Where to look?

<p>I'm sort of nervous posting here on College Confidential; I've done my best to try and read as many threads spanning as many topics as possible, but it still isn't enough.</p>

<p>So, I've looked through a few old college books, I've read the rankings and all, but I really don't have any first-hand knowledge of the process or the institutions themselves, so I was wondering if anyone had some recommendations for me? Any advice would be extremely appreciated!</p>

<p>Class of 2011</p>

<p>California resident
Class rank: Out of 700, top 10.
ACT: 35 composite (36 E 34 R 34 M 35 S)
SAT Subject Tests:
Physics 760
US History 720
International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate</p>

<p>Family Income: $80,000-$100,000, with a load of debt (this might be a problem)</p>

<p>Extracurricular Activities:</p>

<p>Mock Trial (9th-11th); Prosecution Attorney of the Year 10 and 11, nominee for County Leadership Award 11</p>

<p>Speech and Debate (9-11): State Qualifier in Congress (10) and Policy Debate (11)</p>

<p>Scouting: Life Scout (worth mentioning? Unfortunately, I won't have my Eagle in time)</p>

<p>Private tutor: I help a student with mathematics (at my grade level) at least once a week for about an hour</p>

<p>Are there any extracurricular activities I shouldn't list on my application? Which universities should I be looking at (provided I am thinking of majoring in Physics or Economics)?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>what do you want to major in? how much can your family afford?</p>

<p>I'm pretty confident that I want to major in Economics, but I'm considering Physics as well. It depends on how well I performed on the IBSL Physics exam (why major in Physics if I'm not good at it?)</p>

<p>In terms of what my family can afford, probably about $15,000-20,000 (depending on whether or not my parents decide to go into their savings) per year. My mother insists that if I can get into a good enough school, my parents would be willing to do anything to finance my education, which I am extremely grateful for. But I'd like to be able to avoid burdening them too much, you know? Hopefully scholarships can save me.</p>

<p>Your stats are good enough for top 20 schools, but your EC's seem lacking. I would apply to the UCs and some private universities that give out good financial aid. (Ivies and other high end LACs)</p>

<p>Very true. My extracurricular activities aren't exactly incredible. For what it is worth, I dedicate a whole bunch of time to the activities I do participate in though. Maybe that will help when I enter how many hours per week I spend on them?</p>

<p>I plan on volunteering at the library or getting a job this summer, as well.</p>

<p>Thanks for your advice! :)</p>

<p>Definitely look at the UCs. Also look at this thread: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html?highlight=guaranteed%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/848226-important-links-automatic-guaranteed-merit-scholarships.html?highlight=guaranteed&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>What do you want in your college experience? Big or small school? Sunny weather? Big city? Give us some of your preferences and we can make more suggestions.</p>