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Looking for schools <$35k (after merit aid) for math major

Dale77Dale77 7 replies4 threads New Member
Here's the bullets with my rising junior son:

* pretty certain he's going to be a math major (or math/CS double major)
* not qualified for need aid (other than token amounts at HPY)
* can only spend about $35k a year for college
* Midwest preferred, but not a deal-breaker by any means
* 35 ACT (36M/36S/35E/33R) and 1540 SAT (800M/740E)
* 3.90 UW taking all honors/AP courses available
* 1x USAJMO qualifier and 3x AIME qualifier
* already taken BC Calc/AP Stats/Discrete Math; will take MV Calculus/Linear Algebra as a junior, and probably Diff Eq/upper-level prob and stats/Real Analysis as a senior.

Here's our current list of potential schools, but we're looking for any others that might meet our needs. Any ideas are appreciated!

Ohio State
Michigan St.

St. Olaf
Case Western


Arizona St.
Texas A&M
14 replies
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Replies to: Looking for schools &lt;$35k (after merit aid) for math major

  • Midwest67Midwest67 4182 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Home state?
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 2186 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Utah has a strong math program, with top students going to highly ranked grad programs (e.g. https://unews.utah.edu/university-of-utah-student-awarded-prestigious-churchill-scholarship-2/).

    Your son should have a good shot at a full tuition scholarship (or more). You can also get in-state residency after the first year if need be.
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  • merc81merc81 11879 replies203 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    The University of Rochester might recognize your son with an adequate merit scholarship and, from an academic aspect, appears in a Princeton Review sampling, "Great Schools for Mathematics Majors." (Though St. Olaf appears on the same list, the range of their upper-level math courses may or may not be sufficient for your son's anticipated level.)
    edited June 2018
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  • kalonskalons 625 replies21 threads Member
    the midwestern liberal arts colleges (oberlin, kenyon, macalester, grinnell, and st. olaf) give merit aid. i know case western gives merit aid too. check those out; see how you like them.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83775 replies743 threads Senior Member
    State of residency and post graduation goals (e.g. research / college teaching, finance / actuarial, computing, high school teaching, etc.)?

    University of Arizona has an Arizona Excellence scholarship for non-residents that is probably enough to get to your price limit: https://financialaid.arizona.edu/types-of-aid/scholarships/freshman-transfer#incomingnon-residentfreshmenawards
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  • milee30milee30 2917 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Would he consider UK colleges? He'd be a full pay international student, but the tuition even at the top unis is much lower than at American uni and since the bachelor's is granted in three years, that's quite a savings as well. Depending on the exchange rate, total cost for his undergrad degree could come in just under the $140k you have budgeted. Consider not just the obvious (Oxford, Cambridge), but also Imperial College for math (fantastic world reputation) and Edinburgh for CS (one of the top AI research unis in the world.)
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  • prezbuckyprezbucky 4325 replies11 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    U of New Mexico Lobos

    New Mexico is gorgeous. And it would be affordable -- he would at least get the Amigo schollie, which is about $16k per year, and possibly one of the bigger scholarships. To boot, he'd be in the honors college if he so desired.

    In the Midwest:
    Plenty of LACs will give merit aid.

    To others mentioned I'd add Beloit, Lawrence, Knox, Gustavus Adolphus, Wabash (all-male), Earlham, Kalamazoo, Luther, Cornell College. These would be low matches or safeties but all are pretty good schools.

    And your home state's flagship -- most flags are under $35k per annum for in-state students.

    But heck, run the NPC for the big spenders that claim to meet 100% of need. It's based on how they define need, but some really do give great aid, even to people making six figures-plus. And having a few reaches on the list is ok too, as long as there's at least one safety and (I think...) some matches. Most of the top 25ish private U's and LACs (according to USNews...) give very good need-based aid.
    edited June 2018
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  • pickledgingerpickledginger 500 replies18 threads Member
    edited June 2018
    How about University of Pittsburgh? My son, who will be a college freshman next year, had similar stats (also no need) and Pitt offered him a very generous full tuition merit scholarship. Another great thing is that Pitt has rolling admissions and an early application opening - we knew very early that he was admitted to the school, the Honors program, and that he had the generous merit award. Plus, Pitt was super responsive to questions and easy to deal with. My son ended up staying in California, but Pitt was on the short list.

