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Finalizing List

Glorfindel1Glorfindel1 85 replies17 threads Junior Member
Hi, I’m a new senior looking for your opinions on my college list. Is it too reach focused? I know it is already heavy. I am pretty set on this list and am considering applying to UChicago EDI.
GPA: 4.0 UW 4.57 W
Rank: First in 500
ACT: 35 comp, 36,34,36,34(Oct. 2016)
Super Score - 35comp - 36,34,36,35
Taking SAT Chem on Saturday, may or may not send depending on score.

EC:
Cross Country (9-12) (several awards)
Track (11-12)
Future Problem Solvers (10-12) very possible Captain or Co-Captain next year
Math Team (11-12)
Volunteer at Southeast Christian Church, I do tech for the children's worship, one of the biggest churches in the US, about 2 hours a week(8-12)
NHS (10-12)
Educational Justice Activists (11-12)- recently started tutoring program offering free, one on one, once a week tutoring for low income 5-8th grade students. I'm tutoring a 6th grade student once a week, every week for at least the next year. Just google it for more information
Part time Job (2nd semester 9th-10th) payed for my own car, shoes, etc, will get a job senior year if time permits
Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program, studying creative writing (5 weeks during the summer after 11th)
Planning on starting Chemistry tutoring after school on Fridays next year for my school

Classes- Freshman- AP Human Geography (5), Advanced Geometry, Advanced English, Honors German 1, Computer
Literacy, PE/Health (required), Advance Biology (only one available AP class)
Sophomore- AP World History (4), Accelerated Advanced Algebra 2, Advanced Chemistry, Advanced English, A+ (tech class), Video 1, Advanced German 2 (only one available AP class)
Junior- AP Chemistry, Accelerated Advanced Pre-Cal, APUSH, AP English Lang and Comp, Humanities (required), Advanced German 3, AP Physics 1
Senior schedule- AP Physics 2, AP Calc BC, AP GoPo, AP English Lit, AP Bio, AP Stats, last period I will basically be a lab tech for the science department, this is a new position they invented for me this year, may get credit for it

Things helping me: I lived in Central Asia from late 1999-2004 and 2009-late 2013
Lower income bracket ($65,000) could be bad for some
I trained on my own for 6 months and ran a marathon in 3:37 sophomore year
I take a lot of time (months for bigger ones) and write good essays
Live in Kentucky

List: UChicago, Williams, Bowdoin, Davidson, Haverford, Wooster, Colby, Rhodes, St. Olaf, Miami OH, U of L (considering William and Mary and WKU Honors College for match and safety if I need them)

I have about $4,000 to $5,000 a year from my parents plus whatever I can make if I have a job to pay with, hence the fewer match schools. Is it too reach focused? I know it is already heavy. I am pretty set on this list and am considering applying to UChicago EDI. Thanks, I know it's long.
edited May 2017
35 replies
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Replies to: Finalizing List

  • HapworthHapworth 578 replies0 threads Member
    I like the mix of schools. You aim high because your overall portfolio suggests that you should, but you wisely have safety schools, too: Wooster, Rhodes, St. Olaf, Miami of OH, U of Louisville (I assume?). All of those should be safe for you. I'm not sure I would consider William & Mary a safety, as it's a rigorous VA public that's as tough as a top-notch private to get accepted into (plus, you'd be competing with VA students). But the list seems solid. I do not see you getting locked out entirely. If money is a concern, make sure that you target schools that award lots of merit aid, though if you are truly in a lower-income bracket, you should qualify for considerable need-based aid at any institution where you are accepted. You're in a good position.

    Best of luck!
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  • AimingTop50AimingTop50 514 replies31 threads Member
    Agree^

    William and Mary is as difficult to get into as Davidson, believe it or not.
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  • 50N40W50N40W 960 replies3 threads Member
    It isn't a safety if the financial part isn't NAILED down. Does WKU pectwell tuition & at least housing?

    Talk to Hanover maybe. Nearby, and may come through in a huge way.
    Obviously the logistics are simpler if you stay 3hrs or so from home. Transylvania maybe?

