@EconPop I hope you continue. As a fellow NC person who has already gone through this and is about to again with D21, I am following with great interest. While my kids have higher stats, D21 sits at a large IB optional public school. Not going into IB automatically plunges you in class rank.
I also know a lot of kids who just set their sites on UNC-CH or NC State and want to go into competitive majors (so many kids want to be Vets) and there is no way they can all be accepted. It’s really heartbreaking every year watching how disappointed kids are. Plus many need it to be affordable and merit is hard to come by.
My kids are probably both going to go for fit and the unconventional route of not staying in state. D18- full IB top 6% went to a safety- she got credit for every IB class, something that never would have happened if she stayed in state. D21 right now has an OOS that should be a safety as #1- they have something unique that she can’t find a lot of places. For D21 most of our public universities are just too big!
So many kids I know have no idea they might be able to find good schools at an affordable price outside of NC (especially high stat kids). I look forward to reading and learning a few things.