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DD will be applying to university this fall. Today we were refining her list of schools. First, thank goodness, she isn’t married to any of them!

She has 2 admissions/financial safeties that she would be happy attending. (If I’ve learned anything here at all, it’s to love thy safety!) Right now, her safeties are Loyola U Chicago and Seattle U. 

She also has 5 lottery schools. She knows that if she isn’t admitted there, it’s no big deal. Although her stats put her in their middle 50th-percentile, all have acceptance rates below 20%, thus all are lotteries. They include: Penn, Georgetown, Boston College, Duke, and Vanderbilt. 
 

Where we’re lacking is on-target schools. I’m sort of hesitantly considering our state flagship, U of Michigan, an on-target school. Honestly, though, with an acceptance rate of 23%, it might also be considered a lottery.
 

She’s planning to major in nursing (or at Duke and Vanderbilt she’d likely do their 5-year master’s of nursing program), and she wants to attend school either in a big city OR a super cool college town. She prefers a school around 7k in enrollment or larger. Georgetown may drop off the list because the NPC is substantially higher than anywhere else (at least $10k more). Other lotteries may drop-off if she develops application fatigue. We’ll work in order of target, safety, and then lottery.

If you have any on-target schools to suggest, I’m all ears... Oh, stats are ACT composite 33/Superscore 34 (taking one final time this weekend; 1-point more in math would give 35 Superscore); gpa 4.4 (weighted on 4 scale); 7 APs (Lit, Lang, Art History, Stats, Psych, Calc AB, Bio). Strong writer, sparkling LORs lined up, interesting hook? (pre-professional ballet dancer moved away from home at 13 to train with top company schools). May want to minor in gender studies, Latin, or art history.

If you made it this far, thanks 🙏🏼  & hit me with any ideas!

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5 minutes ago, MamaSprout said:

Michigan State? I know they have both nursing and a classics department. (ETA- It’s on our list of “worth a look”.)

MSU campus is so luscious & green. One of my favorite college campuses, but DD thinks East Lansing wouldn’t meet her big city or great college town parameters. We have lots of extended family in the greater Lansing area, so she views it as a pretty blue collar, rust belt kind of town (because that’s the part of town she’s familiar with). Sigh.

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I would definitely consider Michigan a slight reach even with those stats, especially for nursing. What have you considered and rejected? The first place that came to mind was Pitt... but I don't know if Pittsburgh is "cool" enough city.

You know, if she's happy with her safeties, it's okay to apply to the safeties and thrown in a bunch of reaches (especially with strong stats like that) and see what happens. The right "balance" is different for everyone. Loyola Chicago and Seattle are both really strong programs in nursing, even if the overall school would be a "safety." 

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Loyola Chicago and Seattle U were two of my soon-to-be college freshman’s safety schools. University of Portland was also on her list and it’s supposed to have a strong nursing program. It is in a residential area, but it’s easy to get to downtown. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kristini2 said:

Loyola Chicago and Seattle U were two of my soon-to-be college freshman’s safety schools. University of Portland was also on her list and it’s supposed to have a strong nursing program. It is in a residential area, but it’s easy to get to downtown. 

Do you mind sharing here she’s going? PM if you’d rather. Will check out U of Portland.

Edited by fourisenough
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Belmont University has a well-regarded nursing program, if she's keen on Nashville.  I think it might be more of a safety with her stats, though, and I have no idea about the financial aid options.  It is also Christian; students don't have to be Christian, but faculty do.

 

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1 hour ago, JennyD said:

Belmont University has a well-regarded nursing program, if she's keen on Nashville.  I think it might be more of a safety with her stats, though, and I have no idea about the financial aid options.  It is also Christian; students don't have to be Christian, but faculty do.

 

Thanks for chiming in. We prefer secular schools, but she’s willing to make an exception for Jesuit schools (of which there are many with nursing programs) because of their social justice/service focus. I think she would definitely not fit in well at a Christian school!

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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

I would definitely consider Michigan a slight reach even with those stats, especially for nursing. What have you considered and rejected? The first place that came to mind was Pitt... but I don't know if Pittsburgh is "cool" enough city.

You know, if she's happy with her safeties, it's okay to apply to the safeties and thrown in a bunch of reaches (especially with strong stats like that) and see what happens. The right "balance" is different for everyone. Loyola Chicago and Seattle are both really strong programs in nursing, even if the overall school would be a "safety." 

