Help Me Find Match and Safety Schools?

Hi! If anyone could offer me help with finding match and/or safety schools that would be great. I have PLENTY of reach schools on my current list but I don’t really know what kinds of schools would be a safety or a match for me.

ACT Composite: 28
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): ~3.90
Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): N/A
AP (place score in parenthesis): Comparative Government (5), World History (5)
Senior Year Course Load: AP Comparative Government, AP World History, Honors English Literature, Honors Psychology, Spanish, French, Statistics

Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis):
-Dance (ballet and modern) minimum 10 hours a week (however it is always more due to rehearsals)
-Piano (1 year)
-Guitar (6 years)

Job/Work Experience:
-Assistant in archival research: Organizing and interpreting personal primary documents and maintaining a database for a year so far, still working there. ~20 hours/week

Volunteer/Community service:
-120 + hours volunteering at a local farmers market helping mothers that are a part of the WIC program cash in their checks as well as giving them extra money (as part of the market’s double dollars program) to spend on healthy foods/sustainably grown vegetables
-Volunteering for two weeks (~20 hours) in Nicaragua as an elementary school teacher’s assistant
-Working with low-income/homeless children in DC, helping them with homework and extracurricular activities

Intended Major: International Studies/Relations or Political Science, also thinking about majoring in a language
State (if domestic applicant): Maryland
Country (if international applicant): USA
School Type: Homeschool
Ethnicity (Hispanic Y/N/not reported): Not Hispanic
Race(s) (AI/AN, Asian, AA, NH/PI, White, not reported): Black and White
Gender: Female
Hooks/tips (URM, athlete, legacy, 1st gen, etc.): URM

I am conversational in Spanish, getting to be conversational and French, and am an intermediate beginner in Mandarin Chinese.
I am also about to take a gap year where I will be travelling in South America, volunteering in both Colombia and Peru for many hours a week.

Thank you!

Holy Cross

How much can your family afford? That’s one of the requirements for a safety (affordable).

What’s your budget? What are your preferences?

My family can afford most schools, obviously the cheaper the better but they have said we will find a way to make it work.
I’m still figuring out what I like and don’t like in schools. I find myself very drawn to small liberal arts colleges but I also think that being in a big school could be nice. I don’t want any super conservative schools as I myself am liberal, but they also don’t need to be super liberal because I think diversity in opinion/view is good. I spend a lot of time doing art and so schools that are kind of artsy pull me in (I visited Vassar and fell in LOVE though I know that it is an incredible reach), but that is certainly not any sort of requirement. But yeah, to get an idea of what other schools I have liked these are my top three favorites: Vassar, Northeastern, and Wesleyan. However I know that all three of those are reaches and so I’m looking for schools I have a better chance of getting into.
Really any schools you can think of/advice you can give would be super helpful.
Thank you all for replying!

Macalester could be another option. Hamilton has a term-length program in Washington, which you might like, but is somewhat more selective. (For a quick guide to comparative selectivity, see “The 610 Smartest Colleges,” Business Insider.)

American & GWU are great for international studies, & located in DC.
GWU is test optional, and their acceptance rate has risen, so I’d say it’s a high match.

This could mean as much as a quarter of a million dollars for your undergrad education, depending on your family’s situation. Many parents do not realize what college really costs now. You would do everyone a favor to work with your parents to run net price calculators on each college website to see what kind of aid you might get and what your family would have to pay. You personally can only borrow $5,500 freshman year, $6,500 soph year, and $7500 each sr & jr year. Maybe a little more if you are low income. Any other loans would have to be taken out by your parents, and that is not a good idea. We see kids out here all the time in the spring whose parents gave that “we will find a way”, realizing that no way can they afford some or all of the schools their kids applied to. So I implore you to run those calculators with your parents and get a solid number of what they can pay ASAP. It is the #1 driving factor in college selection for most students.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland has a nice LAC feel to it, and it is an in-state public university for you (it is the public honors college of Maryland). It would make a nice safety, I think, but be sure to visit.

Dickinson and Mount Holyoke are test optional, they might be good matches.

My son goes to Vassar and it is indeed wonderful and artsy. Vassar is very committed to diversity and those from under representative backgrounds like first generation. Also they pay attention to demonstrated interest so go to their events and contact admissions.
Other recommendations, in maryland Goucher college has the highest study abroad rate in the country, Drew university in New Jersey is liberal highly regarded and artsy (NJ Shakespeare festival is there) Brandeis in Massachusetts is good for international studies but might be a slight reach. Sara Lawrence in NY is considered the most liberal college in the country. The other seven sisters esp. Mt Holyoake. Bard. Fordham Lincoln center.

Have you showed them the cost of attendance web pages for some colleges you are considering, and run net price calculators with them on those college web sites?

Obviously, if they give a definite “yes” or “no” answer to those prices, then you know the answer. If they seem unsure or are otherwise vague, that leaves the possibility that you will face a big let-down in April when your parents cannot find the money.

What do you plan to study? Do you want to continue to pursue the music/dance/arts? That might help narrow down the field…

@ColdinMinny I plan on studying International studies/relations or political science. I do want to do art at some level but maybe as a minor or just take classes. The other two I will most likely continue in more informal ways through clubs and such. I am also very interested in languages and plan on studying at least one in college. I know some colleges have foreign language majors which is ideal because then i could double major in foreign languages and international studies but that major is very rare so it isn’t a requirement for me.