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Halcyon

Completely stressed out--applying to colleges-help

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i havent been on here in a long time. My son is a senior and applying to colleges and I am totally stressed out. Here's what's stressing me out:

1. He didn't take enough APs -- he didn't want to and I didn't make him. Now he's regretting it and i feel guilty for not pushing it.

2. I have ZERO idea what schools he will get into. I am scaring myself by thinking he wont get in anywhere and researching safeties like crazy.

3. I made an error on the transcript which is already uploaded and cannot be edited or replaced. I think I can upload an "Optional Report" with edits but I am not sure.

4. His ACT scores in Math are not high, because he is slow. But he has taken very advanced AOPS math and done well and loved them .I am worried colleges will question this discrepancy. I want to explain it somewhere but my son says I shouldn't because it will just draw attention to it.

5. I have made a massive spreadsheet with dates, deadlines, special homeschool requirements etc. But I am still nervous I am missing something. My ex, his dad, was "in charge" of the college application process and he missed a LOT of important information. I have now taken over the process (of course along with my son) and trying to fill in all the gaps is stressful. For example, Bard is a top choice for my son, but we learned that they recommend FOUR years of lab sciences! My son has only taken 2 years of lab science. And we tried to get him into another for the next semester, but the CC is closed and their website is saying he can't enroll without submitting his ACT scores. They wont open til the 8th of Jan and the class only has 2 spots left. So he wont get into that class. And even then he will have taken only 3 lab sciences.

6. THe differing requirements from each school for homeschoolers is overwhelming. My son has ADD and is absolutely horrible about tracking everything, so i am doing that part, but I feel maybe I am doing more than i should. I don't know. I just got divorced, just moved to a new home, and working long hours at work. I am just totally stressed. He is also a VERY slow writer. He has done the personal essay but is applying to about 6-10 schools that require supplemental essays and it's like pulling teeth. He just writes slowly. 

7. He took two AP tests, one did terrible. Other got a 4. I realize now that there was nowhere on HIS common app to put that and that I just uploaded the Midterm Transcript on which i put the ACT scores but DIDNT put the 4 that he got. Does that matter? Ugh this is so overwhelming.

Anyway, his act scores are 29 (34 in english but 25 in math)and his gpa is 3.8 (mommy grades, cc grades and online classes). He has only taken two AP classes. He is a competitive bowler, captain of the local high school team, 2nd degree black belt in TKD, selected for an internship at a local marine science center, works 15 hours a week.

We've put together a list of schools and maybe you guys can give me feedback. 

Bard
 
Conn College
NYU-i know this is a very long shot, and he needs aid, but it's his dream school so he's applying.
 
Swarthmore-applying ED2 here at his father's pushing. He wont get in, and i am not looking forward to it. He has unrealistic expectations.
Trinity-reach
Skidmore-reach
Dickinson
 
Oberlin-reach
Sarah Lawrence
 
Kenyon College
Guilford -doesn't want to apply.
 
Beloit
Ursinus College-doesn't want to apply
Franklin and marshall
Knox-i like this school for him, but he wants to be in the NE near a big city. I feel he needs to manage his expectations.
Goucher-I like this school.
Eckerd-he'll apply here, but he wants out of florida
Edited by Halcyon

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I don’t know anything but I will say Bard is very much a progressive, test-optional, whole student type school. That recommendation is not what I would stress about. Sending hugs above all. 

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4 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

I don’t know anything but I will say Bard is very much a progressive, test-optional, whole student type school. That recommendation is not what I would stress about. Sending hugs above all. 

which recommendation? And thank you. ETA: oh, i see what you mean--the rec that he take 4 years of lab sciences. Okay. Thanks. 

Um...what WOULD you stress about...😶

Edited by Halcyon

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i'm just totally overwhelmed. And the fact that my son is add and disorganized makes me feel like this is on MY shoulders. I know it's not--it's HIS application process--but i still feel very, very stressed out. 

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The first thing I notice is that you don't have any local/state schools. Is there a reason for that? Do you have the means to pay for the safety schools on your list?

I'll address your other points by number:

1. APs, I would not worry so much about that. His transcript is what it is.

2. Hugs. I do suggest getting one affordable in-state school on the list.

3. You can e mail admissions offices with corrections to the transcript. Perhaps call first in case they have a different route  you should take for corrections. Do this after the application is submitted.

4. Personally, I think explaining the discrepancy in math scores versus class performance would be reasonable. It might be best for your son to do that in the "other information" section of the common app or in a supplement. You could also address it in the counselor letter. Admissions will notice whether you call attention to it or not.

5. Again, his transcript is what it is. You could possibly try to do a lab science via a homeschool route 🙂

6. That is so stressful. I'd suggest having him focus on the schools that are most important to him and his safety, because he may very well burn out on the writing before he gets to the end of the list.

7. E mail the admissions office with that 4 on the AP test.

 

Edited by GoodGrief1
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I wouldn’t worry at all about only two APs, as it sounds like he has other outside classes and advances AOPS courses. As I’m sure you’ve read before on this board, many homeschoolers get into excellent schools with no APs. If you are writing the counselor letter, I personally would discuss the difference between his mastery and love of advanced math classes and his ACT score. What is his intended major?

 I think you have some good LAC Midwest safeties in the mix with his stats, gender (many LACs have way more women than men), and geographic location, as long as they are affordable for you. At a minimum, I would drop the two in red he doesn’t want to apply to. With his add and the number of essays, it’s just not worth it, unless they require no additional work.  It’s interesting to me that NYU is his dream school and the majority of the rest are small LACs. What makes NYU his dream school? I’m guessing there are no similar sized state schools on the list due to his desire to get out of Florida? Focus first on his top reach and safety schools and then work through the others. I also wouldn’t stress now about completing recommended or required classes for homeschoolers. Just let it go and move on.

