With college visits under belt. new list...dilemma - HELP!

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Discus: College Search and Selection: September 2003 Archive: With college visits under belt. new list...dilemma - HELP!
By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 02:26 pm: Edit

SAT 1: 1300(660M/640V) - June
SAT 2: 630 Chem, 620 Bio, 610 Writing - May
.retaking sat2 (math2, writing and chem in oct)
.taking ACTs in sept

GPA: 3.5-6 (uncertain)
WGPA: 4.1+
Courseload: The most difficult
APs: Gov't&Politics(2,10), Chem(3,11), Bio(4,11) , Eng Lang(3,11), Phys (-,12), Calc AB(-,12), Eng Lit (-,12)
Location: Midatlantic, good public school, class size 550+, no ranking (yes %, but unknown)
Likely Major: Biology, biochem, premed

- V.Tennis, ranked player, won tournaments, played states, regionals, counties (7 years)
- Martial Arts, tournaments (states,regionals), instructor
- Science Clubs, will not specify. President or Officer in each.
- NHS, no position. (will tutor student for 2nd year)
- volunteer at elderly home (total hours 290+)

- intern in lab throughout HS
- science fairs, honors and awards (nothing spectacular, but enough to show quality in ECs)

- recommendations - solid

_cornell * -- will apply ED.
_tufts *
_georgetown *
_william & mary

_urochester *
_boston university *
_colgate *

_state school

* denotes visited school

will visit - uva, will&mary.

urochester is my #1 school, but will apply to cornell due to its prestige and lack of any sort of chance at getting in.

i will be glad to answer questions about my visits and go into more detail if requested. thanks!

any suggestions or advice?

By Fonzie (Fonzie) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 03:20 pm: Edit

what'd you think of the comparison between Tufts adn Gtown?

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 03:30 pm: Edit

Both have very strong political and international relation fields, but if you are planning on studying some sort of natural science Tufts would have the upper hand. Personally I prefer Boston to DC, and I have lived in both areas. Campus wise, based solely on aesthetical appearance, I would choose Tufts slightly over Gtown. Luxury of dorms would be in Gtowns favor. If religion plays a role in either direction, it is not that great of a factor. Overall, I liked Tufts moreÖ

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 06:37 pm: Edit


By Anathemacipher (Anathemacipher) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 08:59 pm: Edit

Why are you applying to Gtown when you want to major in the hard sciences?

By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 09:44 pm: Edit

I have very similar stats to you and am a hopeful bio/neuroscience/genetics/psych major haha. I've done lots of research on schools' bio programs and Georgetown is NOT the place to go for the sciences. Like politics? Then go there. Not for science. UVA and William and Mary may have decent programs, but I think you could find better. Tufts is a great choice, as is Cornell (but VERY cutthroat). Your matches look okay (but I might consider UMich more of a reach, or at least I am considering it as one for myself). I know nothing about your safeties but you might want to look into University of Pittsburgh as a safety. Not an all around great school (still second tier though), but for bio it's fantastic. Perhaps it's because their med school is ranked in the top 20 above Northwestern, Chicago, yaddayaddayadda. Whatever the reason may be, it's a great safety for bio, and Pittsburgh rocks! Haha...

Oh, and one more thing: if Rochester is your absolute number 1 choice, then you should do early decision there, not Cornell, and secure a spot. Don't do Cornell ED just for the prestige because it's an extremely difficult school. If you would rather go to Rochester, doing ED at Cornell would be a grave mistake. Rochester has some prestige itself and is recognized as a great school... so think about it.

By Bobellison (Bobellison) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 06:07 pm: Edit

how was colgate in relation to georgetown?

