Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

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moneym
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Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by moneym »

I have a unique problem helping my very bright daughter choose a college. She wants to be an English major. We live in Florida and she doesn't want to go to any state schools. She's very bright, 4.0 student, AP classes, top 1% on her PSATs. She'll be a junior and take the SATs next year.

Right now she is just looking at top tier colleges. I think she could get into a top tier college, but I can't really afford to pay $80,000 a year for an Ivy or public Ivy and don't really want to pay that for an English degree anyway. Since state schools aren't an option, what are some second tier schools that might offer merit scholarships?

She's looking for a good English program, in a liberal area of the country. I think her primary interests are just having a fun college experience, on a great campus with a bunch of like minded students.
tenkuky
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by tenkuky »

Many of the liberal arts colleges will offer good merit aid for a high performing student.
Look at Oberlin, Grinell, Davidson, Kenyon, Miami of Ohio.
There is the triumvirate of PA: Haverford, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, not sure how much merit they offer though.
Normchad
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Normchad »

To get good merit aid, you have to stand out. You have to be better than the other people applying. So it’s extremely hard to get generous merit aid to elite level universities. (Because the other applicants also have 4.0 and perfect test scores)

College is expensive. Very expensive. If you want to go cheaply, you gotta go someplace far less prestigious…..

Or be truly exceptional. But top 1% is not that. Like win national level English competitions.
delamer
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by delamer »

It’s been a long time since I was active there, but the College Confidential forums had a lot of good information.

She should be thinking about whether she wants to be in or near a big city.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by sailaway »

She might be a good fit for a smaller liberal arts college and many of these offer excellent scholarships. Agnes Scott, Wake Forest, etc.

Take some time to figure out how they picture the college experience and look for a good fit for that.

While I am generally all about reminding students they can always transfer, it is much harder for transfer students to get merit scholarships.
tenkuky
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by tenkuky »

delamer wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:06 pm It’s been a long time since I was active there, but the College Confidential forums had a lot of good information.

She should be thinking about whether she wants to be in or near a big city.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Soupboy »

moneym wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:53 pm I have a unique problem helping my very bright daughter choose a college. She wants to be an English major. We live in Florida and she doesn't want to go to any state schools. She's very bright, 4.0 student, AP classes, top 1% on her PSATs. She'll be a junior and take the SATs next year.
I know it's a state school, but has she considered New College of Florida in Sarasota? It's a quirky, honors, liberal arts college (by far the smallest public university in Florida) that would almost certainly provide merit-based scholarships. According to their website, New College of Florida is the #1 producer of students who go on to earn doctoral degrees.
Pdxnative
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Pdxnative »

Many of the top-tier liberal arts schools emphasize need-based aid over merit aid. Might you be eligible for some need-based aid? I’d run the net price calculator at Princeton or MIT, which are among the 5-10 most generous with FA, and then a school like Duke or Brown which aren’t quite as generous. That will give you a general idea of whether it’s worth drilling down on the need-based aid terrain. There are dozens of schools that give pretty good aid—Carleton, Pomona, Ivies, etc. Obviously if you have any particular school in mind, run the NPC there.

I think the reason to do this is that there’s a whole swath of colleges that won’t work for you if you’d need aid and won’t qualify for any need-based aid.

Then I’d look at public university honors colleges. These try to recreate a liberal arts type feel on a larger campus. Often they give merit money to attract good students, even from out of state.

There are state schools with automatic merit. Check out Utah state for an example. Usually you’ll find this at the less popular campuses. But a lot of state schools will give merit. You mention more liberal area of country— I think you’re more likely to find deals in more liberal cities and college towns that aren’t necessarily in liberal areas of the country if that makes sense. You can find pretty blue college towns in red states. So I wouldn’t limit too much to northeast and west coast. I’ve even talked to fairly progressive kids who took advantage of the Alabama merit/honors deal and felt comfortable there. That was several years ago though.

Some private schools still use competitive merit money to attract students. Many more, usually a tier down, use discounting and call it merit. But high stats students will have good options.

There are a ton of schools out there and a good student will be able to find something that fits. It might cost more than your state schools though (and then again it might not).

You might grab the recent Ron Lieber book for a general overview as you’re getting into this.

I agree college confidential can be a good resource. There are some really over the top and annoying, Ivy-obsessed posters there. But there are also a lot of middle-class parents with bright students who have gone through the search for merit money and good college fit/value.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by friar1610 »

I would get ahold of the US News College Rankings and look at the National Liberal Arts Colleges listing. I don’t know far down the list you’d have to go to get to what would be considered “second tier” but I would guess maybe to 30 or 40. Look at those schools and below. Those are the good quality, generally small, schools that are more apt to give money to excellent students who might academically qualify for schools further up the list but who might not get merit money at those top tier schools.

Someone in my family just completed her freshman year at one such school. Her parents finances are such that she didn’t qualify for any need-based aid. But, because she was the type of excellent student they want more of, she was offered and accepted a very generous merit scholarship. She loves the school and has a great freshman year.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by texasdiver »

First of all, purge the notion from your mind that merit aid has anything to do with "merit". It does not.

Merit aid is nothing more than a pricing tool that colleges use to attract students that would not otherwise attend there at full price because they would have better options.

None of the top schools offer any merit aid. NONE OF THEM. Because they don't have to. Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, etc. They all charge full price for students who don't quality for need-based aid because they can attract whatever students they want at full price. And frankly, all their students tend to be top students. They will make a big deal about meeting FINANCIAL NEED for underprivileged students. But at most of those schools, those with financial need are only a fraction of their students. For those with means, the sticker price is the price.

If you want significant "merit aid" offers then seek schools in the next tier down that need to offer your daughter a price discount in order to attract her because she will otherwise have better offers. That is where you will find merit aid. Because it is nothing more than a pricing tool that schools use to make themselves more competitive.
Last edited by texasdiver on Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Watty »

moneym wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:53 pm She's looking for a good English program, in a liberal area of the country. I think her primary interests are just having a fun college experience, on a great campus with a bunch of like minded students.
I am sure that it is not news to you but a BA in English can be problematic when it comes to her post college career. I'm sure that lots of people with English degrees do well but a lot don't.