At this point, I wouldn’t worry about helping too much with all of the tracking. It sounds like your family has been through some major changes recently, and with his add and all of the normal senior stress, I’m sure it’s quite overwhelming for both of you. I think it will likely lessen stress for both of you if you know exactly what needs to be done when and he can just be given tasks and deadlines. Leaving it all up to him would likely just increase stress for both of you.

Hugs to both of you. I remember well this stressful time. I know it’s hard to believe in the thick of things, but everything will be ok and he will get into some great schools.

 

Edited by Frances
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Agreeing with previous posters.

In case it helps, here's a list of scholarships by ACT score, and another for college bowling scholarships.

For us, college search candidate schools would have to be a combination of:
- financial match
- campus match for the student
- program match for the student

Does your DS know what he wants to study? That might help narrow the list, or, help make substitutions for some of the colleges to ones that have a better program match for DS's interest, AND do not require the stressful Common App. 😉 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.

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I agree with what the PP’s said. You may also want to look at having him do 2 lab sciences if he does not have a tough schedule for spring. He may look at environmental science, astronomy etc but since he wasn’t going to take any before, I will advice you to either drop that school or look at other schools that will accept just two. My dd has 3 foreign lang and was going to take another Year but at the beginning of fall she decided she was done and so just had 3 on her transcript. Luckily, none of the schools she is applying to require 4. 
I will also add just take a big breathe and go with what you have. Don’t beat yourself up for what he should have done. Life happens and you just have to make the most of what you have right now. It will all work out eventually as long as you are doing what you can. All the best.  

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It is what it is at this point. There's nada you can do, so there's no reason to stress about it. The lab sciences, the test scores, the AP's... it's done. He's the kid that he is and he'll find a place. I would submit the report with just a note about the correction. You're the school counselor, so I would actually point out the discrepancy between the math grades and the scores if you haven't submitted the counselor letter yet. They will immediately see it anyway. This is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be in the counselor letter. Succeeding with challenging AoPS classes is great. Highlight that he sees math differently and enjoys it and thrives most with the longer term problems than the shorter term ones.

That said, that list of places he actually wants to attend and apply... is a lot of reaches. And I don't see a single safety on there. Like, a school like Sarah Lawrence or Dickinson might be a meets for him maybe, but you can't count completely on a school that meets your kid's stats because that means they're choosing between him and other kids with those same stats. If he's a full pay, that helps. This list makes it look like he's going to be a full pay, which... I don't know what your situation is, but that's definitely something to consider. I would not make a kid apply to schools he doesn't want to apply to. That's... he's an adult essentially. He has to figure this stuff out.

Many safety schools have rolling admissions deadlines. He's obviously resistant to applying to other schools, but I think you need a come to Jesus moment over this now rather than later. Let him get those January deadlines done and then I'd seriously talk about this with him because if he gets rejected across the board from these schools (which, let's hope he doesn't and I certainly think he could get into a number of them, but none of these are a sure thing) then what happens. Better to have your plans set and be okay with them now than in crisis mode down the line. And if he gets in, great. And if he doesn't, then he needs to know what's next.

I know he wants out of Florida... but what does he want to study? This list doesn't tell me really and that seems not great.

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Also, unless it is a competitive top tier school, if DS is NOT going into a STEM field, there's a chance that the college will "bend" their requirements of 3-4 lab science courses (esp. for a Humanities-based student). A number of colleges do this for students who are "down" a credit in the Social Sciences area, so there's a fair chance they would also bend the requirements for a student who is "down" a credit in the Natural Sciences.

Another thought -- could you pull together some informational resources and a few labs to do at home this spring, and connect that some of his Marine Science internship hours towards a credit in Marine Biology?? Just trying to come up with an idea for a "fast and easy way" of adding 1 more science credit to the transcript... By only using some of the internship hours towards a credit, you can also still make that extracurricular "shine" on the separate Extracurricular and Awards document...

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First, you are in a rough place right now having to pick up the pieces, but you've totally got this.  Take it one step at a time.  

Don't sweat the APs or anything else in his academics.  As PPs have said, you can't  change the past, only present it in the best possible light.  Also, many high schools do not offer APs and no colleges require them.  Now you need to focus on his strengths and present that to the admission committees. 

I will say that if your student has his heart set on a college, and you haven't quite dotted all the I's and crossed every single T, submit your application anyway.  It's hard to tell which so-called requirements are rock solid which are bendable for the right applicant.  Even if you call and ask, you may not get a straight or accurate answer.  Just submit your application and see what happens.  

Re: low math test score, I wonder if he will have a recommendation letter from a math teacher that can vouch for him?  Is he even interested in a STEM field?  Will he even need to prove strong math skills anyway?   

I also don't see mention of SAT subject tests, and I wonder if those will be necessary for his application.  

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14 hours ago, Frances said:

I wouldn’t worry at all about only two APs, as it sounds like he has other outside classes and advances AOPS courses. As I’m sure you’ve read before on this board, many homeschoolers get into excellent schools with no APs. If you are writing the counselor letter, I personally would discuss the difference between his mastery and love of advanced math classes and his ACT score. What is his intended major?

 I think you have some good LAC Midwest safeties in the mix with his stats, gender (many LACs have way more women than men), and geographic location, as long as they are affordable for you. At a minimum, I would drop the two in red he doesn’t want to apply to. With his add and the number of essays, it’s just not worth it, unless they require no additional work.  It’s interesting to me that NYU is his dream school and the majority of the rest are small LACs. What makes NYU his dream school? I’m guessing there are no similar sized state schools on the list due to his desire to get out of Florida? Focus first on his top reach and safety schools and then work through the others. I also wouldn’t stress now about completing recommended or required classes for homeschoolers. Just let it go and move on.