I agree with you about Michigan. It would be the most affordable option and we adore Ann Arbor, so I really hope she gets in, but I’m not counting on it. 
 

We were considering Xavier, but bumped it off the list today. It seems very similar to Loyola and Seattle U, but in a smaller, less exciting city (I love Cincy— the hills, the river, the Zoo, the ball park, etc), but it seems small/dull to her. If no supplemental essays are required, we may toss in an app. I will say their marketing materials/admissions outreach has been fantastic! 
 

MSU, as mentioned above, was considered/rejected. I gave her a 90-second elevator pitch about a few LACs (Rhodes, Kenyon, Washington & Lee) thinking she could knock out pre-reqs then do a 2nd degree BSN, but she thought they were too small and not in her desired locations. We considered Case Western and NYU, but eliminated both because the NPCs were scary high.

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Just coming in to say my bff had a 2018 grad get into Georgetown and it came out cheaper than the NPC indicated. I’m usually a fan of using that to eliminate schools but my limited experience with Georgetown (via my friend) was that they had a favorable outcome.

Also- my experience with Vanderbilt (via other people because my dc don’t do competitive schools) is that they fill most of their class early admission. Seems much easier to get in that way. Of course, your dd may not be willing to go early admission to Vanderbilt but I have known some amazing candidates that did not get in regular admission there and some less amazing ones that got in early.

Not trying to push Belmont but I’m not sure how super religious it is. It is extremely popular for music and performing arts and is a kind of dream school for a lot of music/theater kids in the region who don’t appear to be particularly religious. Your dd would be way above stats there so maybe she would get good scholarships and maybe the arts focus would make it easier to find peers. ?

And that is my second, third, fourth hand opinion on your list. Your dd is obviously a great candidate. Good luck!

Edited by teachermom2834
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Belmont would be massively  too Christian for my liberal secular kids. I think it's a school that sits in a slightly different place - it seems super secular to people who are looking at other Christian schools, but... it's still a Christian school. I know they've tried to expand their appeal to a wider audience, but honestly, I think it's like trying to pitch an Episcopal church to an atheist. Like, yeah, I get that it's the liberal, chill Episcopalians, but it's still a church.

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14 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Just coming in to say my bff had a 2018 grad get into Georgetown and it came out cheaper than the NPC indicated. I’m usually a fan of using that to eliminate schools but my limited experience with Georgetown (via my friend) was that they had a favorable outcome.

Also- my experience with Vanderbilt (via other people because my dc don’t do competitive schools) is that they fill most of their class early admission. Seems much easier to get in that way. Of course, your dd may not be willing to go early admission to Vanderbilt but I have known some amazing candidates that did not get in regular admission there and some less amazing ones that got in early.

Not trying to push Belmont but I’m not sure how super religious it is. It is extremely popular for music and performing arts and is a kind of dream school for a lot of music/theater kids in the region who don’t appear to be particularly religious. Your dd would be way above stats there so maybe she would get good scholarships and maybe the arts focus would make it easier to find peers. ?

And that is my second, third, fourth hand opinion on your list. Your dd is obviously a great candidate. Good luck!

Ah, interesting insights on Georgetown and Vanderbilt. We’re reluctant to do ED anywhere due to cost. It’s such a gamble.

I see what you’re saying about Belmont. Let me dig into their site a bit. Thanks again for sharing. 

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6 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Belmont would be massively  too Christian for my liberal secular kids. I think it's a school that sits in a slightly different place - it seems super secular to people who are looking at other Christian schools, but... it's still a Christian school. I know they've tried to expand their appeal to a wider audience, but honestly, I think it's like trying to pitch an Episcopal church to an atheist. Like, yeah, I get that it's the liberal, chill Episcopalians, but it's still a church.

Totally fair assessment. Living in the Bible Belt skews perception. Going someplace like Belmont is probably not more Christian than my local public high school. So kids from around here might go there and feel it is pretty secular when someone from another region would have a different reaction. 

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18 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Belmont would be massively  too Christian for my liberal secular kids. I think it's a school that sits in a slightly different place - it seems super secular to people who are looking at other Christian schools, but... it's still a Christian school. I know they've tried to expand their appeal to a wider audience, but honestly, I think it's like trying to pitch an Episcopal church to an atheist. Like, yeah, I get that it's the liberal, chill Episcopalians, but it's still a church.

