Need help deciding amongst 14 schools...

<p>I admit I didn't put enough thought and care when looking for schools to apply to, and was desperate to get in * anywhere *. I did the "shotgun" approach if you will--applying to a whole lot of schools without doing much research about them, hoping that one "shot" would hit the target. In fact, I only started the college search last August, and visited alot of the schools after I applied to them. With awful stats, I never expected getting into so many schools, let alone winning merit $$ from quite a few of them. It's getting frighteningly close to the reply date (May 1), and have been weighing the pros and cons of each school. I'd really appreciate it if someone here helps me sort out all these options I have. </p>

<p>Now, I have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for--a place that would provide a well-rounded liberal arts education, a place where I'd be challenged, not a big "party school", Greeks shouldn't dominate the social life, an attractive and somewhat compact/close-knit campus, small class sizes with professors who are interesting and accessible, a competitive but not cutthroat academic environment, a focus on undergrads, not in the hustle-bustle of a metropolis but not completely isolated, easy access to a city for internships, a diverse student body and a welcoming atmosphere for minorities, strong in the humanities, not a big commuter or suitcase school, good overall quality of life (comfy dorms, tasty food, friendly students etc.) and good academic and career advising. Having a big name everyone knows doesn't matter a great deal, US News Rankings matter somewhat, but won't entirely determine my decsion. Of course a school does not have to fit ALL of the characteristics, but should match most of them.</p>

<p>My stats are as followed--this might help see which schools match my academic qualifications, and where I'd be challenged or where I'd have an easier time w/ less competition. (I was pretty shocked that so many schools accepted me with that junior year D in English, haha)</p>

<p>SAT I: 1350 (750v, 600m)
GPA (W): 9th- 3.3
10th- 3.3
11th: 2.83
12th: not sure, but I know it's above a 4.0
-only taken 7 honors/AP classes in my high school career
-have played the harmonium for many years
-various community service activities (volunteered in local hospital and library, camp counselor, etc.), took part in activities of the Environmental Education Club, International Club, Delegate in Model UN, part time job at the library.</p>

<p>I am undecided about my course of study, but some possible majors...English, Art History, Psych, Anthropology/Sociology,Environmental Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Bio, Natural and Life Sciences, Area/Ethnic/Cultural Studies, Foreign Languages, and History. </p>

<p>The 14 of 15 schools that did NOT reject me; top choices have asterisks:
*Agnes Scott--12k/year merit scholarship (i had a "gut feeling" when I visited campus, but the distance from home is a little daunting)
*Rosemont--19k/year merit scholarship (full ride!!)
Albright--2k/year merit scholarship
*Ursinus--10k/year merit scholaship
Penn State--1.5k/just for first year (i'd probably not be happy at such a huge school)
*Temple U Honors Program--1k/year, with an extra $500 for books
West Chester
Arcadia--10k/year merit scholarship
Kutztown U Honors Program
U of Vermont--1k/year merit scholarship</p>

<p>I need all the help I can...thanks! :)</p>

<p>I really can't help you, 'cause I don't know much about the schools to which you applied--but I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain. I applied to 23 schools and was rejected by seven (almost all of which were the Ivies that I didn't expect would accept me). Now I pay for my lack of initial knowledge of the schools.</p>

<p>fuzzypenguins...I saw your thread on this board, and I see that you've been accepted to some very prestigious schools like Barnard
Cornell, Harvey Mudd, UC Berkeley, and Vassar. Congrats! This is an exciting time in your life and you have some fine options to choose from. Best of luck with your decision.</p>

<p>If anyone on this board could give me their ideas about ANY of these schools, it would make my day. Someone pleeeeaaaase help me...</p>

<p>I don't know about all these schools, but it seems as though you should definitely eliminate Penn State, based on your criteria. Drexel is a very different experience with its internship programs, but I have heard it is somewhat of a commuter school--it does meet your criteria for urban and diverse--as does Temple.
Gettysburg is rather isolated, very Greek-oriented and not as diverse as you may want. But many students love it!
Vermont is beautiful and in a great town, but not really urban--so may not be as good for the internship experience--and are not as diverse, either. They are not nearly the size of Penn State, nor do they have as huge a Greek system....but you may want to factor in the weather!</p>

<p>Can't help you with the others--if you visited some of these (as you suggest in your post)--what was your feeling at each?? Do you have any friends at any of them. Living in Philadelphia you should at least go back to the schools that are close by, ask questions of current students who are around, see if the campus is busy on the weekend, or empty (thus suggesting the commuter or suitcase school scenario) and try to get a better feel about them, if only to eliminate them from your list if they don't fit your criteria!</p>

<p>Congratulations on your choices, and good luck!</p>

<p>Two vastly different schools but two of the best possibilities for you, IMHO: Muhlenburg and Vermont. Think Vermont is preferable since they offered you money & would appreciate you. The environment and natural sciences programs at Vermont, BTW, are among the best in the nation.</p>

<p>You are from the Philadelphia area!!</p>

<p>I actually recognize all of the schools there, lol!</p>

<p>My sister goes to Rosemont and LOVES it. She says that the classes are amazing, small and all of the students are interested and participate, with "the coolest nuns you will ever meet" (and she, like me, was raised atheist!). It fits almost all of your criteria and is totally worth a full ride.</p>

<p>If money doesn't matter, though, then I'd urge Muhlenberg, or possibly Gettysburg. It will probably offer the best education, and fits most of your criteria as well.</p>

