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I need help building my college list

All3spectrumzAll3spectrumz 4 replies2 threads New Member
Hi guys! I'm a first generation college student, whose parents are pretty much absent from the entire college process so if anyone could provide a little guidance here I would really appreciate it. I'm feeling pretty stuck right now, when it comes to my college options. I'm honestly wondering if it's even an option for me at this point. I will need financial aid, although I already know that I won't qualify for full aid. Previously, I was under the impression my parents would be able to contribute some money toward my tuition, but they have since made it clear they won't be helping me pay for any of it. Unfortunately, the college list I had was partly based on this assumption, so I had to remove almost all the colleges from my list. I attend a private boarding school on the east coast (although with financial aid), but my GPA is not all that high, and I do not have a lot of advanced classes, mostly due to the extreme gatekeeping my school practices when it comes to APs and Honors classes. As for my preferences, I would like a larger school (at least 10,000), and I am planning to major in some area of biological sciences (molecular biology or biochemistry). My ultimate goal is to attend medical school, so I would like for my undergrad school to have some type of advising program or at least a decent success rate for med school matriculation. I have had a lot of trouble finding these kinds of stats on the schools I have been researching though. I don't really have any specific location, except for not in California as it is too far from my home. If any of you have any insight to some colleges I should look into or consider I would really appreciate the help. Here are my stats more specifically:



GPA: 3.42 (weighted) this is as of the end of my junior year
Breakdown for each year:
Freshman: 3.45
Sophomore: 3.23
Junior: 3.59

APs - 1 AP, Biology (will be completed my senior year)
Honors - 3 Honors Classes, (the third completed my senior year also)

ECs:
Without being too specific, I am involved in two different leadership programs at my school. I also am involved in the community in other ways like tutoring. Some of my other ECs are STEM based as well.

Thanks for all of your input!
edited July 9
10 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: I need help building my college list

  • brantlybrantly 4319 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Have you taken the SAT or ACT yet?

    Just to confirm, you need full funding for college?

    What state do you live in?
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  • happy1happy1 24154 replies2424 threads Super Moderator
    Have you spoke to the college counselor at your boarding school?
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  • All3spectrumzAll3spectrumz 4 replies2 threads New Member
    @brantly Yes I have I forgot to mention that in my post, I got a 29 on my ACT. My residency is in Michigan.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6648 replies2 threads Senior Member
    edited July 8
    I am editing this since you gave your home state above. Do you know whether MSU meets full need for in-state students? It might be a reach with your GPA.

    "My ultimate goal is to attend medical school"

    Do you have any experience volunteering in a medical environment?

    The majority of students who arrive at university intending to go to medical school change their minds and never end up applying to medical school. The majority of students who apply to medical schools do not get accepted anywhere. This is a very tough path.

    One thing that discourages people from continuing to work towards medical school is how difficult premed classes are. I have two daughters neither of which are premed, but both of which have majors that overlap so that they find themselves in classes that are typically thought of as premed classes. I have heard several reports of tests and exams where the class average is in the 40's. To be fair I saw a bit of the same thing as a math major way back when I was in university.

    I like the fact that your junior year GPA is up a bit from earlier years. You should work hard to try to pull this up a bit more for your senior year.

    Given your financial situation, affordability is going to be your primary immediate issue. One thing to consider is to start at community college with the intention of transferring after two years to an in-state university. I do not know what impact this would have on medical school admissions.

    There are a lot of universities with very good premed programs.
    edited July 8
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  • All3spectrumzAll3spectrumz 4 replies2 threads New Member
    @happy1 Yes I have spoken to him, unfortunately I've gotten little to no help, so I'm pretty much on my own in this process
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  • brantlybrantly 4319 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Considering the pricing factor and that you'd like to go to medical school ($$$$), your best bet is to go to an in-state Michigan school. Are you from the UP by any chance? University of Michigan is always looking for motivated and ambitious students from the UP.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2062 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Are your parents willing to complete financial aid forms? How much (roughly) do you think they make? Would they be willing to let you live at home?
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  • All3spectrumzAll3spectrumz 4 replies2 threads New Member
    @Eeyore123 They are willing to fill out financial aid forms. I have also filled out multiple net price calculators, so I know a rough estimate of what colleges will be willing to give me. Living at home is not an option for me.
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  • boudersbouders 2722 replies188 threads Senior Member
    Keep in mind that you don't need to major in a biological science to get into med school. Study what interests you. If you are interested, your GPA will be higher. You will need a high GPA to get into med school. It is better to go to a lesser known state university and get a high GPA than to go to University of Michigan and get a low GPA.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9982 replies386 threads Senior Member
    Where you can go to college depends on your budget. Many grants are either need based or merit based, although some merit awards have need components. Are you eligible for any need based aid (like the Pell Grant or state grants)? It may be tough to find merit awards with your ACT and GPA. You can take the ~$5500/year federal student loan, but that won't go far.

    They are willing to fill out financial aid forms. I have also filled out multiple net price calculators, so I know a rough estimate of what colleges will be willing to give me. Living at home is not an option for me.
    Have your parents actually said you can't live at home and commute to an affordable school?

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