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Old 04-17-2013, 12:21 PM   #76
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And I forgot to say: Welcome to the new folks who found this thread! Glad you're here - the more, the merrier, and the more we all learn!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:22 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Gina View Post
Then he gets to take the ACT and write essays
Has he not taken the ACT yet?

DS has taken it 3 times already. He took it as a 7th grader through the Duke TIP program, last June (just to see how he'd do. no prep at all), and the ACT is required for all Kentucky juniors. He took it in March & got his score the week before spring break. I'm not sure if he'll take it in September or October. We'll decide that later. LOL

We're trying to figure out when to make some college visits. I feel like we're behind on that ... but DS will likely stay in state, so that takes much of the pressure off. He is spending most of the month of June at Murray State for the Commonwealth Honors Academy and it wouldn't surprise me if he comes away from that with his school choice. Fine by me
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #78
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Has he not taken the ACT yet?


He took the SAT a year ago and did pretty well, and we were debating whether he should take that once more or try the ACT for variety. The ACT is hardly ever even mentioned down here -- it's allllll about the SAT. But neither matter for admissions at this point for DS anyway, we're just trying for any merit aid help we can get. And I have a feeling he'll do better on the ACT... We'll see!
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #79
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As a mom of a class of 2013 (and a participant on the other thread), let me tell you all that merit aid is very scarce. Do not count on it. If you do count on it, your kids better be in the top percentiles of both GPA and standardized testing. Even with all that, the college your child wants to attend may NOT be big on merit aid. Some of the flagship state public universities give very little.

My son has been accepted into his third choice school, into an engineering major, and into their honors program. This school offered him about half of half of his tuition in merit aid. If he could manage to get his GPA up three-tenths of a point, he could get double that. This school is out of state, but they are very generous with merit aid.

He will not get one dime of merit aid from any of our state schools that he has applied for. And one of those schools is his preference.

So, if you are really, really counting on merit aid and you have to have it, I would encourage you to look at what your desired schools offer based on GPA and test scores. If they don't offer anything or they only award merit to about 12 scholars per year, the time is now to have that talk with your child.

Private schools also offer a good amount of merit aid; however, their tuition tends to be about double of the state universities so we found, in the end, we were paying the same amount out of pocket.

The Common Data Set (as mentioned above) is very helpful. My son scored roughly a 2000/2400 on his SATs and a 31 on his ACT and, no, there's not much money rolling in. But that's just where I live. Some other areas of the country have more generous merit aid packages.
Totally agree with everything you posted. My DS is a senior and the merit aid is little and far between. He did get a hefty chunk from a private school and that is where he will be going. It makes the tuition just a little bit less than the state universities. He liked the small class size at the private school and the housing and food options were way better. None of the state schools offered him a penny, and he is a very good student. There's just not much money to be found at the state level anymore.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #80
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merit aid is a YMMV subject, IMO ... my oldest finished up his BS in December. he went to a private liberal arts school because of merit aid. it ended up being cheaper for him to attend the $35K/year school with merit money than it did to attend a state school with nothing awarded other than Stafford loans.

his award amount never changed and the school extended it for the last semester, even though it was semester #9.

now. our cost of attendance rose at an alarming rate over 4 years. don't even get me started on that one.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:59 PM   #81
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SAT vs ACT Successes??

Well, we were surprised! Both DD and DS did not do well at al on their SAT's! They both take very challenging classes and get mostly A's, and a few B's. DS is taking four higher level IB courses and DD is taking 2 AP and the rest Honors courses. So ?

We are having them take the ACT's to see if they can really do much, much better.

Anyone have any stories on their kids doing much better on one test type versus another?

I guess just another college bump in the road!
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:02 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momoftwins View Post
Well, we were surprised! Both DD and DS did not do well at al on their SAT's! They both take very challenging classes and get mostly A's, and a few B's. DS is taking four higher level IB courses and DD is taking 2 AP and the rest Honors courses. So ?

We are having them take the ACT's to see if they can really do much, much better.

Anyone have any stories on their kids doing much better on one test type versus another?

I guess just another college bump in the road!
My son did a bit better on the ACT than the SAT.

The funniest part was that he did lower on his math than I expected on BOTH tests. He is in Honor Calculus and math is one of this best subjects. We've determined that he just doesn't do well on timed math test on higher level math. He needs time to work out the equations and it's just not enough for him.

Both tests are different and the format of one might help over the other.

My DD also did better on the ACT than the SAT.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #83
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Ugh. Getting very frustrated with DS, but I have to just let it go! He takes the ACT next week -- will be his first time. The school pays for it, every junior takes it together. He took a practice test through the library in January, and there was a mixup so I just got his scores -- English and Reading were good, math was terrible. I knew this was going to be the case (he's not a bad math student, in the average class getting As and Bs), but he hasn't been willing to work on it more than just a little bit. And next week's test doesn't include the writing, so he'll have to retake it (with the mixup in getting the practice test scores, the Kaplan test rep said they'll pick up the cost of the retest, so that's good at least). He's been busy with the school play, but that's no excuse. Oh well, he can't retest until the September date anyway, so my brother is going to tutor him over the summer on math (that will be nice, DB and DSIL are moving back here from Boise in three weeks, and DB is a high school teacher -- it'll be good for them to spend some time together!).

DS has been fairly uninterested in college stuff in general -- we weren't able to do college visits during spring break (at Disney, woo hoo!), he won't take a class period off to go visit the college reps that come to school, and hasn't made any time to go to the College Center at school. I really think he's headed for community college for a while -- that's just fine. He's not sure at all at this point what he wants to major in, which is also fine, but I think he needs to put some work and thought into researching a little bit.

