|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit|
My daughter has applied Early Decision to a small private nationally known liberal arts college. She is well above published averages for students at this school as far as class rank, GPA, number of AP courses, SAT scores, etc. She also had an interview which went very well (she received a complimentary letter from the college about her interview), has an excellent record of extracurricular involvement and personal talents and interests, and will have excellent recommendations, in particular one from a teacher with whom she is doing an independent study. My only concern is that students from our school do not typically apply to this type of school. In fact, her guidance couselor, who is nearing retirement age and has been a counselor for over 35 years, had never heard of the school. It is a VERY (800 in graduating class) large suburban public high school which sends most of the top students to the state university. I know that this college sends its admissions officers on visits to the private schools and very affluent public schools in our area, but does not visit our school or others like it. Am I worrying needlesssly? Some people say colleges are glad to have students from different high schools, but I am concerned that they may look unfavorably upon her if they are unfamiliar with our school. Does anyone have personal knowledge of this? Thanks.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:20 pm: Edit|
I just realized that the title of this discussion does not convey what I meant to say. I should have called it "Importance of REPUTATION of High School in Admission". The quality of education for the students taking advanced courses at our high school is excellent, as evidenced by the scores they get on their AP tests and SATs. It is just that few of them apply to private colleges, so the school is not well known by the private colleges.
|By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:36 pm: Edit|
My daughter was in almost the same situation except that she attended a small (97 kids) public H.S in NYC.
Last year a number of students (my daughter included) applied to schools which were "outside of the norm" in relation to the colleges that the students usually apply to. As a whole this group did well as they were some of first students in the history of their school to be accepted to Amherst, Williams, Brown, Dartmouth, Tulane, Tufts, USC, Stanford and Wash U. The GC and administration were estatic because it means that they now have a foot in the door.
My daughter applied to 7 schools, 5 which had no history with the H.S. and was accepted to all 7 schools (4 of the schools listed above).
I do beleive that is where the profile comes in as far as discussing the academic rigor of the school. Since your guidance counselor has not heard of the school that your D is applying to, it is safe to say that no one has applied there before. Based on my D's experience, do colleges look beyond the usual suspects regarding admissions- absolutely.
During the admissions process, we must remember that colleges are trying to put together a class,so i believe that they do and will welcome change. Someone has to be the first from her school to attend, so it might as well be your daughter. Relax, because in the end she will go where she needs to be.
All the best.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit|
Have you seen a copy of your high school's profile? Does it list the acceptances and matriculations over the past few years? This is something that guidance should allow you to see - it will definitely clue the college in to the fact that most students from her school go to state Us. I think they will cut some slack for "no track record" in that instance.
What will be important for her is her class rank, if the high school ranks, and that the rigor of the courseload is documented and all her outside scores (SATs,APs, etc) are falling in the same range, then I think she will have an even shot.
Will she get in? Who knows, but I don't think you HAVE to be from a name school. If they are taking one kid from your city, and a child is applying from the private school across town, will they prefer that child because of a relationship with the guidance counselor? Who knows, but you can't do anything about that . You can get your daughter (maybe, you can, I can't get mine to do anything I suggest) to write an essay, cover letter, "additional information paragraph", something about why she wants to go to this small LAC that all her friends,teachers, relatives etc, just say "Duh?!" about. That demonstrated interest, especially from the heart will help.
There is some evidence that going to the no-name suburban high school is beneficial, especially for the child who is 1/500, rather than going to the elite prep school where she might be 4/100, but Wow! what that 100 has done.
Lord, I hope this is true, we are in the exact same situation, except instead of the large suburban school, it's the small, non-exclusive private (same difference in my part of the world), and our GC isn't clueless, they've just never sent anyone to any of her choices.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:01 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the encouraging and helpful advice, and congratulations and good luck to your daughter in college. I am probably being overly worried - I am much more stressed out than my daughter is about this whole processs. I am curious why a public school in NYC is so small - is it 97 in the whole school or in the graduating class? Is it a special magnet school or something? I guess my concern is also with the whole guidance process at our school, which is basically non-existent. I don't know if the GC and administration would even by savvy enough to be ecstatic about kids getting into new and different schools. Since my daughter and I have done a lot of research on our own, we are not depending on the GC for advice, and as long as he can provide a favorable recommendation for my daughter (whom he met for the first time in September) we should be ok.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit|
To Cangel -
Thanks for your helpful advice also, and good luck to your daughter. For the college my daugher is applying to, one of the essays involves describing why you would like to go to that college. Also, applying Early Decision obviously demonstrates interest, so we hope that helps. As far as class rank, my daughter isn't first in her class, but is in the top 2% (with ranking for rigor of courses), while the college she hopes to attend has 50% from the top 10%, although many come from schools which do not rank. I think the profile from our school basically tells the demographics of our community, the SAT averages, and what percent go to 4 year (about 50%), 2 year (about 25%), and nocollege. It doesnt tell the specific acceptances and matriculations of the students. We have sent our very top students (valedictorians, etc) to the most prestigious schools in the country, on occasion. It's just that the top 5-10% tends to apply mostly our state university (which is a good one), mostly due to cost considerations. Again - thanks and good luck!
