Does reach = unaffordable

<p>I first read about the Robert E Cook honors college at IUP in this book. Amazon.com:</a> Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different (Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, & Just Plain Different) (9781580088398): Donald Asher: Books
It is a true honors "community," residential and very close knit. You might want to look into it. Students with good GPA's receive discounts from OOS tuition and the honors kids may receive more aid. There's a nice review of it here on cc.
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/indiana-university-pennsylvania/905253-visit-report-robert-e-cook-honors-college-open-house.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/indiana-university-pennsylvania/905253-visit-report-robert-e-cook-honors-college-open-house.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>The cc reviewer said that "they replace a portion of IUP's "liberal studies"... what they call gen ed... with a sequence of Honors classes" - this is like Plan II at the University of Texas or like the honors program at Fordham.</p>

<p>S would need a heap of merit to make a $50k college affordable, so that eliminates a bunch right there. Thanks MW Mom, sounds like a good read. Boysx- American sounds interesting but a little vague.</p>

<p>S would need a heap of merit to make a $50k college affordable, so that eliminates a bunch right there.</p>

<p>How much is a "heap" so we know what you're looking for? What is the most that you'd like to pay each year? $20k? more? less? </p>

<p>The reason I'm asking is that many privates and OOS publics are costing so much these days...running between $35k+ to $50k+. Therefore, if your budget is - say $20k per year, then only schools that would give your son $15k+ for the less expensive schools or $30k+ for the pricier schools would work.</p>

<p>I would also suggest you look for honor colleges at the larger public schools. There are some excellent ones of there that give the student a higher level of work and a smaller classroom experience while being on a large campus. My son considers it the best of both worlds. I know at son''s honors college, there are plenty of kids who were admitted to an Ivy but chose the honors college for financial reasons.</p>

<p>My son had similar stats from a rigorous private prep school. 3.8 WA and a 3.3 UWA - 31 on the ACT. He took 7 AP courses with 5's in 5 of them, 1 - 4 and 1-3. He also won several national awards.</p>

<p>He applied all over the place - Chicago, Emory, GW, W&M, UNC-Chapel hill, Michigan, UGA, our two state schools and several smaller LACs. He didn't get in to Emory, Chicago, GW, Michigan, W&M, UNC-CH (wait listed at all but Chicago and W &M and UNC-CH). He got the best merit aid offers from the smaller LAC's and our state flagship honors college (which is where he's going). American and GW were considered matches for him - he didn't apply to American and he was wait listed at GW (we were surprised) but he won't have gotten merid aid at either of those anyway.</p>

<p>Colleges like those listed above really look at where your son falls within the class. Our HS doesn't rank but they still send out the grade distribution and son was around the top 25-30 percentile. Generally, not enough to get you in the top 20 - they will consider the SAT/ACT score but they put a heavy emphasis on GPA.</p>

<p>You will get much bigger merit offers if your son shoots for a school where all of his stats are in the top 10-25% of admissions - not schools that are a reach.</p>

<p>BTW - even our 'worse' students report that the first semester of college was 'easy' for them simply because they have been taught at a higher level all along. That's pretty common for kids who have been in college prep schools. Things tend to even out by sophomore year. The best thing to do is to opt out of as many intro courses as possible via AP credit. My son isn't a big math kid either, so he didn't do any math APs but he did Eng Lit.. Stats. ,Comparative Govt, Politics, 2 histories, Biology. That gives him the opportunity to pursue more advanced level work in those subjects from the beginning.</p>

<p>Come to think of it - since your son likes urban areas, warmer weather and a larger campus in the south - take a look at son's honor college at the University of South Carolina. It's considered a top-notch honors college and is even mentioned in USNWR as such.</p>

<p>*
You will get much bigger merit offers if your son shoots for a school where all of his stats are in the top 10-25% of admissions - not schools that are a reach.*</p>

<p>Very true. I know that people often use "top 25%" as the guideline, but for larger scholarships, a student's stats often need to be in the top 10% or less at the schools that give big scholarships. That's because schools don't usually give big scholarships (full tuition or similar) to 25% of their students. Usually only about 10% or less would get those big scholarships. </p>

<p>For instance...Bama has about 5000 freshmen each year. About 500 have free tuition scholarships based on their high stats. That's 10% of students. A student who is just at the 25% mark would get a small scholarship...about $3k per year. Big difference.</p>

<p>$20-$25K is upper-upper limit, so for a $50K school he would need $25K/year at least, so I think these are off the table. I think he is focusing on Alabama, USC, possibly Miami, maybe a Tulane and a couple of the California schools with strong merit programs. Was just looking to see if there wasn't some hidden gem out there that we weren't considering.</p>

<p>On a really positive note, S flew in this morning from aforementioned summer program. He had a fantastic time, most of the summer college kids were really smart as many went for free like he did with required SAT scores and gpa. There were many very intelligent internationals as well. Apparently some Southern schools attract a lot of South American students due to ease of travel and price. He said that he realizes Eng Comp 102 & Psych 101 are total intro courses. He equated Eng Comp 2 to Honors English that he took in 11th(not really surprising) and Psych 101, well that is going to be his major so I would hope he would have the highest average in the class. So all in all, a really positive experience. He now has no reservations about going to college in the South!</p>

<p>I know some kids that got excellent merit packages from Pepperdine in CA. Don't know much about the school, but a number of private school kids do apply to it each year.</p>

<p>I'm afraid that I disagree with some of the posters here who are suggesting that your son might land a merit scholarship worth between $20,000-$30,000 per year at a "reach school." You said he had an unweighted gpa of 3.4 and a weighted gpa of 3.5. I think that is going to be a real sticking point, and the standardized test scores won't help much.</p>