    FWIW, the only other college on your list that he applied to was UMN. He was accepted into the Honors program there, but was offered $10k/annually of merit aid (significantly less than Pitt).
    edited June 2018
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  • NoKillliNoKillli 246 replies5 threads Junior Member
    If you have Rose and Case in your list, take a look at RPI, Stevens, and WPI. Also take a look at the SUNY university centers. (Albany, Bing, Buffalo and Stoneybrook). They throw nice money at high stat OOS.

    While a big list of Math classes look great ,the problem with looking at the undergraduate catalogs is the course may only be offered occasionally (or never) and there will be nothing to take. You need to dig into prior schedule of classes to see if the courses are actually offered. Also if the school has a graduate math program, look into a co-terminal program (BS/MS) in 4-5 years since many 400/500 classes will count for both degrees.

    If he will take the Putnam, look for a school that offers ideally Putnam classes or at least weekly review sessions in the Fall. (Albany has a Putnam fellow who teaches a class: https://www.albany.edu/~martinhi/background.html)

    If he is interested in being a TA, see if the school allows undergrad TAs.

    Minor rant.. or just an observation:

    Its a problem with advanced math kids. My S22 is running out of Math now although he only went in as a frosh with Multivar and DEQ. After Real and Number Theory he decided he prefers applied math so he will skip abstract algebra and topology. He only needs Adv. Calc,PDQ and a elective and he is done with a BS in 2.5 years because he piled up lots of math electives in the first 2 years and overloaded credit hours every semester(20+). I'm encouraging him to add a CS dual major (or get thru Data Structures to take the mathy CS upper level courses that require DS as a pre-req). I'm also encouraging him to take on some research just in case he wants grad school. I'm also pushing stats (stochastic, anova,regression analysis) as a prep if he want to do a grad degree in Stats or continue on the actuary track.

    Another problem with adv math kids is they will have no one in their math classes that are in the same year. It makes getting into study groups harder if they know no one and are not use to asking for help in math. As a junior, his friends finally caught up so he'll know some more kids his age in the Fall.

    My S loved being a TA for calc 2. The problem is they don't pay undergrad Math TAs at his school. He took it for credit he didn't even need and gave up hours at his good on-campus job to have time to be a good TA and prepare lessons. Hopefully it turns into a nice recommendation for grad school. CS undergrad TAs get paid so maybe he can TA Discrete next year.

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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10388 replies122 threads Senior Member
    What's your home state? Purdue and Michigan don't give much if any merit for out of state students.

    I also second Pitt and RPI.
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  • moooopmoooop 2204 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    Nebraska would cost you about $20,000 per year. Iowa State would be affordable. Miami of Ohio & U Kentucky offer merit aid.
    edited June 2018
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  • tk21769tk21769 10710 replies27 threads Senior Member
    If you have residency status, for many states the best balance of quality and value is likely to be at one of your own in-state schools. For OOS public schools, you're likely to pay a premium of about $20K/year over your state flagship. Many of them offer little FA (n-b or merit) for OOS students. The ones that do may be (rightly or wrongly) considered less appealing than your state flagship.

    Some of the midwestern LACs offer merit scholarships, but they tend to average around $15K, so the net price still may be well over your budget. If you get one of their biggest awards (which seem to top out at around $25K at many schools), you might get close, but the course offerings may be much more limited than at your state flagship.

    Alabama gets many CC recommendations for families chasing big merit scholarships. It seems to be the most selective (/ highest-ranking) university that still offers large automatic merit scholarships for qualifying stats.
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  • Dale77Dale77 7 replies4 threads New Member
    Thanks for all the great suggestions so far! A few answers/comments:

    * I'm loathe to say what our home state is, only because there aren't that many USAJMO participants and someone could narrow down my son is. But I'll say we're in the Midwest and we're considering our state flagship.

    * He doesn't know yet exactly what he wants to do with the Bachelors. But I'd say it's more likely than not that he gets an advanced degree.

    * Our main concern about LACs (including the ones I've mentioned) is the same one that's been mentioned above: He might run out of course offerings pretty quickly. Not that I'm dismissing them out of hand; they're just something I need to do more research on. (If he double-majors in CS, that's less of an issue.)

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  • washugradwashugrad 1161 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Check out the Compton scholars program at Washington U in St. Louis. Highly competitive and he'd have to write a paper, but winners get a 4 year full ride.
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