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Are these colleges worth it? Opinions and/or ideas.

devinvolden1devinvolden1 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
Hey, I'm a 16-year-old guy going into my junior year of high school. I go to a public high school in a small town east of San Diego, CA. I'm just going to list my stats, activities, and classes etc. Are these colleges good for me? Any colleges worth looking into other than the ones I listed?

PSAT- 840 Freshman year 980 Sophomore year
AP Human Geo- 4
AP European History-3
GPA- Unweighted- 3.82
Weighted- 4.39
Class Percentile- 94.5%

Okay, so by the end of senior year I will have taken 12 AP classes and tests. I will have also taken 8 honors courses. I will take the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and 3 SAT Subject Tests in Math, Biology, and US History.

My intended major is Biology/ Biology sub-major and a major in Political Science or Computer Science. I may also consider a minor in Polical Science or Computer Science. I also will be on a pre-med track.

Activities:
Hospital Volunteer- Once a week every week (100+ hours so far)
Community Theater Company- Lead roles for all shows/ will finish my last two years in crew
Journalism- Editor (1 year), Editor-in-chief (1 year)
International Club- Head of Web/Publicity, Vice President, will be President

Here are the schools:
San Diego State University
UC San Diego
UC Santa Barbara
UC Los Angeles
California Lutheran U
Saint Mary's College of California
Dartmouth
Yale
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science
Northern Arizona University
University of Oregon
University of Washington

Thank you all. I know I don't have many stats, but it's all I have for now.
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Replies to: Are these colleges worth it? Opinions and/or ideas.

  • sheepskin00sheepskin00 Registered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    If you're serious about Yale, Dartmouth, UCLA, and even UCSD, you'd need to score significantly better on your SAT than your current PSAT scores indicate. How are you planning to prepare for the SAT?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,939 Senior Member
    Hm, those PSAT scores are really, really low. Start prepping now and every day till October when you have the real PSAT.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 704 Member
    Congratulations on your hard work and success! You are still a ways away from all the college stuff. I think the best advice is to concentrate on your school work and friends. Enjoy high school as high school, not pre-college. Really the most important thing you can do over the next couple of years is to get to know yourself. What do YOU like? What is important to YOU? What people inspire you to be your better self? What people bring you down? How can you get more of the former in your life? And fewer of the latter? Have fun, read widely, spend time in nature, do things just because they seem like they'd be cool to try. Then when you get to college and eventually a job you will be best prepared to succeed because you will know what is important to you. Sixteen can be difficult, but you do have the gift of youth, which is a precious thing. Good luck!
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,088 Senior Member
    I agree that you have to really get serious about standardized test studying. Also, all collleges have a net price calculator on their website. You should work with your parents to run those. Most out of state public colleges aren't going to give you any need based aid, and merit is competitive if it is offered to OOS students. And you have to pay OOS tuition.

    And I don't think this student is a "ways away from this college stuff". They are a rising junior. One year from now they will be working on apps. This is a perfect time to start thinking about it.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Registered User Posts: 19,698 Senior Member
    SAT Test Prep is my advice. You are a California Resident with a competitive GPA, very good HS course rigor, good EC's and are local to SDSU, so the only thing holding you back from getting into SDSU/UCSD/UCLA/UCSB are your test scores and possibly some compelling essays for the UC's.