<p>My son graduated from a top-tier public California high school last spring with an unweighted gpa of 3.44, but weighted gpa of 4.15, and his ACT composite was 32, with SAT scores of 2150 or so. He was admitted to Emory, with no aid at all. Ditto Trinity College, Boston University, etc. etc. He was waitlisted at Grinnell, but while he was on the waitlist, we learned he should not expect merit aid, because of his gpa. </p>

<p>Willamette University was on my son's list as a safety, along with UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara. (He was admitted to the two UC campuses with no merit aid.) He did receive a merit scholarship from Willamette University, which the school increased after he had a strong mid-year report his senior year. This merit scholarship is the largest that Willamette gives, apart from the small handful of full rides they give to really outstanding students (read, valedictorian, salutorian....). But it still leaves us paying around $26,000 per year, which is a bit higher than the top of your possible range.</p>

<p>Sorry to be such a downer, but I think it's good to be realistic. Go for the reaches, but make sure your son is also happy with some solid matches and has some good safeties.</p>

<p>In the end, my son felt happiest about Willamette, which has some great programs in his areas of interest. So it all worked out well for us.</p>

<p>Calalum, your advice is probably spot on. When we went through this process with S1, we focused on the name recognition/prestige of the school more than we should have. Many of his schools were reaches and he was not in the upper echelon for his matches either. Of those schools that had merit aid, he did not get a cent. He was accepted at some mighty fine schools, but only his safety, a small Catholic school gave him money, an athletic scholarship.</p>

<p>Son 2 got many merit offers but not a one was for over $5K. Again, we were not looking for the money for him, but for the best fit.</p>

<p>With my third one, money was an issue and we knew we needed substantial merit money or outside scholarships for him to go to a full cost college. So we chose schools where he had the best chances for merit money. Schools that were out of area, that would want males, that were eager to buy high test scores. He had very high SATs but a 3.0 unweighted average. He was accepted to all but 3 programs, and was offered merit money on all but 2 schools which he immediately ditched. He did get awards ranging from $2500 (our state flagship) to full ride plus allowance ( a less selective state school). He also got a good range in between. His top private school scholarship was about $25K which is what the OP is seeking. However, he did end up with a number of schools that offered between $10-20K. He asked his favorite choice to up the amount, and they did. That with a small outside scholarship made it possible for him to go to a private LAC. It was probably his most expensive net cost school after he threw out offers with no merit money. </p>

<p>But we could not count on this. We had no idea what we would get with this gpa/test score discrepancy. In OP's case, for his son to apply for a reach school means that getting a scholarship there is even a higher reach. In order for him to get a a nice amount of money, he has to choose schools where the % of students getting merit awards is larger than where he falls percent wise with his test scores and in some cases gpa. The other factor is the amount of the average merit scholarship. If it is not a nice big amount, then again, then it is a long shot that the school will give him enough to make it doable. Unless, again, he is among the upper echelon of candidates. Usually the top awards are described on the school's website and you can see if you are in the running for them. In my opinion, the match schools for the young man are going to be reach in terms of getting merit aid. Possible but still a reach unless he finds a guaranteed scholarship situation that fits his gpa and test scores. My son did not get anything from the auto awards due to his gpa. </p>

<p>True safeties that have the money for scholarships are where he has the best chance of getting money, and even then the award can be nominal. </p>

<p>My son also had Williamette on his list and it is indeed a fine school that I recommend for the OP to consider. UDenver is another one that is a possibility. Denison and Ursinus have given kids with OP's son's stats generous awards. Fordham is another one. These are schools that I know where he has s shot of getting enough in $ to go there.</p>

<p>
[quote]
In my experience professors teach to the level of the students. So yes, there are certainly instances where college Intro courses can be less rigorous than courses at competitive high schools. That will not be the case for upper-level math and science courses.

[/quote]

In my own experience professors in upper-level math and science courses teach to the level of the students the same way they would in intro courses.</p>

<p>Most students who make it to the upper level math and science course are pretty competent in the subject. At UB, where my son went, the advanced math courses were every bit as intense as any college. The engineers graduating there are trained just as well as at much more selective schools. My friend who is an MIT graduate has engineers from just about every state school and engineering program at his firm. </p>

<p>What is different is that some of the entry level courses are divided into those for math and science kids and those that are not at the larger universities.</p>

<p>*Most students who make it to the upper level math and science course are pretty competent in the subject. At UB, where my son went, the advanced math courses were every bit as intense as any college. *</p>

<p>Very true. My H (math & physics degrees from Big 10 schools) insists that the 300/400 level math that our older son is learning as an undergrad is what he learned as a grad student. </p>

<p>*
What is different is that some of the entry level courses are divided into those for math and science kids and those that are not at the larger universities. *</p>

<p>True....there are math classes for non-majors....just like there are science classes for non-majors.</p>

<p>I'm afraid that I disagree with some of the posters here who are suggesting that your son might land a merit scholarship worth between $20,000-$30,000 per year at a "reach school."</p>

<p>I agree. I hope CalAlum doesn't think that the wording of my posts suggested such was possible. I was trying to find out what the OP's budget was and then indicate what would then be needed for these reach schools to be possible. That was to avoid suggestions of $50k schools where the student might only be offered a $10k scholarship if a lot more might be needed.</p>

<p>One thing I've learned on CC is that everyone has a different idea of what a "good scholarship" means. Some think $10k off of $50k is great, some think that's not enough.</p>