College List

<p>As my list comes together, I'm looking for some insight. I have made a few other threads, but I was wondering if anyone could just take a look and tell me how they think the schools on my list fit me, whether there's anything I should add or subtract, etc.</p>

<p>Female from NJ
Attending a second tier boarding school in New England
GPA: 3.4 UW/3.7 W - VERY rough estimate, we use a different grading scale
SAT Superscore: 2260 790CR/670M/800W
Extracurriculars are decent at best, essays and recs should be good.
(This brevity is intentional; I don't want the focus of the thread to be my stats.)</p>

<p>Major or career direction is anyone's guess as of right now.</p>

<p>Money is not an issue.</p>

<p>What I'm looking for
-Large school, DI sports, a lot of school spirit
-Pretty campus and a nice college town or city
-Most important is a warm, relaxed, friendly atmosphere and a sense of community
-A lot of diversity and not a lot of focus on money. After boarding school, I CANNOT deal with rich, preppy, snobby kids.</p>

<p>My (way-too-long) list, as of now:
U Alabama
Auburn
Clemson
U Colorado
Florida State
U Florida
U Georgia
UNC
NC State
Ohio State
Penn State
U South Carolina
U Texas
Virginia Tech
University of Virginia</p>

<p>I know UVA might have to go due to the whole desire to avoid wealth and prepiness. Is UNC the same way? What schools in the north are most similar to OSU and Penn State, and about the same level for academics (ie not Michigan)?</p>

<p>Any help would be great. Thanks guys.</p>

<p>How about Wisconsin, Maryland and Illinois?</p>

<p>I'd add Washington (Seattle), Pittsburgh, Indiana, and Iowa as schools to consider</p>

<p>As an OOS, UVA and UNC would be a huge reach (please no offense). Your SAT is great, but the GPA is lacking. It's REALLY difficult to gain admission to either as an OOS. As for UT, it's a LOT of fun, but it's also filled with a lot of preppy kids. Texas as a whole is conservative; however, Austin is not if that makes a difference. Ohio State is really, really big as well. Are you wanting a change of pace from NJ winters? If so, I'd suggest looking closely at some of the schools you have on your list in FL, GA, AL and SC. Good luck!</p>

<p>jc: Don't worry, I'm aware that they're high reaches. My college counselor (and since I'm at boarding school, this is very focused college counseling) says that while they are definitely high reaches, they are by no means out of reach. She would tell me if she honestly thought I had no chance and they weren't worth applying to. As I said, my GPA conversion could be very off, and I was definitely rounding down as much as possible while calculating it. Additionally, I'm coming from a school that is more difficult than average. Thank you, though. :)</p>

<p>As for weather, I'm still trying to decide how well I could adjust to a much warmer climate. After going to school where there are literally six months of winter, I really would like to experience a new place with a new atmosphere and new climate, but again, I'm not sure whether it will be too much.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the suggestions guys - keep them coming.</p>

<p>You shouldn't have a problem getting into Clemson. Try getting your unweighted GPA up to an A- and you'll be in for sure (you're likely in right now but it's getting more selective every year)</p>

<p>That's great to hear; I have heard wonderful things about Clemson. My college counselor has marked Clemson as a reach, but I know that that was partly because a student who applied this year, who was expected to be accepted, was waitlisted.</p>

<p>The way things are looking, my GPA for the year should be a 4.8 or 4.9 on a six-point scale (UW). A 5.0 is an A-/B+, so mine's definitely leaning toward the B+ side.</p>

<p>wait so what grade is your GPA right now? I thought 3.4 = B+ (which is what you should ideally need for Clemson at least)</p>

<p>Yeah, it's about a B+. I'm just trying to convert it because my school uses a 6.0 scale instead of 4.0, but as far as I can tell, it comes out to about a B+.</p>

<p>I think Clemson is a great fit based on the criteria you listed. My D almost chose Clemson based on the school spirit and the friendly environment alone. I believe it is also the smallest of the colleges you listed. The size of the student body along with the small town of Clemson does create a great sense of community.</p>

<p>pierre0913 knows more about Clemson than just about anyone so he is a great source of information. Your standardized test scores are very strong and if you get your GPA up a little, you have a strong chance of being accepted.</p>

<p>oh and by the way, if you ever have any questions about Clemson, feel free to send me a message or ask somewhere!</p>

