Suggest some colleges?

<p>I though I had my colleges all figured out. As I look further and further into them, however, I'm not so sure. So I'd love if you guys could suggest some schools for me to check out.
I like the idea of a LAC, but I don't want to rule out research universities completely. I'm not big on Greek life, & I'd prefer no religious affiliation, or at least a school that doesn't make it VERY obvious that they're such-and-such-religion. I'd prefer no all-girls schools either. Weather is not an issue, at all. I'm planning on majoring in Environmental Studies or Economics (or both), although I'm open to exploring and changing that during college.</p>

<p>Here is an abbrieviated version of my stats:
Rising Senior
3.6 UW, 5.2 W (6.0 scale)
Rank: 3/~500
SAT: 1340/1980 (retaking)
I've had 6 APs, taking 4 more next year.
My ECs are good. I've got plenty of leadership.
I have tons of community service. My dedication shows through there too.
My reccomendations and essays will be good, I'm not worried.</p>

<p>So, suggestions? Anything you can tell me will be appreciated. :)</p>

<p>What’s your home state? Do you need FA or merit aid? What can your family afford?</p>

<p>I’m from Florida.
To be honest, my dad can afford pretty much anything. But I’d prefer somewhere that doesn’t place the cost solely on him, since I live with my mom and my dad and I don’t have the best relationship. So somewhere that would give me financial aid listing my mom as my sole provider (which she is, my dad usually doesn’t contribute), or some merit aid would be nice.</p>

<p>University of Florida has a great reputation, so it is an obvious choice. You should also apply to a few of the other state schools. You should look at New College, which is state supported. Flagler might be of interest- it is low cost for a private school and gives aid. I believe that most places will count both your father’s and mother’s income. Most even count step parent income. In your situation, going to a quality public institution is probably the best option, and luckily, your state is pretty good for that.</p>

<p>Most public schools only use the FAFSA which would only look at the parent you live with most. However, most publics are not able to provide more than federal need based aid to OOS students. Many privates (which most LACs are) look at all parents’ incomes. You have great in-state options so make sure you look at them.</p>

<p>Some to possibly check into are CT. College, Skidmore (NY), Oberlin (OH), Lewis & Clark (OR) and Beloit (WI). Best of luck!</p>

<p>Grinnell is a LAC with great merit and financial aid. It has a prairie study center and is very strong in the sciences, with brand new facilites, small classes, and no distribution requirements. The culture is more quirky and given to midwestern understatement.</p>

<p>Bowdoin has an exceptional environmental studies curriculum, with marine and arctic studies centers. You are 10 minutes from the coast, 45 minutes from Portland, and there is a huge outdooring club. SAT optional, by the way. The culture is rather preppy so you have to be okay with that and no merit aid.</p>

<p>Econ is fine at both places-I assume you are not destined for an investment bank, so connections of that sort are not of interest.</p>

<p>I also meant to mention Colorado College: Block scheduling is somewhat different, but can be very useful if you are interested in environment sciences because of the ability to get hands on when you are spending entire days on a topic. Depends on your learning style. And the students use those breaks between blocks for outdooring in the SW.</p>

<p>Colorado College would not be a financial fit though, very little merit aid available and they would expec full contribution from both parents. Don’t believe Bowdoin has much merit aid either and don’t know about Grinnell.</p>

<p>Based on financial need, in state publics or strong merit aid schools (see list on FA board) are the way to go.</p>

<p>I think one should be cautious about telling a student over the Internet, based on very little information about the individual situation, that a particular school would not be financial fit. In many cases the only way to know for sure is to apply.</p>

<p>For students who qualify for need-based aid, the average out of pocket cost to attend Colorado College, Grinnell, or Bowdoin is about $20K. That is competitive with in state costs at many public universities. Bowdoin (like most New England LACs) grants very little merit aid. Colorado College granted merit scholarships to about 13% of 2008-2009 entering students who did not qualify for need-based aid, with an average grant of about $14K (leaving about $34K in average out of pocket costs.) Grinnell is a very well endowed school that granted merit scholarships to a whopping 61% of 2008-09 freshmen who did not qualify for need-based aid. The average grant was about $10K, leaving about $35K in average out of pocket costs.</p>

<p>Other LACs to consider for merit aid include Beloit, Centre, Davidson, DePauw, Knox, and Rhodes. These schools all awarded merit aid to at least 20% of 2008-2009 entering students who did not qualify for need based aid. They all had average costs below $30K after merit aid.</p>

<p>Source: [url=&lt;a href=“]Ranking”&gt;Kiplinger | Personal Finance News, Investing Advice, Business Forecasts]Ranking</a> the 100 Best Values in Private Colleges - Kiplinger<a href=“consult%20each%20school’s%20Common%20Data%20Set,%20section%20H,%20for%20more%20up-to-date%20information”>/url</a></p>

<p>You might want to consider Elon in NC. - always a best value college, even before FA is considered.</p>