College Search Questions

<p>Hi, I'm a junior just starting to look for colleges..
I just had a meeting with the college counseler and school and she said that she thought I had the opportunity to be one of the smartest kids in my class, but I've "decided not to play the game." This is what I think. I haven't done poorly in school; I have a 3.4 GPA, likely going to be more like 3.6 this year (i'm getting all a's), but I have no Extra curriculars aside from a part time job and maybe some in school activities. I take mostly honors, but have not taken any APs but plan to next year (English, French and Calculus). SATS: 650 reading 680 math 700 writing... going to take SAT IIs in spring... </p>

<p>As she said, I decided that I wasn't going to play the game, I wasn't going to do things I have no interest in just so I can put them on my resume. Up until this year, I had no interests really, so I didn't do anyhting. I'm just starting to mature and find things I like to do aside from, well, sitting around. Anyway, my question is, what kind of colleges can I expect to get into with this kind of a record (mostly B student with low interest level in freshman and sophomore years, mostly A student now really interested in politics and the world in general), assuming that I can write a good essay to convince colleges that who I am now is who they will be getting, not who I was the past few years? Some places the college counseler mentioned were Grinnell, Ursinus, Earlham and Lawrence... are these possibilites? Anymore?</p>

<p>Keep in mind that I am someone who is not all about academics, I like to socialize a lot, but when I put my mind to it, I can succeed in anything academically...
any input would help, thanks</p>

<p>I think that those colleges that your college counselor mentioned are appropriate. Also look at Colleges that Change Lives by Loren pope. </p>

<p>It doesn't sound like you're very hyped-up about college. You seem to be really chill and kind of like to go with the flow with school, which is good. </p>

<p>But there are so many schools out there, and you should take the opportunity to think about what you would like in a college and then apply to those colleges. You have so many choices! It's like buying a house. Tons of houses, but you should think about what kind of house you'd like to live in, and then pick and choose, and then buy one of those houses that you really want. It's really similar to looking for colleges. In fact, college will be your home for the next four years, so it's important to spend some time reflecting on what your goals are in college. How do you want to change? What kind of person do you want to become? Is there anything that you want to try in college or learn something new? For example, do you want to be more politically involved, do you want to move from a rural environment to an urban environment, do you want to travel, or study abroad, or learn to play a musical instrument and join a band or orchestra, or try a new sport? You can do all that in college. College can be 4 really productive and great years.
It should be life-changing. </p>

<p>You've got to start by thinking about goals, and then about what environment would best suit you and your goals. For instance, big or small, conservative, liberal, or doesn't matter? rural, suburban, urban? Think more concretely about what you want in college, because then you can find schools that match your needs and interests. That's how to go about finding colleges. It's kind of hard to suggest colleges when we don't know much about you or what you like to do or what your preferences are or what you'd like to do in college. If you told us more about that, we'd be able to give you schools that fit more. </p>

<p>But yeah, you should start looking into those colleges that your counselor recommended and see if you're interested. And check out Colleges that Change Lives as well.</p>

<p>Sorry, I forgot to talk about a lot of what I wanted to.. Okay, I am very interested in politics and social issues. I am very liberal in my views, but i am not whatsoever a "hippy" or "artsy" kind of person. I would say that more than anything, I get along with preppy-type people, but liberal preppies, if that makes any sense... The type that pops their collar while talking about barack obama's health care plan at the same time... I'm from Massachusetts, if that gives you any idea of what i mean. </p>

<p>I want to go to a liberal arts school with less than 4 or 5 thousand UGs. I'm thinking either California, Washington, the midwest, or the Mid-Atlantic (New York, Pennsylvania). I have little interest in going somewhere near Boston or in massachusetts for that matter. </p>

<p>I want to go somewhere very politically active. Somewhere rural where I can get a true "college experience" rather than a city. Let's put it this way, I wouldn't really mind if I was somewhere where the only things to do were talk, party, and study. </p>

<p>By the way, while I am definitely "really chill and like to go with the flow", I am VERY excited for college! </p>

<p>Probably my number 1 concern is I REALLY don't want to be somewhere where the students are competitive and cutthroat like my high school. I don't want to be around superficial people who, like I've said, do things only for college resumes. For example, once my sister said to me "I'm never doing anything in high school that wouldn't improve my college resume". I almost puked :-&lt;/p>

<p>Goucher, maybe American.</p>

<p>I'd second Grinnell, Lawrence, and Earlham.</p>

<p>I'd also suggest adding a few of these:</p>

Oberlin (in small town OH, but great place to go to school)
Wooster (small town OH, but awesome IS program)
Kenyon (small town OH)
Hendrix (I know it's in AR, but very cool)
Beloit (even if it's in WI)
Macalester (although it's in the city, it's very laid back)
The Evergreen State College (state school but very progressive and relaxed)
Lewis & Clark (very near Portland, OR but laid back and liberal)</p>

<p>Thanks for all the help!! REALLY appreciate it!</p>

<p>so, i guess my next question is, what are some examples of the ceiling, top-teir of colleges I can expect to get into with what i've said:</p>

<p>around 3.5 or 3.6 GPA unweighted, mostly honors, AP English French and Calc
650 reading 680 math 700 writing SATs</p>

<p>also, what kind of places should i view as safeties?</p>

<p>THANKS A LOT!</p>

<p>Also maybe look at Union (NY), Drew and St. Marys in Maryland.</p>