Narrow the list from 19 to 5... can I do it??

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Narrow the list from 19 to 5... can I do it??
By Yumpop (Yumpop) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:55 am: Edit

Over the summer, I've compiled a list of schools that have caught my eye for one reason or another, tho i can't remember them all right now... The problem is there's 19 and thats way too many!!

U. Penn – It has the majors that I want and I like the “one university” concept so it’s easy to major, major/ minor, dual major. Also I like the special huntsman program it offers. Urban setting but still has centralized campus. Social, spirited, diverse student body
Columbia – it’s in NYC, a good place to get internships in business/ journalism
Yale – undergraduate focus, residential housing, drama school (i don’t do drama but I enjoy being part of the audience), it’s where Rory Gilmore goes to school and her suite looks nice =P
Northwestern – school of journalism and communications looks good, or international relations. Located near Chicago
WUSTL – similar to U Penn’s “one university” concept, offers merit scholarships, good for business not sure about communications, St. Louis seems okay?
Duke – school spirit, merit scholarships
Stanford – California weather, close to home
Harvard – the housing system seems cool, located in a good college town?, seems like it has a great sense of tradition
NYU – it’s in NYC
Johns Hopkins – strong in international relations, located in Baltimore
Georgetown – business, international relations, Washington, D.C. area
Boston U – it looks like it has some good stuff in business/ communications and it’s urban…
Rice – ummm merit scholarships
Emory – do they give merit scholarships?
Cornell – good food, ppl are saying positive things in the Cornell forum
Princeton – someone i kno goes there
UCLA, Berkeley, San Diego - can't pass on the state school

SAT 800/800
SAT II 800/800/770
4.0 unweighted
3 main ec's with high or top leadership positions
will have 8/9 AP's when I'm thru, all 4s or 5s
most difficult curric at public school

Please help me narrow this list down, ideally to 5 applications tops (so all the UCs count as just 1)!!! Reaches, matches, safeties?? (is it just me or are there no safeties?? =\ )

By Daffodil22 (Daffodil22) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit

First you should nail down the region you want to study in (Northeast, Mid Atlantic, South, Midwest, West) because your schools are all over the map. UCSD and BU are safeties, but you need a few more. American and Northeastern are possible safeties.

If possible, visit a few of the schools on your list to get a sense of the atmosphere you want.

By Yumpop (Yumpop) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:20 am: Edit

I haven't settled on a region yet because I feel like I will be able to adjust to any sort of climate... although only visiting the coldest and the hottest of the bunch will really clue me in on what I'm in for. Also, I'd hate the idea of missing out on a really great school just because I arbitrarily decided to stick to just one location. Mostly I'm just into urban areas, but I think any place is fine as long as there's a variety of stuff to do and hopefully a lot of ethnic restaurants too!

Visiting is kind of expensive so I don't know if it will happen until after I get accepted - maybe in Nov/ Dec but then the early deadlines will have passed and I want to apply EA somewhere (I believe Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Georgetown are EA schools). Anyway, I've already been to UCB and Stanford and their campuses are okay - not blown away but maybe cuz it was summer and not a lot going on.

Maybe for now, I should just focuse on the EA app... Stanford, Yale, Harvard or Georgetown? I think my parents want me to apply to Stanford, but I'm not sure if I should put in my EA app there or somewhere else...

Thanks for your feedback, Daffodil!

By Dstark (Dstark) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:18 am: Edit

Are you also valedictorian?
If you have met all the UC requirements, you don't need any more safeties.
You should get into all the UC's since you mentioned you are in state.
You should get a scholarship to BU.
You have a chance everywhere if your EC's are stellar.
Yale, Harvard, Stanford are lottery tickets, but you have a chance.
Four 800's very, very impressive.
I would contact the schools and find out who the adcoms are in your area. Get in contact with the adcoms and build a relationship.

By Yumpop (Yumpop) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:45 pm: Edit

Yes, am currently valedictorian. But senior schedule is tough, might not last long. =\ Thanks for the advice!

I looked up Northeastern and American in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 04, but their academics don't seem to match up with the other schools on my list. (3/2 stars, respectively, v. 4-5 stars) But thanks for your suggestion!

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:54 pm: Edit

Don't settle on a region, the idea is to find the best possible fit and those schools can be anywhere. Be more clear on what you want out of a college and take a hard look at the departments you're most interested in at theses schools. You don't need more schools if you'll be happy with a UC, because you should be safe at even Berkeley, but certainly are at the others. If money is important, get a real understanding of what you can get at each school. You would most certainly be an attractive candidate for a full ride (or significant) at many good schools just below the top. Go and visit as many schools as you can. Good luck and my advice to all CA kids is to leave the State for college if you can--see the rest of the country.

By A2a2 (A2a2) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:09 pm: Edit

Here's my advice...

1. Decide if you need merit money. If you do, you can cut your list down considerably. Many of these schools don't offer merit money.
2. Pair up similar schools and pick one.

