|By Intheory (Intheory) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit|
First post ever...
Alright...fell in love with Smith during the visit..i heavily considered applying ed2 but cannot because of financial aid reasons (which i hear are notoriously bad at Smith)...but if no one minds helping me out, my stats are as follows...any evaluation would be heavily appreciated (I'm a rising senior)
GPA: 4.76 (w) 3.98 (uw)
SAT: 720 m 740 v = 1460 (plan to retake...overdoing it?)
Haven't taken SAT IIs yet- planning on 3
Did interview on Campus (went great in my opinion), hoping to also do an alumn interview in my area
APs: 4 on WorldHist...scores still out on USHist, EnviroSci, and Eng4 (i'm too cheap to call in)
All other courses honors or AP
Chosen for independent study with a Psychology Professor at TCU- designed and ran own experiment on students there and preparing for 2nd year study/publication
Taking course "Major American Authors" at TCU during the summer (accepted as a Pre-senior nondegree student)
AP English 5
AP Calculus BC
H Computer Applications
School Academic Honors society (3yrs)
Ann Brannon Recipient (3yrs)
Radio Shack Scholar (4yrs)
National Merit Semi-finalist candidate
National Honor Society (senior year)
2nd Place in category, Comp Science, Regional Science Fair
1st Place in category, Behavioral Science, Regional Science Fair
3rd Place Best in Fair, Regional Science Fair
1st Place Best in Fair, University of North Texas Science Exposition
Opinion Writer for Newspaper (2 yrs)
Editor in Chief of Newspaper (senior yr)
Director of Debate for JSA chapter (2 yrs)
Senator for JSA region (2 yrs) (only senator from my region to pass an amendment through congress...gay marriage...not easy in texas)
JSA summer symposium graduate
"Best Speaker" award at JSA Spring State Convention
Varsity Orchestra (3 yrs) Violin and Viola, Varsity Group placed Division I 3 years in a row...currently delving into composition
Member, All District Orchestra (2 yrs, Viola)
Judged and rated on Division I solos on Viola (2 yrs)
2 yrs varsity swimming
1 yr club swimming
Students for a Free Tibet
Around 120 hours of community service...more in progress
Personal interests...my most recent are music composition and play writing...i've been working on a novel (more a mass of words than anything) and decided to switch to plays for a while
Debate and argument are definately vital to me...law school hopefully in the future
I'm also looking at organizing my school's first (ever) mock election and possibly a gay/straight Alliance....we'll see
|By Mini (Mini) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit|
I wouldn't apply anywhere ED if financial aid is an issue. But Smith has a much unjustly deserved rap on financial aid. It has BY FAR the largest percentage of Pell Grant recipients (folks in the bottom 35% of the U.S. population income wise) of any top liberal arts or ivy league college on the east coast (24.1%) -- and foots the bill for them (that's a quarter of the campus!), and also has the largest proportion of students receiving financial aid (69%). It does mean they are stretched thin -- students likely don't always get what they want, but, in aggregate, they are the most generous top liberal arts college on the east coast (and by some distance - and nationally, only Occidental and Agnes Scott compare.)
The notorious reputation comes from the fact that Smith is in a less prime position to negotiate further with students and their families because of the commitments they have already made. (It's a lot easier when you are Williams, and 60% of the student body doesn't get any financial aid from the college at all.)
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit|
I found the Smith FinAid office to be reasonable when we appealed.
Your GPA is fine. Your SAT's are good for Smith. However, if you're gunning for a STRIDE or Zollman Scholarship, you'd want to up that. The Zollman is outstanding and the opportunities of the STRIDE are nothing to sneeze at.
The rest of your profile looks very good. As dangerous as saying "your in" is on these boards, I'd say you're in...the only question is how much merit money can you score...Smith doesn't give much. They typically grant about five Zollman's and 35 or so STRIDE's out of a class of about 650.
|By Intheory (Intheory) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 12:52 am: Edit|
thank you both for the helpful info, especially about the Zollman scholarship...we'll see
I've been reading this board for quite awhile, so i've read the accounts of Smith's Fin Aid, many from the both of you actually...i totally understand that they are generous and do what they can, and some situations have apparently turned out great
however the recent "fiscal responsibility" happenings and the fact that yeah, their financial aid is stretched so very thin, so much that they do consider a student's need when deciding who to accept, concerns me. It's not that i blame them...it just isn't the most confidence inspiring situation...i'm gunning for outside scholarship money (of which their is plenty) and crossing my fingers
|By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 02:16 am: Edit|
We spoke with them about this at one point. Basically, they are "need-conscious" at the margin -- when they get to the final 5% of the applicant pool (or the waiting list), they make a calculation of how much of the aid budget has been used up, and then decide whether they can still offer more assistance to the last set of candidates. Which means, of course, that having accepted 24.1% Pell Grant students (compared with Wellesley's 15.6; Bryn Mawr's 14.8; Harvard's 6.8%), and with 69% of students on financial aid, there is no more money to commit. (and hence almost nothing to negotiate with.)
But compare with schools like Williams, where 60% receive NO financial aid;, Wellesley where 48% receiving no financial aid; Yale where 59% receive no financial aid, and one quickly concludes that a good Smith candidate is in much better position than candidates for admission virtually anywhere else.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit|
Mini has it nailed. FinAid considerations only come into account of the bottom 5 percent of the slots. But I know someone accepted off the wait list who got a 90 percent ride.
The "extra" "merit" money flows to the top 5 percent. In the middle...shrug. Pretty much like lots of places, near as I can tell.
|By Intheory (Intheory) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit|
yeah, that was basically what the admissions people explained to me at Smith...which basically has me hoping i won't be there (bottom 5%) which is why i'm stressing about SATs, SAT IIs, doing two interviews...stuff like that
so basically i've read horror stories and great stories...i just hate having to "wait and see", which was why i wanted to go ED
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 11:44 pm: Edit|
In theory, you definitely won't be in the bottom 5 percent at Smith. At least unless Smith suddenly jumps HYPSM schools in selectivity.
