College List Needs Help

College list needs diversity (reach, target, safe). She has a couple of Ivys and LAC in the NE. All very selective and expensive. Are there target or safety schools that can fill out her list? (1460SAT, 4.0GPA, 5.0HPA, Well-rounded, Lots of activities, leadership, publication). Bio major but wants LA education.

Price range? Are you looking for merit? What schools are you looking at already? Stats are similar to D20 and she applied to 10 LACs in the northeast after visiting about 30 schools total.

There are very large numbers of colleges and universities that could fill out your daughter’s list (if we are looking for your daughter).

One BIG question: What is your budget? Are you okay spending $300,000+ over four years? Biology is an area where graduate schools is possible. Thus holding some $$ in the college fund for graduate / medical / veterinary school might be a good idea if you can pull it off.

Also, what is your home state? Many in-state public schools have very strong biology programs.

Certainly many of us here on CC have gone through this.

By the way, I do not know what an HPA is.

Need a lot more information. Need financial aid? Desire rural, suburban, urban? What part of the country? What size? What vibe? What kind of activities, leadership, publications does she have? Rigor of her HS program? If I had to read between the lines, I’d guess she is a “typical” smart student. If she had something unique or far-and-above the typical on her resume, you would have highlighted that (e.g., Intel finalist, scientific discovery, national debate champion). I’m also guessing you are not seeking FA, as you would have mentioned that, and that there’s no stated preference for rural, urban, or size.

With those assumptions . . . 1460 is on the low side for Ivys, especially since the re-centering. I’d suggest looking at these: Skidmore, Lehigh, Union College, Syracuse, University of Maryland, UMass Amherst, Barnard, Penn State, and whatever your state flagship is.

Would like to hear which schools were on her list and which offered merit, if any. Thank you! We only visited Barnard, Princeton and NYU one weekend last November. However, she has done many virtual tours.

Looking at Bates, Barnard, Wellesley, Bowdoin, Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, etc. She likes the idea of a capstone, small, lac, probably pre-med but not sure, wants to keep writing and dancing, not looking for greek life or doesn’t care about sports. We have family in the NE, but we live in FL. (HPA is weighted GPA).

Is she URM (under-represented minority, such as Black, Latina, Native American)?

None of those schools care about weighted GPA because it’s calculated differently at every school. They will either recalculate her GPA with their own formula, or just look at rigor of her program.

Her list is WAAAY too top-heavy. Even with a 1560 SAT, they’d all be reaches, but with a 1460, they are almost impossible unless she has another characteristic that would offset it.

Her safety is University of Florida. Skidmore and Union are good matches.

The only school on your list we visited is Amherst and she did not end up applying. She applied to Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall, Lafayette, Clark, Brandeis, Connecticut College, Hobart & William Smith, Middlebury, Hamilton, and was accepted to her ED choice of Colgate so we didn’t get to the merit stage of the game. She didn’t want Greek life and is not an athlete but likes to cheer on ice hockey. Colgate doesn’t offer merit aid but they do meet 100% of demonstrated need with no student loans so it ended up being affordable for us. I would suggest looking at Skidmore, Trinity, maybe Bard, Union and Connecticut College since they may be a good fit. Muhlenberg and Clark have decent merit aid available. Without knowing your desired price target, it is hard to guess if available merit brings the price down enough.

She’s not URM. Safety is UF (but not guaranteed). She may submit supplemental for dance (pre-professional program) or for writing (playwriting award). Nothing notable on a national level. 12+ APs. Thinking Emory? Vassar? I’m an alum of UofMD, wondering why that was on your list.

I feel like Colgate keeps coming up for us. Maybe we should take a look.

I assume you’re talking to me. Before you gave any specifics about the type of college she’s looking for, I suggested it as a good match.

You should ask her what type of vibe she’s interested in. All of these colleges have very, very different vibes. Colgate has the opposite of an artsy vibe, but it’s a good one to check out. Muhlenberg has an excellent arts program, and she may even get merit there. Check out Wesleyan as well.

College of Wooster

“100% of Wooster students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor on a significant research project (or two), developing skills in critical analysis, project management, creativity, and communication that are valued by employers and graduate schools alike.”

I suggest looking at the Colleges that Change Lives website (it is also a book by Loren Pope, and there are national fairs). Clark and Wooster are both on there, as are Bard , Lawrence and Goucher.

For dance opportunities, Goucher and Barnard are both excellent, and I would suggest Bennington as well, for both dance and writing (not sure of the biology resources though).

When we sat in the admissions waiting room at an Ivy, everyone was talking about Clark. And yes they offer merit, as I remember, service-related especially.

We loved Oberlin. Tufts, Davison (closer to home), Kenyon (writing), Lewis and Clark are other ones to maybe consider. Hamilton, Colgate, Wesleyan…

Her list is definitely top-heavy. And hope it can be a reasonable number once she fills it out!

Scores need to meet a benchmark for top schools, but once that is met, it really is about an x factor, so to speak, and hard to guess.

From the Fiske Guide To Colleges 2020:

Major Universities Strong in Dance:

Arizona State University (ASU)–may get Honors College & a scholarship
Florida State University (FSU)
George Washington University (GWU)

Indiana University
Univ. of Iowa
Univ. of Minnesota

Southern Methodist University (SMU)
Univ. of Texas at Austin

Univ. of Utah

I left out UCs & Case Western Reserve

Small Colleges & Universities Strong in Dance: (Fiske Guide To Colleges 2020)

Amherst. Barnard, Conn College, Kenyon, Middlebury, Muhlenberg, Princeton, Smith, SUNY-Purchase

Not the complete list.

Dance Magazine has a college guide that is the best resource for dance. But this student wants biology., apparently.

If she wants to dance as an extracurricular or minor, probably better to avoid the schools that offer a BFA, since at those schools the dance majors would get the best classes, teachers and performance opportunities.

Several of the LAC’s listed above would be good- most are selective.

Another plug for Wooster.
My kid goes to Kenyon. Very strong in writing. Film is also strong. I know next to nothing about their sciences. S has a friend who is pre-med and says he’s the busiest of all his friends., FWIW. Getting classes can be really tough, but not impossible. Kids are quirky, but work hard. The socio-economic skews fairly well off, but plenty of kids on scholarship as well. Gorgeous!!! campus, though housing tends to leave something to be desired.

@ChaosParent23: Could you clarify which school–Kenyon or Wooster–is attended by your son’s pre-med friend ?

I ask because your comments are interesting–especially concerning “getting classes can really be tough”.

What type of dance (style and ec/minor/major) is she looking for in college? My daughter was interested in continuing ballet and was looking for biology with prem-med so I might have so insight depending on what your daughter is looking for in college.

My apologies. I was talking about Kenyon. My son has repeatedly been closed out of classes. But on the flip side, his schedule usually works out ok in the end. He just starts firing off emails to Profs. Getting on wait lists early is key!! You may not get exactly what you wanted, but you’ll typically be close. Having an idea of what a student will eventually major in seems to help. My son’s Advisor is in the Dept that he will major in (declaring when he gets back!!) and that has been a fantastic asset for him.

I’m sorry - I’m still learning how to navigate this site. My daughter studies all generes but has heavy training in ballet. I think she would like to minor or at least still take classes. She loves modern and perhaps would look for performing opportunities. Thinking of submitting a supplemental at some of the more selective schools?