right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

aim high or settle

joecollege44joecollege44 178 replies13 threads Junior Member
SAT 1470
GPA 4.4 in highly competitive public school, mostly honors and AP's, 4's and 5's on AP tests.
Varsity sport captain and other leadership roles.
Strong common app essay and letters of rec (I believe).

That's my daughter. She has worked very hard in HS. She is not applying to any Ivies or even any top 20 schools, but has reaches like Emory, Michigan, and Tufts. Truthfully I think her favorite schools are B.U. and Lehigh but she is concerned that maybe she is settling and not aiming high enough in terms of prestige. Would you reassure her that these are great schools with great and rising reputations, and she is not settling at all, or would you encourage her to reach a bit?
63 replies
· Reply · Share
«134

Replies to: aim high or settle

  • fl1234fl1234 179 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @joecollege44 What is holding her back from applying to 1 or 2 higher ranked schools? Is it lack of motivation/interest or fear of rejection? To me, the reason influences how I would approach her. Or, you can say both things to her. Those are really great schools that she is applying to and there is no harm in applying to 1-2 higher ranking schools if she wants to.

    Emory is 21 in USNWR rankings, Michigan is 25 and Tufts is 29. So, I would not consider those as settling.

    The problem now is that she has missed what would probably be her best chance at acceptance to an elite, early decision. Some schools have a second early decision in January, but ED1 usually has the highest acceptance rate.

    My son has a very similar profile as your daughter and applied to a Top 10 via early decision. It is a long shot, for sure, but it is his top choice and you never know until you apply.
    · Reply · Share
  • joecollege44joecollege44 178 replies13 threads Junior Member
    sorry- I have no idea how this ended up in Univ of Florida forum...although I did want my daughter to apply there!
    I was not referring to Emory, Tufts, and Michigan as settling...those are her reaches, for sure. But I know she actually prefers Lehigh and BU, at least over Tufts. I didn't think those 2 were reaches- thought they were matches, actually.

    By the way, she did apply ED1 to Emory...
    And she has safeties: Univ of Vermont, Pitt.
    And other matches: Maryland, GW, McGill.

    · Reply · Share
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14867 replies1005 threads Senior Member
    BU would be a match but it is one of those schools where it could go either way. They accept lower statted students and have rejected higher statted students.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 75463 replies3309 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    Please...,please encourage your daughter to look at what these colleges have to offer HER in terms of her college education. That is way more important than some misguided notion about “prestige”.

    One of my kids is a BU grad, and he certainly didn’t feel like he had just settled on a college.

    We know plenty of very smart Lehigh grads with excellent jobs. It’s not exactly a second rate school.

    She has good schools on her list...and she will grow where she is planted.

    Agree...she has three reaches already. Why add more? All of these colleges are in the top 50 according to USNews...but that isn’t as important as what your daughter thinks.

    If Lehigh is her favorite...show interest...they care about that. If she loves BU, terrific.

    Does she have a sure thing on her application list that is affordable? If not...I’d be looking for that rather than more reach schools.
    Univ of Vermont, Pitt.

    Are you instate for either of these?
    edited November 20
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34768 replies391 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    The idea she's settling is within her, not something that can be objectively determined. I'd work on that. It's a sort of buyer's remorse. You want her to trust her judgment up to now.

    She can use the remaining time to make sure any pending apps are nailed. In addition to how they fit her, whether she fits them and shows it.
    edited November 20
    · Reply · Share
  • sushirittosushiritto 4210 replies13 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    PSS. For certain majors MI is a T20

    No disrespect whatsoever, since it seems I always agree with your opinion and enjoy your posts, but for many majors UMich is Top 10-15-20. And this doesn't include engineering and CS:

    https://lsa.umich.edu/lsa/news-events/all-news/lsa-in-the-news/forty-lsa-programs-in-the-top-ten--says-new-u-s--news-rankings.html

    Yes, they're graduate rankings, but the undergraduate programs probably follow similarly. Yes, admittedly, I'm an unabashed UMich supporter. :smiley:

    Hey @joecollege44 aim higher, if you and your D want to aim higher. IMO, there's nothing wrong about taking "your" shot(s), as long as they're affordable to your family.