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 09:00 pm: Edit

yet again i hear that gtown is not a so-called science school, but the caliber of the education on the whole outweighs most others.
Spiffybrownboy, which other safeties/match schools would you recommend other than the Pittsburgh area? (Iím not too fond of it)
Iíve dropped northwestern, rice, wash u in stlouis and boston college from my list, so Iím pretty much in the range that I would like to stay within, but Iím very much open to suggestions/criticisms etc.
I think I stand a pretty good chance at uroch w/o ED, am I correct in my assumption? If I were to not apply early to cornell Iíd probably not apply early anywhere. Howís my logic?

Bobellison Ė colgate vs gtown. Rural vs urban. Small vs larger. Both div 1 sports! Gtown offers much more outside opportunities, say if you were to seek out an internship or job. if you can picture yourself living more or less in a field as well as right smack in the middle of a bustling city your choice should come down to specifics. I preferred the colgate campus and academics to gtowns more religious setting/atmosphere and social science curriculum. At gtown you have to take 2 theology classes, which coming from a nonpracticing household are in no way appealing. Hope I helped

By Rwfancl05 (Rwfancl05) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 12:41 am: Edit

Sorry, but I really don't think you have a good chance at Cornell. It's a bit too much of a reach to make it a reasonable ED school. I'd apply ED to Rochester because it's within your range and it sounds like you really like it.

By Asknot11 (Asknot11) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 01:06 am: Edit

Your categories are fairly on target. However, I don't think you stand a realistic chance at Cornell and Georgetown. Your SAT scores really wouldn't hold you back all that much, but I am afraid that your ap scores will. A 2,3,4,3 will probably hurt your chances, especially if you got A's in those classes. Getting a 3 on the AP exam and an "A" in the class will cause adcoms to think your grades are inflated. Overall, all the schools you listed fit in the right category for you.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 08:15 am: Edit

bio 4 - A, A
chem 3 - B, B
lang 3 - B, B
govt 2- B

Rochester has an early admission to medical school program that would like to apply to, but is not seeking students like me. this is from the roch website:

Admission to the REMS program is highly selective. We typically receive approximately 600 applications each year for ten openings. Forty finalists are selected by an admission committee to participate in mandatory on-campus interviews that take place the third week of March. Those invited for interviews generally meet the following profile:

A 3.95 unweighted grade point average
Strong SAT I (or ACT) scores (average SAT I score of previously selected candidates - 1450)
Top 2-3% of graduating class (in ranking schools)
SAT II subject tests in Biology or Chemistry, Math I or II C, and Writing - scores generally 700 or above
Course work at the highest levels (honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college classes)
Extracurricular activities that encompass medical interests (hospital volunteer, science research, etc.) and some non-medical areas (music, sports, leadership, etc.)

as you can see not exactly me. instead of wasting my time on the REMS application should I just do ED at roch and forget about everything else. although I am not too keen on the whole binding decision if I were to get in, or maybe Iím just getting nervous, not in the mood to committing myself to a reachable school. hehehe. Iíll keep Cornell and gtown on just for the fun of it. Thatís it for my long postÖ

By Cutie314 (Cutie314) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 10:30 am: Edit

Hey! I've never really heard much about Rochester until my school nominated me for the University of Rochester Humanities/ Social Sciences Award and they sent me a letter telling me that they'll waive my fee if I apply. To save money on apps, I figured I should make it one of my safeties. I don't know anything about the school so I was just wondering if you can enlighten me a bit. Why do you like it so much? How strong are their Anthropology and History Departments? How is the campus like? What kind of a social life does it seem to have? Also, how is the city of Rochester itself like?

