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Merit scholarships, medium size schools, science major

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Replies to: Merit scholarships, medium size schools, science major

  • mommusicmommusic 8232 replies69 threads Senior Member
    If you are worried about the sun, I have the perfect school for you. Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Cleveland Circle is a vibrant area, Case is great in STEM studies, and they give good merit money to high SAT/ACT scorers

    Seriously, between the location in the northern latitude and frequent "lake effect" snow, too much sun is NOT a problem!

    :)
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84174 replies1035 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    You mention school size....

    What about campus life....does your D want a more quiet campus or a more spirited campus?

    i know she wants a pretty campus, but must it be in a good-sized city or can it be rural?

    Does she have a weather preference? warm? cold/snowy?
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  • dadinatordadinator 1326 replies113 threads Senior Member
    Maybe WPI or University of Rochester (give out plenty of merit money); maybe Carnegie Mellon (don't know about merit money there).

    Problem here is that most of the top schools don't give out merit money, just need based financial aid.
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  • parent56parent56 7523 replies135 threads Senior Member
    that's why you look for hidden gems dadinator :)
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10255 replies206 threads Senior Member
    University of New Mexico? About 18,000 undergrads, STEM programs are strong --although no marine bio program. Warm weather, but we have do have real winter with cold wind and snow and everything....Skiing within 35 minutes of campus. Very active Women in Science chapter on campus. (D1 graduated from there as physics & math major.)

    Your D would be eligible for at least the Amigo Scholarship--which would make her COA around $14,000/year, plus she'd get $200/year to help defray travel costs. With her stats she ought to get even more merit $$.

    Albuquerque has a vibrant local culture and UNM is 3 miles from downtown. (But honestly, the stuff around campus make downtown look pretty dull by comparison.)

    And UNM men's and women's soccer--top notch!

    D2 is at URochester--their top merit is full tuition but it's only awarded to 10 kids annually. Most merit awards are in the $12,000-$17,000 range--which would still put COA around $30,000-35,000/year.
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  • Debbie7452Debbie7452 529 replies15 threads Member
    My D will be a Chem major and I have researched for scholarships/aid for women in Science related majors. Really, I haven't found very much. At her first choice school, for example, they told me that women are not under-represented in science. Now if you can find an acceptable engineering field there is a lot of $$$ for women. My D wouldn't go for it, but maybe you will have better luck!

    There is also the consideration of an Honors college at a bigger University. You get the benefits of a smaller school within a larger school. If you get NMSF then you should consider that in my opinion, since there are so many great big school full rides.
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  • absweetmarieabsweetmarie 1846 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Lots of doors open with NMF, it seems, so good luck on that score!

    But even if a kid isn't at the National Merit level, an honors program at a state U. is a good option. Even so, most state schools will be well above $20K for an OOS student (though some state schools are more affordable). The University of Minnesota, for example, is about $26K for OOS, with scholarship opportunities for OOS kids with good stats, and it does have an honors program. The University of Vermont has an honors college and is on the smallish side, but OOS costs are comparably high. The University of Kansas has extremely generous OOS aid for kids who apply early (close to $10K per year this year). Before you scoff at Kansas, know that Lawrence is a great college town.

    Note that when you have a combination of restrictions (school size, location, cost) you are likely going to have to weight those factors and be willing to compromise.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78660 replies698 threads Senior Member
    For specifically marine biology, you may want to take a look at this list:
    US Schools offering Marine Biology degrees - MarineBio.org

    Some of them have relatively low list prices of around $30,000 per year out-of-state (e.g. Stony Brook, the California public schools with "State" in their name).

    UNC Chapel Hill supposedly does give decent need-based financial aid to out-of-state students. Some of the super-selective schools like Stanford are more generous than usual with need-based financial aid.

    Keeping a tight lid on costs and debt is a good idea, because biology and chemistry are not particularly well paying after graduation.
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  • mathmommathmom 32463 replies159 threads Senior Member
    WPI gave my son even more money than RPI, but it's really small and feels even smaller than it is I think. Great if you want cozy (and there are other things to like about it's academic calendar as well). Merit money is hard to predict. I know posters here who got more money from RPI than WPI. CMU does not have a reputation for being particularly generous.
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  • my-3-sonsmy-3-sons 2923 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I know you said OOS, but desire for a strong science program, marine biology and merit aid opportunity screams University of Miami.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29746 replies176 threads Senior Member
  • KajonKajon 4349 replies130 threads Senior Member
    A couple years ago, Case Western Reserve was giving $20,000 per year for top students.
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  • lookinuplookinup 14 replies1 threads New Member
    College of Charlestown has a marine biol program, good location, 10k students 40K list price and a net price calculator. Your daughters stats are above avg there.
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  • LonghaulLonghaul 2616 replies137 threads Senior Member
    I second C of Charleston. I would not expect free tuition, but I would hedge my bet that you could get In-State tuition.

    There are many LACs much smaller than she wants, which would offer good merit. US News 70-120 ranking range is where you would find the most.

    Thanks to M2CK and the many threads here on CC, my son has rethought his desired school size if a large University has an Honors College that includes housing and for him, more than 1 credit seminar.

