2015 Son...Trying to narrow down choices for IR

<p>My son is a 2015 grad in Southern Californa, and is trying to narrow down his list of colleges. He wants to major in either IR or Foreign Svc, World Affairs, etc, with hopes of working for the FBI someday.</p>

<p>He has a 4.0 unweighted and 4.35 weighted GPA going into his Senior year, but only scored a 1900 on his SAT, which he is going to re-take in October. He's a varsity baseball player, an officer for NHS, team leader for the Action Team and a member of the Calif. Scholarship Federation. He has also passed (4) AP tests with 4s.</p>

<p>The schools on his long list are:
UCLA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSB
USC
Santa Clara
Occidental
Univ. of Oklahoma
Johns Hopkins
Georgetown
George Washington</p>

<p>We have also talked about looking into Claremont McKenna as well.</p>

<p>Because his SAT doesn't quite match his GPA, we have tried to make sure he has a few fall back schools, but are holding out hope that he can get into one of the better programs.</p>

<p>If anyone has input or advice, we would love to hear it. There's a lot going on and just trying to keep it all straight.
Thanks</p>

<p>Has he looked at the statistics for admitted students at each of these schools to see where he fits? Off the top of my head, unless he’s an absolute star on the field, a couple of them seem a bit reachy. Which doesn’t mean he shouldn’t apply, but does mean they shouldn’t be his entire list.
How many does he plan to apply to? Speaking purely for our situation, the kids are trying to get the list to eight: two absolute complete safeties (financial and academic), three I’d categorise as “probably but not certain”, and three “hey it’s worth a shot” schools. </p>

<p>@Petrichor11…no doubt a few are reachy, but like you said, since he has a decent GPA, he wanted to apply to a few reaches. Georgetown, UCLA and Hopkins will all be very tough if not impossible, but hoping he will be in the mix for all the rest. A baseball player from his team last year had a 4.3 and a 1830 SAT and was accepted to the Engineering programs at Univ Texas at Austin, UC Irvine and Santa Clara. He decided to go to UT Austin this year.</p>

<p>As much as we like the UC System, I think we want to see what kind of aid he can get from the Privates. Almost everyone we know at Santa Clara is getting very good packages. He qualifies for $8K a year in merit from Oklahoma, which brings the Out of State tuition down from $21k to $13k, which is nice. </p>

<p>How many languages as of now?</p>

<p>^^^Good question Miami and what languages? Georgetown’s SFS and Penn’s Huntsman program has that on their special app along with p’ton’s Woodrow Wilson school. What was the SAT breakdown of his scores?</p>

<p>Two of son buddies from p’ton both were hired by the FBI right after graduation, math and science majors but both spoke many languages. True for his friends who were hired by the CIA. Older son’s friends were hired after their required military obligation from attending the academy. That really helped since they already had their top secret security clearances, spoke some desirable languages and had been on site in some of those locales already.</p>

<p>Might be another option if he wants foreign service, the service academies would provide a great education especially for his end goal. USNA offers Arabic as a (major) language and you can request for intelligence officer as a slot for after graduation. Same goes for the Point and AFA.</p>

<p>Kat</p>

<p>If the coach/school wants your son to play baseball, you’re good at all schools listed. If your son is not a recruited athlete, has he tried the ACT? The standardized score of 1900 doesn’t seem to jive with a 4.0. I see no merit from the privates mentioned except Santa Clara - possibly Oxy, but not enough to gap the difference to a UC. You might consider American but it is expensive and, like Oxy, you may get something but not much.</p>

<p>Thanks @pardullet…great advice. I agree that I’m not sure we will get enough money from the privates to bridge the gap of a UC, except for Santa Clara. @katwkittens…awesome info. We are actually going to West Point next week on a tour. Maybe I’ll plan a road trip to Colorado and go see the AFA in the next month or two. As much as I would like him to stay in CA, I know a Service Academy would be a good career move given what he wants to do (if he could get in). @miamidap…only English and 3 years of Spanish. No matter where he goes to school, he knows he will have to more than likely take another language. </p>

<p>I knowJohns Hopkins gives very few scholarships. A friend of mine’s darter got into GT with average SATs and high grades. I’d take either of those two over GW, all other things equal. I don’t know much about the other schools.</p>

<p>Op,
I’m not positive about this, but I thought that I have heard about a program with Oxy where if you are so admitted to a UC, then you can attend Oxy at UC prices? Might be a consideration.</p>

<p>@YoHoYoHo‌ , you may be confusing California Lutheran with Occidental. CLU offers to match the price of the UCs for students admitted to UCLA, UCB, UCSB, UCD, and/or UCSD. Far too many Oxy students are cross admitted to the more selective UCs to make it financially viable for the school. </p>

<p>I agree with @pardullet: the discrepancy between your son’s grades and scores needs to be addressed, though it’s better to have high grades and lower scores than the opposite. Take a course or do some prep before retrying the SATI. Try the ACT. If that doesn’t help, then perhaps the counselor could shed some light on the situation in his recommendation. Some kids are just not good standardized test takers. </p>

