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Old 11-05-2012, 02:48 PM   #301
LisaR
 
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I "strongly encourage" because, to be honest, my son knows very little about how things can go in the state of Virginia. Like many states, we have a lot of wealth and we live in one of the wealthier areas (which makes *his* competition much harder than someone from the rural part of the state). I told my son that you can never be to careful and you want to have some options.

He knows the school that he absolutely wants to go to. Based on his GPA and test scores and the fact that he is situated in the most competitive area of the state, I'd say he has about a 70% chance to get in.

I have "strongly encouraged" him to apply for two other schools that I'm pretty sure are "safeties" for him, and one more that's a shoe-in but has it's pros/cons.

Then I pushed him for one REACH school. He does not want to apply there but knowing what I know about the school and him, I actually think it is a good fit for him. He's got about a 30-40% shot of getting in there but I think it's worthwhile for him to try.

I struggle sometimes with how much I should involve myself with these things but I tell myself that he's only 17 and he's not aware of how competitive this can be. Sometimes parents do know better and, there's certainly no harm in applying for an extra school. But, yeah, the whole essay thing. His so sick of it.
I think it really depends on the kid. My daughter is 17. I haven't pushed, prodded, or coerced her in any way, shape, or form. She is one of those kids who is very well organized, knows what she wants, and gets it done. I have no illusions that it will be this way with my son (15). Deadlines will come and go with him unless I am on top of him. From what I can see, this is pretty normal for many boys. I hear they become much more on top of things in their 20's. Hopefully I haven't strangled him before that time comes.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:33 PM   #302
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I think it really depends on the kid. My daughter is 17. I haven't pushed, prodded, or coerced her in any way, shape, or form. She is one of those kids who is very well organized, knows what she wants, and gets it done. I have no illusions that it will be this way with my son (15). Deadlines will come and go with him unless I am on top of him. From what I can see, this is pretty normal for many boys. I hear they become much more on top of things in their 20's. Hopefully I haven't strangled him before that time comes.
I only have boys, so I have nothing to compare this experience to. I'm glad the process is almost complete with my 17 year old. I have a 13 year old coming up, and at least I know what I'm doing now!
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #303
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I have two sons. The first we had to threaten that he couldn't drive anywhere until he got his applications done. The second one I asked him when he was going to get started and he told me that he had then all ready and he was just going to ask me for my credit card so he could send them in.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #304
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Just had to brag a little- if that's ok... First quarter report cards came out on Friday- DS17 got a 4.0286 GPA for the quarter! We are on block scheduling, but he has three "major" (academic, not elective) classes this semester: Anatomy, Pre-Calc, and American Government. He is also heavily involved in band, theatre, chorus, and acapella, so pulling straight A's was a pretty big feat!
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:35 AM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcyinPA View Post
Just had to brag a little- if that's ok... First quarter report cards came out on Friday- DS17 got a 4.0286 GPA for the quarter! We are on block scheduling, but he has three "major" (academic, not elective) classes this semester: Anatomy, Pre-Calc, and American Government. He is also heavily involved in band, theatre, chorus, and acapella, so pulling straight A's was a pretty big feat!
That's awesome! Our first quarter is late in ending due to the hurricane. The kids had no quarterly's and they're panicking about how few grades they have for the quarter. I feel so bad for them, they have enough stress just trying to get on with life let alone worrying about grades.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #306
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I got my acceptances to Concordia University and Azusa Pacific! Of course I need a ton of scholarships to go to either of them, but it is nice to be done with the applications!
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:49 AM   #307
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I got my acceptances to Concordia University and Azusa Pacific! Of course I need a ton of scholarships to go to either of them, but it is nice to be done with the applications!

Congratulations!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #308
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I'm gone for a weekend and all kinds of great things happen.

Marcy, congrats to your son! We don't have those kinds of classes or those kinds of grades here. You should be very proud!

DisneyVaulter, congratulations to you! I know you must feel terrific!

We just returned from our visit to Pittsburgh and CMU. We were also able to see "Seven Guitars" at the Pittsburgh Playhouse by Point Park. Let me just say that it was AMAZING!! Seeing a show done by a top notch conservatory is way different than a show done by a local college's program. Wow....

We LOVE Pittsburgh! Oh my gosh, it is the coolest city!! The visit to CMU was terrific for the most part. I do have one small gripe with them, but otherwise it was great. My D was very nervous yesterday morning while waiting for her interview. The girl who checked her in for the interview was a stage management major and has an LD, so that really helped my D. The portfolio review was in front of NINE design and production professors instead of the one we thought. My D thought it was a great interview and loved the tour of the center after the interview. CMU is certainly her number one pick, so now we wait. In the meantime, we will continue with the interviews/portfolio reviews. We have University of North Carolina School of the Arts at the end of the week.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #309
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Another acceptance came in today- this one from Messiah College, a small Christian college in central PA. My DS is thrilled, more thrilled than I thought he would be. A few weeks ago, he was all about the one state school we saw, and didn't want to hear about any others. Today, he gets this acceptance, and he was jumping up and down!! KIDS! Honestly, I am really thrilled, because I can see him at this school. How we will afford it is another reality we need to deal with...
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #310
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I have a little good news too: my son's ACT score came up 3 points from the last time he took it. That gives him a very solid score so he is feeling much better about things now.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:59 PM   #311
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I have a little good news too: my son's ACT score came up 3 points from the last time he took it. That gives him a very solid score so he is feeling much better about things now.
That's great! I know the feeling :-)
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:25 PM   #312
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Congrats to Christine and Marcy!

