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PLEASE help me find some colleges to apply to, given my unique situation

equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 835 Member
So my situation is pretty unique, I’m going to try and summarize it in this post so it’s as readable as possible:

My stats:
4.0 freshman, 4.0 sophomore, 3.3 junior year (should increase after I retake a class)

H=Honors, DE= Dual Enrollment at CC, AP= advanced placement

Summer: Health

Freshman year:
Algebra 1
English 9
World History
H Physical Science
Intro to Computer Science (Java) (Semester course)
Engineering Principles
Spanish 1

Sophomore Year:
H Geometry
H Algebra 2
H Biology
H English 10
Engineering Design
Spanish 2
DE American History since 1887

Summer: DE Computer Graphics

***AP Physics 1 (dropped)
AP Computer Science (B)
***Honors Precalc (failed, have to retake)
Chemistry (A)
English 11 (A)
Advanced Engineering (A)
Spanish 3 (B)
(Semester)Intro to Computer Science Python (A)
DE Government (A)

Planned Senior Year Schedule:
DE Econ over the summer

School year:
DE English 1100 1st semester/DE English 1200 2nd
AP Chemistry
Capstone Engineering
STEM Mentorship

My junior year I took the ACT, which was over a period of 3 weeks because I’m visually impaired (accommodations.) This made me three weeks behind in math because my eyes were so tired, which really killed me because math is foundational. Same thing with physics. Next time I take it I plan to ask for work in classes ahead of time because I have learned from my past mistakes.

I am retaking precalculus this summer and plan on getting an A.

F=freshman, S=Sophomore, J= junior
FIRST Robotics (F, S, J)
Science Fair (S)
Service Club (F,S,J)
Taught middle school girls computer science for 10 weeks through a grant (J)
MAGIC Mentorship program-- computer science (J)

Awards and Honors:
NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award Ohio winner (S,J)
NCWIT National Honorable Mention, top 10% of applicants (J)
Intel ISEF finalist (S)
AspireIT grant (J)
Recognized at Board of Education meeting (S,J)
National Honor Society (J)
Got a $48,000 scholarship to University of Arizona at Intel ISEF

Intended Major: Computer Science and engineering
Gender: Female
Other Hooks: Legally blind, low income, women in CSE (?)
State of Residence: Ohio
ACT: 28 (25 E, 25 M, 27 S, 35 R, Writing I got a 9) -- Planning to retake after studying
Overall H.S. GPA (currently)- 3.7
English teacher, he offered to write me a rec at the very beginning of the year this year and really likes me (have had him two years)--10
Math/CS teacher, had her in various CS classes, taught me algebra 1 and honors geometry (have had her for three years)- 8 or 9, I don’t know how much she likes me

Dropped AP physics 1
Failed honors precalc, and have to retake
I know this looks really bad for engineering….

What I’m looking for in a college:
DE credit will likely transfer
Strong Engineering Program (particularly in CSE)
Direct admit into engineering
ABET accredited
Not very many GE reqs
Tolerable of religious/belief differences, and if possible a Christian club/Churches nearby

Another thing that’s really important: given my stats now, where would I have a chance at a full ride? ***I plan to retake to get my math/science scores up and think I’ll get around a 30/31 ACT. ***

Replies to: PLEASE help me find some colleges to apply to, given my unique situation

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,685 Senior Member
    Full ride is going to be tough unless you are a national merit finalist. You could possibly get full tuition though at U. of Akron but you'll still need to cover room and board. Look into U of Cincinnati as well but I think full tuition will be a stretch there. Work on getting that ACT score up and getting As on the classes you retake. Physics and calc are crucial.
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 835 Member
    Thanks, the main reason why I am trying to get full ride is because my family is low income (and my sister and I are going to college in the same year.)

    If you have any other ideas, let me know! @momofsenior1
  • astute12astute12 Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    You received a really good scholarship to U of Arizona, congrats! Depending on your low income status, you might want to look into Questbridge. Don't know if their applications are still open for this year, but worth a try. When you say your were an Intel finalist what does that mean? Was this city, state, or national? Being an Intel finalist is a really big deal! I agree with @momofsenior1 -- get those math and science grades up and be sure to take Physics. You sound very accomplished and are capable of overcoming obstacles -- good luck!
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 835 Member
    edited May 2018
    Intel ISEF is the largest international science and engineering fair for precollege students.

    Is QuestBridge open for next year? That’s when I’ll be a senior.

    I guess my biggest worry is that colleges will toss my application because I have to retake honors precalc and dropped AP Physics...
    (And I also really need a full ride because of my financial situation, ideally..)
  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom Registered User Posts: 5,597 Senior Member
    @equationlover are you legally blind? If so you should be able to get tuition assistance from your state VR program http://ood.ohio.gov/Core-Services/BSVI
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 835 Member
    @3scoutsmom I am in the VR program so I’ll look into that. just trying to find colleges where I have a shot at full ride, so I don’t have to worry about that.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,935 Senior Member
    If the program is ABET, there are going to be general ed requirements, I think 15 credits. Not all CS programs are ABET accredited, and not all of the ones that aren't are lesser qualify, so don't dismiss any that will give you a big award or financial aid.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,182 Senior Member
    You need a full ride for financial reasons from a met need college.
    Questbridge is a program that provides full rides at top LACs and universities to high achieving low income students. The application opens in August. It's highly selective. If selected by Questbridge but not by your listed colleges, you're re-examined for RD.
    Look at all meet-need colleges (list is on College Greenlight or the college solution, use your search engine) and plan to apply to all colleges from the list with an engineering program.
    Trinity college in Connecticut has engineering and meets need but left Questbridge. Lafayette would be another one. Add Scripps and Smith. Olin?
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,561 Senior Member
    This scholarship program kicks in up to $15K/year at the participating colleges (all private U's in the NY/NJ/CT area), a number of which have CS programs. This might be enough to cover your remaining costs after the college's own financial aid comes off the top. http://www.lavellefund.org/scholarship-program/overview/