<p>Could you clarify your financial situation? Will you qualify for enough need based aid to make schools that don’t offer merit workable? Or is merit the only way that privates will be feasible?</p>

<p>If your son is able and willing to play baseball at a varsity level he should start contacting coaches now. Don’t rule out Division III baseball at some of the sports-oriented LACs. He sounds like a good fit for Amherst, Williams, Hamilton, Bowdoin, Davidson and some others. Limited or no merit though. Macalester is good for IR and does offer merit.</p>

<p>The most well known IR programs can be very competitive, but for undergrad any academically rigorous school with a decent IR/polysci/history/development economics program can lead to a career in government service. The key is to start building up a resume during summer jobs and internships. I live overseas and frequently interact with career diplomats: though the same few graduate schools appear again and again, the range of undergraduate experiences is wide. I don’t know anything about FBI recruiting, but looking at the resumes of FBI directors I’d say the same is true.</p>

<p>Your son might add Tufts University in MA to the list–it’s got a strong IR program and many opportunities for study abroad. Probably won’t get merit aid.</p>

<p>You may want to look at American University for those types of majors. My D was admitted there with similar stats although the aid wasn’t great, admittedly. </p>

<p>I think Georgetown is impossible with those scores unless baseball makes a difference (I know nothing about sports recruiting), and even more impossible if he wants to apply to SFS. If he’s looking at the DC schools, he should definitely look at American. My son (who attended Tufts) liked it better than George Washington. They have merit scholarships, but at least when my son applied four years ago, SAT scores were a big component. My kid thought Johns Hopkins was too reachy for him, and didn’t apply. He did apply to Georgtown SFS but didn’t get in. Son was top 6% of his class and CR was 790, M 690 for what it’s worth.</p>

<p>Oklahoma seems like an outlier on your list. </p>

<p>Tufts University has a five year program with its Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. You end up with a BA and an MALD.</p>

<p>“The joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program provides an opportunity for a limited number of highly qualified Tufts’ undergraduates in the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Jackson and Engineering to earn both the bachelor’s degree in their selected major and the MALD degree upon completion of a total of five to six years of study.” </p>

<p><a href=“http://fletcher.tufts.edu/Academic/Joint-Programs”>http://fletcher.tufts.edu/Academic/Joint-Programs</a></p>

<p>I would recommend American. It’s in DC and less selective than GT. My D is an AU grad (history) but had many friends in IR and poli sci. The internship possibilities are endless. Most students graduate having had at least 2 internships. Lots of opportunities in DC. It is expensive and scholarships are getting hard to come by. But if cost is not a huge concern for you - I’d check it out. And a beautiful campus, to boot.</p>

<p>@whenhen,
You are right. It was Cal Lutheran. My apologies.</p>

<p>@Brettcook‌ - a couple of things. At American it is VERY important to show “demonstrated interest.” I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned that as an aspect. My ds did not apply to Tufts, but my understanding is that they also value demonstrated interest. </p>

<p>I’m going to throw out the Croft Institute at the University of Mississippi as another option. Yes, it’s far from CA, but even as an out-of-state student it can be very affordable if one has good stats. I do think working to get the scores up is a good idea. If you go to the financial aid page for Ole Miss, there is a cut and dry chart that shows exactly how much money OOS students receive based solely on grades and test scores. Ole Miss has lots of smaller merit scholarships as well. The Croft Institute offers an $8,000 per year scholarship as well, but they are highly competitive, involve an interview, etc. One applies directly to the Croft Institute as a freshman, and you must be accepted into the Institute to major in International Studies. Ole Miss also offers a minor in Security & Intelligence. </p>

<p>My ds is matriculating elsewhere, but Ole Miss was his safety school because of the programming they offer in International Studies. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>If you are interested in IR it’s not hard to demonstrate interest in American. Certainly if you are going to DC you should visit the campus along with GW and Georgetown. It would be silly not to. </p>

<p>Tufts doesn’t exactly ask for demonstrated interest, but they are very interested in fit. You need to make a good case that you understand what Tufts is about and that you want to be part of that community. Hint: being an active global citizen no matter what your major is a common theme. :)</p>

<p>Wow…thanks for the awesome responses. He actually mentioned to me last night that he also wants to check out American when we are there next week. I want to do some research on Tufts as well. As for baseball, he is a lefty pitcher and is usally used as a middle reliever. I think playing for a D3 would be very doable, except for maybe JHU, which usually has the best D3 baseball program in the nation. </p>

<p>His class ranking is in top 7% (43//575) and as for financially, we definitely wouldn’t be able to afford a full $60k. We probably would need to get the total cost down to around $30k, which I know isn’t going to help us with a lot of the privates.</p>

<p>Another option we were looking at last night was UC Davis. They have four different IR tracks to choose from with one being Peace and Security, which is right up his alley, being he’s very interested in global conflict/homeland security/military strategy, etc., so we are going to go up to Davis next month and check it out as well. He so knowledgable and interested in the conflict in Syria, Middle East, and how it affects other nations, etc, so maybe that would be a good option as well.</p>