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Pitt as Safety/Match/Reach for my D

JMS111JMS111 126 replies20 threads Junior Member
Hi all - My rising senior D is turning toward drafting a safety/match/reach list for the upcoming admissions season. I'd be interested on what category you'd put Pitt in for her. "Low" and "high" modifiers within those categories welcome.

The basics:

OOS (Midwest)
Public high school, limited app history on Naviance to Pitt, looks like maybe 2 of 3 applicants accepted
ACT: 33 best composite (does not look like they superscore - 34 if so. English/reading/science all 34 or higher subscores, math 29)
Major: Would be applying to Arts & Sciences. Undecided non-STEM major
GPA: 3.99 UW (school does not weight)
Class rank: school does not rank. Top 5%
Rigor: 3 APs (4, 5, 5 on tests) as freshman/sophomore. HS is IB so junior classes all IB SL/HL. Intends to pursue IB Diploma as senior
ECs: Strong music EC (likely to participate in college orchestra, but not major in music), three-year varsity athlete with some awards (conference recognition, will be team co-captain as senior), various clubs with lesser duration/depth of commitment
Hooks/URM: No

I've looked at Pitt's admissions website, and looks like middle 50% ACT composite for freshman entering last fall was 26-32 and admit rate was 54%.

Based upon that, I'd be inclined to put Pitt in the match or low-match category assuming that it, like many state-affiliated institutions from what I can gather, tends to have higher ACT/SAT bands for OOS students than in-state. I don't know that to be true though.

If you had an opinion on chances for honors program admission, that would be welcome too.

I've reviewed some of the lengthy and helpful merit aid thread in the forum, and my sense is if admitted she might be offered some merit aid constituting part of the OOS tuition cost, but also might not be. On stats, she seems a low borderline candidate for a partial merit aid award based upon that thread.

Thanks very much all.


10 replies
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Replies to: Pitt as Safety/Match/Reach for my D

  • AmyBeth68AmyBeth68 604 replies5 threads Member
    My daugher has Pitt as her current #1 choice; surprisingly, this happened after visiting (her other schools are Boston U, Northeastern, Rutgers, UDel, BMC). Hoping for some serious merit aid from any/all. If you haven't visited yet and are able to get there, it's definitely worth the trip. The college impressed us immensely all around. Best campus tour of the 16 or so we did in the past year, great urban campus, wonderful meeting with a professor etc. I think it would really help to show interest and let your daughter see the surrounding area. I'll be honest, it seems that every year Pitt becomes more competitive in both admissions and merit aid (we are OOS). I would think with a 33/34 and excellent stats overall your D should be easily accepted and awarded some form of merit aid....but I'm not sure anything is guaranteed anymore reviewing last year's posts. I'd say it's a definite match in terms of admission, but I can't really say for merit anymore. I am hoping and crossing fingers and toes that my D is able to get some $$ from Pitt. I think Honors program is accessable to all based on what I know, there isn't an admission process like other colleges (Penn,South Carolina, Delaware etc). FYI my daughter has almost identical stats to your D...ACT, GPA, ECs even down to the music/sports haha :). Anyway, I'm definitely not a Pitt expert but have spent a lot of time researching. Best of luck to your daughter!
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  • JMS111JMS111 126 replies20 threads Junior Member
    AmyBeth, thanks so much for the kind, encouraging, and helpful reply!!! We have been to Pittsburgh within the last few years, but before college visits were part of our life. It's a city she likes a great deal, and an urban or near-urban environment is a strong want of hers as she decides on where to apply. I am not sure if we can get back to make a campus visit or not, but if demonstrated interest is considered at Pitt, we'll factor that in along with the great benefits of visiting the campus itself. We are very impressed with what we've gathered about Pitt.

    Thanks too for the help on admissions, merit, and honors! It seems a little tough for OOS'ers like your family and ours to classify some of these state-affiliated schools in terms of safety/match/reach admission chances as the 50% ACT/SAT bands are probably higher for OOS than in-state and the admission rates probably lower. Still, as you say, a match seems about right in terms of a characterization, and I think that's where we will put it.

