Chance my D24 applying to 11 schools [FL resident, 3.98 GPA, 1370 SAT]


  • US citizen
  • Florida resident
  • Suburban public
  • Female/white
  • Legacy x 6 for Notre Dame, including father, Legacy Boston University, mom with 2 degrees from BU

Intended Major(s)
*undecided, Interior Design/Design studies, Advertising or Marketing

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.98/4.0 - had one B one semester AP World
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.6/5.0 recalculated based on system Florida colleges recalculate
  • Class Rank: 14/497
  • ACT/SAT Scores: SAT 1370 - 700 Math, 670 ERW, will apply test optional to reaches

*AICE diploma with 8 AICE classes
*9 AP Classes - Computer science, Human Geography, Psychology, World History, Calculus AB, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, US Government, US Comparative Government
*Dual enrollment ENC 1101 & 1102


  • AP scholar
  • Principal’s Honor Roll
  • Artwork chosen for Salvador Dali Museum Student Surrealism Exhibition
  • Nominated for Ringling College Art and Design Art Contest
  • Earned CIW (Certified Internet Web) Internet Business Associate Certificate
  • Earned Medical Skills Services Certificate

*Varsity Lacrosse captain 10th, 11th and 12th grades
Varsity Lacrosse Leadership Award
Varsity Lacrosse MVP
Top 15 Region season
All Western Conference All Star
*Club Lacrosse summer and fall throughout high school
*JV Volleyball 9th and 10th grades

*Clubs - NHS, Beta, Key Club, Spanish Honor society, Class council, SADD, Splash and a school spirit club - no leadership rolls

*Work - Club/pool attendant summers - with leadership roll this past summer; dog sitter

*Volunteer - Over 150 hours - Food pantry, American Heart Association, Event planner, Camp counselor/youth coach

*Essays - very good, had a college professor/professional writer help with brainstorming and editing
*LOR - not sure, but good relationships with 2 core subject teachers and other is art teacher, who has nominated her for awards

*Cost Constraints / Budget
+Edited to add she has Bright Futures scholarship for all Florida Publics which includes free tuition
*Hoping to get merit scholarships at some out of state schools to bring cost into the $20-30K range, but can afford more if needed.

Schools (applications already submitted)

  • Safety
    Florida Atlantic University

  • Likely
    NC State

  • Match
    Auburn - would be a likely if not so popular now
    Clemson - would be a likely if not so popular now
    FSU - applying fall EA and will switch to summer if deferred
    UF - applying summer

  • Reach - applying test optional
    UNC - Chapel Hill - out of state
    Notre Dame

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Public universities are usually not generous in merit aid to out of state students. Will she qualify for one of the Florida public scholarships? Getting the cost down to 20-30k is a real challenge and not possible at many of the schools on this list. She would not receive merit aid at the 3 private schools listed.


Unlikely that these will reach your price point.


She will have free tuition at all Florida Publics due to Bright Futures scholarship

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Also my son received significant merit scholarships from out of state schools with the same stats.

The same OOS schools on this list?


Clemson yes, he also applied to UGA

One of the biggest challenges with this list will be affordability. Outside your strong in-state options, most of these schools won’t come in at the $20-30k range with merit. BU and Notre Dame are extremely unlikely to award merit (given to a very small number of students) - and their average merit awards wouldn’t bring the cost near that number. If you qualify for need-based aid that is a different question - you should check out the various NPCs.


NPC for BU was 32,800 and ND was 38,000. So close enough that we could swing it if she miraculously got in!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You’re back :slight_smile: I remember your student last year - UF I think.

So your kids can get big money OOS at schools where they would earn it.

As an example, at an Alabama, they’d get at least $24,000 vs. $33K tuition. Arizona $32K vs. a $40K tuition…whereas at a UGA, likely a lot less as a % of total tuition, etc. So while the stats are great, if you are chasing merit to get costs down, you have to chase the right schools…if that makes sense.

Agree with your rank - although I’d move Auburn to likely, especially if you apply soon. They have a 9/15 deadline if you can make it. But if you’re going to go to FAU over Auburn - why apply? If you want a like school that you’d go for much cheaper - it’d be MS State. To me, Auburn and MS State have many similarities. Auburn isn’t the merit chasing school in Alabama so if you want to chase merit there, it’s Roll Tide (or UAH for smaller). At MS State, you’d be low 20s.

