Hi there! I’m a high school junior from Texas and I’m beginning to do research and build my college list. I’ve gotten input from several sources but I thought it would be good to hear from some other voices and these forums have been informational in the past. As of now, I am probably interested in a graduate degree related to chemistry, not pre med or other professional tracks. My current interest is mainly organic or bioorganic chemistry but of course, I’m also still in high school so that could change. Here are my “stats”:
Financial Situation: Our EFC, as calculated by the College Board page, is around $35,000-$40,000 a year. We have significant college savings (a little over $100,000) and I’m an only child. My parents are hoping to not pay more than $40,000-$45,000 a year and I will definitely apply for financial aid.
Demographics: White male from a large city in Texas
GPA: 4.00 UW, 4.67 W
Rank: 4 out of around 600
SAT: 1590; 790 ERW, 800 Math
PSAT: 1500 (NMSF decisions obviously haven’t come out but I feel pretty confident with my score)
Course Rigor: I’ve had 6 APs with 5 5’s and 1 4 and I am taking 5 more this year. Additionally, a few college-level non-APs like organic chem
- Junior State of America (JSA) chapter president and state-level cabinet member
- Member of varsity tennis team since freshman year and current co-captain
- Co-president of science club, which competes in state science competitions
- Working on two social justice-related projects about racial segregation at my high school and policing in our city
- Hope to participate in a chemistry research internship this summer, mainly dependent on the COVID situation
- Plan to compete in the US National Chem Olympiad
As far as a college list goes, I have a preliminary list but I would like some feedback on its feasibility, what schools might not be best, schools to consider, etc. I’m not picky on location, school size, and city/town size (I first thought I would lean towards an urban campus but I think I can see myself in a secluded place like Williams). I would like a place where I can participate in ECs that interst me, including playing sports at a casual level and social justice causes.
Right now I am thinking:
- UT Austin (I will be auto-admit and it is very strong in most areas, including chem)
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (seems to be strong, especially for chem, and is fairly safe for admissions but I don’t know how financially safe it is??)
- Case Western Reserve
- Johns Hopkins
I plan on applying to around 10 colleges (I realize I listed 11). My main questions include: does this list have a good mix of safety, match, and reach? I realize it includes quite a few reach schools but because I will be auto-admit to UT and it is a very good school I think I have a bit more room to apply to more reaches. Are there other schools that you would suggest looking at in the safety and match category, particularly if they’re financially generous?
Lastly, I am leaning away from certain very STEM-focused schools like MIT, Caltech, and Harvey Mudd because I would enjoy schools with a bigger diversity of academic interests.
Thank you for the help!