|By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:30 pm: Edit|
I'm in the same situation, i go to an average public, where 60% of the class goes to ohio state, 30% to other state schools, 5% to out of state, but not high quality and 5% go to above average to good schools, but rarely ivy quality, if even 1 person applies to an ivy/top 25/top lac, it's a big deal, for ex. #1 went to notre dame, only one applied, and #2 went to ohio state, so on top of the gc not being great, she knows next to nothing about out of state schools, so it's more like a you figure out what you're going to do becuase the gc has no clue about out of state schools
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:40 pm: Edit|
This subject often comes up, and the answer is, as with all answers, "it depends". There is no question that it is helpful to come from a well known school with the GC as an advocate for your child having a personal relationship or a long term working relationship with the adcoms of the college that your child wants. That is, if your child is among the top applicants to that college, and it is a top choice school for him and if the counselor thinks he is a good match for the school. Sometimes there is a bottleneck at the admissions offices at these small LACs with kids all applying from the same schools. Williams might love Private Prep but not enough to accept all 20 applicants from that school, and these LACs want diversity. For some kids it is a disadvantage to apply to certain schools from their highschool that is a "feeder".
On the other hand, the testscores are often scrutinized more carefully for kids coming from an unknown high school. An "A" in Latin with recs saying the kid is the best ever, is crosschecked with the SAT2 Latin score and if AP level is reached and what that school's record is on the AP tests for that subject. If the kid has a 550 SAT2 in Latin and very few kids take or get high scores in Latin from that school, the grades and rec are not looked upon in the same light. From a school that is known to have a tough curriculum and honest recommenders, high grades and good recs count very heavily and can offset lacklustre testscores to some degree. That kind of leeway is not there for a kid from a school without a rep.
But kids get in from schools with bad reps too. My son graduated from a school where the grade inflation was rampant--three quarters of the school is in the upper 10% LOL, and there are many AP studs there with lousy test results on the AP exams. The recs are all good and say nothing. Yet each year kids do get into the top schools from there and my son did better than his peers who stayed at his top rated prep school as far as the selectivity of colleges went. He had transferred midway through highschool so we were able to make this comparison. I think that all things equal or close, the kid from the known school has an edge, but then you have the issue that such a school often has a tough grading policy and the internal competition is more difficult. I also believe that there is often some collusion between the college and highschool counselors that can be a disadvantage to a student. I worked with a top student who was waitlisted and then deferred at a school where she should have been accepted, given her profile, given those who did get in from her school, and given the schools that accepted her. The remarks from her counselor that her parents reported to me, are a strong indication that some info was leaked to that college as to what her first choices were, and who were really hot to go to that college were accepted over her. It was an unfair situation because she was merit scholarship material at that school but could not be considered as you have to be accepted early for the consideration and she was deferred. As things turned out, she might have chosen this school had she been accepted there. The family was very upset, and I feel that what occured was wrong.
So, it does depend on a variety of things whether your school is a known quality or not is an advantage or disadvantage. Are there many schools in your area that do send kids to this college? Your student is often competing, not only with the kids in his highschool but the schools in the area as well. I will also tell you that it is very important that your student show strong demonstrated interest in the school--find out if a rep--it would be the regional rep, most likely is visiting another school in the area, and he should visit with the rep if that is the case. If there is an open house in the area or at the college, also attend. In the smaller colleges, demonstrated interest is very important. I would also suggest a cover letter accompanying the application stressing that this is the top choice school and that the college is not a usual choice from the highschool. The situation could be an advantage. I can tell you that things are mighty tense at my son's prep school with so many kids applying to the same schools. With the smaller colleges, there is no way that all of the applicants can be accepted from one school even if they are all qualified, so it is entirely possible that someone who would have been accepted from a highschool like your child's would be denied from a situation as described. Ironic, as many of the families have gone through so much in expense and effort to put their children through this expensive, private school, in part, to provide an advantage in college placement.
|By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 07:35 pm: Edit|
You will find this amusing (or maybe not...). At my son's HS (NE Ohio ruralish public), the head of the guidance department mentioned that as far as college admissions went from the HS, "Ohio may as well be surrounded by barbed wire". Yes, he actually said this in the college admission discussion in the senior AP english class. It's not just the GC's - its the whole mindset of the community. Very good education, but very xenophobic.
