Target schools needed for future CS major [3.8, 1510, maybe D3 track]

My son has several reach schools he loves, Middlebury, Colorado College, and Colby. He’s looking for some target schools similar to the reach schools. Ideally located near mountains (he’s a skier), small size, and Div 3 sports would be great.
His unweighted GPA is 3.8, 1510 SAT, Eagle Scout, varsity XC/track. He’s hoping to run and is on the edge of being recruited and walking on.
Thanks for any suggestions to add to his list.

What are the financial parameters? (Budget, and eligibility for need-based aid?) CO Mines isn’t as liberal-artsy as his reaches, but it’s got small size, mountains, and solid CS. Sports are D2 - would that work? Somewhat pricey for OOS but merit is possible and if you’re full pay, it’s cheaper than his reaches.

How about Hamilton? Only slightly less reachier than the others, but it might appeal. He might like Clarkson which would be a likely.

Thanks for your response! We have both those schools on the target list. Wish the male to female ratio was a bit more equal for both Co school of the mines and Clarkson. Hamilton is also on the list but definitely a reach.

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Vassar is a reach too, but less reachy for guys than for women, and doesn’t have the gender ratio problem. And CS is solid. (Also CogSci if he’d like a broader major that still includes some CS.) Hobart Wm. Smith would be a match/likely but I’m not familiar with their CS major specifically. URochester is a little bigger but still D3, and great CS.

You might consider some of the smaller upstate SUNY’s. Geneseo, Oswego (strong co-op program if that appeals), Plattsburgh. (Of these I think only Geneseo has XC, but all have D3 track)

By CS do you mean Computer Science?

Thx, will check those out.

Yes, computer science major.

Does he want to free ski, or race? For racing, I’d look at WPI and RPI. For free skiing and a small school, it’s hard to beat Westminster in SLC. I can’t vouch for their CS department, but they’re super close to great skiing.

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So Colorado Springs is far from skiing…well good skiing.

So you might add a Skidmore, and for easier St Lawrence and Willamette and/or Lewis and Clark.

First school I thought of was Mines…already mentioned. Take a look at NM Tech - likely too regional but…and Adams State.

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If he is interested in CompSci, why is he focusing on LACs like Middlebury and Colby? Instead he should be looking at strong programs like GA Tech, UIUC, CMU (uber reach), UofM, etc. I realize the top CompSci programs don’t meet the OP’s requirements for size or skiing, but many of the strong programs are large state schools, or in urban areas.

Perhaps he should look at some of the smaller tech schools that have reputable CompSci programs, like RPI (in upstate NY within a couple hours of ski resorts), WPI, Rose Hulman, or CWRU.

OP said they’re looking for target schools, not reaches.


I know. That is why I recommend smaller, less competitive schools in the second paragraph of my post.

Thinking outside the box–St. Olaf!

Gorgeous campus, super happy students, delicious food. D3 cross country and track teams train on trails that wind through an arboretum. St. Olaf has a strong CS department, plus students can take classes at Carleton** which is in the same cute town of Northfield located a half hour South of Minneapolis.

Wait- Minneapolis is NOT known for its mountains, you may say! But St. Olaf DOES have an alpine ski team–they train at nearby Buck Hill, which produced 2 Olympians (Kristina Koznik and Lindsey Vonn.)

St. Olaf gives good merit and is increasingly attracting top students. I know a couple of tippy-top students who chose St. Olaf over acceptances to T20s.

**Carleton itself would be a terrific school for your kid, but sounds like you are looking for likely/match schools rather than more reaches.


Can you clarify - is he recruitable and reaching out to coaches or is he just looking for a school with D3 track and he would try to walk on? Big difference and if recruitable it could impact your list.


Thank you! I love those 2 schools and have been talking them up. Will keep trying.

He’s borderline recruitable at some small schools and talking to coaches. It would definitely help if he ran a faster race early this fall. He really loves several of those reach (Midd, Colby, Cc) schools, and he has struggled to narrow down similar target schools he feels drawn to. I was wondering if we may have missed some that are out there.

Editing his GPA, it’s 4.9. Sorry.

4.9 of ?

If 3.8 uw, 4.9 of 6 point scale ? How is it weighted ,”?

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There are plenty of smaller schools with good CS departments. Many kids prefer this environment to a large university.


Yes, which is why I listed some small technical schools with strong CompSci programs. My question was shy the OP was focused on small LACs that did not have strong CompSci departments.