Narrowing it down

<p>So my family is putting increased amounts of pressure on me to "finalize" a list of schools that I will apply to this coming fall.... We visited a few last summer and I liked some of them quite a bit. The problem is is that those schools are near impossible to get into, so I started looking up more doable reaches/matches... Now to narrow down that list.</p>

<p>Basics about me (very basic, if you need more for some reason ask and I will post more)</p>

<p>GPA: 4.01~ W 3.9-4.0~ NW
ACT 34
SAT II Chem and Math: 750,750
213 on PSAT so maybe a semifinalist because in MI the cut off has consistently been about 203 if I remember correctly, but I don't know for sure.
ECs: Theater, some sports, Quiz Bowl, summer programs, Girl Scouts, NHS, tutoring, music, art, poetry.... etc....</p>

<p>I'm not exactly sure what I'd like to go into, but science/math related, possibly engineering, but I am not sure.</p>

<p>Schools that I am for sure applying to
MIT
Harvard
Princeton
MSU
U of Michigan</p>

<p>Maybe
U of Chicago (big city.... I'm not sure about that)
Yale (visited but didn't like as much as Harvard, Princeton and MIT)
(I know that these are NOT the match schools that I referred to above, but I am still debating about them)</p>

<p>Doable reaches/matches that I am deciding between, I am not sure what a good number of these to have would be, but if someone could help me out in picking maybe like 2 that would be great. I am looking for a place with a great environment and one that would be good to go to to get into a grad program at top tier schools like MIT or Harvard etc. To be honest, I don't really know a whole lot about any of these schools, but I have done basic internet research and have received mail from a few of these places, but I am really looking for someone to weigh in and help me pick....</p>

<p>Swarthmore
Northwestern
Tufts
Williams</p>

<p>From what I can tell, most of these places have great financial aid, which I will need. When it comes down to it though, I can get 50% tuition right off the bat at MSU, and in state to boot, so if it does come down to the money, I could go to MSU (which I will for sure get in to). But I live right near MSU, so I would really prefer to go somewhere else if possible.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, please, any and all advice is welcome and appreciated.</p>

<p>Both Swarthmore and Williams have a sub 20% acceptance rate. While that's not as low as HPM it's low enough to be considered a reach. NW and Tufts might be good matches. Are you sure you qualify for good FA? Many parents can't necessarily pay $50K/yr for school but they may not qualify for much FA. Do you know what your EFC is?</p>

<p>More doable math/engineering schools are: Rose Hulman, Colorado School of Mines, Case Western, CMU, RPI, Bucknell, Lehigh. I'm keeping to schools in the snow because you don't have any southern or western schools on your reach list.</p>

<p>My family makes like 70K ish a year. My mom is a full time and we have 4 kids. At the websites that I looked at, I'd get sufficient aid for the most part. </p>

<p>And yes, keep it in the snow, I am from MI, and quite a wimp in the heat.... :)</p>

<p>Your list is almost all reach schools. You need to have some realistic match/safety schools.</p>

<p>Swarthmore, Williams, and Northwestern are among the 20 most selective schools in the country. Tufts is not far behind. The schools ricegal mentions are in "match" territory, more or less (Case Western might be an admission safety, but is not a financial safety). Also consider the University of Rochester. For engineering, check out Cooper Union and Olin (both reach schools, but they offer free or reduced tuition to all admitted students.) </p>

<p>Some of the women's colleges would be good match schools. Smith College has an engineering program. It's also part of a 5 college consortium, which allows students the benefits of a small college community as well as a huge selection of courses at UMass, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst College, and Hampshire. ~70% of Smith students get financial aid; they claim to meet 100% of demonstrated need.</p>

<p>*213 on PSAT so maybe a semifinalist because in MI the cut off has consistently been about 203 if I remember correctly, but I don't know for sure.
*</p>

<p>MI is Michigan right? The cutoff for semifinalist for Mich is usually around 209, so you should be fine. :)</p>

<p>I don't understand why your family is pressuring you to finalize your list right now. That seems premature...especially since financial aid is important to you.</p>

<p>Your list is mostly reaches. You need some matches that give great aid...and you need some financial safeties.</p>

<p>Your GPA and ACT score put you in the range for serious merit money. Read through this list for ideas: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I'd add in Northwestern for sure. What about Dartmouth, Penn, Stanford, or Cornell?</p>

<p>^ Yes, those would be good match schools. LOL. How about recommending some non-reaches Slipper?</p>

<p>OP, look at this thread for some potential schools with NMF scholarships. Most of the info should still be fairly accurate.
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/national-merit-scholarships/649276-nmf-scholarships-updated-compilation.html?highlight=national+merit%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/national-merit-scholarships/649276-nmf-scholarships-updated-compilation.html?highlight=national+merit&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Denison (OH)
Kalamazoo (MI)</p>

<p>^ Full tuition scholarship for Denison for NMFs. Good bio but I'm not sure about the rest of the sciences or math, and no engineering, but it's tough to beat UMich and MSU for that.</p>

<p>"possibly engineering, but I am not sure"</p>

<p>3.95 UW/34 ACT
In-State Michigan
NMSF
Double 750s Math & Chem
Female Engineer</p>

<p>While you are certainly a statistical match for Harvard, MIT & Princeton their sub-10% admit rates make them reaches (though I suspect you might get a yes from MIT).</p>

<p>MSU is a safety, Michigan LS&A or Engineering I believe will be a yes. I'm not calling Michigan a safety but being a female engineer with those stats it's hard to see how they'd say no especially if you apply EA.</p>

<p>Others to consider:</p>

<p>Case-Western - Safety
URochester - Match/Safety
Purdue - Safety/Match
Carnegie-Mellon - Match
USC - Match</p>

<p>Statistically you're in the top 25% for all these schools. They have a wide range of admit rates, from 22% at USC to 65%+ at Case & Purdue.</p>

<p>MSU is a safety for me for sure, and I don't really feel like I need anymore safeties after that because if it came down to choosing between 2 safeties, I'd pick MSU.</p>

<p>You should look into schools that offer big merit scholarships.</p>