    This would also be good to apply for: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/microsoftdisabilityscholarship.aspx

    These outside scholarship can bridge the gap at a lot of schools that don't *quite* meet full need on their own, which can open up a lot of possibilities that would otherwise be out of reach.
  • astute12astute12 Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    I know what the Intel competition is, but if you are an Intel Finalist that is a really big deal. I was asking if you made the finals nationally. Definitely look into Questbridge, and see what kind of funding there is for the visually impaired.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,576 Senior Member
    Your GPA is in range for a number of automatic full tuition and full ride scholarships, but you need to get your ACT score up for the best money. Read the thread on that topic at the top of the financial aid forum. One. Ore of those universities could be your safeties.

    Help your parents run the Net Price Calculator at the websit of each university you investigate. If you qualify for a full Pell grant, and take out a student loan, you might have your living expenses covered, and only need a full tuition scholarship.
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 835 Member
    edited May 2018
    @twoinanddone Thanks for the info.

    @MYOS1634 Thank you for the information. When you say need meet colleges, does that mean the college loans you the money, or is it like scholarship money?

    @aquapt Thank you, I will definitely look into that. I haven’t heard of any colleges and their opportunities in the northeast as I’m from the Midwest, so thank you. That’s what CC’s for. (:

    @astute12 I was chosen as a finalist meaning that I got to participate in the competition. I was chosen as apart of the Ohio group. I didn’t get any grand awards or anything, but I did get a scholarship to U of Az.

    @happymomof1 Is the Pell Grant like scholarship money, or is it a loan? (I would assume that it isn’t a loan, since grant is in the name, but just making sure.)

    Sorry for so many questions, I’m the first kid in my family (besides my sister going in the same year) to college and my parents haven’t gone to college in ages. Lol.

    Perferably, I’d like to get out of college as debt free as possible.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,182 Senior Member
    edited May 2018
    Imagine your EFC is zero. It means your parents can't contribute anything.
    You're supposed to "help yourself" by taking Pell Grants ($6,000) and the federal loans ($5,500).
    Pell grant is a need-based scholarship provided by the federal government.
    The college total cost of attendance is $71,500. (I made that a round subtraction for ease of calculation).
    It means you need to find $60,000 to fund college.
    "Meet need" colleges provide you with $2,500 in work study (you have to work about 8 hours a
    week to pay for your personal expenses like toothpaste and pizza.)
    Then, the college gives you $57,500 in grants and scholarships.
    Some "meet need" colleges even have a "no loan" policy, meaning your scholarship would be $63,000.
    There are about 65-80 "meet need colleges". Many are LACs that don't have engineering so you have to cross reference. Also, if your family is low income but owns an expensive house, not all colleges treat that the same for the calculation of your EFC and you may get less financial aid.
    Then, the 3,600 other universities in the country don't "meet need". It means they don't care whether you can pay or not, it's not their problem. HOWEVER they care about your stats, especially your test scores, and whether you did something fantastic (like be an Intel finalist). So they may provide you with a merit scholarship. Those may be a combination of need and stats, or be purely stats (even if there's no financial need). In some states, there are special programs for residents, at public universities.
    Go to the following websites and run the Net Price Calculator on each to see the difference:
    Georgia Tech
    University of Florida
    University of Iowa
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 835 Member
    @MYOS1634 Thank you for explaining, that really helps.

    Is it a bad idea to only apply to schools where I think there’s a good chance of me getting something similar to a full ride, or should I take chances? My parents seem to think that I can’t just write off a school based off how expensive it is, because there may be opportunities later down road.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,182 Senior Member
    Run the NPC on all the colleges listed above, as well as on this thread.
    There's no point in applying to a college that the NPC indicates as unaffordable UNLESS you know the NPC doesn't include merit aid (aid unrelated to your income but related to your test scores) AND offers sufficient merit aid.
    Your parents think that because back in our day, NPC's didn't exist, so you had to make an educated guess. Nowadays, the NPC's take the guessing out of the equation.

    A college you should definitely consider is UMichigan. They offer 100% need for students whose parents make less than 90K, their Engineering is as good (or better) than the Ivy League's, and it's a great school overall. Also, it's large enough that their Disability Resource office should have plenty of resources for you.

    Obviously you'll need to retake precalculus AND score an A.
    Will Physics appear as a withdrawal, or not appear at all?
    I'd suggest either taking DE Physic or taking AP Physics 1 senior year. As someone applying for Engineering, where Physics is a foundation, you need to have the strongest possible background in Physics.
    In addition, plan to take the ACT in July, I think it's offered and you shouldn't have class then (+ you'd have time to review to improve your score).
    You'll need to write a version of your explanation in "Additional Information":
    "My junior year I took the ACT, which was over a period of 3 weeks because I’m visually impaired and that's how accommodations were designed. This made me miss three weeks in math; I got behind because my eyes were so tired, which really killed me because math is sequential. Same thing with physics. Next time I take the test I plan to ask teachers for work in missed classes ahead of time and work on my own, because I have learned from that mistake."
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