What a grind! Chance D21 to T50 and LACs

Thanks socaldad2002; I appreciate the kind words! We have been fortunate in our careers and have made saving for both college and retirement a priority since our early twenties without having to make too many sacrifices…


Yes, so responsible of this family! However, if daughter winds up wanting med school, the reality is that the total cost of her education, without any subsidy, could be as much as 700K, by the time that she’s done with it, if we assume 300K for rack rate private college, plus 400K for rack rate private med school, with expected tuition increases over the next 8 years. So it makes total sense to try to preserve as much of that 529 as possible - and if by some miracle there is money left over, it can just stay in the 529 and be invested in an index fund, and it will serve the next generation. If she weren’t talking med school, or any other professional grad school where one is expected to pay tuition, it would be a different story.

On one aspect of this, note that applications have gone down a bit this year at some schools. In these cases chances of admission will be no lower than previous patterns would suggest.

That is true. Bowdoin’s app pool actually lowered a bit (though Colby’s shot up). I am guessing that the cause for Bowdoin is that the smaller group of highly ranked TO schools has now expanded to every highly selective school this year, and thus Bowdoin probably lost a little bit of its appeal to those lower scorers. Thought it’s weird that Colby got an increase (13%), since it has also been TO (at least for a few years). I wondered what the app pools at other previously TO schools look like now.

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Colby’s applications follow Moore’s Law, it seems.

FME Colby markets itself more aggressively, plus no application fee and no supplemental essay make it an easy application to add, which is how I convinced my D to apply.

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That’s definitely true. Colby is easier and more accessible to apply to than Bowdoin (and a lot of other LACs) with no supplement or app fee. Good point! One of the main reasons my brother applied to Midd ED was because they didn’t have a supplemental essay lol

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Colby was in the news a lot this last year for its success with in person teaching. I saw it on PBS Newshour and in several national newspapers. Plus as mentioned it is an easy application with no supplements. Colgate’s 100 percent increase in applications surprised me.


That’s a good point. If I was a kid looking at LACs, I’d probably be drawn to one where I was pretty much assured of an in-person college experience. That’s especially true when you consider the high cost. I think Colgate was largely in-person this year too which may have encouraged applications there as well.

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Your post reminded me about this impressive initiative. Would love to know the results. Colby Launches Campaign To Find Jobs For Every Graduating Senior - News | Colby College


^^ @gotham_mom. I read that this was successful. DS had a roommate who got a placement this way…
I can say, as the parent of an alum of that class, that David Greene has been a very astute leader. From the communications of the decision to close in March to how kids were brought back this year, job placement, funding experiential learning, etc., there’s a lot going on there that hits all the right notes. They have been extremely fortunate to have donor support to keep momentum going on their truly big plans.

Needless to say, any school that can build a bubble around itself has had an edge over the last year, and I imagine that many LACs may be more desirable for applicants right now than they were last year or will be again in a few years because they can offer a more "normal " experience to students.


For general context, consider that the “nation’s most selective four-year institutions, both public and private, saw a record-breaking 17% increase in applications this year . . . .” Though this represents preliminary information (some schools have not released their figures), it can serve as a guideline for interpreting changes at particular colleges.

Hi. D21 Update. She was crushed that she didn’t get into Brown but has some wonderful acceptances.

I would appreciate any thoughts on where you think she should attend and why based on her original profile. I told her that we would provide her with $250K total towards her college (including bachelors, masters, etc.) and that the rest was on her.

Accepted at 11 including Holy Cross, Colgate, Richmond, Union, Wash & Lee, Bucknell, PITT, Conn College, PC Honors, Fairfield Honors, Stonehill Honors
Waitlisted at 4 (not chasing these)
Rejected at 5

Her shortlist below is ranked based on the way I think she’s currently leaning. I’ve estimated the 4 year cost of attendance and provided it next to each:

Holy Cross ($221K)
Colgate ($270K)
Union ($192K)
Washington & Lee ($257K)
Providence College Honors ($200K)

I appreciate your thoughts and thanks!

I like several of the schools on your list quite a bit. While they all have their merits, it’s hard to see how any are worth that much more than Union. And that would leave some powder dry for grad school or the costs of starting independent life.

I’ll also add that Union has some great opportunities for pre med students and that their 3x3 schedule might make it easier to stay focused on coursework and grades as well as to have internships.

Your daughter has A. MAZ. ING. options. Really.

This year was super super super competitive and I would be super happy with these results. I am not going to try to sway her one way or the other because I am not that familiar with these schools.

I would actually encourage the pursuit waitlists if they are offered by schools she would consider attending over her current options. I would expect MANY more people to get off the waitlist this year due to the huge increase in apps per student (which, among other factors, helped bump up the competition this year). I have already seen people getting off the Colby waitlist, and it’s not even close to the college choice deadline!

Best of luck to your daughter. She cannot go wrong with any of her options. :slight_smile:

The more we think about Union the more it makes sense. Great Neuroscience program and because its D3 she would likely be able to run XC. Holy Cross has always been near the top of the list and its only an hour from home which might be more important to D21 than we originally thought as decision day draws near. She’s obsessed with Colgate but I don’t think that we can justify the $60K premium over Union and $30K over HC. We visit Colgate, Union and HC all next week.


Thanks PDude! She has awesome choices for sure. The only waitlist she really cares about is Wesleyan to be honest. The process has taken such a toll on her that I think she just needs to choose from those that accepted her and move on. We might feel differently if she didn’t have great options but fortunately that’s not the case. I don’t think our family can take another 2+ months of this lol.

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That totally makes sense. I feel the same way (even though I already accepted 3 of 5 of my WL offers and only declined one lol). I am also somewhat certain that I would choose my current top choice over any of my WL offers, but I also am detrimentally curious about how my WLs will go.

I totally get the exhaustion. I was so relieved after Ivy Day that I would finally move onto choosing (which is also very involved).

BUT, I encourage your D to accept the Wes waitlist if she really wants to go there. I understand that it is exhausting now, but it might (or might not) turn into a regret later if she ends up declining the offer. Of course, it is up to you guys and what your D needs. Either way, I am very excited for her!