Help Please - Need Safeties & Matches

<p>I been on here long enough to know that we need safeties, but my son can not seem to find one that he really likes! And I want financial safeties too. Plus we need matches.</p>

<p>Brief rundown: Missouri resident, 35 ACT, 3.9/4.4 GPA. Wants mid-size school (3K-15K), not in a small town or rural area, probably will major in biology but not certain. Should have a strong natural sciences program. NOT interested in any of the Missouri public universities. Right now wants to apply to Rice, Vanderbilt & Washington University.</p>

<p>So obviously we need to add to the list! Suggestions please?</p>

<p>A 35 ACT can get you in anywhere. The top schools of course are a reach for anyone, but I think you should apply to Ivy league schools...of course, only if you're interested.</p>

<p>Have you looked at the University of Tulsa? It's a private school and is generous with merit aid to high-performing kids. I've known two of their chemistry grads; both bright people, one of them is one of the smartest guys I've ever met (NMS from St. Louis who got a full ride at Tulsa).</p>

<p>Engineeringjw - Actually, at this time he is not interested in any Ivy league schools.</p>

<p>spdf - I will take a look at Tulsa. Although son will not be NMF, so would not be elgible for that full ride I don't think.</p>

<p>Keep the replies coming. Thanks!</p>

<p>Maybe Hopkins, Brandeis and University of Rochester (with only the last two being at all like safeties). Emory?</p>

<p>"I want financial safeties too."</p>

<p>You need to sit down and run the EFC calculators at FinAid</a>! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans and College</a> Calculators - savings calculators - college costs, loans Then you need to have a heart-to-heart with your kid about finances. Can you meet your EFC? If you can, how much more than that are you willing to pay? If you can't, how much are you willing to pay? What kind of student debt are you willing for him to take on? How much money do you expect him to earn in summer jobs and/or with part-time jobs during the school year? Once you get honest about the money, it will be easier for him to get real about finding financial safety schools. He might even decide that Truman State doesn't look so bad after all!</p>

<p>Every single student needs at least one Rock Solid True Safety on his or her list. This place is affordable to the family with no aid other than federally determined (FAFSA) aid, guarantees admission based on the student's stats (many public institutions post this info. right on their websites), offers the student's major(s) or at least the first two years if it is a community college, and is somewhere the student is able to envision attending if all else goes bad in the college application process. Your son needs to find this place. If he absolutely can't, he needs to find some place that comes as close as possible to meeting these four criteria. If he still can't (or won't) then he needs to develop a Plan B for a worst case scenario that leaves him with no affordable options next April.</p>

<p>Furman University in South Carolina would be a good match. Very strong in science. Our high school valedictorian went there years ago and went on to med school and a great career as a research MD. Beautiful campus. Also, Tulane has strong sciences and might offer merit money. Good match. I think St. Olaf in Minnesota is supposed to be good in science, especially biology. It would be a good safety, but the town might be a little small. College of Charleston is also good in sciences. Good safety. Pomona College in CA would be a good match - similar to Rice in many ways, but maybe just a little easier to get into. Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd are actually harder to get into than Rice, but I think Pomona is a little easier. Carnegie Mellon might also be a good match. Known for computer science but the HSS school is darn good, too.</p>

<p>Consider Drake University in Des Moines as a safety. Drake</a> University Des Moines is a decent sized town with a lot of trendy restaurants, Arts, huge malls, etc.</p>

<p>Holy Cross and Tufts. Holy Cross is a smaller version of Georgetown but easier to gain admission. Both are good in science fields.</p>

<p>How about Case Western or University of Rochester?</p>

<p>Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be researching them all. One other wish is possibly to have a warmer climate. Any more ideas in the midwest, south and west?</p>

<p>Thanks again. :)</p>

<p>If your looking for a warmer climate definitely look at the Claremonts. The climate is just about perfect. Although each of these schools are quite small together the community bears similarities to Rice, Vandy and WashU. Don't be swayed by reports about schools that are easier or harder to get into. Your S's stats are competitive for all of these schools. All are highly competitive which means strong students will be rejected and WL'd. Your best bet is to apply to several. All schools are easy to get in when you are accepted and hard when you aren't.</p>

<p>I will add to the post that suggested Tulane, since financial considerations are in play also. Tulane is a top 50 school, top 30 if you rank only by average SAT scores. It gets pulled down some because USNWR uses "peer assessment" as 25% of the ranking, and way too many people think Tulane got hit harder than it did from Katrina. That's an entirely different discussion, but the short version is apparently most people are smarter than the people that fill out the peer assessment, because Tulane is thriving. Record number of applications each of the last 3 years, and not by small increments (34,000 to 40,000 to 44,000 this past cycle), and the last 3 classes are the strongest in school history. Just my way of trying to say the school is doing better than ever. And of course New Orleans represents a nice climate for the majority of the school year. A bit hot when school first starts in August, but OK after that.</p>

