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Old 06-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #196
VickiVM
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Lubbock is just under 200 miles away but across "no man's land" so a quick 200 miles. UNT involves crossing the Metroplex beginning at Fort Worth so a slow 300.

We didn't know much about UNT prior to visiting but have since talked to many who went and loved it. Including a couple in her probable major. She wants to study Apparel Design. Another impressive difference at UNT is that Apparel Design is in the Art Department.
My son just finished his freshman year @ UNT in the College of Music. He LOVES it there. He has wanted to go there since sophomore year in HS. Let me know if you have questions.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #197
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My son just finished his freshman year @ UNT in the College of Music. He LOVES it there. He has wanted to go there since sophomore year in HS. Let me know if you have questions.
Best Dorm?

Any tips on maximizing financial aid?

Do they give much merit aid?

I'd love to hear anything you think would be helpful.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:03 PM   #198
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Best Dorm?

Any tips on maximizing financial aid?

Do they give much merit aid?

I'd love to hear anything you think would be helpful.
Kerr Hall is probably one of the most popular and largest. Alex stayed in Bruce Hall which is directly across the street from one of the music buildings...literally rolled out of bed 5 minutes before many of his classes.

Bruce is very popular because it's the choice of many music majors (for the 'rolling out of bed' reason), but even though Don Henley from The Eagles lived there (as well as Norah Jones, I'm told), I found it to be very old and dumpy. But the kids don't care

Bruce and Kerr fill up quickly...register and pay the deposit as soon as dorm registration opens up. Most, but not all dorms have a cafeteria...Bruce's was recently remodeled, but I think Kerr has late night hours.

Get your FAFSA done as soon as possible and don't be afraid to ask about financial aid options. My son did not have all the criteria for one of the academic scholarships (based on GPA, SAT scores and class ranking), but when he sent an email stating his case that he had everything required except the ranking because of how competitive our HS was, he was awarded an academic scholarship that seemed to be a hybrid of 2 of the scholarships they offered. Not as much as the better one, but still was helpful.

Between scholarships, grants and student loans, his tuition was covered. We only had to cover books and housing. Housing is expensive, in my opinion...Bruce Hall was $983/month and that included 7-day meal plan.

He and his band-mate (yes, seems all music majors join/create a band) are getting a house this next fall...rent will be cheaper and we can control food cost better
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:01 PM   #199
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Today was graduation day for the class of 2013 at our high school...hard to believe this time next year, it will be my DD in cap and gown.

We have only officially visited 2 schools so far, and need to get out to more over the summer. She knows what she doesn't like, and seems to be struggling with finding the "perfect" school. She is hoping to major in Computer science.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #200
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Congrats to everyone as they finish the year!!

I have a few questions about college counseling at your child's school. Does your counselor provide a list of suggested schools for your child to look at? Does the counselor communicate at all with you, the parent, or just with your child or do they not communicate at all? Are the communications personal or just general information sent all at once to raising seniors and or thier parents? Does your child find the counselor to be helpful in the college search process? do you?

What do you think are reasonable goals for your child to accomplish in the college process by the end of the summer break?

thank you for the help.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:00 PM   #201
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Congrats to everyone as they finish the year!!

I have a few questions about college counseling at your child's school. Does your counselor provide a list of suggested schools for your child to look at? Does the counselor communicate at all with you, the parent, or just with your child or do they not communicate at all? Are the communications personal or just general information sent all at once to raising seniors and or thier parents? Does your child find the counselor to be helpful in the college search process? do you?

What do you think are reasonable goals for your child to accomplish in the college process by the end of the summer break?

thank you for the help.
Unfortunately, counselors vary from school to school so much! My DD's just had our first conference two weeks ago. She asked for DD's career aspirations and schools of interest. She encouraged her to get her apps in early and to supply her with a "brag" sheet so that she can write a recommendation. Fortunately, she is very familiar with DD due to the two times that DD was out of school sick for extended periods of times.

She was surprised that DD had visited so many schools already, and said that she always encouraged her juniors to start visiting, if possible. Because I am a little obsessed with the college admissions process, I have taken Dd on numerous open houses already, and she just sat for her second SATs on Saturday.

