Medium Size College Search (Warm Weather, 33 ACT)

Hi guys. I’m a junior from Ohio and I could use some help searching for colleges. For reference, my ACT is 33, my ec’s are above average but not crazy spectacular, I take dual enrollment classes at a local university full time, I have strong writing skills so I’m confident that my essay will be very good, and I’m a mixed race South Asian/American female. I’m not sure exactly what I want to major in, but I’m thinking something involving law or public policy. However, I’m a bit too picky when it comes to actually looking for potential colleges. It feels like I’ve spent hours and hours searching through sites and I could use some help. These are my preferences:

  • Warm climate (or at least much less snow than Ohio)
  • Between 1,800 and 10,000 undergrads
  • Average ACT no less than 26 (preferably a bit higher but 26 is my cutoff)
  • Adequate merit aid available that I’ll be competitive for (my family is upper middle class so none of that "we'll cover all your demonstrated financial need" stuff- I'm gonna need a lot of aid but I don't think my family will qualify for much need-based)
  • Limited or no Greek life. Preferably no Greek housing and small percentage if it is on campus. I don't want a Greek-heavy school.
  • Preferably private (I want a medium size population, a residential campus, and geographic diversity, which I just haven't seen at many public schools)
  • Christian or Catholic schools are okay, but I don't have a particular preference for them over secular schools.

Some schools currently on my list are: American University, University of Miami, Occidental College, Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University, Pepperdine University, and Belmont University (I’m also kinda considering Eckerd College, Stetson University, and Florida Southern College but I’ll have to research them a bit more).
Any ideas?

Take a look at Santa Clara. It’s what jumped out at me. It’s beautiful. Smart students. Silicon Valley influence and local diversity of the greater Bay Area.

Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve actually researched SCU before however, and it seemed like Greek life is pretty big there and a lot of students are very wealthy, which isn’t really the kind of environment I want.

It’s a Jesuit school, I don’t think the partying culture would be out of hand. But it’s warm, it’s beautiful and it’s a great school.

Jesuit tradition is around teaching the whole person and commitment to service for others. There’s rich kids at all schools. And not. You’ll learn to navigate the world.

Okay thanks for the input. I’m still not super interested but I’ll keep Santa Clara in mind.

Also for reference, some other schools that I’ve researched but am not really interested in for various reasons are: University of Richmond, Wake Forest, High Point, Southern Methodist, Harding, Pitzer, Elon, Davidson, Furman, William and Mary, Emory, Tulane, Trinity University, Texas Christian, Gonzaga, Whitworth, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Mercer, and probably others that I’m forgetting. Maybe I could revisit them if I don’t find much else.

In addition, my in-state backups are Ohio University and Bowling Green State.

Take a look at Willamette in Salem, Oregon. It’s on the smaller end of your range, about 1800 undergrad, and does have a tiny amount of Greek life, but it’s across the street from the state capital of Oregon so there are lots of opportunities for internships there. The school also is mostly a small LAC but has a law school and business school. They do give merit aid and as far as geographic diversity, it draws mostly from the west coast (heavily from CA) but there are kids from all over the US and they have a relationship with a university in Tokyo and have students from there that come to campus for a year at a time. Oregon is not especially warm over winter (it rains quite a lot) but will be warmer and greener than Ohio.
While you are at it, check out Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon. They also have their own law school. Not that you’d go to law school on the same campus but that there might be more strength of pre-law students.

This goes directly against your mid-size and low amount of Greek activity, but University of Alabama would be a good safety, and has a great climate. CC is full of people that visited the campus with low expectations, but ended up loving it.

They’re also buying high stats. A 33 puts you in Presidential Scholarship range.

60% come from outside Alabama. Not bad for a public school?

Can make a large school feel small, but can’t make a small school feel large.

Try schools in Texas.

Rhodes? (Not sure about Greek).
My D is at LMU and her stats were lower (29, good GPA) and she got a good merit offer. It could have been related to her Theater audition, though. Pepperdine has quite a religous feel, FYI. Not sure American will be much warmer than here! (We’re in Ohio too). They do get those big East coast snow storms which seem to happen about once a year in recent years.

I had actually never heard of Rhodes College until now, thank you TS0104! I just looked it up and it’s on the smaller end with about 2,000 students, and about 40-50% participate in Greek life which does scare me a little- I’ll have to research it some more. I’ve actually visited both LMU and Pepperdine recently and I did really like the religious vibe of Pepperdine, but it’s not something I’m necessarily going out of my way to look for in schools. I also visited American recently and the day of my tour happened to be pretty cold and rainy, but I also have family in D.C. and they tell me the snow is much lighter and spring usually comes much sooner than Ohio. American also has really great law/policy opportunities so I can compromise a little bit on weather haha

Thank you washugrad! Willamette has been sending me emails that I’ve pretty much been ignoring, but maybe I’ll take a closer look and research it some more. I’ve also briefly looked at Lewis and Clark before, but it didn’t really jump out at me much. For some reason Oregon seems much farther away than California does to me, so it’s hard to picture myself there. But I’ll keep these in mind.

If American is on the prospective school list, add George Washington as well.

That’s interesting, thanks @OhiBro . I didn’t know Alabama did guaranteed scholarships like that. I might look into it more (the honors college at least)

@Hamurtle I’m not really that interested in GW. It has 25,000 students (11,000 undergrads) which is a bit larger than I’d life, and I’ve also heard that GW is more of an urban campus which is something I don’t want.

Some other ideas: SMU (may be too Greek), Loyola New Orleans. Loyola MD
And in-state perhaps Miami (Ohio)?

@happy1 Yeah I mentioned SMU in a previous comment- I’ve looked into it but I don’t think it’s for me. I’ll look into Loyola New Orleans though, thanks! I’m not very interested in Maryland. And as for Miami Ohio, I’ve visited campus many times, participated in programs there, and know a lot of people from high school that go there, and I’m just not really a fan. I’ve looked into all the Ohio in-states, and OU and BGSU are the only ones I can really see myself at possibly.

As you research Eckerd, you can contact me as we have 2 children who graduated from there. The average number of miles a student travels from their home to Eckerd is over 1,000. Generous merit aid. Huge study abroad programs from Winter term, Spring break service learning trips, Semester, Spring into Summer, and Summer Programs. They have an articulation agreement with Stetson Law School, including scholarship. Honors program, Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, no Greek life, about 1,900 students, writers in Paradise program, freshman research grants, sustainable campus, I think about 89% of students live on campus, lots of student run activities and organizations.

@ECmotherx2 Thank you! I’m planning on visiting Eckerd sometime before October, and those all sound like super great aspects!

If anyone else has any more thoughts I’d really appreciate it