Good target schools for International Relations/Language

My daughter his a wish list of reach and “super reach” schools (Georgetown, Middlebury, Brown, Tufts, Colgate, Hamilton, William and Mary, American, GW, etc). Although she does have good stats, she knows she needs to find some targets and safeties. (SAT 1510, unweighted GPA 4.0, lots of ECs, many APs). Looking for recommendations for targets and safeties for a kid interested in International Relations/government/Mandarin. Ideally small to mid-sized.

Your daughter has assembled a great list of target / desired schools. To her list, I would add a reach school–Claremont McKenna College in California.

Her current list contains reasonable match schools of GWU & American University plus, probably, some of the “etc.” schools.

U of Denver

American (if she demonstrates interest - so sign up for a webinar) and GW she is in.

Monetarily, what are you looking for - a deal? If so, College of Charleston (International Scholar Program), Washington & Lee (Johnson Scholarship), someone mentioned Denver. UGA is another and has merit…very good program. Yes, it’s huge - but there’s the Honors College which isn’t. Occidental out in LA as well. You might add Kenyon, Lehigh, U Miami, Miami (OH) and Elon as well.

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Your D’s interests, stats, and initial list looks a lot like my D20’s. I would also look at Skidmore, Franklin & Marshall, and Lafayette.

Dickinson might be a good one to consider.

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These sites might be helpful:

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Dickinson and Kalamazoo would be likely, safeties if you don’t need merit and express interest starting now.

Look at the Mandarin Flagship programs
https://www.thelanguageflagship.org/chinese
ASU Barrett + Critical language flagship would likely be a safety with a topnotch set up.
Sally Barksdale at Ole Miss + Language flagship, likely not safety, but very possible.

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Are you able to cover 100% of UG costs or do you have a max out of pocket? will debt be involved?

Figure the $$ out first. For IR, not having debt >>> any IR program. If avoiding debt means chasing merit (which is a hard psychological leap for a lot of high flying students) then you have to re-evaluate the list altogether.

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With respect to the study of Mandarin, IPEDs will offer you a sense of the popularity of this program across various colleges. For example, Hamilton (at 9 graduating Chinese Language and Literature “first majors” in a recent year) and Middlebury (at 8) appear to set the standard for LACs:

https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=Hamilton&s=all&id=191515#programs

https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=Middlebury&s=all&id=230959#programs

If she’s adventurous look at St. Andrews in Scotland. IR is their specialty.

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We sat through the Intl Studies presentation at College of Charleston today. My daughter is an International Scholar and as such they require a second major. The reason is that they know while it (and other) liberal arts majors are enlightening, they are not pre professional or job ready. Hence the double major requirement with an ability to do something pre professional assuming one plans to enter the workforce.

So the comment on going cheap is spot on. If you go to grad school, you’re not overly strained.

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My recommendation would be Ole Miss with the Chinese Flagship, Honors, and Croft. I don’t think any of the pricey options being considered offer a better value. My DD was a critical language major and Ole Miss critical language students were generally stronger than those at the schools on your list.

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You’re right - if you’re going to study Chinese, save the $ and hype - and go to a Chinese flagship program, Ole Miss or otherwise. These schools are established for students to learn Chinese. Yes, the names are lesser - but this is a case where rank isn’t everything. And she’ll get her governmental education as well. Indiana’s Hamilton Lugar School is really strong in both areas.

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Yes, IU is also great. My D did their summer language workshop. It was fantastic and the upper level students were impressive.

Thank you all for these suggestions. Lots of great ideas and programs I hadn’t heard of. To answer the money questions…we are able to cover her and just want to find the best fit. I should have added that she has been avoiding looking at schools in the south because she detests hot weather… but I’m going to look at these anyway! She also really values diversity of student body. Any other suggestions welcome. Thanks again, all.

Diversity - look at Charleston - as an outstanding student, she’ll get money. It’s very diverse (lots of Northeasterners) in a happening city.

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