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42 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Kid really liked his visits at Clemson and Georgia Tech (he’s pursuing engineering). Purdue has been added to the school visit list. 

Did the Purdue tour and it was impressive from an engineering perspective, even though we were visiting with another major in mind.  The tour was very engineering focused IMO. 

Final destination for my daughter was Alabama, as previously mentioned. 

Since it seems like your Purdue visit is upcoming, one thing to keep in mind is that that campus won't be green and warm during a majority of the months your son will be there.  I'm from WI and toured it over winter break.  Thankfully, it was somewhat mild and it was down-pouring vs snow.  While Purdue is a step in the right direction in terms of weather from WI, it is vastly different that what your son will experience at  Clemson or GA Tech. 

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My daughter picked her classes and schedule over the weekend.  She's decided to major in math--she'll have 3 math classes. an upper level French class and intro business.  

She and her roommate also got their first choice in residence.  She's very happy and I am excited for her.  

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Just now, chet said:

My daughter picked her classes and schedule over the weekend.  She's decided to major in math--she'll have 3 math classes. an upper level French class and intro business.  

She and her roommate also got their first choice in residence.  She's very happy and I am excited for her.  

This is at the Canadian Ivey school, right?  

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13 minutes ago, johnnycakes said:

This is at the Canadian Ivey school, right?  

Correct.

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10 minutes ago, chet said:

Correct.

That’s great, Chet, I’m very happy for her. 

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4 hours ago, stbugs said:

I was just about to look back and find our discussion. We were at Clemson last week for orientation. It’s really a beautiful campus but my son did mention how much nicer the honors college dorms were than where he stayed. The honors area is brand new. There were way more girls than boys in our session so not sure if that’s a changing trend or just our group. Before anyone thinks I’m creepy, it was such a difference that it was noticeable. My son is definitely looking forward to it and met a bunch of other students. I’m looking forward to going to some real college games. I will say that a guy I knew from engineering at my alma mater did play in the NFL for years (was even a starting QB), but we were 1-AA and nowhere close to this level.

Thanks for the additional information and I can only imagine how excited you must be for your son!  My son REALLY liked the campus vibe, as well as the students he met.  According to my son, the campus visit moved Clemson to one of his top choices. They didn’t see any of the residence halls on the tour though, so the insight as to the honors dorms is very welcome info. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Fishboy said:

Did the Purdue tour and it was impressive from an engineering perspective, even though we were visiting with another major in mind.  The tour was very engineering focused IMO. 

Final destination for my daughter was Alabama, as previously mentioned. 

Since it seems like your Purdue visit is upcoming, one thing to keep in mind is that that campus won't be green and warm during a majority of the months your son will be there.  I'm from WI and toured it over winter break.  Thankfully, it was somewhat mild and it was down-pouring vs snow.  While Purdue is a step in the right direction in terms of weather from WI, it is vastly different that what your son will experience at  Clemson or GA Tech. 

We planned to visit the campus a week from Saturday, but learned tonight that they don’t do tours on Saturdays during the summer.  So we may end up doing a self-guided tour. Good point about the climate as well. My son’s preference is a school where it doesn’t snow, but that’s not a dealbreaker. And Purdue’s engineering program is supposed to be crazy good. 

How is the Alabama experience so far?

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17 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Thanks for the additional information and I can only imagine how excited you must be for your son!  My son REALLY liked the campus vibe, as well as the students he met.  According to my son, the campus visit moved Clemson to one of his top choices. They didn’t see any of the residence halls on the tour though, so the insight as to the honors dorms is very welcome info. Thanks!

The honors dorm (making a small assumption) are called core campus (building c and d for honors) and there’s actually some really good detail on their web site and a good video walk through. They didn’t do a room tour during orientation for the breakout because Dabo’s football camp was staying there (some HSers got scholarship offers during that camp). We were able to do a room tour during our accepted students visit so it didn’t matter for us. Orientation was fun but the main point was around registering for classes and prepping for move in, which amazingly is two months away.