Yes, I agree with this.  Belmont admits non-Christian students and isn't really closely tied to one particular Christian denomination, but faculty and staff have to attest that they believe in Jesus and actively affiliate with a Christian church. 

Edited by JennyD
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From her list it doesn’t seem like she is interested in staying in the Midwest or attending a public university, but several of the state flagships in the Midwest would fulfill the great college town and/or big city criteria and have excellent nursing programs. University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, etc.

I was also going to mention University of Portland, but it would likely be a safety at least for admissions. I don’t know about their financial aid. I noticed there aren’t any CA schools on her list. Maybe someone else can speak to good options for nursing there if she is interested.

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6 hours ago, Frances said:

From her list it doesn’t seem like she is interested in staying in the Midwest or attending a public university, but several of the state flagships in the Midwest would fulfill the great college town and/or big city criteria and have excellent nursing programs. University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, etc.

I was also going to mention University of Portland, but it would likely be a safety at least for admissions. I don’t know about their financial aid. I noticed there aren’t any CA schools on her list. Maybe someone else can speak to good options for nursing there if she is interested.

Honestly, I guess I am making an assumption about out-of-state public universities: they would be more expensive because they don’t give much, if any, merit scholarship to OOS students. Is this a faulty assumption? I know there are rare exceptions (i.e. students who have been awarded competitive scholarships that cover the whole cost of attendance), but I think they are just that. It seems like the privates offer much more merit or more generous financial aid. Am I wrong? I would be happy to be wrong.

I’m not at all familiar with California schools. Or California in general, really. I’m all ears if anyone has any suggestions!

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Aid for out of state students at publics varies a lot. You're right that many states don't give a thing. Others give some. They usually don't give a ton, but they usually still have a cheaper sticker price for OOS than a lot of privates. For publics that are using OOS students to boost their cash flow, they're sometimes gaming it exactly the way some privates do - offering enough money to attract good students from families who can solidly pay, just not sticker price. Other publics have a strong mission to serve their own state kids. It's the same with in state vs. out of state acceptance rates. Some publics are easier to get in for in state kids, others for out of state kids.

Edited by Farrar
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Belmont has the least comfortable dorm beds I’ve ever slept in 🙂 (they host the TN arts academy, and I’ve done the teacher track a few times). I will say that if you like Vanderbilt, Belmont’s campus is very similar and has the same access to downtown, etc. 

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51 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

Belmont has the least comfortable dorm beds I’ve ever slept in 🙂 (they host the TN arts academy, and I’ve done the teacher track a few times). I will say that if you like Vanderbilt, Belmont’s campus is very similar and has the same access to downtown, etc. 

comfortable beds are super important! You’d think that would be an easy fix for them 😬

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53 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

CA schools aren’t generous to out of state students. But if you are full pay, they are still cheaper than many privates. 

I know some people from out of state whose children attend both public and private schools in CA and receive some merit money but don’t qualify for FA. The publics are definitely cheaper in those cases. I would have to say I was surprised to see an out of state student get any merit aid at a sought after CA public university. It’s not like they are hurting for lots of very strong applicants. But it sounds like in the case of the OP’s daughter they expect to qualify for FA, so I think it is really going to depend on the school and how much they want her.

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Can you do early action or rolling admissions at some of your schools? If you get accepted to a school you love early, you don't need additional. One of mine had one safety school, which admitted her in September. She added one target and two reaches. 

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46 minutes ago, JanetC said:

Can you do early action or rolling admissions at some of your schools? If you get accepted to a school you love early, you don't need additional. One of mine had one safety school, which admitted her in September. She added one target and two reaches. 

That’s a good point! She’ll do EA everywhere she can. That first acceptance will feel so good! She has 2-3 weeks in August between her summer ballet intensive and when she leaves to return to residential school, so I’m very much hoping she will get at least half of her applications completed/submitted during this window of time.

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When I read your post, I was somewhere tonight waiting on a kid. I’ve never really given much thought to target schools and tried a search using those words and your daughter’s act score.

One thing that came up was a website called simply college and it had a large set of colleges with an average ACT score of 29 or above. (No idea why it used that number)

It allowed me select a major. I then sorted by selectivity.

