Fall College List (Williams, Skidmore, UChicago etc.)

I thought I’d post my fall college list so far as well as some of my stats. I am not sure if I am going to apply ED due to the fact I can’t really decide on one school I love.

Williams College
Amherst College
Skidmore College
University of Chicago
Brown University
Reed College
Bowdoin College
Colgate University


GPA: 3.8 UW 4.21 W

ACT/SAT: 35/1560
(Will not be taking subject tests as of now with the COVID-19 situation)

AP Calc AB/BC (both 5s)
AP World (5)
AP Lit/Lang (both 5s)
AP Physics 1 (4)
AP Bio (4)
AP Latin (5)
AP Studio Art

I have a pretty strong EC portfolio.

Other college sponsored courses taken through local State-Flagship Uni.

Looking for an open curriculum ideally as I want to pursue a major in Economics and Classics.

Hope this helps anyone along with their search and let me know if there are any questions. Also, if anyone has any insight or any other school recommendations, let me know!

Have you run the NPCs for each school to see if it is affordable for you and your family?

Your list seems pretty reach heavy. Do you have affordable safety schools on your list?

I do not know much about Colgate. I do not know whether or not it is a safety for you. All of the other schools on this list are reaches given an unweighted 3.8 GPA. The others would even be reaches if you had an unweighted 4.0 GPA.

Do you know what your budget is? If it is anything other than full pay (very likely more than $300,000 over four years) then have you run the NPC for each of these schools?

D20’s attending Colgate. Academics make it a high match but admissions are pretty competitive and definitely not predictable. If your school has Naviance, I would check it to see how others have done.

OP wants to double major in Economics & Classics.

Does Colgate University offer a major or minor in Classics ?

@DadTwoGirls @helpingmom40 I apologize that I missed some information. I am a lower-income (my family brings in about 55-60K a year) first-ten college student. Even with a 3.8 I threw some high reaches on there as someone told me the “first-ten” status would give me a leg up. Also I have safeties in mind which include HWS and SLU (which I would say are safe-er ) I really liked Colgate and Skidmore as reasonable options, I like Skidmore a little better in my case, but both acceptance rates are around 25-30% so nothing is a safe bet.

OP: I think that you meant to write “first-gen”, not “first-ten college student”.

@Publisher They offer a Classics major/minor.

@Publisher Colgate has both a major and minor within the Classical Studies department

Colgate has a very generous financial aid program, more generous than some of the others. You mention “first-ten” and I am thinking you mean first-gen, in which case it can give you a bit of a boost. I would run the NPCs still, to get your family’s contribution and make sure that number is affordable. A school meeting demonstrated need determines what they think your need is and sometimes it doesn’t match what the family is looking to pay or is still outright unaffordable. Some of the other schools you mention are need aware, meaning they take your family’s need into account before making an admissions decision. Skidmore, for instance, said at an info session that they have limited funds available for grants and prefer to reject students who show a lot of need rather than admit them only to find that the price is out of reach.

@Publisher Yes I meant “first-gen”, I apologize for the typo.

@helpingmom40 Thank you for the insight on Colgate and Skidmore’s financial info. I wonder if I apply ED, then there available funds for lower-income students would more available. I am definitely gonna take a deeper look at Colgate!

I was a student with almost 0 EFC. I applied to Skidmore RD and I was accepted with such generous aid that it was cheaper than community college. What I can say from my experience is that demonstrated interest is extremely important. As @helpingmom40 stated, their funds are limited in comparison to peer schools such as Colgate and Vassar (I hope no one is offended by me calling Skidmore a peer, although I understand their name-prestige is still higher in my eyes and the eyes of many). Applying ED will help you greatly. Throw F&M on that list as well as they also provided shockingly great aid.

Be careful with ED if you need lots of aid! It is a binding agreement and, while you can back out if it is unaffordable, they provide the NPC so you can determine that ahead of time. Really, you need to sit down with whoever will be paying the bill and complete the NPC for the schools on your list and have a talk with them to make sure they are willing and able to pay the amount shown. If they are uncomfortable with the amount given, you need to know what they are willing to pay. Also, be aware that the NPC amounts are not accurate if your family owns a business, property other than a primary residence, or there is a divorce. Any of those scenarios will increase the family contribution.

One other thing to point out is the whole pandemic thing has hit the endowments of schools pretty hard. They many not have the funds available for as much financial aid next year. Many schools honor the commitment to current student grants before determining the pool for the next incoming class.