We returned late last night from our second visit and interview/portfolio review. This one was UNCSA, which we both thought would be Dd's #2 pick. It isn't anymore. Those college visits are just so important! Now, it's back to the drawing board to regroup and reorganize her thoughts.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:22 PM   #313
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Congrats to Christine and Marcy!

We returned late last night from our second visit and interview/portfolio review. This one was UNCSA, which we both thought would be Dd's #2 pick. It isn't anymore. Those college visits are just so important! Now, it's back to the drawing board to regroup and reorganize her thoughts.
It is so important to get them on campus- I agree! I hope it all comes together soon! Glad to hear she liked CMU though. I've never been to Pittsburgh myself but I know a lot of people who went to college there (mostly Pitt) and they love it!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:05 AM   #314
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I'm late to this thread, but keep having the kid take the tests. Many colleges do a "superscore" where they take the highest grade of each test to roll it into a composite. DS got 36/36 on his ACT for Reading, and that stuck with him for each time he retook the test, so by the time he did his 3rd ACT his composite was in the 30's. When you're in the 30's for your ACTs, the Merit Aide rolls in from colleges. (He did well on his SATs, but the ACT is what's been beneficial for him.) DS has been offered very high merit scholarships from several private schools and admitted to the Honors Program at many others, but his best deal thus far is Indiana University Bloomington as he's a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business with the IU Excellence Scholarship that takes care of almost all tuition. We'll be able to cover just about all the rest with little debt to him, and there will be more scholarship $$ rolling in too, likely from Kelley. The September ACT test here is known as the $50 that brought in $36000...

Once you're admitted to a college, there is additional scholarship money controlled by the school besides the Merit Aide which is based on grades and test scores. DS has been doing dual credit for the last two years and that will transfer to IU, but not the private schools, which makes IU that much more attractive. Purdue does not have as much in Merit Aide as IU, which is also a reason why IU is such a good deal.

He started testing in spring of junior year, and all of the college applications were completed in August. Many universities have a limited amount of money to hand out, and its gone early. He's had most of his admissions for several weeks now, which has been nice--but disconcerting to classmates who did not apply as early.

So start testing early, and often--because it can be 'worth it' for scholarship money. We will do the same thing for DD (currently a sophomore) just to see where her test scores might be and where she may end up for college. She has better grades than her brother but probably will not test as well. Will know in a couple of weeks when the PSATs from October show up.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:57 AM   #315
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I'm late to this thread, but keep having the kid take the tests. Many colleges do a "superscore" where they take the highest grade of each test to roll it into a composite. DS got 36/36 on his ACT for Reading, and that stuck with him for each time he retook the test, so by the time he did his 3rd ACT his composite was in the 30's. When you're in the 30's for your ACTs, the Merit Aide rolls in from colleges. (He did well on his SATs, but the ACT is what's been beneficial for him.) DS has been offered very high merit scholarships from several private schools and admitted to the Honors Program at many others, but his best deal thus far is Indiana University Bloomington as he's a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business with the IU Excellence Scholarship that takes care of almost all tuition. We'll be able to cover just about all the rest with little debt to him, and there will be more scholarship $$ rolling in too, likely from Kelley. The September ACT test here is known as the $50 that brought in $36000...

Once you're admitted to a college, there is additional scholarship money controlled by the school besides the Merit Aide which is based on grades and test scores. DS has been doing dual credit for the last two years and that will transfer to IU, but not the private schools, which makes IU that much more attractive. Purdue does not have as much in Merit Aide as IU, which is also a reason why IU is such a good deal.

He started testing in spring of junior year, and all of the college applications were completed in August. Many universities have a limited amount of money to hand out, and its gone early. He's had most of his admissions for several weeks now, which has been nice--but disconcerting to classmates who did not apply as early.

So start testing early, and often--because it can be 'worth it' for scholarship money. We will do the same thing for DD (currently a sophomore) just to see where her test scores might be and where she may end up for college. She has better grades than her brother but probably will not test as well. Will know in a couple of weeks when the PSATs from October show up.
Congrats to your son and everyone else that is having success with the college process!

I have few comments based on what you wrote.

My daughter didn't apply to a single school that superscores so don't bank on that option.

I am shocked by the level of merit aid some schools have versus others. My daughter has received the presidential scholarship at every school she has heard back from at this point. That award has been as high as $25,000 per year to as low as $1,500 per year.

For years I have heard that private schools offer more than state schools which brings the private school price down to the level of the state school. For us, that hasn't been the case at all. While the private schools have offered tons of money, the state schools are always cheaper here. That has just been our experience. I am sure it varies.

For my daughter, I believe she has decided on a private school in our state. It is a smaller school and a better fit for her compared to our grossly overcrowded state schools. In this case, it will actually be cheaper to attend the private school versus the state school, but that is only because she will be able to complete her degree in two years (she is dual enrolled and will have her AA) versus three years at the state school because classes are so hard to get there. If she did an equal number of years at both schools, the state school would have been much cheaper.

The private school offers a great honors program which is a huge draw for her. Our state school programs are nothing more than smaller class sizes. While that is a huge draw since the regular classes are so overcrowded, the classes aren't really more challenging. This private school seems to offer what I would deem a true honors program. I'm sure this varies by state. Our overcrowded schools contribute to these issues, but I have heard many of the universities across the nation are overcrowded so it is something to check into.

Finally, DD didn't take the PSAT. She wouldn't have had a good score at that time because she was struggling in math. All of the schools she has been accepted into so far only have one merit scholarship higher than hers and that is for National Merit Finalists. So far, that award has only been an extra $1,000 more than what she is being offered. While I'll take anything a school wants to give her, the amount is not big enough to have impacted her decision so she does not regret skipping it. I am curious if this is the norm at other colleges? I always assumeed NM Finalists ended up with a free ride.

Congrats again to everyone!
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