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MOVED: Unmotivated because my college fate has already probably been decided

junior566junior566 1 replies2 threads New Member
*I moved this to this forum because it seems more pertinent here.

So I am a junior in high school, and at the end of a somewhat dismal sophomore year, I ended with a cumulative 3.666 UW GPA, and 4.3 W GPA. Not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely not what I'm aiming for.
Now that I'm about half way through Junior year, I have done calculations and determined that my cumulative UW GPA after this year will be ~3.8, but probably more like 3.77 (not sure exactly how accurate my calculations are). I haven't gotten SAT results yet, but I feel I did well enough on my first round to land in the 1480-1560 range eventually. Even with my current 3.666, I am in the top 10% of my class (regular public school).

I am aiming to apply to some reach schools, like Tufts, Bowdoin, Northwestern, Cornell, Vandy, etc. but of course getting in there is difficult for almost everyone. Even if I did get in, I live in a state with a very good state school (UF), and I will (assuming I get in) get a full ride to it (I completed a full level bright futures scholarship which guarantees a full ride to any state school).
The problem is, I absolutely hate the state of Florida.
I have wanted to leave this God awful, hot, swampy, flat piece of crap place for my entire life, and I truly believed I would, until my sophomore GPA dropped, making all my reach schools just a little bit more of a reach. Plus, I hadn't considered the true implications of a full ride, and seeing as my parents are pretty much average in the income department, an out of state school might just not be practical for me, unless I were to get into like Harvard or something, though I can be pretty confident that that will most likely not happen.
I just sometimes find myself losing interest in the whole process, because I have a sense in the back of my mind that I'll inevitably end up at UF.

I really hope I don't come off as ungrateful in this, I know a lot of people would kill to have a full ride to a good state school like UF, and I'm sorry if it comes off the wrong way -- I just really do not want to go there, and I'm looking for advice on how to adjust my outlook/possible alternatives. Thanks!
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Replies to: MOVED: Unmotivated because my college fate has already probably been decided

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79714 replies712 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    The better you do in high school, the better you will do in college. If you attend UF, the better you do, the faster you will graduate and be able to move out of Florida if that is your goal (e.g. you may be able to to graduate in 7.5 or even 6.5 semesters instead of the usual 8.5 semesters if you overload and/or bring in AP, IB, or college credit).

    Conversely, if you slack off now in high school:

    * Your grades may drop, so you may not get into UF, so you may have to go to another Florida public with fewer out of state recruiters coming by.
    * You may be worse prepared for college, which can result in taking more than 8.5 semesters to graduate, resulting in extra cost and delaying moving out of Florida.

    Note: 8.5 semesters nominal includes 0.5 as the required summer session in Florida public universities.
    edited December 2019
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5859 replies1 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    UF is known as a very good university even outside of Florida. If you get a degree there then that degree will be respected up here where I live (at least 1,000 miles north of you -- no alligators here but we are currently trying to get rid of a lot of snow).

    If you can keep your GPA up then you will be able to get accepted to some of the universities up here. Which ones make sense might depend upon what you can afford. There are many schools such as UNH and U.of Maine where a 3.666 unweighted GPA is fine. Finances might make it more sensible to first get your degree at UF, and then move up here.

    Doing well in high school now will improve your chances of getting into a range of good universities, and at many schools will improve your chances of merit aid (which you might need to be able to afford an out of state school). Doing well in high school will also make you much better prepared to do well in university. What you will learn in university really is dependent upon what you are learning now in high school.
    edited December 2019
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23655 replies17 threads Senior Member
    BF is not a full ride but tuition, fees and a book stipend. You still have to pay for room and board, travel, incidentals.

    It is not easy to get into UF and not all BF recipients get in, so you are not guaranteed a full ride to any public school in Florida. UF is holistic admissions; if they sense you aren't interested in UF, they will move on to the next application.

    Can you afford Bates, Tufts, Vandy?
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29904 replies178 threads Senior Member
    Help your parents run the Net Price Calculators at the websites of all of the places on your list. If they don't own a business or a property other than the family home, the NPCs should be reasonably accurate. When all of you can see all of those numbers, all of you will have a better notion of which places are reasonable for you to keep on your list, and which you can kick to the curb now.