    A 1,470 is a fantastic score and her GPA is stellar. And there are schools, which value GPA more than test scores, like UMich, for instance., where GPA and course rigor are the two most important admission factors per the CDS.
    edited November 20
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7804 replies65 threads Senior Member
    @sushiritto - That was my point. I would consider Michigan to be a top school in many areas - and higher ranked than many of the Ivies.
    (#6 in undergraduate engineering for colleges that offer doctorates by USNWR :))
    · Reply · Share
  • sushirittosushiritto 4210 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I apologize if I sounded critical, love your posts!
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 3100 replies10 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    That's my daughter. She has worked very hard in HS. She is not applying to any Ivies or even any top 20 schools, but has reaches like Emory, Michigan, and Tufts. Truthfully I think her favorite schools are B.U. and Lehigh but she is concerned that maybe she is settling and not aiming high enough in terms of prestige. Would you reassure her that these are great schools with great and rising reputations, and she is not settling at all, or would you encourage her to reach a bit?
    by way, she did apply ED1 to Emory..
    It's too late now, but if your favorite is BU or Lehigh, don't apply to ED to Emory just because it is ranked higher on USNWR. And certainly don't apply to top 20 USNWR schools, if those schools don't interest you.

    It may be helpful to clarify why she/you feel the need to apply to top x USNWR ranked colleges over favorites such as BU and Lehigh? Do you believe that being ranked top 50 USNWR rather than top 20 will hurt future grad/professional school or career goals? Does it more have to do with beliefs about the the student body, such as thinking that she won't find academically similar students or the classes will be too slow? Or because that's what friends/family/teachers/classmates/GCs... say you are supposed to do? Or some other reason?
    edited November 20
    · Reply · Share
  • TheFrenchChefTheFrenchChef 172 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I would not worry at all about "settling". Go where your heart is and where you feel a fit.
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 10914 replies77 threads Senior Member
    I would try to help her see that prestige is not the best motivating factor in college choice. Fit is important.

    I think it is possible to see the array of colleges in a different way, not in a hierarchical ranking. The concept of "settling" is irrelevant if her perspective can change.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34768 replies391 threads Senior Member
    Agree with these comments about prestge. The real win is finding where you fit and thrive and can grow, academically and socially. That tailors the choices better to you. It's not just about better names. It's about your own 4 year experience.

    Sometimes, it's morehelpful to actually look at courses available, the sorts of activities on campus (clubs, visiting lectures, research, etc,) study away or how a college facilitates internships, etc. And what's truly affordable.
    · Reply · Share
  • joecollege44joecollege44 178 replies13 threads Junior Member
    I appreciate all the comments. We know this about fit vs prestige and have discussed that with our daughter quite a bit. I guess my question was really directed at whether the schools she loves (BU, Lehigh) have more prestige than she realizes so that there is no sacrifice in that department. She has already made up her mind that if she doesn't get into her top choices (Emory, Michigan), then these are likely her next tier. She just has doubts about whether she should shoot for a few more high-prestige places (maybe like a Case Western, Rochester, Colgate...). It's natural for a kid to want to feel like his or her hard work has been rewarded.
    · Reply · Share
  • joecollege44joecollege44 178 replies13 threads Junior Member
    ok, thanks everyone. no more replies needed. we are on the same page as far as picking the school she will be happiest at. not aiming high doesn't mean one is settling.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheBigChefTheBigChef 601 replies5 threads Member
    "She just has doubts about whether she should shoot for a few more high-prestige places (maybe like a Case Western, Rochester, Colgate...). It's natural for a kid to want to feel like his or her hard work has been rewarded."

    I don't think Case, Rochester, or Colgate have more prestige than BU or Lehigh. If she might actually want to go to Case, Rochester, or Colgate, go ahead and apply. But she shouldn't apply just for the purpose of hanging a few more acceptance pelts on the wall.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity