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Ideas on which schools to consider?

OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
This is so long - I am sorry. We are a completely overwhelmed family from Texas and almost every "smart kid" we know goes to either University of Texas or Texas A & M. I don't see either as a fit for my junior daughter and we really need to get our poop together on this - she has exceeded our skill set. She recently visited Rice and she loved EVERYTHING about it. But the admissions rate is low (high teens) and her ACT is low for them and I feel like no one really understands who gets in (over 50% of valedictorians are rejected???), so I am working this weekend to nail down some solid thoughts. Help me, please.

I think this is what ya'll will need:

Money will come in to play. She is white, parents income around $80,000, wants to go to grad school so I don't want her taking a lot of debt for undergrad.

Act: 28, but she is severely dyslexic and we just realized she could get extra time for it and will be taking in June with extra time. Hopefully that goes up to at least a 30 - maybe more.
Class rank: 2 of 450ish
Unweighted GPA: 4.0
Total AP classes at graduation: 9 (including every science and math AP class that our school offers). She doesn't have any test scores back yet.
2 years regional science fair with high placements including 1 year best in fair and multiple independent awards (and she will do it again senior year)
2 years state science fair
1 year Intel International Science Fair
NASA High School Aerospace Scholars Class and qualified for a merit week at Johnson Space Center (no cost program)
Attending Rensselaer Polytech's merit based PREFACE program (no cost program)
3 year varsity letter athlete (and will finish w 4 years)
2 year letter in band including 2 years drum corp @ WGI Dayton, 1 year as a World Class Scholastic
3 years math & science team (multiple placements) - will finish w 4 years
3 years Project Lead the Way engineering program - will finish w 4 years. She will also be speaking at PLW teacher's conference in Florida in the fall regarding how to do science fair with no university/corporate lab access (she did hers all on her own with no one to guide her research)
2 years robotic team (will finish w 3 years and 1 year as president )
2 years Student Council (will finish w 3, 1 as officer)
2 years National Honor Society (will finish w 3, 1 as officer)
Volunteer work mostly peer tutoring

Major is physics (leaning toward bio physics right now, but IDK if the bio part will stick.)

About her - loves research, collaboration, is competitive but keeps it under control mostly, hard worker. Also, will do poorly in a snobby/overly preppy/superficial kind of group - she is not sorority material. She is genuinely kind (like she will thank the janitors for mopping the floors ) and kind of child like in that she is not very worldly and would love to jump in one of those jumpy house and talk string theory at the same time. She is not a partier. She will interview VERY well as we have spent much time helping her to hone "come across as normal" skills and she is gifted with more social graces than a lot of nerdy science kids.

Her favorite things about Rice were: quickness that kids get research access, strong but small physics dept, casual and super friendly attitude of students, professors took time to speak with us when we were wandering around, residential college (she loved the mix of people), the cloistered feel/so pretty/looks like hogwarts/OMG they are the owls! It looks like Hogwarts and they are the owls!!!

Things I liked : strong financial packages, safe area/cloistered, small college geared for success (graduation rate like 97%), residential college, friendly atmosphere, in Texas.

Help me out. I think we are going to visit Wash U. She will be at Rensselaer this summer. Where else?
Thank you!
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Replies to: Ideas on which schools to consider?

  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito Registered User Posts: 1,085 Senior Member
    What about Trinity University in San Antonio? Strong in the sciences, and they are generous with merit aid.
  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Thank you. I will look. They were not even on my radar!
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 3,877 Senior Member
    You need @xraymancs. :D
  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    I definitely need a more qualified adult! It is hard when your kid outpaces your ability to help her. Our high school doesn't offer any real help with these kids (ie, we didn't know about extended time on ACT test). We haven't sent a kid Ivy League for at least 20 years (idk before that), and this year's valedictorian (with a perfect ACT) is going to a state school in the next state over and only got "we will drop you down to in state tuition cost" for her scholarship. She is paying full room and board and in state tuition and is taking so much on loans. She could have done so much better scholarship wise and could have gone to a more prestigious school if she wanted to. I don't want to let my kid get in that place.
  • justdreamingjustdreaming Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Your daughter sounds like me. Rice is also one of my top choices.
    I don't know if you are only considering schools close to home but there are a lot of options that sound good for your daughter in different parts of the country.
    Wash U is a good school to look at
    You should also consider:
    Carnegie Mellon
    Georgetown (looks a lot like Hogwarts!)
    Brown
    Haverford
    Northeastern (I went on a tour of Northeastern. I really loved the quirkyness of the students. Everyone I met seemed like someone I would be best friends with.)
    U Chicago
    Emory
    In terms of money, I'm not sure what kind of financial aid any of these schools give but your daughter ought to do some research on scholarships.
    In addition, your daughter should think about what kind of school she wants: size, location (city? suburb? rural?)
    Hope I helped!
  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Thank you. I would like Texas, but I also realize that if she doesn't get in to Rice, she probably won't be in Texas. I will sit down and look at your list now. Especially the quirky school. She likes quirky.
  • 123Mom456123Mom456 Registered User Posts: 686 Member
    Is staying in TX a must? I am thinking some collaborative environments and small STEM schools like WPI, Rose Hulman, Davidson, Co School of Mines, St. Mary's (TX) and St. Lawrence. Other schools that pop into my head are RIT and Case Western. Has her school nominated her for the RPI medal?
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 5,941 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    Except for the ACT, she looks like a terrific candidate.

    Let's say she gets the ACT up to 32 or higher with the extra time. I would even prepare over the summer and take it again in the fall to really nail it.

    I would say to apply to Rice ED. Sure you can't compare financial aid packages, but they will likely offer you a good one, and you can always say no. It's basically a signal that she will attend if they make it affordable for you.

    Also, try draw her schools from Table 4 of the baccalaureate origins of doctorate recipients.
    https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf13323/


    It's not a be all end all, but these schools tend to have a culture of training future scientists. Not all of the schools are that difficult to get into.

  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Not a must for staying in Texas. I had to look up what an RPI medal is, but no. Our school isn't on the list of participating schools. :-( too late to try to get them to do it now.
    Thank you for the list of schools. I will definitely put them on my list to check.
  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Thank you @ClassicRockerDad ! I think if she could do oral ACT she would be very high indeed. Fingers crossed that the extra time will raise it enough. I will go through the table with her tonight. I probably would have never thought to "reverse engineer" college choices. Brilliant!
  • pupscotchpupscotch Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    I think if she can raise the ACT, she has a decent chance of getting into Rice. Especially if she's now doing it with extra time, I think that she's bound to raise her score. Have you considered Harvey Mudd? Another tough school to get into, but STEM focused and a smaller LAC where she'll probably get lots of research opportunities.
  • 123Mom456123Mom456 Registered User Posts: 686 Member
    edited May 19
    Has your D considered trying the SAT instead of the ACT? The pace of the SAT gives you a tad more time to think through problems, while the ACT can be more of a time crunch.
  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @pupscotch I think I read that Mudd is need aware for admissions? I think it would knock her out. You are on the right track with the LAC type place, I think. Hopefully ACT goes up and Rice loves her and I can go back to being a lazy parent. Lol
  • OhHeyOhHey Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @123Mom456 she is signed up to take an SAT in June. Before the latest update to SAT the "this thing is to another thing as that is to what" questions were impossible for her as there were no context clues to the words - she could easily do them if someone read them to her but couldn't even stab at them when she had to read them. They eliminated those in the last updates, so she is going to try it. Thank you for the suggestion.
  • HopefulHoya1103HopefulHoya1103 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    Georgetown doesn't have good financial aid and is a very preppy school, but I still love it!
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