|By Mike (Mike) on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 03:29 pm: Edit|
I added this thread because I like the original thread and it is taking too long to load. Carry on please.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 03:45 pm: Edit|
Good idea! I have one to add but it's not about the college search. It's called Making the Most of College by Richard J. Light. I found this book when I was perusing the Harvard web site and came upon their lecture series. The author is a Harvard Professor and I thought his lecture was interesting and full of good insights based on research from exiting seniors at Harvard. The book is a little dry but it has some good information that can apply to any student. I put it on my sons to do list before he left for college
I also recommend the lecture series on Harvards website. Just for fun.
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 03:05 pm: Edit|
Momofsenior - Absolutely, I will be happy to report back after we visit WashU.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 03:18 pm: Edit|
Lizschup -- Thanks for your response. My daughter is not in your son's league, Wash U is a reach for her. She has a lot going for her -- 1470 SATs (770 verbal), top 6% in a very competitive class, good ECs, but not Ivy League material. Overall, she is interested in non-urban medium sized universities in a warmer climate and is not interested in Ivies, fortunately. I, like you did, have been looking at schools more broadly, but I have been taking for granted that a strong Arts and Sciences school will have a good classics and foreign language department and I am now wondering if that is always the case. Thanks Marite for your input on Middlebury.
|By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 04:36 pm: Edit|
If your daughter wants a LAC that is warmer than Middlebury and has classics and foreign languages, try Wesleyan. I think her stats should fit.
|By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 05:31 pm: Edit|
I've read that Emory, Bucknell and Georgetown have good classics departments.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 06:03 pm: Edit|
She is applying to Emory, but is not interested in Bucknell (too small and remote). I've been pushing Georgetown recently, but she is resisting adding another "big" reach to her list. Historically students from her high school do not get accepted at Georgetown. Also, she thinks of it as a city school, and wants a green campus which my husband tells her it is. She does not want an LAC, so Wesleyan is out and is a bit too liberal for her anyway. Thanks for your input. Any other suggestions or feedback is much appreciated.
|By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 10:46 pm: Edit|
How about Oberlin? Or Skidmore? Oh, just thought of another one with a decent clasics department - Trinity University in San Antonio Texas. Great school, lots of merit aid, would be a safety for her. U of Dallas, also in Texas, also has a good classics department. And, maybe MacCalester in Minn? These might all be on the small side for her though.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 10:47 pm: Edit|
We visited Wash U this summer, my son agreeing to a visit under protest. Surprise, he loved it, and it is one of his top 4 schools. (he's interested in engineering). The campus is nice, across the street from a very large city park, and the people were attentive and welcoming. They even gave us a voucher for lunch! We're within driving distance, so that's a plus for mom.
I went to Oklahoma, it's a great school with a good engineering department. A Nat'l Merit winner from son 's school is there now. He got a full ride. He was disappointed he couldn't go to an Ivy, but needed the money OU offered. He loves it at OU. Check their website for more info on scholarships.
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 09:35 am: Edit|
I'm waking up in the middle of the night worrying about this whole process. My S is trying to further narrow his choices, but when I went to talk to his high school counselor, she basically agreed that he should probably apply to the 14-15 school on his list. A few are Ivies, and then a number of them are combined undergrad-MD programs, with a couple of state schools mixed in as safeties.
I've posted his stats earlier; they are strong but then so are those of most of the students involved in these discussions. As my mother always said, "there will be those that are richer than you and those that are poorer.....etc." S is strong, but not the in the uppermost strata...
We are now working on arranging some long-distance visits (tough to do with an outside mentorship in a research lab and 4 APs, ECs, etc.), and more importantly (I'm guessing), the essays, of which there seem to be endless in number.
My son will visit Wash U after all. I had considered having him cancel that trip because of some "negative press" I had read in earlier threads on this side. However, when I posted our reservations about visiting, a number of folks posted positives about the school, so the visit is back on!
One "problem" is that the 2 state schools that S is considering are such strong schools (Wm & Mary and UVA) and I have been suggesting that we skip the (my?) aggravation and apply ED to one of those and be done with it (they are safeties for S according to his counselor).
S is going to Stanford this week for a visit (a real reach, and so far away, as I've indicated in an earlier post).
Also, I have two probably very dumb questions (please don't laugh).
What does it mean when someone posts "bump"? And what is a LAC?
I'll report back on Wash U and Stanford from S's point of view (especially since I won't be with him to taint them in any way). He did a "tour of the Ivies" with his school during his junior year, and really liked HYP (what's not to like?). His dad thinks he should visit once more before applying. Last year S's report back to me included such things as "the food was good"......! He did not like MIT (but the counselor with them said that they visited it on a cloudy, dreary day) whereas when they visited Princeton, it was gorgeous and sunny....
Do you think repeat visits to the Ivies would be a must, given time constraints, or would you recommend that he concentrate on those that interest him that he has not yet visited (Northwestern, Case, U Miami)?
Thanks for any feedback.....
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 09:47 am: Edit|
I just figured out what LAC means. I'm so slow...obviously my S does not get the IQ points from my gene pool.....
So please ignore that question in my previous post.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 11:36 am: Edit|
I went through the same struggle with abbreviations. I think we need a topic for newcomers that gives the definition of these abbreviations. It took me awhile to figure out CTY. I'm fairly sure that "bump" is a way to move that particular topic or thread to the top of the list.
I also went through the same dilemma of college visits. It is tough to find the time when your kid is involved in rigorous course work as well as a demanding extra curricular schedule. I recommend visiting the other schools on his list rather than visiting an Ivy school again. Many books recommend visiting after acceptance but we found this difficult. I would reserve that time for a second visit. There is only about a month between acceptance and choosing and it also coincides with studying for AP's and many end of year activities.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 11:38 am: Edit|
I am sorry that I have not seen your son's stats which would help to evaluate or to comment. But I will just for the moment go with your post above. My view is that 14-15 schools is too many to apply to. That is not focused enough. I would suggest applying to no more than ten schools. As a point of reference, my daughter is applying to 8 and included are pretty tough schools, so not sure things by any means. I think your son should definitely go for some reaches, but make sure there are match schools in there that he loves and that he also finds safeties that appeal to him.
As far as the rest of the visits....It sounds to me that when he went to see the reach schools (Ivies) with his high school, it was more of a group "tour". While this has value, it is not the same as going on your own and setting up a full day exploring aspects of the school that interest you. I would not suggest going back to all of them again. I think it is time to narrow the list and then go back to the ones he is truly very very interested in. If time, yes, go see the match schools on the list! When we have done college visits (we have visited each school that she is applying to but one which we are going to see this fall as she added it later on)....we have not only done the info. session and the tour, but we have had appointments with professors or department heads in the area my daughter is planning to focus on, met up with specific students arranged ahead of time (such as any kids we knew from our area who attend, plus team captains of a sport my daughter hopes to do at the college), randomly went up to students outside dorms to ask to see their rooms (never shown on the official tours) and to chat with them, ate in the cafeteria, stopped by other EC activities she hopes to participate in, etc. My daughter is returning this fall to her two first choices for a second visit to explore them deeper and to do an overnight in the dorms and have an interview, among other things. Your son could not really get this on the group tour he did with school. I see that as wetting his appetite and a way where he could get a sense of which schools he wants to explore deeper. Some people do not bother to visit safety schools and I feel this is a big mistake. My daughter did as in depth a look at those schools and really liked them. She even had an interview yesterday in our region with the admissions person from one of those schools. She showed just as much interest in their school as her first choice. I am sharing this with you to give you some food for thought of what you might do next.
You mention getting it over with by applying early to UVA or William and Mary. I would only apply ED some place IF my child truly had that school as his first choice. You are saying these schools might be his safeties (though they are not easy to get in) and I have not heard of using ED at one's safety.
