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Northeastern Colleges That Could Suit Me

meeplesyrupmeeplesyrup Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
I'm an incoming high-school senior in the Western US whose looking around for college options. I've visited many universities in California which I fell in love with, but 4 of them were UCs which meant their lack of financial aid for out-of-staters (which I desperately need) or their super high selectivity (Stanford) makes them unattainable or unlikely. I've wanted to take a college tour of the Northeast (Ivies, liberal arts, etc) but probably won't be able to before application time due to my lack of finances. I don't want to necessarily apply to the Ivy League only because of the prestige or graduating salary, but want a place where I can thrive. Based off of my applicant profile, what universities in the Northeast strike one as being a good fit for me academically?

ME AS A STUDENT (in a nutshell):
- 4.0 UW GPA, IB Diploma Candidate
- Scored 5 on all 5 APs, 6 on 1 IB test
- SAT I: 1530
- Public high school student, top 5% of class
- Loves humanities and social sciences, esp. history, foreign relations/affairs, and English
- ECs include Pres. NHS Chapter, Assemblies Officer in Student Gov, Student Newspaper Editor, MUN Club Pres, Creative
Writing Club, photography, graphic design
- State level awards in French, MUN, Future Problem Solving among others
- Seeks university not strictly for prestige but rather for learning opportunities (access to amazing library, being taught by
/working with esteemed experts, ability to explore my wide range of interests)
- Looking for a college experience that takes me outside of my bubble; seeking urban, suburban or college town campus
- Quarter system preferable
- Lover of sitcoms from the 2000s (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Archer, Parks and Rec) and
comedy/less-serious atmospheres
- Passionate learner for learning's sake; bookworm, leaning slightly towards introversion; hopes to be a Renaissance man
- LGBT in really socially conservative state, which has been a helluva internal struggle; seeking a more tolerant/accepting
place to live for four years

Replies to: Northeastern Colleges That Could Suit Me

  • neophiteneophite Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    If you don't mind the snow, then you might want to look into Northeastern and BU (you'd probably score some scholarships too :D).
  • taverngirltaverngirl Registered User Posts: 490 Member
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 1,405 Senior Member
    Congratulations on your hard work and success! You might look at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools. It includes the top liberal arts schools in the country (Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin, etc.). I would especially think of Wesleyan, which has gotten really hot because LIn-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton is a well-known alum, and also Trinity, Tufts, and Connecticut College. Some of the others are in very small towns, which is a drawback for you. Your stats are great, so you might be in line for merit aid. These schools can afford to provide a lot of scholarship money. Be realistic, though, most are extremely competitive, even for very well qualified students. You'd be very competitive but make sure you have some safer options (Trinity and Connecticut College would be on the safer side, though competitive certainly). I think Brandeis might really be terrific for you; I'm just less sure about financial aid there. Brown is also a great idea, just ridiculously competitive. I also agree with Northeastern and BU.

    If you wanted to consider the Midwest (and maybe not), I think Oberlin and Macalester might be good fits. Oberlin seems like it might be good, and Cleveland is a much better city than its image. Macalester is an excellent LAC in the Twin Cities.

    If you find some intriguing schools on this thread, and like what you see when you research further. Sign up for info on their admission pages. Sometimes they will be sending reps to your city in September-October. We did this, and one of my kids received a notice that one of their top choices were coming to our city to do interviews. We were able to arrange that and did not have to go back to the school. Plus, it just tells the school you've been thinking about them for a while, and are just not throwing in a late application.

    Perhaps you could contact the admissions rep for CA from a couple of schools (their names/regions are usually available on admissions pages). You might email and describe why you are interested in the school. You can give them just the basics of your own accomplishments/interests. Ask them about opportunities to get to know the school or about some question you have that is not readily available on their website. Some schools have fly-in programs where they pay for students to visit. These tend to be the smaller, wealthier schools like Williams. You'd probably need to arrange this soon. But you might also learn about other opportunities in your area. Maybe the rep is visiting some other schools in your city, and you can arrange to meet with them at some point in the day.

    Admissions at smaller schools can be more personal than at larger state universities, like the UCs. This might be an opportunity to start a dialogue with the rep who will be reviewing your application. Obviously, a student can't do this at numerous schools, but maybe a couple of top choices. Now is the time to do it. Reps often travel to schools in September/October to promote their schools and to get to know prospective students. They then filter back home and start to read early applications, and are busier.

    One last suggestion: it can be helpful to apply early. ED is a huge commitment, generally you must accept the aid package and attend. EA is not binding. If, and only if, your top choice guarantees to meet full financial need (like Brown, and Williams, I think, and some of the others), then you could apply ED. That can be an advantage in terms of admissions. You must be sure about it though.

    Good luck!

  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 8,504 Senior Member
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,215 Senior Member
    Here's my question:

    If you're "desperate" for financial aid, how are you going to get back and forth from the east coast from the west? If getting here to see a school is a large burden (and it would absolutely be for my family) then how do you plan to do it for 4 years of Thanksgiving and Christmas and spring break?

    Just wanted to put it out there. It might be more cost effective to search out the same things in a school a bit closer to home.
  • mamag2855mamag2855 Registered User Posts: 743 Member
    edited August 2017
    @meeplesyrup How much financial aid do you need? What is your efc when you run net price calculators? Run them for some of the schools suggested here. If your family cannot afford or are not willing to pay your efc, you need to target colleges which offer merit aid.

    Do not just assume that your family will pay your efc. Don't accept vague answers from them, such as "we'll figure it out later after you get your acceptances" or "don't worry about the finances now".
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,385 Senior Member
    How large of a school would you prefer?

    What can you afford to pay?
  • meeplesyrupmeeplesyrup Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    @mamag2855 and @DadTwoGirls my family income is less than $50,000. My efc usually turns up as being less than $9,000 year (excluding work-study). My parents are willing to help me pay, but w/o financial aid (merit or need-based) I'd have to take out loans (my father had a terrible experience with this during his college years). My grandparents (who are well-to-do) might also contribute. My parents mostly have been pushing me to aim for those top 20 institutions that for our income bracket would most likely waive tuition or even room & board.

    @merc81 I actually just got a pamphlet from Vassar giving the hard sell so I might consider it.

    @TTG I have been looking at those Northeastern liberal arts colleges and BU. Definitely considering applying to BU as they have good financial aid but not nearly as competitive admissions.
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,295 Senior Member
    @bjkmom I don't know about other schools, but Amherst regularly includes generous travel expenses in its aid packages for lower income students.
  • bester1bester1 Registered User Posts: 1,250 Senior Member

    Cleveland’s cultural comeback

    Cleveland, once called the mistake on the lake, is on the cusp of cool
  • ReallyOkReallyOk Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    I second the recommendation of Vassar.
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 4,332 Senior Member
    Have you looked at QuestBridge?
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    "Quarter system preferable" Why??

    The only top schools that come to mind are several UCs, Dartmouth and Northwestern.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,626 Senior Member
    Look at the schools that meet 100% need. With an EFC of $9K, you could probably swing one of them with student loans, work study, summer work savings and a little help from your family. Your stats are in line.

    Vassar was the first school that came to mind but its not urban. There's also a list out there that tells you which schools have better/higher acceptance rates for IB diploma students. I believe Amherst is one of them. I know Vassar is.

    Vanderbilt, although a crapshoot for everyone, is a FAFSA only school and has really good financial aid. It is urban. Take a look at Tufts as well, its just outside Boston, but I'm not familiar with their finaid.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,131 Senior Member
    londondad wrote:
    The only top schools that come to mind are several UCs, Dartmouth and Northwestern.

    Stanford and Caltech also.
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