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Schools for just average students

familyoutdoorsfamilyoutdoors Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
edited June 2008 in Parents Forum
Is there a website like this for just average students and average schools? My S is not an over achiever like many on here. He is just an average kid from an average public school. He has decent grades 3.8, and great EC's. He is not looking to go to an IVY, just a nice school were he can get a good edu. (Civil Engineering) (West Coast schools) I'm just tired of some on here that elude that average students don't belong here...So were do we belong then?

No flames intended or wanted.
thank you!
Post edited by familyoutdoors on

Replies to: Schools for just average students

  • mmaahmmaah Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    There is a good book by Palladino called Finding the College that is Right for You that features many schools not in the more "ranking focussed" guides. I also have found the sites below an invaluable and balanced source of information:

  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    First of all, a 3.8 is hardly average - it's a terrific GPA! Second,there are plenty of threads here about non-Ivy colleges. I'm sure posters who are familiar with the west coast and engineering will give you some excellent suggestions.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,332 Senior Member
    With a 3.8 gpa and great ECs, your son is above average. Since he's interested in staying on the west coast and wants to do civil engineering, midwestern/eastern LACs are out of the picture. However, he would be a good candiate for University of Washington, University of Oregon and certainly the state colleges in both states. The UCs are very competitive for out-of-state students, but the Cal State schools would be within his reach. Finally, check out Harvey Mudd/ClaremontMcKenna colleges in the Claremont colleges consortium.
  • jessiehljessiehl Registered User Posts: 3,328 Senior Member
    U of Washington is very reputable, and sounds like it's within his reach.
  • familyoutdoorsfamilyoutdoors Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    ^-^ His SAT scores are not great. He just doesn't do the standardized testing that well: His May SATs were 510/510/550. March SATs were 460/540/540. I'm trying to convince him to try the ACT's in the fall.
    He really doesn't want to go to school in the north west. I know with his scores Harvey Mudd is out.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,728 Senior Member
    Since you live in WA, it might be worth your time to check out the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program. Washington state is member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) which allows western state students to attend other state universities at reduced tuition rates. (150% of in-state--a big discount over the usual OOS rates)

    Not all state universities participate and not all majors are available at all schools, but I did a quick search and over 2 dozen civil engineering program/schools popped out.

    For general information about WICHE:

    For specific information and to search for WUE civil engineering schools:
  • mmaahmmaah Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    Westminster College in Salt Lake has a 3-2 engineering program (as well as an aviation program). The 3-2 programs make it possible to have the benefits of a small college for the early years and then a larger university based program to finish.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,332 Senior Member
    Have you looked at California State Polytechnic (Cal Poly) in Pomona? His grades would put him in the upper percentile and his scores would seem to be in line.

    Check out princetonreview.com (nothing to do with the school) and collegeboard.com -- they have search engines he could use to find schools.
  • dsultemeierdsultemeier Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    Optional List | FairTest

    Have you checked out this site? It has a list of colleges that don't require the SAT or ACT.

    I think your son is going to have more success with college admissions than the students posting on here with the opposite problem - very high SAT's and low grades. They have to overcome the lazy/underachiever label. Your son sounds like a hard-working responsible student. I believe his SAT's are right about the average for the nation so they aren't really bad.
  • dragonmomdragonmom Registered User Posts: 5,910 Senior Member
    Is Arizona "west coast" enough? Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff has engineering, a beautiful location, nice size, and as long as he meets the course requirements his GPA will get him guaranteed admission.
    Northern Arizona University
    They have rolling admissions so he would hear back pretty quickly. Having that first letter in hand can really take some of the stress off.
  • drizzitdrizzit Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    Solid choices for Civil engineering

    Oregon State is a top 75 engineering school and has a great intership program. Univ of Oregon does not offer engineering btw.

    Personally I don't think the calif publics offer much financial aid to OOS students unless you are a real high flyer. May be worth a shot though.

    Non Northwest options

    western schools for WUE tuition rates with good engineering:
    Montana State
    Univ of Wyoming (very reasonable oos costs and a wealthy school right now)
    Nevada Reno
    Univ Of Utah
    Northern Arizona
    Boise State (but it is a commuter college)
  • ChiSquareChiSquare Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    familyoutdoors, you'll notice folks here chatting about CTLC (the book Colleges That Change Lives, by Loren Pope). He profiles 40 (I believe it is) colleges of excellence for students of all abilities. Because these schools have increased in "hotness" because of Pope's endorsement, I went back to his earlier book "Looking Beyond the Ivy League, Finding the College That's Right for You", where he does a brief review of a much broader array of schools. I would recommend taking a look at that book. In our house, any college that gets suggested must first pass "the Pope test", and catholicism has nothing to do with it!
  • bblfraserbblfraser Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    I recommend the Loren Pope books as well. Also, I'd encourage the ACT as well. My daughter had a pretty mediocre result on the SATs both times she took it (and yes, she already took a prep course), but she did Much better on the ACT. I'm hoping she'll give that one another shot in the fall. Good luck, and FWIW, not all posters here have kids with perfect scores either (sometimes we're just a little quiet). Some of us gave birth to mortals. ;-)
  • drizzitdrizzit Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    Are any of the CTLC in the geographic footprint this student is looking for?

    Not very many of them in the West I don't think. The other book sounds like a good read if interested in private schools.

    BTW my kids loved this book in helping select a college

    Amazon.com: Unofficial Biased Insider's Guide to the 320 Most Interesting Colleges: Trent Anderson, Seppy Basili: Books

    Unofficial Biased Insider's Guide to the 320 Most Interesting Colleges.

    It was amazing accurate as to how we felt about the colleges after we had visited and we visited a lot of them. Mainstream schools with good advice on each school
  • mom60mom60 Registered User Posts: 7,915 Senior Member
    He can probably already apply to Northern Arizona if he is a senior. My son applied in early July the summer before senior year. He had his decision before the summer was over.
    They are part of Wiche for most majors. They list them on their website. They also give merit aid for a certain GPA and SAT score. I can't recall offhand what that was but it is certainly possible that your son already meets the qualification. My son did not have anywhere near that GPA but a higher SAT score and he was awarded the merit scholarship for out of state students.
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