As you said, just applying to 15 schools means even more essays and application stuff. In my opinion, with that many to do, he cannot possibly devote the attention that is required to put into each college. As it is with just 8 schools, I am very concerned how my daughter can fit in all the apps, essays, visits, and so forth with so much homework and a heavy EC schedule. I cannot imagine doing 15. It is not even so much the applications themselves, but I think to do it right, your child needs to visit schools, keep in contact with admissions and so forth. This takes a lot of time. My daughter today is finishing up homework and then devoting the rest of the day to college essays (topics not even chosen yet), meeting with a teacher for ice cream who is writing her a recommendation and wants an informal chat first, writing thank you's or followups to adcoms she just had an interview with or met when they visited our school or at fair last week, writing personal letters to coaches of teams she wants to play on in college, writing the student she will spend the night with at Yale next week (lined up through my brother in Alaska who knew a student at Yale from his area), and so on. This is very time consuming and she has soooo little free time. It sounds like your son is equally busy and you still have more college trips to make. I cannot imagine doing this with 15 schools and doing a great job with each one.
Does your son attend a prep school? I am thinking maybe he does since you said they took them to tour Ivy schools and the counselor is suggesting 15 applications. My daughter goes to public school so not only did she go with school to see colleges, but the counselor (who we love by the way) will not suggest colleges to students and we did the picking and choosing ourselves.
Take what I am saying with a grain of salt. It is just one parent's experience and I am far from a pro at this as it is my first child. If you can let me know where it is that you posted those stats, I could be more specific.
We will all survive and laugh (hopefully) about this all next spring.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 11:44 am: Edit|
Sorry but I just reread your post and thought of one more thing. As I said, I do think he should visit the match schools on his list. Unfortunately this is already fall of senior year and he needs to put attention now into the applications themselves. But try to see some of the schools if you can. We chose to do all that in junior year and reserve fall of senior year for overnights at the top choices. But one thing I am noticing on the list of schools he still needs to visit, is that they are all so far from you and will be hard to find the time and will be expensive. Perhaps he can choose two of those that he really prefers. Then, if admitted, then see the ones you did not see then but that will feel rushed as someone said. I prefer seeing them before applying but my kid's schools are all on the east coast and even then it is hard to find the time but we did not fly anywhere like your remaining list appears to involve. If you narrow the list, then you have less schools to visit, another reason to pare down the list. He could apply and you go visit this winter. Just another way to make this work. It would be less overwhelming if the list were shorter. And even then, I am finding the whole thing overwhelming time-wise as it is. Let us know how it goes...
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 11:51 am: Edit|
I agree with Susan regarding the 15 applications. We found 8 to be time consuming and could not find the time to get to know any one school in depth. And I think she and her daughter have a great method of getting to know a school.
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 11:54 am: Edit|
Momofsenior - With your daughter's stats, it seems like she is a very good candidate for Wash U. I know stats aren't everything, but it doesn't seem like so much of a reach based on what you listed as her scores and rank.
It looks like we won't be able to visit WashU until Nov, over Veteran's Day, after football is over. I weakly suggested that perhaps my S could skip a practice to go earlier and was met with a look that wondered how I escaped the institution. I should have known better.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 12:23 pm: Edit|
Momcat...your post makes me smile. My daughter, too, cannot seem to miss one day of practice. It is more like she can miss school (which she also hates to miss honestly) than sports practice. I think coaches ingrain that every day is imperative and that if you have any life outside of the sport, put it on hold!! LOL.
I know that my daughter must get these senior portraits taken by a deadline for the yearbook coming up. I cannot tell you the dilemma in scheduling this with the photographer 30 miles away no less. She cannot go any day after school due to sports, same with most Saturdays. First, she lined it up so as to miss school cause she could not touch sports! This is nuts but what it has come to. She did not want to miss classes though cause she realized she is already missing over a short period of time for the college fair 45 miles away, the soccer team is traveling to MA to see the World Cup (!), she has an overnight planned to Yale next week (applying EA and missing one day of school for this), and I forget what else but she was hesitant to miss classes but scheduled the photo shoot then cause the soccer coach told other kids they could not schedule their senior portraits after school and miss practices. Now, we have gotten a photographer to be willing to have an appt. late in the day on a Saturday after a game. It is crazy. I will say that the soccer coach announced at a parent meeting in preseason that if a senior had to go to see a college, it would be ok on a Practice day (not a game of course) if given advance notice. My daughter informed him of the Yale overnight and interview back in August and he said ok. But scheduling it has been difficult cause of her schedule. Then we are waiting til soccer season ends to return to her other top choice, plus the one school on her list that she has not yet seen. Hopefully we can get that done before ski season practice begins! However, that coach is more flexible.
But I know exactly what you mean by the "look" as if we are nuts to suggest missing a sports practice. Sometimes, I wonder if classroom teachers realize that the kids cannot touch ECs as far as missing (believe me dance instructors and theater directors have the same impact on my other kid in this regard) and kids are scheduling things like the orthodontist during class time as opposed to missing the EC things cause the coaches or directors of those things come across as having NO leeway for having other obligations as a teenager than THEIR EC thing. Just has been our experience. I heard one girl almost having to apologize to the ballet teacher about having to miss for SATs. My kids went through hell last year about missing a dance class cause they both got into All States for Music that took place on a weekend when they have dance (and my talking to them about how All States is an honor for a class they take IN school, not an EC.....one for band, one for chorus) and they gave my kids a very hard time for missing. While I understand how coaches or directors need strict attendance policies, these kids are not talking of missing and blowing it off but do have to take SATs, go to school concerts/events, and do college visits and interviews. But tell THEM that.....lol.
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 12:28 pm: Edit|
You asked for my S's stats, so you could put my questions into context:
GPA 3.8 UW
took 4 APs-got 5s (Chem, Span, Hist, Calc BC)
is taking 4 APs this year (Span Lit, Engl, Stat, and Govt)
other courses: things like DNA I and II, Physics...
is in a biotech research mentorship this year
band 3 of 4 years, crew 3 of 4 years, model UN 4 years, ultimate frisbee :-)
SAT IIs Chem 770 Writing 800 MathIIC 800
PSAT 230 (so far semifinalist...)
SATI V 740 M 790
Has done some volunteer work at hospital, did volunteer tutoring with elem and middle school students...
He attends a public science/tech magnet school where attendance involves a selection process.
...it's impossible to predict, of course, so we are trying to cast a broad enough net but still narrow things down to a reasonable number of colleges; if only there were a crystal ball!
Thanks for any thoughts you may have.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 01:12 pm: Edit|
Ok, sorry to ask as now I do recall reading this list before somewhere. He sounds VERY qualified to me...the scores, grades, the ECs, the interest/investigation/experience with his prospective academic/career interest, and so on. Like you are fully aware of, elite admissions is unpredictable and even the best applicants can be rejected. However, it is my belief that your son WILL get in to SOME really competitive colleges, just cannot say where. So, definitely leave some reaches on there, and some strong match schools. I would still say do not apply ED to his safety schools, unless those are truly his first choice. Narrow the list. See if you can fit in seeing the few he likes the best on the list and doing a more in depth look at those. If you can, see the others this winter. One thing colleges like to see is the child's interest in THEIR institution. I can only say that a couple of days ago when my daughter met with five of the admissions officers for five of the schools on her list at a college fair (plus one also visited her school and she had a 1 on 1 with her and another one also did an interview with her in a city in our state), they all commented to her their impression of how well she seemed to know specifics about their school....as if this was not common. I feel that even at her interview with one of the "safety schools" on her list, which is still not easy to get into...kinda like your son using UVA, the adcom mentioned to her his observation of how well she seemed to know the school. So, do not ignore this aspect. Your son has what it takes to get to the gate of top schools. I believe he has a strong chance of getting in the gate at several competitive schools but must put his all into the visits, the application, the contact with the school, etc. If you do as the GC says and apply to 15 colleges and have not even yet done the first visit at some and it is late Sept. and he has all the app work to do yet, you are gonna drive yourself nuts! I find it is already nutty and we did the initial visits to all schools junior year and she has already sent in part of her EA app and now has the essays and all the other apps to do. Her life before college admissions stuff was already jam packed. Afterall, elite colleges do want kids to take challenging courses (which here involves a great deal of homework) and be involved in committment ECs (which my kids' ones are daily heavy duty committments) and so when are they suppose to do the college stuff? Guess we are all in the same boat. But when you talk of doing this for 15 schools, you are gonna drop! Also let's say come April he gets into 11 schools on his list (from my keyboard to God's ears !! ), then you will have just one month to make the decision of where to go to college with a lot of schools to weigh. I guess this is not the worst problem in the world, but I think you need to narrow the list now. Then come April, maybe he has to choose between 6 schools he got in...and has already prioritized those six. Just a thought.
