Colleges to consider?

<p>Hi, I'm a rising junior in Hawaii trying to decide where to apply next year. My primary interests are in international relations, history, and economics. </p>

<p>My GPA for the last two years has been around or above 3.9 unweighted (honors aren't weighted and we're not allowed to take AP classes until Junior year) and I've been consistently taking the most rigorous course of study. This summer I'm doing a dual enrollment course at a local university and will probably continue to do so throughout the next two years. Next year I'll be taking APUSH (the only AP offered to Juniors...) and many honors courses. I'm also planning on self-studying AP World and AP Eng. Lang. Senior year I'll probably be taking AP Gov, AP Euro, AP Lit, and AP Japanese (we have a 3-4 AP cap).</p>

<p>I haven't taken the SAT yet, but I got a 197 on the PSAT last year and am hoping to raise it to a 220 for this year's test. I'll probably be taking SAT II's in World History, US History, and Japanese in June. Oh, I've also taken the PLAN test and got a 30 (unlike the ACT, the PLAN composite score is out of 32, not 36), so I'll definitely be taking the ACT.</p>

<p>I think my ECs are decent. Class president freshman year and junior year and VP in sophomore year (probably going to be president for senior year too); corresponding secretary for Serteens for junior year, probably president for senior year. I'm also currently working on my Gold Award in Girl Scouts. I've been taking aikido (a Japanese martial art) for 7 years and was on my school's paddling team last year (and plan to continue for the next two years). I'm planning on debating (policy) for the next two years.</p>

<p>I'm looking more on the East Coast or northern West Coast and my family is going to be touring colleges in New England next Spring, so any recommendations on where to visit would be cool. I would prefer not to go anywhere rural and would like a large university that has small enough classes so that you can actually get to know your teachers. A school with an accelerated program or a joint BA/MA would be amazing.</p>

<p>If someone could help me define reaches, matches, and safeties for me, I'd really appreciate it!</p>

<p>lucky for you there are many great college in those locations. however, it's hard to give you good suggestions without knowing what you are looking for in a college, your intended major.</p>

<p>From your description, it pretty much rules out any state school and LAC/small private.
Some suggestions:
Duke
NYU
U of Washington</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply :)
My primary interests are International Relations, History, and Economics.</p>

<p>And I don't think I would mind a LAC (Amherst has actually caught my interest pretty well), but I'd prefer somewhere that would allow me access to some good internships.</p>

<p>A large university with small classes is not generally what's available. Large universities start off with large lecture styles classes until you get to the more advanced courses in your junior and senior years. If you are interested in Amherst-type schools, with small classes, you need to be looking at the liberal arts colleges. There are quite a few in urban and suburban locations like Macalester (Minneapolis), Vassar, Swarthmore, Haverford, Pomona, etc...</p>

<p>I realize I'm probably not going to be getting smallish classes my first two years, so I guess what I'm really looking for is a university with a good student to faculty ratio so that when the time does come around, I'll be able to have a slightly more personalized experience. But I'll definitely be checking out those colleges too, thanks.</p>

<p>many large universities have smaller classes for upper division classes.</p>

<p>Have your parents told you how much they will spend each year for college? if not, you need to ask them so that you know of any financial restrictions that you may have.</p>

<p>If you need financial aid, then you need to find out if you qualify for much and you'll need to find schools that "meet 100% of determined need" without big loans.</p>

<p>Yeah, I haven't really talked to them about the finances yet. I know we'll qualify for at least some aid for most of these places, but for how much I'm not too sure. They don't want me going anywhere really expensive that doesn't have good aid and I know a lot of the colleges I'm going to be applying to are pretty expensive. That's something I'm probably going to have to talk to them about pretty soon.</p>

<p>Keep this in mind....</p>

<p>I got a PM recently from an ivy parent (not H, Y, or P). They had a high EFC, but they still "qualified" for some aid because they had some determined "need". COA minus "Family Contribution" = "need"</p>

<p>(BTW...their FAFSA EFC was a bit lower than their CSS family contribution)</p>

<p>But, they had "need" so they expected some "free" money (grants) to make up need. </p>

<p>They had expected their child to be able to take out a Stafford loan to lessen their expected family contribution a bit - which will be difficult for them. </p>

<p>Lo and behold, how surprised (and upset) to see that they got no "free money." The "need" was filled with the student loan, student summer contribution, and work-study. </p>

<p>So, even though they had some need, they will be paying for all of their son's education. </p>

<p>So....talk to your parents. Find out how much they can pay each year. </p>

<p>Then find out what your EFC will be. Financial aid is not based on what your family thinks it can pay. The schools get to decide what your "need" is and schools don't care if you have credit card debt, a high mortgage, etc. </p>

<p>If your family has an EFC that is unaffordable, then you need to consider other options. </p>

<p>(And, as you may already know....ivies don't give merit scholarships.) </p>

<p>FA Calc<br>
FinAid</a> | Calculators | Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Financial Aid</p>

<p>Do both the federal method and institutional. Many privates use the both methods. If there is a non-custodial parent, then their income (and step-parent incomes) might also be included at some schools.</p>