Here are the schools it listed with a nursing major with more than 7,000 students that accept more than 30 percent of applicants. I recognized some as schools mentioned here as ones that accept by major, so the acceptance rate could be lower or higher for nursing students at those schools. I do know at least one school on the list as a direct admit into nursing school if you are looking for that.

 

They are in random order as I couldn’t copy and paste.

 

Rochester

Stony Brook

George Washington 

Florida

Texas 

Pitt

Clemson

UConn

Washington

Purdue

Wisconsin 

SUNY Binginham

Ohio State

UMass Amherst

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10 hours ago, NewnameC said:

When I read your post, I was somewhere tonight waiting on a kid. I’ve never really given much thought to target schools and tried a search using those words and your daughter’s act score.

One thing that came up was a website called simply college and it had a large set of colleges with an average ACT score of 29 or above. (No idea why it used that number)

It allowed me select a major. I then sorted by selectivity.

Here are the schools it listed with a nursing major with more than 7,000 students that accept more than 30 percent of applicants. I recognized some as schools mentioned here as ones that accept by major, so the acceptance rate could be lower or higher for nursing students at those schools. I do know at least one school on the list as a direct admit into nursing school if you are looking for that.

 

They are in random order as I couldn’t copy and paste.

 

Rochester

Stony Brook

George Washington 

Florida

Texas 

Pitt

Clemson

UConn

Washington

Purdue

Wisconsin 

SUNY Binginham

Ohio State

UMass Amherst

Wow, what a great search tool. Thanks so much— this looks like a great list. Off to research...

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"They include: Penn, Georgetown, Boston College, Duke, and Vanderbilt."

When we attended the School Fair in Bogota, early in May 2018, of the 4 schools that sent reps, 3 of them are on that list. DD was invited by Penn, Georgetown was there (That's a Catholic school?) and Duke was there. The other school was Harvard College.
 

"Where we’re lacking is on-target schools. I’m sort of hesitantly considering our state flagship, U of Michigan, an on-target school. Honestly, though, with an acceptance rate of 23%, it might also be considered a lottery."

The Granddaughter of a cousin just graduated from Michigan. She was OOS and she was also a Varsity Athlete. Excellent school.

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:03 AM, fourisenough said:

Honestly, I guess I am making an assumption about out-of-state public universities: they would be more expensive because they don’t give much, if any, merit scholarship to OOS students. Is this a faulty assumption? I 

To some extent, definitely. My dd had a noticeably better offer from the rival state flagship than at ours, and wound up with a near full ride at a non-flagship OOS U (full tuition, full dorms, we paid for the meal plan). My other dd also had a substantial offer at an OOS school. We looked at a whole bunch of schools with automatic merit, so that we knew they would get X amount with this ACT and that GPA. So, making assumptions can filter out some schools that might offer good money. 

On 6/12/2021 at 10:04 PM, NewnameC said:

One thing that came up was a website called simply college and it had a large set of colleges with an average ACT score of 29 or above. (No idea why it used that number)

 

It puts you in the magic land of the top ten percent of scores. 

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6 hours ago, katilac said:

To some extent, definitely. My dd had a noticeably better offer from the rival state flagship than at ours, and wound up with a near full ride at a non-flagship OOS U (full tuition, full dorms, we paid for the meal plan). My other dd also had a substantial offer at an OOS school. We looked at a whole bunch of schools with automatic merit, so that we knew they would get X amount with this ACT and that GPA. So, making assumptions can filter out some schools that might offer good money. 

It puts you in the magic land of the top ten percent of scores. 

But how do you know??? I just ran NPCs for a handful of the schools on the list @NewnameC generated above. Not one of them indicated she would be eligible for any merit scholarship at all. Who has time to apply to dozens of schools in the off chance the student might get a killer merit scholarship offer?

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:03 AM, fourisenough said:

Honestly, I guess I am making an assumption about out-of-state public universities: they would be more expensive because they don’t give much, if any, merit scholarship to OOS students. Is this a faulty assumption? I know there are rare exceptions (i.e. students who have been awarded competitive scholarships that cover the whole cost of attendance), but I think they are just that. It seems like the privates offer much more merit or more generous financial aid. Am I wrong? I would be happy to be wrong.

