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Creating list of colleges to look at--won't go without scholarship

sharonohiosharonohio 552 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 563 Member
edited January 2008 in Parents Forum
My D is a Junior with ACT 36, 4.0 UW, 1 AP Soph year, 5 AP's currently and plans for 5 AP's Sr year. She should be NMF with PSAT score of 227 in OH and will be taking SAT January. She currently is thinking of studying genetics.

We are trying to create a list of colleges for her to look at. We have set aside a decent amount of college money for her but we can expect no need based aid. We want to make sure that the college selection list will ensure a high amount of aid from at least several of the schools so that if she decides to go on to graduate school the saved money can be used for that. Please help me divide up these colleges as far as their likelihood of significant aid.

Johns Hopkins
Carnegie Mellon
Univ of PA (mom is alum)
Univ of Chicago
Wash U
Brandeis
Kenyon
Case Western (S attends there on major scholarship and had lower scores than D)
Vanderbilt
Boston U
Miami of OH

Who else should we add to the list to look at?

Are there any schools out West we should consider. I'm originally from Berkeley, my dad was on the faculty there and I am an alum. Despite living in OH we tend to be quite liberal and I would prefer she go to a smaller school rather than something as massive as Berkeley or Ohio State. In my opinion, D would not be happy in the South (Q re Vanderbilt but we'll be visiting soon). My husband and I will likely be moving West in the next few years and would love to have our D nearby but I haven't been able to find anyone with decent scholarships.

Advice would be much appreciated.
edited January 2008
70 replies
Post edited by sharonohio on
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Replies to: Creating list of colleges to look at--won't go without scholarship

  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon 11830 replies298 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    It really depends on what you are expecting as merit aid. If full tuition, you can drop Kenyon and probably Case (I think there may be 11 full tuition awards, divided by category). Penn has no merit aid at all (if no need found ;)).

    Brandeis , BU, and Miami of Ohio are your best bets on that list. Big merit is very rare and hard to count on, even with great stats.

    Set your sights on lower $ and USC comes in at a half tuition guarantee for NMF.

    More data please. ;)
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  • anotherNJmomanotherNJmom 344 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 345 Member
    I don't know much about the colleges and scholarships. But if your D wants to go graduate school at science majore, they usually can support themself, there are plenty grant fund out there.
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  • M's MomM's Mom 4507 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    We didn't qualify for financial aid, but our son received generous merit aid from Grinnell. It's a small liberal arts college in Iowa. I have a thread under the Grinnell site touting the advantages of this lesser known gem. (We're the the Bay Area too, by the way).
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  • SoCal18SoCal18 1331 replies343 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,674 Senior Member
    University of Arizona would give your daughter 20k/yr for being NMF. And I'm sure she would get other scholarships as well, virtually making the cost absolutely nothing. Also she would easily get into the honors program....so she could have more personal attention and smaller classes.
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  • sharonohiosharonohio 552 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 563 Member
    We'd be comfortable financing about 20k max per year including room and board. Aside from her scholastics, D has been volunteering at the zoo for the past 3+ years year-round, plays flute and piano including several years in the city band, NHS and In the Know (college bowl like) competition team for extracurriculars.

    She thinks she would like to go to school in a large city and would like to maintain her involvement in the performing arts (but that can be informal). She has negative interest in organized sports and would be happiest in a school which doesn't go nuts over any sport (another reason why OSU is out).
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  • sharonohiosharonohio 552 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 563 Member
    I know that Grinnell is a great school but she has no interest in Iowa. Isn't U of AZ a party school? Cause that wouldn't work for her either. No party or football school
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  • williamsf1 fanwilliamsf1 fan 198 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    Harvey Mudd for science out west. Some automatic merit aid and some that you need to apply for.

    HMC Merit-based Awards
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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon 11830 replies298 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    She looks good for a Trustee's at Case which meets your financial parameters. It was $25,7 when my D was offered it. Kenyon is out, as is every other school with half-tuition as a cap (including, unfortunately, Grinnell). There are full tuition awards at Chicago, WashU, and BU with some involving separate apps (especially at WashU).
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,015 Senior Member
    I'm sorry that I don't know anything about schools in the West.