At this point, I wouldn’t worry about helping too much with all of the tracking. It sounds like your family has been through some major changes recently, and with his add and all of the normal senior stress, I’m sure it’s quite overwhelming for both of you. I think it will likely lessen stress for both of you if you know exactly what needs to be done when and he can just be given tasks and deadlines. Leaving it all up to him would likely just increase stress for both of you.

Hugs to both of you. I remember well this stressful time. I know it’s hard to believe in the thick of things, but everything will be ok and he will get into some great schools.

 

thank you this helps. 

We are originally from NYC and he loves NYC so so much. His dad went to columbia but i told him unless he has tons of time (he wont) he should not apply there. So nyu was the other option. I told him they dont give aid so he likely wont get to attend even if he gets in. Sigh. 

And yes, re Florida schools-like I said his dad was in charge of apps until recently (he applied ED1 to Vassar *sigh*) and totally missed the Florida state school deadlines. I took over at that point and am trying to clean up the mess. So the counselor letter has ALREADY been submitted (Vassar) and can't be edited to include the Math discrepancy. 

I did the EFC for most of the schools and Bard, Knox, Eckerd, Goucher, Sarah Lawrence all came out as doable due to a 529 we have had since he was a baby. Eckerd gives a lot of aid and i think I would consider Eckerd and Goucher and Knox safeties? Am I wrong there? 

My son called me yesterday and told me that he and his dad think he should max out his applications to 20 schools, and add more safeties. His dad would pay the app fees. Can you (or anyone) suggest more safeties?   Beloit and Guilford would be safeties, no? And Guilford has the 4 in 1 pledge--whatever I am asked to pay the first year would apply to all four years. I am mostly using the CTCL website for him as I think a lot of those are fits (except that they are mostly in small or remote locations).

Part of the issue is that my ex and i were recently divorced and he up til recently was pushing more elite schools. I finally said "Look, these are highly unlikley" but DS17 has fallen in love with the schools he visited (Williams (!!!), Middlebury (!!!) etc) I have tried to have a come to jesus talk wiht him, and I think yesterday he kinda came to the realization "Holy sh*t what if i dont get in anywhere" so I think he is open to more safeties.

 

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Re what he wants to study. He's undecided. He likes the idea of International Studies (NOT relations) or some sort of self-created major focusing on other countries. He is also very interested in Philosophy and Film. Definitely not STEM, although he loves computer programming. HE is my child who is just a late bloomer. I have encouraged him to consider a gap year but he is not interested. 

His younger sibling is the total opposite. They are in public high school now, they're very very driven, taking APs and joining and starting clubs and they have started a resume of activities and theater roles etc. But this child? He's very hard for me. 

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11 hours ago, Farrar said:

It is what it is at this point. There's nada you can do, so there's no reason to stress about it. The lab sciences, the test scores, the AP's... it's done. He's the kid that he is and he'll find a place. I would submit the report with just a note about the correction. You're the school counselor, so I would actually point out the discrepancy between the math grades and the scores if you haven't submitted the counselor letter yet. They will immediately see it anyway. This is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be in the counselor letter. Succeeding with challenging AoPS classes is great. Highlight that he sees math differently and enjoys it and thrives most with the longer term problems than the shorter term ones.

That said, that list of places he actually wants to attend and apply... is a lot of reaches. And I don't see a single safety on there. Like, a school like Sarah Lawrence or Dickinson might be a meets for him maybe, but you can't count completely on a school that meets your kid's stats because that means they're choosing between him and other kids with those same stats. If he's a full pay, that helps. This list makes it look like he's going to be a full pay, which... I don't know what your situation is, but that's definitely something to consider. I would not make a kid apply to schools he doesn't want to apply to. That's... he's an adult essentially. He has to figure this stuff out.

Many safety schools have rolling admissions deadlines. He's obviously resistant to applying to other schools, but I think you need a come to Jesus moment over this now rather than later. Let him get those January deadlines done and then I'd seriously talk about this with him because if he gets rejected across the board from these schools (which, let's hope he doesn't and I certainly think he could get into a number of them, but none of these are a sure thing) then what happens. Better to have your plans set and be okay with them now than in crisis mode down the line. And if he gets in, great. And if he doesn't, then he needs to know what's next.

I know he wants out of Florida... but what does he want to study? This list doesn't tell me really and that seems not great.

Can you suggest more safeties? Here's his wishlist

1. near a big city, close to nyc if possible

2. somewhere between 2500 and 5000 students.

3. core curriculum first year, lots of guidance and collegial hands-on support.

4. doesnt care about sports or frats. He loves bowling so there needs to be at least a bowling alley nearby (he competes but doesnt need a team to do that, but an intramural team or club would be awesome)

5. a school that only relies on FAFSA or only looks at mom's css would be ideal but if there's a lot of merit aid we could do it.

6. beautiful campus is a must. He doesnt like eckerd as much because it's a newer campus. He likes Old school gothic architecture.

7. I would like there to be an easy way for him to get back to south florida. This is why Macalester and Wooster and Cornell College  (whcih are fits for him) are tough because it's expensive and hard to get there from here. I anticipate homesickness his first year (unless he's in NYC--his dad has an apartment there and he feels NYC is his home)

Edited by Halcyon

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Clark University? The city is so ugly and like his father, he's a very visual person (dad is an art restorer). And winters would be BLEAK there (I lived in Worcester for a year and know this first-hand).

Allegheny? The more I look at this school the more I like it--except for it being in the middle of nowhere. I love that they require a Major and a Minor--DS's interests are far-ranging and I could see him majoring in International Studies and Philosophy, or something like that. It also has a gorgeous campus.  The app deadline is feb 15 so that gives us a little time.

Ohio Wesleyan? close to a major city, beautiful campus.

Edited by Halcyon

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21 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Fordham? No idea how they calculate side, though, bc dd received a full tuition scholarship. Merit is definitely available.

