Senior Year! How do I pick?

<p>Ranked 3/ 225, public school that sends one or two to top schools each year.
SAT: 760 M, 750 CR, 700 W and retaking in October.
Only taken one subject test: 720 Math 2 and I'm retaking Math 2 and taking Chem in November</p>

<p>I'm applying to MIT Early Action, but I don't know where else to apply! :( I like it because it seems like a nerdy, friendly accepting kind of place. It also has an applied math program where you can do concentrations, and a mechanical engineering program (I'm doing either major, idk which.) </p>

<p>Here are the other schools I have on my list:
Duke University
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Princeton University
Rice University
Smith College
Swarthmore College
University of Michigan
University of Virginia
Vanderbilt University
Yale University</p>

<p>However, they are all so different, and I'm not sure what school would be best.
I really like Duke and Vandy's engineering math programs and the fact that they are in the south. HOwever, they have a cliqueish reputation, and I'm kind of shy at times.</p>

<p>In case, you're skimming, basically I want a college with good engineering or mathematics, a friendly campus, with a sense of community, (and some prestige would be nice ;)).</p>

<p>Ooh also, I am a URM(born in zimbabwe) so a school with good racial relations would be nice, that isn't known for selfsegregation?.</p>

<p>Any schools I should add or take off? I will appreciate it so so much!</p>

<p>bump? :slight_smile:

<p>Rice would fit you really well. It has a sense of community built-in with the college system. It’s not clique-ish at all. MIT is also a great choice. Olin would be my third choice.</p>

<p>I definitely like the atmosphere Rice seems to have. I think it’s my top choice school :slight_smile: However, it’s not as well recognized where I live as I’d like. Still love it though <3 Any suggestions of other schools I should also apply to which are similar to Rice?</p>

<p>Olin is a great school for shy people in my opinion. (I went there and consider myself shy). I was considerably less shy by the time I graduated though! Small schools can be great for that. Olin is #3 in Princeton Review for Lots of Race/Class Interaction. I will be honest, Olin is small, so the actual numbers of non-white people aren’t super high (though neither are the numbers of anyone :wink: ). But the community is ridiculously accepting. I found it so refreshing from high school where everyone knew who was rich and who was poor (Olin’s scholarship makes this very much not an issue). In general, the community at Olin (including faculty, staff, janitors, you name it) are very close. Olin only has Engineering as a major. Though you could design an Engineering with Math concentration degree if you want. Two of my friends from Olin took higher level (more abstract and proof-based) math at Wellesley college. Olin students can cross-register at Wellesley college (even the boys!). One of them just got her PhD in Math Ed from Columbia’s teacher’s college. The other is almost finished with her PhD from Cornell in Operations Research and Engineering (which has a whole lot of math). Mechanical Engineering is very strong at Olin as well. Feel free to contact Olin admissions if you have any questions; they are very friendly. Hope this helps!</p>

<p>Caltech and Harvey Mudd, of course. Caltech also has EA. Your stats are excellent but even so there are no safeties on your list. If you apply EA to Caltech and MIT and have an acceptance in hand by December, those schools become your safeties. You should still have some safeties in mind, regardless.</p>

<p>Do you need financial aid, either need-based or merit?</p>

<p>I would think Smith could be considered a safety.</p>

<p>Another possible safety could be Georgia Tech. It may not meet your criteria for sense of community, but it would have strong academics in your area of interest and it is one of the leading schools in graduating african american engineers while your profile would be very strong for admission.</p>

<p>Those are all excellent schools and you’ve done a great job at school so you have a good shot of getting acceptances.</p>

<p>That said your college list is all over the map … the only common features are the majors and that they are selective. Have you visited a lot of schools locally to check out … city/suburban/college town … large/medium/small … research U/LAC? If you have not I’d suggest you visit schools locally to see if you have preferences on some of these other dimensions which might make your list tighter. Michigan and Smith are pretty much polar opposites … there are probably at least 20 schools not on your list more similar to one of these schools than the two are to each other.</p>