I would say that during the summer, a student should work on their personal statement essay, research schools of interest and earmark dates for visitation, possibly start the common app (if it applies to their schools) when it launches on August 1st. Before junior year ends, approaching teachers for recommendations is always a good idea. Beats the crowd in the fall.

If there are any rolling admissions schools, putting in those apps early is good, and if any of the schools of interest have instant decision days, take advantage of those. A few acceptances under their belt can really boost a student's confidence.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #202
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You really want to get a jump start on the applications. A detailed brag sheet will help--you might more than one version. The most detailed version we created for our D was never sent to anyone, but it was handy for filling out applications. Others were tailored for specific situations from the really detailed version. It takes time to format/type/edit/rewrite, so starting sooner is better.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:15 PM   #203
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You really want to get a jump start on the applications. A detailed brag sheet will help--you might more than one version. The most detailed version we created for our D was never sent to anyone, but it was handy for filling out applications. Others were tailored for specific situations from the really detailed version. It takes time to format/type/edit/rewrite, so starting sooner is better.
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Unfortunately, counselors vary from school to school so much! My DD's just had our first conference two weeks ago. She asked for DD's career aspirations and schools of interest. She encouraged her to get her apps in early and to supply her with a "brag" sheet so that she can write a recommendation. Fortunately, she is very familiar with DD due to the two times that DD was out of school sick for extended periods of times.

She was surprised that DD had visited so many schools already, and said that she always encouraged her juniors to start visiting, if possible. Because I am a little obsessed with the college admissions process, I have taken Dd on numerous open houses already, and she just sat for her second SATs on Saturday.

I would say that during the summer, a student should work on their personal statement essay, research schools of interest and earmark dates for visitation, possibly start the common app (if it applies to their schools) when it launches on August 1st. Before junior year ends, approaching teachers for recommendations is always a good idea. Beats the crowd in the fall.

If there are any rolling admissions schools, putting in those apps early is good, and if any of the schools of interest have instant decision days, take advantage of those. A few acceptances under their belt can really boost a student's confidence.
Would you mind giving me an example of detailed entry on a brag sheet? I do not want to seem dense but I only have one child and so I'm lost. Her counselor says parents should not do anything but define what we are willing to pay for. He is very idealistic/philisophical about the whole thing and I am very practical/logical so I feel out of sorts in the process. Thanks
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:46 PM   #204
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For our D I approached the brag sheet into sections: Academics, Girl Scouts, School EC's, Other.
Academics: I listed every honor/award, all AP classes, all IB classes, all honors classes. It was listed by grade (9th, 10th, etc). I included things like Honor Roll, Principals Honor Roll, etc. Then I listed her test scores (SAT and ACT), test related awards, and her subject test scores. Since she was a full IB Diploma candidate, I list that as well. If your high school ranks, I'd add that...ours just does a percentile.

Girl Scouts: every Leadership position, all awards and honors. I listed the positions from National level down (National Board on XXX, Council XXXX, Association XXX, Troop XXX) and by year. She was unusually active in Girl Scouts, some of this stuff needed an explanation. Highlighted her Gold Award, and the fact she funded all of her GS activities (including cross country travel) through cookie sales.

School Based EC's: the usual stuff: Clubs, NHS, CSF etc Time spent in each, positions held, etc.

Community Service: non Girl Scout community service activities. Include where, duration, activity description. (Nature Center; Annual Fall Faire 2000-2004 staffed pumpkin patch).

Other: Congressional Academy (State rep to DC), State Capital seminar (county rep), DA's program, stuff that didn't fit anywhere else. For these she wrote out a description of the event, what it took to be accepted etc. We edited as needed for various purposes.

The detailed list is really long, and sort of a pain to put together. But once it's done, it's the backbone for everything else. The community service list included almost every community service event she participated in while in high school, dates and times (I kept the notes on a calendar each year). It was very helpful when applying for scholarships.

For the essays, she started on rough drafts as an English assignment after testing Jr year. The sooner the better. Some colleges have a lot of "extra" stuff in addition to the main Common Application essay.

D's an only child, it took me a while to get up to speed. I asked friends with older kids, read a lot of websites and books. I just felt better if I had a greater understanding of the process. I do think an early conversation on finances and distance is critical. There is no point in applying to a school that is out of range financially or too far away. "Too far" can include too difficult to reach as well. Those items vary from family to family. But the student needs to know the parameters--especially the money.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:23 PM   #205
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Hi all! I have a senior this year and one that also graduated last year. (Two in college next year )

The biggest advice I can give anyone for upcoming senior parents is really look at tuition and finances with yourself and your child. It is so easy to be so proud of your child for getting into a great college. But when looking at the cost and the career, you need to figure out if that degree is worth the cost fto your child for the rest of his/her life.

