Colleges for my confused, but very intelligent, brother

<p>I have a brother who is a junior this year, and is probably who you would categorize as a "brilliant underachiever." It isn't that he doesn't take challenging courses, but his grades are As and Bs because he doesn't always do his homework or pays little attention in class because he feels under stimulated. The "easiest" classes are the ones he gets the worst grades in (i.e., sophomore health he got a C). </p>

<p>He LOVES learning and loves every single subject in school. Some kids you ask them what their favorite class is, and they say "I don't know, lunch." You ask my brother what his favorite class is, and he says "I don't know, I like everything." He's brilliant in math (during math class he doesn't pay attention to what the teacher is saying but instead reads chapters in the back of the book that they aren't going to cover in the year) and brilliant in music, but really he's great in every subject. I think he has trouble organizing his ideas in writing sometimes, but still is pretty good at that too. </p>

<p>He took the SATs once without cracking a book and got: 760 CR, 730 M, 680 W--> 1490/2170</p>

<p>What colleges should he be looking at? I think small would be better for him, but what colleges do you think such a curious kid, who loves to learn, would be happy at and eventually would help him decide what he wants to study?</p>

<p>Any imput? He's just as confused as we all are, and our GC aren't of much help. Thanks.</p>

<p>If he truly is brilliant, it would not be impossible for him to try for the Ivy League. There have been kids who did only above average in high school (a little below your brother) who had phenomenal SATs and essays and were accepted to Harvard.</p>

<p>Is there any particular region of the country that you would favor?</p>

<p>Something like Reed in Oregon comes to mind. It seems like the type of place where the students actually like learning. And I'm sure they would understand your brother struggling in easy classes.</p>

<p>blqgirl, I think "brilliant" is a really subjective word, but that's how I would categorize him as his sister and seeing him grow up over the years. The thing that strikes me the most about him though, is his curiosity and love of learning. I think a lot of people lose that and focus on getting good grades-- but he is genuinely interested in the "why" of everything. </p>

<p>Region-wise I think northeast would be best because he is going to be on the younger side when he enters college (17) and his one major issue is organization. From an older sister's perspective, I think it would be best if he wasn't too too far from home.</p>

<p>Above all, he is very lucky to have you for a brother! Are you familiar with the book "Colleges That Change Lives"?</p>

<p>Your brother has developed a lot of bad habits. He should clean up his act before he gets to college. He won't be able to get away with it there.</p>

<p>Thank you!! I have heard of the book but I don't actually have it. I'll take a look at it.</p>

<p>PS- Love your username! :)</p>

<p>Also, as for the bad habits, it certainly was worse freshman year and has been improving as he gets to more difficult courses in high school. This year in particular has been very good for him (so far, of course).</p>

<p>I think he sounds like a good candidate for a small liberal arts college: At these schools, the faculty take a lot of interest in teaching, there's a focus on undergraduate education, lots of research opportunities for undergrads, and a lot of active discussion in class. A big school with huge lectures would probably not be a good choice.</p>

<p>Although his grades aren't great, if his test scores are good and he can get two good recs, there are a number of excellent LACs that might be willing to take a chance on him. And of course, Reed, mentioned earlier, specializes in the superbright, underachieving types who are passionate about learning but can't be bothered playing the 'school game.'</p>

<p>It depends what he's interested in, and does he have anyhting he loves do do and is good at? and has done so in his community ect. then you can put htose down as EC's and he might be able to get into a top school.</p>

<p>lafayette college comes to mind</p>

<p>Well he loves music and his been involved in pretty much every band in school (jazz band, concert band, pep band, county band) as well as piano lessons outside of school. He also participates in Environmental Club, Youth and Government, and things of that nature. </p>

<p>I guess the thing concerning him the most right now is deciding what he wants to pursue. He has no idea and can't even seem to be able to narrow it down.</p>

<p>Hampshire seems almost too perfect. Definitely check it out.</p>

<p>Bard might also be good, especially with his passion for music.</p>

<p>If he has good music EC's and has recommendations from music teachers and can show his passion in a great essay, than he could even go to Harvard liberal or fine arts school.</p>

<p>he sounds very similar to me.</p>

<p>here is my personal college list:</p>

st. john's
new college of florida
colorado college
lewis and clark

<p>all of them are small liberal arts schools
most of them are in the book Colleges that Change Lives
marlboro and hampshire are in the northeast
and also check out Reed college, it would be on my list if i thought i could handle the workload</p>

<p>depending on how brilliant he is and how high his gpa is, more competitive colleges might be within reach.</p>

<p>It seems like conventional education is just too easy for him. I'd say go for one of the super-intellectual and challenging schools, such as UChicago, Rice, or Reed. Some of the more selective LACs could be a good option too (such as Haverford, Bates, Colby, etc). I also second the recommendation for Colorado College.</p>

<p>Thank you for all your suggestions, I'm compiling them on a list for him to take a look at!</p>

<p>Right now I'm guessing he is top 15-20% of his class, but can't be sure. He could easily be a bit higher or a bit lower. His 9th grade grades are regrettable (a smattering of As, lots of Bs, and a C or two), but tenth grade showed a significant improvement, and junior year is even better. </p>

<p>I just can't wait to see where he ends up. I know what I want to study and consequently find it easier to narrow down my search, but his situation is different.</p>

<p>Maybe he should look at Skidmore --- lots of music there. Also, U of Rochester, for the combo of math-science and availability of music. Both in the NE. Of course, if the search goes out of that region, many possibilities exist as have already been mentioned.</p>

<p>ha well im in the top 60% of my class, so methinks world changer's list would be more relevant.</p>

<p>You say he gets bored in normal classes, yet he doesn't take AP or Honors classes. That is strange. Self defeating behavior.</p>

<p>I would recommend he take any AP classes he can still take at the midpoint of the year, and study for a day or two to get the SAT scores up 20-30 points on each part. Then he can truly evidence the brilliant part of the "underperforming brilliant student".</p>

<p>His SATs as they stand show really smart, not brilliant. It pains me to say that because they're much better than mine were :) But I know I'm not brilliant, just smart. To overcome his laziness, he has to show BRILLIANT.</p>

<p>Reed college.</p>