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Help Find a College - Daughter #2

lexluthor5lexluthor5 451 replies24 threads Member
We are back with help finding a college for daughter #2. Thanks in much part to the help we received here and a lot of hard work on everyone's part, daughter #1 is a currently happy sophomore at Grinnell College (if anyone cares, here's the thread https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/1800576-help-find-a-college-part-2-p1.html)

D2 is currently a junior in High School. Weighted GPA should wind up being around 91 (not sure how that converts exactly on 4.0 scale). She's planning on taking the ACT for the fist time in December, and thinks she can get a score in the high 20s and has a shot at a 30 on a good day. She's taking a mix of AP, Honors and standard level classes this year. As far as ECs, she'll have 2 years on Varsity kickline various community service type organizations. No leadership positions currently.

Current potential interest of study is psychology, but that could easily change.

Our budget is roughly $35K/year. We will not qualify for need based aid. Having gone through the process of needing merit based aid for D1, we know it's out there. D1s stats were much higher, but that doesn't mean there's not a different set of schools the D2 might get merit aid from.

D2 is very flexible and that's making finding a starting point much more difficult. We are on Long Island. Something at most 5-6 hours from home would be optimal, though we wouldn't rule out anywhere along the east coast or perhaps as far west as Ohio. She'd probably prefer a medium sized school (6K-20K), but wouldn't rule out a larger school. A school with good school spirit and some greek life would probably be best.

Obviously New York State schools would fit well within the budget. We think it's unlikely she'd get into Binghamton as it's incredibly competitive and Geneseo is probably a little small and also tough to get into. That leaves the rest and we are open to suggestions on which might be best. We also think she might fare better not being with so many kids from our area though.

Outside of the New York State schools, there are so many other options that we are not even sure where to start. Something like University of Rhode Island could be a good fit at $45K starting, if she has a reasonable shot of getting $10K merit aid According to their 2016-17 common data set H2A, 350 students who had no financial need received an average of $7094 in scholarships, so it seems, at first look, that it's at least possible University of Rhode Island could meed our budget, but the CDS doesn't always tell the story and maybe merit aid isn't a real possibility there, I don't know..

URI is really just a random example that we picked out of the air. Maybe there's a NYS school that's a perfect fit, a lesser known school out of NY or a giant school like Ohio State that she'll like and would meet the budget.

All suggestions and comments are most welcome! If people make some suggestions, we can provide feedback on those which may help us better find a target.









edited June 21
243 replies
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Replies to: Help Find a College - Daughter #2

  • TTGTTG 1663 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Maybe Miami of Ohio. It seems to fit all her criteria, though it is on the far side of Ohio (but closer than Grinnell). Right size, beautiful campus, seems like right fit for social life, etc. Here's a nice chart to give you an idea of the merit aid she might receive. I think a 91 would meet the GPA cutoff and note that admissions super-scores for admission AND merit aid. Note too Dec. 1 deadline for merit, which you probably know is true other places also.

    http://miamioh.edu/admission/merit-grid/

    Good luck!
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  • citymama9citymama9 2502 replies142 threads Senior Member
    From what I see here good merit can be found at many of those Colleges that Change Lives Schools. They tend to be smaller schools though. I also think the midwest and south has more merit aid than the Northeast.
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4490 replies49 threads Senior Member
    These schools may be too small for your D2's liking, but she could get some nice merit from them
    Muhlenberg
    Providence
    Loyola MD
    Providence
    High Point
    You may also want to check out JMU. No merit there, but the tuition is lower than the privates and it checks a lot of the boxes your D wants.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    How about St. Mary's College of Maryland? Public university in Maryland (not religious, the name is because it sits on the St. Mary's river). Gives merit aid to OOS students. OOS cost with tuition, room, board, and fees is about $42,700 right now. Here is an example of one of their scholarships:

    St. Mary's Academic Achievement Scholarship: OOS students typically awarded $5,000 - $15,000. Recipients of this award typically rank in the top 15% of their class, present a cumulative unweighted GPA exceeding 3.25, and achieve a combined SAT 1 score of 1100 or higher.

