I need help with College Search as a liberal student from Texas

Hi I need your help. I am Asian and an LGBT+ high school senior, but Texas do not have many high-quality liberal schools. I wanted to go to UT Austin, but my ranks are too low and I went to a competitive suburb high school. UH seemed kinda mediocre since I don’t want to go to commuter college, and UT Dallas does not have a beautiful campus.

I wanted to go to a school that is ranked within top 100. The second best school is Texas A&M, but the big problem is that I felt the school is too conservative and too backward for me. I think the environment there will make me unhappy.

I know that in-state is way cheaper, but I do not like living in Texas at all. I am trying to keep my college search options open, but I don’t know any out of state schools.

Here’s my criteria: Top 100 schools, nice campus, liberal, preferably East/West Coast (you can still give other locations), good programs in either business, finance, or STEM/Engineering (I don’t want a physics heavy field), and has a really high job placement with great salary.

Here’s my mediocre stats because I went through depression until mid-junior year:
3.6 UW (All AP/Honors), within top 20% class rank, 1320 SAT, piano, BARELY involved in Model UN/Interact/Student Council, won honorary mention from Spanish National Exam, volunteered for an organization helping low-income, was an SAT Student Ambassador but I was barely involved and resigned because of depression. (Btw I could have been volunteering in hospital but Covid-19 cancelled my summer before senior year). I think I could have good teacher recommendations because I do have relationships with teachers.

Please if you have any any schools that might be a perfect match for me, let me know. Also, if your experience in Texas schools was alright, tell me. Of course I wanted to save money, but I am asking this because if I do out-of-state, I need to make sure I get a really good career.

Trinity in CT?

Basically, this combination of wants in a STEM major would be computer science, math, or statistics (or variants or combinations like data science or actuarial science). Engineering majors are physics-heavy, as are physics, astronomy, chemistry, and geology, and other non-physics-heavy STEM fields like biology do not have great major-related job prospects.

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Have you talked to your parents about what they will contribute for your college costs?

Yes I can do something math and statistic related.

I really felt I don’t have much choice here in Texas. I do not want to go to a school where I feel really unhappy for being an outlier. I wished I would choose UT Austin because that fits my criteria, but my high school is too competitive that even taking all AP and getting mostly A’s won’t guarantee getting into top 6 percent.

University of WI-Madison. Santa Clara. Ohio State.

@schoolkid20 …Texas A&M is “too backward”, UH is a “commuter college”…UT Dallas “does not have a beautiful campus”…you seem to have a lot of strong, negative opinions about some very good schools! I do not know how much time you spent researching or even visiting Texas A&M, University of Houston, and UT Dallas, but I would encourage you to look closer at all of them. You might be pleasantly surprised!

It is very likely you will find being Asian and LGBT+ at any of these campuses will not make you as much of an “outlier” as you think. All three of these schools are large and diverse enough where you should be able to find your “crowd”.

Contempt prior to investigation is never a good thing. All are excellent schools, especially in the areas you mentioned. The cost and return on investment are hard to beat. A degree from any of these schools will take you as far as you want to go in life (even if you decide you want to leave Texas).

Best of luck on your search!

P.S. You should seriously consider trying to improve your SAT score. It may be difficult for you to gain admission to Texas A&M or UT Dallas (as well as many other Top 100 out-of-state schools) with your current stats.

@RealityCheck13 Texas A&M is known to be one of the most conservative universities in the USA. It is an excellent university, but not for a progressive LGBTQ student.

@schoolkid20 on the other hand, @RealityCheck13 is right. If you are looking at CS or engineering, a top 100 university may be difficult for admissions. On the other hand, a fata Science major may be a far better choice for you, especially looking at your profile.

In any case, in addition to the colleges mentioned, look at University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and U Iowa.

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I know a couple people at Texas AM who were pleasantly surprised by the amount of liberalness. Whilst it might not be for anyone stay assured you will not be the only member of the LGBTQ community there

What is your budget? Without that information, we can’t give you realistic suggestions.

Looking out of state likely won’t save you much money. You should look a bit more into UT Dallas. From what I gather it is rising in the ranks, LGBT+ friendly (including gender inclusive housing option and recognition for inclusivity), is known for good business and STEM programs, and has a large Asian-American and International Student population. The only thing you mentioned is that the campus isn’t beautiful, but it is more modern. Not sure how much campus beauty really factors into student experience as long as the layout is student-friendly.

Look into Trinity TX, Southwestern. YOu’d have a shot at UHOuston Honors, which would help with the “commuter feel”. And, yes, UT D doesn’t have a nice campus but it’s another option that’s strong in your chosen major.

Considering your profile, apply for Data Science or IST, especially if you’d rather spend time doing math than physics.

Your college budget will matter A LOT though.

Run the Net Price Calculator on:
College of Charleston (Data Science)
Western Washington University (Cybersecurity)
Penn State (IST)
St Olaf (CS)
UPuget Sound (CS)
Lafayette (undeclared)
Dickinson (CS)
Wheaton, MA (CS)
Skidmore (CS)
These are a mix of matches and reaches.
All have nice campuses and environments, are relatively liberal (quite/compared to a basic TX environment) and welcoming to LGBTQ+ students.
However, since we don’t know your budget, it’s hard to know whether they’d be within budget. For instance, Penn State offers no financial aid, Skidmore only offers financial aid - the others offer various ranges of merit aid.
Another factor: You’d be an under represented minority at CoC and St Olaf (so:+), but over represented at WWU (so: -).