Match Me - CS, Scholarships

GPA -3.83

MI resident
[ACT] - 32 composite


AP Scores - AP Micro and Macro,4

AP us gov-5


also took AP Chem(no exam)

this year I’m taking AP Physics C,AP Calc AB, AP CSA

Asian, middle class, semi-rural, fin aid needed

Class Rank- not known, but I estimate top 10% at least

EC’s HOSA,DECA(won regionals), coding club, club med, math honor society

volunteered at soup kitchen, hospital

shadowed doctors

coursera certificates-python

active forum member for a us geography forum, cartographer(made 40 maps)

LOR- I asked a math teacher from my old school who knew me well(this is my 3rd High School, just went to another as a senior)

Intended Major - CS

Family income is above 100k, parents will pay 3k per year, so I’m looking for colleges that will give merit scholarships, preferably with net price 20k or lower per year.

All of the “directional” universities in Illinois – Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Southern Illinois – do not distinguish between in-state and OOS applicants. With merit from some of these schools, you may be able to bring the net price down to a level that is financially doable for you.


$20K per year all in with a 3.83 and a 32 ACT is going to be a very heavy lift. CS is super competitive. As good as you GPA and test scores are, schools don’t usually give much money for those numbers. Even well off the beaten path schools like Utah State and Wyoming won’t hit your budget.

That said, your EFC might not be as high as you think depending on your parents financial situation and number of children.

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My EFC is 30k

If your EFC is $30K and they will only pay $3K, how do they expect you to make up the difference? You can’t borrow that much.

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They are willing to co-sign loans

i strongly suggest you avoid having your parents co-sign. For many, they become a a real burden just as they want/need to retire.

Start with your local CC and transfer to an in-state public.


I agree wholeheartedly! If their EFC will make your education that expensive, but they will only pay $3k, they are tying a boat anchor around all of you. I don’t know the logistics of how this would work, but you might consider becoming independent to lower your EFC.

3.83 weighted or unweighted?

These financial parameters are extremely limiting. Even your in-state schools will be too expensive unless there’s one you can commute to from home. (Example: Michigan Tech has a $32K/year in-state cost of attendance, and will give you $5500/year in merit.)

It’s likely that starting at community college will be your smartest path.

In terms of a four-year school, your best deal will probably be at Truman State in Missouri - which is a really good school actually. The OOS “sticker price” is under $27K/year, and you would get the max merit award of $8K/year, so it would cost under $19K/year. But, borrowing $16K/year for 4 years is still quite a bit of debt.

There are plenty of private colleges that will give you substantial merit awards, but they are starting from a much higher baseline cost, and those awards are still unlikely to get your cost below 20K.

If you had more time, I would suggest you try taking the SAT. You did great on the ACT reading and math. The SAT has no equivalent of the ACT science section. I’ll bet you could do really well on the SAT with some prep. But it’s already mid-October of your senior year so this is probably a viable plan only if you consider a gap year. Which honestly might not be a bad idea. For example, you could apply to City Year (the earlier you apply, the better your chances) which would give you a paid year of employment and automatic scholarship money for college… and then you could put some real effort into nailing down a high SAT score before next fall’s application cycle; and hopefully this year’s AP’s will raise your cumulative GPA as well. Then you might have a better shot at the kind of big merit awards you need.


Are they paying $3K total or room and board too - a school like Alabama, Mississippi State, UAH would be your best bets. Hopefully your GPA is UW.

But yes, live at home and go to school, even if a community college. With hard work, you’ve got a great chance in life to be successful.

Good luck.


Then you need to go to a local public or more likely community college. And live at home.

If your EFC is $30k and they’ll only pay $3k, you can’t afford tuition most places or the $15k for room/board.

Great things happen to many who started at a community college. Best of luck.

You can only borrow $5500. So you can’t really afford $20k unless your parents were willing to take on loans.

But check into schools like Murray State, Western Carolina or Alabama Huntsville.

Likely you need to be home based tho.
Wishing you luck.

Looks like Michigan State with a current COA of $25,600 may be your cheapest best for in-state. Even the Michigan directionals were not lower. It will be hard to find a school that will cost you less than MSU.

You might want to look at Alabama. OOS COA is about $44K. But you would quality for an automatic oos scholarship. If you look at the levels, you would probably quality for Presidential, which is $28,000 a year. Takes your cost down to $16,000. With your parents’ contribution, you’d be at $13K. (If I did the math right.)

Alabama also has a diversity scholarship, which you might be eligible for since they don’t have a lot of Asians on campus. The school is really trying to up their admission stats and has the $$ to do that. Plus you might get to see a football game or two. If you look around there may be other state schools with good automatic oos merit scholarships.

However, even if my math is right, borrowing $13,000 a year or a total of $42,000 is a lot. Your best bet may be to do community college and then go to MSU for two years. Though I don’t know how competitive MSU’s cs program is. Not sure you will be able to transfer in.