Within recent memory, admits to ivies - 2 to Yale, 1 to Dartmouth, 2 (I think) to Cornell. On a positive note, my son's list is so unusual that I think his GC is enjoying the challenge. He is definately not the same old same old. Bowdoin? Huh? Brandeis? (heard of it, but the district is heavily conservative - not too many applications likely).
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 07:45 pm: Edit|
Aren't Kenyon, Denison, and some other LACs in NE Ohio, and do many students from your school apply to them?
|By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit|
hehe I had to laugh at your comments ohio mom! I go to a central ohio school and it's no different. In fact, the college rep visit for osu has to be in the audiotorium while every other college rep visit is just in a small guidance office.
And while some go to denison, basically no one applies to kenyon, and other lac's for 1 reason: much of ohio leans towards rural, and kids want to leave that familiar setting. I hope my gc doesn't faint when I tell her where i'll be applying
|By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 07:52 pm: Edit|
Hi Motherof 2,
there were 97 members of the senior class (and that was the biggest class that they had). Of the 97 kids, 70 of them had been there since 6th grade. It is a small 6-12 school. There will be more kids along the way because they are now getting bottom heavy with 150 kids entering the 6th grade this year.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit|
My daughter attended a fairly average public high school, off the beaten path in Massachusetts. Not a bad school; not a great school -- probably around the 75th percentile as far as Mass. test scores. Certainly a school that no elite college adcom has visted, even though the school is five miles off the interstate the adcoms take when driving from Boston Latin to Exeter. The guidance counselors were mostly fluent in the local and regional public universities, although the school had sent an occasional graduate to an Ivy League (once every few years) or other top school. unfamiliar with several colleges on my daughter's list; to this day, I suspect the GC thinks Swarthmore is a girl's school in upstate NY! They handled the nuts and bolts of the applications efficiently, but were of limited value in targeting colleges as there just wasn't any track record at the schools on my daughter's list.
My daughter and one of her good friends were salutatorian and valedictorion last year (out of 225 or so). Both had taken 3 AP courses -- all that were offered to them. They are going to Swarthmore and Williams this fall, first choice colleges for both of them.
I worried a lot about your concerns during the year leading up to college applications. Looking back on it, I no longer believe that attending a semi-decent public high school is a liability at all. In fact, I think that being one of the top one or two students from an "average" public high school may actually work to an advantage in the admissions process. My daughter presented herself as a "small-town public high school" kid in the application process.
First, it's a lot easier to really stand out at these schools than it would be at an elite prep school -- and standing out academically is the best single thing you can offer a college. Second, I think colleges tend to discount the gold-plated test scores and EC lists they get from some of the better known prep and magnet schools -- knowing full well the energy invested by the schools in these endeavors. For example, going to the state finals in Science Fair from an average public is probably viewed as just as impressive as going to the National Science Olympiad from a science magnet school that sends a team to the National Science Olympiad every year. In both cases, the students are simply making the most of the standard opportunities at their respective schools.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:02 pm: Edit|
Thanks for your thoughtful message. Congratulations to your daughter and her friend! I know what you say is true for the VERY top students, as our school has sent valedictorians to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Cornell, etc. in the past. My daughter is in a slightly different situation, as she is not at the very top of the class, but in the top 2%, and SATs are not stellar, but in the high 1300's. However, the school she is aiming for is not as selective as Swarthmore or Williams, but is within the USNews top 50 group of LACs, with correspondingly lower stats for its students (average SATs in the low 1300's, about 50% of class in the top 10% in high school). I am probably worrying needlessly, and it is nice to hear all these reassuring thoughts. There are very few people around here I can bounce these ideas off of, as most of the other parents are not very keyed in to the admissions process.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:40 pm: Edit|
>> My daughter is in a slightly different situation, as she is not at the very top of the class, but in the top 2%....
