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terrified i won't be able to go to the colleges i've been dreaming of

greeengeckogreeengecko 5 replies1 threads New Member
i know theres been quite a few posts like this, but i figured i'd make my own. i am a senior from NYC about to apply to colleges and im sooo scared i will end up in one of the CUNYs and not get into any of the schools I want to go to outside the city (tufts, swarthmore, williams, vassar, hamilton, haverford, colgate). Absolutely nothing wrong with CUNYs (they're good schools), but having grown up here in NYC, I really really want to get out of the city for college. Since most of the schools on my list are small private liberal arts colleges, I'm also afraid that if I do get into those schools, it will be too expensive and I won't be able to go.
I have a 94 weighted GPA, a 1490 SAT score, and I think my essay is good. By the time I graduate HS i will have taken 8 AP classes (although i did fail 2 of the tests themselves). I've been involved in different extracurriculars for all 4 years, but nothing with crazy leadership positions or anything like that. Does anyone have any advice on how not to feel so panicky about this? I feel awful and nervous every day.
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Replies to: terrified i won't be able to go to the colleges i've been dreaming of

  • chmcnmchmcnm 167 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited October 2
    You have good stats. What's your complete school list? The list above looks very competitive and expensive. You probably need some safety schools.

    I would talk to your parents about a budget first. Then put together a list of reach, match, and safety schools that could work cost wise and check all your boxes. The Net Price Calculator is your friend.
    edited October 2
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  • merc81merc81 10524 replies163 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2
    Regarding finances, this resource can be convenient for estimating costs: https://myintuition.org/. If things appear favorable, that should meliorate one of your concerns.
    edited October 2
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13001 replies244 threads Senior Member
    @merc81 excellent idea - easier and faster than doing the net price calculators, though that will help a lot with specifics.

    I agree the list looks like a lot of reaches with no matches or safeties (that you like): "tufts, swarthmore, williams, vassar, hamilton, haverford, colgate"

    Maybe consider adding similar but less selective schools? Skidmore? Hobart William Smith? St. Lawrence?

    If CUNY means living at home and that's the issue, how about some SUNYs outside the city? At least Geneseo, the liberal arts college SUNY?
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  • greeengeckogreeengecko 5 replies1 threads New Member
    edited October 2
    @DadTwoGirls @OHMomof2 Yes, i really should look into more state schools. Thank you both!
    edited October 2
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  • greeengeckogreeengecko 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @merc81 thank you!
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  • greeengeckogreeengecko 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @chmcnm i meant for my safeties to all be CUNYs since they would be cheapest, but now i will look into more SUNYs. Thanks :)
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20757 replies2011 threads Super Moderator
    Have you considered the McCauley’s honors? Hunter comes with 2 years of free housing?

    what is your intended major
    if your school ranks, what is your rank?
    what is unweighted gpa?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23256 replies17 threads Senior Member
    No need to be terrified. Worse things have happened to people than not being able to afford Vassar.

    Colleges have net price calculators on them. Run a few. If they show a cost to you that your family can't afford, make other choices. Since your biggest requirement is 'NOT NYC', you'll still have lots of options of schools. If you need to chase merit money, do it. There are a lot of nice schools that give merit to high stat students, but you may need to go farther to find it.
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  • greeengeckogreeengecko 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @sybbie719 my intended major is going to be something in the social sciences (maybe psychology), and my high school doesn't rank or do unweighted GPA. I am definitely applying to Macaulay honors, but i am having trouble finding other match/safety schools that aren't cunys. I still feel nervous i wont get in anywhere
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  • greeengeckogreeengecko 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @twoinanddone you're right! thank you : ))
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  • BronxBabyBronxBaby 124 replies10 threads Junior Member
    NYC here too. Baruch and Hunter are excellent schools, but I can understand you wanting to get out. DEF speak to your parents about their finances and run the NPC to see if any other colleges will be within your budget. Even a SUNY will run you at min 27K in state if you get no financial assistance (Room and board plus tuition and fees) and you may be able to locate a private college that could get below that if your finances dictate. Stony brook is a train ride from NYC and an excellent SUNY.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21427 replies224 threads Senior Member
    Why don't you look at some private LACs that are a little less competitive admissions-wise and where you might get some merit aid?
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13001 replies244 threads Senior Member
    I think e can help with suggestions more if we know what your parents can pay and if that aligns with the net price calculators (or myIntuition). If a meets-full-need school will be affordable if you get in, that's one list, if you will need merit aid that's another.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20757 replies2011 threads Super Moderator
    When you fill out your CUNY Application, you will chose 2 Honors colleges and 4 CUNY schools. I have every confidence that you will have some where to go. As others have stated you need to make sure that you are doing a bottoms up approach to make sure that you meet the admissions requirements and that you have a school that is a financially feasible option for your family.
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  • tryanwritestryanwrites 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Why are those your dream schools? Whatever your reasons are, look for other colleges that share those characteristics. With your stats, you’re likely to be eligible for merit aid at lots of places, especially if they don’t have many students from the east coast. What about Occidental, Willamette, Guilford, Earlham, Whitman, Wooster, etc.?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9385 replies502 threads Senior Member
    Every one of the schools you listed is highly competitive. You might not be so terrified if you had some matches or safeties on that list. You should be worried, because those are all extremely tough to get into. And NONE of those schools will give you money. Not a penny, unless you qualify for some financial aid, which it sounds like you won’t.

