Match me to a school

Hey! I’m currently a junior in high school and am just starting to seriously look at colleges. I am having a pretty hard time finding colleges that I like that would be more match and safety schools. I feel like every school I see that I’m really interested in has a <20% acceptance rate. If anyone could maybe recommend some places that are match or safety schools to look into that would be amazing.
I have noticed that I like mid-sized urban schools. The surrounding area is also really important to me too, my sisters go to College of Charleston and Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond) and I really like the feel of those places. I’m not religious, so I would rather not go to a super religious school (for example, I don’t think I would like Notre Dame or Pepperdine from what I know), but some religious affiliation doesn’t bother me (I was fine with Georgetown for example). I go to a public high school and am in the Medical and Health Specialties Program; however, at the moment I want to major in environmental science with a focus on conservation. I live in Virginia and would rather stay in the eastern half of the country. Although I have not taken any real SAT or ACT tests, the first practice tests I took of them I got a 1330 and 29, but I didn’t really prepare for them. I took 2 APs last year and got a 4 (World History) and 5 (Psych), and this year I am taking 4 more (Calc AB, Lang, APUSH, Bio), and I plan to take 4 more next year (Calc BC, Lit, Gov, APES). For extracurriculars, I am a 3 sport varsity athlete, I work during the school year and summers, am a part of the Operation Smile club (treasure last year and president this year), am in Model UN, and write an article for a local magazine. That’s all the info I can think of giving at the moment, but let me know if there is anything else that would be useful for helping me out.
Again thank you so so much to anyone who helps me out :))

GPA? Budget?


Oh yeah- I have a 4.0 uw and a 4.33 w GPA (last calculated at the end of sophomore year). And luckily my parents are paying for it and they didn’t really give me a strict budget. I know my sister who went to College of Charleston was kind of getting toward the limits of how much they were willing to pay and that tuition is 33k, but I don’t know how much aid she got. I most likely won’t get any need based aid, so the money I do, hopefully, get will come from merit aid and independent scholarships.

My daughter is a Charleston Fellow and Intl Scholar. It’s free tuition. But it was $22k b4 the extra scholarships.

U of AZ would give you $35k off toward $38k tuition if you keep a 4.0. You can do the Honirs school to make it feel smaller.

Check South Carolina. Pitt, Syracuse, U Tampa and U Denver. Are you in Va? Christopher Newport.

Try to see with your parents whether a 30K budget is what you can count on - because it should cover your instate universities, so that’s good (slect 2-3 instate universities with 30-40%+ acceptance rates and/or good honors colleges). However, if it IS 30K, it’ll take some merit aid to cover some OOS colleges and big scholarships for private colleges.
What about UNC-Asheville (really nice town), Skidmore (same thing, Saratoga Springs is terrific, but private=costs???)? UVermont would probably be out of budget but worth looking into.

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So if you like charleston and VCU, apply to those! As a VA resident…would you like James Madison?

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JMU, Wofford, App State, UNC Wilmington? Rollins in Florida.

You’ll get better advice with a firm budget price and an actual ACT/SAT score.

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Wofford would love to have a kid like you. While it does have a religious affiliation, the school has a very deep belief in inclusion of all creeds and beliefs. I would take a look at the Class of 2025 profile here, and see if you are a fit → Wofford College | First-Year Profile

On the financial side, I can share some information on IM or e-mail that may help you determine the net price, but I would think with your stats it is likely low to mid 30’s.

It is a wonderfully active and yet supportive school, rigorous academically, but with plenty of time for fun.

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But don’t rule out smaller or larger schools, especially if you haven’t visited any. You might visit a campus that you are prepared to dislike, and then think that it is exactly where you want to be.

Do you want to compete in any of your sports in college?

You’re not likely to get down to a 30Kish budget at any <20% acceptance rate school; if you manage to get in, you’ll be full-pay unless you qualify for need-based aid.

Luckily, you have great in-state options in VA, and you have strong stats to get merit at less-reachy private and OOS public schools.

You might look at SUNY ESF, which is amazing for all things environmental and has 25,000 acres of field stations and forest properties for field work, in addition to their main campus that’s adjacent to Syracuse University and has cross-registration and shared EC’s with SU (where Model UN was invented). Could be a nice combination of the kind of urban-adjacent campus you want, with nature access for your major. It’s relatively affordable for OOS and has a really interesting range of environmental/conservation-related majors. Academics | ESF | SUNY-ESF | College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Kalamazoo College has a nice small-city setting, is generous with merit, and launched their Center for Environmental Stewardship in 2019 with a big grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation. Their Enviro Studies major would be very customizable to your interests and goals.

Eckerd College in Florida is good for environmental stuff (and merit) too, and has the urban/cultural resources of the Tampa Bay area. (There are also both U of South Florida campuses in that area, for a larger school that gives good OOS merit.)