She might be able to find a web site where she can connect with English majors who are job hunting now or have recently graduated to see what they think about getting her being an English major.

Starting off as an English major may also result in her changing majors as she learns more about it so it would be good for her to find a college which has a lot of other good programs too.

Something you might want mention to her to consider as an option would be to start in college working on a double major.

If she graduates with a double major in English and another more marketable degree then she could be a very strong job candidate with good communication skills that could quickly lead to a management position.

Partway through college she could drop one if that made sense once she knows more about the degrees and what she is good at. One advantage of this is that some majors are much easier to get admitted to as an incoming freshman than to transfer into especially if she does not have a high GPA.

It would be good to have the other major that are significantly different.

Years ago when I was in college I was working on a degree in Geology and a very strong minor in Computer Science. It turned out that I wasn't very good in Geology and pretty good with computers and a periodic oil bust hit which pretty much killed the job market for Geology majors. I was easily able to switch majors to Computer Science and that worked out well for me.
Pdxnative
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Pdxnative »

texasdiver wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:34 pm First of all, purge the notion from your mind that merit aid has anything to do with "merit". It does not.

Merit aid is nothing more than a pricing tool that colleges use to attract students that would not otherwise attend there at full price because they would have better options.

None of the top schools offer any merit aid. NONE OF THEM. Because they don't have to. Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, etc. They all charge full price for students who don't quality for need-based aid because they can attract whatever students they want at full price. And frankly, all their students tend to be top students. They will make a big deal about meeting FINANCIAL NEED for underprivileged students. But at most of those schools, those with financial need are only a fraction of their students. For those with means, the sticker price is the price.

If you want significant "merit aid" offers then seek schools in the next tier down that need to offer your daughter a price discount in order to attract her because she will otherwise have better offers. That is where you will find merit aid. Because it is nothing more than a pricing tool that schools use to make themselves more competitive.
I agree with your general point. I’d just add for the OP’s benefit that more than half of the students at schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT receive need-based aid. So yes, it’s a fraction but a large one. And that aid stretches to include middle income families as well. I think these days 125k or so annual income is the point at which a student *starts* paying tuition, with that aid phasing down as income reaches 200k+ (assuming only one in school). So it’s worth checking. And worth avoiding those schools if it won’t work financially.

But these schools are long shots for everyone so the strategy of looking at that merit aid tier, as suggested, is a good one, and where most students are going to find higher-probability admission and good value after merit.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by windaar »

moneym wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:53 pmRight now she is just looking at top tier colleges [....]I think her primary interests are just having a fun college experience.
This sounds like someone who hasn't really thought seriously about how to pick a college. Ditch the "Top Tier" thrall and the "fun" criteria. She needs to make these decisions: Research University or College? Urban, Suburban, or Rural? Small, Medium, or Large student body? Region of country? Close to home or not? Campus culture? Conservative or Liberal? Dominant Greek system or no Greek System? School that has a good English program? School that has specific faculty you want to study under? That's how you pick a school. Hope it works out!
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Vulcan »

moneym wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:53 pm I have a unique problem helping my very bright daughter choose a college. She wants to be an English major. We live in Florida and she doesn't want to go to any state schools. She's very bright, 4.0 student, AP classes, top 1% on her PSATs. She'll be a junior and take the SATs next year.

Right now she is just looking at top tier colleges. I think she could get into a top tier college, but I can't really afford to pay $80,000 a year for an Ivy or public Ivy and don't really want to pay that for an English degree anyway. Since state schools aren't an option, what are some second tier schools that might offer merit scholarships?

She's looking for a good English program, in a liberal area of the country. I think her primary interests are just having a fun college experience, on a great campus with a bunch of like minded students.
Not in a liberal area of the country, but Vanderbilt is the highest-ranked university offering a significant number (~250) of full-tuition merit scholarships to its top applicants.

https://www.vanderbilt.edu/scholarships/

Another one is USC.

https://admission.usc.edu/apply/scholarships/

Those scholarships are very competitive. Something beyond perfect scores and GPA would be necessary.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by psteinx »

texasdiver wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:34 pmNone of the top schools offer any merit aid. NONE OF THEM. Because they don't have to. Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, etc.
While the program is kinda small, Duke does offer merit. Years ago, I think there were ~25 of these, and they were either full tuition or full ride.

As Vulcan mentions, Vanderbilt also offers merit. There are others, as you work your way down the USNWR list.

That said, yeah, she'll probably need to get noticeably into the "second tier" to have a high chance at a major discount/merit scholarship. But you can still get a good education at such universities.

I'm surprised your D has ruled out instate public (and that you've gone along with that). I think Florida has some strong options, albeit they're probably on the large side, and maybe she wants a change of scenery.

I'd also discuss seriously with her her career plans, if she ends up as an English major. Some English majors go to grad school (maybe law school or whatever), some end up with a relevant job with just an undergrad degree, but that said, there are a lot of easier (IMO) pathways to a well-paying career, and a 17 year old may not fully appreciate the value of a major with stronger career prospects.

That said, if she really DOES want private, high-end, for an English major, at less than full price, then, as other posters have suggested, maybe she should be looking more at the SLAC (small liberal arts college) side of the ledger, vs. the bigger, more well-known unis (the Ivies and whatnot).
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by anonenigma »

Pdxnative wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:37 pm
You might grab the recent Ron Lieber book for a general overview as you’re getting into this.
+1 on the Ron Lieber book, which addresses your specific question.
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moneym
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by moneym »

Normchad wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:04 pm To get good merit aid, you have to stand out. You have to be better than the other people applying. So it’s extremely hard to get generous merit aid to elite level universities. (Because the other applicants also have 4.0 and perfect test scores)
I agree, which is why I'm looking for good second tier options that she can receive merit aid. I think she could get into a top tier school, but I'm not going to spend $80k a year at an Ivy for an English major.
Pdxnative wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:37 pm Might you be eligible for some need-based aid?
No, I ran all the NPC and she won't quality for any need based assistance.
Pdxnative wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:37 pm There are state schools with automatic merit.
I read about this somewhere and this is what actually got me started on this thought process. We just need to find a college that offers merit aid and is a college she can fall in love with.
Watty wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:35 pm I am sure that it is not news to you but a BA in English can be problematic when it comes to her post college career. I'm sure that lots of people with English degrees do well but a lot don't.

