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Safety and Targets for 3.7 weighted quirky bright not good test taker NJ white boy?

BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
edited June 19 in Parents Forum
We are just getting started, and I've just joined this forum for my HS class of 2021.
Kid is bright and analytic but ADD gets in the way of consistently high grades and he's not a good test taker. Uncertain major, plays the violin well and in multiple ensembles, has done international volunteer work several times on his own, but grades and scores don't reflect his potential (yet). Likely looking at 1300 or so on SAT's and 3.7 weighted in large NJ public school.
I don't have a sense of what's too much of a reach, target, safety.

Are Brandeis, U Rochester, Macalaster way out of reach?
We are considering tons of schools but I'm not sure what's on point and what's a dream.
He'd prefer a school in in an urban or semi-urban area, and doesn't want to go south.
Thank you!
edited June 19
46 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: Safety and Targets for 3.7 weighted quirky bright not good test taker NJ white boy?

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34103 replies4819 threads Super Moderator
    You can assess chances by googling Common Data Set <school name> and looking at section C. It will show what weight different attributes get on the application and what the average grades and scores are for admitted students. How much can you afford to pay?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30390 replies59 threads Senior Member
    What are you willing and able to pay? Are you going to need merit or financial aid?

    The three schools listed will be a challenge at stated academic numbers. Look at Fairtest schools.
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2546 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Lawrence in Wisconsin. Nice little city, they love quirky musicians, on the quarter system so you only have to manage three classes at a time.
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  • gpo613gpo613 361 replies23 threads Member
    Like someone said before starting with what you can/willing to pay is the first item on the list. Once people know that then they can steer you in the right direction.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83296 replies740 threads Senior Member
    Wouldn't NJ publics have schools which could be admission matches and safeties? Of course, cost needs to be considered before assessing overall match or safety.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1651 replies45 threads Senior Member
    My d got into Roch with similar stats (higher test score), but much may depend on major. As I will continue to warn people, my d and at least two of her friends are transferring out due to a significant drop in FA going into sophomore year. Many of her other friends had drops as well but are staying put for now. There are hundreds of schools that meet your wants. We'd need more information on what he's looking for as well as budget constraints in order to give suggestions.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    It's really impossible to give a lot of help here without some idea of your need (or not) for financial aid or merit aid, and your child's interests.

    That said, I agree that Macalester, Brandeis, and Rochester are reaches for the kid you describe, but maybe not "way out of reach" reaches. Geography will work in his favor at Macalester, and probably work against him at Brandeis or Rochester.

    I think there are three or four types of colleges you may want to focus on:

    (1) Test-optional LACs that have a good reputation for teaching quality but are not trying to get ranked (or to defend their rank) in the list of top-20 or top-30 LACs. Macalester is almost there, but is not test-optional, and is probably a smidge or two too snooty. Some other suggestions: Emerson (Boston), Trinity (Hartford, but it may be a little too much like Macalester), Sarah Lawrence (just outside NYC), Rhodes (Memphis), Goucher (Baltimore suburbs), St. John's (Annapolis or Santa Fe), Occidental (LA), Lake Forest (Chicago suburbs), Lewis & Clark (Portland OR). Lawrence and Beloit are nice, too, but wouldn't qualify as "urban or semi-urban" in most people's books.

    (2) Larger, urban Catholic universities -- Fordham, Loyola LA, Loyola Chicago, Loyola Maryland, DePaul, Marquette, Xavier, Duquesne, Providence, St. Joe's, Canisius, St. Louis, Louisville . . . .

    (3A) Public urban non-flagship universities -- Buffalo State, SUNY Albany, UMass-Boston, IUPUI, Michigan State, Wayne State, Cincinnati, UMBC, UIC, Arizona State, and lots, lots more.

    (3B) Public urban flagships that are not as selective as some others -- University of Vermont, University of Kentucky, Nebraska, UNLV . . . and how about Rutgers, which doesn't seem out of the question. Or even Ohio State.

