Choosing the right college. Help?

<p>Hey,
I'm about to be a senior next year and I'm planning to enroll at a college or university as a pre-med.
Stats:
GPA: 3.9/4.0 (school says 4.474/4.5)
Rank: 3/408
SAT: 2030 (630 CR, 680 Math, 720 Writing) (i took it early during the junior year and i'm going to take this again since I took it the first time on impulse and did not really have time to study a lot)
I will be taking SAT subjects tests soon (Math II and Biology)
I have taken all honor classes and AP US History, AP Biology, AP English Language and Composition. I have gotten a 5 on the AP US History and AP Bio Exam.
I will be taking AP Lit, AP Physics, AP Cal, and AP Spanish next year. I hope to take the AP Exams for AP Physics and AP Cal.</p>

<p>Extracurricular: Filipino Club, Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society (Mu Theta Alpha), volunteering in a hospital, outside of school I played basketball in a league for freshman and sophomore years</p>

<p>Preferences for college:
Location: I live in NJ and would like the college to be close, like 100 - 200 miles max. I could go out of state like in PA or NY.</p>

<p>Academics: I want a college/university to be quite rigorous in its classes. I don't want a college where I could just lay back. Maybe, it could have a good honors program.</p>

<p>Class Size: I prefer classes in the 20's and teens, not 40+. But I would make exceptions.</p>

<p>Atmosphere: I don't want to be in the middle of nowhere. I want a suburban or urban environment where you could go outside of the campus and do stuff. I want a college/university where there are a lot of activities to do (volunteering, clubs, organizations)</p>

<p>Here's my college list for now:</p>

<p>Penn State
The College of New Jersey
Rutgers University New Brunswick
Princeton University
Stony Brook University</p>

<p>Please add to my list or modify it. I would like your suggestions/recommendations.
If you add a college/university, please categorize it as a safety or reach accordingly.</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>It looks like you have a big reach (but possible if your scores come up) and several safeties. So you need more in the middle. There are a lot of liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania where you would find small classes, but few are in cities. If your scores come up some (more like two 680's or two 700's) you could look at Haverford outside of Philly. A little less selective and better for your current scores would be Bucknell, Lehigh, Franklin and Marshall. You might want to think about Colgate and Hamilton. Maybe University of Pittsburgh. If you get a chance to stay overnight at one of the smaller places you could get a better sense of them. Carnegie Mellon has a sleepover weekend for prospective students, I think. I guess the big question too is whether you need financial aid because that adds another factor.</p>

<p>thanks Hitch123
I will definitely be improving my scores on the SAT's, especially my CR score</p>

<p>I forgot to mention that I am looking for schools without the $30,000+ tuition rate since I am going to have to get financial aid. I also don't want to be in a lot of debt before I even start medical school. I prefer public colleges over private ones because they have a lower tuition rate, but if a private college is better, I can make an exception.</p>

<p>Right now, TCNJ is on top of my list because it has an 85% rate of people going into medical school. Do you think I can get in?</p>

<p>I think that you can get in- you have a great GPA and good SATS. TCNJ and Rutgers are your best choices financially. Public schools in other states will probably not give you any aid.</p>

<p>Apply to at least 8 places, though, so you can compare offers. You might get aid from one of the more expensive schools and have the advantage of small classes in a liberal arts college. Public schools in other states will still be cheaper than private schools and might be more challenging than the ones in NJ (which I don't know well, so I can't really say). But i think University of Pittsburgh, for example and SUNY Binghamton are well though of academically. University of Rochester is not public but has a lot of pre-meds.</p>

<p>Thanks for the input.</p>

<p>TCNJ is attractive to me because of the cheap price and the quality of its academics. (It's been ranked a best value college: Best</a> Value Colleges for 2010 and how they were chosen - USATODAY.com )
I'm hopefully going to improve my SAT score to get a higher chance of getting scholarships.</p>

<p>Hitch, nice idea, I'm going to try applying to both public/private colleges and see which gives me the most aid.</p>

<p>My brother is going to college too and my parents are paying for that. And I don't want to be in debt after college because I still need money for med school.</p>