We did the NPC and it was WAY out of reach. I mean, he could apply anyway and just see what happens. You reminded me that I meant to do the NPC again as the efc came out so high i feel i must have made a mistake. Doing that now. 

ETA: APp deadline is 1/1. No supplemental required. 

ETA2: did the npc for fordham again. Still putting efc at 50,000 a year. 

Edited by Halcyon

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What about Loyola, MD? In Baltimore but not downtown. Has a required core.  About 4000 undergrads. Easy travel to FL (fly from BWI) or NY fly, train, 4 hr or so drive). As far as I know the only requirement for homeschoolers is that they can't apply test optional. You'd have to check for anything else.

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22 minutes ago, mom1720 said:

What about Loyola, MD? In Baltimore but not downtown. Has a required core.  About 4000 undergrads. Easy travel to FL (fly from BWI) or NY fly, train, 4 hr or so drive). As far as I know the only requirement for homeschoolers is that they can't apply test optional. You'd have to check for anything else.

Yes, we've considered Loyola. Thank you and I will research it.

ETa: seems it's a heavy drinking partying school? DS is neither so wondering if he would fit in.

Edited by Halcyon

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1 hour ago, Halcyon said:

Clark University? The city is so ugly and like his father, he's a very visual person (dad is an art restorer). And winters would be BLEAK there (I lived in Worcester for a year and know this first-hand).

Worcester has been undergoing a "renaissance" in the past five years or so--though that doesn't change the winter situation.

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Ug. Wish I was more conversant with specific colleges to be able to help you with ideas.

But, here's a list of 50 Colleges With the Most Generous Financial Aid Packages -- unfortunately, most are top tier/competitive schools, so they are not going to be good "safety" schools. But there might be something unexpected on that list to take a look at.

And here is a list of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Northeast. A number of them are New York SUNY schools, which can sometimes be very difficult for homeschoolers to get in, even if they are out of state students -- BUT, they are East Coast / NY schools...


Also, two more possible ideas to add to the table:

1. gap year -- plan on some great travel, volunteering, or work abroad experiences, and THEN apply NEXT year, which gives you both a LOT more time to research schools and to put together applications without rush

2. transfer after 1-2 years -- so, maybe start off in-state at Eckerd (or whatever college is in your city and be a commuter student to save $$), but then once he knows what he wants to do, THEN transfer to the beautiful NE campus that has his program of choice -- downside here is that he would miss out on the big freshman merit aid packages that might be the only reason some of those NE colleges would be affordable...

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, EKS said:

Worcester has been undergoing a "renaissance" in the past five years or so--though that doesn't change the winter situation.

I live half an hour from Worcester.  It's still butt-ugly.  My dd was willing to consider WPI because it has a nice campus, but the city around it is ... dirty and not pretty.  Sorry. 😞

My kids wanted to stay in the Northeast, so even though they've all ended up at in-state public U's, I did look around, especially for things that were matches/safeties.  Lots of reaches here in the Land of the Ivies.  For out-of-state students, the most affordable were NY and PA publics - but those can, indeed, be troublesome for homeschoolers because they're both high-reg states.  But it's not impossible.  If he wants Manhattan, isn't City University of NY there (or something similarly named?).  Geographic diversity will help you.  My nephew got into Pitt - with aid, no less - but not into UMass Amherst, which I think was mostly geography.

Edited by Matryoshka

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23 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I live half an hour from Worcester.  It's still butt-ugly.  My dd was willing to consider WPI because it has a nice campus, but the city around it is ... dirty and not pretty.  Sorry. 😞

I agree.  I also can't understand how it's possible that a city with something like a dozen colleges can so utterly lack a college town atmosphere.

That said, they really are trying to improve things--though it may take a while.  

Edited by EKS

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9 hours ago, Halcyon said:

Can you suggest more safeties? Here's his wishlist

1. near a big city, close to nyc if possible

2. somewhere between 2500 and 5000 students.

3. core curriculum first year, lots of guidance and collegial hands-on support.

4. doesnt care about sports or frats. He loves bowling so there needs to be at least a bowling alley nearby (he competes but doesnt need a team to do that, but an intramural team or club would be awesome)

5. a school that only relies on FAFSA or only looks at mom's css would be ideal but if there's a lot of merit aid we could do it.

6. beautiful campus is a must. He doesnt like eckerd as much because it's a newer campus. He likes Old school gothic architecture.

7. I would like there to be an easy way for him to get back to south florida. This is why Macalester and Wooster and Cornell College  (whcih are fits for him) are tough because it's expensive and hard to get there from here. I anticipate homesickness his first year (unless he's in NYC--his dad has an apartment there and he feels NYC is his home)

I was actually going to suggest Cornell College as a safety for him, although I know it doesn’t meet his near NYC criteria. At least when my husband and I were there, tons of students were from the Chicago area, so it was always easy to get rides to the city. And then maybe flights to FL would be easy? I don’t think it would be that different than getting home from Beloit or Knox. It definitely fits many of his other criteria and due to the block plan, can be a great way for someone with diverse interests to really immerse themselves and not lose time towards a degree if they change their mind about direction. 

 

Edited by Frances

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So many NY colleges have additional hurdles for homeschoolers, so keep that in mind.

Clark also occurred to me... Um, Keene State maybe? I can think of maybe some others but... it feels like the search criteria are narrow.

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Ohio Wesleyan is a great school but has high tuition and has a smaller student population than your ideal. It's also far enough from downtown Columbus that it doesn't truly feel connected to the greater urban area. Delaware was a quaint town that is now a commuter suburb.

Since you are willing to consider Ohio, perhaps look at Otterbein. It's is much closer to the Columbus airport and downtown Columbus. You get a walkable, small college town setting very close to the big city. It's also much lower in tuition ($32,000) than Ohio Wesleyan is ($47,000). An ACT of 27 puts a student in their 75th percentile, so I suspect your son would be a good candidate. He can explore the website to see how Otterbein describes its campus culture. And by all means, check out Ohio Wesleyan's website, as well. I am not promoting Otterbein over OWU, just offering another choice to consider.