Something you might want mention to her to consider as an option would be to start in college working on a double major.
Yes, I'm fully aware about the career limitations of English majors and my daughter is too. A double major might be an option if I can talk her into it. The thing about my daughter is she could excel at any subject, she's aced everything from AP calc to chem and anything in between. She could excel in a STEM degree and knows that the job opportunities would be much better, but doesn't want that for a career.
windaar wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:16 pm This sounds like someone who hasn't really thought seriously about how to pick a college. Ditch the "Top Tier" thrall and the "fun" criteria. She needs to make these decisions: Research University or College? Urban, Suburban, or Rural? Small, Medium, or Large student body? Region of country? Close to home or not? Campus culture? Conservative or Liberal? Dominant Greek system or no Greek System? School that has a good English program? School that has specific faculty you want to study under? That's how you pick a school. Hope it works out!
She's thought about all that, I just didn't elaborate. To answer your questions -
Urban, Suburban, or Rural? - Suburban
Small, Medium, or Large student body? - Medium or Large
Region of country? - Either out West or North East. Not the south.
Close to home or not? Not. We live in Florida
Campus culture? She wants traditional old school college experience. Pretty old buildings. Studying on the lawn. Nice old dorms.
Conservative or Liberal? Liberal
Dominant Greek system or no Greek System? . No Greek
School that has a good English program? Yes. Of course.

So any ideas for a 2nd tier school that meets those criteria that I could get my daughter excited about and could have a chance at merit aid.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by celia »

Have her study for the PSAT or take some practice SAT tests before the PSAT. (Yes, I know this sounds backwards, but only the PSAT in the fall of your junior year counts towards the National Merit program.) Many of the Finalists get a full ride to a few select colleges, Grinnell being one. One of my kids was a finalist and received full rides from colleges we never applied to (or ever heard of).

https://www.collegexpress.com/scholarsh ... p/5000973/
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moneym
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by moneym »

celia wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:35 am Have her study for the PSAT or take some practice SAT tests before the PSAT. (Yes, I know this sounds backwards, but only the PSAT in the fall of your junior year counts towards the National Merit program.) Many of the Finalists get a full ride to a few select colleges, Grinnell being one. One of my kids was a finalist and received full rides from colleges we never applied to (or ever heard of).

https://www.collegexpress.com/scholarsh ... p/5000973/
That is the plan. She took the PSAT in 8th grade and got top 1%, so I think she has a chance at being a National Merit finalist.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by smectym »

texasdiver wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:34 pm First of all, purge the notion from your mind that merit aid has anything to do with "merit". It does not.

Merit aid is nothing more than a pricing tool that colleges use to attract students that would not otherwise attend there at full price because they would have better options.

None of the top schools offer any merit aid. NONE OF THEM. Because they don't have to. Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, etc. They all charge full price for students who don't quality for need-based aid because they can attract whatever students they want at full price. And frankly, all their students tend to be top students. They will make a big deal about meeting FINANCIAL NEED for underprivileged students. But at most of those schools, those with financial need are only a fraction of their students. For those with means, the sticker price is the price.

If you want significant "merit aid" offers then seek schools in the next tier down that need to offer your daughter a price discount in order to attract her because she will otherwise have better offers. That is where you will find merit aid. Because it is nothing more than a pricing tool that schools use to make themselves more competitive.
Texas, while you urge OP to “purge his mind,” I’m not sure what your point is. Yes, merit aid is a tool to attract better students, defined, perhaps more controversially these days, as students with higher test scores and GPA. This tool is used by second and third tier colleges to make sure they attract their share of more talented students. This, they argue, benefits both the attracted student, and the broader student body, by adding to intellectual diversity.

The top schools do not offer merit aid for a couple of unsurprising reasons: first, unlike the lower-ranked schools, they don’t need to; second, for reasons of ideology, which have taken a more prominent place in college admissions protocols in the last decade.

So what? There are plenty of excellent schools which don’t happen to be in the top 20 or whatever, that will pay generously to attract high achieving students. The high achieving kstudents would do well to consider such opportunities, because it can make a huge difference in total undergrad expenditure.

A comment to OP: your kid should consider the type of curriculum an English major would entail at schools she is considering. The variation has never been greater, and ideology has obtruded in a way it typically did less, in decades past. University of Dallas, which has an aggressive merit aid program, has a strong traditional English curriculum (that is, I, who attended NYU as an English major in the 1980’s, can broadly recognize the course offerings). Other curricula may be more, er, avant-garde. Depends on what the student is looking for.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Valuethinker »

tenkuky wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:59 pm Many of the liberal arts colleges will offer good merit aid for a high performing student.
Look at Oberlin, Grinell, Davidson, Kenyon, Miami of Ohio.
There is the triumvirate of PA: Haverford, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, not sure how much merit they offer though.
I would add the Claremont group of schools in Los Angeles area. I had a friend who taught there, and he was a brilliant teacher & scholar. Also I taught one or more individuals who had attended - all very good.

