a lost senior looking for some suggestions. :-)

<p>Hey there! I hate these thread, but I'm really in need of some advice. It seems like I've been searching for ages now, but I still am thinking I need to add more colleges to my list. Here's some of my information. I am an undecided major, thus I'm looking for a school that is very well-rounded in terms of academics. Also, one with a medium campus, and one that is not too conservative. I'm considering mostly psychology, anthropology, linguistics, foreign languages, education, and environmental science.</p>

GPA: 3.92/4.0
class rank: top 1.75%
ACT: 31 (retaking next week)
SAT: retook it last week, I'm hoping I did around a 2100...maybe better? I would like to improve it.
SAT IIs: taking in December (Math IIC, Biology, Latin) - should do pretty well</p>

Like most everyone else here, I take a bunch of APs - a very demanding schedule. I don't think I need to list them all. By the end of senior year, I will have taken nine APs in total, and many other honors classes, with 4/5 years in each subject. </p>

<p>A.P. scores: only taken two tests so far (U.S. History and Psychology) - both 5s</p>

<p>E.C. are decent, but nothing too spectacular. Lots of volunteering.</p>

<p>Awards: random academic ones </p>

<p>Recommendations/essays: They should be decent, and as writing it one of my strengths, I'm hoping my essay will stand out. :-)</p>

<p>Thus, I really just want advice on some other school I should consider. I have a bunch of safeties/matches at the moment, so I'd definetely be interested in some possible low/high reaches (though nothing completely out of reach). Some matches would also be nice. Also, I'm from the midwest, and would prefer somewhere around here, though I'm definetely willing to apply in the Northeast. It might be actually more interesting. I just want a good education. </p>

<p>Current colleges: Northwestern (reach), SLU, Loyola, Depaul, Tulsa and some other safeties.</p>

<p>Thanks. :-)</p>

<p>Whoa, you're one of the few CCers whose list is bottom heavy. Your list is fine, and I agree that a few more matches and reaches would be a good idea. </p>

<p>Dartmouth, Middlebury, Bowdoin, Colby, Tufts, Brown, Colgate, Wesleyan, Beloit, St. Olaf, Kalamazoo, Carleton, Amherst, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Conn. College, Denison, Dickinson, Skidmore, Franklin & Marshall, Grinnell, Hamilton, Kenyon, WUStL, Haverford, Oberlin, Williams...there's probably plenty more.</p>

<p>what does it mean to be "bottom" heavy?</p>

<p>It's a list composed primarily of safeties and matches. Although a good balance is good to have, it is much better to have a bottom heavy list than a top heavy list (few or no safeties). See andi's thread below for an example of a top heavy list with a bad outcome.</p>

<p>No</a> Acceptances: One Kid's Story - A year later...</p>

<p>Thank you for your advice. I will look into some of those. :-)</p>

<p>Yeah, I really do want to focus on having enough matches/safties more than anything. I don't understand people who solely apply to reach schools. I'd rather feel secure.</p>

<p>I completely disagree!! I think you have to rethink your strategy. Having alot of reaches and matches creates a safety net of sorts, you can only fall so far. My "safety" was Michigan, but because I had so many matches and reaches I highly doubted I would attend that school. And I was right.</p>

<p>You only need one or two safeties, you have wayyyy too many. The point of a safety is that its a certain admit, SLU and DePaul are 100% sure bets. So focus on REAL matches like Middlebury, Bowdoin, Tufts, UVA, etc and add a few more reaches like WashU and Cornell. You are pretty strong, maybe a super reach like Penn wouldn't be a bad idea. Isn't going to the right "top" college important? Because right now your list says that you just want to go to college, regardless of how strong it is.</p>

<p>Your list should look like this:</p>

<p>--- (Reach) - Northwestern, WashU, Cornell, et al
---- (High/ Moderate Match) - Tufts, Middlebury, Emory, UVA, et al
--- (Safer Match) - Michigan, Colgate, Hamilton et al
-- (Safety) - SLU, DePaul</p>

<p>True story: some of the kids who were the most talented at our high school ended up at lesser schools because they were "bottom" heavy and didn't get into their one or two matches/ reaches. The most successful kids had a balanced list, with more reaches than safeties, and lots of high matches.</p>

<p>but you also shouldnt apply to a college just for its 'name.' fit is by far more important. it is not unusual at all for a person to have a safety school as their first choice.</p>

<p>Yeah but there are plenty of top colleges that are unique enough so a top student should be able to find more than a few fits. All the top schools have tremendously gifted student bodies, a factor that seperates them from the rest and adds probably the greatest value to an educational experience.</p>

<p>Am I suggesting someone who wants a suburban/ rural LAC should apply to Columbia? Probably not, but Amherst, Williams, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Colgate, and perhaps even Princeton fit that criteria. Same goes for many preferences.</p>

<p>I would say Tufts is a reach as well. The stats of its accepted students are nearly identical to those of students accepted at Northwestern, but the acceptance rate at Tufts is lower. Nevertheless, you seem to be an excellent student -- I'm sure either school would love to have you. Statistically, however, neither of these schools are safeties, but they're certainly more within yoru reach than they are for many others. Good luck... no matter where you end up, I'm sure it'll be a great school!</p>

<p>The point is you need to be thinking about schools like Tufts, WashU, Middlebury, Emory and the like. Applying only to safe schools is selling yourself short.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for you advice slipper1234. I definetely am considering now applying to other reach schools. I do not want to sell myself short, but have been told by several people that it probably isn't worth it to apply to those schools. I guess it never hurts to try, as I do want the best education possible. Thank you.</p>

<p>Uncertain, I've interviewed for an Ivy for four years and went to a high school with 20% going to Ivy caliber schools. To be honest, I believe I got alot of help from guidance counselors at my high school who knew how to strategically apply to schools. My bet is that if you apply to Emory, UVA, Tufts, Middlebury, and the like you will get into 40-50% of these schools and you have an honest chance at Northwestern and WashU. Give yourself the opportunity to turn schools down, you'll never have the chance to change your life in such a significant way. Its worth every penny to aim a little high, the extra 300 bucks for 5 match and reach applications could yield tremendous lifetime rewards.</p>

<p>Might want to look at some very good LAC's like Holy Cross, Bucknell, Trinity.</p>

<p>All the schools par mentioned are very safe for you.</p>