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Application strategy?

CgaopeCgaope Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member


My son's desires are a top engineering (prefer computer eng) program, a smaller school ( so no big state colleges), no fraternities or big social party colleges, and he wants to attend college somewhere outside of his home state of Texas. That only narrows it down to a couple hundred options.

His stats: NMSF, 4.6/4 weighted 3.99/4 unweighted, 770 SAT math, 730 SAT Eng, Math II 770, Physics 760, 10 AP classes all 4s or 5s on tests already taken. Founder and President of Business club at Public High School, VP of Habitat for Humanity club. Member of many national honor society clubs and tutors for them and minimum wage summer job. No hooks

How do you narrow it down where to apply?
Are there any small schools that give merit aid to NMSF? The lists I have seen really seem to be big state schools.

Ones we are looking at currently - appreciate any comments suggestions on these or others:
Lehigh, Boston College, RPI, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, UT Austin (his safety since he gets auto admission but he might not get into program he wants)
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Replies to: Application strategy?

  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 753 Member
    Do you need financial (need-based) aid? Or merit aid? That would narrow it down. My nephew needed a school that would cover 100% of demonstrated need. That cut his initial list to around 60-ish colleges.
  • CgaopeCgaope Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    There is likely to be about a 10 to 20k gap per year between our EFC or demonstrated need and what an average out of state or private college costs so are looking for a school that would at least meet full demonstrated need and any extra merit would be welcome. I'd rather not go the loan route.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 753 Member
    There are only 60-ish schools that meet full demonstrated need- I googled "colleges that meet full financial need"- and a handful of others that meet 90-99% of financial need. So, you may want to start with that list and see which top engineering schools are on it (I know both Lehigh and Bucknell are) and which ones offer merit aid, as not all schools do offer merit.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 2,854 Senior Member
    Rose Hulman, in southern Indiana. They give merit aid, but do have greek life as well, but won't be like Big 10 greek life. Union College in New York state also has engineering, and I think merit, but also active greek life. Other smaller schools with engineering include Lehigh and Lafayette in PA, though also have greek life.
  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    If no frats and no big social scene is important, I would think Lehigh shouldn't be on your list. However, having 2 kids myself in engineering who aren't interested in frats and partying, one an NMF, I wouldn't use that as much of a criteria for choosing a school. He will have a choice whether he wants to partake or not. More important is whether a school has a significant number of kids like him so that he'll find his place.
  • CgaopeCgaope Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Oh is Lehigh a big Greek school? I thought it wasn't. Thanks for that.
  • taverngirltaverngirl Registered User Posts: 134 Junior Member
    Bucknell is pretty Greek as well.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 4,217 Senior Member
    Case Western?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,599 Senior Member
    "Founder and President of Business club at Public High School, VP of Habitat for Humanity club. Member of many national honor society clubs and tutors for them and minimum wage summer job. No hooks"

    Make sure he has math-sci activities.
    In any college with solid stem programs, there would be plenty of other kids not interested in Greek life.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,209 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    Would schools like Olin and Cooper Union appeal to him?
    Another option might be URochester which has some Greek Life but I don't think it is a ton.
    Agree that Lehigh is heavily Greek so probably not the right fit for your S.
  • CgaopeCgaope Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Thanks all. I was pushing for Cooper Union and he toured it sophomore year when we were there and it would have been perfect if he wasnt afraid of living in NYC. So a college just like that but somewhere that is not NYC would be perfect. We looked at Olin but it seemed to be very hard to get into.
  • CgaopeCgaope Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    He is in Science Olympiad. Forgot to mention that one.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,599 Senior Member
    You know about running the NPCs right? Because the EFC from the Fafsa forecaster or whatever tool College Board uses, is not a prediction of how the colleges will calculate "demonstrated need." Nor whether they have much to give.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,990 Senior Member
    http://nmfscholarships.yolasite.com/ is an older list of National Merit based scholarships, but check college web sites because some have changed.

    For safeties, he may want to add another auto-admit Texas public where he is assured of getting into his major (as opposed to UT Austin where the CS/CE major is highly competitive, or Texas A&M where pre-engineering students must compete for entry to major by college GPA after enrolling).
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,081 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    Swarthmore is a reach for everyone but might be an interesting place for him. Union in NY would almost certainly give him merit. Yes, there is a lot of Greek life there but the school actively tries to offer an alternative. If you find yourself in upstate NY looking at other schools, I'd check this one out. I think, based on his stats, that he'll end up with several choices so if you're looking for merit, it's probably okay to cast your net a little wider to see how that part of it plays out.
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