I think that 20 applications seems like way too many. But my senior applied to one and is done, so my opinion may be skewed.

Also, I have a friend whose very bright son did not get into any of his colleges and took a gap year instead, because he was not realistic about his chances, so I agree that it's wise to make sure there are one or two true safeties on the list.

 

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21 hours ago, Halcyon said:

Yes, we've considered Loyola. Thank you and I will research it.

ETa: seems it's a heavy drinking partying school? DS is neither so wondering if he would fit in.

If this is a reason a school might not be a match, you might want to look at the social fit of Eckerd to make sure it's a fit.

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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Another option that is outside your define variables but might be more affordable is UAH.  He would qualify for a 45% tuition scholarship automatically.  It is fairly small (under 10,000 students), in a decently sized city (close to 1/2 a million), near an airport.  Definitely not a beautiful campus (dorms are good), but the cost would be around $24,000.

I suspect that with his test scores, he is going to have to decide what features he must have and what ones he can forego and stay within whatever budget you have set b/c smaller campuses with beautiful campuses are going to tend toward higher costs.

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Halcyon - I don't know if you remember me, but our oldest two are the same age (and my original username was starrbuck12 - you and I used to chat sometimes).  Our kids were very similar - both tested as gifted, sounded like similar personalities (daydreamers/had trouble gettin' stuff done - lol).  My oldest is starting college next week (pre-nursing courses for her BSN).  She graduated a semester early, so we went through the college decisions recently, too.  She decided not to go anywhere selective, because (obviously), you don't have go to MIT to be a nurse.  You just need a good nursing program and hospital (and she wanted to live at home).  

I don't want to stress you out any more than you are and I don't know anything about those schools on your list.  But, in your son's situation, is taking a gap year a possibility?  Is there something really meaningful he could do for a year while he figures out what he wants to study?  Could he work for a year?  My dd was really interested in something like Americorps, but she doesn't want to leave her dog (I know, right?).  There's other stuff he could do, too - like travel/work/volunteer.  There seems to be so much pressure on all of you right now.  He might make a better decision if he has more time.  And 20 college applications is going to be astronomical - cost and sending everything in (?).  That's so much pressure! 

And you said his ACT math score wasn't very stellar.  I posted this a couple of times, but dd took the math placement test at her college this fall and the advisor was saying that those SAT/ACT math scores are really inaccurate.  They said the placement test the colleges give is much more accurate - it's intuitive and it's able to give a more complete picture of what the test-taker actually knows/doesn't know.  When dd took it, we could see exactly what areas of math she had a strong grasp of and what her weaknesses were.  It was a great snapshot.  Just sayin' - don't feel bad.    

And we didn't do any AP's.  She wasn't even remotely interested in doing that.

You mentioned the science classes at the cc.  Is he currently taking classes there?  Is it a good one?  Can he just switch to full-time next week and take classes there and transfer?  You said he needs two more lab sciences for the university he's wanting to apply to.  I know you said there's only a couple of slots left, but maybe he can fit into one.  Also, people always drop/add the first week or two every semester, so more slots should open, too.  Maybe he can talk to an advisor at the cc to help him with a plan?  

(And I know everyone says there is an advantage financially to just starting somewhere as a freshman, but there are transfer scholarships.  My sister was offered a full ride at a university as a sophomore transfer.  I know my sister isn't normal, but just trying to be encouraging.)  

It just sounds like the two of you need a bigger buffer of time!  Good luck with whatever decision you guys make and I'm sorry this has been a stressful school year.  Even just starting at the community college, I didn't realize how time-consuming getting my daughter ready to start classes next week was going to be.  It literally consumed our entire semester - tours, application, meeting with advisors, getting through the testing, going through all the stations (financial aid, etc), parking passes, picking classes, registering, trying to work out transportation to campus...  I'm going to buy her books on Thursday and new shoes this weekend and then we're ready (lol).  But, yeah, it really takes so much energy getting them ready for college! 

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17 hours ago, Frances said:

I was actually going to suggest Cornell College as a safety for him, although I know it doesn’t meet his near NYC criteria. At least when my husband and I were there, tons of students were from the Chicago area, so it was always easy to get rides to the city. And then maybe flights to FL would be easy? I don’t think it would be that different than getting home from Beloit or Knox. It definitely fits many of his other criteria and due to the block plan, can be a great way for someone with diverse interests to really immerse themselves and not lose time towards a degree if they change their mind about direction. 

 

if you can believe it, my ex doesnt want him applying there because he says the name is confusing. So ridiculous, i know. I think it would be great for him. 

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8 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

Halcyon - I don't know if you remember me, but our oldest two are the same age (and my original username was starrbuck12 - you and I used to chat sometimes).  Our kids were very similar - both tested as gifted, sounded like similar personalities (daydreamers/had trouble gettin' stuff done - lol).  My oldest is starting college next week (pre-nursing courses for her BSN).  She graduated a semester early, so we went through the college decisions recently, too.  She decided not to go anywhere selective, because (obviously), you don't have go to MIT to be a nurse.  You just need a good nursing program and hospital (and she wanted to live at home).  

I don't want to stress you out any more than you are and I don't know anything about those schools on your list.  But, in your son's situation, is taking a gap year a possibility?  Is there something really meaningful he could do for a year while he figures out what he wants to study?  Could he work for a year?  My dd was really interested in something like Americorps, but she doesn't want to leave her dog (I know, right?).  There's other stuff he could do, too - like travel/work/volunteer.  There seems to be so much pressure on all of you right now.  He might make a better decision if he has more time.  And 20 college applications is going to be astronomical - cost and sending everything in (?).  That's so much pressure! 