    Your GPA is more than just decent. If your SAT or ACT score falls into that same range there are institutions outside of FL that might have at least some merit aid for you. Go spend some time in the Financial Aid Forum and read the threads on that topic.
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  • RayMantaRayManta 217 replies8 threads Junior Member
    My kids despise Florida, too--your description of the state sounds a lot like my 14-year-old's. Isn't BF accepted at the Georgia public universities?
    At any rate, I think you'd be a solid candidate at many out of state schools, and you may be offered more aid than you think. Don't give up hope.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35105 replies398 threads Senior Member
    If you're just basing your self assessment on stats, you're waaay off (for those alternate targets.) That's your roadblock, a big one. And within your control to fix.

    You make this sound oh so sad. How about digging into what it takes to get into those OOS privates, all of it? A pre-formed neg attitude is self defeating and not the energy they want.

    If you're serious.

    And along the way, find reasonable, affordable safeties. Check net costs.
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  • merc81merc81 10805 replies173 threads Senior Member
    Check costs, then see where you stand:

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  • Jon234Jon234 370 replies10 threads Member
    Don't throw the towel in. They are good scores. I have the same feelings about Florida too. Others love it. Be a shame if we all liked the same things. Explore your options. Nothing is going to be handed to you. Your applications will be so much more than GPA and SAT. What are you up to outside of the classroom? What do you want to do besides get out of Florida? Stay the course. You have ability, don't throw it away. The only one who gets hurt if you do is you.
    Skidmore, Trinity, Connecticut College, Holy Cross?
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  • TdoesCollegeTdoesCollege 140 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @jon234 - love this:

    Be a shame if we all liked the same things

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  • bjscheelbjscheel 631 replies5 threads Member
    Sure, check out/try for some other possibilities in other locations and see if they can work for your budget.

    In the meantime, try to adjust your attitude toward staying in-state. My daughter and I had lots of discussions about the cost of schools in her desired locales and whether the cache of attending 32 months of school in a "cool" place was worth hocking the next 10+ years of her life with loans.

    Is there something magical about another state that will make everything better? Cooler weather, perhaps, but my DD will tell you trekking across campus in wind and freezing cold is no joy either.

    I know she felt like her fate was already decided too when the school less than 2 hours away was the only one to meet her extensive want list and her budget. But the more she visited it, talked to alumni, reviewed the course offerings in the catalog, met prospective classmates, etc. the more she came around and she's loving it there now. Look for the good in UF/Florida and see if you can change your mindset, in case other options don't work out.
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  • HapworthHapworth 571 replies0 threads Member
    edited December 2019

    If you do get into a tippy-top school like Bowdoin, the school will meet 100% of demonstrated need, and loans will not be part of the package. Yes, your family will pay what the school deems that it should pay, but perhaps your family is willing to do so if the choice is between Bright Futures at UF and admission to a tippy-top school elsewhere.

    Also, start researching schools that offer significant merit money (read: scholarships). Your best chance is to find an OOS public school (U of Alabama likes OOS applicants) or a private school that offers merit (LACs are on your list, so look through the Colleges That Change Lives schools--it's a book and a non-profit organization--since nearly all off these schools offer merit money).

    Your GPA is on an upward trend, and if other parts of your application are rock solid (test scores, essay, letters of rec, ECs), you might--I say "might--be competitive for some schools' higher merit awards, which might--again, I say "might"--bring down total costs to a level where leaving FL and BF won't seem so crazy. Rule of thumb: you'll earn the most merit at schools where you are a significant cut above the typical admit. These will be excellent schools academically but not the tippy-top schools on your current list, which do not offer merit scholarships.

    If not, go to UF and take advantage. Remember, too, that kids from the northeast flock down here (I'm in FL) because they love, love, love the idea of FL (though I'm with you: the never-ending heat from May to November is too much for me). You'll be fine. That said, you probably do have options OOS, but you'll need to find them.
    edited December 2019
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  • gummybear202gummybear202 37 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    If you truly want to get out of Florida, I would advise to apply to lower ranked schools where you can get a lot of merit scholarships. Otherwise, any out of state public or private school will be no where near as cheap as UF because you got a full scholarship.

    You need to consider which you value more. You could go to UF, work really hard, graduate early and get into a great OOS grad school which your parents will probably be more likely to pay because you went to undergrad for free.

    This is a big decision but you do have time to think about it. It is still the beginning of the year. You have time.
    edited December 2019
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