The more I nose around Smith, the more I'm convinced that, if anything, it's under-rated.
|By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 05:26 am: Edit|
I'd say you're in. I got a poor financial aid package from Smith. I think the stories are true. Or at least the students say they are. They're definitely pretty dissatisfied with the aid. After all, it doesn't matter what their reasons are (giving out pell grants etc)..if they give you a crappy package, you're going ot be disappointed. Have you considered Mount Holyoke? It's pretty much the same but a downside is the location. Northampton is a very nice town, while South Hadley seems kind of isolated. They give nice merit scholarships. I got something like $20,000 from them in some kind of merit program.
|By Intheory (Intheory) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 12:49 pm: Edit|
The students seem dissatisfied with fin aid but totally satisfied with Smith...i'm avoiding disappointment by writing for outside scholarships
and yes, i did visit Mt Holyoke while i was in Mass...impressive and very kind...overall on that trip we saw Smith, MHC, Amherst, Williams, Brown, Wesleyan, and Wellesley
|By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 01:14 pm: Edit|
Tropicanabanana, you never miss an opportunity to denigrate Smith and you may have good reasons to do so. However, I believe that you should preface your description of how poor Smith Finaid package was with the details of some of your recent posts. Truth in advertising is not a bad thing!
1. If these are the right numbers, a lot more should be on financial aid, because my parents make around 275,000 and I'm on financial aid. Or maybe some of these people have large assets but small incomes
2. I only got financial aid at 2 schools; Harvard and Yale. Other schools (Swarthmore, Smith, Amherst etc) gave me nothing. We're paying around $15,000. The one factor was a sibling in graduate school. Other colleges said they won't consider siblings in graduate school (I don't know why, since they're contributing MORE than if she were an undergraduate), and these 2 schools did.
|By Intheory (Intheory) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit|
very interesting...considering Amherst has a good fin aid reputation and still gave you nothing...
The reason i feel alittle safer is because even though Smith does take need into account, after admitted, it guarentees to meet demonstrated need...and with an older sibling in college and a (relatively) low income, my parents are confident that we can justify appropriate need
|By Stacy (Stacy) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:46 pm: Edit|
I am a Zollman/STRIDE student and had very similar stats to yours.
Smith will never admit it, but one of the reasons they give out these scholarships is to attract people who would ordinarily go to more selective schools. So most Zollmans are students to whom Smith would give only minimal need-based aid, and need the Zollman "boost" to send them to Smith. Also, fill in the "what other schools are you applying to" question carefully. In my experience, Smith tends to give these awards to students who are applying to Ivies or the equivalent. Not to say you should do a Harvard application just to get a Zollman, but...
|By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 06:03 pm: Edit|
My d. is a Zollman. And also qualified for LOTS of need-based aid, or she wouldn't be attending.
I found out later from someone in the admissions office that they indeed thought my d. was going to Harvard, even though she didn't even apply! (so I'm not sure they read the answers to the question very carefully.) But Stacey is correct - and I'm sure Smith would be happy to admit it. (just as H. has been known to up "need-based" offers to keep a candidate away from Y.) The local adrep thought (correctly) that they were competing with Williams for my d., and Williams did put on the full-court press, but after her visit to Smith, it really wasn't even close (and I'm a Williams alum and would have chosen as she did, except for a lack of an X chromosome.)
I think S.'s financial policies are terrific -- in the first place, they are much more honest than so-called "need-blind" schools; secondly, they have a 30-year record of seeking out an economically diverse class (of liberal arts colleges or prestigious universities, the MOST diverse in the northeast, as measured by Pell Grant recipients), so they target aid to those who otherwise would be really hurting (and it makes Smith a much more interesting place); they have the highest percentage of students receiving needbased aid of any LAC or prestigious u. in the northeast (69%; most of the others don't come close.) But that does, without question, make them less flexible than other schools (since so much of the financial aid budget is already committed elsewhere.)
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit|
To the OP, while I don't like to do "stats" evaluations on the forums, I say you look like a very strong candidate for Smith! And no, you do NOT need to retake those SAT scores. They are good for Smith. Do not fret on your tests, you're fine in that area.
I never heard what you did about Smith not being good with aid at all. In fact, my daughter got some need based aid from them (more than at some other selective schools), plus the Stride Scholar thing which is merit based. Overall, it was quite decent and attractive. I had not heard that they might do something like that to snag a student who might consider an even more selective college, but maybe it is true. I know that they made SMITH very attractive to my daughter on many fronts. She considered it to the very end, though has chosen to attend Brown. If you love Smith, go for it. You have a strong chance as I see it. If you qualify for need based aid, I feel you will get some that is reasonable and possibly more than another school on your list. I say all that from experience.
By the way, congrats on your exellent set of accomplishments.
|By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 12:29 pm: Edit|
College Confidential has an article about early admissions by Sally Rubenstone, Senior College Counselor and Admission Counselor at Smith College. She has also authored some books on admissions. If you are interested in Smith, I am willing to bet her books might reveal some insight into the admissions process at Smith.
|By August (August) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 09:42 pm: Edit|
I just wanted to add that the fact that you have shown interest in and excelled in science will probably be a big plus for you. Smith works hard to attract students who are into science.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 03:07 pm: Edit|
Just a note: Sally was *extremely* helpful to us during D's process leading to Smith but she is no longer employed there. She is, in fact, one of the three principals of CC.
I agree with August about science. They seem to be really throwing a lot of resources--buildings, labs, faculty--towards sciences and engineering.
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