<p>Indiana-Bloomington (relaxed, friendly mid-west attitude, nice school spirit all with a great college town). It's an academic peer for your schools; to me it's an under-appreciated gem - I'd take a strong look.</p>

<p>University of Iowa, (though, while Iowa City is a nice college town, the shift from NJ-New England boarding school to Iowa cornfields may be a bit much). Iowa has a straight-forward formula for admissions; I haven't looked at it in a few years, but I suspect you're a guaranteed admit.</p>

<p>FWIW, at UT-Austin the whole 7%-10% rule for in-state applicants makes the number of spots available for OOStaters pretty variable. I think it's a great school and city, but really a roll of the dice for an OOS in any given year.</p>

<p>I've always had a difficult time distinguishing mid-west schools. As far as most of the big ten schools go (with a few obvious exceptions), what really sets each of them apart? I guess this is where the visiting thing comes in - there's only so much you can get out of a website.</p>

<p>Vinceh, your point about Iowa is a good one. While NJ comes with a certain stereotype, the school I attend is in a very small town, about an hour from the nearest major city. While I certainly do not want to spend four years in a similar place, I suspect that at any college with 20,000+ students, the atmosphere will be far from boring.</p>

<p>Pierre, thank you for the help, and I'll most likely take you up on the offer at some point.</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1064899684-post8.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1064899684-post8.html&lt;/a>
Saw VT on your list, the post highlights mainly the technical aspects of VT's academics since it was the topic of the thread. If you have any questions about VT, let me know; if you end up going to VT, let me know! :)</p>

<p>Here are my basic impressions of the 7 Big 10 schools I've visited.</p>

<p>Minnesota: Pleasant setting on the Mississippi abutting Minneapolis and St. Paul. Huge (51,000 total students) but feels smaller because of urban surroundings. Gets realllllly cold in the winter.</p>

<p>Wisconsin: Great college town, second only to Ann Arbor in the Big 10. Liberal and strong academics.</p>

<p>Northwestern: Chicago a 30 minute subway ride away. Very East-Coast-competitive vibe, something very "New-York" about it.</p>

<p>Iowa: Underestimated school. Middle of no place but the students and the people needing to support them create a nice if not spectacular college town.</p>

<p>Indiana: My hidden gem choice. Beautiful setting in rolling hills portion of Indiana. Clear separation between campus and town, but a really good college atmosphere. As someone from the Northeast the people are so nice it made me suspicious. Third best college town after AA & Madison.</p>

<p>Michigan State: Just sprawling. Attached to the eastern end of the state capitol it just seems to go on forever; it doesn't surprise me they have buses running through campus so that you can get to your classes. Still referred to by many, somewhat unfairly, as Moo U.</p>

<p>Michigan: Hard to tell where campus ends and Ann Arbor begins. The town seems to exist to support and entertain the students. Intellectual and liberal. The only better college town I've been to is maybe Austin TX. Maybe.</p>

<p>The truth is that state schools are so big that between the student population and the staff needed to teach, support and maintain those students, these places are small cities unto themselves. I think many times students say they need an urban setting without fully realizing the opportunities that exist in these locations.</p>

<p>I don't know it this helps, PM if you like more specific details on some of the schools. Oh, as someone who's lived in Ann Arbor for 8 years now, I have one question regarding your interest in that vocational school located in Columbus: What are you, some kinda nut? Go Blue. ;)</p>

<p>University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Pittsburg, Texas A&M, NCSU, and maybe University of South Carolina.</p>

<p>Thanks, EngineerHead - you really make VT sound perfect in that post. I really like everything I've heard about the school, and the fact that my mom (for no reason whatsoever) has some bias against it of course only makes me want to go there more.
I do have one question - what do you think VT is like for someone who isn't actually majoring in a technical field?</p>

<p>Vinceh, that was incredibly helpful, thank you so much. I'll definitely look more into Indiana, especially - I love what you said about being suspicious of how nice people are. That's exactly why I want to go far from the Northeast and the whole atmosphere that accompanies it.</p>

<p>Michigan is obviously a great school, my only concern is the competitive atmosphere. I would of course like to be in a challenging environment with motivated students, but I really don't want to deal with competition and stressful academics. (Although I'm sure that stuff, to an extent, exists everywhere.) I also completely agree with what you're saying about the state schools - although my first reaction to hearing "small town" or "middle of nothing" is to panic, I realize that any large university is going to be quite different from my mid-sized boarding school where I'm trapped with less than 1,000 other students and no car.</p>