    (3C) Think about Canadian public universities, some of which are excellent, in great cities, very large, and much less selective than US universities of equivalent quality: University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 891 replies16 threads Member
    edited August 2019
    American, Case Western, University of Denver, University of Puget Sound, College of Wooster.
    edited August 2019
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  • mom2andmom2and 3052 replies20 threads Senior Member
    @taverngirl Did something change in your finances or did UR change the way they figure need-based aid? Seems surprising they would cut aid if everything stayed the same. Hope your student is happy at their new school.

    What is the unweighted GPA? It really depends on how your HS weights. Where does this put him in comparison to other students (top 10%, 25%?) Is your HS considered competitive? IME the quality of the HS can matter as well.
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  • BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, what are fairtest schools?
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  • BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Are you talking about state colleges? He prefers to expand his horizons and NJ has the highest in state tuition in the country so not a huge sacrifice.
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  • BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you so much. He is a humanities kid. We're looking for liberal arts with strong diversity and a good study-abroad program. He loves to play music but likely won't go pro. Wants a school where he can participate without being crazy competitive. We worry about giant schools as he can get lost socially without a hook. Catholic schools, or any religious affiliation are not ideal though not necessarily a deal breaker if the religion is low key on campus. We want him to go out of state, though Rutgers is an obvious possibility if we aren't finding other great options a year from now.

    As for finances, I'm head in the sand a bit still. Yeah, we'll want help for sure but for now we're looking at "fit" and managing expectations about what's possible academically.
    Thank you everyone!
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  • BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    His HS just gives weighted GPA. Unweighted would be a couple points lower, 3.3 or something? I have no idea of his ranking. We get that this month. His class is big at 600 kids. They send kids to Ivies and little Ivies every year.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30390 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Google Fairtest schools and you’ll get a list. One of mine with far lower test scores than yours applied and was accepted to Gettysburg, Dickinson, Holy Cross and Fairfield without submitting test scores.

    I think there are schools that would find your son’s scores just fine. Mine hardly hit 1000 on the SAT and not much better in the ACT equivalence. He still was accepted to colleges with those scores, but I wanted some options where the test scores did not come into play
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  • thumper1thumper1 78251 replies3525 threads Senior Member
    He prefers to expand his horizons and NJ has the highest in state tuition in the country so not a huge sacrifice.

    That is JUST NOT TRUE. And even if it’s high...it’s not going to be as high as most OOS schools public or private.

    I would suggest you check out Rowan. Check out some of the SUNY schools. Even OOS costs are modest and there are many of them. Surely one or two will be suitable for your son.

    There are plenty of colleges in New England. Plenty. How about Marist? Vassar might be a good fit for him....but a higher SAT would help.

    Fairtest.org is the site for test optional colleges. Look at that list.

    If he is willing to go out of New England, I would suggest he look at Denison in Ohio. As noted, both Lawrence and St. Olaf’s are very good about allowing music participation for non-majors.

    Would he consider University of New Hampshire or University of Delaware? University of Maryland Baltimore County might be another good option.

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  • BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Very helpful. Thank you.
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  • BktoNJBktoNJ 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    NJ's in-state tuition at Rutgers is higher than any other State U's in state tuition. It is true. Lots of great schools in NJ. So many. We are looking outside the state first. Thanks.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6519 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I agree with others that you need to pay attention to the cost of university. You do not want a surprise during March and April of senior year when you are looking at 6 or 8 acceptances and nothing but the in-state public university is affordable. Worst still of course is if nothing is affordable. I would run the NPC on schools that you are considering and see whether they are likely to be affordable. Remember that there will be some increase in prices over time. Also, many students do not graduate in four years, and financial aid generally does run out after four years.

    The public schools in New Jersey seem like obvious ones to consider.

    I agree with @JHS that there are some schools in Canada that seem like they might be a fit, and that might be relatively affordable. The three that @JHS mentions are excellent, but are large and relatively stressful. Somewhere like Concordia (in Montreal) or Dalhousie (in Halifax) might be a bit less academically stressful and are still very good schools. I think of them as very roughly on the same approximate academic level as Rutgers. Why you would go there rather than Rutgers is not obvious.
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