PS...You have a lot to be proud of with your son...he sounds top notch!
|By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 02:07 pm: Edit|
I second Soozie's advice. Your son sounds top notch and he has a nice range of APs.
I would suggest doing things by 3: 3 reaches, 3 matches, and 3 safeties. Don't go visit again colleges you have already visited. Wait until he has been accepted somewhere. Schools then organize recruiting visits, and the high school will also be more lenient about skipping classes in order to visit colleges. You can even skip further visits. Explain, if you wish, to adcoms that financial considerations and time constraints make it difficult for your son to visit, and ask for information in order to show interest.
Right now he has to concentrate on applying and on keeping his grades as high as possible since they will count heavily.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 02:30 pm: Edit|
I'm with Sooze and Marite: D is planning on applying to eight: three reaches, three matches, two safeties and that's *enough*.
I will say that the process at arriving at those eight took three years from the first ichoate thoughts and schools have moved up, down, and off the list. But I think D went through a reasonable process and her final eight have been pretty well thought out. I already foresee that time pressures, etc. may lead her to drop one safety and one reach from her process...better six apps well done than eight apps hurried.
14-15 schools is just overkill...if the right questions are asked, some schools will become obviously better fits than others for your S. Unfortunately, right questions vary from student to student.
|By Beeber (Beeber) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 04:32 pm: Edit|
I have a feeling that my daughter graduated from the school your son is attending. Substitute orchestra for band, multi variable calculus for ap stat and chemistry mentorship for biotech and they've got very similar stats.
I agree with other comments. 14-15 applications, in addition to continuing school work and visiting colleges, are just too many. I'm surprised that a GC recommended that many. My daughter applied to 3 reaches/lotteries, 3 matches and 2 safeties. When the decisions were in, she had offers from 7 of the 8.
Good luck with the application process. By the way, my daughter had MIT first on her list until we visited. She hated it. It came off the list almost immediately. It was a rainy day, however!
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 05:34 pm: Edit|
I wish I was as confident. Again my biggest concern is not visiting the school -- I guess you have to budget for "the search" as well as tuition! Where else is your son interested in? What are his stats -- forgive me if you posted them already. Duke appeals to my daughter because she is very interested in a school with spirit -- an area that I anticipate Wash U falling short, but is made up for in the strength of their academics.
Skidmore and Oberlin are too small and she won't go as far as Texas. Does anyone have information on Vanderbilt?
|By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 07:23 pm: Edit|
our experience: kid did 15 applications and ended up waitlisted at several places that had seemed "sure bets" and accepted to many that seemed unrealistic hopes ... had several "reach" options to choose from at the end of the process, as well as financial aid offices working to match "the best offer" ... a very nice and totally unexpected surprise.
observations: Because of the extreme randomness of the whole process, I think 15 applications is an excellent idea. Using the common app, when possible, did not seem to hurt.
When dealing with this many schools LOTS of time is needed for follow-up visits after acceptances. If we were doing it again, I would not do fewer applications but I would insist revisiting of top choice schools begin just as soon as those Feb & March likely letters started arriving. A gut-feeling (entirely unsupported by any research or insider info) that there are less of the top applicants (like your kids) left in the RD rounds and that the schools really are competing for them at that point.
|By Medprof (Medprof) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 09:37 pm: Edit|
I think your GC has some basis for his suggestion of 14-15 applications. Just like Emptynester, we learned a little from our experience. My D has stats similar to your son's. She got into one out of the 4 reach schools she applied to, and it's not the one everyone has told her she would get in. She also did not get into her EA reaches but got in RD elsewhere, so Emptynester may have a point again. Susan is right that your son should be able to get into a very competetive school. The problem is, with this admission process, you really cannot tell which one it's going to be. If he will be very happy with his safety, then it's OK to do 8-9 schools. He is in the running for all the reach schools, so you would increase the chance of getting into at least one of them by applying to more than 3, especially if there are more than 3 reach schools that fit his academic interests. I know it's a lot of work to do that many applications. You can try to do it in stages. Do the EA/ED one now. That will take care of some of the essays that you will have to come up with. Then when the school finals are over, bunker down and get the RD applications done before the Jan 1 deadline. If you think you will have no regrets, do 8-9. If you may second guess yourself, go for it. I have already decided that my S who is in 10th grade now will apply to a lot of schools. The other way to approach it would be to apply ED to the safety and get it over with, and that's really not such a bad idea either if your S does not really have a strong preference for a reach school. Your S will be a very happy senior after he receives his acceptance in Dec. I may sound a little crazy, but hey this whole college admission process is just not logical.
|By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 10:08 pm: Edit|
If your son has not yet managed to whittle down his list, then he should not do ED. It's binding.
EA is a better option. Furthermore, keep in mind that even with the common application, many colleges ask for supplementary materials, often an essay. Realistically, how many essays can your child write and still keep his grades up (I'm assuming here that he won't be taking another load of SATS and SAT-IIs, which would present yet another burden.
So before you decide on 8 or 15, think about how much work your child can handle (and we've not even talked about visiting!)
|By Wobudong (Wobudong) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 10:15 pm: Edit|
Momof3boys: Your son should look into Rice. Only 2700 undergrads. Residential colleges similar to Yale. A large number of faculty in the national academy of sciences (teaching undergrads). Relatively low tuition thanks to a 3 billion dollar endowment that is used to offset student costs. A significant number of merit scholarships. The top BS/BA/MD program: Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars. Extensive undergrad research opportunities. And a 96% med school acceptance rate.
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 10:28 pm: Edit|
Thank you all so much for the immediate feedback. You gave me some real food for thought.
I would also like to narrow the applications down from 14-15, but from what the college stats indicate, all of the combined programs are "reach" programs (some more than others) as are the Ivies. S basically only has either reach schools or safeties, nothing in between. I am guessing that is why the GC recommended applying to so many. There really are only 2 safeties.
That is a really interesting thought about students getting into schools RD because of the competetion among students applying EA/ED.
Meanwhile, ask me if even one essay has been written.........!
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 11:27 pm: Edit|
Like others have said, I can't imagine how your son will find the time to write essays and short answers for 14 applications! I do see the benefit given the state of admissions, though -- especially at these schools. Can your son pinpoint specific things he has liked/disliked during his visits? I have seen MIT and Princeton and they are worlds apart. As far as I'm concerned Princeton would be gorgeous in a torrential rainstorm and MIT will look dreary any day of the week. My daughter was able to rule out urban campuses after visiting NYU and was able to verbalize what she liked and disliked after each visit which enabled us to cross schools off the list without even seeing them. The schools he is looking at are quite different. Is it possible to pindown what environments he has liked and use this board and guides to whittle down the list a bit? By the way, I am also waking up in the middle of the night and my daughter has already sent out 2 applications! Good luck --
|By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 12:23 am: Edit|
By the time your student has done 8 applications, he or she will probably have all the essays/short answers needed for another 8. It becomes a matter of cut & paste. Most schools (Chicago is certainly an important exception) tend to ask the same things. I did not understand this till I saw all the apps lined up. We sent the same supplemental materials with all the apps. Besides, what is 15 applications to over achievers like these? Aren't they all used to overdoing everything? LOL
|By Sac (Sac) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 05:01 pm: Edit|
My son looks similar to yours but with the addition that, living in California, we will have no opportunity to go back East again until he knows where he's gotten accepted. We did the college trip in Spring of his junior year in case he wanted to apply somewhere early, but it was unreal for him. Just too far away from his junior year concerns. Going on tours with him was like dragging around a stone.
We will visit some California schools this fall. But I think it's very likely that he will apply to places he hasn't visited as well as ones he has. I figure our job at this point is to make sure that he spends at least a weekend at a college after he's admitted and before he accepts.
Our school has said that most students apply to about 10 colleges, counting the UC application as one although it allows for checking off multiple campuses. He doesn't even know about 10 colleges -- not due to our lack of trying. Now, he is finally paying attention to this process and trying to EXPAND his list while other students are whittling theirs down. I can only say that I think it will get done, that your son and mine will end up with good choices.
