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Should I apply to Gettysburg or Dickinson?

Thunderbird28Thunderbird28 9 replies2 threads New Member
Hey all-- I'm currently debating whether I should apply to Gettysburg, or Dickinson. I know the schools are very similar academically, though Dickinson is currently ranked higher in the U.S. Rankings. I was hoping for an outsider's perspective if possible.

I have toured both Dickinson & Gettysburg College, and interviewed at Gettysburg.

According to my school's Naviance, I have a decent shot at getting in, as I'm above the scattergrams for both.

I have a 1350 SAT superscored, and I think a 3.8W GPA (my school goes off the 100 scale, so my GPA is written as 91 UW, 96 W). My unweighted is likely a 3.65.

I'm currently undecided, but leaning towards Political Science. Not planning on being a lawyer, though I know Dickinson has much higher rates of acceptance for graduate schools (above 90% for both med and law, vs. Gettysburg at 88%).

I'm aware Dickinson has a well-established study abroad program, though Gettysburg is actually ranked #1 in study abroad in PA at the moment.

I'm wary of Greek Life, and know Dickinson has a slightly less Greek presence, but after touring Gettysburg I feel that Gettysburg's Greek life scene isn't overwhelming.

**Two big caveats:

-My brother has committed to Dickinson for athletics, and I'm not sure I want to go to the same school as him (we are triplets).

-Gettysburg meets 100% of demonstrated need and does not require non-CSS profile, Dickinson does not meet 100% of need and requires CSS for non-custodial parents.

My parents are divorced and my EFC based upon my custodial parent's FAFSA (Mom) is $7,000. My Dad cannot afford to pay full price tuition for college for 3 kids at once, despite what his finances may suggest.



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Replies to: Should I apply to Gettysburg or Dickinson?

  • jym626jym626 56023 replies2918 threads Senior Member
    Whats the harm in applying to both? That said, if you really DO NOT want to go to school with your sibling, there is your answer.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1088 replies30 threads Senior Member
    edited November 18
    Is there a reason you wouldn't apply to both and see where the finances come in? My d much preferred Dickinson, though Gettysburg did give her a better merit award. She wasn't crazy about the party/frat reputation, which seemed worse than than the average school. In the end, she didn't choose either.
    edited November 18
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  • Thunderbird28Thunderbird28 9 replies2 threads New Member
    I just figure there's no point in applying to Dickinson if it's going to be really expensive. I wouldn't HATE going to school with him, but still not sure I want to follow him to college.

    My brother's going to be paying $55k at Dickinson, and he's planning on going to law school. My Dad said that my brother will likely have to take out some loans for undergrad, and that my brother will have to pay for law school by himself.

    Gettysburg seems like they'll give me more money for around the same caliber of education
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1088 replies30 threads Senior Member
    I understand the sibling thing. If you liked Gettysburg, think it'll be a good fit, and expect a better award, then I don't really see a reason to apply to Dickinson. Are you applying to other schools as well?
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  • Thunderbird28Thunderbird28 9 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks for the input! And yup, I've applied to several other schools:

    In terms of LACs, I've applied Bucknell RD and the University of Richmond EA (my reach). My second reach is Northeastern, but I don't expect to get in.

    For in-state, I applied to The College of New Jersey.

    In addition, I've applied EA to Pitt and SUNY Binghamton OOS.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1088 replies30 threads Senior Member
    I like your list, lots of good options!
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5946 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I'd apply to both - they both have lots to recommend them. DS got more generous merit at Gettysburg. Make sure you visit your top choices in the spring for admitted student days. It'll be easier to assess the overall vibe - a lot more will be available.
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  • TheodenTheoden 228 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Excellent list.

    Apply to both! Dickinson may not be as generous.

    Along the same lines there are excellent Liberal Arts Colleges in PA that are FAFSA only or FAFSA + CSS (custodial parent only)

    These may serve as academic and financial safeties. (FYI -Allegheny is very generous)

    Allegheny
    Ursinus
    Muhlenberg
    Juniata
    Washington and Jefferson
    Susquehanna

    Don't be too influenced by ratings. Allegheny, Ursinus and Juniata are featured in the book Colleges that Change lives. You can get an excellent education with a decent merit scholarship at any one of these I listed above.


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  • DexterTomDexterTom 30 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited November 19
    Gettysburg doesn’t meet 100% of the demonstrated need. Who told you that?
    edited November 19
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  • Thunderbird28Thunderbird28 9 replies2 threads New Member
    Think I got confused reading their financial aid policies because they were listed on a bunch of "100% demonstrated need" college lists. However, according to one site Gettysburg meets at least 90% of need (http://www.thecollegesolution.com/schools-that-meet-100-of-financial-need-2/)
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  • Thunderbird28Thunderbird28 9 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for the suggested list of LACs! I actually have a cousin at Muhlenberg right now but haven't gotten around to visiting.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2556 replies36 threads Senior Member
    edited November 19
    Think I got confused reading their financial aid policies because they were listed on a bunch of "100% demonstrated need" college lists. However, according to one site Gettysburg meets at least 90% of need (http://www.thecollegesolution.com/schools-that-meet-100-of-financial-need-2/)

    Use the common data sets (CDS) to get a feel for financial aid at a given school. Gettysburg met 90% of need ON AVERAGE for freshmen, per the 2018/19 CDS - see line H2 (i) https://www.gettysburg.edu/offices/institutional-analysis/common-data-set/

    Averages can be limited in their usefulness, and the numbers can be manipulated, such as by excluding some types of loans, as in the example above. The important thing is that many schools, including those mentioned on this thread, will meet 100% of the need of the students they really want to attend.
    edited November 19
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  • Thunderbird28Thunderbird28 9 replies2 threads New Member
    *To add on, Gettysburg wouldn't be looking at my father's finances.

    My Dad makes $100k+ a year, so I think in the end the financial aid package is going to be much bigger at Gettysburg vs. Dickinson, since Gettysburg does not consider non-custodial parent income at all in their packages.

    Dickinson does, so unless I get decent merit there I would be paying a lot more money. I guess I'm just really worried about the financial aspect. I liked Dickinson when I visited, but I'm not sure it's worth the price tag
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5946 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Why don't you wait until you know the price tags on each? Iow, apply to both and decide when you have concrete data. If you speculate, you are almost certain to be wrong!
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