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Safety Schools for Political Science

boichoiboichoi 7 replies1 threads New Member
Hello,
I am a current Senior in highschool, and am in the process of researching and applying for colleges. I want to major in Political Science/government, and am planning on applying to many well known reach schools. Although I was looking around and doing research, I could not find any schools that are true safety schools that match my stats and preference.

My stats are:

3.9/4.0 Unweighted GPA
1550 SAT

I believe I have decent extracurricular activities, ranging from court internships, City Council campaigns, Student Government, and Boys State.

Although my preference would be a campus located near a big urban city, I want to do more research on small, liberal arts colleges that are strong in political science and have programs in that field. I understand my stats are high, but there are many schools I could still get rejected from (Like Georgetown), so I would appreciate schools where I have at 70% chance of getting accepted. Any help/advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Replies to: Safety Schools for Political Science

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78992 replies701 threads Senior Member
    How much will your parents pay?

    State of residency?
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 24
    For a LAC with several concentration options within the general field of government and a long-established D.C. program, look into Hamilton:

    https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/offcampusstudy/washington-program

    https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/departments/Home?dept=Government

    Though Hamilton registers a 16% overall acceptance rate, your chances for admission could be substantially higher.

    With respect to additional schools in/near urban areas, consider George Washington and American.

    URichmond might also suit your interests.
    edited November 24
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78992 replies701 threads Senior Member
    merc81 wrote: »
    Though Hamilton registers a 16% overall acceptance rate, your chances for admission could be substantially higher.

    With respect to additional schools in/near urban areas, consider George Washington and American.

    Somehow, it does not seem like any of these three schools would be a "safety" (basically 100% chance of admission, and that is not even considering affordability which needs also to be 100%) as the OP requested.

    Note that GWU and American do not like "overqualified" applicants using them as apparent "safeties" (resulting in waitlist or rejection in many cases). An "overqualified" applicant has to somehow show a high enough level of interest to convince them that they are top choices, not merely backups behind Georgetown and others.
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 24
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    merc81 wrote: »
    Though Hamilton registers a 16% overall acceptance rate, your chances for admission could be substantially higher.

    With respect to additional schools in/near urban areas, consider George Washington and American.

    Somehow, it does not seem like any of these three schools would be a "safety" (basically 100% chance of admission, and that is not even considering affordability which needs also to be 100%) as the OP requested.

    Actually, the OP requested suggestions for colleges at which he might have "at 70% chance of getting accepted." Though the typo leaves ambiguity, the schools I recommended might fall into this range with a sincerely crafted application. For that matter, I'd say Georgetown might as well, depending on the unstated aspects of the OP's qualifications.
    edited November 24
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  • vonlostvonlost 18830 replies14698 threads Super Moderator
    Look at various schools' Common Data Set for those where your stats are above the 75th percentile (eg, see section C9).
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  • MWolfMWolf 1797 replies11 threads Senior Member
    You really need to look at your school's Naviance scattergrams, since, when we're talking about high stats kids applying to colleges with acceptance rates between 40% and 60%, this is often dependent on the colleges.

    There were colleges that had relatively low acceptance rates, which we considered as safeties for my kid, even though they had below 50% acceptance rates, since no applicants from my kid;s school with stats that were close to hers had been rejected for the previous three years. On the other hand, there were colleges with acceptance rates that were similar which were rejecting about 1/3 of the applicants with similar stats as my daughter.

    So George Washington University could conceivably be a safety for you. Or not.

    Looking at your stats, I would check out colleges with acceptance rates of 45% or higher, which are in your state or adjacent states.
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 24
    McGill is strong in your field of interest, fits your setting preference, and can serve as a relatively predictable admit for highly qualified applicants.

    Macalester, Dickinson, Holy Cross, Connecticut College and Vassar are LACs you could explore. Macalester resides in a city; Vassar is relatively accommodating for male applicants. All of these schools offer strong programs in government.

    The University of Wisconsin is an example of a state university that matches most of your preferences.
    edited November 24
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34779 replies392 threads Senior Member
    American and GW won't autoreject a kid with poli sci interests and ECs. The question is whether the ECs are enough. Lots of areas offer "court internships" for teens. Some are work, some just observing. Depends on what he/she did in the campaigns, whether this is stretch versus show up and clock the hours.
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    Trinity (CT) is another LAC in a city that you could research.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4032 replies27 threads Senior Member
    In terms of more likely acceptances, Denison has a strong Poli Sci department, with the Lugar Program which includes a focus on either US or International politics. For internships, Denison is about 25-30 min from downtown Columbus , Ohio, the state capital. Acceptance rate was 29% last year.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3438 replies11 threads Senior Member
    Drake U is located in a state capital and attracts poli sci majors.
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  • gummybear202gummybear202 27 replies6 threads Junior Member
    American University and George Washington University are solid safety schools considering your SAT scores. You may also get money because they are private.
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  • bubblytacobubblytaco 259 replies43 threads Member
    I also want to point out that people should also apply to financial safeties as well. I think most people don't realize the amount of the plus loan interest is 7% and when they prepare a financial aid package it is only for a year. Also, look to see schools scholarship policies, some schools i know will cap the number of scholarships and will take away aid! Be careful please!
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  • bubblytacobubblytaco 259 replies43 threads Member
    What is the field you are going into? Do you have a backup?
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  • boichoiboichoi 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited November 24
    Some more background:

    I come from low income background, with around $50,000 AGI for a family of 5. I am a resident in California, but preferably want to go to schools out of state. I realize that money is an issue as well, so schools that meet close of 100% of financial aid (therefore private schools) would be better.

