Chance Daughter for Bio/Chem/Envi Schi


  • US domestic
  • Maryland
  • Private, highly competitive, college prep
  • Female/White
  • Hooks: None really. Has had a few coaches ask her to contact them if she chooses to attend.

Intended Major(s) Bio/Chem/Envi Sci, possibly pre-med…

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • 3.95uw
  • 4.28w (AP= 0.66, honors= 0.33, rarely allow students to carry more than 3 APs at a time, must have taken regular/honors science before you can take AP)
  • Class Rank: School does not rank
  • SAT: 1470 (780 math, 690 reading), taking again in August, aiming to raise reading above 700.

*Will have taken 7 APs (BC Calc, Stats, Chem, Bio, Spanish, Eng Lang, Eng Lit), Post-AP Spanish conversation. Honors chem, bio, physics. Most rigorous math/science curriculum available.

NHS, National Spanish Honor Society, National Art Society, variety of athletic all-star type awards. Will be in Cum Laude upon graduation.

Tutoring, volunteer assisting Spanish-speaking clients registering for resources, outing club officer, work 35 hrs a week at a farm stand during summers, varsity field hockey, swimming, and lacrosse, baby sitting. As a hobby-- construction (has completed plumbing/electrical/framing/dry wall)

*Essays pretty solid-- Maybe 8/10
LOR – very strong, teachers she knows well and who are known to write very strong letters.

Cost Constraints / Budget
None really. Would certainly entertain a more affordable option :rofl:

Not entirely sure, still thinking, but the counselor at school believes at least a few of these are reasonable:

University of Vermont
University of Rochester
Denison University
Colorado College
Middlebury (ED-- One LOR is alum)

Other suggestions? She prefers small, more rural, access to hiking/outdoors type activities. Not looking for the big football/greek scene.

Vermont - In

Rochester - likely

Denison - In

Colorado - likely - make sure you know they have the block terms - so one class at a time.

Middlebury - likely if ED

Colby 50/50

Colgate 50/50

Lehigh - In

So that’s a good list

You seem to like the LACs - so let me throw out Washington & Lee, Bowdoin, Lewis & Clark, Davidson, Reed, Whitman, App State, UNC Asheville, Arkansas (ok, it’s big football - but has the hiking chops), and Bates. Sewanee is another but does have a religious bent although I don’t know how much - you’d have to look).

She’d be in at all I listed except maybe Bowdoin.

I think Lehigh doesn’t fit for her, btw - in what she’s looking for. Big greek.

The awards don’t matter and Honor Societies definitely don’t matter unless you can show activity - and explain it in breadth and leadership. In other words, you get in based on grades so that’s not adding value. If you are a leader, if it’s an active group that is doing stuff, that’s different.

If you want more affordable options, then you want to look at the following - but they’re going to be football schools. Well W&L (Johnson Scholar) - which I have listed above - that’s a freebie.

For affordability, my son goes to Alabama and hikes a lot. Arizona/Arizona state both have solid merit with Arizona’s being amazing. Both have strong Honors Colleges (to make the school smaller). ASUs is more well known. U of SC has arguably the nation’s top honors college and hiking isn’t far off. So lots of merit at these schools. Arkansas as well.

UVM has merit - but not as much. Florida State - she’d get an out of state tuition waiver so that’d be good. And she’d be competitive for an out of state waiver and Honors College at Georgia.

If you apply to schools “beneath” her level, that’s where you find the aid. So a Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Muhlenberg, etc. They won’t be cheap but they will be “cheaper”. Or you can go way off beat for hiking -like a Montana State.

Many of the schools you are looking at - Mid, Colgate, etc. don’t have merit aid - so those will cost you more. You have to decide - pedigree - or savings. That’s why the public Honors programs are so popular.

Good luck.

The list is a good start. So Colby and Middlebury you would be full pay (they offer no merit)? Have you run the net price calculators?

Colby and Midd are reaches. Colby has a sub 10% acceptance rate, that is a reach for all…no way chances are 50/50. Midd acceptance rate was in the mid teen’s this year so a reach for all too.

Vermont is a highly likely and she will get merit, the rest are matches.

Lehigh and Colgate have pretty significant Greek Life component to their schools, so not sure those are fits…will you be able to visit?

I would also recommend many of the rest of the NESCACs (all reaches…Bowdoin, Bates, Hamilton, Williams), Bucknell (match…there is Greek Life, but no housing for women so a bit more subdued than you will find at Lehigh), Carleton (reach), Whitman (match), UNH (highly likely), Oberlin (match), Kenyon (match).

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This represents a good list of schools to consider for a student interested in environmental studies:

If you’d like to consider another that is small, more rural with access to hiking/outdoors and a good rep for science/env sci + pre-med take a look at Juniata in PA. Dickinson in PA also comes to mind.

Eckerd is FL is another, but not as rural since it’s at the bottom of St Petersburg (still has its own bubble). Their motto is, “Think Outside.” Not sure if FL appeals or not.

Thanks for the replies. I had heard about Lehigh and Greek scene. This confirms that.

One other caveat— she hates being hot, so cold climates preferred, or at least moderate enough that it doesn’t get very hot.

So many fun choices if cold climate preferred. I second @Mwfan1921 recommendations of Hamilton, Bates and Carleton (Williams might be a little too athlete heavy which can sometimes feel like Greek-life). We are looking closely at Carleton because of their reputation for focusing on quality of undergraduate teaching (professors get instructional training, student evaluations matter, profs only teach 2 courses at a time so they can focus on their students, tend to be ranked #1 LAC for undergrad teaching, etc).

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There’s other great LACs in MN - such as Mac and Adolphus Gustavus and St. Olaf…yes, they’re a tier lower but they have merit aid.

Grinnell. Colorado College for fun - although it’s on the block plan. Wesleyan. Whitman.

You’d have to check the greek life, etc at those - but they might be ideas.

I second Whitman, it seems to check all your boxes. My son has stats very similar to yours and he got $18,000/year merit. Also have a very active Outdoor Club.

Whitman also has, I believe, 11 different Environmental Studies majors (Biology-Environmental Studies, Chemistry-Environmental Studies…).

Thank you! I will have her check out Whitman. Other suggestions she has received are Bates and Hamilton.

Regarding your daughter’s interest in hiking, Hamilton offers some short, beautiful trails right on its campus (as well as proximity to the Adirondacks for extended hiking and camping):

This post reminded me of our visit to Wake Forest - not a LAC but they had a bunch of trails - and it could be a reach for the OP.

Maps & Trails - Campus Recreation (

Thank you! That link to the arboretum at Hamilton was wonderful. That might be just the thing for her-- something small for impromptu outdoor access, with grander locations nearby. I will definitely share with her.
And I think Wake Forest is great. She will tell me it gets too hot🙄
I will also have her check out Whitman.
I’m happy that there are quite a few options that fit her wants and are at varying levels of difficulty for admissions. It makes me feel like she will find a good match.

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