    On aid, it sounds like we are in much the same boat as your family in terms of little or no need-based likely but paying $240,000 over four years is very tough at the very best. Agreed that based upon the information available from piecing together merit awards/stat profiles on this site, whether she'd be offered merit is uncertain.

    Thanks much for the insight on the honors program! It caused me to look more closely at their website, and yep, looks like she could take honors classes as a freshman because her math and English ACT subscores average to 32. The honors college residential dorm is a separate application it says, and I don't know how hard to get, but I'm not sure that would be a big factor for her anyway.

    Your D's list of schools is a really great one. We love Boston, U Delaware (and its honors program if she could get in) looks great, BMC is a school our D visited and liked....All the best to your D and your family during the application and admissions process.

    And thanks again for the helpful information and perspective shared, I really appreciate it!!!
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  • mommdcmommdc 11912 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I would say that she should be accepted with those stats, and possibly get some merit being OOS and applying to A&S. But it would depend on the competitiveness of the applicant pool.

    I would have her apply early.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11912 replies31 threads Senior Member
    http://www.music.pitt.edu/orchestra

    Also she might have to audition for the orchestra.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43411 replies473 threads Senior Member
    Pitt is a safety for admissions, a match for honors college, and a reach for merit aid (spend time on the essays).
    Pennsylvania has two flagships (Pitt and Penn state) and their honors college selection favors opposite criteria that serve different top students in the State : test scores at Pitt with a very loose and flexible honors college system, a structured, top honors college at Penn state which does not look at test scores at all but rather essays (read by faculty not adcoms) and curriculum rigor + ECs/ distinctions. In addition PSU has an honors program specifically for liberal arts students (feeds into Schreyer too.)
    I'd say that Pitt is better for regular students and PSU better for honors students.

    A great college for musicians who don't want to major in music is St Olaf. Top notch orchestra open to all majors (1/3 students involved in music at pretty high level). Auditions by Dec 1 for non major music scholarships. Very different from Pitt but perhaps worth a visit/NPC run.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11912 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Any update, has your D applied/been accepted?
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  • JMS111JMS111 126 replies20 threads Junior Member
    Thanks mommdc for circling back! No update and no application yet. I'm mostly trying not to get too worked up about the "Pitt Class of 2022" thread that shows all the great kids who have their acts together already getting accepted before my D has applied. :) She is on an October timeline given combined demands of school, ECs, and college stuff. Not ideal, but I try telling myself that CC includes a lot of exceptionally organized kids and families who are at the app cycle's leading edge and that October isn't horrible for admissions/merit aid consideration. Wishful thinking perhaps, but so it goes.

    Kudos to everyone who has applied already - those kids have all the same demands on their time as my D AND have managed to submit their app. Nice work!
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  • AmyBeth68AmyBeth68 604 replies5 threads Member
    @JMS111 Definitely do not get worked up. I don't think cc is a great sample of where most kids are in the college application process. My daughter is the only one of her friends (top 10 in their class) that has submitted an application and PITT is the only one she got in early, her GC still hasn't sent her Transcripts and LOR yet for Common App schools :(. I think October is a very good timeline and still on the very early side. Especially if she plays a fall sport, which is time consuming in and of itself. Not to mention working on essays for the apps etc. Best of luck to her, keep us posted, our girls are so similar on paper that I'm anxious to hear what she decides and where she ends up going. My daughter would love to go to Pitt but we are going to be on pins and needles waiting for the almighty merit.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11912 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I can imagine that senior year is very busy right about now.

    I urged my S to apply to his first choice back in July, no supplements required though.

    And my D had to apply early to get one of 50 conditional pharmacy slots.

    But your D still has time. The online Pitt app is pretty easy to fill out though if you want to send a transcript instead of the SRAR.
    She could work on the short essay questions later.
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