My older DS was much more interested in college visits, etc., so this is a little tough for me. I want him to be excited about it, but I can't make him be interested! It's got to come from him -- I've suggested all kinds of things, but it's time to back off a little, I think.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #84
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Okay, here's my latest stupid question for you very smart and helpful people... How do you find the Common Data Set for a specific school?? I have searched on their website, searched via Google, I don't know what I'm doing wrong... Is there one place with all the info where you can just look up the school you want?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:58 PM   #85
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Have you tried going to the Us News and World Report website and putting in the name of the school you want? This is what I got when I put in DSs school.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandre...niversity-1786
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:39 PM   #86
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Is anyone interested in sharing what schools they have visited and what you thought about them? What are you kids interested in majoring in? Are these too far off topic and if so I am happy to start a new thread....let me know. I have a DD finishing her junior year.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #87
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Can I come play?

DS#2 is a junior this year. We've been through the college process with DS20 already so we feel somewhat prepared.

However, we are in a really weird situation with DS17 as he was in a horrible car accident in December (the day before finals started) and that has set him back a little. He's back in school, but because he didn't go back until later in the semester, he's only taking 3 classes right now. He'll take one or two online classes this summer and then should be caught back up and back on track to graduate with his honors diploma.

It's blown his shot at a soccer scholarship since he can't play anymore and because of the financial dent the accident made on our savings account, he's having to rethink his plans a little. He's thinking now of living at home and going to the local community college to start and then going from there. A lot will ride on how the first semester of next year goes.

He takes the SAT in a couple of weeks and the ACT in June. I'm nervous for him because he hasn't really had to "think" for an entire day this semester.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powellrj View Post
Have you tried going to the Us News and World Report website and putting in the name of the school you want? This is what I got when I put in DSs school.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandre...niversity-1786

Thanks for the suggestion! I did try that but couldn't find anything. I'm going to just call the school and ask.






Quote:
Originally Posted by JeannieNM View Post
Is anyone interested in sharing what schools they have visited and what you thought about them? What are you kids interested in majoring in? Are these too far off topic and if so I am happy to start a new thread....let me know. I have a DD finishing her junior year.

If you're kid's a Junior, then you're in the right place! :-) And I would think your questions are about as on-topic as you can get. We're definitely the outliers, but DS has only visited the one place he wants to go, Texas A&M University at Galveston. His major will be Marine Engineering. It's a wonderful, awesome place -- *I* want to be there -- but that's from the perspective of two ocean-crazy beach bums.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelley00 View Post
Can I come play?

DS#2 is a junior this year. We've been through the college process with DS20 already so we feel somewhat prepared.

However, we are in a really weird situation with DS17 as he was in a horrible car accident in December (the day before finals started) and that has set him back a little. He's back in school, but because he didn't go back until later in the semester, he's only taking 3 classes right now. He'll take one or two online classes this summer and then should be caught back up and back on track to graduate with his honors diploma.

It's blown his shot at a soccer scholarship since he can't play anymore and because of the financial dent the accident made on our savings account, he's having to rethink his plans a little. He's thinking now of living at home and going to the local community college to start and then going from there. A lot will ride on how the first semester of next year goes.

He takes the SAT in a couple of weeks and the ACT in June. I'm nervous for him because he hasn't really had to "think" for an entire day this semester.


I am so sorry about your son's car accident! But so glad it sounds like he going to be just fine. And I woudn't worry about the SAT and ACT too terribly much -- he can always take them again next year like so many Seniors do. That really stinks about the soccer scholarship, though.

I hope everything goes well for y'all! It sounds like you're both really thinking everything out and looking at all the options, and that's good for anyone to do.



Not much to report on our end... DS has been doing the $1000 Weekly Scholarship (http://www.zinch.com/scholarships/weekly) most weeks in an effort to improve on writing clearly in a condensed form, which I hope will translate to being able to write more clearly in a longer essay. He's also been running through some free ACT practice questions to get him ready for that in June.

I've been slogging through the phone books that are the Peterson's Financial Aid Guide and the How To Pay For College Without Going Broke, and my eyes are crossed at this point. Maybe I'm just dense, or maybe it really is all so confusing, but there are a couple of points I can't figure out. Maybe one of you can enlighten me?

From what I understand, any student asset is assessed at 20% on the dollar, and for the parents it's 5.6%, added right onto the EFC. So does that mean before filling out the FAFSA on January 1, we need to move whatever he has in his own checking account somewhere else? Can it just be moved into mine? Or does it need to go "farther away" than that?

Hope everyone is well and is having an easier time keeping their Junior focused on this month of school than I am!! LOL


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Old 04-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #89
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Our D is finishing up her freshman year of college, so this is been there, done that advice.

On the ACT vs SAT question:

Our daughter did prep for the SAT, was National Merit Commended. She didn't use her SAT scores to apply for college, she used the ACT scores that were much higher. She took that ACT under protest, just to get me off her case, with no prep.

I really think the students should take both, see which one suits them, and then take that test a second time with some prep (if needed).

Take the SAT 2 (subject tests) as you finish the subjects...for our D it was May of Junior year, with a retake of one in June. Frankly I thought the timing was horrid, she had AP and IB tests as well...but she felt she was doing all the test prep anyway then, might as well get it over with...I guess it makes sense.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:44 PM   #90
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Is anyone interested in sharing what schools they have visited and what you thought about them? What are you kids interested in majoring in? Are these too far off topic and if so I am happy to start a new thread....let me know. I have a DD finishing her junior year.
I'm in NJ so I doubt anyone is interested.
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