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Shooting Too Low?

RookieCollegeMomRookieCollegeMom Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
My daughter is down-to-earth, casual, not a partier (I would like to keep it that way as much as possible :) skier/XC/diver, no interest in Greek life or huge sports or huge school. Social, but not super outgoing. So far, she has looked at and liked Lynchburg College and Juniata, was so-so on Susquehanna.

My dilemma is, her stats are higher than those schools - should we be shooting higher? But I keep hearing kids at schools
another "level up" (like Gettysburg, Bucknell, etc) are "white, rich, and entitled". I am sure there are perfectly down-to-earth kids too, but am concerned the "fit" won't be right for her.

At the Lynchburg level schools, she will receive enough merit to make the cost like going at our big in-state univ. Cost is definitely a factor for us! (I may have just answered my own question.)

I am very big on the fit being right and her feeling comfortable, not out of place. Somewhere she will thrive and grow. If I end up being able to afford a higher tier school, would it be smarter to go with fit over stronger academics or "name"?

Thank you for your help!

Replies to: Shooting Too Low?

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 22,666 Forum Champion
    If you are seeking out merit aid then it makes sense for your D to focus in on schools where her stats place her in the top 25% or so of applicants.

    If you have doubts and if they appear affordable then by all means look at a couple of "higher tier" schools with your D then so you can get a sense of any of those might be good fits as well.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,009 Senior Member
    FWIW, we found Bucknell students to be very down to earth. My daughter liked it much better than she expected.

    I agree with happy1 though that if you are chasing merit, you are looking at the right schools. There is something to be said about being the big fish in a small pond.
  • Nicki20Nicki20 Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    Though my daughter is only a sophomore we sort of have the same dilemma. My college I think would be a good fit. 2000 students which is smaller than her high school. She would easily get a scholarship. The problem is her ACT would probably 10 points higher than the average kid there. What the real deal breaker is for her is that the school is not known for her intended major. A big school would be better for her major. If the school has her intended major would she be okay with kids that had lower stats than her?
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 827 Member
    Aim High is the Air Force’s slogan. Let them keep it. An important part of fit is cost. If you buy an expensive car but don’t have money to put gas in it, it wasn’t the right fit.
  • OhWhatsHerNameOhWhatsHerName Registered User Posts: 816 Member
    For anecdotal experience, as long as the “fit” is there aiming low isn’t a bad thing. A couple of my high school friends did that and are thriving at their schools in honors colleges, doing independent research, and overall loving it. They all get to graduate debt free, too.

    But if the fit isn’t there, a lack of challenging academics may turn south quickly. Or if someone is easily influenced by lesser achieving peers. But I don’t think those are as common.
  • bamamom2021bamamom2021 Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    We had the same thoughts about my DDs search but in the end let her make the decision and she went with her heart, best fit, and finances. She has never looked back.

    I would put Susquehanna above Gettysburg and on par with Bucknell these days. It is a great school. I have a relative who graduated from Juniata and she had a wonderful experience and received a great education 20 years ago. Has she looked at Lycoming?
  • gallentjillgallentjill Registered User Posts: 1,835 Senior Member
    Maybe take a look at Muhlenberg. Its a lovely place, known for warm, nice people.
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 2,251 Senior Member
    According to US News rankings: Susquehanna #141 and Gettysburg is #46, I think Bucknell is #33 @bamamom2021 I'm not saying that Susquehanna isn't a good school, just clarifying what you said,

    OP, if your daughter is open to going outside of PA she might like College of Wooster, St. Olaf, Beloit and Earlham. I read so many good things about these schools.
  • RookieCollegeMomRookieCollegeMom Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Thank you all so much for your input - it is making me feel much better!

    I don't think my D is a genius or anything, but she is bright, organized, and a hard worker. 3.95 uw GPA/4.6 w, 4 APs so far (5 on the test for the one she took last year. Probably 4s for the 4 this year). Haven't gotten her SAT score back yet.

    She has no idea what she is interested in (which makes me think a slightly larger school might be better in terms of more options).

    I don't want her to have so much rigor in college that she doesn't have some fun! Kids in her AP classes now are fine, but in the other classes, she gets annoyed at the kids who don't pay attention, which slows down the class. She has very little patience for them. But I figure kids who go to college want to be there. Or if they don't, they will just skip class, right?

    If Lynchburg stays at the top of her list, she can do the Honors program.

    I am very much about fit, but want to balance future too. I have friends who say why go to Lynchburg when she can get a better education at our VERY large, well-regarded state school. Not better if it isn't a fit.

  • bjscheelbjscheel Registered User Posts: 298 Junior Member
    We're looking at this for DD'19. In fact, we've already been through it because DD'17 (3.9, 7th in class) is at community college and loving it, despite some initial disparaging remarks from people about her choice. DD'19 has a bit higher stats than her sister and currently ranked 1st in her class. A good student but not interested in a high level of rigor or intellectualism. Your description of your DD sounds a lot like mine.

    Next week we're visiting a directional U with open admission. She is 5 points above the 75% ACT. But a lot of things about it feel right so far- distance, size, cost, major choices, mascot :) and if she is accepted in Honors, the COA will be super low. She is not likely to be in a high paying field anyway, so low to no debt will be freedom. Anxious to see how she likes it after her visit!
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