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Old 03-17-2013, 04:56 PM   #16
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I've got a DD17 who is a junior, so I'm in too. She's not all too interested in college but she has been getting some emails from some schools who are interested in her for track so that's peaking her interest a little more. She's taking some post secondary classes next year and will probably have a little over a semester of college credit by the time next year is over. Every little bit helps. She wants to major in bio-medical engineering so we'll see how it goes. I'm just waiting for her to get excited about going on to college, but I think she's a little afraid of the whole "growing up" thing.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #17
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My DS17 will be graduating high school next year. We're in a little different situation due to his Asperger's Syndrome and the fact that he took a less traditional path through school (attended a private specialized school from 6th - 10th, now attends public high school in a specialized classroom). He doesn't really like school, but is wicked smart and could do anything if he would just apply himself. Until last week, nothing had really sparked his interest besides his obsession with trains.

So last week, his class took a field trip to the county's occupational center. High school juniors and seniors are eligible to attend, and it's also available to adults. My DS was totally enthralled by the video production class. He spent a long time talking to the teacher and looking at the computer and video equipment in the room. They had a public open house on Friday so we went back with him. He was so thrilled to show us the classroom, the cafeteria, the vending machines, etc. The teacher remembered him from his visit the previous day, and he spent some time with us discussing the class. He said he's happy to work with special ed students, and will work with the district if he requires any accommodations. DS would spend the mornings at his high school, taking the remaining requirements (English, Government, etc.). Then he would take a bus to the occupational center and spend 3 hours in the video production class. It would be a huge step for him and would take him out of his comfort zone, but he says he's up for the challenge. After next year, he could continue at a community college and go for an AA or a certificate in video production. He may end up not liking it so much, but at least he's interested and willing to try something!
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:58 PM   #18
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Count me in as a parent of the Class of 2014. My DD is my oldest so all of this is new to me. She is just starting to think about her career path and is leaning toward something in the medical field. She has gone to a couple of career fairs and college fairs but does not have a definite plan. She plays varsity softball but I don't think that is going to lead anywhere. She has not taken the SATs yet so I feel like we are sooo far behind.

Can anyone who has already been in this spot give me any advice on what we should be doing right now? Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:06 PM   #19
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Marking my space to come back and read later.

I have 2 graduating in 2014, one from HS and one from middle school. I'm going to need to get a job to pay for all of this stuff!!
I also have one in 6th this year and one in first grade.

DS16 is looking and sports nutrition/fitness. He has 4-5 schools he wants to look at but we need to figure out how to do campus visits. DH works in DC and is never around so it's hard to plan anything, plus DS will be team captain for the cross country team this fall so he needs to attend every practice over summer, and find a job, and take drivers Ed, and he wants to go to a cross country summer camp.
I don't know how we are going to manage.

Ok, need to chase him off to bed and follow suit. I will come back tomorrow and catch up.

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Old 03-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #20
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My DD will graduate next year too. She is the last of 3 so we have been down this road before. I have a DS who is a college senior and another one who has been in and out several times so I am not sure what he is at this point (but I am not paying for his since he is almost 30 and married).

We have been back and forth about where she wants to go and what she wants to do. She was all fired up to go to IU, until she visited and now she is having 2nd thoughts about it. She is leaning toward one of the smaller Christian schools in the area. She has stayed with friends at a couple of them and has been really impressed with what they have to offer. My brother went to grad school at one of them and would love for her to follow in his footsteps.

I wanted to go on some college trips over spring break, but it seems she made other plans.

I am taking a more hands off approach with her. I was all over our oldest and like I said he has been in and out of school for years with a stop off in the Army and a trip to Iraq. I learned my lesson with him and let them do most of the planning and work. I fill out the forms and offer advise and am there when they want me to be and otherwise I am pretty hands off.

The one thing I hate is that she refuses to even look at the schools her brothers attend. While I know she doesn't want to go to school with them, at least with her middle brother, he is graduating soon and will be gone. The school has like 31,000 kids so I really don't think many if any will remember him, but she still won't even talk about it. It would be great for me because I know the ins and outs of that school!
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:38 AM   #21
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Not sure where you are looking, but there are plenty of decent and better than decent schools that will give merit money for those stats.
I know - I just have to find them! Dd is the one who keeps saying crappy schools. The schools here in NJ aren't giving much $ away - even 10 years ago she could have gotten some from Rutgers, but not now.

She wants to go south, which I am okay with, provided she finds a school close to public transportation, since she won't have a car. I'm thinking NC, she is thinking FL.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #22
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I have a DS graduating in 2014, too. Right now, we are visiting schools. We are visiting two in Indiana next week. His interest right now is aerospace engineering, which I would say isn't a widely available engineering discipline. The only state school that offers this discipline is Univ. of IL and for what they are asking for in-state engineering tuition (and they give very little merit aid), we might be able to go to an out of state school with merit aid.

DS took his first ACT in December, but wants to raise his score by a few points. So, in addition to the costs involved in visiting far away schools, we are paying for a tutor to help him with the ACT.

Hey, at least you will all be in line with me for the poor house!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:10 AM   #23
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DS and his friends have and are taking both tests then working to improve on another attempt. They're all hoping to crack 32-33 on the ACT as it's the test around here that seems to mean the most, especially with the writing option. The SAT doesn't seem to be as difficult. Scholarship money means a lot for us too. Good luck everyone! This IS the line to the poor house. Retirement? What retirement? lol!
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:35 AM   #24
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Wow, such great info already! I'm at work now, so I'll have to read back through later tonight when I can really digest everything. I really appreciate the perspective from those of y'all who have been through all this already, though. It helps a lot!!

