Does CC Make Parents Less Anxious About College?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Does CC Make Parents Less Anxious About College?
By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 02:41 am: Edit

Since my kids started middle school, getting our kids into a great college has been a constant conversation among parents in the communities I have lived in. CC has made me relax on this front. I now have an understanding that there are many wonderful schools beyond the usual suspects. And I won't be surprised if my children actually find the best fit outside of where they may have been guided by peer pressure. What do others think?

By Cyclingdad (Cyclingdad) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:37 am: Edit

That's an interesting question. I came here late in my first D's search and application process. All in all, I think we did pretty well. Now of course I have a whole lot more information (which will hopefully benefit my younger daughter). For example, I just learned here today that Goucher gives good merit aid for good students. Possible D1 could have gotten a full ride there (but she never showed interest in Goucher). This may be useful for D2. On the other hand, I now know that there is so much more information, and factors to consider, than I did then. I think this will in a way increase the pressure, at least on me. It's not a bad thing, just a bit more overwhelming, if that's possible.

By Cangel (Cangel) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 08:16 am: Edit

>>Since my kids started middle school, getting our kids into a great college has been a constant conversation among parents in the communities I have lived in.<<

Where I live, no one talks about that until spring of junior year (and everyone else thinks they are compulsive). It makes it worse, although one can become well informed AS WELL AS compulsive.

By Momof2inca (Momof2inca) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:56 pm: Edit

Ditto, Cangel. Except where I live, they don't talk about it until fall of senior year. Very laid back around these parts.

I think CC has been a huge source of information for our family and is incredibly helpful in terms of knowing other people are as interested in the college application process as we are. I'm not sure that it reduces anxiety though. While I often find myself comforted by the adults on board, I become anxious when I read about all of the wonderfully talented and accomplished students who our son will be competing against to win an admissions ticket. Some of these kids stats are incredible, and while I wish them well, I wish they weren't SO perfect! :)

Still, CC has made us a lot more realistic when we think about our son's chances at his reach/match schools. And CC has helped us to formulate a list of great schools, from safeties to ultra-reaches. The other day, our son said that he would be happy at any of the 8 schools on the list, three of which I'm pretty certain he can get into. Without CC I think we would not be in this position.

Overall, I'd say on any given day I feel well-informed and a little jittery about the upcoming application process, but always in great company thanks to this board.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit

Same here -- I think folks were thinking about it by the end of soph year, but it didn't really become a topic of conversation among the parents until spring of junior year (it seemed to be the ONLY topic of conversation fall of sr year, lol).

I don't know if boards like this make people feel less stressed, but I do think they are an excellent source of information, and it's always good to be informed. I can see it could make some people MORE anxious!

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 06:22 pm: Edit

We're in a fairly affluent neighborhood and the kids all seem smart and beautiful (one kid visiting from another school district was heard to say, "OMG - This is like Baywatch!"). But until fairly recently, this was more of a rural area and the school - while certainly a fine one - has not quite caught up to the changing student demographics. For example, while AP classes are being added slowly, there is not really a full complement of them.

About 80-85% of the graduates go on to post-secondary education of some sort, and you would think that with the affluence and the fact that so many of the parents are recently relocated here from out-of-state (esp. Calif.) that we would have many more students going to a wide variety of prestigious schools. But no, most stay in-state and many attend the smaller state schools. Each year we have a couple of Cal Tech, Yale, Dartmouth people, but very very few. And we normally have a couple of people going to the Air Force Academy (just about 5 or 6 miles away from the school).

As a family, we were always looking at a broad range of schools and CC has helped me get more of an insight into the overall admissions process and certainly more insight into the angst of parents and students who think they have to go to a name school. But it's also given me insight into the fact that there are LOTS of schools out there, including ones that are willing to give merit aid to bright kids and are not necessarily $40K per year.

So it HAS made me less anxious by far. My son WILL find a good match for his personality and needs and I WILL be able to afford it.

Besides, I've had lots of fun on this board!!! I'm not so much compulsive about the college admissions process as I am compulsive about reading this board. Last night I spent hours going back through the Musical Theatre threads. It was like a suspense novel: where did these kids get in? how were the auditions? did they get off the priority waitlist?

Fun, fun, fun, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit

We don't have the peer pressure or constant talk about colleges here in our community as many of you do. In fact, once in a while during senior year, one might talk of where they are applying, nothing too involved. I know come graduation time, parents were asking where each one's child was going and so forth. Actually, the sense of competition and all that kind of college talk, I sense is very big in certain communities and in fact, I have learned much about that whole scenario FROM reading CC! It has opened my eyes to all the perspectives out there.

