Chance Me - junior looking at (mostly) big schools in big cities!

Rutgers is very cheap on merit in and out of state, my kids were offered decent merit from UCONN, bringing the cost down to our in state Rutgers.

If they visit your high school or area, attend the session. If you visit the school, try to pop in and say hello to the admissions officer.

And in your case, not hard to envision unique questions you can pose—
“I love the programs at your school and look forward to applying. Im a competitive synchronized swimmer and anticipate being on the national team… etc… I was hoping you could put me in touch with someone in the athletic department who can provide information about getting extra access to the ice rink facilities… etc”

Anything you can do to simply be on your AO’s radar is an extra positive. The AO will read hundreds/thousands of applications so it doesn’t hurt if when they come across yours, they consciously or subconsciously were already aware of you.

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Thanks for the advice. My state flagship is UW Madison, which gives out almost no merit aid. Since I am in-state, the cost would be lower than most, but still somewhere around 35k per year. It’s also too far to travel for skating practices and way too many kids from my high school go there every year. I’m definitely applying, just not leaning towards it.

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Please put that out of your thoughts. Wisconsin is a huge flagship university with many thousands of students who did not graduate from your high school. You only have to see those HS classmates if you want to. There are plenty of additional students who didn’t go to your high school…or are even from OOS.


For Michigan State you would get honors which means instate tuition, a mentor with freshman research, $5,000 for study abroad etc. Look it up.

At Michigan it’s more of a club but know they would love to have you but not sure if their scholarships and oos merit is tough but… You will definitely stand out.

Couple of minor comments re the above from my D’s college search :
Brandeis is not big and it doesn’t “feel” close to Boston. Kid also wanted big school/big city and did not like Brandeis one bit from those perspectives.
Fordham seemed fairly generous with merit (and it’s not public so I don’t think out of state matters, didn’t seem to for my kid anyway)


Years ago my company did some work with a group of students, a professor, and a researcher at UW Madison. I visited a few times. I was consistently very impressed with the quality of the students and the quality of the work that they did. I have since worked with a few graduates from UW, including one of the students who was on the team on the first project. I continue to be impressed with the people who I have met who graduated from UW Madison.

You are fortunate to have such a good university in-state. I agree with others that it is large enough that nearly always you will only see students from your high school if you do so intentionally.

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Where is skating practice? I assume Milwaukee? How about UWM, Marquette?

U of M’s club synchronized skating team is very good, and most on the collegiate team have been Team USA skaters. My daughter skated synchro since the age of 4 and is on their team (2nd year). There are two teams. One is classified as Open Collegiate and the other is Collegiate. These are US Figure Skating divisions. To be Team USA, you want to be in the Junior or Senior division (not available at Michigan, but you can drive to a club that has these divisions–Junior in Ann Arbor, and Senior in Dearborn). The top collegiate teams are Michigan, Miami, Adrian, Western Michigan and Michigan State. My daughter absolutely loves skating on the collegiate level and is so glad she chose that route. She has friends who chose to skate for Team USA and they love their choice.

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My daughter is a sophomore at U of Michigan and skates on their collegiate team. Some things that may or may not be helpful in your search:

Miami U: What is great is you do not need to pay extra for skating as it is a Varsity sport. However, competition is tough, and my daughter’s friends all made collegiate instead of Senior. One moved up to Senior this year, but it is rare to move up. However, collegiate is a lot of fun. Just not Team USA, if that is your goal.

Michigan State: It is a bit of a drive to Dearborn (assuming you are looking there for their Senior team). However, skaters have done it. And then if you decide you do not want to do it anymore, they have a good collegiate team you could switch to.

Boston area: If you make Lexettes, you have to be OK with the stress of not knowing what team you will make the next year after you age off. They have the 12 person select team, which is nice if you end up not making Hayden. If you make Hayden right away, then you do not have that stress. However, you will spend a lot of time driving to practice as the universities are not really close to the rink.

My daughter absoluately loved her choice to skate at the University of Michigan. She is out of state, so it was a great way for her to make friends before school started. What is nice about a club sport is that the skaters run it, from making travel arrangemnets to collecting the dues.

As for getting into the schools, everyone said to show passion in the essays, which is what she tried to do. So, I would just try for the schools you think work best and see what happens with admissions and auditions. Good luck!

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