    You'll see some links to a yolasite page with automatic full tuition scholarships. Worth your time to study that.
    Good luck!
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Have you run net price calculators on the websites of all your choices? Do that if you haven't.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26311 replies265 threads Senior Member
    Given your family's income level (you'd be right around the cusp), I highly suggest applying for the Questbridge program.
    https://www.questbridge.org

    Questions:
    Do you plan to run in college?
    Are you male or female?
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  • Glorfindel1Glorfindel1 85 replies17 threads Junior Member
    @intparent I have run NPCs on most of the colleges and the ones I haven't say they meet 100% financial aid. Colleges that say this have all been affordable within a range. For example, Chicago says it'll cost $200 while Haverford is $4,000. Rhodes is about $24,000 but that is affordable if I get any one of their many scholarships.

    @doschicos I do plan on running in college, whether that will be for the college or on my own is undecided as of yet. I am male. I applied to Questbridge's junior program and was rejected, mostly, I'm assuming, from our higher income range.

    I do have a solid safety in U of L as my Mom works there so I could go for free plus get scholarships in cash, this could be a more tempting option come decision time. My Dad also owns his own business so his income will fluctuate and change my aid year to year so I am applying to some outside scholarships.
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  • tk21769tk21769 10710 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Rhodes is about $24,000 but that is affordable if I get any one of their many scholarships.

    Keep in mind that merit scholarships usually offset (reduce) college-calculated "need". They don't "stack" on top of n-b aid to result in an even lower net price. So if for Rhodes you get $24K as the estimated net price after deducting $40K in n-b aid, and your target price is $4K, you'd need a $60K merit scholarship (not $20K in merit on top of the $40K n-b aid) ... unless Rhodes has an unusually generous aid policy.

    This is the dilemma with n-b aid. Typically, colleges that are much safer for admissions are less safe for adequate n-b aid. A school like Rhodes might be nearly as competitive for full tuition (or full ride) merit scholarships as UChicago is for admissions. For this reason I wouldn't consider Rhodes a true safety in your case. Ditto for Wooster, St. O, Miami of OH. A school that offers automatic large merit scholarships for your stats (like Alabama) might be a better safety (unless U of L's net price comes in below ~$10K).
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  • Glorfindel1Glorfindel1 85 replies17 threads Junior Member
    @tk21769 Thanks for the clarification. On U of L, I can go there free since my Mom works there; I can also go to UK for free and may apply there.

    This is definitely a problem as my reach schools are all ones I could afford and my matches are hard to afford. Would you suggest looking for matches that meet 100% financial need? Applying to more reaches to help my chances getting at getting into a school with good aid?
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  • Glorfindel1Glorfindel1 85 replies17 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2017
    Looking at URochester, they have a ton of merit scholarships, some of them full tuition.
    edited June 2017
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  • merc81merc81 11680 replies199 threads Senior Member
    To a large extent, your match schools can coincide with those that offer excellent financial support:

    https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2016-09-19/colleges-that-claim-to-meet-full-financial-need
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  • CrewDadCrewDad 1697 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    @Glorfindel1, some of your colleges have "no loans" financial aid policies.
    https://www.edvisors.com/plan-for-college/money-saving-tips/no-loans-colleges/
    edited June 2017
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  • Glorfindel1Glorfindel1 85 replies17 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2017
    Looking at Dickinson, NPC says $6,000 which is right on the edge, but better than some others. Could replace Rhodes? Does it fit me (compared to other colleges)?

    I think you had a kid go there @intparent
    edited June 2017
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  • tk21769tk21769 10710 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Would you suggest looking for matches that meet 100% financial need?

    You might want to look at the following page:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need-blind_admission
    Look for need-blind full-need schools you like in the second group (Barnard, Boston College ...) that appear to be admission matches. Grinnell, for example, is more selective than Rhodes, but might give better n-b aid. Run the NPC to see if its EFC is much lower than $24K.

    If you submit at least one EA app that isn't a reach, then by mid-late December you may well have a de facto safety (for admission at least). Possibilities:
    Boston College (full need, need-blind)
    Brandeis (full need but not need-blind)
    Colorado College (full need but not need-blind)
    Earlham (NOT full need; need-blind)
    Tulane (NOT full need; need-blind)
    Beloit (NOT full need; need sensitive)
    Centre (NOT full need; need sensitive)
    Dickinson (NOT full need; need sensitive)

    If any of these schools admits you early, then you've dodged the need-aware bullet (but you may be left hanging on aid until Spring, unless maybe they come through with a big merit award early in the process). If the EA offer is from a full need school with an attractive NPC estimate, you can show them that estimate if their initial FA offer is less than expected.