And you said his ACT math score wasn't very stellar.  I posted this a couple of times, but dd took the math placement test at her college this fall and the advisor was saying that those SAT/ACT math scores are really inaccurate.  They said the placement test the colleges give is much more accurate - it's intuitive and it's able to give a more complete picture of what the test-taker actually knows/doesn't know.  When dd took it, we could see exactly what areas of math she had a strong grasp of and what her weaknesses were.  It was a great snapshot.  Just sayin' - don't feel bad.    

And we didn't do any AP's.  She wasn't even remotely interested in doing that.

You mentioned the science classes at the cc.  Is he currently taking classes there?  Is it a good one?  Can he just switch to full-time next week and take classes there and transfer?  You said he needs two more lab sciences for the university he's wanting to apply to.  I know you said there's only a couple of slots left, but maybe he can fit into one.  Also, people always drop/add the first week or two every semester, so more slots should open, too.  Maybe he can talk to an advisor at the cc to help him with a plan?  

(And I know everyone says there is an advantage financially to just starting somewhere as a freshman, but there are transfer scholarships.  My sister was offered a full ride at a university as a sophomore transfer.  I know my sister isn't normal, but just trying to be encouraging.)  

It just sounds like the two of you need a bigger buffer of time!  Good luck with whatever decision you guys make and I'm sorry this has been a stressful school year.  Even just starting at the community college, I didn't realize how time-consuming getting my daughter ready to start classes next week was going to be.  It literally consumed our entire semester - tours, application, meeting with advisors, getting through the testing, going through all the stations (financial aid, etc), parking passes, picking classes, registering, trying to work out transportation to campus...  I'm going to buy her books on Thursday and new shoes this weekend and then we're ready (lol).  But, yeah, it really takes so much energy getting them ready for college! 

 

He doesnt want to take a gap year, although I have encouraged him. In the end he may have to if he doesn't get in to a school that is a reasonable cost. It is indeed incredibly time consuming. He doesnt want to go to CC full time--he has his mind set on a traditional 4 year college experience (I know i know, if he has his heart set on it, why didnt he do X or Y or whatever for the last four years--dont ask me). 

I feel at this point he will just apply and let the chips fall where they may, and then we will deal with the aftermath. He refuses to consider a gap year, refuses to go to CC fulltime for a year...hopefully when the results come in in terms of acceptances, he will face reality at that point. I am too exhausted to do much more than go along at this point. I have tried, and tried, and tried to show his alternative approaches to the next year, but he's stubborn and I'm done.

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2 minutes ago, MorningGlory said:

(((Just hugs, @Halcyon)))

Oh jetta-your course was BY FAR his favorite one he took all high school. Srsly, thank you for providing a flame of enjoyment for the last four years. He's a wonderful, wonderful kid but he's still immature. I dont know where this will all end up, but wherever we end up I hope he has the strength of character to pick himself up and move on. 

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Another option that is outside your define variables but might be more affordable is UAH.  He would qualify for a 45% tuition scholarship automatically.  It is fairly small (under 10,000 students), in a decently sized city (close to 1/2 a million), near an airport.  Definitely not a beautiful campus (dorms are good), but the cost would be around $24,000.

I suspect that with his test scores, he is going to have to decide what features he must have and what ones he can forego and stay within whatever budget you have set b/c smaller campuses with beautiful campuses are going to tend toward higher costs.

 

What's UAH?

just googled--yea ,he won't go to school there. Like i said, at this point he has very specific criteria which his scores etc will probably not qualify him for (nevermind the financial cost). I think we're just going to have to wait on results and take it from there. We have 5 more colleges that requires supplementals and he's applying to a few that dont require supps (goucher, knox, allegeny-hopefully, Eckerd) so those wont be too hard. I am going to amend the Homeschool Description to discuss how I gave him lots of time to complete his math by way of explaining his low ACT math--i can't change the Counselor Rec because he already applied early to Vassar. 

Like i said, we do have some money saved up in a 529-both my parents contributed when he was very little and that's built up--so there's a chance with my low income, a non-css or non-css-non-custodial-parent school would give us enough. Bard EFC was affordable, as was Knox and Goucher. 

Edited by Halcyon

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6 minutes ago, Halcyon said:

 

He doesnt want to take a gap year, although I have encouraged him. In the end he may have to if he doesn't get in to a school that is a reasonable cost. It is indeed incredibly time consuming. He doesnt want to go to CC full time--he has his mind set on a traditional 4 year college experience (I know i know, if he has his heart set on it, why didnt he do X or Y or whatever for the last four years--dont ask me). 

I feel at this point he will just apply and let the chips fall where they may, and then we will deal with the aftermath. He refuses to consider a gap year, refuses to go to CC fulltime for a year...hopefully when the results come in in terms of acceptances, he will face reality at that point. I am too exhausted to do much more than go along at this point. I have tried, and tried, and tried to show his alternative approaches to the next year, but he's stubborn and I'm done.

 

I'm sorry!  And you already ran these kinds of options past him.  I would be exhausted, too.

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18 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

Halcyon - I don't know if you remember me, but our oldest two are the same age (and my original username was starrbuck12 - you and I used to chat sometimes).  Our kids were very similar - both tested as gifted, sounded like similar personalities (daydreamers/had trouble gettin' stuff done - lol).  My oldest is starting college next week (pre-nursing courses for her BSN).  She graduated a semester early, so we went through the college decisions recently, too.  She decided not to go anywhere selective, because (obviously), you don't have go to MIT to be a nurse.  You just need a good nursing program and hospital (and she wanted to live at home).  

