Need help finding schools

Hello! I’m writing here because I need help expanding my list. (I’m a rising senior btw.)

Currently, I have Boston U, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, NYU, Northeastern, Rutgers, Tufts, and Yale on my list. All these schools are pretty hard to get into to (minus Rutgers, maybe), so I feel like I need to expand my list. I’m mainly interested in schools in the Northeast, and I want to major in History. I’ll put some stats below if that helps. Thanks in advance.

GPA: 4.0 UW, 4.87 W
APs: all 4s and 5s
SAT: 1530

I have pretty decent extracurriculars, though I won’t list everything in detail. I’m president of my class, editor of my school’s paper, a published writer, research awards, etc. I don’t have any hooks, though. Not a recruited athlete, URM, or legacy (except at tufts).

Any advice is welcome. :slight_smile:

Based partly on your intended major, I think you would do well to look into undergraduate-focused colleges with strong history programs such as Williams, Hamilton, Bowdoin, Bates, Trinity, Colgate, Haverford and Holy Cross. For a school academically comparable to some of your current university choices, look into Georgetown.

Definitely the ones merc81 commented and maybe look at Amherst. One thing you can do is go to Princeton Review and look at one of the schools you liked and it will give you a list of colleges students who viewed that also looked at.

Come to Northeastern! best school!!

If you’re female, look at women’s colleges.

Is NJ your home state? What’s your budget? Have you run the NPC for these schools?

NJ is not my home state. Luckily, I have a pretty decent student account which should cover mosts costs, but I will still need some aid and scholarship money. To put it simply, I will not worry about costs until I get offers. What’s NPC?

I don’t identify as female, so I can’t look at historically women’s colleges.

Thanks for the comment! What do you like about Northeastern? Anything you can tell me that isn’t on the website or about the history major? Thanks in advance.

You should add your state’s flagship to the list.

This refers to Net Price Calculators, which you can access through individual college websites. For a convenient, complementary alternative, see

If you know you will need financial aid, this is not a good strategy. What if you don’t get any offers you can afford? You MUST run the NPCs for each college you are interested in to make sure you can afford them. Do that before you do anything else.

Here’s the NPC fo BU:



For each school, google [name of school] + NPC.

Luckily, you have the stats to apply to schools that meet 100% of need. But “need” is THEIR definition of need, not yours.

What is your home state? You will not get any financial aid from Rutgers as an out of state student.

Note that the OP resides in New Jersey.

Confused. What is the home state? Why is Rutgers on the list if it isn’t in-state?

Best advice. Discussing with your parents how to come-up with the difference of what they’ll pay vs. what college will cost is the first conversation you should have. You might get enough scholarships or need based aid but you can’t count on it.

Every spring there are stories on CC where students didn’t worry about costs when applying only to be very disappointed in the spring when they couldn’t afford any of their choices.

@chmcnm: Sorry, I misread! The OP, as correctly understood by others, does not live in New Jersey.

Please talk to your family about finances now, before you fall in love – or even are accepted – to a school, only to discover the money does not work and you cannot attend. It’s wonderful that your parents have some college savings ready for you,. But the money conversation should be the first conversation, before crafting a list of schools, not after acceptances. The important elements to understand are how much can your family contribute each year and what do the Net Price Calculators predict how much you are expected to pay.

Many families – like mine – were stunned to discover that our financial situation made us “full pay” – no financial aid – even though we could not write a check for $75,000 per year per kid. That shapes the list of schools, whether to prioritize guaranteed merit awards to make the school affordable, or lower cost tuition such as in-state public flagship and some other public flagships where the slightly lower tuition may make the difference between affordable and not. (For instance, UVA and Michigan are great public schools, but tuition for out of state students is close to the same as at private schools. Other publics, like Wisconsin, may be $10k or so less in tuition for an out of state student, the difference between affordable and not.)

Thanks for your advice! I’ve already had the money talk with my family. They don’t want me to limit options based on finances. I’m also applying to schools in England, which are significantly cheaper than US schools. Those are my backup if I can’t afford offers here. Also, I’m from CT but have 0 interest in going to UCONN. My only exception is Yale because it’s more diverse and international in scope.

I’m from the West Coast, so perhaps I may be wrong here, but there are lots of schools in Pennsylvania that might fit the vibe you want. Near Philadelphia I can think of Westchester, Swarthmore, VNova and Pitt and Robert Morris by Pittsburgh. Perhaps one of the Fordham campuses would also appeal to you?

Also, maybe consider schools outside the geographical area if you are willing to. There are many colleges that you might like a bit further away. Clemson, Dartmouth, Duke, Notre Dame are some that aren’t too far. Of course, I would be remiss to comment without mentioning my school :wink: TCU! It’s in Fort Worth, Texas (next to Dallas) and a great place to be! I know Texas can sound scary, but it’s truly a blast!

If you can perhaps get your hands on one, a Princeton Review or other brand phone book sized book of colleges might be fun. It gives a lot of inspiration of things you may realize you want in a school, even if you’ve never heard of some of the ones you read about :smiley:

@SuperfrogFan: Your comments don’t seem to match the information in the original post. Are you sure you are on the right thread?

If “they don’t want [you] to limit options based on finances,” that means they have to be willing and able to pay full cost. If they are not, I don’t see a downside in running the NPCs to get an idea of what you’d be expected to pay. Why go through the entire application process, get accepted to several top U.S.schools, and then find out you are not eligible for any aid and cannot attend any of them? Is is not better to gather information up front – even if they decide to ignore it? Don’t stick your fingers in your ears and yell, “LALALALA.”