Pomona is the most highly endowed 4 year college in America, I believe (Kravis of the Private Equity firm KKR attended, I believe?).
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by galawdawg »

moneym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:23 am
Watty wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:35 pm I am sure that it is not news to you but a BA in English can be problematic when it comes to her post college career. I'm sure that lots of people with English degrees do well but a lot don't.
Yes, I'm fully aware about the career limitations of English majors and my daughter is too. A double major might be an option if I can talk her into it. The thing about my daughter is she could excel at any subject, she's aced everything from AP calc to chem and anything in between. She could excel in a STEM degree and knows that the job opportunities would be much better, but doesn't want that for a career.
What does your daughter intend to do, career-wise, with her English major?
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Valuethinker »

moneym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:23 am
Normchad wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:04 pm To get good merit aid, you have to stand out. You have to be better than the other people applying. So it’s extremely hard to get generous merit aid to elite level universities. (Because the other applicants also have 4.0 and perfect test scores)
I agree, which is why I'm looking for good second tier options that she can receive merit aid. I think she could get into a top tier school, but I'm not going to spend $80k a year at an Ivy for an English major.
Pdxnative wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:37 pm Might you be eligible for some need-based aid?
No, I ran all the NPC and she won't quality for any need based assistance.
Pdxnative wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:37 pm There are state schools with automatic merit.
I read about this somewhere and this is what actually got me started on this thought process. We just need to find a college that offers merit aid and is a college she can fall in love with.
Watty wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:35 pm I am sure that it is not news to you but a BA in English can be problematic when it comes to her post college career. I'm sure that lots of people with English degrees do well but a lot don't.

Something you might want mention to her to consider as an option would be to start in college working on a double major.
Yes, I'm fully aware about the career limitations of English majors and my daughter is too. A double major might be an option if I can talk her into it. The thing about my daughter is she could excel at any subject, she's aced everything from AP calc to chem and anything in between. She could excel in a STEM degree and knows that the job opportunities would be much better, but doesn't want that for a career.
windaar wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:16 pm This sounds like someone who hasn't really thought seriously about how to pick a college. Ditch the "Top Tier" thrall and the "fun" criteria. She needs to make these decisions: Research University or College? Urban, Suburban, or Rural? Small, Medium, or Large student body? Region of country? Close to home or not? Campus culture? Conservative or Liberal? Dominant Greek system or no Greek System? School that has a good English program? School that has specific faculty you want to study under? That's how you pick a school. Hope it works out!
She's thought about all that, I just didn't elaborate. To answer your questions -
Urban, Suburban, or Rural? - Suburban
Small, Medium, or Large student body? - Medium or Large
Region of country? - Either out West or North East. Not the south.
Close to home or not? Not. We live in Florida
Campus culture? She wants traditional old school college experience. Pretty old buildings. Studying on the lawn. Nice old dorms.
Conservative or Liberal? Liberal
Dominant Greek system or no Greek System? . No Greek
School that has a good English program? Yes. Of course.

So any ideas for a 2nd tier school that meets those criteria that I could get my daughter excited about and could have a chance at merit aid.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
The Claremont schools in LA seem the "obvious" omission.

They have a lot of money (Pomona in particular) and they have traditional campuses etc. I have not been to them, but I would characterise them as suburban & definitely liberal. They are however, small.

I don't know what the situation is with womens-only colleges like Smith, Wellesley etc? They have an esprit de corps in their graduates which is very appealing.

If you track the discussions about Middlebury College here then there's stuff about the social capital that grads of these top colleges accumulate. The entree into interviews for jobs at McKinsey, Goldman Sachs etc. Lauren Rivera's "Recruiting Elites" is also worth a read.

One should understand that the PhD market for arts graduates is now disastrous. There's an ethical question whether many grad programmes should just shut down, because students are spending 5-7 years of their lives preparing for a life of teaching & research that just doesn't exist any more. At best, the precariat- 9 month adjunct teaching contracts, having to feed and house yourself the other 3 months, move across the country when your contract is not renewed. At best.

Terminal masters programmes might lead to jobs in (high school) teaching etc. Also there are journalism courses (but, again, that's a declining field - there are many times more jobs on the PR side).

So an English degree is not likely to make her career. Law school is no longer an easy out - because there are too many law graduates.

She would be wise to avoid a large student loan debt load.

I am reminded the woman who wrote the undergrad thesis on sub prime CDOs, which was referenced in The Big Short and used in Congressional Hearings, was originally a music major (at Harvard). She took an economics course, found herself interested in the subject, and shifted direction.

A good 4 year liberal arts college should be able to accommodate that kind of flexibility. Taking an economics course. Or an introduction to computer programming.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Chardo »

What exactly is it about the English major that is so appealing to her?
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto »

My ex-wife made a good amount of money as a technical writer with an English degree. She has a natural ability to talk to engineers and write for non-engineers.

I’d suggest a double major with the other major being something STEMish.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Cigarman
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Cigarman »

Faber College almost meets all her criteria (almost) :D !

Sorry, couldn’t resist.
KlangFool
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

My EE college mates became lawyer and technical journalist. So, what does English major provide in terms of career opportunities that an engineering major is excluded? As far as I can tell, the answer is nothing.

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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by edmundspenser »

Both my children were English majors. They were both also national merit finalists. A small number of colleges give "free rides' to finalists. My children took this option--son went to state school; daughter went to Alabama. Both had lots of opportunities via Honors Colleges and--for Alabama--the Fellows Program. The only private college that gave "free rides" to finalists was U of Tulsa--and that may no longer be the case. Grinnell and similar give a few thousand to finalists--but not much more than that.

Tulane gives/gave $25000 to students with high test scores and some--usually science people--can get a Dean's scholarship, which covers tuition.

For a lot of merit aid--beyond 15000, say--you are going to have to go down a notch. Nothing wrong with that--schools pay a lot of attention to students they've invested a lot in. Opportunities and internships abound for the select few.

Neither of my children was super-ambitious for money/prestige. My son now teaches in a French immersion school; my daughter is an artist. The money I saved from their college choices went into nice houses for the two of them.
MathWizard
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by MathWizard »

She is very bright , what is her plan to pay for college besides you paying for it?

I know that sounds tough, but she is deciding the major, and thumbs her nose at public schools.

I was a national Merit finalist . My family could not pay anything ,it was all on me.

I wanted to go to MIT,but could not afford it, so I went to a state University. I picked a major that I expected would pay well, and which offered the best opportunity for a full tuition scholarship, which I was offered .