CC has not made me more stressed, nor has it made me more relaxed about college admissions. Rather, reading the forums has informed me a GREAT deal....some of it is sheer information but what you can get here that you can't get in a book is all the perspectives out there and sharing of first hand experiences. I think it is rather priceless. In fact, Digi...I know you don't have a kid going into musical theater, but that one 23 part thread is the most amazing resource as well as group of parents and students I think one could not find anywhere else for that topic. While this did not stress me too much, I agree with what someone else wrote that it is a bit daunting to read of so MANY very accomplished students on these boards, so many on the high end and very qualified.

For me, reading and participating on the forums is enjoyable cause of the people on CC. I think since we are all going through this process in one form or time or another, to share with others in similar situations is really great and I do not do this locally. And even though this is mostly about colleges, I think on the parent forum, there is just a really nice sense of sharing among really great folk from various backgrounds and they all have a common thread in that they really care about their kids or they would not be here. Also, it is just a very helpful site and group.....advice is there for those who want it and you can get many different responses.

It is a great group and an amazing website.


By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 07:35 pm: Edit

My two closest friends and I have sons who are all seniors this year, in the same school, in some of the same classes. The boys are very good friends. One of the women has another son who will be senior at Swarthmore, my other son will be freshman at Grinnell. The third woman's senior is her eldest. So, amongst us we have varying levels of knowledge and experience with the college admissions process. Our kids are looking at some of the same schools, but as they learn more and more about the schools- the overlap decreases- for while they are good friends, they are looking for slightly different things.

My friends and I have a very rich relationship and we spend hours talking about our selves, our lives, our worries, our joys, all good friendships. We noticed last year, around the time of SAT's..that we started to talk more and more about colleges. I felt worried that all the college talk would push aside everything else ultimately (as it basically did last year with another friend of mine)...and I said we needed to have designated "no college talking time." Since then, I think we have made an effort to make sure the college talk is a part of, but not all of, what we share. We all have a lot going on in our lives that is, believe it or not, nearly as compelling!!

So, one of the reasons that I am thrilled about CC is that it gives me another outlet for learning and sharing about schools- but it doesn't impose on my time with these women. I sometimes feel I want to tell them about it, but instead I just pass along information I learn. As the school year goes on, I know I will get too busy to spend time on CC as my work load increases substantially, but I have certainly enjoyed it until now, and have felt no increase in anxiety as a result of participating.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Like Robyrm, I appreciate this site as an outlet. The in-person college talk where I live could get pretty intense! In the short run, cc might make one more anxious, because you recognize that the task of admissions, particularly elite admissions, is daunting. However, when the app was in the mail, cc helped me feel confident that it was a job well done, because I had read every possible concern and tip on these boards. Many parents I know were very unpleasantly surprised not only by their kids' admission results but by the colleges recommended to their kids by the gc. They had a very skewed view of how colleges evaluate students. No one could spend time on these boards and experience that unblissful ignorance.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 08:15 pm: Edit

I came here late, after applications in. 2 days to pick schools (lots of phone calls about school policies accepting juniors), then <2 weeks to get applications out. I thought that was stressful, but it was NOTHING. I'm amazed by the pressure so many students feel to get into prestigious college, never reflecting on the fit. Like Digmedia, most kids around here go to state schools; only the exceptional ones consider the "elite". It is totally different at the private schools, which hold college fairs, spend a year focussed on essays, ECs, trips to campuses.
I've begun talking to S's friends, who think that 1470-1520 not good enough for "elite", so state only option. They never realized that many schools in neighboring states would offer them merit &/or need $.
I wish there was a middle ground between our public and private attitudes. There are almost 4000 kids in S's HS, so why don't they hold a college fair?
sorry for long rant...

By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 08:42 pm: Edit

Other than other parents of students in my son's class, I only know one other parent with a child who is almost college aged. I can't talk about it with my parents because my mom keeps steering us towards schools that are way below my son's ability. She seems to have the attitude that anything more is out of reach and unaffordable...almost like she's creating a limit where there is none, really.

My s attends a school where elite colleges are the norm, but certainly aren't discussed.

I've learned, over the past 6 months, to curb my enthusiasm and take the low-key approach. It helps my relationship with my son and forces me to remain open minded.

Though, I did lose my cool when he statred text messaging with is GF during a college tour and missed an important part of the discussion...(of course, I quizzed him with "what did he just say about the fraternities??? HUH? HUH?")...

Frankly, I'm hoping he applies ED and gets into his choice...and we can skip the instanity

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit

This site is terrific. I've learned so much. There are many very bright parents here from all over the country. It is so fabulous to hear so many different and regional perspectives on many issues.And if you have a problem? Just post and 10-100 will help!
I don't think this site will actually change our minds from the original college choices we had before finding C.C.We have larger concern ($$$$) which cannot be swayed. But nevertheless it has been fun here on C.C. and I will no doubt use it in the future.

By Tabby (Tabby) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 12:18 am: Edit

I enjoy this site very much b/c my son is interested in schools where, in some cases, we did not know a soul before his college visits. The info on this board is great!

