Personally I am no expert. Just a parent that really has learned most of what I know from this site. I like your list. I think it’s smart and well thought out. My question is for your safeties will you be happy there? You said your state school at last resort. Make sure you will be happy. That’s my best mom advice. Will you be able to visit any of these schools?
Your list looks good but could be strengthened by adding one or two more “full need” reaches and substituting schools in the middle that offer better financial aid. Possible reaches: Princeton, UPenn, Columbia, Duke. The University of Southern California is a bit less selective than these, but still a reach. Possible matches: Holy Cross (instead of Villanova), Boston College (although it’s a bit more selective than your other matches).
Villanova meets full need for less than 20% of students, and on average only covers ~80%. It does not seem to give boatloads of merit money, either. Your stats are strong enough to aim for schools that claim to cover 100% of demonstrated need, especially if you have a safety that guarantees enough merit aid for your needs. You should not need more than 1 or 2 true admission and financial safeties.
Be sure to run the online net price calculators for any schools that interest you.
I think you have done a great job. Congratulations! UPitt is a safety for you and Georgetown is a match. My daughter has similar stats and when I look at her naviance everyone who has a similar GPA to you and a 34 or above in the ACT has been accepted to Georgetown and all students as far down as 3.0 GPA and 24 ACT have been accepted to UPitt. If you are happy with your safeties, you should also look into the Huntsman program at Penn and the competitive scholarships at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. Can your parents sit down with you and run the Financial numbers for Chicago, Yale, Harvard… The tippy top schools have the deepest pockets for financial aid; so I would expect that if you get accepted to one ( but hopefully all) of them then your cost of attending would be lower than the schools you currently have listed as reach and match. Good luck!
yes Pitt is a safety for you and the nice thing is they have rolling admissions so you can apply early and get that acceptance in the bag - I don’t think you’ll find out about FA until later though.
Think about using SCEA on Princeton/Harvard/Yale - whichever strikes your fancy. Whatever that obscure national championship is could be your ticket to Princeton - it seems they like to add "flavor’ to their classes that are different. You can also apply EA to publics like UNC along with the SCEA above.
Are you a first generation? if so it will open up a lot more doors than you can imagine. Including Ivies. One of the 1st gens in our community got into Princeton( 80% covered) with much lower stats than your’s. Old SAT was 2030, GPA Wtd. around 4 Only EC was XC & key club
@livinginLA No, my parents don’t have the money to make visits feasible, so I’m doing as much research as I can online. I know it isn’t ideal, but it is what is is. I actually really like Oklahoma and am a fan of Bama, so I’m pretty happy with my safeties. If the LA in your name stands for Louisiana, then you know what my state school is! I’m not such a fan of LSU especially with all the funding difficulties recently, but if I have to go there, I wouldn’t be too upset.
@tk21769 Oh, I didn’t know that about Villanova. To be honest, I kept it on the list because of its basketball team but wasn’t a huge fan of its strength in my chosen programs, so I’ll cut it. Thanks for the advice!
@Ldoponce Thanks for the suggestions! My parents own a business, so financial aid calculators are not accurate and can’t be trusted. That would definitely make the process a whole lot easier! It is also why I don’t want to add too many reaches to my list especially with the expensive application fees. I am only going to get 4 college waivers from CB so I don’t want my list to be too expensive to apply to and place a burden on my parents. I’ll look into the programs you mentioned though!
@Wisdom2share Nope, both my parents attended college in a foreign country though neither of them can remember what they majored in or even what college they attended. College wasn’t important to either of them, but they did attend.
Hi @HowBoutCollege! Like you, I’m a rising senior on the college hunt, and one of the places I toured, since it’s in my home state, is the University of Denver. The Josef Korbel School of International Studies is excellent. I have a friend enrolled and she loves it. A large percentage of their students study abroad. It’s a great campus with many new buildings in a quiet but nice part of Denver. Downtown is very accessible. As far as sports go, DU is huge on hockey and lacrosse. Big student involvement in these sports and the teams are very good. And of course Denver has several good teams, too.
The campus is beautiful and Denver is a wonderful city. You would certainly experience snow and all four seasons here! Lots of outdoor activities if you’re into them.
It would be a big safety for you, but would probably give you excellent merit aid. Thought I’d throw it out there for you! Best of luck on your college search!