really think you should apply here since it's your state school)
    William and Mary

    Since this person states that she/he is low income, the OP does not qualify for state-funded financial aid programs that would cover the nonresident costs. How would he/she pay? He or she could receive federal funding, if he qualifies, but that’s a drop in the bucket to some of these out-of-state nonresident fees. Also, if the parents choose not to fund this student, it doesn’t mean that his/her income will be ignored.

    @Doodoo27 This student is not a resident of California so regardless of income, the UC‘s, (public universities) would be full fees at $65K per year. The UCs do not consider race in admission. It’s all based on high GPAs, high test scores, and ECs.
    edited May 17
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  • Doodoo27Doodoo27 43 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @aunt bea Thank you for pointing that out to me. You're right about some of the state schools, but some schools on the list still care about diversity and might give she/he scholarships. Not to mention since the student is low income they most likely can get fee waivers to apply to colleges of their choice(while still being practical).

    @Ohthree Also you reminded me that I forgot to mention outside scholarships. There are so many of them, and not enough people apply to them. The college board has a great database for you to find some, and if you get a few it can be a great way to pay for college.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2420 replies49 threads Senior Member
    When you say you earned full aid at Lawrenceville, does that mean your parents are providing financial info to qualify you for need-based aid there? If so, that bodes well for need-based aid in college. However, getting into full-need-met schools would be easier if your stats were a little stronger. Your grades will be viewed in context, and I assume L-ville is relatively grade-deflated, but as much strength as possible on the standardized testing side would be a big help in getting things to tip the right way at schools like Babson.

    Will you qualify for full-ride aid at a SUNY? (Excelsior?) There are good business programs in the SUNY system.

    Pacific Islanders aren't considered underrepresented at most colleges, unfortunately. Lehigh is one that would treat you as URM - try applying to this https://www1.lehigh.edu/admissions/diversity-achievers-program although it may be virtual this year. Lehigh has excellent business programs. https://www1.lehigh.edu/academics/entrepreneurial-mindset Bucknell is another where you qualify as URM https://www.bucknell.edu/meet-bucknell/plan-visit/camps-conferences-visit-programs/journey-bucknell

    Since you sound as if being far from home would not be a negative, try looking into cohort business honors programs at schools where you might qualify for substantial merit. (I'm not sure if the merit aid at UNL or CofC would be enough, since these are public U's, but it's at least worth looking, whereas there is zero chance of adequate funding at public flagships in TX, CA, WA, MN, etc.)
    https://business.unl.edu/academic-programs/honors-academy/
    https://www.pugetsound.edu/academics/departments-and-programs/undergraduate/school-of-business-leadership/business-leadership-program/
    http://sb.cofc.edu/academics/specialty-programs/pdfs/honors-program-business.pdf

    Check out U of Denver also - terrific business school, and the Pioneer Leadership honors program could be worth a shot. Like Puget Sound, they don't meet full need, but you might be able to get to your EFC with a combination of need-based and merit $.

    You might also qualify for Berea College, which admits *only* students with very low EFCs. http://catalog.berea.edu/en/Current/Catalog/Departments-of-Study/Economics-and-Business/Business-Administration-B-S Berea offers both on-campus work experiences and a robust alumni network that secures great internship experiences for its students. http://catalog.berea.edu/en/Current/Catalog/Departments-of-Study/Economics-and-Business/Business-Administration-B-S

    Outside scholarships will help only if you end up with a small gap between your EFC and the aid offered at a given school. Typically if you get full-ride need-based aid, any outside scholarships will get absorbed into your aid package. But if you have documented unmet need, you can fill that with outside scholarships. They just tend not to be large enough to make a big difference unless you're right on the edge of being able to afford a particular school that has given you aid, but not full-need-met aid.

    I'm surprised you're not getting more help from your counselor at Lawrenceville. Hopefully, if you compile a list of schools that interest you, from the suggestions here, that will get the conversation started and they'll be able to give you meaningful feedback about your admissions prospects at those schools. What they may *not* do is help you filter for what's financially realistic. Make sure you don't waste time talking about whether you can get into schools like William and Mary, UT-Austin, etc. Even if you can get in, there is no path to affordability there - none. Certainly apply to schools where scholarships exist, but you may or may not get them. But if the funding doesn't exist at all, move on to schools where it does. Also, your counselor may not know much about Berea, because the vast majority of Lawrenceville students wouldn't qualify to go there... but that doesn't mean it isn't a good school. It's extremely well-respected, and it might just offer you the kind of support system that you lack at home (and one where, unlike at an elite prep school, everybody relates to your circumstances).

    Hope that helps!
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