I’m not at all familiar with California schools. Or California in general, really. I’m all ears if anyone has any suggestions!

 

24 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

But how do you know??? I just ran NPCs for a handful of the schools on the list @NewnameC generated above. Not one of them indicated she would be eligible for any merit scholarship at all. Who has time to apply to dozens of schools in the off chance the student might get a killer merit scholarship offer?

My kids have attended college on scholarships.  If the school offers competitive scholarships, you have to approach them being awarded the scholarship as much of a gamble as a low admission school.  The way I approach searching is by looking at the profiles of students who have been awarded the scholarships in the past.  If you can't find profiles, look at the Common Data Set.  Your student needs to be solidly in the upper 25% and have something that makes her stand out compared to other applicants.  Most importantly, her application needs to pull everything together in a way that really shows who she is.  I hate to term it "packaging" but that is the easiest descriptor.  Her "packaging" needs to form a cohesive picture of who she is, why she will be a contributor to their collegiate campus.

In terms of leadership roles, my dd was awarded large scholarships from every school she applied to (not just automatic scholarship, but large competitive scholarships.)  She did not have traditional leadership roles.  She approached the leadership question from the POV that being a leader does not mean having a title.  Being a leader means making sure groups function by doing what needs to be done to keep the organization functioning from within.  It worked.  

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52 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

But how do you know??? I just ran NPCs for a handful of the schools on the list @NewnameC generated above. Not one of them indicated she would be eligible for any merit scholarship at all. Who has time to apply to dozens of schools in the off chance the student might get a killer merit scholarship offer?

Many public universities post their automatic scholarships on the admissions or financial aid pages so you aren’t wasting a bunch of time applying to dozens of schools with unknown scholarships. I agree that is a bad approach! I bet @katilachad some idea of what these out of state schools might offer before her students even applied. Maybe not, but many of these public universities are not such a mystery for out of state students as far as basic merit awards go. 
 

But the more competitive the school, the harder it is to know that info up front and the merit awards are less generous and less automatic. So it is true that for the types of schools your dd is interested in it is harder to know before going through the process. 

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12 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Many public universities post their automatic scholarships on the admissions or financial aid pages so you aren’t wasting a bunch of time applying to dozens of schools with unknown scholarships. I agree that is a bad approach! I bet @katilachad some idea of what these out of state schools might offer before her students even applied. Maybe not, but many of these public universities are not such a mystery for out of state students as far as basic merit awards go. 
 

But the more competitive the school, the harder it is to know that info up front and the merit awards are less generous and less automatic. So it is true that for the types of schools your dd is interested in it is harder to know before going through the process. 

Absolutely.  Automatic scholarship info is easy to find, but equally, automatic scholarships tend to be lower ranked schools. I'll take free over rank any day. My college grads' career/grad school options have been excellent.  Zero debt, zero $$ stress about college, great careers. Win-win.

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I know at least 5 of those schools give merit scholarships from lurking on this site for years and from having friends with college age kids.

Pitt, Clemson, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

I also have read about folks here receiving money from Rochester, but I’ve also seen mention of 2nd year awards being less.

I picked George Washington University to search for merit aid since your daughter is applying for another school in same area. It looks like they have some, but I couldn’t see numbers or requirements. The good news is the scholarships are good for 10 semesters.

in addition they have a performing arts scholarship, also good for 10 semesters, if your daughter is willing to minor in dance. (18 credit hours) I don’t know if the arts and academic scholarships stack, but it could be worth exploring.

if the college websites don’t give enough details about merit scholarships check college confidential and Reddit to see if anyone gives details about them on there. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, NewnameC said:

I know at least 5 of those schools give merit scholarships from lurking on this site for years and from having friends with college age kids.

Pitt, Clemson, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

I also have read about folks here receiving money from Rochester, but I’ve also seen mention of 2nd year awards being less.

I picked George Washington University to search for merit aid since your daughter is applying for another school in same area. It looks like they have some, but I couldn’t see numbers or requirements. The good news is the scholarships are good for 10 semesters.

in addition they have a performing arts scholarship, also good for 10 semesters, if your daughter is willing to minor in dance. (18 credit hours) I don’t know if the arts and academic scholarships stack, but it could be worth exploring.

if the college websites don’t give enough details about merit scholarships check college confidential and Reddit to see if anyone gives details about them on there. 

