Final College Selections

I am now a rising senior and I have just gotten my final transcript back. Application season is now just around the corner and I need some advice on where to apply. I had a previous forum called: Open curriculum. Where I asked whether or not I should risk applying to certain colleges. My scores have remained basically the same with my GPA being a 3.93 unweighted and a 4.7 weighted. My SAT score turned out to be 1300 which isn’t terrible but isn’t what I was hoping for. Now I have actually visited most of the colleges on my previous list. I went to see Wesleyan, Smith and University of Rochester, Amherst, and Mount Holyoke. (I also visited some in Michigan). Out of all these colleges I loved Wesleyan the most but still don’t think I’d really get in. I feel as though I should apply early decision to Smith as I absolutely loved all the people I met when visiting the campus. But my family isn’t fond of my applying to an all girls school. While Rochester wasn’t as magical as the other two colleges I feel as though I would be able to thrive their. Though it didn’t seem as artsy as Smith or Wesleyan. Out of these three which would you suggest I apply to early decision. Wesleyan is my dream college but Smith wasn’t far behind and the fact I liked smith so much makes me now have doubts about Wesleyan. Especially since it was a longshot of me getting in anyways.

I will be retaking my SAT score later this summer. While I have also continued to volunteer at story time in the park and work extra hours at my job. What college would you suggest I apply to?

I should also add that I have kept doing the same clubs: film, book and D&D club. But I also created a novel writing club and joined the gardening club.

ED Wesleyan maybe? Do you have naviance or similar to see if students similar to you got into Wesleyan Ed in the past?

A Naviance? My school uses parchment and I personally use Niche to look at colleges but I don’t know what Naviance is. On Niche and parchment they both give me mediocre odds of getting in regular decision but those websites don’t include early decision.

Naviance is software that many high school counseling offices use to manage the admissions process. They are able to also use it to track historical results. If your school used it or similar software, you would be able to see how students with stats like yours fared at the schools you are considering.

My kids’ school is small and didn’t use anything like that, so their best source was their seasoned guidance counselor. They could ask if students with similar stats and rigor were often accepted at certain schools.

Each student is unique, of course, but it was a good starting point to see if their college lists made sense. You may want to ask those questions of your counselor.

Thank you!

Are all these schools still test optional? Do you think you could really improve by 200+ points? Maybe just ED, if you are financially able, to your favorite school?

It’s healthy to not bank on getting into a highly selective school. It’s also a good idea to have a balanced list, which remains to be seen in either of your threads. But, as others have suggested, you should consult with your guidance resources to see if you have a better-than-average shot at your favored schools.

That noted, test optional policies will help here. Assuming your transcript demonstrates rigor (which is likely, since I believe you are in an IB program), your GPA is pretty solid for the schools you aspire to attending (though it would be helpful to understand your rank, even if that’s not officially recorded).

Essays and recommendations will go a long way to helping these schools understand who you are and how you will add to their communities. Do not underestimate their qualitative power to tip a choice between one “average excellent” applicant over another.

The ED bump is strong at Wesleyan, so ED-ing there is not a bad idea if it’s the school that really appeals to you most and if you would regret not giving it your best shot. Have you run their net price calculator (NPC) and are you and your family comfortable with the results?

Smith has EDII if Wesleyan doesn’t work out. Good luck!

My safety schools are not shown on this list. Michigan State university, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech and Wisconsin state university are all colleges I plan to apply to. Though I hope I dont have to go those schools. (Thanks for the advice)

Yes I know Wesleyan and Smith are both test optional.

Good point - ED Wesleyan and ED2 Smith if you don’t get in ED. Both schools have a big ED bump.

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I don’t see Wes as an impossibility but your safeties seem odd to me - large publics.

Why not find “less competitive” colleges than Wesleyan - that might also come with merit aid.

I’m not the best one to answer these - but a Sarah Lawrence, Oberlin, Wooster, Kalamazoo since you are in Michigan.

My point is - find a safety that will provide you a similar experience to Wesleyan and likely at a lower cost.

This was if you don’t get in, you still have suitable and similar backups. You - not the school - is going to make your experience.


Just a heads-up, if you meant the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it is not a safety for you if you are out-of-state.

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I’ll check out some of these safetys but Michigan Tech and Northern are more medoum schools. Michigan State and Wisconsin were on the list because I have lots of family members who went to both. But I dont really want to go those schools.

If you don’t want to attend, then they aren’t safeties. The whole point of a safety is having an affordable school you would be happy to attend!


You shouldn’t apply to schools you won’t go to as it is a huge waste of effort. You should try to find some safeties you actually would be reasonably happy to go to. Connecticut College? Oberlin? Carleton? Skidmore?


Maybe I need to research more into them. Oberlin Wooster looks nice. I might go look at other threads at good less selective LAC’s for my safetys.

If you want something more “artsy” than Smith but less reachy than Wesleyan, consider Connecticut College and Skidmore. In the midwest, look at St. Olaf and Lawrence, in addition to Oberlin as suggested above.

What majors are you interested in?


I just looked into Connecticut college and Skidmore. Both seem like colleges I would fairly enjoy but are they considered safetys? They are both around the same acceptance rate as University of Rochester which is also on my list.

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Biochem with an english minor. While science is my passion I like to be surrounded with the arts and my top hobby is novel writing. I going down the pre med track.