Can anyone give me some potential good schools to apply to?

Hi! I am an African-American female senior from Alabama and I need help creating a list of schools to apply to. I am number 33 out of my class of 705 (top 4%). I have a 30 on the ACT, and 31 if superscored. I have over 500 volunteer hours from tutoring, mentoring, volunteering at museums, hospitals, animal shelters, etc. I am involved in various leadership programs in my state such as Youth Leadership Forum, Youth Leadership Development Program, and Youth Philanthropy Council. I am also in Heritage Panel, and the secretary of French Club and Young Democrats. I am in National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.
Some of my awards/honors include: -Top 4% in my class
-Presidential Service Award
-AP scholars award
During my high school career I have taken 8 AP courses, with the rest being either honors or advanced. I took all honors and advanced freshman and sophomore year. Junior Year, I took AP English, AP History, and AP Biology. Senior year, I am taking AP Gov, AP Env Science, AP English, AP Econ, and AP Psychology.
Some of my hobbies include singing, violin, and piano.
I hope to major in biology with minors in women, gender, and sexuality studies and Africana Studies. After college I plan to attend medical school to become either an OBGYN, radiologist, or anesthesiologist.
I am extremely passionate about social justice, especially minority rights and womens’ rights and emphasize that in my college essays.
I do not want to stay in the south for college but will consider it. I hope to attend a school in the North East if possible. I come from a single-mother background, so it would be nice to attend a school with a good financial aid package.
Thank you all so much for reading and for any help!

Your academic interests align well with the curricula at most of the NECACS and some other Northeastern LACs, such as, for example, Mt. Holyoke. For points of differentiation, you can research, in particular, these colleges’ offerings in women’s and gender studies and Africana studies. This site offers a convenient cost estimator:

Oberlin College in Ohio might be of interest to you.

Smith College (Massachusetts) (all female school) is very liberal and offers a lot of financial aid.

Grinnell College in Iowa offers excellent academics, great financial aid, and is quite liberal.

Trinity College in Connecticut is trying to increase diversity.

Vassar College in the Hudson Valley area of New York state.

Bryn Mawr located in a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia. Very liberal, social justice warrior, all female school.

Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

“Single mother background” could be still be any income level. What’s your FAFSA EFC, and is that amount something you can realistically pay?

It sounds like you must have a pretty high GPA, to be top 4%, yes? What’s your highest level of math? There should be a lot of full-need-met schools where you’d be a very competitive applicant, but not all “full need met” financial aid formula are the same, so you’ll need to run the Net Price Calculator for each school you consider, to get an idea of your expected out-of-pocket.

As others have said, women’s colleges can be terrific places for a premed with the interests that you have. Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Barnard, and Scripps all meet full need; all but Wellesley and Barnard have merit scholarships too.

If you’d consider going west, the Claremont Consortium could be terrific for what you’re looking for. Lots of choral and a cappella groups, instrumental music, fantastic course offerings across the consortium in AA Studies, Gender/Women’s/sexuality studies, superlative foreign languages… and excellent premed coursework and advising. Scripps, Pomona, and Pitzer are all worth a look, and you can cross-register freely. Many of my daughter’s friends at Scripps are not only involved in social justice work, but have received internship grants to work in their areas of passion.

If your EFC is more than you’d ideally like to pay, look into the Morrill scholarship at Ohio State - you sound like an excellent candidate for this full ride, and you’d be part of a small, like-minded cohort. November 15th deadline to apply.

Hi! So when I filled out fasfa, they expected that My family and I could pay 10,000. While my mother makes around 90,000 a year, we still cannot afford to pay too much for college due to other situations. My weighted gpa is 4.35 while unweighted is 4.0. Currently I am in honors calculus, which will be my highest level of high school math. And Yes! I have actually been looking at Ohio State but was not sure if I should apply, but I think you have helped convince me. I really like the women colleges that you’ve mentioned, but I’m not sure if I could get accepted.