From the top 10% of the class at my daughter's school this year, there were also two Bowdoins, a Colby, a Bates, a Hamilton, a Colgate, and a Gettysburg (just off the top of my head). LACs are popular here in New England!
Top 2% is a very strong academic rank. Combine that with SAT scores at or near the college's 75th percentile and you've got a strong academic transcript. Assuming halfway decent essays and good recommendations, that class rank and high 1300 SATS would be likely to get an acceptance, up into the #20 range or higher on the USNEWs LAC SELECTIVITY rank.
The high class rank will carry more weight than the SAT scores at most of the LACs, as long as the SATs are "in the range". My daughter only had 50th percentile SATs at Swarthmore. I'd rather sell moderate SATs and a high class rank than 1550 SATs and a lower class rank (which can be the kiss of death).
Based on where your high school's valedictorians have gone, I wouldn't have any concerns about the high school holding your daughter back. That information is usually included in the school profile and it demonstrates that a good student from your high school is capably prepared for rigorous college work.
I would say that you should be pretty comfortable with your daughter's odds with a solid application, especially ED. I don't see any schools fitting your description that wouldn't be a reasonable "match" or "match/reach".
|By Editrix (Editrix) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:48 pm: Edit|
I think you probably are worrying needlessly. As other posters have pointed out, the downside of a high school that has a high profile and highly connected guidance counselors is that it usually has a lot of kids with similar stats applying to the same colleges--which actually hurts some of those kids' chances of admission. The fact that it's unusual for someone from her high school to apply to the LAC she wants to attend seems more likely to help than to hurt your daughter's application (and if she really received a personal letter--not just a routine form letter--complimenting her on her interview, that sounds like a promising sign).
Good luck to your and your daughter.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:52 pm: Edit|
What you are saying makes a lot of sense. I think I will stop obsessing now and try to stay calm from now until the ED decisions are made. Thanks.
|By Editrix (Editrix) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:14 pm: Edit|
My daughter went through this process last year, and I know that waiting for decisions is awfully hard. If you and your daughter can stay calm--and she can actually enjoy her senior year--that's wonderful.
But if you're going to obsess over anything, my advice would be to make sure she gets all her other applications finished before ED day. My daughter dawdled, then was deferred from her first-choice school on December 15 and spent an excruciating Christmas vacation forcing herself--at a point when her confidence was at an all-time low--to get applications out to other colleges.
The experience was really painful (for her and for everyone around her). The story did have a happy ending--she was admitted to her first choice on April 1 after all--but if we had it to do over again, she would have finished every possible application before December 15.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:36 pm: Edit|
Jamimom explained the various thoughts often associated with these two scenarios of unknown public school where kids don't normally go to these colleges and no "connection" with the college and kids coming from elite prep schools where these connections exist, and many kids are applying to the same colleges and many have gotten in every year. She put it so well that I won't bother to and can't as well as she did.
Plus InterestedDad gave you one example from his family/school where his daughter did get into a very selective college from a smaller unknown public school that does not send too many to these colleges.
I will give you one more example to allay your concerns. My daughter also attended a rural high school that has no "connections" to selective colleges. About 2/3's of the graduates go onto four year colleges. In most years, a handful of kids go to some pretty selective schools, not too many. Often there are one or two Ivy admits. Our school is unknown. So, it CAN happen, just is not very common. Two years ago, I recall two to Dartmouth and not a lot of other selective schools. This year, I would say that the most selective admits were my daughter who got into several selective schools (chose Brown), two to Middlebury, one to Naval Academy, one to Johns Hopkins, and that is about it out of 155 kids. She was the val. So, it is possible for this to happen for YOUR daughter as well. You already made the point yourself that sometimes they really do want a kid from a "different" place than their "norm". But likewise there are advantages (as Jamimom put) for kids coming from the elite prep schools or well known publics. Each has its pros and cons. Likely the kids from the prep schools have the greater chance to some degree but they do have the competition with one another for the same colleges. The thing is, the colleges are willing to take several kids from those prep schools, just not all of them.