I am blown away that such a small difference in test scores can make such a big difference $$-wise. DS got a 1940 on the SAT when he took it, but that was last June. He has since taken a pre-PSAT/NMSQT test prep course at school, and has a whole year more of AP classes, so I'm not sure if that will help or not. We're still planning on asking at TAMUG in a couple of weeks about which test they might prefer or if it matters at all.

Luckily (I guess) he will qualify for a goodly amount of need-based aid, so hopefully that + whatever merit aid he can get will be enough! I just went back a few years ago and finished my own degree, so I'm going to be paying on those student loans for the rest of my life already. Trying to not add a whole bunch more to that!

At least when I'm standing in line for the poor house, it looks like I'll have lots of DIS friends to keep me company, so that's awesome.


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Old 03-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #25
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Wow, such great info already! I'm at work now, so I'll have to read back through later tonight when I can really digest everything. I really appreciate the perspective from those of y'all who have been through all this already, though. It helps a lot!!

I am blown away that such a small difference in test scores can make such a big difference $$-wise. DS got a 1940 on the SAT when he took it, but that was last June. He has since taken a pre-PSAT/NMSQT test prep course at school, and has a whole year more of AP classes, so I'm not sure if that will help or not. We're still planning on asking at TAMUG in a couple of weeks about which test they might prefer or if it matters at all.

Luckily (I guess) he will qualify for a goodly amount of need-based aid, so hopefully that + whatever merit aid he can get will be enough! I just went back a few years ago and finished my own degree, so I'm going to be paying on those student loans for the rest of my life already. Trying to not add a whole bunch more to that!

At least when I'm standing in line for the poor house, it looks like I'll have lots of DIS friends to keep me company, so that's awesome.


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And I hear the poor house doesn't mind if we reuse mugs from previous trips to the poor house.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #26
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DS is 17 and a junior as well. His grades are average and he didn't do all that great on his PSATs so I am figuring he will start in our local community college. Sometimes I want to wring his neck because he isn't taking this all too seriously. He really doesn't know what he wants to major in, so if he's ok with cc for starters, then I guess we are too.
My dds did not go to college; I did but we all know that was a lonnnng time ago!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #27
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And I hear the poor house doesn't mind if we reuse mugs from previous trips to the poor house.

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:52 PM   #28
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DS is 17 and a junior as well. His grades are average and he didn't do all that great on his PSATs so I am figuring he will start in our local community college. Sometimes I want to wring his neck because he isn't taking this all too seriously. He really doesn't know what he wants to major in, so if he's ok with cc for starters, then I guess we are too.
My dds did not go to college; I did but we all know that was a lonnnng time ago!!
Not sure what part of NJ you are in but my DS started out fall 2011 at college in north jersey and it didn't work out. He is now back home at CC and will be looking to transfer winter 2014. So many start out at CC these days. My girlfriends daughter was lucky enough to go using the NJ stars program but opted to gou out of state to finish her degree.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:10 PM   #29
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I know - I just have to find them! Dd is the one who keeps saying crappy schools. The schools here in NJ aren't giving much $ away - even 10 years ago she could have gotten some from Rutgers, but not now.

She wants to go south, which I am okay with, provided she finds a school close to public transportation, since she won't have a car. I'm thinking NC, she is thinking FL.
My kids ended up going west - to PA. PA has a number of very good schools that offer nice merit money. They also looked at colleges in New York state with similar offers. When all the aid packages were received, the out of state privates were going to cost just about as much as a NJ state school would have cost us.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #30
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We will truly be in the poor house with 5 kids! Dd16's plan is to find a crappy school that will give her money - lol. She wants to be a CPA, and has decent SAT scores (2000), and a 4.3 (weighted) GPA. She knows she's not getting any money from decent schools.
Having taught seniors for 21 years, I've heard this plan before. I've also heard the closely-related, "I'm white, so I'm going to get a minority scholarship to a predominantly black school." I've not seen anyone actually succeed with these plans.

Thing about crappy schools: They cater to the crappy students, the desperate ones who can't get in anywhere else. As such, they don't give much in the way of award money.

A tip-top student may get a good award from a mid-tier school, but expecting a big award from a bottom-of-the-barrel school just isn't realistic.
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I've got a DD17 who is a junior, so I'm in too. She's not all too interested in college but she has been getting some emails from some schools who are interested in her for track so that's peaking her interest a little more. She's taking some post secondary classes next year and will probably have a little over a semester of college credit by the time next year is over. Every little bit helps. She wants to major in bio-medical engineering so we'll see how it goes. I'm just waiting for her to get excited about going on to college, but I think she's a little afraid of the whole "growing up" thing.
I think many -- if not most -- high school seniors alternate between "I can't wait to be on my own" and "I'm not ready". Quite a few of my daughter's friends had a panic-moment (mostly in the month of May) in which they seriously considered dropping their plans to go away to school. I don't mean they considered not going to college at all; rather, they all seemed to have a moment when they realized "this is real, and this is soon" and they considered staying home and commuting to a nearby college or community college.

My daughter did become teary when we dropped her off at school. She was ready, and she wanted very badly to go to college . . . but she also didn't want to see us get into the car and drive away.

I think it's normal for a student to have those moments, and none of my daughter's friends actually changed their college plans -- they got over it.
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