I don't want to stress you out any more than you are and I don't know anything about those schools on your list.  But, in your son's situation, is taking a gap year a possibility?  Is there something really meaningful he could do for a year while he figures out what he wants to study?  Could he work for a year?  My dd was really interested in something like Americorps, but she doesn't want to leave her dog (I know, right?).  There's other stuff he could do, too - like travel/work/volunteer.  There seems to be so much pressure on all of you right now.  He might make a better decision if he has more time.  And 20 college applications is going to be astronomical - cost and sending everything in (?).  That's so much pressure! 

And you said his ACT math score wasn't very stellar.  I posted this a couple of times, but dd took the math placement test at her college this fall and the advisor was saying that those SAT/ACT math scores are really inaccurate.  They said the placement test the colleges give is much more accurate - it's intuitive and it's able to give a more complete picture of what the test-taker actually knows/doesn't know.  When dd took it, we could see exactly what areas of math she had a strong grasp of and what her weaknesses were.  It was a great snapshot.  Just sayin' - don't feel bad.    

And we didn't do any AP's.  She wasn't even remotely interested in doing that.

You mentioned the science classes at the cc.  Is he currently taking classes there?  Is it a good one?  Can he just switch to full-time next week and take classes there and transfer?  You said he needs two more lab sciences for the university he's wanting to apply to.  I know you said there's only a couple of slots left, but maybe he can fit into one.  Also, people always drop/add the first week or two every semester, so more slots should open, too.  Maybe he can talk to an advisor at the cc to help him with a plan?  

(And I know everyone says there is an advantage financially to just starting somewhere as a freshman, but there are transfer scholarships.  My sister was offered a full ride at a university as a sophomore transfer.  I know my sister isn't normal, but just trying to be encouraging.)  

It just sounds like the two of you need a bigger buffer of time!  Good luck with whatever decision you guys make and I'm sorry this has been a stressful school year.  Even just starting at the community college, I didn't realize how time-consuming getting my daughter ready to start classes next week was going to be.  It literally consumed our entire semester - tours, application, meeting with advisors, getting through the testing, going through all the stations (financial aid, etc), parking passes, picking classes, registering, trying to work out transportation to campus...  I'm going to buy her books on Thursday and new shoes this weekend and then we're ready (lol).  But, yeah, it really takes so much energy getting them ready for college! 

 

Oh, and he did great on the community college math placement test--took it in 9th and did well--so that's a bit of consolation. He's a slow worker, very 'big picture' and I do think it's my fault he took algebra and geometry too young--in his 7th and 8th grade becuase he was ready intellectually. I think if we had kept him on a more tradidiotnal math schedule he would have had a lot of information fresh in his mind for standardized tests. And, to be honest, he took the ACT and the SAT multiple times but really refused to put in the time to improve his scores. Part of him just kept thinking he'd get lucky and get a better score without studying. SIgh. All i can say is thank god my other child (14) is the total opposite-much more organzied, doesnt procrastinate, in public and doing very well--because I can't go through this again. kudos to you with multiple kids who have learning/processing/behavioral issues who shepherd them through the college app process. 

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13 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

I'm sorry!  And you already ran these kinds of options past him.  I would be exhausted, too.

 

Yes. PErsonally, i think taking a gap year, going around the world to bowl in different competitions in different countries, maturing, working to save the money first--this would be fantastic for him. He LOVES bowling and loves travel, and he's an amazing team mate--there are options, he just refuses to consider them. I also think with my recent divorce (which took 18 months to finalize), my move to a new home, my increased hours at work, my own mental health (shaky at best) i have to consider my own health and sanity. 

 

I am going to put Americorps as an option on the back burner if he doesnt get into a school he wants to attend at a good price. He would resist but I think he would ultimately enjoy it. And i think its exactly something like that that he needs. 

Edited by Halcyon
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2 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Sewanee might be one to consider. It is definitely beautiful, small, and supportive.  It is close to Chattanooga (not a big city, though), so close access to an airport.  No idea about cost, but they meet need.

https://new.sewanee.edu/

thank you!

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2 minutes ago, Halcyon said:

 

Oh, and he did great on the community college math placement test--took it in 9th and did well--so that's a bit of consolation. He's a slow worker, very 'big picture' and I do think it's my fault he took algebra and geometry too young--in his 7th and 8th grade becuase he was ready intellectually. I think if we had kept him on a more tradidiotnal math schedule he would have had a lot of information fresh in his mind for standardized tests. And, to be honest, he took the ACT and the SAT multiple times but really refused to put in the time to improve his scores. Part of him just kept thinking he'd get lucky and get a better score without studying. SIgh. All i can say is thank god my other child (14) is the total opposite-much more organzied, doesnt procrastinate, in public and doing very well--because I can't go through this again. kudos to you with multiple kids who have learning/processing/behavioral issues who shepherd them through the college app process. 

 

I remember you, I and WendyK had kids taking algebra 1 in 7th.  Our kids were always unusual/whole-to-parts thinkers.  

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7 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

I remember you, I and WendyK had kids taking algebra 1 in 7th.  Our kids were always unusual/whole-to-parts thinkers.  

 

Yes. He did so well in all his AOPS classes the teachers actually highlighted his perfomance in a couple of the classes, and sent me a wonderful final synopsis of his performance. This might be why he loves the Philosophy class he is taking at CC--slow, deep, thoughtful with lots of time to think.

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5 minutes ago, Halcyon said:

 

Yes. He did so well in all his AOPS classes the teachers actually highlighted his perfomance in a couple of the classes, and sent me a wonderful final synopsis of his performance. This might be why he loves the Philosophy class he is taking at CC--slow, deep, thoughtful with lots of time to think.

 

With his personality, I wonder if he would be interested in Psychology?  DD14 is thinking about going into psychology/therapy.  That's actually what my sister majored in before she went to law school.  She had a similar personality - deep thinker, procrastinator, geez...just thinks about everything (lol).  Similar to my dd14.