I think it is pretty telling that my daughter is the only Ivy admit from her high school, yet her roomie at Brown, who went to an elite private day school has SIX kids from her class (out of only 80 students) just at Brown alone. So, both girls got in but the situations are clearly quite different. It was a bigger deal coming from our school, but it was still very possible. Hope that my story and InterestedDad's story quells your concerns.
|By Garland (Garland) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 08:45 am: Edit|
I concur with the others here, that coming from a non-select type public school (I'm guessing lowest third of NJ schools) does not have to be a disadvantage. Similar to what some others described, a very small group of students in our school (mostly but not all top five percent) aimed at more selective schools, rather than the state schools that the vast majority went to. Collectively, they were accepted by West Point, Naval Academy, Penn, Cornell, Swarthmore, Duke, Columbia, Franklin and Marshall, U of Richmond, Michigan, Washington and Lee, and probably others I don't know. My S's guidance counselor, after seeing two of her counselees accepted Ed to Duke and Columbia, was almost giddy with pride. I've seen a change recently in the school culture for the top kids. In former years, they tended, except for one or two, to go to TCNJ (usually free), but I can't think of anyone my son knows who went there this year. I really think it helped these kids to come from a demographic which was not the norm for these colleges.
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 10:05 am: Edit|
I got a good laugh reading this! Everyone at my child's top rated prep school wishes our children were at a no name small high school in North Dakota where no other student is applying to Harvard! The grass is always greener!! Honestly, it's our impression that you have a tremendous advantage in that schools want kids from a wide variety of backgrounds. Another kid from top prep or Scarsdale high schools is easy to come by.
|By Editrix (Editrix) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 12:39 pm: Edit|
I thought Susan made many outstanding points, but I also share Lfill's conviction that kids from high-ranking prep schools often find themselves in direct competition with one other for admission to the same colleges. As impressive as it is that 6 out of 80 students from a particular prep school are in her daughter's class at Brown, I wouldn't be surprised if many more applied and were not admitted.
|By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 04:03 pm: Edit|
That's a very good point! I have to think of how many kids from the most competitive schools apply to the cream of the crop. One person posted that 57% of her class went to ivys/ivy levels! If 1 person at my school goes to anywhere near that, it's a huge deal
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 04:17 pm: Edit|
Believe it or not, somewhere around 100 students from last year's class (330 total) at a particular prep school in NE applied to Yale. Undoubtedly, many of these kids applied to more than one ivy league school. Of those 100 applicants, I believe 8-10 were accepted to Yale. Most who applied EA were deferred to the RD round and then rejected. In addition, at least 2 who were accepted were recruited athletes.
At least last year (and these things do cycle), a student from this particular school had no advantage in gaining admissions at Yale compared to any other applicant from a public school when looking at the national statistics. In addition, due to the nature of the school, most of the applicants were certainly well qualified.
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 04:56 pm: Edit|
This information was available from those who graduated in 2003 from the same school.
79 Applied to Yale; 10 Accepted
72 Applied to Harvard; 15 Accepted
54 Applied to Princeton; 17 Accepted
46 Applied to Dartmouth; 18 Accepted
41 Applied to Stanford; 14 Accepted
(Maybe Yale has a set number that it will accept no matter how many apply.)
|By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 04:58 pm: Edit|
i'm beginning to think going to exeter or andover is great if you really want to enrich your life, but it doesn't necesarily translate into automatic success in getting into college
|By Jm2006 (Jm2006) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 05:32 pm: Edit|
Sokkermom, what school are you referring to?
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 08:16 pm: Edit|
It is one of the ones mentioned above by Celebrian. Acceptance rates into ivy league schools are probably about the same for both.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 11:05 pm: Edit|
Editrix, oh, I certainly agree with your comment that the kids from the elite prep school are in direct "competition" with many more from their own high school applying to the same colleges. I never really got into the pros/cons of this issue on both ends (prep schools & well known publics vs. unknown public schools) because Jamimom had expressed the issues so well. The whole issue of the kids on the prep school end having so many apply can be seen as the "con" on that end. The unknown public school like ours where nobody went to Yale is the "con" at times on that end. But each situation has its plusses. I often feel that some parents in our community have opted to send their kids away to elite boarding schools which are better than our public school (there are no local privates so it means going out of state basically) and I think a lot of their reasoning is to get into colleges and so forth. But I have always thought that they might have a harder time being up against so many others at their school applying to the same colleges that it may take that "advantage" away. I always felt that they should just send their kids to those prep schools because the education was more suited to their needs but not "to get into a good college" because really you can get into a good college from staying right here in our little town, and in fact my own kid has. But there are flip sides such as the school being unknown to the elite colleges and there is not an ongoing "track" record or any rapport between the HS and the college. The prep school kids have that advantage and indeed the elite colleges always take kids from their high schools and many even from the same school. However, they won't take too many from one school and thus it does eliminate some excellent candidates who may have otherwise stood out if they were the only applicant from their school. I always thought the colleges would not want too many from one high school, but wow, the numbers posted above from one elite prep school are quite something. I realize that many who applied did not get in but even still, I did not realize they would be willing to take such high numbers from one high school. And if you read books like The Gatekeepers, it is clear that these ongoing relationships and "chatting" behind the scenes goes on and that definitely is not something kids in our school benefit from. These selective colleges do not even send a rep to our high school.