 

 

This is super helpful. Thank you!

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On 6/15/2021 at 5:42 AM, fourisenough said:

But how do you know??? I just ran NPCs for a handful of the schools on the list @NewnameC generated above. Not one of them indicated she would be eligible for any merit scholarship at all. Who has time to apply to dozens of schools in the off chance the student might get a killer merit scholarship offer?

If they have automatic scholarships, they are generally posted, but not always included in NPCs bc laziness (lots of schools just use the 'automatic' NPC and don't customize). 

You don't have to apply to dozens of schools, but you do have to web surf dozens of schools looking for automatic merit.

 

On 6/15/2021 at 6:40 AM, teachermom2834 said:

Many public universities post their automatic scholarships on the admissions or financial aid pages so you aren’t wasting a bunch of time applying to dozens of schools with unknown scholarships. I agree that is a bad approach! I bet @katilachad some idea of what these out of state schools might offer before her students even applied. Maybe not, but many of these public universities are not such a mystery for out of state students as far as basic merit awards go. 
 

But the more competitive the school, the harder it is to know that info up front and the merit awards are less generous and less automatic. So it is true that for the types of schools your dd is interested in it is harder to know before going through the process. 

Yes, I knew exactly what our highest cost would be, because it was literally "this GPA plus this ACT score equals X number of dollars" provided you apply by scholarship deadline. 

While I know there are many issues with ranking, that's how we found dd's school (University of Alabama in Huntsville). We were surprised to see so many Alabama schools ranked (sorry, Alabama) and took a look. We wound up visiting several. 

What you are looking for is a good school that's aiming to go up in the rankings. UAH was ranked for public but not competitive, so we took a closer look at the Common Data Set and found that it had a good percentage of students with 30+ ACT scores (something we looked at when the ACT range was a bit broad).  

It can take some time to look up schools and automatic merit, but it can pay off really well. We hit the sweet spot with UAH; they are better known these days and the scholarships are not quite as good (still really good and a great cost overall, though). Our personalities aren't suited to getting award letters in April, so we really worked hard at finding good schools with good automatic merit. I think dd was actually registered for classes by mid-March, lol. 

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On 6/15/2021 at 2:20 PM, NewnameC said:

I know at least 5 of those schools give merit scholarships from lurking on this site for years and from having friends with college age kids.

Pitt, Clemson, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

I also have read about folks here receiving money from Rochester, but I’ve also seen mention of 2nd year awards being less.

I picked George Washington University to search for merit aid since your daughter is applying for another school in same area. It looks like they have some, but I couldn’t see numbers or requirements. The good news is the scholarships are good for 10 semesters.

in addition they have a performing arts scholarship, also good for 10 semesters, if your daughter is willing to minor in dance. (18 credit hours) I don’t know if the arts and academic scholarships stack, but it could be worth exploring.

if the college websites don’t give enough details about merit scholarships check college confidential and Reddit to see if anyone gives details about them on there. 

 

 

Wisconsin? I've looked at that and can't seem to find any kind of merit information. It comes out higher for us than most privates on the NPC. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places?

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6 minutes ago, MamaSprout said:

Wisconsin? I've looked at that and can't seem to find any kind of merit information. It comes out higher for us than most privates on the NPC. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places?

I was surprised to see UW on her list as well.  When my dd was applying in 2017, it was on her list bc they are one of the critical language flagships.  That yr they also made the decision to reduce their merit aid and focus on need based aid instead.  IIRC, they focus merit aid on in-state residents.

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On 6/15/2021 at 5:42 AM, fourisenough said:

But how do you know??? I just ran NPCs for a handful of the schools on the list @NewnameC generated above. Not one of them indicated she would be eligible for any merit scholarship at all. Who has time to apply to dozens of schools in the off chance the student might get a killer merit scholarship offer?

Here is our approach, fwiw.  Our kids' applications are controlled 100% by budgetary constraints.  Knowing your budget and sticking to it makes the application process much simpler.  