One of my sons had a 94th percentile on the PSAT,the other was a national Merit finalist. Both went to in-state schools,in majors expected to pay well. Engineering and MIS (management information systems)
Their degrees cost about $80K each, including tuition fees books and living expenses.
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Watty
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Watty »

Somethings that might not have been mentioned.

Few scholarships will cover the cost of room and board and that can be very high in some areas. You will also have lots of travel expenses and flying at times like Christmas break will be expensive.

When looking at colleges also dig into the statistics since at some colleges the graduation rate may not be as high as expected. For example I just Googled "Grinnell graduation rate" in the first result it said the four year graduation rate is only 84% and the six year graduation rate is 87%. This varies a lot and nobody plans on being in the group that does not graduate in four years.

Even if she gets a scholarship it will not last more than four years. Pay a lot of attention to the percentage of students that take more than four years to graduate since she will likely need to pay full price after four years.

Dig look at the statistics about what percent of students keep a scholarship for the full four years. She may be a top student in high school but all of her classmates were too so there is a 50% chance that she will be in the bottom half of her class in college. If she needs to keep a 3.0 GPA to keep the scholarship that may be harder than it sounds. She may be tempted to take less challenging classes to keep her GPA up.

Another thing to add to the checklist is to see how your healthcare will work when she is out of state. There might not be any in-network healthcare providers where she goes to college.

Don't underestimate the how much it will cost to if she joins a sorority. The "list price" that you might see is just the beginning. Discuss with her if this will even be an option for her.
moneym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:23 am Campus culture? She wants traditional old school college experience. Pretty old buildings. Studying on the lawn. Nice old dorms.
Many colleges are short of dorm space so that upper-class students are pretty much forced to live off campus. My son went to a state university so it was a bit different but after his freshman year he had to move out to an apartment which was not the same and added complexity with the leasing and selection of roommates. Some of the apartments were far enough from campus that he needed a car. I wish he could have stayed in a dorm longer but that was not possible.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

Watty wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 8:08 am Somethings that might not have been mentioned.

Few scholarships will cover the cost of room and board and that can be very high in some areas. You will also have lots of travel expenses and flying at times like Christmas break will be expensive.

When looking at colleges also dig into the statistics since at some colleges the graduation rate may not be as high as expected. For example I just Googled "Grinnell graduation rate" in the first result it said the four year graduation rate is only 84% and the six year graduation rate is 87%. This varies a lot and nobody plans on being in the group that does not graduate in four years.

Even if she gets a scholarship it will not last more than four years. Pay a lot of attention to the percentage of students that take more than four years to graduate since she will likely need to pay full price after four years.

Dig look at the statistics about what percent of students keep a scholarship for the full four years. She may be a top student in high school but all of her classmates were too so there is a 50% chance that she will be in the bottom half of her class in college. If she needs to keep a 3.0 GPA to keep the scholarship that may be harder than it sounds. She may be tempted to take less challenging classes to keep her GPA up.

Another thing to add to the checklist is to see how your healthcare will work when she is out of state. There might not be any in-network healthcare providers where she goes to college.

Don't underestimate the how much it will cost to if she joins a sorority. The "list price" that you might see is just the beginning. Discuss with her if this will even be an option for her.
moneym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:23 am Campus culture? She wants traditional old school college experience. Pretty old buildings. Studying on the lawn. Nice old dorms.
Many colleges are short of dorm space so that upper-class students are pretty much forced to live off campus. My son went to a state university so it was a bit different but after his freshman year he had to move out to an apartment which was not the same and added complexity with the leasing and selection of roommates. Some of the apartments were far enough from campus that he needed a car. I wish he could have stayed in a dorm longer but that was not possible.
The graduation rate includes, as a negative, the transfer rate. Students who leave Grinnell, e.g., for some other school, even for good reasons, count against the school. I wouldn't worry too much over a high 80s graduation rate at a small liberal arts college - the students who aren't finishing in four or six are almost assuredly transferring out, or stopping out for reasons that aren't generalizable (mental illness, e.g.), not lack of access to classes or loss of scholarship.

OP, the basic rule for merit is to be the big shiny fish in a small pond - be an outlier that makes the school look good. But let me sound a small note of dissent. For arts/humanities, the pedigree of the school matters more - for internship connections, for grad school, for general job placement. It's still a gamble. A mediocre engineer can get hired - a mediocre English major will struggle. But I think the advice here of "I'll pay for private for engineering but not for English" gets it exactly backwards, assuming similar funds. Classics majors at Yale walk into Wall Street. At state, if there are still classics, they don't go to Wall Street. It's something to think about.

My practical advice for a young woman interested in English would be to tie it to a second major in business or data science. Helps with getting her foot in the door, and then her "soft skills" can lead her to be more effective. But that's way ahead of the game - she's just figuring out what she wants to be. She should visit the honors programs at the state schools - they usually try to recreate the small college feel.
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David Jay
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by David Jay »

Watty wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:35 pmI am sure that it is not news to you but a BA in English can be problematic when it comes to her post college career.
+1
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Dregob »

moneym wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:53 pm I have a unique problem helping my very bright daughter choose a college. She wants to be an English major. We live in Florida and she doesn't want to go to any state schools. She's very bright, 4.0 student, AP classes, top 1% on her PSATs. She'll be a junior and take the SATs next year.

Right now she is just looking at top tier colleges. I think she could get into a top tier college, but I can't really afford to pay $80,000 a year for an Ivy or public Ivy and don't really want to pay that for an English degree anyway. Since state schools aren't an option, what are some second tier schools that might offer merit scholarships?

She's looking for a good English program, in a liberal area of the country. I think her primary interests are just having a fun college experience, on a great campus with a bunch of like minded students.
Why does she think she won't have a fun college experience at a flagship state school? 80K x 4 is a very expensive fun experience! Time for the talk. No, not about sex ,but finances. Will she take out the loans or will you?
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by texasdiver »

smectym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:15 am
texasdiver wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:34 pm First of all, purge the notion from your mind that merit aid has anything to do with "merit". It does not.