Penn/Cornell - the big ivies. Drop Cornell because you want urban and it's not.
Columbia – Keep it on your list for now.
Harvard/Yale – You have a shot. Keep on the list for now.
Northwestern/WUSTL – Pick one.
Duke – Looks like you're headed for IR or journalism. Maybe not the best fit.
Stanford – I'd keep this one. You never might decide at the last minute that you want to stay close to home.
NYU – Drop it. You should be accepted at Columbia and NYU is a poor substitute. No campus.
Johns Hopkins/Georgetown – pick one.
Boston U – Drop it. You can do better.
Rice – Good if you need merit money.
Emory – Drop it.
Princeton – Drop it. Your reason is pretty weak.
UCLA, Berkeley - Pick one. This is your safety.
San Diego - Drop it.

With your stats, you've got a shot just about anywhere but, as you know there's no guarantee at the very top schools unless you have an amazing hook.

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

Get rid of WUSTL, nothing much going on there,
Pick between NYU or Columbia, seeing that NYU doesn't give a lot of financial aid I'd go with Columbia. Get rid of Boston U. Pick between Stanford and Harvard, i would pick stanford. Get rid of Cornell.

Seeing that your stats are really good i would recommend USC on your list because they give huge merit scholarships, they also have a good business. they also have journalism, it's in LA

If I were you this is the 5 Schools.

Reach-Stanford, U Penn, UCB& UCLA(random admissions)
Match-USC, Northwestern
I personally say you need more safeties

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:19 pm: Edit

wait if money is not an issue, i'd g ow ith

usc, nyu, upenn, stanford, and uc's(for safeties, i say add another uc like ucsc or ucsb)

By Feenotype2 (Feenotype2) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:35 pm: Edit

Keep Georgetown if you want to go into international relations. I'm sure Johns Hopkins is great, too, but you can't being in DC with all the international orginizations.

By Kk19131 (Kk19131) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

I think Gilmore Girls is filmed at Pomona, not Yale..... Also, I don't believe a word of those "scores" you posted.

By Yumpop (Yumpop) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Thanks for all of your support. I'm working on a longer response and will post later on tonight.

By Anthony (Anthony) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 09:42 pm: Edit

I don't see a need to cut any of those... If you have the money to pay for the app fees and you won't upset your GC by doing this, then do it.

If you *MUST* cut down, I'd start by eliminating some of those safeties... If you like one of your safeties more than some of the matches and reaches, then eliminate those matches and reaches as well.

By Yumpop (Yumpop) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:31 am: Edit

Mom101- Thanks for your response. Money is not a huge problem, but my older siblings have all gone to public school. If I chose a private institution, I would be spending a lot more than all of them on undergrad, and may end up paying for grad school myself. So it's a question of long-run finances - that's why I would like to get a scholarship if possible (I'm already looking at stuff from

A2a2 - Your suggestion was very helpful! I will definitely try it out. You're right that I should probably drop Cornell - all the agriculture related stuff there doesn't interest me and it doesn’t really have the majors I want. A number of the schools on my list are iffy, but I just wanted to see if someone could advocate redeeming factors for them. If you know anything special about any of them, please fill me in! Also, you paired Northwestern and WUSTL together, but I’m not sure how they are similar schools, other than they are kind of in the same geographic area?

Liek0806 – Can you elaborate on why you recommend kicking WUSTL off the list? As for USC, I was thinking about it for awhile because it does have all the programs I’m most interested in, but I was concerned on these points: the academics were rated weaker than the UCs in the Fiske Guide, yet it would cost a lot more to go there. I know better than to trust just one source on the academic rating, so if you know anything about it, please let me know.

Kk19131 - Nothing I say will change your opinion, but thank you for the trivia about Gilmore Girls. It's one of my favorite TV shows. =]

Anthony – I think 19 applications really would add up to a lot of money I could spend on better things =P. Plus the idea of filling out so many apps is daunting! Btw, which schools do you consider safeties? There seems to be disagreement. Some people are telling me all the UCs are safety, but some are saying just UCSD.

Again I really appreciate all of you guys helping me out. I’ll keep working on the cutting things off the list.

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit

i kicked wustl off the list because at the end of a comment for wustl you said "st louis seems ok?" that expression kinda seems like you wouldn't wanna be in st louis or if you were doubting beeing there, that and because you want to get 19 to 5, i think there's better schools that meet what you want especially with the majors,

as for the usc thing, i think the only uc schools that might be ahead of usc in academics is ucla and ucb, usc is better than the rest in my opinion, and that's that it's probably tied with ucla, i kept on insisting on usc because with your stats, you qualify for huge merit aid from usc, especially because they give a lot of money away to students who have stats like yours, and usc also has really great programs in what you want to study, and i honestly don't think that living in los angeles with the trojan network could be too shabby

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 01:36 pm: Edit

ps: if you end up still having to narrow down your list and you reallly like them all, what you could do is write the name of each school on a different piece of paper, put them in a hat or something and pick 5 out, and that's were you apply!
i'm planning to apply to 8 schools, i don't think i would be able to cut down to 5, maybe 7, but it's even hard just thinking about what it would be like if i had to cut it down to 5

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