Help please: Need matches for spring break tours

DD20 is closing in on a list of where to apply but we are having trouble with matches — especially financial matches. Open to suggestions in Midwest, South and MidAtlantic states.

Stats: Top 10% of class with 3.98 UW gpa, 32 ACT and likely NMSF, 10 APs by end of senior year; 3 and a 5 on AP tests thus far. ECs include plenty of volunteer hours and more than one leadership position — at least one counts as outside of school/church. Only JV level sports 2 years.

Budget in round numbers for freshman year is $30-40k. An assumed 5% increase/year is built in to that budget. Will not qualify for need based aid at any but the most expensive of schools so chasing merit. Wants strong sciences with internship possibilities in community. Most likely to study biochemistry/public health/ immunology/genetics in UG and grad school.
Prefers suburban, green campus of at least 5000 but the more isolated the campus the bigger it needs to be to interest her. 25,000 UG students is her fuzzy max for searching but prefers 15,000. Campus must lean liberal more than conservative on social issues. Does not care enough about sports to need football or a true rah rah school but would be ok with it if the school otherwise fits. More likely to attend volleyball, soccer or gymnastics for sports entertainment.

Already familiar with: UofM, Marquette, Emory and Oxford at Emory, Clemson, USCar, NC State, UCincinnati, UDayton, DePaul, Georgetown, Miami of OH, Wittenberg, IU Bloomington, Valpo, UT Austin, UKY, and tOSU.

CWRU and Elon visits are already planned.

Thank you in advance for some great ideas!

School that you might consider as match/likelies for merit aid…

Ball State


The Indiana schools will lean more right than your D wants (as will some of your Southern schools) but my liberal D has been perfectly happy at Purdue for 4 years and has lots of friends along the political spectrum there.

Smaller than your target, but I’ll suggest these anyway: Beloit and Lawrence, both in Wisconsin.

Also a bit smaller schools but Kenyon, Oberlin and Ohio Wesleyan (all in Ohio with likely merit at all).

I don’t see Lehigh as a likely for significant merit, although I do think this student will get in if she shows interest.

Have you considered the University of Delaware? I know several students who received merit, and one who recently went on to grad school for genetic counseling.

I also think your daughter might get some merit at Michigan State and UConn ( might not be a geographic preference).

Kenyon is a great school. However, it is small (1,667 students) and remote (one dirt path). If you are going to CWRU, a stop by Oberlin is worthwhile. They both will likely be pushing the top end of your budget. CWRU may have a few named scholarships that are bigger, but otherwise their max merit is $30k/year.

University of Richmond may be worth a look. They give out merit to about 20% of the people that don’t need FA.

I would definitely take a good hard look at Lawrence University. Although it is small, it doesn’t feel as small as Kenyon.

Thanks for all your suggestions! We will check them out. I forgot to mention she is also familiar with Clemson and Purdue. Just as an example, both were “too remote” for her.

How about Fordham (with NMF will come in well under budget) or possibly Tulane (they are decreasing merit aid but she might get enough to meet your budget)? A safety for admittance would be U Scranton, which I believe is still quite strong in the sciences; getting one of their large scholarships would be more of a reach. Any interest in a women’s college such as Bryn Mawr?

Fordham is too far north for her taste. We will look the others over.

Pitt is more urban than suburban, but no more urban than CWRU and Cincinnati. Pittsburgh is a really nice, smaller city for students, with lots of internship possibilities. Pitt has about 20K undergrads, which is right in the range she’s looking for, with an Honors College that she’d likely qualify for. It’s terrific for her academic interests (with an undergrad public health major in addition to a graduate school of public health that also has a genetic counseling program) and may give enough merit to get into your price range. (Full pay for OOS is around $45K, and hoping for at least $5K-$15K in merit is definitely reasonable.) Admissions are rolling, so apply early for maximum merit and also just for the reassurance of having an early acceptance in her pocket! If you wanted to tack Pitt onto your CWRU visit itinerary, it’s only about a two hour drive between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Fordham is in NYC … that’s too far north? I guess that only applies to the eastern schools … because Case is actually further north geographically than Fordham and U Mich is even more so.

I was going to suggest Bryn Mawr as well but the minimum size of 5,000 knocks a lot of otherwise “fit” LACs out of contention. If she’d be interested in looking at small schools I think the other requirements would totally fall into place. Many small colleges have beautiful suburban campuses, have strong science programs and many can offer sufficient merit aid to be affordable.

We plan to check out CWRU since it checks all her boxes but one—it is awfully far north for her. She is unwilling to add more that have that same issue.

I have been curious about Pitt. We will look into it.

Scholarships at Pitt look like a long shot. Overall cost to begin with is not awful though. Any PA residents willing to share trends in state funding of higher education? No politics please. A link to where I can read on my own is sufficient.

Bryn Mawr is part of a consortium, correct? Anyone with experience able to tell me what that is like in practice? Not sure about all female schools.

The smaller LAC that keeps coming up in our searches is Rhodes. Hidden gem for women in STEM, scholarships, internships, etc. We may have to visit.

Regarding the preference for a college that leans left politically, that should not be much of a problem. I know kids who have attended some colleges in some really red states, colleges most people would assume would be quite conservative, and the opposition is still more vocal & maybe even more numerous. You’d still need to verify individual colleges, of course; I’m just saying it’s the very rare college where a left-leaning student will feel isolated.

Wake Forest about 5000 students, Furman and Trinity in San Antonio about 2500 students. Trinity’s web site lists their merit money explicitly. They are all on the conservative side. My daughter is very liberal yet is comfortable at her very conservative college. She says even conservative colleges are more liberal than much of the country, particularly on social issues.

I doubt Georgetown will offer money. Concur with the comment to check out Richmond.

University of Scranton, unless its too rural? I think around 4000 students.

@NEPatsGirl Not sure how the University of Scanton, in downtown Scranton, could be be thought of as “too rural”. Downtown Scranton might be described as rundown or boring, maybe, but it certainly isn’t rural.

Thank you for the U of Scranton suggestion. Looks amazing for what she says she is looking for—if she can get over her desire for very little cold weather.

Macalester is small, but in a more urban area with good possibilities for internships. Outside your geographic range, but once it is a plane ride, not sure why it matters. So I’ll suggest Scripps, which has the power of the 5Cs consortium all together in one place (around 5,000 students total) and where she would be a good candidate for merit aid.