By Ivyrules (Ivyrules) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 10:44 am: Edit

Although ur chances are slim, just try applying to Cornell. A miracle might happen.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 11:16 am: Edit

Cutie314 - everything you could possibly want to know about UR is on their website - rochester.edu - as for what i like about it. for natural sciences it is regarded as top notch, many research opportunities, internships and successful staff. the campus itself is gorgeous; very green and well maintained. the buildings are traditional, but with all the new amenities, such as wireless connection and the sort. dorms are spacious and you can request to live in an all freshman dorm or more mixed year dorm. there are sororities and fraternities if you are interested, as well as cultural houses. the most appealing factor of the actual campus is the infamous underground tunnel system. you can reach almost any building, excluding dorms, by it (if i'm not mistaken). if the occasional snow shower is something that you shy away from Rochester is not the place for you.
as far as the humanities go i'm not quite sure upon specifics, but most likely they aren't 'too bad.' UR has div 3 athletics, so no sport scholarships. they do award merit scholarships as i am sure you know. Rochester the city is pretty much a mini version of a larger and more populated metropolis. you have theater, museums, concerts, athletic events and good dining. the undergrad campus is just a bridge away from the city itself, conveniently called the river campus.
wow, that was my Rochester spiel. hope you enjoyed.

By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 11:35 am: Edit

Rochester has a bad reputation for their social scene (or lack thereof), but I have heard that it exists; one just has to find it through activities and such. If you are into music... may I mention the fabulous Eastman? :-p

By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 11:44 am: Edit

Oh, and concerning more match or safety schools for you... try UMinnesota-Twin Cities, UW-Madison, Penn State, UIUC, UConn, UMD-College Park, Rutgers, Lehigh, RPI (yea u have it listed), ummm a bunch of others but my mind is blank right now. Basically the lower first tier schools and second tier on. I don't know which part of the country you're looking in so it's sort of hard to say.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 12:06 pm: Edit

east coast (above VA) and michigan. that's basically my limitation based on location. all other criteria i am without preference on.

how good is UMD college park?

rochester social scence -- i'm sure there are parties, and the sort but honestly i don't know how you can judge social scenes.

By Cutie314 (Cutie314) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 12:07 pm: Edit

Thanx...I did enjoy the spiel. Good luck with all your schools.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 09:55 pm: Edit


By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 06:08 pm: Edit

What is your home state? You should have some safety schools. If you love Cornell and it is your top choice, by all means go all out and apply early dec. U of Rochester is a great school; I have friends with kids there and the kids love it there. It is academically intense, however. My suggestion is to apply to a group of school you really like, add a safety school and then look at some small, nurturing schools with a premed type program. There is a book called "Colleges that Change Lives" by Loren Pope that has list of schools that uplift and help their students get into med school. If your ultimate goal is to get into medical school and you know you are not a top, top student with top, top scores, my advice is look at a school that would love to help you get into med school. The Cornells, Hopkins, U of Roch all have top notch kids that are pre-med all fighting to be top dog. It is not always pretty. These schools tend to have curriculms that eliminate med school candidates not promote them. They may say 90% or higher of our candidates get into a med school but those are the kids who did not get eliminated on the way. Let's face it--a C in Organic Chem can eliminate your chances. You may want a school that picks up a lot of premeds as the undergrads go through school, not a school that eliminates them. I can speak from experience because I went to a cut throat premed school and most of my classmates who started out premed did not end up applying, and most of my classmates were premed because the school has the reputation of being a premed school. Sometimes by going against the grain, you can find a better way than going head on. If you want to be a doctor, better you pick a route that is more likely to give you the grades and prep to get into med school than a program that pits the students against each other and sends the strongest of the bunch. Do visit a few of these smaller, nurturing schools and you might see what I mean.best of luck to youo--and please don't think I'm saying to disregard what you really want to do. The undergrad years are an experience in itself and if you really want to go to a particular school, and get in, it may not be that important that you stay premed. I know a lovely girl who got into a 7 year BA/Med program, turned down some wonderful and prestigious schools to go to Youngstown State for this program. Well, she changed her mind and is now in Youngstown State which is primarily a local school and she is not local. She tried to transfer and did not get into the same schools that had accepted her two years ago. I'm sure things will work out for her but right now she isn't very happy. So there is that balance between future goals and current happiness. May you achieve that balance.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 06:11 pm: Edit

Oh, I forgot to mention...if you are good enough to play intercollegiate tennis on a school team, you would get athletic preference. Make sure you talk to the coaches. My son is a participating college athlete and the fact that he involved the athletic department made a big difference in his school choices. His stats were similar to yours.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 07:03 am: Edit

Thank you Jamimom! I am looking at schools in a new light. Itís wiser to get into a better med school than suffer through a difficult undergrad (even though I think I could make it).