They will learn how to tweak their essays so they don't have to be redone for every application. I have decided to supervise to the extent that he knows the deadlines, and gets the first EA application out; then, to make sure that he gets in his application to UC,including campuses that will function as safeties. After that, how much work he wants to put into the process is up to him. I suspect that a rejection from his EA school will push him harder than I ever could (the main reason, in my view to apply EA somewhere) while an acceptance will narrow his list down.
|By 3boysmom (3boysmom) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:58 pm: Edit|
This is for Momofsenior: My son is a freshman at Emory and loving every minute of it. While he's not planning on majoring in classics, he will be taking several classics classes because it's one of his interests--he took all the way through AP Latin 5 in high school. One of the classics professors offers a freshman seminar that is very popular, although it might be a bit simplistic for a student who wants to major in the area. During his visit to Emory last year he sought out that professor (I can't remember his name ) and I was impressed by how approachable he was. If your daughter has any questions, I'd be glad to try and get the answers for you.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 08:16 pm: Edit|
It's great to hear that your son is so happy! I've been hearing a lot of mixed reviews from parents of college freshman. When we visited Emory last year we got the sense that it was very strong in premed and business, but not necessarily in humanities. In fact the website only lists a few classes in Latin - partial listing maybe? My daughter spoke to an Emory admissions officer at her high school who raved about the classics department and it is getting positive posts here, so that's good news. Do you know anything about the history department? What is your son majoring in? Was Emory his first choice or high on his list of schools? How is it socially? My daughter is extremely social, and I couldn't get a feel for it socially when we visited. Anything you can tell me about what your son is like and other aspects of the school will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 01:02 pm: Edit|
Momofsenior - Although my son doesn't have the great stats that your daughter does, it sounds like they are looking for a similar atmosphere. He has very good stats, not in the stellar regions that many of the posters here seem to have though. I'm hesitant to post them because I don't know how he'd feel about it, but his weighted GPA is over 4.0 (I don't know his unweighted) and he is in the top 7% at a very large public high school. His ACT is good, mostly due to his math and science strength, but his composite still makes schools like Duke and Wash U. reaches as he's barely in their 25/75 range for composite ACT. He hasn't taken SATs and likely won't since all the schools he's considering (so far) accept ACT. He is retaking the ACT next month because he was very annoyed that he didn't get a 36 on the math portion last time like he thought he did. His ECs are the area that I'm afraid he's short in. As a freshman he played 3 sports, and since then he's played 2 every year. He has made Academic All-Conference each year though, which I'm very proud of because I know how hard he works for those grades, carrying the load he does and not getting home until after dinner most nights. He has participated in class council, but not held office, he's also been a part of fundraisers, and done a bit of volunteer work at my daughter's grade school. He worked junior year and this past summer, and will likely get a job as soon as football is over, of course, with basketball around the corner, he will only be able to work minimal weekend hours until that's over.
He's looking for a medium to large school with a good athletic program. He'll likely want to play intramurals, but he really wants a team(s) to follow. It's not the priority, but it is an important. He's still undecided, engineering was the first consideration because of his strengths, but pre-med is something he's mentioned as well. He would love to study astronomy and medieval studies, but not as a major.
So far, the not-yet-whittled-down list includes U of Illinois (in-state and the one to beat), Michigan, Wisc-Madison, Northwestern, Duke, Illinois Wesleyan (a small school he's agreed to look at), Wash U., DePaul, and Cornell (maybe). The list still seems a bit Reach and Safety heavy to me.
Soozie - Funny you should mention senior pics. My S did his at the end of summer, didn't like any of them, which left me with the impossible task of trying to schedule a retake. We finally did get it in though, this past Saturday afternoon.
|By Filo895 (Filo895) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 04:45 pm: Edit|
Skidmore's already been mentioned; I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on it or if anyone's child is planning to apply there. My D's high school drama teacher (fantasic, one-in-a-kind kind of teacher) just moved there--boo hoo; her husband is Skidmore's new president. She's back in our town this week for a visit, and is raving about Skidmore--trying to convince my D to apply. It sounds as though Skidmore has a great English and Theater, two of my D's interests, but Saratoga Springs seems so remote and kind of hard to get to, as we're from California. Thoughts, anyone?
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 04:56 pm: Edit|
Momcat...these scheduling dilemmas are getting a bit much here too. She is also going to do the portraits late Sat. afternoon after a game (plus the photographer is not nearby). This was a special after hours willingness on part of the photographer. Ok, now my latest schedule dilemma of a greater magnitute just came to the fore in the past few minutes.
My daughter took out a calendar in August to determine how she would fit in a second trip with an overnight to her two top choice schools. Her soccer coach said he would allow her to miss practice with a lot of advance notice for a college trip. We had trouble coming up with a date and working around the game schedule plus other stuff. A month ago, we lined up our second trip to Yale this coming Thursday night and getting back on Friday night very late as there is a game Sat. morning. This trip has taken A LOT of arranging. She has an interview on campus lined up for Friday. It took many emails and calls but eventually she got a one on one meeting with an architecture professor lined up plus is observing the class. She could not get an official overnight host but after many different avenues were explored, she is staying with a friend of my brother's family from Alaska who is a student there. Another friend of a family in New Haven has a Yalie who is having lunch with my daughter, and so on. The trip has finally all fallen into place with all the appointments and overnight arrangements.
This afternoon, my daughter's really big soccer game against the best team got rained out. She is still at practice anyway at the moment. But my hubby traveled to the cancelled game and just called and said he was told it is rescheduled for Thursday. My daughter is likely dying at the moment at school. There is no way she will want to miss the game, nor likely allowed to as she is the starting/only Varsity goalie and this is the game of the season. If she were to go to the game, she would not make it to Yale til midnight, defeating the purpose of the overnight experience in the dorms. Rescheduling the visit seems impossible cause who knows if an interview slot will be left (the overnight slots went in like a week), all the other arrangements would have to be cancelled, plus truly looking at a calendar, we have the game schedule and stuff that makes any other dates almost nil. I have no clue what we are doing now. This is just one more schedule dilemma and stuff. Our lives without the college stuff were so full and fitting in this stuff and applications and essays and scholarships, has just been very difficult. Thanks for letting me vent...lol.
|By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 05:07 pm: Edit|
My son spent 3 weeks at Skidmore summer before last as part of the CTY program. Saratoga Springs is about one hour away from Albany by car. It's a very pleasant town, at least in summer. The site of important horse races, it also has quite a bit of musical and theater activities, again, at least in summer. It can be quite cold in winter, being in upstate NY.
Skidmore is a pleasant campus, though it was not really special (not like Wellesley or Princeton, for example). The dorm rooms were comfortable and well equipped (my son has been in dorm rooms with malfunctioning drawers and other problems). The science labs were first-rate, and the classrooms bright and cheerful.
Skidmore does have a good reputation for English and the performing arts. it sounds as though, if your daughter were to apply, she would have a strong "in."
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 05:10 pm: Edit|
Our kids do sound similar in some areas -- although my daughter's weakest areas are math and science and she does not want a large school like Wisc. or Michigan. I think you are underestimating your son's ECs. They are looking for a commitment to a few activities, not a laundry list, and working part time means a lot.
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 05:45 pm: Edit|
Soozie - My sympathies for the scheduling dilemma. I can tell you that from the sounds of it, if it were us, the big game would not be missed. Yale would be rescheduled. I know that must sound awful to some people, but that's just the way it is. The game can't be rescheduled, the visit (possibly) can. Just as there are certain dance rehearsals or perfomances that my daughter can miss, there are others that she simply can't, barring health issues. These commitments do play heck with family scheduling though.
Momofsenior - I would prefer my son attend a medium sized school, who knows, his list if far from final so perhaps we'll find one to add that is a good match. Btw, I was surprised to read that Michigan actually has less students than Illinois, a few thousand. I guess when you get up into those numbers a few thousand might not make much of a difference though.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 05:57 pm: Edit|
Filo, Skidmore is still on D's list, one of her two safeties. It's more remote than she would like and it's not as academically competitive/selective as she would like (hence "safety) but it's the only school she's seen that actually has a pas de deux class for ballet.