I truly believe there are plusses and minusses for both ends of this issue.
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit|
First, understand that there are about 25 high schools in the Country that have the percentages at top colleges that Sokkermom quotes. Much like the top 25 colleges, there are the top 25 preps. And there is a similar equasion in grads of these high schools gaining admission to top colleges as grads of top colleges gaining admission to top grad schools (especially law and business). They compete against each other. So while competition from these schools to the handful of very top schools is keen, almost all the grads get into very good schools. So while from Andover/Exeter type schools 25% go to ivy league colleges, 75% go to top 25 colleges. And at HYP, significant numbers get into the very top grad schools, but the majority get into top 20 grad schools. But kids who excell ourside of these rare schools can, and will, be noticed. You can't compare the two. Hopefully, parents at the top preps are sending their kids there because they can afford, or were lucky to get financial aid from, these excellent schools. If you child succeeds from a lesser school, they have excelled against different odds that will clearly be recognized by top colleges.
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 07:39 am: Edit|
The decision to send a child to a prep school may have nothing to do with money or college placement. In our case, the available public school was not a good fit - period. The school has a history of drug problems, music and theater programs have been cut, and the academics are very weak. In our opinion, that environment would not have been the right fit for our son. Believe me, we do not have money to throw away, but education for our children has always been a priority. We are not rich, nor did we receive financial aid.
I agree with Celebrian that the enrichment side of this experience was "priceless". Our son was exposed to much more cultural diversity and stronger academic opportunites, and he took full advantage of the experience. However, I do agree that this type of environment is not the best fit for everyone, nor should anyone enroll in this type of school solely for the purpose of gaining admissions in to an ivy league college. In fact, after attending such a school, many kids opt not to apply to or attend ivy league schools because they want their college experience to be "different" than their high school experience, opting for geographical or cultural diversity when choosing colleges.
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 01:25 pm: Edit|
I certainly agree with the sentiments of Celebrian and Sokkermom about reasons to send a child to a private school. These days the better private school are very up front about highlighting these points and discouraging ivy ambitions just because a child is at a school that has good accepteance stats to these schools. They are very much into the fit between a student and a college. However, I hear every year, parents making the statement that they did not pay $X for their child to go to Prep, for that child to end up at State U, Local U or Not-Prestigious-Enough U. My close friends have made that statement, and I am hearing it like a Greek chorus when I go to parental get togethers these days as my son is now a senior. So the sentiment is strongly there and often there is a lot of disappointment and disenchantment when a prep school grad ends up at a school less prestigious that the highschool from which he graduates.
I know that S's school encourages kids to investigate a number of colleges including many lesser known schools. It also warns of stacking the deck with all low accept schools even if the kid has an outstanding profile.
I perused S's school's college notebook last week--the one with all the colleg data. Last year was particularly big for Tulane, Vanderbilt and College of Charleston at this school along with the regular customers. I had noticed a trend towards Tulane, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Emory among the kids I work with but those were just my numbers and anecdotally I had heard that these schools were getting "hot", but statistically for S's highschool it is also the case.
|By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 02:58 pm: Edit|
It seems to me that information is one of the most critical factors in all of this - and information at the right time. Staging the Junior year spring visits, the SAT and SAT II's - and so on. The advantage of attending a good private prep or public feeder school is that this information seems to be part of the common culture. A major portion of my indoctrination into this all was the lecture I got from a friend whose D's attended Shaker Hts. high. That got us started and on the path to CC.
|By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 03:51 pm: Edit|
It seems like too often students and parents apply for prep schools becuase of wanting to attend some ivy/top 25. I think too many students who are #1 in their class, think that prep school will be a breeze, that those kids complaining about never getting A's, well that's becuase they didn't try hard enough, and then they get a wide awakening when they find out they're probably average or even at the bottom. Public schools are good in their own right, and so are privates, it's finding the best match that matters
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