Should I even try transferring to another LAC?

<p>I recently received my financial aid offer for the 2010-2011 year, and well, unless I want to continue to see my parents pay for something that they don't find is worth that much and only barely be able to afford it, build up more debt (even though if I stayed it would probably be less than $15,000 by graduation which is pretty low comparatively), and probably have to pay even more in my senior year, I need to at least apply for transfer admission.</p>

<p>I have already applied to one of my state institutions and should hear back by the end of this summer, but I post because I ask whether or not it would be even worth it to try and find another LAC that could possibly award me better financial aid. Times are tough, so my hopes are low and I understand that it's not likely, but if anyone has any advice or suggestions that would make it possible it would be great.</p>

<p>I've looked at honors programs in state schools, but from what I have read on the websites and from friends I know in the honors programs, it is pretty difficult for a transfer to be accepted into them.</p>

<p>As for a little context...
I attend a Top 25 LAC, and would probably be applying as a junior transfer. I'm planning on being a biology or biochemistry major, with plans of graduate school. I have a cumulative 3.4 GPA; my science GPA is considerably lower (3.1) and mostly the reason my GPA is lower than I want it to be, but with recommendation letters it would probably explain it a bit better, and overall I would have strong recommendation letters. I also did a small bit of organic chemistry research this past sophomore year with a professor. I'm also a 1st generation student, something that I have taken to heart and diversity and educational access has become something important to me in the past 2 years.</p>

<p>Extracurricular activities in undergrad include being a tour guide and overnight hostess for the admissions office, 1-2 leadership positions, 2 other group memberships, and 2 work-study clerical positions. For the 2010-2011 year, I was also going (maybe still am? Who knows what my family and I decide) to have 2 other leadership positions, be an organic chemistry TA, and continue my 2 work-study positions. Summer activities include being the summer admissions intern and tour guide last year, and this current year participating in a summer scientific research program at Harvard (1 of 8 students).</p>

<p>As far as my HS statistics though by this time it probably won't matter as much: top 6% of my class, 3.9 unweighted GPA, 4.5 weighted GPA, slew of leadership positions and volunteering, 1970 SAT and 30 ACT.</p>

<p>If someone has advice, any would be great. If I really asked, I know my parents would probably somehow make it work and be able to afford the tuition, and I obviously would continue to help as much as I can, as I have been. But after 2 years of it already and unsubtle hints from my parents, mostly my father, that an LAC is basically the same as a large state university and that if I stay I must show that it was worth it (i.e. be able to get a job post-graduation with a starting salary of at least $50-60k; I would most likely being applying to research assistant positions which usually have a starting salary of $30-45k depending) I could really go either way. At this point I'm fine with going to a large state university and transferring, but I have really appreciated being at an LAC and having that kind of learning environment, so if anyone does have recommendations for LACs (if it'd be in the northwest that would be super nice) it would be appreciated! Otherwise I'll continue to wait for the state university I already applied to and also apply to 1 or 2 others.</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>I would say one of the generous LACs that meet need would be difficult with college GPA and SAT score and that merit aid would be tough as a transfer. Honors programs at state schools seem realistic and could really cut costs.</p>

<p>if your current LAC has a generous finaid policy, then there's no point applying to another. if your school doesn't meet 100% of need or if you qualify for a special 75k/60k/yr or less no loans policy at ANOTHER institution, go for it. otherwise, no</p>