I met with UR tennis coach and seemed to make a good impression. Playing a sport in college as Iím sure you know is quite difficult a task while also trying to get a top notch education. I think my tennis skills could help me, but only to an extent. I am not a world class player, but am willing to put in the effort.

As for BA/Med program, I was thinking of applying to UR and BU. unfortunately, the more research I do, the less likely it seems that I can get in.

Other lower tier schools that I should consider would include which? Possibly George Washington, Rutgers, SUNY stony brook, UMD collegepark, u pitt? Others?

Thanks again!

By Nickw28 (Nickw28) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 01:32 am: Edit

UVA and W&M are going to be out of your league more than likely. I go to VA Tech which has a good biotech program with Wake Forest and I know a few kids who didnt get in with a 1350 SAT and a 3.7 GPA. UVA and W&M are more liberal arts schools, not really for sciences.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 07:00 am: Edit

would VA tech be a safety for me? i will be visiting UVa soon, maybe I will be convinced to take it off my list (the app is horrible!). any other match-safety schools i should consider?!

- goucher
- rutgers
- union

i think i'm leaning towards UR more and more, even though i loved tufts. is tufts too much of a reach for me? the money issue also comes into play. at BU i might be able to get merit aid, whereas as the other schools most likely not.

are there any blatant facts or myths about UR that i should know about? other than the whole snow/cold issue.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 12:09 am: Edit

You seem to really like UR. There are some nice scholarships they offer. I think you need a 1350 on the SAT I or a 31 on the ACT to get their merit scholarships. Also if you are a NY state resident, you get a $5000 discount. They do have several merit based scholarships. Rochester is a very competitive school because of the large premed population. So bear in mind that it is going to have a tough curriculum.. Hopkins, Wash U of St Louis,CMU, Case Western are also similar schools. U of Richmond is also a consideration and they have half tuition scholarships for 1350 SAT I scores. Tulane and Vanderbilt also come to mind. None of these are true safety schools except possibly Case and Case has a 1400 cutoff on the SAT I for their half tuition scholarships.
Goucher is a recommended school for nurturing and has safety school acceptance numbers. Juniata has an early assurance med program with Tulane Med school. Again, you don't mention in which state is you have residency. One of the state schools could be a safety. If you are from Virginia, V Tech would be a consideration as well as James Madison. You have ever so many options. Godd luck

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 08:55 am: Edit

i deliberately don't mention state residence, but i will say it's not VA.

U Richmond Ė match school with a solid bio program? Looks good on paper, but is it overrated because a mostly wealthy white school

I donít make the 1350 cutoff, which is a shame but maybe the ACT in sept will satisfy the 31 score.

Revised list:

_boston university
_maybe U Richmond?

_state school

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 11:02 am: Edit


By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 07:22 pm: Edit

bump again.

By Nhfrenchie (Nhfrenchie) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 08:53 am: Edit


My D's stats are almost identical to yours with similar interests. She's interested in Biomedical Engineering and maybe the Premed track.

Anyway, we visited the following schools over the summer:

U or R
Case Western
Penn State
Tufts (She attended their Summer Honors Science Program)

This is now her "short" list:

RPI (Match/Reach?)
U of R (Reach/Match)
Case (Reach/Match)

She used to have Tufts on her reach list but as a result of recent visits to other schools, is now not considering it.

We are going to visit Tulane in September as a match/reach school.

Each of the schools that we visited has certain strengths/weaknesses (campus vs program vs etc. etc.)

