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2 Schools Enough?

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Replies to: 2 Schools Enough?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,011 Senior Member
    DD only wanted to apply to three schools. Two were EA and one rolling. She had one acceptance in November, one in December and one in January. Oddly she then decided to apply to a reach in December...but didn't get accepted. We insisted she apply to a school close to home. So....five in all. But the first three were really all that mattered to her. She could have done two. The November acceptance (rolling admissions) was her number two choice and the December one (EA) is where she is going to college.
  • dadtimesthreedadtimesthree Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    If your son would be very happy attending either school, and there are no financial issues which would require him to attend a school cheaper than either, his list is plenty sufficient. I know that crazy things happen in college admissions, but he's everything but a lead pipe cinch to get in at MSU, and he'll find out early enough if he doesn't to have other options for a safety. For that matter, since your son wants to attend a large, state school, there are options out there (ranked in the same ballpark as MSU) which are absolutely 100% (because they go strictly on numbers, and your son's clearly qualify), and allow for later application deadlines--Mizzou, Kansas, Iowa, Arizona State, etc. He would be in the Honors College at all of those places, with money, at Missouri, which would make his cost lower than MSU. I'm not suggesting that he has to consider those schools at this time, but the idea that he'll wind up without an option isn't a reality.

    People here are, IMO, way too hung up on the have to apply to a zillion schools list. My older daughter applied to two schools. She narrowed her list before the application process (as your son has apparently done). She's very happy with her choice, and would have been happy at her other school had she not gotten into the school and program she desired. That's all you're looking for.

    Good luck.
  • garlandgarland Registered User Posts: 16,057 Senior Member
    S applied to two schools, UMich and his ED. Got into Mich by the end of October, then it was either there or the ED (as it turns out, he prob'ly woulda been better off at Mich, but I think the principle is still sound.)

    Anyhoo, as an aside, I get the Big 10 thing. I thought Northwestern would be a great choice for him to look at, but as the son of two Umich alum, no way would he consider it.
  • CurrySpiceCurrySpice Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Will he be happy at MichState if he does NOT get into the honors college?

    I had a friend who did essentially the same thing this year. He applied to Penn State (and Shreyers Honors College) and Johns Hopkins. He was accepted at PSU, but not the honors... and flipped out about it. Turned out that he only wanted the school for the honors college, not the regular part.

    Has your son looked into more state universities? Perhaps my opinion is biased, but I think a lot of them are very similar. There's the big 10 Midwestern ones, as well as a bunch of other schools. What about Penn State? U Pitt gives a TON of money out, and it's a fantastic school.
  • TheAnalystTheAnalyst Registered User Posts: 2,814 Senior Member
    Our son was exactly like Garland's. Applied rolling to UW-Madison where he had an answer by October and UVA ED where he got his answer in November and is attending. If he had not gotten into his ED school, which he considered a reach, he would have been delighted with UW and had no plans to apply elsewhere.

    I will mention that a 4.0 weighted GPA would be a serious reach in-state for UVA from our high school. The year my S was applying I put together spreadsheets on the prior years. Of the 18 accepted from our school the year before he applied, only one had a GPA below 4.0. The next were 4.18, 4.33, 4.43 and then higher. A 4.48 was waitlisted. Same story in prior years and I can only assume it has gotten more competitive. With that said, I don't think you can compare weighted GPA's from one school to another, so he might have a better sense of his chances based on class rank. I would consider top 5% in-state to be a sure bet, with the closer you get to that 10% threshhold the lower the chances unless the rest of the application just sings. For out of state, I assume it is more difficult.
  • johnshadejohnshade Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    As Puddnhead Wilson said: "Behold the fool saith, put not all thine eggs in the one basket, ... but the wise man saith, put all thine eggs in the one basket and -- WATCH THAT BASKET."
  • jmmomjmmom Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    How well does he know either of the two schools? If he feels he knows them pretty well, and the finances are covered, two schools is plenty.
    I tend to agree with what I think is mini's underlying point here. Others have commented on whether or not he needs additional apps from the admissions safety and financial safety aspects.

    I just want to focus on whether he is "safe" in terms of being happy with the possible outcomes, knowing - as many of us do - that some kids (not just a few) change their perspective on what they seek in a school between fall of Senior year and spring of Senior year.

    So... if he and you are fairly sure that he will be HAPPY with the potential outcome of only one admit - to MSU - two could be enough.

    I'd just want you and he to think about how some kids feel downhearted to have only one option. Some seem to feel dejected if the only acceptance was to the safety - there is just some human nature at work which devalues the safety because it IS the safety.