<p>My plan is to visit schools in VA, GA, FL, maybe NC and SC, and Penn State this summer. I think I have to accept that I won't be able to make a decision on North vs. South, and instead will have to decide based on specific schools - however, my parents may have aneurysms when they hear that in addition to an East Coast road trip, a Midwest one may be required.</p>

<p>VT is an amazing school, if I had not been accepted to Clemson, I would probably be a Hokie right now! (have a VT mug and bag!)</p>

<p>I disagree with missninx3, I don't think NC state would be a good fit if you want to go somewhere with a lot of school spirit. I went to two basketball games in one weekend, one was a State game, the other UNC. After the UNC game, State's lack of spirit was just pitiful. Even the cheerleaders looked like they didn't want to be there. </p>

<p>I know UNC is a reach, but I think it would be a great fit, but you'll definitely want to have a safety! It has a large range of major, a beautiful campus and contrary to popular belief the students are some of the nicest people I've ever met. I was unsure about choosing to go to UNC before I visited an open house, but I fell in love. The students were nicer there than at any other college I toured (most of which were considered to be more down-to-earth). Give UNC a shot!</p>

<p>I guess the farther we stray from the technical aspects of the school's academics, the less educated I would be on the matter and the less unbiased my opinion would be. I'll split the rest of the school into two categories: the sciences and the liberal arts. </p>

<p>The sciences, I can tell you about - Biochemistry was (is) my contending major against engineering (maybe enough to make me jump over some day soon...). I'll make this as concise as possible and just pull a simple analysis from a post on another thread, "bluebayou: ANY major research Uni will be really strong in the basic sciences. You could literally throw darts at the top ~40 USNews Unis." VT is very big on research, which is beneficial in many ways such as having a pool of opportunities, as well as being very strong in the sciences.</p>

<p>As for the liberal arts, I would add my opinion that although the previous analysis is categorized for the sciences, I think it carries over into the liberal arts' arena as well. Any major research university is going to be well rounded. I know of a number of students going to VT for a non-technical or -science major, who were accepted into schools such as Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Northwestern, UMichigan (Ann Arbor), Boston College, etc. which are all excellent schools. I point this out because I think these students are pretty damn smart (I know them, so my opinion of them is pretty credible) and, therefore, know what they're doing (considering they could get into these schools in the first place). So by them going to VT, I can draw two possible analyses: either 1) VT wasn't exactly on their list but money was an issue (but if this were so, why would they not go to UVa instead?). 2) They didn't view attending VT to be a limiting factor in any way (more likely the reason). For the first possibility, I posed the question of why they didn't choose UVa instead, which I can answer with my personal experience. I got accepted into both UVa & VT, and although engineering was the major determining factor of where to go, I also considered the social & academic atmosphere. In considering this alone, I already knew there was no way in the world I would go to UVa for my undergrad because of the stereotypical students there (snobby, elitist sentiment, grimy competition, etc.), which I cannot deny as being true for the most part. VT was a better fit because although the student body is very educated (I mean how can you host a great engineering department without having an intelligent student body?), the students aren't snobby and maliciously competitive. </p>

<p>However, IMO, unless you have a technical or science major (Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, etc.) or have visions as a pre-professional student (medicine, law, etc.), your school choice should weigh more than just academics, because the academics across "good" schools (such as the ones you have listed) are all going to be great anyway. </p>

<p>You're going to get a good education at any of these schools. At this point, I think the determining factor should be what you personally want to get out of the school, what type of social environment you want to be in (or what the campus life is like), the relative school/geographical population, and what the campus looks like. I don't see VT as having a dominant greek life if that's what you're looking for, but the students here are very friendly and it's a pretty relaxing environment where students (for the most part) know how to balance their entertainment & academics. It's a large school (~24000) in a large town. You made the notion that school spirit is on your list of Want's, and VT has more school spirit than could possibly be taken in. And there's more men than women ;) (its prestigious engineering), so you have a larger sea of fishes. As well, (at least in my eyes) the campus is B-E-A-UTIFUL! I don't think you can go to that school and object that the campus is not beautiful. You might not allow its beauty to surpass the fact that it's in a rural setting (if you weigh that variable more), but you can't deny that it doesn't look great. I personally don't think it being in a rural setting is a negative at all, I really like VT's geographical location.</p>