<p>If you apply to these schools and get in I’m sure you will get an excellent education and have a good experience … however with some due dilgence on your end you may be able to hone in one schools that “fit” you better than some of the other ones.</p>

<p>It would be hard to self-segregate at Rice; the college system piles everyone together. You don’t mention Case Western; that would be a nice safety. And do you need merit or need-based aid?</p>

<p>Honestly, I’m not sure. I plan on taking loans and my parents will be paying for some. I’m not planning on getting need based aid whatsoever and I’ve basically given up on any chance I have of getting merit based aid at any of my current schools. Joyjoy thanks so much! it’s great to hear that I can still pursue math AND get to go to Olin. I’m leaning engineering much more, and I’m really just interested in taking applied math type courses. :slight_smile: Def applying to Olin. Slitheytive, I’ve heard that Caltech is more theoretical. Is that true? Also, idk about Georgia tech, I’ve been reading some horror stories about it and I’m concerned that i’ll get lost In the crowd. I understand that my list is scattered. That’s my problem :confused: Do you guys suggest Caltech and MIT early as opposed to MIT and Umich? I’m not sure but I figured I’d have better chances at umich what with applying early. I guess you could say I like different schools for different reasons?</p>

<p>Also… Would you say Case Western matches the friendly criteria? I was mainly concerned about cold(yes I know umich would have similar problems.)</p>

<p>Oh… And I visited schools but it doesn’t seem to help? I’m less concerned with what the campus looks like and more with, is it friendly, will I fit in?</p>


I haven’t been there. I have corresponded briefly with someone whose daughter is very happy, and a good friend and her son visited and fell in love.</p>

<p>The only way I know of to <em>partially</em> answer your question is to talk to individual students. Ask on the specific boards on the colleges, read old threads, and when/if you visit, ask individual students wandering around to talk to you.</p>

<p>I’m concerned by your brushing-off of debt. Please look at these two threads - it’s always a topic. <a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;
<a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;
In one of these threads, a parent pointed out that the parents were mostly coming down on the side of no debt, and the teens were mostly coming down on the side of “follow your dreams”. Now it could be that parents are all old and lack any spark, or it could be that they understand money and debt a lot better than teens. Or it could be that the person who pointed it out was wrong. :)</p>

<p>I don’t know if Caltech really is more theoretical than MIT, but Caltech meets the nerdy accepting requirement. You could apply early to those two and UMich; you can apply Early Action (EA) to as many schools as you want unless you also include Stanford or Yale. Case Western is a great suggestion, too. Also look at Colorado School of Mines–not sure if they have your proposed major, though.</p>

<p>The money part is incredibly important. You need to talk with your parents about how much they will be able to contribute, and then compare that against an estimate of what colleges will expect your parents to contribute. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that the college expects your parents to contribute more than they were planning. You need to know this now. If they try to tell you not to worry, that they’ll manage “somehow”, don’t believe them. You need a specific number to avoid unpleasant surprises next spring.</p>


I agree how pretty the campus is should not be a major factor in picking a college … but when I was advocating visits I was not talking about how the campus looks so much as how it “feels” and “fits” YOU … and you are the only one who matters here. I totally understand wanting a school to feel friendly … for some an urban campus or a huge campus does not feel friendly at all … for others small LACs feel closterphobic and like they are too limiting. For example, very few people are indifferent about the size of Swarthmore and Michigan which are absolute polar opposites … most find one much more appealing socially. Of course YMMV.</p>

<p>I applied early to case western already, just need to finish my main common app essay but the supplement is done. I also applied to Coloroda School of Mines, just need to send the transcript. I may apply to cal tech but the app is a lot and I want o make my Mit app perfect.
We calculated my etc with Princeton and stanford and both said no need based aid. However, my odds of merit aid aren’t good so I figure I’ll pick based on fit since i don’t have much of a choice.</p>

<p>That’s true… I think the size of swarthmore would be more my kind of place. Ill do cal tech instead of umich.</p>