I'd like some safe suggestions

<p>I'm a junior at a small rural high school in Ohio, and I'm looking for some colleges. I have a few top choices, but I would like some financial safeties where it would be easy to get some need-based or merit aid that would make it very inexpensive. I prefer liberal arts colleges, but I realize that might not be an option due to cost. My family's income is somewhere around $70k/year, so I would qualify for need-based aid at most schools.</p>

<p>I'll give a few stats:</p>

<p>GPA: 4.0 UW
Rank: 1/51 (tied with 2 others)
SAT: CR 720, M 680, W 710 (may retake in October)
ACT: Taking in April
ECs: Academic quiz, mock trial, piano lessons, jazz band, pit band for musical, science research projects, part-time job</p>

<p>Here's my list so far:
Amherst (super reach)
Brown (super reach)
Davidson (low reach)
Bucknell (high match)
Franklin & Marshall (match)
Ohio State (safety, and I think I can get some good merit money)</p>

<p>I would like a few more schools where I can get some grants that will make the college affordable. </p>

<p>I appreciate any suggestions.</p>

<p>Look at Denison, Wooster, Kalamazoo and Rhodes. Good luck!</p>

<p>have a shot anywhere</p>

<li>Aim higher because you have a chance everywhere, finaid is pretty nice. (Most top schools are free for those under 60k, I don't think 70k will be much different)</li>
<li>Or aim lower like Pittsburgh, Miami, etc for merit aid.</li>

<p>Wittenberg and Ohio-Wesleyan both offered substantial merit aid to my son, who has far less impressive stats than yours, we are from Mass, so he might be geographically desirable for those Ohio LACs, but still. They would certainly be safety schools for you.</p>

<p>^Actually, I do already have a merit scholarship from OWU, but I'm still not sold on the school, and my parents seem to think it will still be too expensive. To go there, I'd have to get another scholarship that covered most of the rest of the cost. Even though OWU is a safety, its cost is right up there with top LACs. I suspect it uses price discrimination to improve its reputation.</p>

<p>Do you really think my stats are that good? I thought my SATs were a little under what I'd need for the best schools. My ACT will most likely be 30-32.</p>

<p>Add Albion to the list of safeties. You'll be invited to compete for full tuition.</p>

<p>2100+ in SAT is pretty decent.
However, as far as i'm concerned, Math should be the section which you ought to improve.</p>

<p>Despite being able to get a substantial amount of merit aid at certain schools, your reaches may in fact be more affordable simply because they have larger endowments that allow them to meet more of your need. I got a large amount of merit aid at all the schools that I expected I would, but they still ended up being more expensive because they couldn't give me nearly enough need-based aid. Contrarily, the one reach I have gotten into so far (and my #1 school), gave me a very large need-based grant that has made it my least expensive option so far.<br>
That being said, I got a good amount of merit aid, with much lesser stats, at Northeastern, UDelaware, American, and Tulane.
Specifically, check out Tulane, from which I got a $24,000/yr merit scholarship with numbers that come nowhere near yours.</p>

<p>Take a look at Union College and Muhlenberg College as LACs that give excellent merit aid.</p>

<p>What do you want to study?</p>

<p>^Economics, but I'd like to add in some electives. That's why Amherst and Brown appeal to me.</p>

<p>I've thought about Case Western, but I'm not convinced.</p>

<p>UChicago! Despite being a large research university, the core is an academically intense liberal arts education with comparably small class sizes and inarguably one of the best Econ departments in the country.</p>

<p>Depending on how you did on the PSAT you may want to consider Denison. They have scholarships set aside for National Merit Finalists. Also consider Earlham and Knox.</p>

<p>I would try Carnegie Mellon, the faculty is great and the Econ program is jointly administered with the prestigious Tepper School of Business.</p>

<p>How about Miami OH? It's a smaller, more liberal artsy school, but at in-state rates.
Plus, the campus is gorgeous. </p>

<p>I also second Tulane. They give lots of full rides.
And I know that Santa Clara gives lots of merit scholarships too. You should be in good range for them.</p>

<p>And come to think of it, you could also try Berea, which is free of tuition charges.</p>

<p>How about Chicago? Yes, it's a major research university, but undergrad is small, focused and solely devoted to liberal arts education--i.e. no business, education, engineering or other more "vocational" majors. Also, they just received a $100 million dollar donation meant to ensure that every UC student will graduate debt-free.</p>

<p>Not quite sure why some consider Miami of Ohio to be "liberal artsy." Over half their students major in business or education. A lack of extensive graduate programs does not, in and of itself, make a college "liberal artsy." Also, it's not all that small: 16K undergraduates. Miami of Ohio seems much more similar to one of the more residential Cal State campuses (medium sized, undergraduate focused, lots of "vocational" majors) than to any definition of a liberal arts college.</p>

<p>It's a public honors college that has a liberal arts philosophy (i.e., well rounded education). </p>

<p>I know it's not tiny - however, I still think it's provides a solid contrast to other publics, such as Ohio State.</p>

<p>Chicago is a fabulous school, as is Carnegie Mellon. However, there is no way that either are safeties by any stretch of the imagination.</p>