    I recommend digging deeper as to why she wants a mid-sized school - specific traits - and then look for those traits in the small LACs and large Us to broaden your search.

    With her stats, Alabama would be free tuition. They have a very nice DVD of the Honors college. You may want to request it.
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  • Danielle2400Danielle2400 220 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Based upon your daughter's indicated stats she would have a reasonable opportunity to receive a merit based scholarship at Smith College. There are no guarantees but the stats are consistent with what other merit scholarship receipents had who were given either a STRIDE or Zollman Merit Scholarship. I believe they range in the 15,000-20,000 amounts plus a research opportunity with a Smith professor and an annual stipend of another $2,100.
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  • paperplanepaperplane 433 replies15 threads Member
    Case offered my D 20k a year (if I remember right--it was right about there)--just keep in mind cost of attendance is about 55k/year.

    My D had excellent stats but not as nearly as good in math as yours, but some unusual/notable ECs--however, I think they offered her the big scholarship mainly because she did NOT want to major in a STEM field---they have to work a bit to attract non-STEM, so I'm not sure what the scholarship competition is for those interested in that field! She visited and it was way too science-oriented for her, the whole tour was labs, labs, labs (heaven for a science major probably!) I liked the school/area but it was not a fit for her.

    Not sure about how they are for science, as that was not an interest for my D, but College of Charleston offered her a huge merit award & would have been under 20k to attend, including living costs and books etc. I seem to remember hearing that they have a good marine bio dept? Might be worth checking out, great city & if you are in Fla not too far off, maybe a good financial safety
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  • crazymomstercrazymomster 1677 replies195 threads Senior Member
    One thing that may a definite advantage for your D would be to retake the SAT and/or the ACT. Her scores are good, but could be better.

    Harvey Mudd is much smaller than "mid-sized", but there are 5 schools all "on" the same campus. They do have a few good scholarships and definitely are interested in females. They are definitely not on the east coast however :-).
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  • notrichenoughnotrichenough 9213 replies32 threads Senior Member
    Many southern state schools offer decent merit aid to OOS students. You might have to compromise on the size, but it is important to remember that a big school will naturally appear smaller as you establish your circles of interest. On most of the 20-25K student campuses we visited, you would have no idea there were that many people there, you just can't interact with that many people on a daily basis.

    Clemson - about 18K students, offered DD $7500/year OOS with stats well below the OP's daughter. They go up to $15K/year, which would bring the price down to the low $20's. B/G ratio is about 50/50, which is nice.

    U. South Carolina-Columbia - 25K-ish students, but a well-regarded honors college. OP's stats should earn at worst in-state tuition, which brings the cost under $20K, and would probably do better.

    College of Charleston - as a data point, DD was offered $9K/year OOS. Biggest drawback (for my D anyway), it is closing on on 70% women.

    Alabama/Auburn - OP's D's test scores would qualify her for automatic free OOS tuition.

    Keep an eye on the EA deadlines, for many of these schools you have to apply EA (or essentially EA) in order to be considered for these scholarships.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84174 replies1035 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    Notrichenough quote:
    Many southern state schools offer decent merit aid to OOS students. You might have to compromise on the size, but it is important to remember that a big school will naturally appear smaller as you establish your circles of interest. On most of the 20-25K student campuses we visited, you would have no idea there were that many people there, you just can't interact with that many people on a daily basis.


    Notrichenough makes some very good points....YES...many big schools don't really feel that big because a student's classes are often in one area of the campus. This can be especially true if the student is coming in with AP Credits and can skip many/most Core/Gen Ed req'ts. Even without the AP credits, some large schools have many of their Core offerings rather centralized on campus to minimize criss-crossing.

    For instance, at my kids' large undergrad, a STEM major would pretty much stay in the upper quadrant of campus for classes.

    ==================

    Notrichenough quote:
    College of Charleston - as a data point, DD was offered $9K/year OOS. Biggest drawback (for my D anyway), it is closing on on 70% women.

    Alabama/Auburn - OP's D's test scores would qualify her for automatic free OOS tuition.

    Keep an eye on the EA deadlines, for many of these schools you have to apply EA (or essentially EA) in order to be considered for these scholarships.


    Oh...bummer...wasn't aware that Charleston was now so girl-heavy. I just recommended that to a student who would care about that issue. :( Maybe that's why C recently dropped tuition...to get more boys???

    To clarify....Auburn no longer has free tution for those stats. They cut back their scholarships for this last app season.

    And YES...pay attention to scholarship deadlines...many are in November and Dec...many are Dec 1st and only accept "up to" certain test dates for SAT/ACT. These deadlines can bite people in the fanny because they often spend much of fall working on the apps for the top schools, and then later find out that their financial safety schools had earlier scholarship deadlines.

    So...get the financial safety apps in early...many start accepting apps as early as July!
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  • crazedcrazed 1884 replies90 threads Senior Member
    University Miami. Great merit scholarships for her stats.. Likely 3/4 tuition to full ride.. Don't rule it out. May be a great financial safety.
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