    Ah... but it would not meet her size requirements. But will leave this post in case anyone else is interested. :)
    edited November 2017
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  • techmom99techmom99 3516 replies6 threads Senior Member
    How wedded is she to psych? You are correct that there are many SUNY schools (about 62) and they range in size and course offerings and programs as well. I am also on LI and have looked into many of the SUNY schools for my kids over the past 10 years. Many of the SUNY's offer psych but they differ on their focuses. My youngest son was interested in psych at one point and I checked out a bunch of the programs. He's currently a freshman at a SUNY school but isn't doing psych.
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  • TTGTTG 1663 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Outside your geographic area, Elon University in NC also checks all of her boxes and would probably be accessible. Also a beautiful campus and very nice college year weather. The school has expanded enormously over the last few decades and evolved from a small regional LAC to an emerging national university. It attracts a lot of students from the northeast, so not overwhelmingly southern. She'd probably get aid, though I don't know how much.
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  • TTGTTG 1663 replies14 threads Senior Member
    And I completely agree Madison (JMU) would be a great choice, just might be a little above your budget with her being an OOS at a public university. I never hear a JMU student/alum say anything negative about their experience there.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3641 replies85 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    Women's colleges may be a great choice. Several offer great merit and they are more co-ed that it may at first appear, if your daughter is interested in that. Women's colleges are often part of a consortia that allows students to take classes at co-ed institutions and the women's college dorms often allow men to stay overnight.

    Mills is offering $28K tuition this year. It's a great nurturing school with cross registration at Berkeley as well an art school, and several other colleges https://www.mills.edu/

    Earlham (coed) may offer her some merit--amazing neuroscience classes (part of psych possibly) and great nurturing values. http://earlham.edu/

    Juniata (coed) offers merit to a lot of students and it's a nice school--average merit offered is $23K -- http://www.juniata.edu/

    Marist (coed) -- average merit offered is $9K -- https://www.marist.edu/

    Agnes Scott--cross registration at Emory and excellent academics with leadership-teaching programs -- $26K merit offered to about 20% of the admitted student body -- https://www.agnesscott.edu/

    Hollins -- $29K average award -- https://www.hollins.edu/

    Simmons has great health programs, in Boston, in the Fenway Consortium, $19K merit offered. -- http://www.simmons.edu/

    edited November 2017
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  • lexluthor5lexluthor5 451 replies24 threads Member
    edited November 2017
    @TTG Miami of Ohio is definitely in the right direction. It's a bit far, though we wouldn't yet rule it out for that (remember, D1 is in Iowa). Niche does point it out as a top party school with a top greek scene, which neither is a really a positive, but there are enough people there that I'm sure there's stuff for everyone. Their merit aid table looks interesting and possibly attainable, but I'm not really sure her stats would really qualify her for merit there, we'd need to look into that more. We'll probably keep a tab on Miami of Ohio for now. I know you mentioned Dec 1 for merit, I'm not sure if you were noting that because it's almost Dec 1, but we are looking at the Fall 2019 enrollment, so we have a full year.

    @citymama9 thank you for the suggestion, but most of those are small liberal arts schools. We are very familiar with many of them as that's what D1 was looking at. I do not think D2 would have a shot at merit at those schools either. She does not have the stats that D1 had.

    @wisteria100 thank you as well. I should have mentioned no schools with religious affiliation. Also, while we visited Muhlenberg with D1 and enjoyed our visit (love that cafeteria), it's also a small liberal arts school where she would most likely not get merit at (certainly not enough considering Muhlenberg starts at $65K). We did note JMU previously. I was unaware there's no merit at all though. At $40K COA, that's probably a bit above what we'd do unless there was something about it that she absolutely fell in love with. Why do you say there's no merit there? On their webpage and in their common data set, there's definitely merit. Is that only give to in-state students or am I reading something incorrectly?

    @intparent thank you was well, but yes, it's way too tiny. Surprised I never even heard that in the search for D1.

    @techmom99 she just "likes" pysch now. Who knows what she'll major in. We are struggling a bit with the NYS schools at the moment. If she were able to get into Binghamton, that would probably be a top option, unfortunately that's how all good students in the state feel and it's very hard to get in now and she most likely would not get in. On the other hand, the average stats for many of the other schools appear to be well below where she is. We are not really sure which ones to look at. Plus, going to a school where it's 1/2 Long Island kids doesn't thrill her either. But, I'm sure there's got to be a fit with so many schools and the price is right certainly. I'd be interested in hearing more of what you know.