    Best of luck.
  • woogzmamawoogzmama Registered User Posts: 3,842 Senior Member
    Those scores are so far below the competitive range for Dartmouth, Yale, and most of your other schools, that you really should remove them from your list entirely. It is very, very unlikely that you could improve your scores to the extent where you'd have a ghost of a chance, and I have to say it's cruel for people to suggest that there is a significant likelihood. More than half of students do improve their scores with second attempts, but only a small minority increase them by more than 50 points. You would need to improve by more than 500 points. You are a good student, but you do yourself an injustice if you decide to dedicate yourself to endless test prep instead of identifying colleges where your prospects are better. I suggest you focus on California public colleges, where GPA is the top criterion for admission, and test-optional colleges. Looking at colleges which are a reach for applicants with near-perfect scores will only lead to disappointment.
  • devinvolden1devinvolden1 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I would like to also say I didn't study for either PSAT and I began studying earlier this year. I'm getting about an average of around 1350-1400s on my SAT practice tests after actually studying the test. Will that make a difference?
  • oneofthosemomsoneofthosemoms Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    Can you give a little more insight into what you will eventually be looking for in a college? I'm not seeing a common thread in your list - NAU, St. Mary's and UCLA for example are worlds apart in so many ways. What appeals to you in terms of size, urban vs. small town, weather, etc? Have you toured any campuses yet?
  • devinvolden1devinvolden1 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    My family doesn't have much money, and my grandparents will be a huge help in my college funds. I have no preference of size or state or private or public. I like rainy cold weather, and I like the sunny warm weather. I choose some colleges based solely on the fact that they have my major and they had a high acceptance rate. I'm really not picky. I need a school where I can earn my degree, if it's a nice school, that"s even better. I just want to become a doctor and go to med school.
  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    edited August 7
    The SAT & ACT are not expensive. I'd take each of them as many times as you can. You only need to nail it once...or look for schools that "superscore" (take the best score from each part of either test, even if they weren't taken on the same day), & you only need to nail each PART of it once.

    Take a prep course if you can afford it. Study the guidebooks endlessly. Take an Intro to Logic class at tour local community college. Make sure it involves symbolic logic. My kid got the same ACT score at least 4 times (also the comparable SAT score 3 or 4 times), then took a Logic class & the ACT composite jumped up 3 points & the SAT rose a comparable amount. Logic is like weightlifting for the mind.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,939 Senior Member
    Look into ULaVerne, Lewis and Clark, UPortland, USeattle. I think they're test optional. Run the NPC.
    But if your family doesn't have much money, your best bets are California public's, and higher test scores will help you get into SDSU, CPP, and UCSC or UCD.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,088 Senior Member
    edited August 7
    We have a lot of kids who think their grandparents will foot the bill. But Grandma & Grandpa might be thinking $10K a year,, not the $40K/ year you might need. Plus, running net price calculators with your parents' income & assets shows what you'd probably pay your first year, but once schools see that you have another source of funds after the first year, your aid could be reduced. You should be laser focused on test scores to give yourself your best shot at UCs. You also should find a safety you KNOW your family could afford without help and you are sure you can get into (possibly a CSU).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,551 Senior Member
    edited August 7
    During 11th grade, pay attention to standardized testing:

    a. The PSAT in 11th grade counts for National Merit reasons, which can help you get scholarships if you score high enough.
    b. Taking the SAT and ACT in 11th grade means having the scores available next summer so that you can better assess what colleges are realistic to apply to, and give you a chance to retake in 12th grade if desired.
    c. A few colleges may require or recommend SAT subject tests. If you intend to apply to such colleges, for those in subjects that you are taking courses in during 11th grade, taking the SAT subject test at the end of 11th grade is a good idea.

    But also, as others have said, talk to your parents and grandparents about college costs and try net price calculators on the various colleges' web sites to get an idea of what is financially realistic.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,536 Senior Member
    A few comments.

    --Continue to study very hard for your SATs and consider taking the ACT as well. Right now your standardized test scores are a weak point in your academic record -- hopefully that will change now that you are preparing for the test.

    --If you do not improve your standardized testing significantly look into some test optional colleges. Here is a list sorted by state. https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional/state

    --Be sure to have the money talk with your grandparents and understand how much they will be able to contribute to your education. Their offer to help is wonderful and generous, but that does not automatically mean that they have over $60,000/year to fund a private college.

    --Create a list that includes reach, match and safety schools that appear affordable and that you would be happy to attend. Run net price calculators on schools you are considering to see if they appear affordable.
  • devinvolden1devinvolden1 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    The reason these schools are on my list is because they are willing to help pay and encourage me to apply, and, if possible, attend these schools. I was aware of their desires before I made my list.
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