Hope this helps?

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 04:50 pm: Edit

I just heard that the cut off for the half tuition scholarship at Case is 1300 or ACT of 31. Would not look down on schools that have rich kids reputation until you visit and feel uncomfortable. Many of them have the best resources and nurturing and financial aid of all. If you look at the number of kids who qualify for federal aid in alot of the top schools, ivy included, you will find that these schools have predominantly well to do kids. If you eliminate being around those who are better off financially than you, you are eliminating valuable resources. My son's music teacher who is hardly wellthy has a son at U of Richmond and another at Hofstra. Both are on nearly full scholarship and the experience has been golden to them. They love it there and feel they have been nurtured as well as educated and the older is now at a prominent law school. He has a full ride to do this because he applied thru a JD/Phd program that gives him a fellowship. U of R walked him through options in a way that would be hard to get even paying a counseler to do. Another friend whose daughter is at Pitt got no help, little advice and very impersonal information in her law school pursuit. She paid more to go to this state school than either of the music teacher's sons did to go to their private schools. If you truly do not like the atmosphere of a school, by all means do not go there. You do after all have to live there. But be wary of labels like a rich kids school. The reality is that a lot of the best schools fall in that category if you really want to add up the numbers. Hofstra offers full tuition for students with 1300 on SAT or 29 on ACT and they really want their premeds to succeed instead of kicking them in the teeth and helping eliminate them before med school. It is ever so nice to find a school that really wants to help you get what you want and is sympathetic if you find yourself needing aid, financial or otherwise. Focus on what you ultimately want and immediately need to get your college education. I am rooting for you.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 09:14 pm: Edit

thank you thank you is all i can say.

Nhfrenchie -- the schools you listed are all well known for their bio programs more so than anything else if i'm not mistaken. what is your Ds top choice? what is her main deciding factor against tufts?

Jamimom -- yet again you have lifted my spirits. every time i read your advice i feel as if some one believes in me, and knows i can make something of myself. my parental support and counselor support is lacking in the positive area so i'm left to doubting myself.
i think i am going to stay away from case only because of the comments i've heard from classmates and recent HS graduates. it just doesn't feel like a fit. i'm not familiar with hofstra, though the full tuition sparkle is inviting me to take a look. although money might not end up being an issue in the end i am requesting aid at all my schools.

for right now i think i better go and enjoy my saturday night. watch some US open, sulk over hantuchovas loss and do my laundry.

thanks again. i will update on how my visits to UVA and URichmond go.

By Thinisin (Thinisin) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 09:16 pm: Edit


By Nhfrenchie (Nhfrenchie) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 11:33 am: Edit


My D indicates that her top 2 right now are RPI & Case.

Yes, all are known to have excellent Bio/chem/engineering programs and for her stats has a good chance of getting in. As I indicated, she's interested in Biomedical Engineering/BioChem and therefore the reason for her choices.

RPI does offer something that I believe other schools don't offer. "Studio Learning - Studio classes combine classical learning activities, from lecture to discussion to paper and pencil problem solving to experiments, with hardware, computer simulation and experimentation. Students learn in a collaborative environment by doing and teaching others with help from the faculty. A key advantage to the studio format is that students can apply their knowledge immediately to experiments without having to wait a week or longer for a traditional laboratory course. Such classes help to increase student motivation, understanding, and retention of knowledge and build collaboration skills that are essential for today's business and industry.
".......Troy doesn't offer much as a city but Albany is nearby and the school does offer busing/transportation options to students to help them with access outside of campus.

Case Western on the other hand, does have a lot to offer in the immediate area, including good hospitals/research for interships, etc....

She indicates that she'd be happy going to any of the schools listed.

Hope this helps...

By Rosiebabe5 (Rosiebabe5) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Jamimom- does Vanderbilt have good bio? i haven't been hearing good things about it, pre-med wise, so I was thinking that the bio wasn't good.

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