Our oldest child is very bright and won a national, highly selective contest/scholarship with awesome SAT scores. We thought he would easily receive money from top colleges. However, even though he got into top colleges (like Cornell and UVA) he did not get breaks in tuition. We are helping him with his education ... but not 120,000.00 worth. We had to tell him he could not go to these colleges.

He got into Penn State's Honors college and with the scholarships he received, this college's tuition was much more manageable for him and us. (We are a PA resident.)

We sat him down and went over how much money he had saved, we had saved and the scholarship money he received ... and how this will play out over 4 years. If everything goes as predicted, he should come out with very little debt. We also went over how much money he would make in his career when he graduated (based on averages) and his living expenses he will have. This has been a real eye opener for him.

It was/is hard for him to see how not having student loans that need to be paid back over 30 years is not reasonable. But when he graduates, he will find out.

A few of our friends have decided to send their children to very expensive schools. I worry about our friends (who are working many hours of overtime) to help their children out ... and the children who are going to have so much debt that they will be buried the first few years of their lives as they start out.

Please excuse me if I sound like I am preaching. I really don't mean to. I asked a lot of questions to friends and colleagues who had students who graduated and I read a lot of books on this subject. If you look at current financial articles, you will see that college loans are predicted to be the next mortgage crisis ... and it is such a scary future for our children.

Good luck to all of you who have upcoming seniors. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer ... I am just sharing what we learned along the way. You have an exciting year coming up! We are thrilled to now have our second son graduate in two days! It is so hard to see your babies grow up!
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:42 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Mary•Poppins View Post
The biggest advice I can give anyone for upcoming senior parents is really look at tuition and finances with yourself and your child. It is so easy to be so proud of your child for getting into a great college. But when looking at the cost and the career, you need to figure out if that degree is worth the cost to your child for the rest of his/her life.
Newbies, listen to this. It's very easy to get caught up in the whole process, you really need to look at the whole picture. Especially if your kids will be the ones taking on the loans, they may be disappointed that they can't go to their first choice school, but they will thank you later.

Whatever freshman year is going to cost you, multiply that by FIVE. Yes, I said FIVE. Tuition, room & board will most assuredly will go up, add to that miscellaneous stuff (books, dorm supplies, transportation costs, it adds up quickly).

My DD graduated from college last week, and my son will graduate from HS in 2014. Mary Poppins is also correct when she says that there is not the scholarship money out there that you think there is. My DD also scored in the 99th percentile for ACT and SAT, had tons of activities & volunteers hours, etc... the money just isn't there.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:32 AM   #207
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DD graduated from college last week, and my son will graduate from HS in 2014. Mary Poppins is also correct when she says that there is not the scholarship money out there that you think there is. My DD also scored in the 99th percentile for ACT and SAT, had tons of activities & volunteers hours, etc... the money just isn't there.
Making sure that your child knows that a good fit for him/her not only includes academics and social fit, but also financial fit is definitely important!

Kids with excellent stats are becoming a dime a dozen these days. Many, if not most, are applying to the so-called "top" schools, so merit money at those institutions can be scarce. But, don't be fooled into thinking that merit aid isn't readily attainable. Families must look at other schools, like their state schools that guarantee things such as free tuition if you have XXX stats. Unfortunately, many top students don't want to attend these schools, so they often find that they can't afford the schools that they do want to attend.

I can list a dozen schools within a four hour radius, that give great merit aid for top students. Will my DD want to go to any of them, probably not

Before starting this process, we informed DD that we have $$$ to put towards her education and we don't want her to borrow more than $$$. So, she knows that her list of schools must include schools that give merit aid for someone with her stats, or talent aid. She has a list of 12-14 schools that meet that criteria, as of today.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #208
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Making sure that your child knows that a good fit for him/her not only includes academics and social fit, but also financial fit is definitely important!