<p>With your son's stats, he would have an excellent shot at the Deans' Honor Scholarship (DHS), which is full tuition for all 4 years, no matter how much it increases. You would still be responsible for fees, room and board, and books. The way it works at Tulane is that he can apply for EA (no obligations) and if he does that by early October he will probably hear back within 3 weeks. With the acceptance letter he will get offered the Presidential Merit Scholarship, which this year was $25,000/year for 4 years. He would also be invited to the Honors Program. I say this with a pretty high level of confidence given the stats you posted. You don't mention EC's, but hopefully they are decent. It makes a bit of difference, although he would likely still get all the above based on stats alone. The DHS has to be applied for separately, involves a "box project" and an additional recommendation, and he would be notified by around the 3rd week of February.</p>

<p>Tulane has a great campus, you should try and visit this fall. Where in Missouri are you from? Southwest flies from both St. Louis and KC to New Orleans, so with some planning you can keep the costs down. You could also easily go from there to Rice in Houston, or vice versa, if you haven't visited there yet. Southwest flies into Houston Hobby, which is pretty convenient to Rice (20 minute taxi ride as opposed to about 40 from the big airport).</p>

<p>Hope that helps.</p>

<p>I should have said also that there are "only" 75 DHS awards given, at least that was the number for the last 2 years. I think some parts of the web site still say 100, and maybe it will go back to that. But either they decided to take the money that was used for those extra 25 and attract more students through the lower level merit awards, or like all schools they cut back because of the shrinking endowment due to the poor financial markets. Not sure which explanation is correct, but in any case that is the landscape for the scholarship. Usually there are 1000-1500 students that apply for those 75-100 scholarships.</p>

<p>I agree with the other posters that Case Western and Tulane are good ones to look at, because they have strong financial aid programs. George Washington U is another to think about. Worchester Polytechnic is very well ranked, and gives excellent aid. Just to be safe, I think that your son needs to apply to the best in-state school. University of Chicago sounds like a good fit for him, and who knows, he may qualify for the aid there as well.</p>

<p>One Mom, I know we need the ultimate financial safety in case our jobs are lost in the meantime, so I guess I can make him apply to one of our state schools. The best is Truman State, which is a good school, but in a rural area with not a lot to do surrounding it. I'd love to find a safety that he will fall in love with!</p>

<p>Does anyone know much about Creighton? Is is overwhelmingly religious? We are not Cathloic, so that is a concern. But the size seems good.</p>

<p>I appreciate all your suggestions and welcome any more.</p>

<p>My son has 3 friends attending Creighton this fall. All three attended info sessions and loved it. One is going because of baseball and the other 2 because they supposedly have a good pre med program. Most of the Catholic or Lutheran colleges require you to take 2 religion courses. The courses seem to be more general - like "The History of Religion" or "Religions Impact on Society". I am not Catholic, but I overheard one parent say that Creighton was a Jesuit school. I don't know if that is good or bad, but I think it has something to do with their teaching style.</p>

<p>helpingmom - My S is going to be a senior at Truman this fall, and while he will be the first to admit that Kirksville gets a little old after a time, he has loved the school and thinks the faculty is outstanding. He has made great friends there, and I suppose in some ways the small town results in people being closer. Also, because there are so many kids from Missouri and the neighboring states, a lot of them have cars. That means that people go to Columbia, KC, Des Moines and St. Louis on a fairly regular basis. It helps break up the small town issue.</p>

<p>I graduated from Creighton, and I remain involved as an alum. Also, I have a cousin who will be a sophomore there in 2010-11. </p>

<p>To answer your question, Creighton is NOT overwhelmingly religious, but there is definitely a religious presence. The President, Fr. John Schlegel, is a Jesuit Priest (he will be retiring in June of 2011) and Creighton is a Jesuit institution. This means that the university is guided by system of study that is rigorous and reflexive. The school encourages students to prepare for their careers while being active participants/leaders in their community. </p>

<p>I had friends from a variety of religious backgrounds, but I would estimate that 45-55% of the student body is Catholic. Further, most students come from middle/upper-middle class backgrounds. Overall, it will not be as diverse as many state schools or liberal arts colleges, but the students there are smart and work hard. </p>

<p>The pre-med program is excellent. Many of my friends are currently earning MDs. </p>

<p>In large part, your decision depends on the kind of academic experience your son wants. Creighton does not have the national reputation of many of the schools that have been mentioned in this thread. I am currently earning my PhD from a top Research One school, and nobody knows about CU. That said, if your son does well there, I think he will find many opportunities available to him. </p>

<p>Hope this helps.</p>

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