Thank you so much for these reccomendations, I will look into them!

Thank You!

hi! i’m a freshman college student in the northeast and i’ve been researching for schools to transfer to so i know a little!

bard college: Annandale-on-hudson, ny: insanely liberal/intellectual LAC in a gorgeous area (some may not like the location as it can seem isolated), very close to vassar, really good music and pretty good biology program!

“Bard students who apply to medical school have had a 78% placement rate (the national average is 50%). Their scores on the MCAT are equally impressive — a recent report shows that average scores for Bard students are in the 96th percentile or above, and Bard is ranked as one of the top 25 schools in the country for the Verbal Reasoning part of the MCAT” (this is talking about the biology program @ bard)

i also second oberlin and the claremont colleges.

also what kind of school would you prefer? a large school with a big student body, where you are seen as a ‘number’, large class sizes (100+). or a smaller school with a close student body, small class size (20 or less typically) where you are very close to your professors?

a lot of schools listed here are schools people either LOVE or abhor.

I think you have a good chance at Mt. Holyoke and some of the other schools mentioned by Publisher in post #2 .

I’d take a shot a Wellesley too as a reach if the NPC comes out in the ballpark.

That said, if med school is in your plan, minimize your undergraduate costs as much as you can. Every penny saved will be less in loans for you to take out in med school. Apply to your instate schools too.

Can you and your family pay your EFC of $10K, or is that too high?

Run the net price calculators at some of the schools that have been suggested here and let us know the estimated costs.

You have great stats, good rigor and ECs…so it is reasonable for you to apply to any of the schools that posters have suggested. You might not be accepted to all of them, but you will get some acceptances. We just have to make sure they are affordable!

Would you consider any HBCUs?

I also wouldn’t overlook U Alabama and UAH right now, even though you don’t want to stay in the south…they are both very good for biology/pre-med.

@am5233: Regarding the last line of your post #4 above: You are a very strong candidate for admission to all of the elite women’s colleges including Wellesley.

A minor point: Better to refer to your class rank as “top 5%”–which technically is your class rank since you are #33 out of a class of 705. Most are comfortable referring to class rank in 5% increments. Very impressive class rank.

Hi! thanks so much for the reccomendations. Right now, I am open to any size college. I’ve gone to both a small high school with only 60 in my grade and a large high school with over 700 in my grade so I have experience with both!

Thank you!

10k is not super unreasonable, although it would put a stretch in our finances. I have applied to one HBCU, Xavier of Louisiana and I may look into a few more. I also will be applying to many colleges in state, just for back up!

I agree that you’re a strong candidate for most if not all of the women’s colleges. Your ACT isn’t quite high enough to add strength to your application for these schools, but they’re all test-optional and de-prioritizing test scores this cycle anyway, and even in a normal year your scores would have been a neutral, not a negative. Your GPA and EC’s are both strong, and the URM bump is likely to move you from “one well-qualified applicant among many” to “one of the well-qualified applicants we definitely want.” They really are great places to be premed. Both Scripps and Bryn Mawr have post-bac premed programs in addition to their undergrad programs, so they have a lot of supportive infrastructure in place for premeds.

Do you love biology, or are you just assuming that you need a life-sciences major to be premed? You could absolutely major in something that’s more directly linked to the justice and equity issues you care about, and still take all of the premed science classes; it’s not a disadvantage for a med school applicant to have a non-science major as long as the GPA in the prereq science classes is high.

At Ohio State, for example, take a look at the undergrad Public Health major - that could be a great way to center your major right where health care and social justice intersect. (If you like the public health idea, Agnes Scott has a great public health major, developed in cooperation with Emory’s school of public health. It’s also a great women’s college with a strong female-leadership/social-justice focus. It’s not a full-need-met school but they recruit for diversity have have some big merit scholarships that you could be competitive for.)

