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Looking for safeties, matches, and reaches

purplefireworkpurplefirework 4 replies3 threads New Member
I'm new at CC and am looking for help on getting started with my college list. I love Brown and Wesleyan, however they are both HUGE reaches. I'm looking for matches, safeties, and possibly some more reaches.
Something to note: I missed a lot of school sophomore year due to hospitilizations for my OCD and depression. My school operates on a quarter system for grades and I will be receiving incompletes, which will not count towards my GPA, for the second and fourth quarters. I will be taking a gap year before I enter college so that I can complete missed credits. I'm worried about whether colleges will look down on that.
But anyway, I would love suggestions for what colleges to look at! Here are my stats (just so you can guess what might be a safety, a target, or a reach):
White female living in Massachusetts. I'm a rising junior at a very small therapeutic private school.
GPA: 3.92 UW. I took 3 honors courses as a freshman, 4 as a sophomore, and will most likely be taking 4 as a junior. My school does not offer APs but I am hoping to do extra work in English and/or History next year so I can take the exams. I also am considering self studying psychology.
I took the PSATs last October and scored 1140 out of 1520 (640 Reading and Writing, 500 Math). I am not pleased with these results. However, the math test was designed for someone who had taken a year more of math than I had at the time. I also had not recieved extra time, which I will qualify for on future tests due to my ADHD and anxiety. I am not trying to excuse my poor score, but hopefully I will do better when I take the SAT or ACT.
Freshmen Representative on Student Council (9), Co-Council Events Coordinator (10), will run for VP next year but who knows how that'll turn out
School Dance Troupe (9, 10, most likely 11 & 12)
Acting in community youth theatre (9, 10, most likely 11 & 12)
Voice lessons and musical theater class- (9, 10, most likely 11 & 12)
I enjoy writing and entered some of my work into writing contests in 10th grade. I have not won anything but I plan to keep submitting writing for competitions and publishing opportunities in 11th and 12th grades.
Work/Community Service
I will spend this summer working for a youth program at a nonprofit hunger relief organization
I volunteer at a local food pantry and at a women's shelter
Raised over $1000 for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in a Facebook fundraiser
Raised money for and participated in the Walk for Hunger
Now for what I'm looking for in a college.
Location: my parents don't want me travelling too far from home, so colleges must be in the Northeast
Tuition: shouldn't be too much of a problem. I will save up money from my job to help contribute, but my parents are willing to pay my tuition
Intended major: Hoping to double major in English or Comparative Literature and Sociology. May potentially minor in theatre or education
Size: my high school is TINY so going to a huge college might be too much of a shift. I'm okay with a somewhat large student population, as long as the average class size is small and there is a sense of community.
Other things to note:
I am very passionate about social justice and would like to be involved with activism in college. I also want a diverse student body in terms of ethnicity, race, socioeconomic background, international students, the LGBTQ community, etc.
As you probably already figured out, I will need mental health support in order to succeed at college!
I'm not too picky in terms of rural, suburban, or urban location.
I have been very involved in theatre since elementary school and am hoping to continue participating.
That's all I can think of.
Thank you so much!
8 replies
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Replies to: Looking for safeties, matches, and reaches

  • circuitridercircuitrider 3707 replies181 threads Senior Member
    Bard, Sarah (NY) Lawrence (NY), Hampshire (MA), Marlboro (VT). Maybe, Wagner (NY).
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  • aquaptaquapt 2405 replies49 threads Senior Member
    It's a little hard to tell yet what will be match schools. But it seems like you're self-motivated and at the same time may need a certain amount of flexibility to craft a college experience that works for you, so I wonder whether Hampshire might not be a good school to consider. It has the kind of progressive and artsy culture that you seem to be describing. ( https://www.hampshire.edu/areas-of-study/theatre ) It may not be quite as racially and ethnically diverse as you'd like (in part because it's expensive and doesn't offer great financial aid), but the lack of diversity isn't extreme, and there's a tremendous amount of diversity in the larger five-college consortium. Cross-registration at other Consortium colleges could also give you opportunities to challenge yourself in a more traditional framework in some classes, while retaining a more flexible structure for others. Admissions standards are also not as daunting as at other peer colleges, so it might be a good place to target given your less typical HS record.
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1764 replies60 threads Senior Member
    I thought of Bennington when I read your list and interests. It's artsy, very liberal, and a lovely small town in VT.
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  • LandadandaLandadanda 18 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Parent from Massachusetts here and my daughter is a Musical Theatre Major at Rider University in NJ. It is a very diverse school that offers a lot of flexibility with majors and minors which is one of the reasons my daughter chose Rider.
    I have a son that is also a rising Jr in high school now that will definetly need a lot of support in college so I attended a parent info session at Rider Student Services Center during my daughters summer orientation with another parent.
    I must say that I was extremely surprised at the support options that Rider offers to they’re students that request it.
    I just thought I’d mention this as a college for you to check out maybe. Best of Luck!
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  • TTGTTG 1663 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Good suggestions above. I'd especially second Bard and Hampshire. Are you female? If so, maybe look at Smith and Mount Holyoke. They are in the Five College Consortium with Hampshire, Amherst, and U Mass Amherst.


    Connecticut College also seems like a good bet to me. Also Skidmore.



    I love Bates too. It is probably the most competitive among the ones mentioned in this post.


    If any of these smaller, LAC-type colleges look appealing, you might try to strike up a correspondence/relationship with the admissions rep for your area (this is available on the admissions page in the "About Us" or something similar link). Admissions can be personal at these schools. Reps do like to get a full picture and to understand any medical or personal situations that have impacted a student's academic career. Always try to be positive and forward-looking in your communications.

    Have fun, just feel like you are looking for a place that's a good fit for you.

    Good luck!

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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6622 replies143 threads Senior Member
    Bates is a great school and very selective. Unless it’s radically changed it is not in the same category as smith hampshire or bard in terms of super progressive atmosphere. Liberal leaning like most schools but not the same.

    Oberlin might be worth a look too.
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  • purplefireworkpurplefirework 4 replies3 threads New Member
    Thank you so much to everyone for your suggestions! Of these, I like Hampshire, Bennington, Rider, Mount Holyoke, and Oberlin the most. There's still plenty of time, of course, but it's nice to know where to look!
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43072 replies469 threads Senior Member
    Look into Muhlenberg (excellent theater, just the right size), Wheaton MA (not IL!), Simmons, Hobart& WilliamSmith, Elmira.
    If you don't mind small, Wells and Colby Sawyer would be safeties.
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