    So please add some realistic options to your list. Geneseo is a beautiful LAC, it would be a safety for you, and best of all, it’s a SUNY. Dickinson is another excellent LAC and you might well get some merit aid. Susquehanna and Muhlenberg are great schools that might give you money, and you’d probably get in. Marist is another good option.

    There are plenty of LACs that will get you out of NYC and that might well be affordable, but they aren’t any of the ones you named. Each college has a NPC. Ask your parents to please put the numbers in so you can see if they are affordable. If they aren’t, you need affordable options. That means getting merit money, or going instate. For what you want, Geneseo sounds like a great choice.
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  • BBBB 131 replies2 threads Junior Member
    It is an interesting list tou have the there, and the schools are great schools... but the thing I am left wondering about is... are they great schools for YOU?

    Obviously, this is just one post, but... there isn't really anything in your post that shows that you are a good fit for any of these schools. In the post it sounds like you are trying to get away from something rather than seeking toward something.

    I am not saying that is true in real life -- I am sure that this is just a "freaking out" post, but... you want to make sure your app really conveys what you are seeking.


    At those schools, stats matter, but... a lot of weight is given to "fit." And... at the schools you list here, your stats could be a concern, too. Failing two of eight AP tests is a pretty high percentage of failures -- especially if you took the classes! And those schools get lots of apps from NYC, and they are interested in building a regionally diverse cohort.

    Why not add some of the LACs from the midwest? Being off the beaten path, they tend to have lower "rankings" (but not lower output, they rank right up with the NESCAC and the Ivies for grad school admissions, etc...) .... and also lower price tags. Also, a student with your stats might still get merit $ from the midwest, and also being from NYC, you might benefit from having a "regionally diverse cohort" quotient added to your admissions portfolio.

    I saw someone mentioned Earlham. I second that. I have had kids at Bowdoin, Amherst, Midd, and Earlham (He turned down Bowdoin, Bates, and Conn to attend Earlham.) And... the one at Earlham seems to be getting the best preparation for the next level.

    Earlham is kind of like Haverford, but more laid back. Along the lines of Earlham, you might also consider Wooster. Kenyon is a little more like Williams in atmosphere than those two, so if you like Williams a lot, you could look at Kenyon -- it is sportier and more "preppy."

    Also in the midwest are Beloit and Kalamazoo that are outcome-oriented but accessible schools and definitely worth looking at.

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  • microbial40microbial40 27 replies0 threads Junior Member
    There are lots of great suggestions here @greeengecko. I'm just echoing others to look Midwest or West for excellent LACs that may be more affordable. My daughter applied to a range of small(ish) universities and LACs last year and had great visits at Earlham, Carleton, Macalester, and Grinnell in the Midwest. Given your stats, Earlham and perhaps Macalester are likely matches.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1804 replies27 threads Senior Member
    You need to cast a wider net. There are other great schools, that will get your out of the city, that would be considered better match schools for you. Your stats are excellent but the competition is fierce. Build a wider list.
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