Anecdotal info on this board says that marijuana & alcohol use are higher than I'm wild about.
|By 3boysmom (3boysmom) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 06:30 pm: Edit|
Our children seem to be interested in a lot of the
same things. My son plans on majoring in international relations or middle eastern studies, and possibly co-majoring in journalism. All of these areas are strong at Emory, and I have heard that history is strong as well.The course catalog is very interesting reading. Emory has a lot of unique opportunites for kids like my son because of the Carter Center and CNN.
I think one of Emory's strengths is its student body--each kid we met seemed to be a live wire! I think that is what drew my son so strongly to Emory. It was something that he didn't feel at other schools. After the all-to-usual exhaustive search, my son ultimately considered Emory, Cornell, Northwestern, Tufts, Brandeis, GW (the honors program was interesting), and Syracuse (the journalism there is outstanding and so is the merit money).
My son ended up applying ED to Emory.While he liked all the schools on his list (he had visited all, as well as others taken off his list) he had fallen in love with Emory and the students he had met there. What's interesting is that at the begining of the search it was just a name and sort of off the beaten track--I think it gets less play than other schools because georaphically it requires a trip all its own if students are generally applying to the usual northeastern and/or dc schools.
My son's experience so far (just over a month) has been all he wanted. The kids are all smart and savvy, maybe a little bit less overtly intellectual or condescending or competitive with each other than his friends at some Ivy's have encountered. They all study hard and have those all-night intellectual conversations, but they are a fun bunch too. His dorm is small (80:co-ed) and a lot of fun. He has done a variety of things, from going to a Braves game to going shopping to carry packages for the girls (interesting, because he is not a shopper and is on crutches with a broken ankle, and thus not much of a carrier either--but he had a good time anyway), to going out to various restaurants to hearing various speakers, this week he is planning to hear Professor Heaney (poet laureate) give a reading in honor of the retiring university president, and also to go to the famous Town Meeting with President Carter.
His broken ankle has somewhat limited his activities but he reports that he goes to a lot of meetings and events and has gotten involved in a myriad of things. He would like to do intramural sports (he played soccer for 13 years) but it will be a long haul before he can do those things again. Right now his athletic participation is limited to refereeing/scorekeeping at the sand volleyball court outside his dorm.
So far he really likes his classes. He reports that the professors are "amazing" and very accessible. All of his classes are taught by full professors. Two of his classes have less than 15 students, and two have approximately 40. One of his "large" classes is a 300 level class on the Holocaust taught by Professor Lipstadt, who is internationally known in the area; it is supposedly one of the most popular classes on campus and he feels lucky, if stressed, to be in it, as he says it is a lot different than his entry level classes.It should be interesting when grades start coming in; already a lot of papers are coming due. If he studies as much as he says he does, he should do fine.
I'm sorry this post has gone on forever. Let me know if you would like me to find out any information for you, or I could put your daughter in touch with my son if she wants to talk to him directly.
|By Sac (Sac) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 08:33 pm: Edit|
We're from Northern California and know a sophomore at Skidmore who is from our area and likely to major in English. From what I hear, she had an excellent experience with English classes her freshman year. They were small and she developed a relationship with her professors, one of whom helped her get a summer job. This is a smart student who underperformed at high school and has come to life intellectually at Skidmore.
|By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 09:37 pm: Edit|
Great report about your son's experiences at Emory so far. I have heard so many good reports about Emory and it was nice to hear everything confirmed. Thanks for sharing the information.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 11:28 pm: Edit|
Momcat...thought I would just write a followup to the game/Yale conflict. First, I totally hear you regarding conflicts with games, rehearsals, performances, etc. BELIEVE me, we have been there done that numerous times. Never easy.
This is a little different. For one thing, this was planned back in August with the coach's blessing, purposely AROUND the game schedule. This change of events is very last minute. This is just not any college visit...not the type where a kid goes to look at a college, etc. We have done that at Yale aleady nine mos. ago. This was very difficult to schedule in the first place and it appears that no other date is in sight that would be good prior to her filing her EA application. We would not be able to find out til tomorrow if her interview could be rescheduled. My gut feeling is that will be tough to do. I know the overnight hosting for the date we wanted was booked solid within the first week that they were taking phone calls for reservations. So, even if we could come up with a day in the next couple of weeks to return, the chance of getting the interview opening slot is not good. She is going back for three main purposes.....to have the interview, meet one on one with a professor in the dept. she is going for (was not able to do that on the last visit), observe a class, and do an overnight to truly experience the college life more in depth. She was planning to do that this fall at her two first choice schools. I do not want to get into it all here, but it has taken a LOT of time for each aspect of this visit to come together...numerous contacts with many people across the country and at Yale. Perhaps it could all happen all over again, possibly not but even her own schedule for the rest of soccer season looks difficult.
She came home from practice and told me about it and had talked to the coach who was fully aware of her trip later this week to Yale. My daughter decided to go to Yale. The coach actually said that while it was really sad to not have her for this game against one of the best teams, if it were his own life....he would choose to go for the overnight college trip and the interview and meetings. So, while bummed out, he actually understood. Others who know about it have said that in the long run, the bigger picture is getting into college and what she is doing for that and one game alone is not as big (this is not the playoffs yet). Another girl on the team has played goalie before though normally plays the field. They will bring up the JV goalie as backup for Thurs. game. They are not completely stuck even if she is the Varsity goalie normally. My daughter contemplated our driving down after the game and getting to New Haven past midnight but knew that for one thing she could not do the dorm overnights and arrive that late to stranger's room who offered her this so graciously, nor could I arrive at the home of friend's in the area where I am to stay....and then she might have stayed over Friday night instead, after the full day of the Yale appts., but then that would mean missing Sat. AM's soccer game back home....so not really all that different other than maybe not as big of a deal of an opponent team that day. She said she even threw the idea out to the coach of staying in the dorm Fri. night instead and missing Sat. game and he never entertained that idea. Plus that is the only day she can get the senior portrait done in time for yearbook. She just realized that this was going to be nearly impossible to be able to do it all again with all the same people at Yale and not having another date in the next few weeks. She hates hates hates missing a game but realized in the scheme of things, that the college thing is a bit bigger now and that the coach did not need convincing....he understood completely and also felt he would do the same in this situation. If this was merely a look at a college, it might be different. It took weeks to make all the aspects come together and might not be able to be done again during soccer season prior to her EA application. So, that is what is happening. Giving up an interview at her first choice was not worth it, nor the other stuff, even though she is very dedicated to her team and in fact is missing five weeks of her tap dance troupe rehearsals for the soccer team.
And so it goes......
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 11:57 pm: Edit|
Soozie - Kudos to your daughter then. She sounds like a very mature young woman who's learned to deal with a difficult situation head-on. I underestimated the importance of this visit, and the impossibility of rescheduling. I'm glad her coach is supportive and not making this an even harder decision for her. Being the Varsity goalie, I'm sure it kills her to miss a Big game. Since Yale is her first choice, I'm glad she's been able to work out her overnight. Good luck to her! I hope you let us know how it goes.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:44 am: Edit|
Thanks for all the information. I'm going to have my daughter read your post if she's accepted, and she might want to contact your son if he doesn't mind. Our kids are interested in a lot of the same things, including international relations. She was quite excited that Jimmy Carter teaches some classes. When we visited the school there were a few things that concerned her about the social atmosphere. The day we were there, there were a lot of older students walking around which made the campus feel more like a graduate school. Also, the freshman that met with us before the info session was as bad as we've experienced. He HAD to let us know that he settled for Emory (he wanted to go to Stanford), was a National Merit Scholar and that he was pleasantly surprised to find the school didn't have as many JAPs as he thought it would. He offended quite a few people.
How great that your son is where he should be!
It must be very comforting to know how happy he is and that he is experiencing and enjoying so many different aspects of the school.
