Help me build a college list: top 1% student

OP may have already seen this page–or others like it. If not, I thought it might be of interest in trying to figure out what qualifications are needed to get one of the more competitive merit scholarships. Scroll past the scholars from North Carolina; it’s slightly easier in-state. Note grades and scores aren’t listed.

I am in Virginia, so looked at the Virginia ( 3 guys) and DC one (1 guy) in particular. All from expensive private schools(Norfolk Academy, St. Christopher’s, 2 from St. Albans). Privates and competitive magnets usually seem overrepresented in these kinds of lists. Not much of a surprise.

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They are very incomplete. For example, all California public universities are need-blind for admission, but only a few are listed in those lists.

Of course, the “meet need” part means less than it seems, since each college may have a different definition of “need”. For example, USC claims to “meet need”, while UCLA does not. But for a California resident from a very low income family, UCLA has a lower net price than USC, according to their net price calculators.


Yes! All of this.

@Dollhouse if you haven’t already done so, I agree that a spreadsheet is essential to manage the deadlines and other criteria for comparison as acceptances come in. My D was also chasing merit to preserve her education savings for med school; the majority of her apps had early deadlines and additional essays to be considered for merit. Those deadlines were Oct 15, Nov 1, Dec 1… depending on the college. It was a lot of work on top of maintaining good first semester grades.

Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but has your D looked at Miami Ohio? It’s one of the public ivies, a beautiful campus. Your D should get merit and hopefully the honors college. I’m less sure about the diversity your D is looking for but it may be worth a look.

Good luck! I look forward to following your D’s journey. I have no doubt she will have many options.


Thank you! We will look into Miami Ohio. Yes, she has many spreadsheets going. This almost requires project management software!


Deleted….wrong thread.