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Is this "Apply-To" List Balanced?

Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
I am following up on a previous thread looking to balance D21 Apply To List. Lots of good input last time to adjust our expectations and she has also done some soul searching (and college visits) and has a more refined understanding of what she wants from college. We still have one visit left and I would appreciate your thoughts on a.) is this list shaping up a realistic way and 2.) thoughts on our still to visit list. Thank you.

Stats:
UWGPA 3.95/ WGPA ~4.5
Full IB Diploma Candidate (4 HLs,2 SLs)
SAT: M670/V780 (retaking in May and focusing on Math-- expects to raise to about 720)
No SAT Subjects. Will not be taking. Focus now is on IB exams.
Took two APs before starting IB, both 5s.

ECs: (by Sr Year)
7 years martial arts training. Black Belt, certified instructor, performance team.
3 yrs Varsity Track and Field
2 yrs Art club (Likely President Sr. year)
2 yrs Hip Hop performance club
2 years volunteering weekly (org for women escaping domestic violence)
2 summer programs on college campuses (one art, one women's leadership)
TBD this summer-- either an internship she applied for or a service trip to Mexico with church
Paid job ~5-10 hour weekly for 3 years as a martial arts instructor
She changed schools after Soph year-- MUCH better fit now and she's quite engaged on campus.

Other:
Not applying for financial aid
White, female, large public HS, CA resident.
Likely major: a social science of some sort
Will apply ED is there's a clear front runner (currently Barnard).

Schools:
Lewis & Clark (safety I think-- visiting in Feb but we are very familiar with the school and area already)
Whitman (also safety-- legacy, large donor)
Occidental (Match)
Pitzer (Reach)
Barnard (Reach)

Still to Visit (maybe):
Smith (match)
Boston Univ. (reach)
Tufts (reach)
Brown (reach)
Is there any point in visiting Brown? Would she be considered a viable candidate? I know its a long shot even if she is considered qualified. But if not, why bother.....

She has liked schools with vibrant community feel, extroverted active and happy students that have a life beyond academics, relationships with profs, opportunities for either research or internships (doesn't have to be during school year.) She wants a rigorous academic environment but not one that unnecessarily induces stress/competitiveness among students. She cannot be in a super rural isolated setting. Whitman pushes that boundary for sure.

No she is not applying to UCs.
Visited and discarded: Bryn Mawr, Georgetown, GWU, American, Haverford, Scripps, UPenn.



18 replies
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Replies to: Is this "Apply-To" List Balanced?

  • BostonKnowsBostonKnows 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Demonstrated leadership will be very important at top schools --high school sports teams, community organizations, clubs, etc. "Show don't tell" how her contributions changed/helped people. Look around for opportunities now so it won't look like a last-minute idea to improve her application.

    Don't think the summer program in Mexico will add much to her application--they are short term and require only a parent writing a check to participate. Summer college programs are overrated and big money makers for the colleges, but students rarely benefit.

    Can she get involved with a meaningful community service project locally? If she can make a big impact she could ask for a nice letter of recommendation. Boston University is likely a match.

    Are you applying for financial aid? If so, ramp up even more leadership and noteworthy community service projects.

    Best of luck!
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14869 replies1005 threads Senior Member
    edited December 3
    Boston University is a match, not a reach.
    edited December 3
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    She will have 2.5 years of continued service with a local org whose mission she cares about. I imagine she could get a letter of rec. from the director. The Mexico trip is not a check writing program-- it is free and supported through faith based orgs. But it is obviously short term.

    She has been a leader in her dojo for several years. She was volunteer, but now that she is certified she gets paid. She has worked her way up through different titles that could be mapped onto related school sports leadership titles.

    And she will have whatever she chooses to do for her IB CAS requirement.

    Is this enough? She has only a few hours a week to work with during school terms. IB is very very time consuming.


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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    Can anyone comment further on the school list. She is who she is. Not going to change much at this point. The school list is easier to modify.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7810 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Your D's SAT needs to come up if Brown is going to be worth an application. They also recommend SAT II subject tests.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2546 replies36 threads Senior Member
    edited December 3
    I think her ECs are fine. Regarding the list I might drop Brown if her SAT score does not increase to 1500+. The rest of the list seems good and categorized correctly.

    You said Whitman pushes the boundaries of remoteness....would she attend if that's the only option? Would she be happy to attend Lewis and Clark? If so, I am not sure she needs to add more schools.

    Other ideas might include (note I didn't refer back to your other thread): Santa Clara, Villanova, BC, Holy Cross, U Richmond, Lehigh, Fordham, Miami Ohio, Macalester.

    edited December 3
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    I agree that Brown and Tufts are not worth applications if her Math doesn't come up as expected.