I would not waste time with Clemson. You have better odds (but not good odds) to get to where you want to be $$ wise at UGA but if you want to be in South Carolina, U of SC is your better bet for large school cost. It’s a bit urban. Or a College of Charleston if your student was selected for the Charleston Fellows program - but only if they were. My student has a scholarship worth more than tuition. It’s urban…but not BU urban. A Miami of Ohio might also bring you decent aid - vs. a Clemson. Clemson won’t get you close to the $38K of UND. But U of SC could.

Good luck with your reaches.


Yes I’m back, my son is at UF.

We visited Alabama and U of SC after learning how generous they are with merit, but my daughter didn’t love them enough to apply. Right now her favorites are FSU and NC State followed by TCU and Auburn. Her cousin is at Clemson and they gave my son decent enough money there, so that is why she is applying. Her reaches, she loves Chapel Hill campus and she also loves the location of BU. She has spent every football season going to Notre Dame games, including this past weekend we were at the NC State game to do a tour and go to the game.

My son got enough scholarships to get Clemson and UGA to $23-26K per year range and she has the same stats. Our plan is to see where she gets in first and worrying about cost later, especially with Florida options. We did NPC on all schools and I have a spreadsheet with that along with automatic scholarships with their SAT and GPA thresholds. Going through this 2 years ago with my son certainly made it easier to know how it works.

So really right now I’m more curious about her chances of getting into the schools she has applied to then the cost.

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I agree with your reach list.

UNC as an OOS student will be a challenging admit and I would not count on merit. They get a lot of OOS apps and they have a cap. Have you tried the NPC? They meet full need. I would not count on merit to BU or ND, but it seems they are affordable based on the NPC. Apply and see- good luck!

I think NC State also has an 18% cap for OOS students, so I would not view it as a likely. It gets fewer OOS apps than UNC which will help.

I believe she will be accepted to many of the other schools on this list. Not sure about merit at Clemson, but your son got some so hopefully it has not gotten more competitive.


I am confused. Did the son receive merit aid or need based aid, given the reference to the NPC?

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BU going to be a very difficult admit. 14.4% admission rate. Harder for woman at 13.2%. The ED acceptance rate is higher at 25%. However they filled 44% of their incoming class via ED which in your circumstances (as I understand them) is not really a viable option. Even with a RD admission only 6% of enrolled received non need based, non athletic scholarships and the sticker price is over $82,278.

When my D18 when to Clemson she got the highest level of merit money which that year was 15K. That brought the COA down to about 36K. She was able to graduate in 3 years because of the generous AP credits they give. She started with Sophomore status based on her 36 AP credits. So we got out of Clemson at about $100K.

Interesting to get that low at both - was there a need component? Or is including the $5500 loan?

At UGA, you’d need the full OOS waiver - and that’s rare. My daughter had better stats and got the half and I rarely read about anything else here.

Well you can always try. I’d think NC State is another that won’t work - and UNC definitely won’t. But no hurt in applying.

FSU is a likely so if the student loves it, that’s great. You only need one that’s affordable.

Best of luck to the student.

This may have changed, but when my S21 was applying to UF, we attended an admissions webinar where they stated that applying for summer had no advantage over applying for fall. They accept who they want, and then they assign them by term. Some kids ask for summer to get that requirement out of the way or to start early to make room for double majors, study abroad, etc. If they assign you a term you did not request, you can ask to be moved. Whether they honor the request depends on yield/space.

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Auburn is a likely if not a safety. Their admissions is completely based on GPA and SAT - both of which look pretty safe. Their merit award is also based on a matrix of that criteria and you should be able to find that qualification on their website. Unless also receiving a competitive merit award for something (art? music?) you should be able to get an accurate picture of the finances there.


My daughter had almost identical stats except a 33 act, she gets $10,000 a year at Clemson, the top merit was $12,000 in 2021.

ETA another daughter is at BU for grad school, they aren’t generous with merit and tuition is very high.

Clemson accepted 7 of my daughter’s AP class credits, but if the student only has the AP scholar they might not have the scores.

BU not known for Merit and grad school is a different thing entirely at most schools as it relates to “free money”.

The schools all post - and if they don’t you can find it through college board - what AP scores are necessary for waiver of the particular courses.