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5 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

With his personality, I wonder if he would be interested in Psychology?  DD14 is thinking about going into psychology/therapy.  That's actually what my sister majored in before she went to law school.  She had a similar personality - deep thinker, procrastinator, geez...just thinks about everything (lol).  Similar to my dd14.

 

Maybe. He doesn't really like to hear about other's pain and challenges lol. A good listener but more of a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of philosophy. I am not really coincerned that he doesnt know what he wants at this point in his life. I didn't either. I just want him to develop some sort of connection to his inner guidance. 

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6 hours ago, Halcyon said:

if you can believe it, my ex doesnt want him applying there because he says the name is confusing. So ridiculous, i know. I think it would be great for him. 

Well I went to both Cornells, one for undergrad and the other for grad school. And the most common reaction from my grad school profs when they heard where I did my undergrad? Now that’s the kind of school I want my kids to attend for college, not a place like this. Of course some of the undergrads in the classes I taught thought the confusion would be to my advantage and couldn’t comprehend that I might think differently. I actually felt sorry for the undergrads I got to know well. My and my husband’s college experiences just seemed so much better in so many ways. 

And not that it matters or helps, but Cornell College actually had the name first, and Cornell University tried unsuccessfully to get them to change it.

Edited by Frances
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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

I'm sorry!  And you already ran these kinds of options past him.  I would be exhausted, too.

Ugh - me too!  Honestly, with needing aid, a quirky data set, and such tight constraints, he may end up with a gap year whether he wants it or not.  And an ex interjecting such ridiculousness too!?  🙄  Just reinforce that a "safety" school is not a failure.  With ADD and immaturity, those actually might be his BEST choices.  My kid is at a school we considered a safety school and it's highly rigorous and he is getting special attention there and feels very engaged and successful after his first semester.  And has no shortage of highly engaged peers.  Remember that 25% of any school's population is above it's 75%.  He also envisioned himself at a smaller school and is at a larger school.

Just keep breathing.  Let it be his baby.  I'd prioritize the apps and if he doesn't get them all done, oh well.   I'd encourage him to apply to a couple schools you know you can afford where he is above the 75% if you don't have a couple options like that on the list.   If you have tight financial constraints, remind him that getting in is different than being able to afford it and being able to attend.  We played merit games over here.  My kid got into many schools we were not going to be able to make work financially. 

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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57 minutes ago, Frances said:

Well I went to both Cornells, one for undergrad and the other for grad school. And the most common reaction from my grad school profs when they heard where I did my undergrad? Now that’s the kind of school I want my kids to attend for college, not a place like this. Of course some of the undergrads in the classes I taught thought the confusion would to be my advantage and couldn’t comprehend that I might think differently. I actually felt sorry for the undergrads I got to know well. My and my husband’s college experiences just seemed so much better in so many ways. 

And not that it matters or helps, but Cornell College actually had the name first, and Cornell University tried unsuccessfully to get them to change it.

trust me, i know all of this. It's utterly ridiculous that my ex doesnt think my son should apply based on a name. And now my son is parroting the same thing. Oh well. 

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Looking closer at your list, I'm not sure any of those up on your list or Denison or DePauw would be categorized safeties especially with high financial need.  Some people do win that lottery but I really don't think these schools are as need blind as they like to advertise.   I'd be pushing pretty hard for an instate TRUE 4 year safety.  Maybe that just requires the personal essay if that is an option.  Maybe it will be able to convince him to just push it through on the common app if he doesn't need to do additional writing.  

Plenty of kids don't get to leave their state or region for college and get opportunities to move later.  My kid applied all over and ended up in a neighboring state.  My kid also got rejected from schools where he was well above the 75%.  Given the schools, I think it was fairly obvious he was applying hoping for big merit and wouldn't attend without.  I'd also carefully consider adding some money mentally for travel for any of the further flung options.  I know people who've had to finance extra travel their first year for various reasons.  Anyway - I would keep reminding him of the realities of it.  It sounds both like him and ex need a reality check and what you're willing and not willing to do.    

Florida has great public options and bright futures correct?  Plus a number of great metro areas.  I'd insist on having one of these schools on the list so you'd at least have that pricing in hand when comparing any offers he gets.  

ETA - part of the thing with keeping options open and comparing offers is you just don't know what is what until you see offers.  My kid got Oberlin's largest merit package.  It was still twice as expensive as the school he is attending.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Oh - I was going to say I had to make some corrections on our transcript and I made note of it and changed it on the mid year report.  I haven't been in the common app for a while and I know things have changed a bit so I'm not sure how I did that in terms of WHERE I put it.  I may have just tacked a front page of "special notes" on out transcript document's PDF.   I also wouldn't worry about saying anything else the ACT score discrepancy if he has outside grades in math.  Doubly good if one of his math teachers has written a reference letter for him.  

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Editing I used the wrong conversion table before ...

I wouldn't worry about AP's, not enough Ap's etc.  that is in the past and a decision you made for good reasons at the time. I would NOT explain the "discrepancy" in math.  Most colleges have never heard of AOPS and it'll make zero difference to them and only draw attention to it.

At this point, you are going about this backwards. Instead of picking colleges and working backwards, you need to pick colleges based on what and who your son is.  Just off the cuff, knowing northeastern colleges well and having done a lot of research ...I gotta say...you have WAY too many reaches on that list. 

I would take one or two of the following as REACHES: (that ACT score is like getting an 1400 on the SAT so when you do your research look up the name of the school and "average SAT score" ) 

Swarthemore

NYU

Then take some time to fix a few of the following as maybe-Targets 

Franklin and Marshall

Beloit 

Sarah Lawrence 

and really really plus those applications- really good essays, fix the transcript if necessary etc.

And he needs a few safeties...what about Ursinus? that is a good safety for him!

What major is he desiring?  Is it either very popular or very competitive? DOes he have any "hooks" (aka URM etc.)

Edited by Calming Tea

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