@monsthion The Vietnamese student we met at Mac also was LGBT. He also spoke about having to fill out all of the forms, including financial, himself because his parents were of very modest origins and did not speak English. He found the admissions staff very helpful.
You might reach out to admissions to see if you could make contact with this student. He was working for admissions as a member of a student panel for prospective students in the summer of 2016.
I agree entirely with @Much2learn Have her take a timed ACT and SAT at home during the holidays with no prep. It may be that she doesn't need any prep and will ace the test. It may be that she does much better at one than the other and will know how to best invest her time. It may be that she gets a lackluster result that stings her pride as it's out of sync with her grades and she decides that prep is a good idea.
Practice test at home is relatively low stress - roughly a four hour commitment for each. To me, this is a much better idea than winging it on the real thing, especially if she intends to apply to schools that require submission of the complete testing history.
My D was overextended and not really invested in the college process until Spring of her Junior year. Once she got on board, she was on board. First SAT in May of Jr year, SAT subject tests in June, and then ACT in the fall, after taking a practice test at home and realizing that it was a better test for her. So I think you have time. But I do agree that she might want to take a good hard look at her schedule and see if there's any way to cut back.
@Collegefortwins We were looking for merit last year with a budget of 30-40K and ended up focusing on the Midwest. Of the schools we researched, the most generous merit was from Denison (up to full tuition), College of Wooster (up to 30K or half COA), and Case Western (up to 30K) in Ohio. Farther north, St. Olaf in MN (up to half of COA, which bought cost to just under 30K). Dickinson and Macalester both offered maximum merit of 20K in 2017 which meant a balance of around 45K, assuming no need-based aid. I heard mention on CC last year of awards up to 30K at Oberlin for STEM students and 25K for non STEM.
Would he be willing to look at Davidson? I know you said no SE but it sounds like he might be bending a bit.
Other good values (that we did not pursue in depth) are two CTCL schools, Rhodes and Centre.
Wesleyan does not offer merit aid.
I think that Goucher might not be strong enough academically for your son and it is pretty small.
I strongly recommend a look at Case Western if he wants an urban area and a school that is not too large (around 5-6K undergrad IIRC). Easy access via Cleveland airport. I'm not sure about his choice of major but it is strong in liberal arts as well as tech and STEM.
Good luck! It's better than having a kid who is super picky.
@flytocollege I would take a look at Case Western. Nice mid-sized research university with both tech and liberal arts programs. They like high test scores. Demonstrated interest is also important.
You seem to be interested in quality LACs. I would add Macalester and St. Olaf if they are not too close to home.
In Ohio, you'd probably fare well at Denison and College of Wooster and might have a shot at Oberlin.
As others have mentioned, do confirm the financials with your parents. It was a rude awakening for us to discover how much college costs have risen.
The above schools all offer merit-based scholarships in the 20-30K range if your family does not qualify for need based aid.
Finally, you might want to consider taking a couple of SAT subject tests as you seem to do well on standardized tests. Subjects for which you have taken AP courses and have done well would be logical picks. My D applied to places where they were considered, but not required, and I do believe they provided a boost to her applications.