Average student/National Merit Semi - need suggestions!!

<p>Son is a senior and finally seriously looking at colleges. His gpa is now 2.9 due to a crash and burn last year (I know I know - the worst time for a melt down) - he has a 1360 SAT I, taking II's in November; National Merit Semi-finalist (235!!) - not sure of major - considering comp sci but also psych - wants an area close to a major city, but not necessarily in the city - doesn't seem to care about size of school - we live in CA so he will be applying to the CSU's and UC's but need other suggestions - especially East Coast...(we are from CT) </p>

<p>Also, we will probably not qualify for need based aid but are hoping that his National Merit Semi standing and solid SAT's might overcome the GPA (for example he got a 4 on the US History AP exam, but nearly failed the course because he wouldn't do homework!!) Also, I hope that his first semester this year will show vast improvement - he has three AP's and is doing well in all.</p>

<p>Anyway, he may wind up at home going to a local cc or nearby CSU, but I'd sure like for him to have some choices...hoping that all you great CC folks have some thoughts...thanks in advance!</p>

<p>It would appear that your S is bright enough to handle the work at a selective school, but most are going to see a red flag with the weak GPA/strong test score combination. So a CC with one of those deals to transfer into a UC might be a very good bet. Several posters on this board are knowledgable about the California CCs. If they don't show up here, post a specific question about those schools on the Parent's Board.</p>

<p>Strong CS, urban-ish location and no real opportunity to visit and interview knocks most of the selective LACs out. Several of them give individual applications and cases more time and consideration. I guess I would consider some less-selective universities with good CS and/or Psychology programs. Maybe Drexel, Drew, Marquette, Denver University or University of Utah? If a medium-sized city would work, maybe University of Oregon. Plenty of opportunity at these schools for a bright kid that gets serious about his studies.</p>

<p>University of Tulsa sounds like a winner for your son, and IF he turns that semi into finalist-a $ winner for you,too. Really good looking school in a medium sized city. LAC like-good endowment per capita, don't know about CS specifically. Check it out.</p>

<p>Check out the University of San Diego (USD). It has a very good reputation, one of the prettiest campuses on the west coast, a nice size (7,000 enrollment, undergrad and grad), and is located in San Diego, a great city.</p>

<p>I second the suggestion of The University of Tulsa. It's a wonderful choice, and their CS program is really first-rate. Many opportunities for research, even as a freshman, outstanding profs, only school in the country which offers all the CS cybersecurity certificates, and much, much more. Curmudgeon is correct, too, about the city (a great place), and they offer full tuition for NM finalists. It's definitely worth a look.</p>

<p>You might want to look at Colorado College. I know they would give consideration to a kid who is showing that he is bouncing back from a junior year crash. It is a neat school with a block program (you take one course at a time).</p>

<p>Son may have trouble moving onto the National Merit Finalist stage with his GPA. We had a kid last year at my D's school who had a similar problem (wouldn't do the homework for boring classes). He didn't move on to finalist stage. Is attending CC now.</p>

<p>Why's his SAT I so low compared to his PSAT?</p>

<p>Dusk - have no idea - he took the PSAT as a soph and only scored 201; he took a practice PSAT the night before the real test, so maybe that was a factor...also, he took the SAT in December which is when his girl problems started, so that may have been a factor as well...or he may just have happened to get an easy (for him) version of the PSAT. It's just hard to say...he did not prep for the SAT at all (no practice or study) -</p>

<p>If I were him, I would go to a community college while I was still in highschool and take some classes in comp sci/psych and retake the equivalent of some of the classes I'd done bad in.... I'm just saying this because the comm colleges around where I live have distance learning programs where they send you new assignments in the mail as soon as you finish the previous ones, so you can get done with the class real fast, and he could probably do this in addition to his current schoolwork. If he at least paid a little attention to what the teacher was saying in the classes he did bad in, he won't have to relearn all the material or anything.</p>

<p>(I meant that he could do this and then apply to a good university. And I guess that he shouldn't take any comp sci or psych classes since he probably did good i those, I don't know why I put that...)</p>