Still confused about college list

Sorry for asking yet another question here. I’m still a little confused about whether or not my college list is good (even though I’ve already gotten tons of advice).

This is what I have right now:
University of Alabama, University of Illinois, Baylor, University of Georgia, University of Florida, Wake Forest, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Brown

GPA: 3.6
ACT: 30
Intended major: education
Ecs: varsity sport, daycare job

I’m pretty sure the first two colleges on my list are good as safeties, and the next two as matches. Beyond that is where I’m a little lost. I like UF and Wake Forest and based on the other times I’ve asked, they’re realistic reaches for me. My top choice is Vanderbilt, but are UVA, Vanderbilt, and Brown too unrealistic to apply to? The main reason I’m asking is because as much as I’d love to go to one of those schools, I just don’t want to spend all of the time and money working on the applications and have nothing to show for it.

Would it be better to apply to more safeties and no reaches? Or one safety since I have one that I love (Alabama) and a lot of reaches, or should I add more matches? Does it even matter?

I guess what I’m really trying to ask here is: my dream school is Vanderbilt, and my plan has been to apply early decision there. However, I just don’t know if my chances are so low that it would be pointless and if I should try to focus my attention somewhere else and not even apply there. Would it be worth it?

Basically, I’m still not sure what to do since I’d love to go to Vanderbilt but am really not sure if I have any chance at all, and as a second choice I’d love to go to Alabama, but I still want to have other options, and I don’t know if I want to apply to Vanderbilt if I have zero chance at all. I’d really appreciate any advice that anyone could give me.

Speaking for UF, your GPA is a reach, your ACT score is a 50% chance, but your EC’s do not put you in a competitive category. Brown had 35,000 applications this past year and admitted 7%. Your scores would be low to a reach. Vanderbilt admitted 7.3% out of 30,000 applicants. UVA average ACT is 30, average GPA 4.2. Your list is top heavy with reach schools. You need to look at more true match schools and add at least one more safety. What is your family able to contribute? Have you run the NPC on these schools? What is your instate University?

My family won’t tell me what we can contribute so I haven’t been able to do the npcs. I live in Illinois.

Employment post graduation in Education is not reliant on where you attend undergraduate school. Why would you be willing to pay twice as much to attend schools such as Vanderbilt or Baylor when you could obtain a degree from a less expensive school like Alabama or Illinois and obtain a similar outcome?

I ask because my own DD switched majors (DPT to Education) and we are
paying significantly more for her Education degree than is probably necessary. Particularly if there are loans involved, teachers don’t get paid a lot so consider your potential debt. Just something to think about!

I disagree with ECmotherx2 about UF. DD was accepted OOS at UF this year with a 3.5 uwgpa/3.8 wgpa and a 27 ACT. It may be a high match/low reach.

You need to add a safety with an automatic full ride for your stats.

@ucbalumnus who would give an automatic full ride with those stats? UA-H would only cover tuition with those stats, for instance.

If you’re planning to do education, you’re better off getting certified in your state. It makes it a lot easier to find a job after graduation. Certifications don’t always transfer over from out of state and the red tape can make the process costly and time consuming. If it doesn’t transfer, be prepared to go back to school to get re-certified, just to find your first job. It happened to my wife :slight_smile:

I’m going to apply to at least one in state school (UIUC), but I’d rather go out of state.

How can you have a realistic college list if your family won’t tell you what they can contribute? Do you have any idea? Do you have any idea about their income?It’s good that you have a safety you love with Alabama, but are you sure you can afford it?

Alabama total cost of attendance for oos this year is @ $50,000. Your stats give you $5,000 per year merit. Ask your parents if that is a reasonable amount for them to pay. You need to know if your parents can afford that.

@Rivers4 OP’s stats should get the UA Scholar at Bama worth $19k a year - pretty good deal but I agree with you that the parents need to engage and provide some guidance on affordability.

if you like vandy and wake a lot SMU in dallas is similar - though more for your stats.

You have virtually no chance at University of Virginia, Vanderbilt or Brown. I would not even apply. Try to find a couple of reaches that are more reachable. Maybe Tulane?

@my2caligirls OP posted 27 ACT. According to this it reads Capstone Scholar at $5,000 per year. UA Scholar is for 30-32 ACT.

@Rivers4 OP has a 30 ACT - see above. Anyways, Bama appears to be a good match if the parents can afford mid $20’s(k) for college. Believe someone else posted that their child had a 27 ACT as a reference but OP has a 30.

I second SMU and Tulane. The latter would be a low reach probably, but much less of a reach than Vandy. Tulane and SMU are excellent schools.

OP, we don’t know how much your folks are willing to spend, nor if the NPC on these schools reveals them to be affordable for you,

I would not call 3.6/30 at UIUC a safety. Match or low match, probably, but not safe.

OOS at UVA, Vandy, Brown are high reaches. Wake is probably a reach. Baylor might be a match. OOS at Alabama is probable.

I’d say if you like UIUC, Bama and Baylor, and can afford them, you’re probably ok. I would add Tulane and SMU if they’re affordable, given your interest in the South. And add a true safety – maybe UIC?

@my2caligirls My bad. I’ve been on the computer too long. I kept scrolling only back to post #3 and used wrong stats. But now I have $31,000 after $19,000 off from $50,000.

I think that would be an accurate estimate to bring to parents.

Agree you should get your initial certification in state where you want to teach. Now you can do UG somewhere and then do masters instate but bottom line is not to take on debt for education degree. You really need a realistic idea of your budget

Bama is a good match and should come in under the in-state cost of UIUC, with the automatic merit which at the 30ACT/3.5+GPA level essentially waives the OOS tuition differential. OP has stated repeatedly in her past thread(s) that she likes 'Bama and could be happy going there. So, assuming there are no awful surprises vis-a-vis family finances that would make the $31Kish yearly budget unworkable, she has a solid default plan.

UVA/UGA/UF are reachy and expensive.
Wake/Vandy are reachier and more expensive.
(I abstain on Baylor - not knowledgeable on that front.)
Brown - how did this get on the list?

No admissions-safety or financial-safety that has been suggested has passed the “Would I go there over 'Bama for the same money” test.
No higher-match schools that have been suggested have passed the “would I pay more for this over 'Bama” test.
So all that’s left is to shoot the moon. If one of the reach applications works out, fine; if not, OP likes 'Bama.

IMHO, spend the Brown application fee on a nice Roll Tide hoodie.
If one of the long-shots pans out, you can still wear it :slight_smile:

My D18 is just starting on that scholarship at Bama (UA Scholar) and tuition, room and board come in closer to $24k for us - obviously add in books and travel but we are well under the published COA. @extra21 if you select a traditional dorm you can bring this COA down another $3k as well. Anyways, make sure your parents are onboard for $25k +/-.