    Your daughter would most likely receive a full-tuition scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh. And I think the level of sports fanaticism at Pitt would definitely be lower than at OSU. Plus, Pitt's about half the size.

    Have you looked at the University of Rochester? It can be very generous to NMFs.

    I bet your daughter could reel in quite a few outside scholarships as well.
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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon 11830 replies298 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    Hopkins is out (Hodgson Trust award is highest at $24K) but both CMU and Brandeis have a least "some" merit aid awards that would work for you.
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  • DSCDSC 1073 replies38 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,111 Senior Member
    I would search the schools that offer full rides or at least big $$$ for NMF's. Those offer a combination of flexibility and safety IMO.

    However, eliminating the south removes many of the best options. Is she religious? Many of the better schools offering NMF money have religious affiliation.

    While looking at CMU, why not UPitt - Go through the honors program, and you can also take some classes at CMU.

    Obviously, these will not be the top schools for her to apply to, but could as least offer some comfortable positions to be in.

    Top schools that offer Merit $$$ are not in high supply out west, HMC is the only one that comes to mind.
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  • ec1234ec1234 1199 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,201 Senior Member
    if your D is considering grad school in biology there are some other considerations as well:

    - Grad schools care moderately about where you went to school. This has more to do with the letters of recommendations that you get than the actual school, i think, although its hard to differentiate. They take letters from well known peers more seriously than from some more unknown person

    -It is also important to get research experience. A smallish university is, in my opinion, the best place for this as there are graduate schools and post-docs to sustain the labs (its hard to get stuff done when students spend only like 2 years in a lab), but that is small enough that they need undergrads to work. Also a school that has a large thesis program is very positive to getting into graduate school

    -somewhat with the recommendation line- in science today experiments are expensive! I know that in my thesis work I have spent ~$10,000-$20,000 probably in materials. It is important to go to a school with lots of funding

    -also, as a previous poster mentioned, all graduate programs in the science are funded (tuition, stipend and health insurance, also usually subsidized housing) It may or may not be worth spending the money on undergrad that you said you were considering saving for graduate school.


    Hopkins has a research scholarship that you can apply for, i think that it is merit based, plus it has you do a research project. That may be something to look at.
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  • prefectprefect 1264 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    Also check out the financial aid forum. There is a thread near the top about merit awards. As a NMSF she will probably get a lot of scholarship offers. If you absolutely will only pay 20K, you may need to relax some of your criteria. Duke has some full tuition scholarships, but if she has no interest in sports, Duke may be a little too basketball crazy for her. Even with a 36 ACT/4.0 GPA, many of the merit scholarships are extremely competitive and hard to get. If you're not against New Orleans, Tulane has the Deans Honor Scholarship which I think is full tuition. She would probably qualify for the Presidential scholarship at Tulane which is 24K a year and doesn't require an extra application/essay, etc.
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  • ec1234ec1234 1199 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,201 Senior Member
    You might want to look at NYU. They have a new center for functional genomics near the undergrad campus. Since NYU is so spread out, I feel that more of the grad students apply to the medical school, it is new and will be highly regarded in several years. NYU has some scholarships for top students, as well as a women in science scholarship. I am not sure about the amounts of the scholarships, but it may be something to look into
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  • xiggixiggi 24569 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    My husband and I will likely be moving West in the next few years and would love to have our D nearby but I haven't been able to find anyone with decent scholarships.
    My D is a Junior with ACT 36, 4.0 UW, 1 AP Soph year, 5 AP's currently and plans for 5 AP's Sr year. She should be NMF with PSAT score of 227 in OH and will be taking SAT January. She currently is thinking of studying genetics.

    You may want to check Arizona State University for a combination of VERY generous offers to NMF's and massive investments in the "bio" world. The school has been on a tear bringing top students and top faculty to Tempe, all the while investing like drunken sailors to establish a national prominence.

    The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

    Investing in Arizona's Future

    http://students.asu.edu/files/0809-National-Scholars-Renewal_2.pdf

    In addition to the usual suspects, it's a good idea to scratch the surface and look for new(ish) programs that are bound to receive massive amounts of funding, especially at schools that also offer very generous scholarships.

    PS Check this CC thread: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/231465-help-update-list-full-tuition-schools-nmf.html
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