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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43111 replies470 threads Senior Member
    Dickinson would be a good fit for someone who's interested in St Olaf (strong science and international flavor at both).
    What about Centre?
    Fill out the 'request info ' form at all these schools.
    Colby is a good choice - look into their fly-in.
    Look at the Questbridge match program, even if you weren't admitted to summer scholars.
    I'd remove William&Mary.
    What about Macalester, Vassar, Grinnell, Skidmore, St Lawrence, Middlebury ? Run the npc.
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  • ChembiodadChembiodad 2414 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Look at Grinnell, Kenyon and Oberlin for significant merit aid opportunities.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 3900 replies14 threads Senior Member
    @Glorfindel1

    Run those Net Price Calculators, and use the most accurate info you can get your hands on. You need to find out if the schools, even if they meet full need, will give you enough to make it work for your family.

    Both my husband and I have fluctuating incomes, and the calculators spat out very different numbers, for us, depending on whether we put in a "good year" or a "bad year".

    One of our kids is at UK on the Patterson Scholarship. Lots of bright kids there who could not turn down a full ride offer on the table.

    We are out of state, so we have additional travel expenses, and we also had to buy the student health plan because our home plan would not give her coverage there. That's about $2200 ? per year.

    For families on tight budgets, don't forget the cost of travel, health insurance if applicable, books and personal expenses. For any full tuition scholarships, take a hard look at room & board costs. For example, we were looking at a full tuition scholarship from Fordham, but the room & board (~17K!!) + travel + health insurance, etc. put it out of reach even with the scholarship.

    Good luck!
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  • Glorfindel1Glorfindel1 85 replies17 threads Junior Member
    @tk21769 Thanks for that link, I'm liking URochester as an option, wiki says it is ned blind and meets full need. It also has lots of scholarships. Can I apply EA to multiple schools even if I apply ED to UChicago?

    @MYOS1634 I don't really like the vibe a centre, lots of frats as well and I'm not sure about paying there. I do like Colby, I see it as a slightly less selective Bowdoin, like the outdoorsy nature of it plus its free to apply to. I'll look into QB again if I can, we'll see.

    What are you all considering as matches? Would Kenyon be enough of a match to consider, they say they meet 100% of need and I like the school.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43111 replies470 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    Due to acceptance rates, Kenyon is a reach.
    If you don't like the vibe at Centre, not sure you'd like the vibe at Rhodes.
    Matches would be St Olaf, Rhodes, St Lawrence, Dickinson, perhaps Denison if you find it interesting.
    You'd have a serious shot at Grinnell, Vassar, Macalester, and would be competitive for Middlebury in part because you have the stats they want but you stand out by bringing geographical diversity (Kentucky is under represented.)
    edited June 2017
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  • ChembiodadChembiodad 2414 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Here's the list of the ~40 schools that are need blind and meet 100% of demonstrated need:

    Barnard College (need-aware for transfer students)
    Boston College
    Bowdoin College (need-aware for transfer students)[
    Brown University (need-aware for international and transfer students)
    California Institute of Technology
    Claremont McKenna College
    College of the Holy Cross
    Columbia College, Columbia University (also meets full need for "eligible noncitizens")
    Cornell University
    Dartmouth College
    Davidson College
    Duke University
    Georgetown University (need-blind for all applicants)
    Grinnell College
    Hamilton College
    Haverford College
    Harvey Mudd College
    Johns Hopkins University
    Middlebury College
    Northwestern University
    Olin College
    Pomona College
    Rice University
    Soka University of America
    St. John's College (Annapolis/Santa Fe)
    Stanford University
    Swarthmore College
    University of Chicago
    University of Michigan (in-state students only)
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    University of Notre Dame
    University of Pennsylvania (also applies for Canadian and Mexican students)
    University of Richmond
    University of Rochester (also applies for Canadian and Mexican students)
    University of Southern California
    University of Virginia
    Vanderbilt University
    Vassar College
    Wellesley College
    Williams College
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26311 replies265 threads Senior Member
    Since you want to run in college, definitely reach out to coaches. Haverford's long term track/cross country coach is highly regarded and has teams with a lot of camaraderie.
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