I hope this is the right place to post this. I am a mom to a senior who is trying to figure out which schools to apply to. The thing that is making this very tricky is that his GPA and test scores are wildly out of sync with each other. This means that Naviance and similar tools are kind of useless. He also has a lot of constraints.
OK, so we live in NY. My son went to a very competitive HS, and didn't get awesome grades. He has an unweighted GPA somewhere between a 3.0 and a 3.1. He has taken honors bio, AP Chem and AP Computer Science, and is now in AP Physics and AP Calculus (BC), as well as AP Government. His grades are higher in math and science than in English and social studies. His math SAT is 800. and his verbal SAT is 770. He just learned he is a National Merit semifinalist. His SATII scores are Biology: 800, Chem 750, Physics 800. He has a 4 on the Chem AP test and a 5 on the CS AP test. He also has taken a 3 year science research course (ASR for you New Yorkers), working on a computer science project with a mentor at a university. He has participated in the Regeneron science fair as part of that. He is on the cross country team, and has taught middle schoolers to program at a summer camp, and now also in a afterschool program.
The constraints are that he wants badly to major in computer science, and wants to go to a decent program with research oriented faculty, up to date equipment, and relationships with tech companies. And, he wants to stay close to home- no more than 3 hours from the NYC area. He prefers to be in a city or suburban area near a city. And we can't really afford a private college unless there is merit aid, which may be dicey given his GPA. SUNY.CUNY is affordable, and out of state tuition at the NJ publics seems doable.
He is looking at SUNY Albany, NJIT, Stevens Inst of Technology, Queens College, Pace, Rutgers, Stony Brook, Drexel (but the schedule there is a real turn-off). Does he have any chance at these schools? Should he be looking at lower level schools like Montclair State or Rowan? Does anyone have any experience with a kid whose test scores are very different from the GPA? What should his strategy be? Should we work with a college consultant? I have talked to two, but they are very expensive and those two didn't seem to have much advice - seemed as puzzled as I am.
Am I missing any schools that might take a chance on a kid like this?