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:51 am: Edit|
Did the guide mean JAP as in Japanese? Maybe this is a clue as to why an Asian-American girl from my son's school with perfect SATs and all the rest got rejected by Emory while she was accepted at Brown and Swarthmore? The guidance counselor was in a state of shock as he told me this.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:54 am: Edit|
Have you thought about Vanderbilt, Wake Forest (may be too small), Notre Dame, Boston College, Villanova?
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:04 am: Edit|
The guide meant Jewish American Princess!! I have heard that Emory is very sensitive about being used as a safety and wants to see serious interest. There is a question on the application about how many contacts the applicant has had with the school and the student checks and lists dates for campus visit, high school visit, college fair, video, etc. There is also a "Why Emory" question. I would guess that she did not visit the school and did not convince the adcoms that she really wanted to attend. I also know of a student whose sibling attends Emory and was rejected but accepted at Brown.
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:22 am: Edit|
Thanks for the clarification. I had a hard time believing that in this day and age, a college student would use the term Jap to refer to Japanese.
I actually don't know why this young woman applied to Emory. It's not on the radar screen of most students in our school which is located in MA.
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:42 am: Edit|
Marite, believe me it is also just as offensive in this day and age to refer to Jewish girls as JAPS (Jewish American Princesses), as that is truly regarded as a derogatory name and generalization. That tour guide's reference to this to a group of parents/kids investigating the school is hard for me to believe. Unfortunate, truly. Japanese or Jewish...just the same.
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:46 am: Edit|
I agree! I went to Brandeis. Jewish American Princess was one of the bits of American culture with which I had to familiarize myself. I'd thought that the term had disappeared at around the time I graduated decades ago.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 12:19 pm: Edit|
Unfortunately, I guess it's one of those terms that will never disappear!!
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 12:48 pm: Edit|
Well, it'll be harder for it to disappear when Jewish girls will say of another, "Oh, she's such a JAP!" (Or "She's such a Princess!," leaving the JA implied but understood.)
I've come to realize that my experience is somewhat skewed in that the L.A. area in general is the third-largest Jewish city in the world, to the extent that Jews, while being a statistical minority, aren't a cultural minority.
In one way, D is in a minority of the high-achieving students at her school in that she's neither Asian nor Jewish. If she weren't female, that would be the trifecta.
|By 3boysmom (3boysmom) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:35 pm: Edit|
It's unfortunate that your daughter had the wrong tour guide--we had a pair of live-wire sophomores who were involved in all kinds of diverse activities and majors (the girl was double -majoring in neurobiology/psychology and art history as a pre-med (yes, the Emory stereotype) and the boy was triple majoring in political science, educational policy and theater studies.
I think there are some students at Emory who are disappointed that they didn't get into the Holy Grail of their dream school, but with chances at Ivies hovering around 5% for ordinary students without a hook, there are a lot of disappointed students around, and the more mature ones manage to get on with their lives. Actually, it was that attitude that turned my son off at Tufts--he felt there were a lot of people there who had wanted to be elsewhere. He counted more Harvard t-shirts on the Tufts quad than Tufts t-shirts and felt in general that Tufts was an unhappy campus. I was surprised at his reaction, because on paper Tufts had seemed an ideal match for him and it had been his favorite on his list up to that point. I think that Emory, too, may end up with some who used it as a safety for the Ivies, but maybe the attitude wasn't as much felt because the reminder was not just down the "T".
Sometimes I think it just comes down to the luck or misfortune of whom you happen to meet on a campus visit. Tufts is an excellent school with wonderful programs--but on that day it did not show itself to be the right school for my son.
Thank you for your good thoughts for my son--things apparently have played out well for him. But the thing is, there is definitely more than one right choice out there for each student. He genuinely felt that all of the schools on his list were good choices and places where he could be happy. But he applied to Emory ED because he loved it and wanted the swiftest end possible to what he termed "application agony."
As far as the vagiaries of admissions commitees: one national merit scholar in my son's class was rejected at Emory, Johns Hopkins , and Georgetown, but accepted at Princeton, Harvard and Columbia (attending Princeton), and another was waitlisted at Oberlin and Brown but accepted at Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard and Columbia (attending Yale).Another strong student was accepted by Emory, Northwestern, and Washington University, but rejected by NYU.
As far as the whole "jap" thing, Emory does attract a lot of privileged students, just like most of the other top schools, whether universities or lacs. But like all of the other similar schools, the students are all smart and talented and have all worked hard and achieved a lot to get there. Like the Ivies and other highly ranked schools, yes, Emory has a lot of Jewish students (including my son).But I didn't meet any people with the stereotypical obnoxious attitude associated with the epithet.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 06:30 pm: Edit|
We actually had an excellent tour and information session. The student I mentioned was the one that answers questions while waiting for the info session to start. It was a shame because everything else was quite impressive -- I don't know how they let him slide by! If it had been a tour guide it probably would have had more of an impact, but that was not the case.
We all hope that if our kids end up at their safeties they go with the right attitude. Tufts is an excellent school, but from what I've heard your experience is not uncommon. Isn't that why the Tufts Syndrome is named that? I personally would choose the Emory Campus over Tufts any day, but we only drove through and didn't do a tour or information session.
Yes, there are privileged students everywhere. In fact most of the students of the schools my daughter is applying to are described as looking like they stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch or J. Crew catalog. As soon as the comment is associated with a specific group or religion it becomes offensive. Right or wrong, I would have been more forgiving of the comment if I thought the student was Jewish.
When I hear stories of stellar students being rejected from certain schools I wonder about their essays, recommendations, effort in application preparation. The students you mentioned above are truly mind boggling and are the reason that so many think they should apply to 10+ schools. I am relieved that we are not dealing with the extreme randomness of Ivies and other similar schools. I just hope that my daughter has an experience like your son, wherever she ends up.
|By Kjofkw (Kjofkw) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:13 am: Edit|
I'm a bit perplexed by your list of acceptances & rejections. I KNOW it can be a random process, but the list is surprising. I'm wondering if a student applies to a lot of top-rated & ivy schools, if the schools "slightly" under peg that same student as interested in their school only as a safety or backup, and thus reject them?
I'm concerned because my S is applying to a number of schools in both camps(not necessarily the same ones listed above). We've been led to believe the "top" schools are a lottery While his scores & grades are great, and he is active, he is not a natural born leader, and has no hook or outstanding contribution. So he'd like to "stretch" and see what happens, but is also trying to be realistic. I'm concerned that applying to the top schools, actually may hurt your chances at the next level schools!
|By Massdad (Massdad) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:24 am: Edit|
KJ, your issue has been thoroughly discussed on these boards, as well as articles in the WSJ and other media: Schools, at least those a rung below the elites, are yield obsessed these days and are quite likely to reject a student who appears to be using that school as a safety school. That's why there have been such extensive threads discussing what contacts to have (tour, meet with faculty, email etc) and how to inform admissions of such.
As any experienced college advisor will tell you, the selection of safety schools has become much more difficult, especially for those who want to use selective private schools as safeties. (I'm not aware of any state U that has begun to focus on yield - maybe for out of staters? comments welcome). There are many ways to deal with the issue, but that's probably best discussed in a separate topic if anyone wants to start it.
I guess everyone wants to be loved!
|By Coureur (Coureur) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 07:53 pm: Edit|
Seems to me that in the future the Yield statistic should significantly fade in importance now that USN&WR has dropped it from its ranking criteria.
It's no secret that many schools are obsessed with their USN&WR report ranking - to the point of gaming the system with various ploys and tactics designed to artificially boost their rankings.
Thus, I'm hoping that the phenomenon of top students getting rejected by their safety schools should decrease, although perhaps not go away entirely.
|By 3boysmom (3boysmom) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:25 pm: Edit|
I mentioned those particular acceptance and rejections because they seemed like such anomalies to me too. Most of my son's friends had a more normal pattern of acceptances and rejections, and most of them were happy in the end.Several got into Ivies and other top ranked schools as well as their matches and safeties, and a number didn't get their reaches but got into their matches and were happy. None of my son's friends were left only with a safety or no school at all. Make sure your son understands that his reaches are just that--reaches--and that he should be happy if he receives acceptance(s) but that he should realistically be planning on choosing among his match schools.