By Over30 (Over30) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 12:45 am: Edit

I almost feel as if I should send a donation to CC for all the wonderful and free information we've gotten here. I am so much more informed than I was last summer when we started the process. It's nice to have a place to talk without boring our friends and families, and to have people who can answer your questions. There's so much good information! So my answer is yes.

By Songman (Songman) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

Big help for us! Now I am addicted to the CC boards.....

By 3togo (3togo) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 03:32 pm: Edit

great topic ... I think this is a great forum but to be honest it has made me more nervous about my kids and schools. I think my kids are terrific and have great potential but we will push them to NOT take prep courses and to ONLY take the SATs a couple of times and to SKIP a AP course to take something they find more intresting ... essentially to experience the journey of high school without focussing too heavily on college. After reading CC I am sure that this attitude will put them at a disadvantage against kids who are focussing and making choices pointed towards college admissions ... much more so than I realized before joining the ranks of the CC.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit

I would like to get Jamimom, Carolyn, Alexandre, Admissionsrep and a few others together and invest in their college consulting business!

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:16 pm: Edit

I first came to CC 2 years ago when my son was a sophomore. Initially, it increased my anxiety a LOT to read about all the great kids here and how different college admissions are from what I knew as a teen. And there were a lot of horror stories that first year of CC kids not getting into schools they wanted to attend (they seemed to do a lot better this past cycle). I know that my CC-induced anxiety is reflected in the number of SAT/AP exams I forced my son to take sophomore and junior years. Meanwhile, events unrelated to CC have unfolded in a way that make me feel very confident that he will get into the school he wants to attend, so I'm going into senior year pretty relaxed. (although I hope one of you will slap me if I slip back into bluthering anxiety in a few months).

By Cheers (Cheers) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit

I've learned so much! Most important, I've learned what the real odds are. Wish I knew them before we did oldest S's apps, ie his ED "Reach" was more like ED "Fantasy" lol. Nevermind, he's thrilled with the final outcome.

It will be interesting to see how much CC influences second S's apps.

First, he will practice those SAT Math IIc tests until he gets a perfect score--ala Jamimom's suggestion.

Second, I will try to book a few overnighters per Sooviet's suggestions.

Finally, we will try to show USC "the love", per Tsdad's recommendation--(learning mucho from Tsdad even though H is an alum haha). We're going to start showing them more $$$ love right away as it looks like USC is once again a good fit.

By Over30 (Over30) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit

Have no fear Texas, we're pretty good at slapping.

We were in a similar situation, but we were also looking for scholarships, so that added anxiety. Plus, if your son is like mine, he will push himself to continue to get top grades and continue all of his EC's (plus mine added a girlfriend to the mix), so YOU can relax, but your son probably won't.

I still have one in HS, so all I've learned will be put to good use. These two boys are so different that the specific things that worked for the first probably won't apply to the second. But I feel so much more informed about the whole process that I believe I'll be much more relaxed.

By Simba (Simba) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 07:29 pm: Edit

I think so...there are many wise men and women on the board.

By Songman (Songman) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit

How long have the CC boards been in existence? How do they make money? Who is the person behind the curtain? I have many questions and no answers....

By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 07:12 pm: Edit

Well that person could be Carolyn, Marite, Northstarmom, Thedad, dove-of-piece, ......

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 07:48 pm: Edit


I plead not guilty!

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 07:54 pm: Edit

I believe that "person behind the curtain" would have to be Dave Berry, founder of CC, along with his team of crack moderators (including doveofpeace). Apparently Dave used to frequent the boards personally, although not in the 2 years I've been here. Everyone else Simba mentions is, I believe, a parent.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 08:14 pm: Edit

Songman asks: "How long have the CC boards been in existence? How do they make money? Who is the person behind the curtain? I have many questions and no answers...."

Don't quote me but CC has been around for APPROX. four years or so. The principals involved in the business are Dave Berry and Sally Rubenstone. They are college counselors. There is a lot of information about them as well as their services on this website. This website is a fantastic it the general information provided, the list of suggested resources and links, the Ask the Dean section which covers numerous topics from write-in questions and then of course, these forums! It is amazing what they offer for free!! You ask how they make money....if you read on the website about their services (not including visiting the website and forums, etc. which are free), they offer an array of college counseling services for fees. Their counseling services are done through the internet via email mostly. They have student/family clients from all over the world. Most of us are just using the free services on the website (me included). But they do offer well regarded college counseling services for fees, all of which are outlined right on this site. That part is their business but the website is a free part that supports and helps anyone. They offer all sorts of services from stats evaluations to essay help to full year college counseling packages for every aspect of the admissions process. Take a look. Both Sally and Dave are also published authors of books dealing with the college admissions process. Their bios are also on this website.


By Songman (Songman) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 08:22 pm: Edit

wow...You would think I would have hit the home tab at least once. Jeeeeeez! No I went straight to chat. Thanks Susan. You are so helpful!

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