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Where can I get a good amount of scholarship money with a 29 ACT?

2

Replies to: Where can I get a good amount of scholarship money with a 29 ACT?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013
    Quote:
    I feel like I would like to go to a school where I would be challenged a little more.



    Don't assume that you won't be challenged at a school where your stats are in the upper 25%. At large schools, the upper 25% are usually concentrated in about 8-12 majors (various engineering, various business, math, physics, bio, chem, The Classics, and so forth). So, your classmates will be like you and the courses will be challenging.

    Both of my kids were well into the top 25% of their undergrad. They both had nearly free rides. Were they challenged? You bet they were. One was a Mathematics major who was accepted into an elite PhD program. The other was a Chemical Engineering major who is going to med school this fall.

    Many people don't realize that on large campuses, the top 25% is a large number of students and they're not equally spread out amongst the 100+ majors on a campus. No. They're largely concentrated within a small number of majors.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    There is always that club mentality of not wanting to join those clubs that want you . People tend to want the more selective venues. But your stats are not the sort that those who are so selective want around them either, you know. And a school certainly is not going to pay for them. Be realistic about this.
  • BobWallaceBobWallace Posts: 66
    edited May 2013
    The reason schools give merit based aid is to draw students who have high statistics compared to the rest of their students. So to some extent you are going to have to accept that you can't go to a school that is very challenging for you AND get a tuition break

    I don't agree with this at all. Honors colleges at large universities can provide a challenging, engaging environment for top students. So can small LACs, even if not every student is HYP material.

    Schools provide merit aid to attract good students, and they like the boost it gives to their average test scores and so on. BUT, another big reason they provide this aid is because the professors want better than average students to mentor and interact with. If you look at students who take big merit aid to go to Arizona State's Honors College or to Rhodes College, you will find students who are interacting with their professors and peers and have a rewarding, challenging undergrad experience.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    The reality, however, is in order to have the best chances of getting large merit money, one should have stats in the upper echelons at a college that has big merit money to give out.

    Someone with a 29 ACT is not likely to get substantial merit money from a school where those getting any merit money are at and ACT 30 and up That you want to run with this crowd is not going to bear any weight in terms of getting the money to do so.
  • GolfFatherGolfFather Posts: 28
    edited May 2013
    I like looking at the USNews and World Report Big Book, that has pages of schools in order of how much merit money and financial aid they give.

    cpt, this has been mentioned in other threads too.

    I have the USN&WR "big book" (the Ultimate Guide) and I don't see that anywhere.

    The sections in the beginning of the book are:

    18 Tips and Tricks
    Five Steps to Financial Aid
    Colleges with Popular Programs
    Top 100 Best Values
    Private Colleges by Price

    Where is the list of how much merit money and financial aid?
    Thanks!
  • arabrabarabrab Posts: 9
    edited May 2013
    Pushing your score to a 31 -- or at least a 30 -- will open up some more options for you, but not likely the ones you mentioned.

    The good news is that with a $30K budget, there will be a lot of options.

    Your state is part of the Midwest Higher Education Compact, MHEC, which gives you potential tuition discounts at a number of public institutions. For example, tuition at U. of Wisconsin, Green Bay is under $10K, and even with room & board & other expenses would be within your $30K budget -- and it is an excellent school.

    But I get the idea that you'd like to go someplace warmer, since you listed California and Florida. California is a very challenging for out-of-state students financially (and even for in-state students) and your ACT score isn't likely to dramatically change that at institutions you've identified.

    University of South Carolina has an outstanding undergraduate business program, and you might be eligible for one of their merit scholarships -- while the scholarships aren't very large, they're accompanied by some significant reductions in out-of-state tuition which would bring this into range for you very reasonably.

    There are lots of southern and lower midwestern universities that would be financially feasible for you, and some western-states schools as well.

    You've got some good time early this summer to research possible schools and screen them for financial viability, as well as studying to improve your ACT score this fall. But don't forget -- many public universities have earlier deadlines than you might be expecting, especially for scholarship consideration for out-of-state students.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    Golffather, I have an older edition of the Ultimate Guide and have not updated it as I don't have a kid going through the college app scene right now. There is a section that is titled: Where the money is: Schools that award the most need based aid. The schools are listed in sections of national unis, LACs, masters, Bachelors, and the first columsn are regarding need based aid and the last two columns are average merit award and % students receiving merit awards. I'll have to check out the newest edition which I have not, as the Borders nearest to me where I always hung out closed shop, as did my nearest B&N. I am really sorry if that was deleted, and I wonder if it was. I don't know if their online paid subscription would give this info in this format.

    Thanks for letting me know, as I was sending people to this resource. I've used this for years. Things do change.
  • scmom12scmom12 Posts: 12
    edited May 2013
    University of South Carolina...current stats put you potentially at scholarship for half OOS reduction plus $500 year. At ACT of 30, might qualify for next scholarship which is full waiver of OOS tuition plus money. Note that at USC these are not automatic (get $$ for certain stats) and cut-offs change with quality of applying class.
  • NikkkkkiNikkkkki Posts: 19 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Ok thank you guys a ton! I'm still waiting on my sat scores so hopefully that would improve. How much more would my chances for scholarships go up if I had a thirty!?
  • GolfFatherGolfFather Posts: 28
    edited May 2013
    Golffather, I have an older edition of the Ultimate Guide

    Thanks cpt.

    Yes, I think they probably changed things around as I don't see that section now in the 2013 edition.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    I have the 2011 edition. What a shame. Is there any list of colleges out there with % and avg amounts of merit aid? This has been a great go to list for me.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 125
    edited May 2013
    NIkkk....you asked for suggestions for an ACT score of 29. You were given a couple of good suggestions, but then came back with you want to go to a more academically challenging college.

    In order to get the kind of aid you are talking about, you need to be at the TIPPY TOP of the academic pool of admitted students. If you are at the bottom or middle, you will not get the amount you say you need. Schools like University of Tampa just MIGHT offer you sufficient merit aid. There are plenty of VERY smart students attending that school. In fact, I will say...there are very smart students at virtually ALL colleges.

    Re: a 30 vs a 29...from what I've seen, an ACT above 32 would gain you more than a 30.
  • NikkkkkiNikkkkki Posts: 19 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Yes I visited university of tampa, but it didn't have the right feel. The students didnt seem interested in learning and from what I have heard the really best thing about that school is the internships available that they facilitate. I know a 29 isn't a great score, but aren't there any options of schools that focus more on high school gpa or extra curricular, or that care less about the act score. I feel like that stupid score determines my life!
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013
    Schools usually care the most about test scores because they report those and it helps the school's rankings. The fact that you did ECs in high school doesn't do anything for the school. Too many kids have high GPAs, because of grade inflation. Test scores are often more accurate as to how strong a student really is.

    An ACT 29 isn't a "stupid score". It's a good score. With some practice, you probably could bump it up a big. And bump up a SAT score.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 125
    edited May 2013
    NIkkk...have you looked at Fairtest to find the colleges that are SAT/ACT optional? These schools do not require the SAT or ACT. Some have other requirements (a senior paper, or additional essay) but others simply do not use or require the SAT or ACT when applying.
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