At times on this board there has been some discussion of "Tufts Syndrome"--that is what Massdad is referring to above. It's when a school rejects or waitlists a top applicant, thinking that the applicant is "too good" for their school and thus likely to turn down an offer of admission in favor of an acceptance from an even higher-ranked school. It's up to the applicant to convince the school that it is under serious consideration, using the techniques Massdad mentioned. I also think that particular care needs to be taken with the essays--make sure they fit the prompts exactly and are not obvious rewrites of another schools prompts!Sometimes the students spend all of their efforts on the applications for their dream schools but don't make the same effort on the applications for theirmatches-that can then cause problems when their match schools (generally very selective in their own right) aren't impressed by the application.A student might be rejected at an apparent match school for this reason too.
My theory is that scores and grades and class rank take a student only through the initial read of the admissions process, and that once a student is deemed "acceptable" a whole new process begins that is much more holistic in nature. It's at this point that the whole picture of a student becomes paramount--the ecs, essays, recommendations etc. My theory: the most "vivid" students get in, which students have the most the most compelling paintings or interesting stories, the students the adcoms would like to get to know on a personal basis. Contrary to what a lot of the student posters think, I don't believe that an admissions committee takes Jon over Joe because Jon had a 1530 and Joe had only a 1500. That can also explain what some people think of as an anomaly, ie., how some student with "lesser" stats got in over someone "better." Of course, the consideration doesn't get to this point unless it has first been determined that the student has the basic quantitative statistics (and rigor of curriculum,etc.) that the school requires. Of course, a student with significantly higher scores often is more attractive in other areas, too, and of students with the same holistic "picture" it makes sense that a school would choose the student with the better numbers. But I think this would explain away some of what the students think of as randomness.
Of course, students with a special hook such as legacies, atheletes, and URMs are in a category separate from the mere good students with busy lives.
And then of course the Ivies are a "lottery ticket" anyway!"Normal" good kids have about a 5% chance of admission and I think all bets are off and at that point a lot of it becomes just luck==who read an application, on what day, in comparison to what other applications, and what other"types" or "slots" had already been decided upon from the general pool, so
what "types" or "slots" are they still trying to pick to round out the class? I think any student applying to the Ivies, no matter what his or her statisitcs might be, has to realize that all of the Ivies are reaches for everybody, and, like I said above, should maybe dream of Ivy but also be realistic and plan on choosing among the match schools.
All of the kids on this board are so impressive .Any school should be happy to have any assortment of them!
And while I am through with the process for son#1, I have son #2 in 9th grade and son #3 in 7th grade, so I think I'll be reading this board for a long time to come.
|By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 01:40 am: Edit|
a bit more about our experience: kid was not accepted early at the ivy that had, until that point, always accepted the class valedictorian. kid was accepted with a likely letter and offer of admission to a special research program at a different ivy on whose campus we had never set foot as well as at one of the very tip-top LAC's where kid had no interview as the decision to apply wasn't even made till after the interview deadline had passed. kid is attending one of the colleges in this years' us news #5 spot bubble.. a college at which no one from our local high school had ever been accepted although many had applied. We did visit that one on the junior year tour and schedule the interview on time! kid was accepted with early letters at 12 schools ... at two of the safeties kid was waitlisted... and at the original early choice ivy, kid was waitlisted RD tho no one really cared at that point.
I still believe the process random and ultimately, completely unpredictable.
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 09:08 am: Edit|
When you say accepted with early letters at 12 schools, which types of schools send these and when do they come?? Are you talking about the "likely" letters that we hear about from the Ivies, or actual "you are accepted" letters, and approximately when did you get them. Also, did the schools who sent the likely letters(if thats what they were) make any attempt in the interim to discover how likely your child was to attend??
Thanks--[we are obviously in the thick of this process]
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 09:52 am: Edit|
Would you mind sharing the names of the schools you're referring to?
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 10:03 am: Edit|
Do you feel that the safety schools' applications were as well prepared as the others? Do you know if these schools tend to waitlist students they think are using them as safeties?
|By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 07:30 pm: Edit|
The safety schools' applications were absolutely as well prepared as the others. Our mantra after Dec 14 was, "this year there are no safeties." If I knew why colleges waitlist students, I would start my own business.
Last year is rather a blur to me but my best recollection is that the likely letters and early acceptance letters began arriving in early Feb. Kid got both kinds. I found this board while trying to figure what in the world these letters were about! having never heard of such a concept before. Yes, schools immediately began trying to recruit with letters and calls from profs and students in the depts of interest and offers of paid visits.
I can't name schools because it seems to me so many of these students go to the same summer programs/academic competitions and know just who is doing what where and I don't want someone telling my kid, "your mom is writing about you on cc." Already I have shared more personal information than I am comfortable with trying to convince you that experiences like meprof and I had last year are not atypical. It really is a lottery and just maybe the greater number of tickets you purchase, just maybe the greater the possibility of a "win" ... also to give some hope to students not accepted ea/ed that perhaps something even better will be available rd than might ever have been imagined. And that not being accepted ed, or rd for that matter, had nothing to do with inadequate essays or recs or showing an adequate amount of interest, etc.
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 03:46 pm: Edit|
S is applying to only 2 safeties and the rest are reaches, due to the nature of his interest. He is looking at a few Ivies,and several combined bachelor/MD programs which appear to be statistically as competetive as the Ivies.
He is beginning to narrow his choices and prioritize them, but is still unsure as to whether to apply ED or EA to any of them (the schools with EA are single-choice EA's).
The problem is: if he applies ED or EA, he can't apply elsewhere until he hears from the ED/EA school, which from what I understand is mid-December or so. However, a couple of the other programs he is interested in require applications in by Dec. 1.
So, should he give up the possible benefit of applying EA or ED to one of the few Ivies he would love to attend so that he can be considered for the combined program he would also give his eye teeth to attend?
He is strongly considering applying RD to them all and forgetting the whole EA/ED phenominon.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 04:20 pm: Edit|
If at all possible apply EA. This was an option that was only available at one of the schools my son applied to last year. We did not have the financial peace of mind to allow him to apply ED.
I was so envious last year when Yale and Stanford announced that they would be changing from ED to EA. My son would have applied EA in a heartbeat.So I recommend applying EA whenever possible. I've never heard of single choice EA. What is that?
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 04:44 pm: Edit|
EmptyN, not quite correct: he can't apply to any other school EA or ED. He can apply to any other school RD, including those like the UC's that have app deadlines like November 30.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 04:55 pm: Edit|
Why can't he apply to the schools with 12/1 deadlines for RD? It's my understanding that he can apply anywhere RD at any time and then just withdraw the applications if he's accepted ED. The only restrictions are for other ED or EA options.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:01 pm: Edit|
Nevermind about the single choice EA question. I went to the Yale web site figuring they would be offering this and sure enough.
|By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:02 pm: Edit|
EA: Early Action. Most institutions that offer EA offer single choice EA. This means that students may apply only to one institution. Colleges act on applications early, and usually notify students by early or mid-December. Even when they have been offered admission, applicants may still apply RD to other institutions, and wait until May 1 to accept the EA offer or not. This allows applicants to compare offers--especially financial offers--from different institutions.
ED: Applicants are allowed to apply to only one institution. If admitted, applicants pledge to accept the offer which is binding, unless the financials make it impossible for the applicants to accept (I believe this must be documented). Some LACs have two ED deadlines, in November and January. As with EA, applicants are notified in early to mid-December. If not accepted, their application may be put in the RD pile (but the chances of being admitted are slim); they are free to apply RD elsewhere. Since ED is binding, applicants with financial needs ought to be very prudent about using this route.
Hope this helps
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:11 pm: Edit|
One correction to Marite's post: Most institutions that offer EA offer single choice EA. This should be changed to most elite institutions. Many institutions that offer EA do not limit applying to other schools early. This seems to be an elite institution phenomenon!
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:21 pm: Edit|
So, then, if S opts to apply SCEA (single choice EA) to increase his chances of acceptance at Yale for example, he will forfeit his ability to apply to the Rice program where the 'interim' application due no later than Dec. 1. (That is the only way you can apply to their combined bachelor MD program, for which he has a burning desire). However, applying ED to Rice would not be appropriate as it would bind him to their undergrad program regardless of whether he was accepted into the combined program or not.
