Chance me for finance/economics major

Public school in NH
Rising senior

Possible hooks:
Low income
First generation

Intended major: Finance (if college offers) or Economics

GPA: Unweighted - school does not calculate Weighted - 4.21/4.8

Rank: My school does not rank

Additional note:

I received a B in physical science honors in freshman year and will be likely be receiving a C/C+ in IB chemistry this year. The rest are As.


Freshman - honors in physical science, English, and history

Sophomore - honors in English and history, IB SL 1 in math

Junior - Honors in physics, IB HL 1 in history and English, IB SL 1 in Spanish 4, chemistry, and IB SL 2 in math.

Senior - planning on taking IB HL 2 in history and English, IB SL in Business, AP in environmental, psychology, statistics, and calculus AB

*Not doing the IB diploma

Test scores: planning on being test-optional


Honor roll in freshman year

High honor roll in sophomore year

NH scholar with STEM designation

Questbridge Prep Scholar


  1. Tutoring underclassmen at my school in math subjects (3 years)
  2. Started a business in digital items (somewhat like NFTs) with profits of $6,000+ so far (1 year)
  3. Spanish Honor Society (2 years)
  4. Reading club that do community service projects for underprivileged youth to encourage reading (2 years)
  5. Career club - learning about different possible careers (2 years)
  6. Work (16 hrs/week during the school year, 24 hrs/week during summers)
  7. Might do an internship in a local financial setting this summer

*no leadership roles

Essay: Not quite sure on topic yet, but I think it should be around a 8/10

LoR from math and English teachers: 8/10 (might be generic)

Budget: Looking for financial aid, 20-30k/year after aid



Boston College (ED)

Smith College

Villanova University

Vassar College

Brandeis University


Bentley University

College of the Holy Cross


UMass Amherst


Looking for any suggestions or advice! Please let me know my chances at the universities above, I’d really appreciate it. I’m also very interested in adding more colleges to the list, especially if they have a strong finance/economics program. I’m mostly limiting the search to the Northeast, but Pennsylvania is fine too.

Side note: I know my C/C+ in IB chemistry is probably detrimental to my application, so please give me some suggestions!

Welcome to College Confidential!

Before I can help too much, I need a little bit more information.

It would really help if you can calculate your unweighted GPA. There are online calculators available to do it. Alternatively, for every semester grade you give yourself a 4 for an A, 3 for a B, 2 for a C, 1 for a D. Add up all the points and then divide by the number of classes. If your schools does +/- then it’s usually 3.3 for a B+ or 2.7 for a B- (and same pattern for C and D). Then you would have an unweighted GPA out of 4.0.

The work you’ve done is a fabulous extracurricular. Working during the school year can be hard, especially when you’re combining it with your other activities outside of school.

Also, on the budget, is it more like $20k and hoping to stretch it out to $30k? If so, it’s best to really consider it $20k because running out of money is one of the top reasons that students drop out of college, and then frequently they will have loans to pay off without having the college degree they expected.

Has your family run the Net Price Calculator (NPC) at any of the colleges on the list? If so, was the college’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in line with what your family can pay? Frequently it is not affordable for families, so do not be afraid to let us know. Please let us know if the EFC that the colleges think your family can pay is what your family is willing and able to contribute. That just helps us provide better suggestions of colleges to consider and on your odds of admission at need-aware schools.


Thank you so much for your thorough response! I just ran an online unweighted GPA calculator and I think my unweighted GPA would be around 3.8.

As for my budget, I think $20,000 is what my family is hoping to pay, while $30,000 is the maximum possible cost we can afford.

Yes! My mom and I calculated our EFC through a couple colleges on the list, and they were all below $20,000, mostly around the $18,000 mark.


Glad that the EFCs are coming in at/under budget! One more thing: how does the rigor of your coursework compare to the rigor that your high school offers? Did you take the hardest classes or only some of them? And although your high school doesn’t rank, do you have any sense as to whether you’re one of the top students or not? Where do graduates of your high school usually go, and if to college, which one(s)?)

I don’t think UMass Amherst will be within your budget as an out of state student. It’s also not a safety - probably more a match. You need some safeties. Maybe UNH?