Kids with excellent stats are becoming a dime a dozen these days. Many, if not most, are applying to the so-called "top" schools, so merit money at those institutions can be scarce. But, don't be fooled into thinking that merit aid isn't readily attainable. Families must look at other schools, like their state schools that guarantee things such as free tuition if you have XXX stats. Unfortunately, many top students don't want to attend these schools, so they often find that they can't afford the schools that they do want to attend.

I can list a dozen schools within a four hour radius, that give great merit aid for top students. Will my DD want to go to any of them, probably not

Before starting this process, we informed DD that we have $$$ to put towards her education and we don't want her to borrow more than $$$. So, she knows that her list of schools must include schools that give merit aid for someone with her stats, or talent aid. She has a list of 12-14 schools that meet that criteria, as of today.

How do you find out which schools give merit aid? I know of one state school where I live and I found that out at a college fair last spring. I've looked online at other schools that I thought might and really didn't find anything.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #209
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Check in to College Confidential, there are lists of schools with good merit aid.
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/...merit-aid.html

In general, you want to be at the top of the schools candidate pool---if your stats are in the mid-range, it is likely they will not give much merit aid. Use the data they publish on their websites (they generally have a summary of the freshman class).

You really need to know what the financial situation is before you start applying. Your student needs to apply to at least one school they will attend, have an excellent chance at admission and you can afford without aid. Do the FASFA forms to get your expected family contribution. Know that some schools are FASFA only and some are CSS/Profile.
Again, Paying for College without Going Broke is a very helpful resource. Check your library for a copy or order it from Barnes and Noble or Amazon. It's worth it.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by TLuvsD View Post
For our D I approached the brag sheet into sections: Academics, Girl Scouts, School EC's, Other.
Academics: I listed every honor/award, all AP classes, all IB classes, all honors classes. It was listed by grade (9th, 10th, etc). I included things like Honor Roll, Principals Honor Roll, etc. Then I listed her test scores (SAT and ACT), test related awards, and her subject test scores. Since she was a full IB Diploma candidate, I list that as well. If your high school ranks, I'd add that...ours just does a percentile.

Girl Scouts: every Leadership position, all awards and honors. I listed the positions from National level down (National Board on XXX, Council XXXX, Association XXX, Troop XXX) and by year. She was unusually active in Girl Scouts, some of this stuff needed an explanation. Highlighted her Gold Award, and the fact she funded all of her GS activities (including cross country travel) through cookie sales.

School Based EC's: the usual stuff: Clubs, NHS, CSF etc Time spent in each, positions held, etc.

Community Service: non Girl Scout community service activities. Include where, duration, activity description. (Nature Center; Annual Fall Faire 2000-2004 staffed pumpkin patch).

Other: Congressional Academy (State rep to DC), State Capital seminar (county rep), DA's program, stuff that didn't fit anywhere else. For these she wrote out a description of the event, what it took to be accepted etc. We edited as needed for various purposes.

The detailed list is really long, and sort of a pain to put together. But once it's done, it's the backbone for everything else. The community service list included almost every community service event she participated in while in high school, dates and times (I kept the notes on a calendar each year). It was very helpful when applying for scholarships.

For the essays, she started on rough drafts as an English assignment after testing Jr year. The sooner the better. Some colleges have a lot of "extra" stuff in addition to the main Common Application essay.

D's an only child, it took me a while to get up to speed. I asked friends with older kids, read a lot of websites and books. I just felt better if I had a greater understanding of the process. I do think an early conversation on finances and distance is critical. There is no point in applying to a school that is out of range financially or too far away. "Too far" can include too difficult to reach as well. Those items vary from family to family. But the student needs to know the parameters--especially the money.
Thank you for the detailed explanation. It helps a lot!!!! My D is also an only child. Things are so different from when I went to college. D has written several good essays for English class. We have a theatre resume but it is mainly a list with no explanations. We need knew head shots. I am going to follow your outline and try and help her put together a master brag list as you did for reference with explanations, also a dance resume in case she goes that route. Do you have any books you recommend? (We are extremely fortunate that finances are not an issue). I do not feel up to speed and I too would feel much better if I had a better understanding of the process. One thing is clear to me is it takes a lot to stay on top of all the details and that this is big business and more then one kid can learn and do at the same time on thier own especially those of us with busy involved kids. I have been reading as much as I can and will continue to. Again, thank you for your valuable information and support.
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