Has anyone located that crystal ball, yet?
Any suggestions? Or is it obvious that he can't apply SCEA if he wants to apply to Rice's program?
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:32 pm: Edit|
An interim application is not the same as EA or ED so he might be able to apply to Yale EA and to Rice's Bachelor/MD program. I would check with Yale's admissions office.
|By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:37 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the correction!
Do check with Yale. But I think that there is a provision for allowing students to apply to more than one place because of overlapping deadlines.
|By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 05:40 pm: Edit|
I agree with momofsenior. I think single choice EA is not meant to force you to miss deadlines to other programs, only to restrict you from submitting any other EA or ED application. For example, since UC applications are due in November, our son will apply to UC even though he's also applying EA to Stanford. If Rice's BA/MD program only has one deadline, I don't think he should miss it.
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 01:17 am: Edit|
Momofsenior - I did suggest that he check out Vanderbilt (and Emory) a long time ago, for whatever reason they didn't make his current list. I think I'll discuss them with him again though. As far as Notre Dame, Boston College and Villanova are concerned, I have to admit being a little leery about sending him to a Roman Catholic affiliated school. I mean absolutely no offense to anyone who is Catholic, but the fact is that we are not and while I know these are all schools with excellent reputations, I don't know if my S would feel comfortable. One of my son's good friends is just dying to get into N.D. Unfortunately, he has no legacy, and barely makes their 25/75 range. The h.s. my son currently attends is very socio-economically diverse and it's an atmosphere that he's comfortable with and appreciates. I think he'd prefer a non-affiliated college experience as well.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 03:24 am: Edit|
Not all Catholic institutions are created equal. Notre Dame would probably feel "excessively Catholic" to many non-Catholics while Georgetown seems to be truly embracing of diversity.
Fwiw, posted by a non-Catholic who has attended Catholic church for 20+ years...it's a long story.
|By Massdad (Massdad) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 01:37 pm: Edit|
Momcat, Thedad: I share the concern Momcat raised re catholic colleges. We live near BC, so the local papers cover issues there well. It seems about two years ago the vatican of all places cracked down on US catholic colleges and instituted a policy that the local bishops vett certain faculty. Thedad, can you expand on this? At any rate, seems a few BC faculty were pushed out as a result. It strikes me as the type of doctrinaire academic environment I'd like my kid to avoid.
|By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 01:58 pm: Edit|
Massdad and others:
I know someone who began teaching at Holy Cross a couple of years ago. She reports that a lot of faculty meetings are taken up debating the new Vatican policy. It makes for very uncomfortable discussions even for those who are Catholics, but according to my friend, this does not seem to have an effect on what goes on in classrooms.
I do, however, also know some BC faculty, some hired after the policy went into effect who are not Christian, let alone Catholic. It does not seem to bother them.
It sounds like it depends on colleges.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 02:05 pm: Edit|
Massdad, BC is so extreme in its conservative orthodoxy that, even if D were interested, I would veto. But not to worry, wouldn't have been a possibility.
See, when D was about 10 years old, we were walking to church and she said, "We believe that there should be women priests but we can't talk about it in church, right Dad?" Got it in one, honey.
Actually, the notion of women priests would probably get a majority vote in the parish, including among the serving priests, but the issue is so extremely divisive--and since there's no chance of it happening--it's one of those questions that simply isn't talked about in large group settings.
I suspect D's been affected by knowing her Nana (my foster mother), who became an Episcopalian priest after a career as a probation officer. As I said earlier...it's a long story.
|By Momofsenior (Momofsenior) on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 01:29 pm: Edit|
Momcat -- Here are our impressions of Duke posted here because this is where we first discussed it.
We were pleasantly surprised to find the students extremely friendly, welcoming, and helpful. We talked to many and almost all were very enthusiastic about the school. The student body was extremely diverse, the most we've seen on any campus, though most campuses we have visited have not been diverse at all. I had read that there is a lot of self segregation and we found that to be the case. As diverse as the students were we did not see any "mixed" groups. We observed quite a lot of that in the dining hall. The dining hall had food stations with many different offerings such as sushi, wraps, pasta station -- very impressive. My daughter was turned off at the thought of Greek life, but felt that it was not much of an issue at Duke. Fraternities may have designated halls in dorms, and sororities do not have any housing at all. Students may also be members of a fraternity and live wherever they want. The West Campus was beautiful, with the Gothic architecture and the chapel that Duke is known for. It is very large and hilly with a lot of woods. There are many isolated areas where security must be an issue. I know that collegeprowler.com gave it a very low rating for safety and I can see why. To say Durham is not a nice city is an understatement. The East Campus is about a mile from the West Campus but the students are transported by shuttle buses. The East Campus is also pretty with Georgian architecture and is quite large for a second campus. It houses all freshman as well as certain departments such as history and foreign languages and has its own library, fitness center, dining... The biggest drawback to this system is that students will continue to use both campuses all four years, assuming that they have classes that are offered on the East campus. Sophomores are assigned specific dorms on West Campus based on where they live freshman year, and juniors live elsewhere. The housing setup made us feel that there was little interaction among the classes, though I sensed that this setup did result in a closeness within each class. The information session was awful. It's funny that our original posts discussed the smugness of "Admissions Confidential". The admissions officer who conducted the session was smug, the session was worthless, among the worst we've been to. I hope this was helpful. Let me know how the Wash. U. visit was.
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 02:10 pm: Edit|
Massdad and TheDad:
I was sitting next to a professor from BC recently and he portrayed BC as the hotbed of dissidence rather than as the bastion of conservatism. He is Jewish and has not felt any need to conform to Catholic dogma (I also know other Jewish profs in different departments as well as a Indian historian there).
I confess I do not know much about BC (except that for a long time Mary Daly the fiery feminist historian taught there), but want to contribute a different perspective on the school, for what it's worth.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 03:47 pm: Edit|
Marite, brain cramp on my part. I meant Boston U., not Boston College, which I've heard has that environment. I believe BC is Jesuit and, if so, that would explain just about everything.
Which means I'm totally at sea about Massdad's comments on BC, not knowing one way or the other.
|By Asknot11 (Asknot11) on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 07:13 pm: Edit|
If you are not sure about tending a catholic university do NOT apply to ND. Out of all the catholic schools, ND has the highest percentage of catholic students, and is extremely conservative. The "least" catholic university would be Georgetown.
|By Massdad (Massdad) on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 08:59 pm: Edit|
Please don't misinterpret my comments on BC. The "Rome crackdown" is not unique to them, and the situation is fluid. I have not heard anything about the topic for quite some time. And yes, BC does draw from a wide range of backgrounds, not just catholic. I just think the issue of academic freedom and divesity of view among the faculty bears investigation if one cares about such things. I suspect many parents would be just as happy if various fringe views (athiest-marxist for example) were not overly represented on the faculty anyway. The issue of outside vetting is one at Georgetown, ND, Fordham and others too.
Thedad, yes Boston U. is a strange place, and John Silber appears to be still in charge, even with the new president. Their rules for the kids in the dorms are something to behold, but I suspect some parents don't mind at all.
|By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 10:43 pm: Edit|
My daughter attends a Catholic high school that is constantly battling with our local Bishop. The faculty and students are quite liberal in many ways, the Bishop is not. Two particular bones of contention have been the percentage of students who are non-catholic (about 30%) as well as discussions that occurred in the "Christian Life Choices" classes seniors are required to take. (The school's principal told teachers to address birth control issues if the students brought them up, the Bishop had a cow.)
Upshot: the Bishop has made a command decision to close the school and replace it with a new school built at a different location. This was simply non-negotiable even though parents, faculty, students and alumni complained loudly. While all of this hasn't affected my daughter's education directly (aside from she'll have to move in senior year), it has given me pause about sending her to a Catholic college.
|By Momcat (Momcat) on Thursday, October 16, 2003 - 12:52 am: Edit|
Momofsenior - Thanks for the Duke report. So now I have to ask, is it still on the list of schools to apply to?
I'm hoping to get to Wash U. in early Nov. Fortunately, and unfortunately, my son's football team keeps winning, which means possible playoffs.. so our availability date is still unknown. I will let you know though.
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