Merit aid is nothing more than a pricing tool that colleges use to attract students that would not otherwise attend there at full price because they would have better options.

None of the top schools offer any merit aid. NONE OF THEM. Because they don't have to. Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, etc. They all charge full price for students who don't quality for need-based aid because they can attract whatever students they want at full price. And frankly, all their students tend to be top students. They will make a big deal about meeting FINANCIAL NEED for underprivileged students. But at most of those schools, those with financial need are only a fraction of their students. For those with means, the sticker price is the price.

If you want significant "merit aid" offers then seek schools in the next tier down that need to offer your daughter a price discount in order to attract her because she will otherwise have better offers. That is where you will find merit aid. Because it is nothing more than a pricing tool that schools use to make themselves more competitive.
Texas, while you urge OP to “purge his mind,” I’m not sure what your point is. Yes, merit aid is a tool to attract better students, defined, perhaps more controversially these days, as students with higher test scores and GPA. This tool is used by second and third tier colleges to make sure they attract their share of more talented students. This, they argue, benefits both the attracted student, and the broader student body, by adding to intellectual diversity.

The top schools do not offer merit aid for a couple of unsurprising reasons: first, unlike the lower-ranked schools, they don’t need to; second, for reasons of ideology, which have taken a more prominent place in college admissions protocols in the last decade.

So what? There are plenty of excellent schools which don’t happen to be in the top 20 or whatever, that will pay generously to attract high achieving students. The high achieving students would do well to consider such opportunities, because it can make a huge difference in total undergrad expenditure.

A comment to OP: your kid should consider the type of curriculum an English major would entail at schools she is considering. The variation has never been greater, and ideology has obtruded in a way it typically did less, in decades past. University of Dallas, which has an aggressive merit aid program, has a strong traditional English curriculum (that is, I, who attended NYU as an English major in the 1980’s, can broadly recognize the course offerings). Other curricula may be more, er, avant-garde. Depends on what the student is looking for.
The point I was making is that merit aid isn't about "merit" It is about pricing. Top schools that do not need to make price adjustments to attract the "best" students tend not to do so. That is going to be the case for both public and private schools. The top schools in every category and region tend not to offer merit aid, or at least not in meaningful amounts.

The OP is using the terms "merit aid" and "top tier colleges" in the same sentence. Those terms tend not to go together, at least not in meaningful amounts. Top tier colleges tend to be wealthy and offer generous need-based aid. But not merit aid. I have been through this process myself with two children and have a third coming. For example, here on the west coast the top rated schools are probably Stanford, Pomona, Reed, and Caltech. None of them offer any meaningful amounts of merit aid. Neither do UW, UCLA, or UC-Berkeley. Because they don't have to. You might find various niche merit scholarships at those schools. But not in meaningful amounts. And even schools that do offer merit aid like USC you will find that few kids ever qualify. And often merit awards are given to kids in lieu of financial aid. So you can go onto the discussion boards for a school like USC and find that few kids applying there ever get offered any merit aid. And that the awards often go to kids who would be getting full rides based on financial need anyway.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by psteinx »

So daughter just finished sophomore year, is very smart, and loves English.

Not so different from my oldest, albeit she mainly loved art.

That said, around that time, we looked around in various ways, and art began to fade a bit in her eyes, largely from a sense of realism that success there, even for the very talented, was a long shot.

She entered college at a top 20, not sure what she wanted, but leaning cognitive neuroscience. Possibly aiming for med school, possibly ???. Second semester of her first year, she took a programming class, and, perhaps to her surprise, loved it (and was very good at it).

She ended up a comp sci major, just graduated, and is heading out to a very well paying West Coast tech job, in a field she really likes and seems to have talent for.

I know your daughter likes English, but I would strongly encourage her to keep an open mind towards fields with better employment prospects, and aim for a university with a broad range of offerings. She's not thinking about how much rent is, now, or groceries, or the cost of traveling some, etc. But at some point, she will, and being a staff writer for some online site for $32K or whatever, when she could have found other passions that also paid better, may be a source of regret.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by MMiroir »

Dregob wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:25 am
moneym wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:53 pm I have a unique problem helping my very bright daughter choose a college. She wants to be an English major. We live in Florida and she doesn't want to go to any state schools. She's very bright, 4.0 student, AP classes, top 1% on her PSATs. She'll be a junior and take the SATs next year.

Right now she is just looking at top tier colleges. I think she could get into a top tier college, but I can't really afford to pay $80,000 a year for an Ivy or public Ivy and don't really want to pay that for an English degree anyway. Since state schools aren't an option, what are some second tier schools that might offer merit scholarships?

She's looking for a good English program, in a liberal area of the country. I think her primary interests are just having a fun college experience, on a great campus with a bunch of like minded students.
Why does she think she won't have a fun college experience at a flagship state school? 80K x 4 is a very expensive fun experience! Time for the talk. No, not about sex ,but finances. Will she take out the loans or will you?
Especially considering the OP is in Florida, and the University of Florida is one of the best public universities in the country. (#28 in the country, #5 among publics). Annual tuition is only $6,380, and based on her stats, she might qualify for Bright Futures which would waive tuition.

Given such a great and inexpensive option like UF, I don't see the point of schools like Grinnell, Oberlin or Middlebury. Even if she gets partial merit, the cost of attendance will be $150,000 to $250,000 more for an undergraduate English major. A better option would be to go to UF, and save the tuition money for grad school (it is easier and cheaper to attend a top college as a grad student than as an undergrad), a house down payment, or just life. $250,000 saved and invested today will cover her retirement when she is 60, and being an English major she will need all of the help she can get.