<p>These are the ones I know anything about based on friends kids that went to them, or first hand experience:
Albright--2k/year merit scholarship = not in a nice area of Reading
*Ursinus--10k/year merit scholaship = friends' daughter went there; very quiet supportive little school; she loved it
Gettysberg = very preppy & greek
Kutztown U Honors Program = party & suitcase school</p>

<p>Hey, thanks for all the help!</p>

<p>I don't want a school IN an urban area, but just outside of one so there are decent opportunities for internships, I'd prefer a small, lovely campus in a suburban area. I also don't want to go to a place where I will feel isolated, so a diverse student body is pretty important (Gettysburg and Muhlenberg are out--and besides, they both waitlisted me at first!) Even though UVM is smaller amongst public insititutions, it is still too big for me, I'm looking for a school with an enrollement of under 2,000 undergrads. Drexel is a great school for someone who is interested in engineeering, computer science, or health professions, but weak in the humanities, has a lot of "red tape", has an unattractive campus, and is too big, so it is a poor fit for me. Although Rosemont's small classes and accessible teachers make it a good fit for me, it might be too small (i.e. a lot of classes cancelled b/c of lack fo enrollment or offered only every other year) and plus, I heard some negative things about it by some current students I've emailed or talked to personally.</p>

<p>When I visited the campuses, I got the best feeling for Agnes Scott--does anyone on this board know something about the school? I need as much input as possible about these schools. The students I stayed with were very welcoming and excited to have prospectives there. They really love the school and their place as a part of its community, and it shows with the pride they have for it. They were not only dedicated to their studies, but were illing to go out of their way to help me get where I needed to be and to make my experience worthwhile and fulfilling. All of the students and teachers there just complemented my own personality very well; very warm and attentive and considerate. I had that gut feeling about it...It's so goregeous and just RIGHT. The combination of the graceful architecture, all the green, the surrounding city, how clean and beautiful everything is...
I'm just so scared moving over 800 miles from home!! Otherwise, it is my top choice, and would be very happy there.</p>

<p>Tell us what scares you about the 800 mile distance. It doesn't seem daunting to me (S is going 2000 miles), so I want to encourage you to go to the place that feels right despite that distance. But, first, let's hear what bothers you about it.</p>

<p>Well, I'm not exactly this "street smart," woman of the world if you get my drift, and there are a lot of supports I have to wean myself of before I go to college, I'm just not sure if I am ready. Gosh, I've never even been away to sleep away camp! One part of me wants to start my life anew in a college far from home, another part of me wants to stay close to everything familiar and dear to me. Agnes Scott is a repuatable liberal arts school in the south (higher ranked than Rosemont, another all-women's LAC on my list), but going there would be a big risk that would force me out of my "comfort zone".</p>

<p>Would you like us to help you work through that fear of leaving your comfort zone? Because we can probably help talk you through it. You talked about the feeling you got when there - that tells me you will have a new comfort zone at Agnes Scott. What do you think?</p>

<p>My D was accepted at Agnes Scott last year with a merit scholarship like yours, but opted for an all-women's college in MA. In hindsight, I think she would have been happier at Agnes Scott, given its proximity to Atlanta. </p>

<p>From what I've seen, they have a beautiful campus and a great support system. In addition, I believe you can take classes at Emory and GA Tech. I think this info's on their website somewhere.</p>

<p>My advice would be to follow your intuition. My D was concerned about moving out of her comfort zone, too. In fact, she moved about 2,500 miles away from home. And even though she now wants to transfer schools, none of the transfer schools are close to home. </p>

<p>Good luck with your decision!</p>

<p>Hi, thanks jmmom, I never actually thought about it that way. I did feel very comfortable with the people and the atmosphere on campus at Agnes Scott, and it would be a home away from home. It's just that my parents threaten me that "i'll never make it" at a college so far from home if I continue my bad habits (i.e. procrastination, disorganization, trouble waking up on my own, bad time management) which is absolutely true! I'm sure I have what it takes to be successful at Agnes, I just have to improve upon some things to become more independent and self-sufficient, that's all.</p>

<p>pcaz...thanks for the advice. by the way, what women's college in MA did your D choose?</p>

<p>I would say if your parents threaten you with "i'll never make it" because they help you with bad habits so much at home, it might be better for you to go farther away. After all, college isn't supposed to just continue high school. It should be a time when you have some supports, but basically live independently and learn to take care of yourself. Think about it this way: if you go to college, and your parents are still helping keep track of you, making sure you get assignments in on time, etc., you'll really have trouble when the time comes to have your own home, job, family, and other responsibilities.
Good luck!</p>

i.e. procrastination, disorganization, trouble waking up on my own, bad time management

Well, if we posted this phrase and asked the parents on cc to identify whose kid it was, we'd jam the server all rushing to sign on at once. :)</p>

<p>Agree with CynR that if these are your traits, the best thing you can do is go where you will be on your own. I have complete faith that you will rise to the occasion when you arrive on campus. These traits, if you were saddled with them, would be with you anywhere. They will leave you more quickly when you realize that it is "all up to you." Eventually, it IS all up to you. So no time like the present to get started. That's what college is all about.</p>

<p>Those adolescent traits are something that many kids wallow in while they can and they know instinctively when they can't.</p>

<p>So, I say, go for the one you want - 800 miles be da**ed.</p>

<p>Another thing I am worried about is Agnes Scott's poor retention rate (20% leave after first year) and graduation rate (63%) that I read in US News America's Best Colleges. They are unusually low for a school of its caliber, and this is troubling. This also makes me think I might not make it. Perhaps a lot a grade deflation takes place at Agnes Scott?</p>