    So I'd consider more than just a reach and a safety to enhance the chances that he will have the ability to have a choice and a hedge against changing his perspective on what he wants. If, eg, he's ever considered a smaller school, a techie school, a _____ school... I'd add one of that type to the mix. And not a reach one.
  • bblfraserbblfraser Registered User Posts: 230 Junior Member
    My daughter visited 3 instate colleges. Liked them. Doesn't feel she needs to look further (I think they're probably in the "match" category). My husband and I would like her to at least look OOS and just see what else is out there (because there is a lot out there!). This seems too early in her life not to at least consider more options.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,652 Senior Member
    TooRealistic,
    You mention your son's weighted GPA, but what about unweighted? And what's his class rank? I ask because as I understand Michigan State's Honors College, an invitation to join is automatic for any admitted student in the top 5% of his graduating class who also has an ACT composite of 30+. Clearly your S meets the ACT standard; if he meets the class rank standard, he's in. If not, it's a much more "iffy" proposition.

    And if he is accepted into the Honors college, merit-based financial aid is also automatic: $8K/yr for four years for nonresidents. If he re-takes the ACT and bumps his score up to 33 (which I'd strongly recommend), it's even sweeter: an automatic research assistantship to a professor (8-10 hrs/wk for a stipend of $2300) PLUS tuition remission to in-state levels, on top of the $8,000 scholarship he gets just for being admitted. This is a really sweet deal, and it does make MSU much cheaper than UIUC at in-state tuition.

    Given his stats and MSU's admission standards---73% acceptance rate, 22-27 median ACTS, no quota on OOS admits---it's hard to believe he won't get in to MSU. The real key here is getting into the Honors College which is a really terrific opportunity for OOS students; without that, it will be costlier and not as attractive an educational option.
  • TooRealisticTooRealistic Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    Wow! I can't get over how thoughtful CC folks are. Thank you all so much, I just love that you guys make S and me think.

    As to class rank, he was top 6% (sooo close) at the end of 1st semester Jr. year, but I have no idea what's up right now. Although if he does not get into the MI State honors college, I don't think he will care (I think that he'd still get $6000). I do however, sense an ACT retake happening ASAP (33 = in state tuition - how sweet is that?). I mentioned that several Big 10 schools including UIUC have a better reputation for his major, and he does not care. He's convinced that he can make a go of anywhere.

    I know and he knows that UVA is an uber-reach for him, but he wants to try. Who knows, maybe UVA is longing for a middle-class white kid from IL who has no outstanding skills (unless you count being able to catch food in his mouth that is thrown from great distances)? It could happen - right?

    Thank you all again for the words of wisdom
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,887 Senior Member
    Be sure to visit the Midwest schools this summer, even though it is the "off season" it would be good for him to compare campuses to be sure Michigan State is "the one". Easy I system drive to Madison and Minneapolis, especially if you can avoid Chicagoland. Make the Michigan etc. trip and then when he states his preferences you will know he knows what else is out there.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 57,349 Senior Member
    I agree with everything said here. While yes, the college app process has gotten very crazy and very competitive, if you plan appropriately, 2 schools can be fine. Older s applied to only 2 schools- got into both. Younger s applied to 4- got into 2 and WL at 2. But, like others, he applied early to a school that notifies you quickly, and he knew in October that he was in. This caused him to decide not to finish a 5th application that he was strongly considering and had partially completed. He happened to love the early notification school, and that is where he will be attending this fall. Good luck to you, and congrats for not feeding the "is a million applications enough" frenzy.
  • PackMomPackMom Registered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    S1 appled to three schools,was accepted to all. Heard from his first choice in Oct. (big state u) Went there,loved it, will graduate next May.


    S2 applied to two schools (different big state u's than his bro),Heard from first choice in Nov. and never looked back. Just got back from Orientation...loved it. Moves in in Aug.

    We are of the opinion that if you find a place you like that also likes you and the price is right...stop shopping. You job is done.
  • ggfanggfan Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I'm from N. VA and applied to schools this past fall. I applied to five schools...the counselors at my school encouraged everyone planning to attend college to apply to at least 4 schools...they stressed that detail particularly this year knowing the greater number of students who would be applying to college.

    I applied to UVA (reach), VT, JMU, Mary Washington and George Mason (safety). I got into every school except UVA...I am personally glad that I applied to so many schools...I know many people who applied to the same amount and only got into one or two...It is safer applying to one or two extra colleges than being left frustrated and angry b/c you will have to come up with alternative plans.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,895 Senior Member
    I know many kids who applied to just one school. Accepted and that was it. They did have other apps ready in case it did not work out. You only need one school acceptance.
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