    @TTG yes, Elon is a great school and they do give some merit, but very unlikely our daughter would qualify for much there. She might not even get accepted there. It's also a bit small and we also aren't certain if the Southern schools would really be a good fit.

    @TTG yes, JMU looks interesting. We need to uncover more schools with that type of profile in the budget range.

    @Dustyfeathers I don't think she'd be interested in women's only colleges. Most of the ones one your list are way too small. She is not interested in a small, liberal arts school like D1 was.

    I can't thank you all enough for the discussion and suggestions. The people in this forum were invaluable for D1 and I'm hoping it proves the same for D2. I'm looking forward to hearing more. Hopefully as people make suggestions and we reply, it'll help people be able to better target the right type of school.


    edited November 2017
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  • lexluthor5lexluthor5 451 replies24 threads Member
    edited November 2017
    I was also just looking at our rough list on the Naviance portal and see we had added University of Rhode Island, University of Vermont, University of Delaware and UMASS-Amherst. Vermont seems like it would definitely fall out of the price range though. Not sure about the others. URI stats are a bit lower than some of the others, but that's what it might take to get an out of state school into the price range.

    These are all on the list to investigate further and get an idea if the budget is attainable. It's always tough to try to gauge the potential of merit aid. We went through the same process with D1 and some we guessed right on, but there were definitely some surprises, you just never know, but you have to play the odds.

    edited November 2017
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3641 replies85 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    University of Maine Orono has a flagship match program for tuition. If you're considering UVM, then UMaine Orono might also work. https://go.umaine.edu/apply/scholarships/flagship-match/

    It's a gorgeous state . . . . . jealous of anyone who can go to school there.
    edited November 2017
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  • lexluthor5lexluthor5 451 replies24 threads Member
    edited November 2017
    @Dustyfeathers very interesting, but I don't see New York listed as a match state. It's the right kind of thinking though.

    Even without the flagship match, it could fall into the budget if there's other merit. Will keep on the list for now.
    edited November 2017
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  • TTGTTG 1663 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I saw she was a junior, but just threw in the Dec. 1 deadline as a general observation because I think it's easy for people to overlook that some schools have earlier deadlines for merit aid consideration.

    Miami of Ohio might not be a good fit, but I wouldn't put too much weight on the party school label. Most large schools are pretty similar in that there is lots of drinking and partying and not much real difference between schools. One of mine was looking at schools with strong astrophysics, and it seemed like every one that we researched/visited turned up on a top party school list, i.e. Lehigh, UCSB.

    I'd think she'd be a competitive candidate at Elon with a 28-30 ACT. We know some students there who had similar if not slightly lower stats who were accepted and received some aid, not sure how much. I was very familiar with the school decades ago when I was a kid/teenager, and it is a completely new school. According to website, it has 6045 undergrads, so almost a whopping 4 dozen above her threshold. Dorms are extremely nice, nice town adjacent.

    I'm sure she'd love JMU. It sounds right up her alley. Admission is very competitive for Northern Virginia students (high demand), so gets great students from there, and is very well known and respected in the DC area.
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  • lexluthor5lexluthor5 451 replies24 threads Member
    edited November 2017
    @ttg yes, agree on the party designation, especially for larger schools. That wouldn't take it off the list, but would warrant a closer look during a visit.

    Back to JMU, I'm curious why @wisteria100 thinks there's no merit there. No merit probably pushes it out of budget. Also, while I noted that she doesn't love the idea of going to school with 1/2 long island/80% NY kids, I'm not sure how it would work going to school with 80% all from 1 different state and I just saw that only 36% of the students live on campus. Not sure if that's because there are a ton of commuters (not really what she'd want) or because everyone lives at off campus housing around the campus (that's probably ok).

    Elon was a potential good fit for D1. I think it might be a bit too competitive for D2 and probably a little small yet. Odds of getting $10K merit there would be very low.
    edited November 2017
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    @lexluthor5 Well you could check out URI. If she is interested in psychology, I wonder if she could drift into speech pathology. It would check many of your boxes. What is her unweighted GPA? You would most likely receive a merit scholarship. Plenty of students from NJ, NY. They seem to like the area.