    Whitman and L&C are likely admits for her, and I think she would be happy at either. She loved Whitman the school. Walla Walla the location less so but it was acceptable. Portland is great, and she is visiting L&C in Feb. Her cousin graduated there recently so he he has talked it up.

    I did try to talk her into Macalester. She might apply sight unseen. We'll see. She has misconceptions about the midwest and we will not have an opportunity to visit.


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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1083 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Did she look at University of Rochester? Pretty much fits what she's looking for in a school.
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    taverngirl I will suggest it. It looks really cold up there. Maybe not much worse than Boston?
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  • woopenwoopen 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Tulane?
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    Thanks everyone-- sounds like this list is fairly reasonable pending SAT outcomes. I don't think it needs to get bigger as long as she remains positive on Whitman and L&C. With three kids I feel like we're going to have several years straight where every vacation is spent touring college. Whew!
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  • melvin123melvin123 1581 replies21 threads Senior Member
    It sounds like she will apply ED to Barnard, which means she will be applying RD to the reach schools, which means that they are an even further reach. My point is that she might want to add some more match schools.
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    Barnard is a reach school too. And there's also ED2 (not at Barnard though). I wouldn't be surprised if Smith ends up in her top 1-2. It is a match.
    2 Likely/Safety
    3 Match (incl. BU based on feedback here)
    4 Reach

    Still more Reaches? They are hard to find just b/c acceptance rates are so low. I will suggest Macalester, Mount Holyoke, and reconsider GWU (previously on the list and she goes back and forth on this one).
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  • RockySoilRockySoil 151 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I wouldn't waste the time/money to visit Brown because the odds are so heavily against admission (for everyone) and they don't track demonstrated interest. If she gets in then she'll have a month and a half to visit to see if she likes it.

    Until I read that she didn't really like rural, I was thinking Whitman was the perfect fit for her. Have you talked to her about the pros and cons of the "small school in out-of-the-way places" since at least one of you is a Whitman grad? She'll probably be in the city/suburbs the rest of her life, and the small "bubble" schools seem to create lifelong friendships and very tight alumni groups. And her desire for strong relationships with dynamic profs and opportunities for internships is the LAC wheelhouse. L&C is also a great option if Eastern Washington is a no-go.
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    I think she is good with Whitman. It's a good fit. I think she's going to like L&C too. It's a bit strange-- isolated but in a city. But she's the type that would make plans every weekend to get into PDX proper.

    We'll already be in Boston so may go to Brown anyway. My opinion is apply ED or not at all. I don't want her to apply ED sight unseen. But she may just decide to skip it-- not worth the effort for such unlikely payoff.
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  • HapworthHapworth 546 replies0 threads Member
    Though I've never been to Whitman, it's one of the schools that I most admire from afar. Schools in the Pacific NW often struggle to attract students outside the region (yield rates for PNW LACs are lower than one would expect (Willamette's is below 10%, I believe)). Whitman is a fine school. Anyhow, nice to see that the OP's high-achieving kid is open to her high matches/semi-safeties.
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  • Techno13Techno13 305 replies11 threads Member
    Haha! If Whitman were in Boston or even Seattle the acceptance rate would drop to 10% instantly. We just happened to be there visiting for an alumni event (grandparents are alums, not us) and were so amazed by the academic quality and beautiful campus that I took my D out there 3 weeks later. It was not on our radar for consideration before that. I do think west coast (non-CA) schools are underrated. Maybe its good to keep them a secret. Sshhhhh!
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  • HapworthHapworth 546 replies0 threads Member
    Techno13 wrote: »
    Haha! If Whitman were in Boston or even Seattle the acceptance rate would drop to 10% instantly.

    I believe that this is what the book CTCL says, though not in those words, of course. It's been a few years since I read the book, but I seem to remember the editor (no longer Loren Pope) saying something like Whitman is a bit more selective than most of the schools featured in CTCL, but because there's this sense that few people know about Whitman (even those who are aware of LACs), it's included in the book anyway.

    I slightly disagree that Whitman's acceptance rate would drop significantly if it were in Seattle. Honestly, take a look at the yield rates for the PNW LACs. People love the idea of the PNW, but students from New England, the mid-Atlantic, and even the Midwest typically only head west if the destination is CA. The result is that Willamette, Lewis & Clark, U of Puget Sound, and Whitman (and even Reed to a certain extent) have yield rates that are sort of shockingly low. As an example, Cornell College in IA appears to have a higher yield rate (20%) than Whitman (16%).

    True, yield only matters to admissions offices (students and families rarely know or care about this, nor should they), and in other years, I believe, Whitman's yield has been higher (I also Googled the information, so perhaps the info is inaccurate?). But the point remains: Whitman should be a top destination but is seriously overlooked.

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