Matches Wanted! Can Son get into any Tier 3/4 colleges? Where?

Senior, Class of 2022
US Citizen
CT (just moved to CT this year, but have lived in NY for grades K-11)
Public High School (1800 students)
White, male
Single parent household
third high school (moved frequently which impacted grades)

Intended Major(s) UNDECIDED

**GPA: 2.9
SAT scores: 1250

AP coursework for History, Journalism, and English

Cross Country, Various school clubs, several volunteer orgs

Cost Constraints / Budget
Single Parent with income under 75k (contributions will be capped at 20k per year)

***not sure which of below are reaches or if I have a shot at getting into any:
Univ of Rhode Island
UMASS Amherst
UNC Charlotte
SUNY Buffalo, Cortland
James Madison
Loyola Maryland
Sacred Heart (CT)

any recommendations, open to anywhere in US, although West Coast is a bit far (but not out of the question)

What about UConn?

One major issue you are likely to have with OOS public universities – URI, UNC-Charlotte, UMass, Indiana, JMU, SUNY – is that you probably will not receive any financial aid or merit scholarships, and will have to pay full OOS tuition at those schools (unless there is some sort of reciprocity agreement in place).


I don’t think I have a shot at getting into UConn (main campus) and would not be interested in their satellite campuses, unless I transferred…which is a possibility. So, most state schools do not provide any aid to out-of-state students? Do you think I would get aid from private schools considering my grades?

I’d say Rutgers is a no.

You would probably have a better chance at need-based financial aid from private schools than OOS public universities, which are usually going to prioritize in-state applicants – i.e., the children of tax-paying citizens of that State – for financial assistance (especially need-based aid).

While your grades may not be a basis for merit awards, there is the need-based scholarship route. You may have to dig a bit deeper to find those options. Do you think you have any chances to play any sports on the collegiate – D-II or D-III – level? That might give you some leverage to receive assistance – not a scholarship for being an athlete, but being good enough to play a sport on the D-II or D-III level may give a school incentive to find you some scholarship money in some form.

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If you need low cost OOS, you might look at Western Carolina.

You’ll get into some on your list - such as URI. And New England has tuition exchange for some majors.

I agree that applying out of state makes no sense.

I would look at directional CT schools since they’ll be in state but there are some low cost out of state schools like W Carolina. Something like Southern Ct. or Central CT State.

You can see if you can get in-state at a SUNY but you’ll likely be considered a CT resident.

Good luck.

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Thanks. My father still lives in NY, so may be able to get SUNY in-state tuition…and I lived there for the last 18 years. Will check out those other CT schools. Thx

Header edited. Either 2 people are sharing this account or the parent is posing as to he student. Both violate ToS.

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No sports scholarship here, unfortunately. Guess, will wait and see.

Sooooo many NY and CT residents go to UMASS and URI. Sort of shocked none of them are getting any aid.

Parent and child sharing account. Student can creat own if easier.

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Not a good shot for admission with a GPA below 3.0, and it will be about $10K/yr over your budget. You could get into UNC-G, but it would also cost much more than $20K/yr for tuition+R&B+fees.

As mentioned earlier, Western Carolina would fit your budget. The state of NC has designated three universities to be very affordable for in-state students and they are also relatively more affordable for OOS students as well. WCU is one. There is a quick calculator at this link and it suggests the OOS cost for an OOS student (living on campus w/meal plan) would be about $10,089 per semester. If you’re interested in WCU, you should run the NPC for a more accurate estimate.

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@lala516 This is the link for the tuition reciprocity program for New England states. Certain majors at certain schools have in-state (or other discounted) tuition for certain applicants from other NE states. There may be some options for lower tuition at OOS schools but you have to look closely.

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Probably most or all of those are reaches in a financial sense at least. Note that out-of-state public universities typically give no or little need-based financial aid.

Have you and your parent run net price calculators on each college’s web site to see if the net price comes in under $20k per year? Also, if your parent is divorced, and your other parent is still alive, check whether each college requires both parents’ financial information – if so, be sure to include both of their financial information when running that colleges’ net price calculator.

What about the state universities in your presumed state of residency (Connecticut)?

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US News puts out this list of A plus schools for B students each year and may help determining matches and reaches.

UMass Amherst and Rutgers aren’t on that list and both, like UConn, would be reaches.

UMass Lowell is a good school you may want to check out that is closer to a match.

As many noted the public flagships will mostly be full
OOS tuition.

Best of luck!

What do you want to study ?

If the father still lives in NY, then son will probably qualify for in-state tuition at SUNY. It’s a great deal. There is a SUNY school for anything that anyone would want to major in.

As for UConn, he likely would get “branched”, but I have heard of people who were admitted to a branch, having been able to negotiate their way into starting at Storrs. Also consider the Connecticut state colleges (CCSU, ECSU, WCSU, and SCSU). I’ve heard that if you start at a UConn branch, they want you to finish the two years that are available to you there, and won’t let you transfer early to Storrs unless there is a compelling academic reason to do so. But if you start at a Conn state college, and earn the grades, they’ll let you transfer to Storrs sooner. So if the goal, ultimately, is Storrs, might be best to start at one of the Conn state colleges and transfer to Storrs after one year.

Those grades/SAT likely won’t even get him into UMass Amherst, and he definitely wouldn’t get merit money, so it would be at least 55K/yr.

He might be able to get some merit money at a much less selective private college. Take a look at the threads for B students (although he’s really a C+ student). But I cannot imagine any of them offering him enough to make it cheaper for him than a public school in NYS, or even in CT. Honestly, SUNY is his best deal, at less than 28K/yr total, and next UConn, at just under 32K/yr total. Cheapest option would be Conn state college living at home, then transfer to Storrs. Of course, the REALLY cheapest option is getting his associates degree from community college while living at home (a motivated, hard-working kid can get it in 15 months (two summers, a fall, and a spring semester) and be at Storrs within one year, as a junior. But it sounds as if you’re looking for the full college experience for him, at the best school he can get into, at a cost you can afford. That’s going to likely be a SUNY school.


2.9 GPA is more like B-/B.

C+ would be 2.3 GPA.

But finding merit would mean looking at colleges where the student is at the high end of the student range. I.e. a B-/B student may be more likely to find merit at a college that admits mostly C+ students.


I would not look at OOS schools without auto merit aid for that GPA/test score. Nearer to your home state, there are two solid options – Western New England University and University of Maine. The later one in particular gives auto merit and might be a good fit. There is also a thread in the financial aid forum that lists state schools that are cheap or have same tuition for OOS. I would look at those.


Admissions aside, I don’t see how any school on your proposed list will be affordable with a 20K parent contribution, except perhaps the SUNY schools if you can indeed be in-state. Even U of Maine, which offers a NE reciprocity / flagship match rate, would cost 34K/year. U of Maine might not be a bad option for you admissions-wise, if you can afford it. I suppose that if you qualify for Pell, work-study, and guaranteed loans, you could probably make it work, but a more affordable option would probably be better. Are there public U’s in CT or NY that you could commute to from one parent’s home or the other? NY also has quite a few community colleges that have dorms and offer a smooth transfer pathway to four-year SUNYs. List of community colleges in the United States with campus housing - Wikipedia

What area(s) of study are you interested in?