No student should apply to dozens of schools with the off chance they might get a killer merit scholarship offer.  Equally, no student should apply to dozens of single digit acceptance schools on the off chance they might get accepted.  Students need to filter out schools.  Rank is the absolute bottom of our list for what we look at.  Course offerings, internships/REUs/co-ops/on-campus research/mentoring.....those are our top filters.  For example, @katilacmentioned UAH.  It was a campus that our 2017 high school grad loved.  It would have been full-ride for her.  But, when we visited campus, her French and Russian levels were too advanced for their campus offerings.  Obviously, it wasn't an academic fit.  Finding a school that met her language requirements was her top filter after cost.  (as mentioned above in another post, critical language flagships would have been her first choice, but not a single one offered merit aid.)  For her brother, on-campus research with a professor willing to be a mentor was his number 1 filter (and the Us where this existed were not the higher ranked Us.)

Our kids typically apply to 3-4 universities with competitive scholarships where they like the campus, what it has to offer, and where they stand a decent chance of being invited to the scholarship weekend.  Then they apply to 3-4 schools with automatic scholarships with the possibility of stacking scholarships.  And then 1 or maybe 2 schools that they are willing to attend and that they know are 100% financially affordable.

Competitive scholarship applications eat up a lot of time.  They need to put a lot of effort into their essays bc their essays are going to be what allows them to pass the first hurdle.

 

 

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Yes, Wisconsin.

I went back and checked and a poster wrote about her student getting merit aid to Wisconsin in 2019. (I happen to know another 2019 grad who also went OOS to Wisconsin and received merit aid, but I don’t know the details of how much.)

In searching to double check my facts, I discovered TWTM grads also received merit scholarships to Stony Brook, UConn, UMass Amherst. It didn’t sound like folks were impressed by the amount of the merit offered by UConn and UMass. Someone did get full tuition to Stony Brook. 
 

I also know someone on this board has had students receive scholarships to Purdue, but they may be in-state. 

I have a weird memory for details. 
 

OP, good luck at finding schools that will be a good fit for your daughter.

 

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15 minutes ago, NewnameC said:

Yes, Wisconsin.

I went back and checked and a poster wrote about her student getting merit aid to Wisconsin in 2019. (I happen to know another 2019 grad who also went OOS to Wisconsin and received merit aid, but I don’t know the details of how much.)

If you follow the CDS link for UW that @Sebastian (a lady) posted, you'll see that the avg non-need based aid was limited.  

image.png.71f4d780e32612aa89476bd4257fb517.png

There are scholarships that make a significant financial difference and there are token scholarships.   If you look at UW's OOS tuition rates, the scholarship $$ listed above are not going to make a significant difference:

image.png.76f60f6ed61b4ca421883055c2c79e58.png

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I read that as confirmation that Wisconsin gives merit scholarships.

You have said your daughter went to South Carolina with generous merit aid.

This is the common data set from South Carolina.

Number of students in line a who had no financial need and who were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid (exclude those who were awarded athletic awards and tuition benefits) 2,489 9,638 216
o) Average dollar amount of institutional non-need-based scholarship and grant aid awarded to students in line n  $6,394

The way I read this, more freshmen at South Carolina receive merit scholarships, but the average freshman non-need award, $6,394, is almost exactly the same as the average freshman award at Wisconsin, $6,183.

OP, merit aid can be unpredictable, unfortunately. (Also, every family has a different amount they are willing to/can pay for college.)

remember she already has her dream And safety schools, so you are just looking for additional possibilities. 
 

Research the schools you think would be a good fit for your daughter and then look into merit aid opportunities at those schools. I agree with  previous posters who say online calculators often don’t show merit scholarships. 

I have a distant cousin, who is the daughter of doctors, who is an OOS nursing student at the University of Tennessee, which has automatic merit scholarships. I looked it up on the simply college Site and it says the average ACT there is 27, so not much below the number it gave as a Target schools for your daughter. Here is their scholarship info:

https://onestop.utk.edu/scholarships/entering-freshmen/

 

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9 hours ago, NewnameC said:

I read that as confirmation that Wisconsin gives merit scholarships.

You have said your daughter went to South Carolina with generous merit aid.

This is the common data set from South Carolina.

Number of students in line a who had no financial need and who were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid (exclude those who were awarded athletic awards and tuition benefits) 2,489 9,638 216
o) Average dollar amount of institutional non-need-based scholarship and grant aid awarded to students in line n  $6,394

The way I read this, more freshmen at South Carolina receive merit scholarships, but the average freshman non-need award, $6,394, is almost exactly the same as the average freshman award at Wisconsin, $6,183.