My bad, I totally forgot to mention those things in my original post! Although I didn’t take all the most difficult classes, I did take the majority of the offered high difficulty classes. I think I’m probably in the top 20%, and possibly the top 10%, but not too sure. Most of my high school’s grads go to our state schools, however a good amount get into BU, Northeastern, etc. and <5 get into T10s and Ivy League.

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Hi!!! I actually just got back from my Brandeis visit a few hours ago! Great school :)))
I think that you should add a few more targets and safeties (check to see if you can get the app fees waived and then you can apply to as many as time allows)
I don’t know if you would be interested in a women’s college, but Mount Holyoke might be an appropriate target
maybe bennington as well if you want to stay in the area?
I’m also a rising senior, so lmk if you ever want to talk about apps!

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Great point. Although I live in NH and go to school in NH, my parents are actually residents of Massachusetts so I’m considered in state for UMass and out of state for UNH.

Based on my very fallible estimation, these are my guesses as to what your chances for admission might be at the colleges on your list.

Extremely Likely (80-99+%)

  • U. of New Hampshire

Likely (60-79%)

  • U. Mass

Toss-Up (40-59%)

  • Bentley

Lower Probability (20-39%)

  • Smith
  • Villanova
  • Vassar
  • Brandeis
  • College of the Holy Cross

Low Probability (less than 20%)

  • Boston College

These are some additional colleges that you may want to consider, sorted by my very fallible guess about what your chances may be at these schools.

Extremely Likely

  • U. of Maine: About 8900 undergrads. I think you would qualify for the flagship match program, so tuition would be the same as U. Mass, and housing costs appear to be at least $3k lower.
  • U. Mass – Lowell: About 12k undergrads with in-state tuition!
  • Framingham State: About 3k undergrads, and it’s in-state tuition!


  • Stonehill (MA): About 2500 undergrads and met 90% of financial need


  • Bucknell (PA ): About 3700 undergrads and met 92% of financial need
  • Dickinson (PA ): About 2100 undergrads and met 99% of financial need
  • Syracuse (NY): About 14k undergrads and met 95% of financial need
  • Gettysburg (PA ): About 2400 undergrads and met 90% of financial need
  • Clark (MA): About 2300 undergrads and met 92% of financial need (part of the Colleges That Change Lives group)

Lower Probability

  • Lehigh (PA ): About 4k undergrads and met 97% of financial need

Low Probability

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Tysm for your advice. I will look into the schools you suggested, and I’m definitely down to talk about apps as well!

Love your in-depth feedback! Very very helpful and I will be researching your suggested universities too!

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Just curious - and maybe it was touched upon and I missed it - I saw Questridge pre scholar - why are you not applying through Quesbridge if low income? I don’t think Bentley meets need. UMASS won’t, etc. and yes there’s a New England association - but if you match at QB (if you qualify) - free is…well free.


Yes actually, I do plan on applying for QB’s national college match. However, I’m not sure if I’ll be selected as a finalist. Not to mention, the chances of being matched is incredibly low as the QB-affiliated colleges are extremely competitive. So I’ll most likely need to apply to colleges without the QB process!

@Mimij - If you like BC, Nova and Holy Cross. You may want to look at St Joe’s in Philly. they have a great undergrad business program.


I would make sure you apply to schools that meet need - of course, all measure need differently - check out some NPCs - for example, a Franklin and Marshall or Dennison.

See list.
Here’s Every College That Offers 100% Financial Aid (

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Lehigh is definitely worth a look; it has a well-regarded finance major, treats Asian applicants as URM, and recently improved its no-loan aid for low-income students.

If you like BC and Holy Cross, maybe consider Fordham too - they give some good merit scholarships, and their undergrad business school has a finance major as well.

Babson would be a reach but worth a try. Top school for entrepreneurship, with finance being their most popular academic concentration (they have a slighly different curriculum structure, with concentrations rather than majors). Babson has a consortium/cross-registration relationship with Brandeis, Wellesley, and Olin.

Heading west from NY rather than south, Syracuse U could be worth a look - good business school with a finance major, and they meet 95% of need on average and give merit as well.


Nice list of schools.
Since you are in state for
Massachusetts, if you get
accepted to Isenberg at UMass,
that is a highly regarded business
School. Their grads tend to do very well.
It’s not really a safety
though as acceptance rate is
Usually around 30 percent or so
I believe. But you certainly should
have a lot of good options with
your stats.