First, I am so sorry for your loss. It is normal to grieve rather than focus on school work when your life is disrupted in such a devastating way. Try to retake every class that you got a C or D in, through summer school for instance. Make sure your guidance counselor knows about the tragedy that befell you and how it affected you. Give precise examples of hardships and pain whether at school or at home. Be honest about it - you want your guidance counselor to provide context for your grades and colleges also want that context.
Being an orphan should also make you eligible for fee waivers (ask your counselor) - it’ll make applying to university easier on your family and yourself, financially speaking.
I’m sure your father will do his utmost for you but you must know how much exactly he can afford from
However: None of these universities you list is a good idea.
You need to target the colleges that’ll be the cheapest for your family since vet school is expensive.
Back when your mom went to college, Cornell tuition was about 13K a year for OOS students. It is now 35K for NYS residents and 52K for non residents. Then add room&board, books, miscellaneous expenses, and you reach 70K easily.
RUN THE NPC to see how much it’d cost.
Same thing for each and every college - you’ll quickly see results are very different depending on colleges.
Not sure where you saw that Cornell’s Ag school has a 3.1 average. CALS minimum SAT would be 1350 although the average would be in the 1400-1500 range. While GPA is not public, it’s closer to 3.75 than 3.1 on average.
Scholarships come primarily from the colleges themselves. There are two sorts: financial aid (the college looks at your family’s income and assets, then decides what they should pay - the NPC tells you what result they’re likely to give you, but since each college has a different formula you need to do it for each college) and merit aid (basically, if your score is top 20-10% for the college and the college offers it, you’re a good candidate for merit aid.) You’re also allowed 5.5K in loans. Finally, applying to a public university in the state you’re a resident of (=your parents pay taxes there, you graduated from HS there) means you get an automatic discount (for instance, that’s why NYS residents get a discount on CALS, which is a SUNY contract college, whereas people from outside NYS pay way more). So, applying OOS means very high costs and no financial aid, although you do get the 5.5K and if you’re top 20-10% you may get merit aid.
So, you need to calculate your EFC, talk with your father whether it’s affordable (often it’s not), whether you need merit aid, what he and grand parents have saved for your college if anything… Run the NPC on every college, starting with your safeties. You need two safeties that are affordable and offer Equine Studies, Animal Science, or have a college of agriculture.
Uconn <- probably the best school for your goals but a big reach at this point
SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Cobbleskill, UWisconsin River Falls, UMaine Orono <- academic safeties, likely merit, run the NPC to see if they’re affordable
CPP, Cal State Chico, NCSU <- good academic matches, no scholarships, about 40K a year
UWyoming, Iowa State, Centenary NJ, Sweet Briar, SIU Carbondale, WVU, Mizzou, UNebraska Lincoln <- good academic matches, possible scholarships bringing cost to 30-35K
UMass Amherst, Penn State, UDel <- unlikely to be affordable but may be accessible academically