I would recommend UF as a target school, and shoot for the Ivies, Stanford or Chicago/Northwestern were the additional tuition might actually have some payback. Otherwise, you are throwing money down the drain at these obscure LAC's that have very poor ROI's.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by MMiroir »

moneym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:23 amShe's thought about all that, I just didn't elaborate. To answer your questions -
Urban, Suburban, or Rural? - Suburban
Small, Medium, or Large student body? - Medium or Large
Region of country? - Either out West or North East. Not the south.
Close to home or not? Not. We live in Florida
Campus culture? She wants traditional old school college experience. Pretty old buildings. Studying on the lawn. Nice old dorms.
Conservative or Liberal? Liberal
Dominant Greek system or no Greek System? . No Greek
School that has a good English program? Yes. Of course.

So any ideas for a 2nd tier school that meets those criteria that I could get my daughter excited about and could have a chance at merit aid.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
Unfortunately for you, most of the schools that offer merit aid are located in the South, Southwest or Midwest/Plains states. Her desired locations of the West Coast and Northeast offer the least amount of aid primarily for ideological reasons. Among top 20 privates, the following schools offer merit to incoming freshman.
  • Chicago
    Duke
    Notre Dame
    Vanderbilt
    Wash U
    Johns Hopkins
    Rice
    Emory
Duke, Vanderbilt and Wash U offer a limited amount of full tuition awards. These are primarily designed to attract kids that would otherwise attend an Ivy or higher ranked school, and only a handful of kids get them.

Notre Dame offers a series of primarily $25,000 scholarships. These are designed to attract kids who would otherwise attend public schools for cheap.

Rice and Emory seem to offer smaller amounts of aid to a larger percentage of students, while Chicago will offer a small amounts to National Merit Scholars, but larger amounts to National Recognition Scholars (URM recruiting). Beyond that, quality LACs that offer merit include Richmond, Davidson and Washington & Lee, but these are not in her desired region.

Finally, schools at this level offer admission and merit to targeted students. They want a balanced class, and will use merit to help balance it. By balance, they consider gender, and as a English major, she will be entering a field that is primarily female. As a result, no matter how good her qualifications will be, she will be at a disadvantage competing for admission or merit with female engineers or computer scientists.

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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by SchruteB&B »

psteinx wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:03 am

I know your daughter likes English, but I would strongly encourage her to keep an open mind towards fields with better employment prospects, and aim for a university with a broad range of offerings. She's not thinking about how much rent is, now, or groceries, or the cost of traveling some, etc. But at some point, she will, and being a staff writer for some online site for $32K or whatever, when she could have found other passions that also paid better, may be a source of regret.
I was thinking this as well; OP: it sounds like you are probably providing a very nice comfortable lifestyle (based on you not getting any financial aid) for your family (which is great!) but I think it is hard for teenagers from those kinds of families to really comprehend what it is like to live on a low salary.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by delamer »

tenkuky wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:17 pm
delamer wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:06 pm It’s been a long time since I was active there, but the College Confidential forums had a lot of good information.

She should be thinking about whether she wants to be in or near a big city.
CC is nauseating at many levels.
The interface is poor with lots of pop ups, the posters can be downright mean and there is lot of misinformation.
I lasted 3 posts and one week and got out of there.
YMMV.
Sounds like it has deteriorated a lot since I was last active there.

But that was about 10 years ago, so I’m not surprised . . .
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by MarkRoulo »

moneym wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:23 am
Normchad wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:04 pm To get good merit aid, you have to stand out. You have to be better than the other people applying. So it’s extremely hard to get generous merit aid to elite level universities. (Because the other applicants also have 4.0 and perfect test scores)
I agree, which is why I'm looking for good second tier options that she can receive merit aid. I think she could get into a top tier school, but I'm not going to spend $80k a year at an Ivy for an English major.

...
Pdxnative wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:37 pm There are state schools with automatic merit.
I read about this somewhere and this is what actually got me started on this thought process. We just need to find a college that offers merit aid and is a college she can fall in love with.

...

So any ideas for a 2nd tier school that meets those criteria that I could get my daughter excited about and could have a chance at merit aid.
1) It would help (though probably not much ...) if you elaborated on what you mean by "2nd tier school."

If the 1st tier is the Ivys, Stanford and MIT then does the 2nd tier include places such as USC, Harvey Mudd, and Colby? Or are those colleges 1st tier?

Does 2nd tier include places such as the University of Washington?

To calibrate it might help folks here to know which of these colleges are 2nd tier:
Colby?
Harvey Mudd?
Pamona?
USC?
Duke (not that she'd go there since it is in the south)?
Vanderbilt?
University of California Berkeley?
University of California Riverside?
ASU?
Utah?
Rutgers?
SUNY Birmingham?
Michigan?
Michigan State?
Wabash (she can't go there as it is all male, but this is about tiers)?
Middlebury?

2) You should also stop focusing on a "merit" scholarship and just focus on the total price per year -- if the school offers a tuition of $30,000/year do you really care if this is the list price, a price break from $60K/year labelled "merit aid" or something else? I don't thing you should.

3) How important is the prestige of the degree (which will likely help get her interviews) versus the actual *education*? It helps to be clear what you are paying for.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Church Lady »

When I was in high school -- back when dinosaurs roamed the earth -- my guidance counselor(s) were very helpful identifying financial aid resources. Have you spoken to her guidance counselor yet?

I would urge your daughter to spend time researching what her life will be like as an English degree holder. Again, guidance counselors should help with this. If she can identify what she actually wants to do, it will help her hone her major (and secondary) choice.

Hopefully, guidance counselors still do this sort of thing!

