Colleges for brilliant but wayward friend?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: Colleges for brilliant but wayward friend?
By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 09:47 pm: Edit

I have a friend who's currently a senior and seeking to apply out of the state of florida. He's not sure what he's interested in, would prefer a BS over a BA in something. Might be interested in Law but does not want to waste a degree on Pre-Law. No colleges in the middle of nowhere. His first few years of highschool were wasted, but his GPA is in steep upward trend.
White male
Transfered from public highschool to a dual enrollment highschool at the local community college for senior year.
GPA from 3 to 3.5 unweighted (*might* be 2.999)
SAT 1270
5 in AP english
5 in AP comp. sci.
Creative Writing Club vice president
photo club
over 120 hour summer internship at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), programming computers and such
Helped to build computer lab in inner city

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit

American University? That may be decent for him. Without knowing the GPA, it is a tad difficult. I think American would be a match, esp. for the Law/Politics area.

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 06:46 am: Edit

thanks, i'll have him look into it :) Up till now, he only knows of University of Miami and University of Florida at Gainesville. Needs more out of state possibilities. Any other suggestions out there?

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 08:37 am: Edit

I suggest that you tell your friend to make sure his parents are willing to send him out of state, and to also find out how much they would be willing to pay each year.

Lots of Fla. parents don't send their kids out of state because of the state's college scholarships for residents and because in-state tuition is relatively low. This is particularly true of kids who aren't heading to places like Ivies (though some parents even make Ivy-accepted kids turn down those schools to stay in-state).

My guess is that your friend is unlikely to get into UF. I don't know about Miami. I am betting he'd be more likely to get into the lower rated in-state schools. If he can get into Miami,since it's private, he needs to ask his parents if they would pay that much for him to go to college.

Right now, nothing is coming to mind as a place for him to apply. That's because the places I think of where he could get in and that are reasonably cheap (I would be surprised if price lacks importance for his parents) are in small towns.

Your friends' SAT of 1270 doesn't sound brilliant, but just above average. Unfortunately, an SAT 1270 isn't likely to lead to merit aid.

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 09:39 am: Edit

You're a big help on these boards, Northstarmom. Thanks also for the earlier advice. Cost probably is a factor with his mother, although he maintains that he will be able to afford UM, out of state tuition etc. Given that he has a double legacy advantage at UF, perhaps he'd have slightly better chances there?
He's mentioned something about the "top talented twenty" scholarship for UF, where the graduating top 20% gain automatic admission. He has a tendency to speculate without being very realistic, but i hope for his sake that he can make it.
Others have brought up American University and Boston University. How would he fare at these places?
Last, I think my friend is more talented verbally than he is mathematically. Or take into consideration the fact that he was not in his element during the first few years of highschool, (skipping etc) and consequently failed a number of math classes. He's very capable; I just hope he can make it- and quit deluding himself.
Thanks again

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 11:11 am: Edit

Everything I know about Fla. schools is that (as is the case with most public universities), they are very statistics driven when it comes to admissions. GPA, scores, class rank all are what most count for admission. I doubt if the legacy will help him at UF.

If there is a top talented 20% admissions and scholarship, he needs to take the time to research it thoroughly and to make sure he gets in his application early. As is the case with many public universities, they accept first come first served (with, of course, those with top stats getting priority). If he procrastinates and gets his app in after Nov. or so, he may find that the class is closed or that admission standards have gotten much higher than they were in Sept.

Based on what you are saying, I actually would bet money that his mom is not likely to spring for a lot of extra $ for him to go out of state or to an in-state private university. His stats also make him an unlikely candidate for great merit aid that would offset the price of a private or out of state university of any kind.

He might slip into American, but merit aid is unlikely. I doubt he'll get into BU, which has become very hot. Of course, merit aid is unlikely for him there, and it is very expensive.

He may be very talented in writing, but based on what you've posted, he has not done something remarkable in it that would lead to extra admissions consideration or merit aid.

If he had, for instance, won some regional or national writing award (such as through the Scholastic contests), that would be the kind of achievement that could help him with scholarships and admissions.

The fact that he interned at NOAA doing computer things indicates to me that he probably has more talent in math than you think. I am guessing that his math problems were due more to laziness than to lack of ability.

My advice would be for him to look at Fla. public universities that are good matches for him. I think he should get his application in early. If he really wants to go out of state to college, my advice would be for him to spend 2 years in Fla., do extremely well and then transfer.

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