What kind of school could I get into?

I live in Northern FL
I am interested in LACs (Williams, Swarthmore, Pomona), UCs, In-State Florida Schools

GPA: 5.1W/ 6.0 Scale
ACT: 32C 33E 29M 34R 33S 11W
PSAT: 1390 690M 700ERW
APS: World History (9), Psychology (9), US History (10), Art History (10)
IB Diploma: Anthropology HL, English Lit HL, French B HL, Global Politics HL, Chem SL, Math SL, Psychology SL

URM (Hispanic)
First Gen College Student + First Generation American

Theatre- Leadership
Key Club- Leadership
Health Leadership Org (Promote and lead health ed)
Hospital Volunteer
Acapella Singing Group
Internship at Local Town Newspaper
Volunteer at Afterschool Center

Honor Societies:
English Honor Society
Social Science Honor Society
Science Honor Society
Math Readiness Cohort

Honored at National Speech Competition
Writing has been published by mid-level organizations

Which school would you apply ED for? Boston U looks like your best choice ED

What is your budget? Are you fine being full pay at the UCs?

What is your unweighted GPA? Where we live, a 5.1 GPA is not even possible.

My unweighted is around a 3.75 (based on my estimation, my school doesn’t calculate it due to the rigor of our curriculum)

I would need financial aid for most schools ( I would only be able to pay 45,000 a year and that’s only if I take loans)

I am not planning on applying ED so that I have the opportunity to compare financial aid packages.

If the UC’s are California UC’s??? You will get little to no financial aid as an OOS student. Expect to pay $65K/year to attend so you may want to rethink your list.

Oh wow. That’s a bummer. I had a close friend who got a good financial aid package from UCSD, so I assumed their aid programs were comparable to those of other schools. Guess you are right I’m gonna have to do better research.

How much in loans are you thinking? You are only allowed about $5500 in loans as a freshman. The rest bring your parents or other creditworthy adult into the picture, and they are stuck for life or till you or they pay it all off.

Take a look at the FAFSA EFC estimator and also the NPCs for the schools on your list. The LACs you list all will require CSS PROFILE in addition to FAFSA to get aid. They count things like Non Custodial Parent finances, home ownership and business ownership. You need to talk to your parents about what the financial situation is because those applications are going to want it ALL.

If you do not qualify for aid at those schools, you are going to have to look for merit awards, scholarships which those schools do not give out.

I always suggest getting some early accept type schools, rolling or early admissions in the mix, that you can afford, that has some serious money possibilities. New College maybe, Eckerd, Stetson, Rollins in FL come to mind. Tulane not a LAC but great merit possibilities and they have EA. Look at some Texas schools surprising to me that they have some very good small schools—everything not big in TX, and some of them do early reads.

Lots of LACs up north to check out. Once you get the money thing straight, put together a list and the sky is the limit once you have those early affordable admits in hand.

Run the NPCs for the schools that interest you. Though FAFSA cuts the parental EFC in half for two in college , PROFILE doed not. Also, if your parents are co-signing for $20-35k a year in loans for your sister, it might not be a good financial decision to continue the trend. We took out loans for our oldest that we started paying off immediately, and it was a very difficult 14 years to repay. We did not repeat for the other kids.

Get the instate and other options on the table early and then apply with wild abandon.

When you look at individual schools more seriously, you may find that there is a school that’ presses all your buttons and you:ll want to apply ED. I’m not an expert (tho many on this site are), but my impression is that it is possible to get a very good financial package even as an ED spplicant. And if you’re accepted but the financials can’t actually work for you, that is a legitimate reason to break the otherwise-binding ED arrangement.

Also, I think the idea of comparing multiple financial said packages is a little inaccurate (or it is changing). If a college really wants you, there is likely some wiggle room for the FA officer to increase your package after appeal. (That was our experience at least, and it was a pleasant surprise!) That’s not a process you’d want to go through with a whole bunch of schools, but it does suggest that RD applicants can’t really look at several schools after April 1 acceptances and compare “final” FA packages.

¡Que tenga buena suerte!

@Lynnski, I’m really glad you got a great appeal result. That’s not been my experience over many years of watching how that goes. Usually, unless there’s been some mistake or omission or misunderstanding,something debatable, very little change in financial aid packages. Often just more loans. I’ve seen it happen every year. Its not something one can count on; that you can negotiate a FA package to what you need.

“It’s not something one can count on; that you can negotiate a FA package to what you need.”

Yes, this is a very important point. There is no financial aid fairy… and I certainly wouldn’t want my story to contribute to that myth!

We live way to the north of you and haven’t looked that far south. However, from what I have heard your in-state options are very good and might be the most affordable.

Given the strength of your in-state options, I would be very reluctant to go past the federally subsidized loan limits to attend anywhere else. As such I would run the NPC’s on any schools that you apply to other than in-state public schools.

My impression is that some of the better LACs in the northeast, including Williams College, have good need based aid. Amherst College and Bowdoin College would be other good ones up in this part of the country.

@Lynnski, your story certainly helps those who do not get a workable Fin Aid package to call and ask questions and request reconsideration. It’s not hopeless. But imo not something to assume would work out.