Is a good final college list?

Hi all,

Here is my college list so far, and I’m looking for feedback so that I can finalize it:

REACHES (I know these are highly unlikely, but I still want to try because I know I’ll regret not applying to these schools):

  1. Stanford University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Princeton University
  4. University of Chicago
  5. USC


  1. University of San Diego
  2. Barrett, The Honors College (ASU)
  3. University of Arizona Honors College


  1. Arizona State University
  2. University of Arizona

I know I don’t have a lot of safeties/matches, but I really like my two safety schools, and when the time comes for admission decisions to come back, and my safeties are the only two schools I’ve gotten into, I’ll be A-okay with that!

Also, here are some stats in case that helps with looking at my list:
GPA: unweighted-3.86 weighted-4.72
SAT: 1360, 750 math & 610 reading/writing
I’m also apart of 5 clubs at my school and hold a major leadership position in one, do music outside of school, and work around 20 hrs./week
I’ve received some awards at my school for some academic achievements and in my music program as well.

You don’t apply to honors colleges, do you? Don’t they pick you after you apply normally?

I’m not familiar enough with your matches and safeties to really comment, however, if you really are happy with your safeties and they ARE true safeties, you don’t actually need matches or reaches. Only apply to them if you actually like them better than your safeties. If you can get an early acceptance through EA, ED or rolling admissions, then you really are set. Everything else is just gravy.

Since you say that you are fine with your safeties, I think the rest of the list is purely up to you. Apply where you like as long as you can afford the application fee and the emotional toll of all those applications. My suggestion for you and others is to do the safeties FIRST. That way, you know you won’t be burnt out when you get to them. Be careful to do them as well as you would any other school.

I’d suggest considering how much different schools cost. If your parents can pay something like $50-70K, I can see that paying that much for a school that wasn’t an awful lot better than U of A or ASU might not make sense. In that case, you could just try for those schools that are a lot better and that your parents think are worth the money.

On the other hand, if their expected family contribution was relatively low, then there are a number of schools that say they meet full demonstrated need and therefore might cost something around what U of A or ASU would. Besides USC, schools that you are more likely to get into than your top 4 and that meet full need include Rice, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Washington Univ. in St. Louis, Boston College, Tufts, UNC-Chapel Hill, Univ. of Virginia, and Wake Forest. (There are also about 30 liberal arts colleges that meet full need, if you’re willing to consider schools that size.)

So, depending on your financial situation, there might be a school or two besides USC that are between U. of Chicago and U. of Arizona in selectivity and could be worth trying for.

@Muad_dib I know that with the Barrett honors college you apply to it after applying to ASU. Not sure about U of A though.

All your reaches really are the most hyper hyper-reaches, except for USC, which is also extremely, extremely competitive. AND your matches and reaches are terrific schools/programs. I"m assuming you are an AZ resident so considered in-state, and thus safeties seem like safeties. If affordable, and you are happy to attend them, then that’s great, you’re set and good luck, with the hyper hypers and the AZ schools!

Thank you!!! (: @TTG

Never mind.

I think statistically you are definitely below average for most of your reaches. I would see if you can find many similar features that you like about those schools into other match schools. It doesn’t really make sense to just apply to them for the sake of applying to them, but if you are happy enough with your safeties I would say that is a good thing.

I like what Wilson said about dropping your reaches down a full notch…but U.Va. & UNC are still probably out of reach. In addition to the ones Wilson recommended, you could add Michigan, Wisconsin, Tulane, U of Miami, Florida.