    UMaine Orono would really be a hike. Maybe 10 hours. It won't be greatly different from URI. More isolated and colder. UNH could be worth a look. I'm not sure she would get merit there though or UVM or UMass. Depends on her unweighted GPA and test scores.

    Go visit URI and UNH. I have plenty of family from NY who attended URI and they've all done very, very well. If you have any questions, I could probably answer. Both support study abroad and URI also is part of the National Student Exchange which is a neat opportunity.

    Oh and DS1 goes there, URI. He really loves the Honors program. But he's an engineering and Japanese major so he can't fully immerse.
    edited November 2017
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4490 replies49 threads Senior Member
    @lexluthor5 Regarding JMU, I thought merit was only for VA students, but I could be wrong so don't take my word for it. If she scores 29-30 range, she would have a very realistic shot of getting in with merit to Elon and Muhlenberg. High Point is another where merit could be very likely.
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  • TTGTTG 1663 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Financial aid exists but is just pretty limited for OOS at most VA publics, probably JMU too. You could research that though, I'm not sure (we're in-state). It's not a commuter school at all. Students just live in apartments after freshman/sophomore year. Obviously mostly in-state and large high schools send a lot of students there, but in-state students largely come from cosmopolitan areas and are outward looking and not more insular, like one might find at some schools. A friend's daughter from Nova recently graduated. I know she traveled to visit school friends up north and in the South in recent years.

    We've know several students who've gone through Elon admissions in very recent years, and I'd think it a match for a student with a 91 average and a 28-30 ACT, which you are projecting, other aspects of her application being in line with that. It might be a little on the small side, but it does now offer most of what a student would get outside a major research/power conference university, like a Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas. In terms of financial aid, I'd think she'd got some, whether or not it would be $5k, $10k, $20k, I don't know. And she obviously has the rest of junior year, testing, etc., which might make a big difference in her prospects. Sorry for the large number of responses. I'm just working on my computer this morning. Good luck!
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  • lexluthor5lexluthor5 451 replies24 threads Member
    edited November 2017
    @gearmom Appreciate the input. Google maps has UMaine at 7.5 hours, which isn't terrible. but there probably is always traffic. 10 is a big difference.

    UNH starts at $48K and I don't see anything more than $10K in merit. Gets it close enough to keep on the list for now.

    Not sure what the unweighted GPA. Probably around an 88-89, but that's just a guess. She may wind up with an ACT that outshoots her GPA as she's not always been the hardest working with daily school work. Will have to better gauge merit possibilities at UNH, UVM and UMass. URI stats are definitely a step below, that that does seem like a better possibility.

    @wisteria100 don't think Elon and Muhlenberg are good fits. We did some looking at both for D1, so we are pretty familiar with both of them. High Point appears to have a religious affiliation, which is not optimal.

    @TTG will have to investigate more about JMU merit obviously. Thanks for clarifying the housing situation. Again Elon, interesting. It may be too competitive of an environment there.

    Giants schools like Ohio State, Penn State and Maryland are still under consideration too. Not sure what the merit situation at those might look like just yet. Towson has come up as well.

    I think it'll help a bit once she has her Dec ACT score back and has something on the board officially. Though, with D1, much changed when she scored a huge jump on her second SAT.

    Thanks to all for the continued interest in this thread.
    edited November 2017
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @lexluthor5 When we visited UMaine, which is a nice school, I think we hit Boston traffic. It's not different enough from URI to warrant having to deal with the harsher environment IMO and it is more isolated. My DS2 is also a junior. When our juniors graduate, URI will have completed the latest building project, 100+ million engineering comp!ex. That will help raise it's profile a bit. They have spent a ton of money with building projects.I

    And just FYI Her stats work for psychology but some majors pharmacy, nursing, engineering, she might not be so competitive. Overall, I think she would get 10k merit. Greek life is not out of control there. And basketball is probably the most spirited sport. Check it out. The kids love the near by beaches. If she choose to be part of a club, it's actually a good location. DS1 is on the ballroom dancing team. They travel to UMass, Harvard, Yale, Brown, UConn...to compete. Opportunity within the tristate area.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Have you looked at UMBC? University of Maryland - Baltimore County. Only slightky above her size range and your budget, but they have some merit for OOS students.
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