OP, merit aid can be unpredictable, unfortunately. (Also, every family has a different amount they are willing to/can pay for college.)

remember she already has her dream And safety schools, so you are just looking for additional possibilities. 
 

Research the schools you think would be a good fit for your daughter and then look into merit aid opportunities at those schools. I agree with  previous posters who say online calculators often don’t show merit scholarships. 

I have a distant cousin, who is the daughter of doctors, who is an OOS nursing student at the University of Tennessee, which has automatic merit scholarships. I looked it up on the simply college Site and it says the average ACT there is 27, so not much below the number it gave as a Target schools for your daughter. Here is their scholarship info:

https://onestop.utk.edu/scholarships/entering-freshmen/

 

The difference is knowing what type of scholarships are available and worth targeting.  UW's site doesn't provide any information on $$ amt scholarships.  Only 362 students at UW vs 2489 at USC received scholarships. Additionally, the $$ amts do not include tuition reduction amts which USC offers in combo with their awards.  USC clarifies exactly what merit aid they offer on their website. https://sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/financial_aid/scholarships/scholarships_for_nonresidents/index.php   

Dd attended USC as a Top Scholar (McNair level) with the Provost (automatic NMF scholarship) stacked.  WHen she applied, she knew her objective--being invited to be a TS.  She knew before she applied that if didn't receive McNair or Stamps, she wouldn't be able to attend USC.  It was her version of competitive admissions.  But, she had a known objective.  That is quite different than applying to a school that doesn't share its scholarship info and the process is opaque.  The odds of the scholarships being large enough to bring down costs is low.

I have been helping my kids attend college on scholarship for a long time.  All of my kids who have attended a 4 yr U have attended college for $0-$3000/semester for everything (tuition, room, board, books, spending $$).  Over the yrs, I have witnessed a distinct difference in aid packages between schools that promote their scholarships on their sites and the ones like UW that mention them.  If the objective is bring costs down low, clarity means more $$; opaque means token.  

For our family, another piece in the merit puzzle is to target enough scholarships $$ to cover expenses beyond tuition.  Dd received a full tuition scholarship to Fordham, but room/board/plus travel to NY would have been over $20,000/yr.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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9 hours ago, NewnameC said:

I read that as confirmation that Wisconsin gives merit scholarships.

You have said your daughter went to South Carolina with generous merit aid.

This is the common data set from South Carolina.

Number of students in line a who had no financial need and who were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid (exclude those who were awarded athletic awards and tuition benefits) 2,489 9,638 216
o) Average dollar amount of institutional non-need-based scholarship and grant aid awarded to students in line n  $6,394

The way I read this, more freshmen at South Carolina receive merit scholarships, but the average freshman non-need award, $6,394, is almost exactly the same as the average freshman award at Wisconsin, $6,183.

OP, merit aid can be unpredictable, unfortunately. (Also, every family has a different amount they are willing to/can pay for college.)

remember she already has her dream And safety schools, so you are just looking for additional possibilities. 
 

Research the schools you think would be a good fit for your daughter and then look into merit aid opportunities at those schools. I agree with  previous posters who say online calculators often don’t show merit scholarships. 

I have a distant cousin, who is the daughter of doctors, who is an OOS nursing student at the University of Tennessee, which has automatic merit scholarships. I looked it up on the simply college Site and it says the average ACT there is 27, so not much below the number it gave as a Target schools for your daughter. Here is their scholarship info:

https://onestop.utk.edu/scholarships/entering-freshmen/

 

 

11 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

If you follow the CDS link for UW that @Sebastian (a lady) posted, you'll see that the avg non-need based aid was limited.  

image.png.71f4d780e32612aa89476bd4257fb517.png

There are scholarships that make a significant financial difference and there are token scholarships.   If you look at UW's OOS tuition rates, the scholarship $$ listed above are not going to make a significant difference:

image.png.76f60f6ed61b4ca421883055c2c79e58.png

Thank you for extracting the non-need info. 

When I look at Section H, I look at a couple different numbers. Of the students who applied for need based aid, how many received it. Then what was there average award. 

Of the remaining students, how many received non-need based aid and what percentage of the remainder is that. It's one thing to note there is a $6k average non-need based award. But if hundreds of students receive no aid, that tells you something too. 

 

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