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Help me shorten my college list!

RamonaPhan1102RamonaPhan1102 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
edited November 2018 in College Search & Selection
Hi everyone, I'm currently a junior. I have a huge list of colleges I want to apply to. I can't afford to apply to this many colleges, so please suggest schools I should cut because I have no chance of getting in, or I will not fit into the culture at all.

I love -
Exercising and working out
School spirit! (ie going to basketball/football games)
Looonng conversations w my peers about politics, the economy, and be able to just nerd out w them
Being around inspiring and motivated peers who are always trying to create something new
Jus a dash of partying

About me:
Asian female from suburban Wisconsin.
Competitive high school ranked nationally

Intended Major: Pretty undecided, but it's gonna be a mix of these 3
Economics
Neuroscience
Computer Science

Stats:
35 ACT
4.6 GPA
800 SAT Bio, 800 SAT Math 2

Extracurricular:
- Founded a national non-profit to advance girls in technology
- Founded an app that seeks to ease political tensions in America
- Co-founded an app similar to UberEats, etc...but especially for local businesses, and is pick up only.
- Editor-in-chief of school newspaper
- Online director for national magazine promoting women in STEM
- DECA ICDC Qualifier
- Local research at a university
- Executive member of a national neuroscience organization
- Varsity Track
- JV Soccer

Schools I'm considering, and why I'm considering it:
USC (WBB program)
UC Berkeley (CS + Business program)
Northwestern (Great pre-med, CS+X)
Stanford (Great pre-med, business, CS+X, close by family)
Harvard (the people!)
Yale (the school spirit)
Princeton (how multiple minors are encouraged!)
UPenn (Wharton dual degree)
WashU (Close to home)
Notre Dame (Close to home, school spirit)
Vanderbilt (School spirit)
UChicago (Close to home, great international affairs/business program)
UW-Madison (In-state, almost-free)
Dartmouth (Nature and fitness!)
Brown
Cornell
Duke (School spirit!)
CalTech (the people, academics, professors, California)
MIT (the people, the academics, the professors)
Pomona (California)
Columbia (NYC, many opportunities, dual degree with university in France)
Barnard (access to Columbia's resources, a comodary of women)
Rice (Great pre-med)
Harvey Mudd (insane comp sci)
Carnegie Mellon (so many comp sci opportunities)
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Replies to: Help me shorten my college list!

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,766 Senior Member
    Are finances an issue at all? I personally would not pay OOS tuition for Berkeley. If you care about school spirit in terms of sports culture, I’d drop Caltech, and probably Mudd (which I actually think is an amazing school, my D is a graduate, but if you want school spirit around sports, it isn’t a big thing there). MIT and UChicago — also missing that. I don’t see MIT, Caltech, and Mudd as places where you’ll find a lot of people deep into politics and the economy, either.
  • JBSeattleJBSeattle Registered User Posts: 752 Member
    Your stats are excellent so you should have a choice of schools.
    I agree with intparent. Your best fits from your list seem to be: Duke, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Stanford, USC and UW Madison. Boom, there are your 6! Maybe keep another 2 that really intrigue you. I would keep UW Madison if you are happy with it as a “just in case the world blows up” option since these are all Uber competitive schools.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 1,973 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    I’m not sure why people are saying to drop UC Berkeley. From the looks of her school list, she can afford the OOS costs. It almost looks like you people are saying that $65K isn’t worth it for a elite public school, but $75K is worth it for a not as high-ranking private school?

    If you are looking to fit in culture wise as an Asian, well no school will beat Berkeley on your list since the school is almost 50% Asian. No school will beat Berkeley in ranking for CS, it is in the Big 4. And very few schools will top the Haas business school.

    That’s my homer rant for today.
  • JBSeattleJBSeattle Registered User Posts: 752 Member
    @ProfessorPlum168
    UCB will cost an out of state student $65K a year. The "not as good" private could cost far less with potential aid/scholarships. The UC system is excellent for in state students but tough to justify for an out of state student because if they are able to get in then they probably have some other excellent and far cheaper options. I told my D not to apply to any of the UC's because of that and i think she would get in to some of them. She is applying to Cal Poly which is still $40K a year but another great school and $100K is $100K!
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 612 Member
    @intparent " I don’t see MIT, Caltech, and Mudd as places where you’ll find a lot of people deep into politics and the economy, either" Don't know about Caltech and Mudd, but MIT's economics department is exceptionally well regarded. Admittedly - I'm not sure how much that translates into everyday undergrad conversation, but it just seemed an odd comment to me given the quality of academic economics at MIT, so I thought I'd mention that...
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,766 Senior Member
    Assuming Econ falls under social sciences in the Common Data Set, 3% of MIT grads major in a social sciences area. That is a pretty small group.
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 612 Member
    Interesting it's so low, considering MIT is usually ranked at or near the top of graduate economics programs. I have no idea what % of grads those are either tbh.
  • anon145anon145 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    drop any out of state public school since the out of state tuition isn't worth it. If you decide you want to be pre-med you want the school with the most grade inflation and drop the deflation schools (CMU, chicago, etc..)
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,766 Senior Member
    If you are serious about pre-med, you should consider spending less on undergrad so you can borrow less for med school. And agree that many these are hard schools to get the needed GPA for med school.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 1,762 Senior Member
    If money is not a problem you just described University of Michigan.. It has all you want. With your stats you might get some money. They do support OOS depending on your needs. Sorry to add to your list.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,294 Senior Member
    Of course my family is partial to Berkeley (2018) and Pomona (2020), but ask your college counselor to help you narrow your list. If you have one safety school you'd be thrilled to attend if that's your only admission, one safety is enough. Then pick maybe 9 more. Good Luck!
  • pickledgingerpickledginger Registered User Posts: 462 Member
    The OP said she couldn't afford to apply to all the schools on her list, so it seems likely that full pay would be a hardship . . . .

    I hope she is considering the challenge of writing so many essays, and how difficult most applicants would find it to come up with tailored responses for so many schools, as well as just wanting to reduce the cost of applications.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 4,057 Senior Member
    I suggest grouping the schools into super reaches, reaches, matches, and safeties, and then prune the categories that have a lot of schools. Right now, I know that you have a lot of super reaches: Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Cal Tech, Dartmouth, Brown. Others might be in this category, too. The majority of the rest are probably reaches. Pick two or three super reaches and two or three reaches. Madison is either a safety or a match; definitely leave it on your list. If you'd be happy going to Madison, you probably don't need another safety.
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