    Thank you so much for the advice so far, I will look into all of them.
    edited November 24
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 24
    This site can be convenient for estimating costs, especially for private colleges, of which several of those included might be particularly suitable for you: https://myintuition.org/.
    edited November 24
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  • aquaptaquapt 2095 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Are you URM and/or 1stGen?

    As a high-stats/low-income Californian, your natural fallback is to stay in-state. I can't imagine that you will lack good options in the UC and CSU systems if you apply to a well-chosen range of those schools. I understand that you'd like to go OOS, and ideally you'll end up with an even better financial package (a no-loan package would be best-case!) from a well-endowed reach school, than what you'd get from a public university in-state. But the question to ask yourself is, where does your in-state backup set the bar? There's no point in "safeties" that wouldn't improve upon your in-state options in terms of affordability, reputation, and student experience. I'm not sure you really need "true safeties" outside of CA - you just need some less-reachy match schools that you prefer to the UC's and top CSU's.

    I agree that Macalester is worth a close look, as an urban LAC that meets 100% of demonstrated need. Reed, in Portland OR, has a distinctive personality that students tend to either love or hate, but if you're looking for intellectual intensity in an urban LAC, it should be on the list to check out. Grinnell is decided not urban but it's an excellent school with very generous need-based aid.

    The OOS public flagships that would give you need-based aid - UMichigan, UVA, and UNC Chapel Hill - are also very competitive for OOS, but you're very well-qualified so they're worth considering. UVA is some distance from DC but is still well-connected in terms of opportunities.

    Swarthmore and Haverford are an easy 20-minute train ride outside of Philadelphia, and are excellent destinations for low-income students (good diversity, generous aid, and a very all-inclusive experience where you wouldn't face daily stress over spending money). If Tufts isn't already on your reach list, that's a good one to consider also. If you like Georgetown, other Jesuit colleges to consider would include Boston College, Fordham, and Holy Cross. (BC and Holy Cross meet full need; Fordham does not guarantee full-need-met aid, but has some big scholarships that you'd have a shot at.) Emory could be another worthy target, particularly if you're interested in the quantitative/big-data aspects of poli sci, as they have a top-notch program in that area.

    Denison is another good school (good FA not guaranteed but likely) for poli sci + data analytics and or PPE - Philosophy, Politics, & Economics . Davidson and Dickinson are two more excellent, full-need-met schools that often aren't on the radar of west coasters. URichmond's PPEL program (PPE + Law) could be of interest, and Tulane has several variations on poli sci and political economics.

    I know you may not be looking at in-state private options, but if you'd consider LAC's in SoCal, the Claremont Colleges deserve a look as well.

    Did you apply EA to Georgetown?
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  • aquaptaquapt 2095 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Nobody has said that Gtown is a safety - OP has said that he's applied and knows it's a reach. I just wondered whether he applied EA, such that he could potentially have an offer next month.

    And I explained why I was not suggesting true safeties. There are few true safeties that are also financial safeties, and I can't think of any that would make sense to choose over OP's best options in the UC/CSU system. Some possible safeties would be safeties only if he applied ED (for example, St. Olaf admits 80% of ED applicants and meets need for virtually all of them), and OP is clearly not going to preempt his reach schools with a binding ED app to a safety. (On the other hand, he could definitely consider a binding EDII app to another reach school that offers that option, if he applied EA to Gtown and isn't accepted in December.)

    (In reality, St. Olaf is probably a safety, or at least low-match, for OP even in the RD cycle, so it might be worth considering, but in terms of the MN LAC's he sounds like more of a Macalester kind of guy.)

    Colgate is a good suggestion that's on a par with other match schools that have been mentioned.

    OP would need to take on a modest amount of debt as a UC student. IMO he should not consider any option that would increase his debt-load compared to that baseline. The goal should be to do better than that baseline, financially, as well as to prefer the school and location over his UC options. If we filter for that goal, the schools considered are all going to be matches-to-reaches. That's just the reality. And that's okay because he has good safeties in-state.
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  • xhaavicxhaavic 139 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Agree with the Holy Cross, Trinity recos. And not safeties by any means, but I would take a hard look at Claremont McKenna (and Pomona) if SoCal could be a possibility.
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