What counts as safety/match/reach?

<p>Hi, I'm a senior right now and I'm really preoccupied by this college application process. I've tried to contact my guidance counselor, but they never seem to be available. I have not been able to get out much to visit many colleges because I lack transportation. I'm trying to expand my college list So far, I'm considering:
Carnegie Mellon
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign</p>

<p>Could you guys recommend to me some colleges that would fit me, especially colleges that heavily weight academics over ECs. College match websites never tell you how colleges evaluate a student, and my EC's are weak. I want to major in engineering. Any comment is appreciated. Thanks a bunch.</p>

<p>SAT I: 2210 (CR: 750 M: 760 W: 700)
SAT II: 800 Math II, 800 Chem, 800 Bio E, 800 US History
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.970
Weighted GPA (out of 5.0): 4.567
Rank: Top 3%
AP Scores: Calc BC (5), Chem (5), USH (5), Macro (5), Micro (5), US Gov/Pol (5)
EC: Mock Trial</p>

<p>Are you in-state for UIUC? Have you asked your parents what they can afford? Have you run the Net Price Calculators on the school sites to see how that matches up with the second question? A safety must be affordable.</p>

<p>I live in MA.</p>

<p>The American Society for Engineering Education has lots of information available.
[ASEE.org</a> - ASEE - Publications - College Profiles - Search the Profiles](<a href=“http://profiles.asee.org/]ASEE.org”>http://profiles.asee.org/)</p>

<p>What other factors matter to you? location, size, city/country, Greek life or not, majors?
Off the top of my head: Case Western, RPI, JHU, U.Rochester, Northeastern, Drexel, RIT, Syracuse, WPI, B.U.,Lehigh…</p>

<p>Not sure about the EC question, but if you are open to OOS schools you should probably look at some of the “Techs”: GA Tech, VA Tech, et al. Safety options might include Pitt, which has an honors college and $$ for OOS students for which I think you would qualify.</p>

<p>I’m not sure how they weight ECs but:
U Rochester
Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech
Case Western</p>

<p>You need to answer the rest of Erin’s Dad’s questions.</p>

<p>Since you’re OOS for UIUC, will your parents pay the high OOS costs? </p>

<p>how much will your parents pay each year?</p>

<p>For a school to be a safety then you have to be 100% sure that you have ALL costs covered, that you’ll be accepted, and you like the school…and it has your major.</p>

<p>My parents keep stalling on filling out financial information because they told me that their situation is in question. (buying a new house or something like that)</p>

<p>If I throw in UMass Amherst as my safety, what colleges should I add as matches and reaches? I want to get a list of about 8-10 schools.
Are MIT and Cornell true reaches or are they unreasonable? Is Carnegie Mellon’s Engineering school a match or a reach?</p>

<p>Unless you’re hiding a significant science or engineering award, MIT is a little unreasonable. It can’t hurt to apply, but I wouldn’t count on it. Cornell is a reach (for anyone) but more reasonable. Off the top of my head, Carnegie Mellon is maybe a match and UIUC and UMass safeties.</p>

<p>If you don’t know your family’s financial information, it’s best to apply to at least one school that is both a definite admissions and financial safety–a place you know your family could afford even if you got NO financial aid as well as a place you are all but certain will admit you. You should also make sure you apply to at least a few places that offer merit aid, in case the amount of need-based aid you get doesn’t cover your family’s actual need.</p>



<p>With them stalling on the financial information (preventing you from using the net price calculators), you need something very cheap as your deep safety, in case their actual ability to contribute is far short of what the colleges expect them to contribute.</p>

<p>In [this</a> list](<a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/1348012-automatic-full-tuition-full-ride-scholarships.html]this”>Automatic Full Tuition / Full Ride Scholarships - Financial Aid and Scholarships - College Confidential Forums), there are four automatic-for-your-stats full or near-full ride schools with engineering:</p>

<p>University of Alabama - Huntsville
Louisiana Tech
Prairie View A&M

<p>You may also want to apply to a some of the automatic-for-your-stats full tuition schools to give you a $10,000 to $15,000 per year safety school (e.g. University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa) if your parents assure you that they will pay at least that much. If you are a National Merit Finalist, you may have more choices (e.g. Texas A&M will cost about $12,500 per year if you designate it as first choice).</p>

<p>Massachusetts is about $23,000 per year in-state, but without financial information from your parents, you won’t know if it is affordable.</p>

Originally Posted by asianfail
My parents keep stalling on filling out financial information because they told me that their situation is in question. (buying a new house or something like that)

<p>Actually, most of financial aid is based on INCOME, unless your parents have a very large amount of assets.</p>

<p>For OOS public schools like UIUC, it won’t really matter. They’re not going to give you any aid besides federal aid…which isn’t much at all…just loans since it sounds like you’re beyond Pell qualificiations.</p>

<p>Anyway…you need to ask your parents how much they’ll pay each year.</p>

<p>However, buying a house may change the amount of their income that is reserved for housing expenses, which may change the amount of their income that they are able and willing to contribute to the OP’s college expenses.</p>

<p>It could also mean that their estimates of what they are able and willing to contribute may not be accurate. It may be wise to find out their worst case number, then try to choose colleges that cost less than that, leaving a significant buffer for underestimated housing expenses and the like.</p>

<p>Since you are in Massachusetts also consider UMass Lowell in addition to UMass Amherst. High stats like yours are likely to result in admission to the Honors Program at both schools, and some merit awards, more so at UMass Lowell. UML’s engineering program is really great, so don’t overlook it.
Apply to Cornell and MIT - they are awesome, but just know that they are reaches for everyone. So make sure you have good matches and safeties. CMU is pretty competitive too but definitely worth a shot.
Engineering-focused colleges are more likely to overlook weak EC’s if your stats are high and you are least seem like someone who doesn’t spend all his time playing video games :wink:
Do you have a job or some volunteer position or help your family with childcare? anything you do outside of school work can count as an “EC”.
I think there are already some good suggestions here. I’m assuming you don’t want to go too far away, so: Northeastern, B.U., UMass (Amherst and Lowell), WPI, RPI, Case Western Reserve, Lehigh, U.Rochester, Syracuse, Clarkson.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice, everyone. I really appreciate it a lot.</p>

<p>As far as financial safeties go, I have dual citizenship, US and Canada. So I would qualify for domestic tuition at places like UToronto despite not being in Canada for 13 years. : D
Someone told me that UToronto has high acceptance rate, but I can’t find reliable data anywhere. Their SAT Physics requirement is kind of unfortunate since I’m only taking Physics right now, and it’s not an AP class. (At my school, Physics is offered senior year and there is no AP level)</p>

<p>The SAT subject test in physics should not be too hard to do well in if you did well in a decent high school level (not necessarily AP) physics course.</p>

<p>There are many other good universities in Canada.</p>

<p>That’s great that you qualify for domestic tuition at a Canadian Univ. the next question is will your parents pay the full COA for you to attend one? I don’t know how much a Canadian univ costs, but I’m guessing at least $20k per year for full COA. Will your parents pay that? If not, then those aren’t safeties.</p>