At the LAC’s, you can absolutely be a pre-med Gender/Women’s Studies and/or African-American Studies major. There’s not a lot of value added, employability-wise or med school preparation wise, to doing all of the upper-division lab-science stuff that a bio major requires, unless you really have a strong interest in that coursework. A bio major is fine if it’s genuinely your primary interest, but it needn’t be the default.

Im not sure if I absolutely love biology, but I do know that science interests me and I am pretty set on medical school. I have heard that you can major in anything and still get into med schools, I just worry about being on the right track as a non-science major and making sure that I take all the classes required for the MCAT and acceptance. Also, so do you think I should leave my ACT score off the application? I am not sure if my extracurriculars are strong enough alone

Biology courses compose part of a premed curriculum, though courses outside of the sciences as well may be required or recommended for admission to medical school. In outline, you would pursue something like the following:

General biology — 2 semesters

Biochemistry — 1 semester

General chemistry — 2 semesters, which may include an additional course in biochemistry

Organic chemistry — 2 semesters

Physics — 2 semesters

Calculus — 1 semester

Statistics — 1 semester

English/literature/writing — 2 semesters

Psychology, Sociology — 1 semester of each recommended

In the hypothetical absence of general core or distribution requirements, the above would leave over half of your remaining course selections for academic pursuits of your choosing, and would allow for study abroad, if desired.

You can find lots of good information on the pre-health advising websites at the various colleges. Here’s an informative 1st and 2nd year guide from Bryn Mawr, for example:

With a 31 superscore, I don’t see any reason not to submit - it’s a very respectable score that should be within the middle 50% range for any school you apply to, and having another solid data point is better than not.

Take all statements of very high med school acceptance rates from a given college with a grain of salt and a lot of investigation of context. Many schools have a committee that decides which students they will endorse, thus weeding out all but the strongest candidates. This number by itself won’t tell you much about the outcomes among all students who entered the college with med school aspirations.

URochester could be worth a look - it’s a great school for premed, very music-saturated campus culture (Eastman School of Music is part of the University), and has a semi-open curriculum that works especially well for students with cross-disciplinary interests. Case Western Reserve U could be worth a look too. St Olaf in Minnesota is another very musical full-need-met school with top-notch sciences; it would be a low-match if not a safety for you. Run NPC’s to see how your projected net costs compare at the various schools.

Scripps just got a big donation to kick off a fund specifically for anti-racist initiatives, so hopefully that will be putting some things in motion that could be worthwhile to be a part of.

First of all, congratulations on your accomplishments so far.

Now, I am going to focus on a few things you said. You want to be a doctor and you want to keep your costs down. Your FAFSA speculates that your family’s expected financial contribution is higher than is comfortable.

I understand that you may want to leave the South, but let’s be realistic for a second here. While merit aid is available for undergraduates, it is not exceedingly available for medical school (I know, I went to law school and my wife went to medical school). So, you need to consider the potential future cost of medical school now when considering colleges. Otherwise, the undergraduate debt you incur added to the medical debt you incur will impact your abilities once you graduate from medical school (opportunity costs, etc.).

Clearly, you are a candidate for competitive merit aid. To that end, find colleges and universities that “fit” you and apply there. But, fill in your list with public universities that offer defined, automatic merit aid. The cheapest for you will be Alabama–Huntsville (you thought I would say 'Bama, didn’t you?). UA-H is an excellent STEM university in the south. It was founded to educate the people that put us on the moon (literally). It is in-state for you, so you have reduced costs and defined merit aid. Outside of it, you have 'Bama. Again, defined merit aid.

If you want to look farther afield, I would entertain:

Arizona State
Texas Tech
Iowa State
Mississippi State
New Mexico

Only one of those is in the South. Of course, it would likely be the cheapest of second cheapest option outside of your in-state choices. None are in the northeast…maybe you look there for medical school?

Best of luck.

Minor note - 33 of 705 isn’t top 4%. AO’s will notice little things like that, not positively.