FYI, Megacorp used to hire technical writers. It paid less than software engineering, but it was steady work. Then they outsourced technical writing. In the last couple years of my Megacorp career, they off shored technical writing to PRC China. That's right; China! All this is to say *any* job can be off shored, even something that requires an English degree.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by stoptothink »

David Jay wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:10 am
Watty wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:35 pmI am sure that it is not news to you but a BA in English can be problematic when it comes to her post college career.
+1
My sister has a BA in English from Brown, followed up by related graduate degrees from Oxford and NYU...She's now a software developer (for a major tech company) after attending a coding bootcamp just last year. She was underemployed all the way up to about age 37. My step-father also has a BA in English, he's a public school teacher. Echo what others have said, unless daughter intends to teach, she would be do well to consider a double-major in something with more concrete career opportunities.
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Morgan22
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Morgan22 »

Try an Independent Education Consultant. (I have a friend of the family who does this. I didn't even know this was a thing until one of my kids was determining which colleges to go to.)
They will talk to you and daughter about wants/needs. Then they can help steer your daughter towards schools that will be a best fit. And that you both, or daughter if you can't contribute, can afford.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Old Guy »

Twenty percent of students at USC receive merit aid and 66% of all students receive some kind of financial assistance.
MMiroir
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by MMiroir »

Old Guy wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:24 pm Twenty percent of students at USC receive merit aid and 66% of all students receive some kind of financial assistance.
If the OP wants to do their own research, www.collegedate.com has this information. For instance, for USC, college data reports:

Merit-Based Gift
Received by 4,342 (58.1%) of aid recipients
4,359 (22.4%) of undergraduates had no financial need and received merit aid, average amount $18,243


https://waf.collegedata.com/college-sea ... ey-matters

Given that the total cost of attendance at USC (USNEWS ranking of #27) is $84,117, even with the average merit award the annual cost only drops to $65,874.

In contrast, UF's (USNEWS ranking of #28) annual cost without Bright Futures is $21,810. That is a $175,000 difference over four years.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by hi_there »

I think it is misguided to not try to go to a "top tier" college because it costs $200k more than the next tier down. Even if you must borrow money, you're likely to earn it back (if you decide to). Plus, many people don't pay sticker price.
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Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Elks22 »

Longtime BH but rarely a poster (except when I need help, ha). I wanted to share my own experience in the hopes it helps the OP's daughter, and perhaps changes a few minds of other respondents.

I was an English major with a Business minor. I'm in my late 30's and went to USC. I now earn $95k working in Corporate Communications. The majority of my colleagues and bosses were also liberal arts majors. Some have master's degrees in Communications or MBAs, but many have only undergraduate degrees. Corporate communicators are needed in all sorts of organizations -- corporate, nonprofit, academic, etc. Related fields include public relations and certain types of marketing.

Folks who say that getting an English degree is a waste are uninformed. That stupid Avenue Q song ("What Do You Do With a BA in English") did us no favors. English can be an incredible major. It teaches you how to write and how to think -- skills that are always in demand if you know what to do with them and how to market yourself.

What some in this thread have rightly pointed out is that an English major is best combined with something else, unless you intend to get an English PhD, in which case, yes, that can be a career death sentence. I would vouch for a minor or a post-graduate certificate -- a double major is a ton of work and not necessary. My business minor (and ability to do basic stats and way more Excel than any of my colleagues) has been great. Someone on here also mentioned data science -- the ability to analyze data would be hugely helpful for a marketing career. Or, OP's daughter can think about bolstering her graphic design skills or even basic programming skills. No need for a Comp Sci double major; get some basic knowledge and then do internships to build on it. She'll have to do internships regardless.

Perhaps the OP's daughter should look into a place like Rollins College, where a former (excellent) boss of mine went, and she can study English or Communications and then minor in something more practical like business or data analytics. OP, PM me if you or your daughter wish to talk further.
Chardo
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 1:16 pm

Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by Chardo »

Elks22 wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:47 pm Longtime BH but rarely a poster (except when I need help, ha). I wanted to share my own experience in the hopes it helps the OP's daughter, and perhaps changes a few minds of other respondents.

I was an English major with a Business minor. I'm in my late 30's and went to USC. I now earn $95k working in Corporate Communications. The majority of my colleagues and bosses were also liberal arts majors. Some have master's degrees in Communications or MBAs, but many have only undergraduate degrees. Corporate communicators are needed in all sorts of organizations -- corporate, nonprofit, academic, etc. Related fields include public relations and certain types of marketing.

Folks who say that getting an English degree is a waste are uninformed. That stupid Avenue Q song ("What Do You Do With a BA in English") did us no favors. English can be an incredible major. It teaches you how to write and how to think -- skills that are always in demand if you know what to do with them and how to market yourself.

What some in this thread have rightly pointed out is that an English major is best combined with something else, unless you intend to get an English PhD, in which case, yes, that can be a career death sentence. I would vouch for a minor or a post-graduate certificate -- a double major is a ton of work and not necessary. My business minor (and ability to do basic stats and way more Excel than any of my colleagues) has been great. Someone on here also mentioned data science -- the ability to analyze data would be hugely helpful for a marketing career. Or, OP's daughter can think about bolstering her graphic design skills or even basic programming skills. No need for a Comp Sci double major; get some basic knowledge and then do internships to build on it. She'll have to do internships regardless.

Perhaps the OP's daughter should look into a place like Rollins College, where a former (excellent) boss of mine went, and she can study English or Communications and then minor in something more practical like business or data analytics. OP, PM me if you or your daughter wish to talk further.
Or the other way around. Minor in English.
stoptothink
Posts: 11754
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by stoptothink »

hi_there wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:42 pm I think it is misguided to not try to go to a "top tier" college because it costs $200k more than the next tier down. Even if you must borrow money, you're likely to earn it back (if you decide to). Plus, many people don't pay sticker price.
That's a very nuanced topic. For an English major, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find evidence that there would be a good ROI on the extra cost.
hi_there
Posts: 1171
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:00 pm

Re: Help English major apply to colleges that might offer merit scholarships

Post by hi_there »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:54 pm
hi_there wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 2:42 pm I think it is misguided to not try to go to a "top tier" college because it costs $200k more than the next tier down. Even if you must borrow money, you're likely to earn it back (if you decide to). Plus, many people don't pay sticker price.
That's a very nuanced topic. For an English major, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find evidence that there would be a good ROI on the extra cost.
True, but think about it as a huge Call Option. The worst you'd do is a couple hundred thousand dollars. The best case is quite a bit higher. Plus, once you're in the door, you normally find something new to do, rather than what you envisioned you like while taking PSAT.
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