3 years ago
Admissions Advice

(Junior )Experiences with getting scholarships and what should I do with getting extracurriculars?

I am a junior in high school and a IB student. I have taken several IB and honors classes and I definitely feel happy with where my grades are currently at I have above a 3.9 unweighted and above a 4.0 weighted. I have to work on my extracurriculars though. I currently am in student council (2nd year now), I was a elementary school volunteer (2 months - 36 hours) and I was a library volunteer for 6 months (100+ hours) unfortunately through that was cut short because of the library being shutdown due to covid and volunteers not being allowed now because of covid. My original plan was to volunteer at a hospital because I'm really passionate about doing so and I was waiting for my age to reach the requirement but volunteering at hospitals is not currently possible. I signed up to be a mentor for a underclassmen at my school and I'm currently doing that but I think I need to do more. Are their good volunteering or internships opportunities that anyone could recommend? Are internships or volunteer programs better for application strengtheners (which one)?

I plan to go out of state for college which is expensive so I plan to apply for financial aid, scholarships and grants basically anything possible to bring the cost down. My main question about this is full ride scholarships including tuition and room/board. I have searched up outside full ride scholarships but do college themselves offer full ride scholarships?

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Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

So to address full ride those are beyond rare and nonexistent for selective schools. Some of the state schools may have a merit and or need based no tuition scholarship but more common is paying 100%-150% of the instate rate due to a merit award. Some fairly selective schools have income based awards. Rice for example has a system where based on income you can get a full ride but it is the only one like it to my knowledge. But by far the most frequent "full ride" like system is full need met. Essentially you/r family can pay 10k/year for college and if a school costs 60k to attend the school would give you a financial aid package worth 50k. There may be a loan included in that but it isn't a significant amount as its about 5k but even then its not close to universal.


As for extracurriculars do you know what you want to major in or at least what area you are interested? Becuase from there I can suggest some also can you give an estimate about the population of your metro area?

Please comment that so I get notified :-)

Hope this helps and ask if you'd like clarification and have an awesome day.

Edit for spelling on 12/28

3 years ago

There are many top schools that offer financial aid but there is no such thing for the most part as a full ride. That's a wives tale. The best you are going to get is about 90% of your costs covered so if you get accepted to one of the Ivy's and your family is low income, the portion you will pay is say $5500-$8500 of a $82-84,000 bill. And perhaps 1/2 of it can be worked off with a work study job or a summer job.

Low income in 2020-2021 is family income under $60-$65,000. Some schools have cutoffs of $75 to $80K for Tuition, room and Board packages and up to $125K for just Tuition grants. But first you have to get admitted and this year and the next, the competition is fierce.

Unfortunately, the best financial aid is from the best schools, say the Top 20, then it gets progressively less as you move down in rankings, by the time you get to say Top50 to Top75 schools, aid is often Need Aware or Need Sensitive and these schools meet say 90% of financial need so you still might have to take out a loan. If you are flexible about location and are okay with applying to liberal arts colleges, some of them have just as generous financial aid as the Ivy League. But you have to be okay with being out of state in a rural area.

It's best to do as much research up front as possible before applying to schools. You can use the NPC calcs. on Big Future (collegeboard) to get an idea of what certain schools will cost. Depending on your family situation, sometimes State schools cost more than highly selective universities.

In my case, I neither planned nor applied to any state schools.

With your GPA, you should be able to apply almost anywhere so look into schools for the fun of it. Cost shouldn't be a limiting factor when there are so many great options with excellent financial aid and no loans. (For instance Colgate U. is an excellent school and has a no loans program if your family income is $125K or less, I don't a lot of people realize that there are many many great schools better than most state colleges that are workable.).

Good luck.

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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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