As generous as Colgate is, the percentage of students receiving financial aid in the class of 2024 is lower than the class of 2023.

While endowments did take a hit in March with the sharp stock market correction, the market has rebounded sharply since then. The Dow is close to being back it where it was pre-pandemic, the NASDAQ is higher than where it was pre-pandemic.

If there are schools with endowments that are still suffering from last Spring, they may need new investment professionals.

Of course, it still makes sense to look at the financial health of any college before attending, as one wants the FA awarded freshman year to at least remain the same (or in the same proportion of total COA).

Run the net price calculators and go from there.

I’m biased because I go to Brown, but if you want an Open Curriculum, then you should go to the school that calls its curriculum the Open Curriculum. :smile: At Brown, students can sample a variety of fields by taking any class S/NC (pass/fail,) whereas at a lot of other schools the fear of a bad grade would stop you. The Open Curriculum’s virtually no requirements (except for 2 writing designated courses, which are in multiple fields,) also makes it extremely easy to double concentrate (major) between two unrelated fields.

Take a look at Brown’s concentrations here: https://bulletin.brown.edu/the-college/concentrations/

For students requiring financial aid, Brown has an extremely strong financial aid program that meets your full demonstrated need w/o loans (the Brown Promise.) Take a look at Brown’s financial aid website: financialaid.brown.edu

For low-income applicants, I highly recommend students look into the Questbridge College Match program and Posse Scholars, as these programs make attending a school with a high sticker price like Brown extremely affordable.

I understand from your post that you aren’t sure about applying ED, but I do highly recommend it if ALL of the following are true once you’ve done more research:

  1. You LOVE your school and would 110% attend if admitted.
  2. You're extremely confident that you can present a well thought out and crafted application by the ED deadline, which is usually November 1st.
  3. You and your family can afford the school if admitted (run the school's financial aid calculators.)

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Are you also an underrepresented minority student, or no? There is some advantage to being 1st-gen. But your need-blind schools (e.g. Williams and UChicago) have very low acceptance rates, and your need-aware schools (e.g. Skidmore and Colgate) may cancel out that 1st-gen bump with a disadvantage for being high-need. (As noted above, this effect could be amplified as colleges struggle with the financial impact of the pandemic. Hard to predict.) You seem like a very strong applicant, but I do agree that you need to balance your list with some match/safeties you could be happy with. What’s your home state?

Some schools to consider that have strong classics + econ, and good financial aid: Macalester, Kenyon, Oberlin, College of the Holy Cross, Bryn Mawr if you’re female. Earlham and Kalamazoo are “Colleges That Change Lives” schools ( ctcl.org/ ) that aren’t full-need-met but can be quite generous, and have strong classics, econ majors that I assume are solid, and great curricular flexibility. (Kalamazoo has the “K-plan” which is particularly customized.)

Definitely run NPC’s before deciding about ED. Applying ED might help you to be “first in line” for a generous aid package at a need-aware school, though.

An out-of-the-box option could be the University of Cincinnati. They have a top-tier Classics department https://classics.uc.edu/ , and their business school has a BA program in econ which is amenable to double-majoring but which still qualifies for their renowned co-op program. https://business.uc.edu/faculty-and-research/departments/economics/partners.html Your stats could qualify you for big merit at Cincinnati, and you could also qualify for their Gen-1 living-learning community which provides a substantial subsidy, in addition to great support structures for participants. A very different option from your other schools, but the combination of access to a top classics department with the career-launching potential of a co-op program in econ (with real earning potential along the way) could potentially strike a great balance.

I agree with the above that OP should consider applying to the Questbridge match program, as all partner schools are meet full need schools. Posse program is a bit different, and only provides full tuition.

@aquapt Another LAC that meets full financial need w/o a shockingly low acceptance rate (it’s still hard to get in though, and is very well known here in the PNW) is Reed College in Portland, Oregon. The school’s extremely rigorous (I believe it has one of the highest % of students going on to do a PhD, but the school culture is also not to ask about your grades and focus more on the learning experience) and has small class sizes (less than 500 students per class I believe.) The campus/city are also gorgeous. If you’re not from the PNW like I am, it can be difficult to transition to a more colder environment, however, most of the schools listed above are in New England, which is far, far, far colder than Portland/Seattle/PNW would be.

Here’s the list of majors @ Reed: https://www.reed.edu/apply/academics/majors.html