medical issues hurt GPA - can I still get in

<p>I consider myself a very strong student, but my GPA is lousy - a 3.55. But - had several brain tumors & the associated nightmare, so did the best I could - missed a ton of school the last few years. I opted to keep a strong schedule in spite of it.</p>

<p>Completed 7 AP classes, taking 5 more - scores ranging from 3s - 5s.
heavy Math & Science - completed through AP Calc II, AP Physics, AP Bio, AP Env. Sci, Hon Chem. + 4 classe at my local university.
decent, unique activities & ec's, but couldn't do sports, which creates another hole.
32 ACT, 2100 SAT (but retaking) 750 SAT IIs (Math II, Bio)</p>

<p>I'd like to go to Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Yale, Washington U. But I know I don't have the numbers they look for.
Wondering if I can even get any good colleges to look past the GPA and what is the best I can hope for. Because of my unique situation I.m hoping the normal numbers scenarios won't be adhered to as tightly, but don't want to overshoot & end up at Smalltown Community College, yet don't want to miss out if I have a shot somewhere.</p>

<p>There are many, many good colleges that will accept you. You don't need to worry about it being "Yale or community college."</p>

<p>Start by figuring out your financial situation and think about getting a couple safeties, such as your in-state public flagship.</p>

<p>Thanks. I'm not going to worry about the finances at the moment, I have some very sympathetic grandparents & I'll qualify for quite a bit of financial aid, I believe. My in-state Montana schools aren't really a good fit, but I could do Colorado, Washington, Oregon as safeties, but I really don't want to go there. It's so hard to predict when the only modeling of chances goes by the numbers & that's what I'm trying to avoid. </p>

<p>Out of Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Washington Univ, U Penn - do you think I have a shot at any of these more than the others? Any more likely to look a little deeper than numbers?
What about Claremont McKenna, or Tufts, or Wellesley?<br>
I'd appreciate any advice - I'm really struggling with how high I can stretch under the circumstances or which schools are more flexible. I'm also worried that I might need to apply to more schools than most, since I'll be so unpredictable, yet I might need to do ED to bump my odds, but where to place that bet?</p>

<p>Nope, that's not a good assumption at all. You cannot count on qualifying for significant financial aid at Colorado, Washington or Oregon. Out-of-state public schools will offer little or no aid to out-of-state students such as yourself - you and your family will be expected to come up with close to the full sticker price. There may be Western Undergraduate Exchange opportunities which reduce the OOS cost significantly, but I don't know if those three schools participate. You'll have to check.</p>

<p>A "safety" includes finances - you need to have at least one or two schools that you would be happy attending and know that you can afford to attend. You need to sit down with your family and your grandparents and find out how much they can afford to contribute each year for four years. Budgeting is important.</p>

<p>It is absolutely impossible to predict how your mix will play out in front of admissions committees. Therefore, you should apply at a range of schools that you'd be happy attending.</p>

<p>You're right - thus, I think my sticker price will be lower at a Private. But I can count on Grandpa either way. My biggest issue is fine-tuning good options.</p>