I definitely couldn’t recommend it more. I have heard nothing but great things from my sister/brother in law (have a house close), wife (works for a huge company that recruits there, she’s been a few times), wife’s colleagues who worked there, a student a colleague met and we talked to for a while, alumni and parents who attended.

Edited by stbugs
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11 hours ago, ffjunk said:

Don't know if it has been mentioned in here, but with my 3 just graduating, I realize I probably should've helped them develop good credit while they were in school. I wish I had taken out a gas card and a credit card or even put a utility in their names and used them and paid the bills. They come out of college and will need credit. Especially if they want to refinance loans, the better the credit the better the rates.

How much positive impact did student loans have on their credit score? I know those loans count towards building credit, but do not know how much impact it actually has. I've been asked about it more than once and hate not having answers.

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On 6/17/2019 at 12:58 PM, The_Man said:

Oh, man. I have a preliminary phone interview tomorrow for what is probably my literal dream job at this point of my career - overseeing the admissions brand messaging and communications for a major university. Let's be honest, it shouldn't be too hard to guess which one, but I don't want to jinx anything so I won't mention names at this early stage of the process. Will keep the thread here posted on how it goes. In the meantime, positive thoughts and mojo will be met with a 100% acceptance rate.

Made it through the pre-screen then had a Skype interview w the search firm yesterday that didn’t go all that great. They apparently have a ton of applicants-my experience is a pretty good but not perfect fit. And I have to be honest that yesterday’s conversation left me wondering if I really want to deal with a lot of what this gig entails as my current job is pretty chill. I guess I’m left hoping I get through to the in-person interview stage but won’t be too bummed if I don’t. Should hear in a couple weeks and am just going to forget about it until then. 

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On 6/17/2019 at 9:02 PM, bigbottom said:

How is the Alabama experience so far?

So far, so good.  Orientation is in a couple of weeks. 

Made it through the roommate search and room assignment thing.  Craziness.  It's basically like speed dating, these kids post/reply on social media and go off stalking on social media to find a potential roommate.  The 3 others that she will be sharing a suite with all seem good. Fingers crossed that they all get along when they finally all move in together. 

The whole sorority thing.  Wow - it's hard core at Alabama vs Louisville where my other daughter attends and is in a sorority.  17 letters of recommendation required before you can even rush?!?  I'll be honest, I couldn't pull that off myself with all my connections.  End of day, my daughter still plans on rushing but is getting more and more turned off with the whole process.  But her other 3 roommates are all rushing, so she "has" to. 

 

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2 hours ago, Fishboy said:

So far, so good.  Orientation is in a couple of weeks. 

Made it through the roommate search and room assignment thing.  Craziness.  It's basically like speed dating, these kids post/reply on social media and go off stalking on social media to find a potential roommate.  The 3 others that she will be sharing a suite with all seem good. Fingers crossed that they all get along when they finally all move in together. 

The whole sorority thing.  Wow - it's hard core at Alabama vs Louisville where my other daughter attends and is in a sorority.  17 letters of recommendation required before you can even rush?!?  I'll be honest, I couldn't pull that off myself with all my connections.  End of day, my daughter still plans on rushing but is getting more and more turned off with the whole process.  But her other 3 roommates are all rushing, so she "has" to. 

 

Surely, you have seen the Alabama sorority rush YouTube videos, right? It’s insane.

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I just ran into the Alabama recruiter for Michigan at the ice cream stand and chatted a little (I was wearing my Alabama Dad hat).  He said there are 90 freshmen going from Michigan to Alabama.  Since almost all are going for the automatic scholarships, they're a batch of all-stars.  He said last year's Michigan class averaged a 3.9 and 31 ACT.

My daughter's not rushing, which is a relief.

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On 6/17/2019 at 10:02 PM, bigbottom said:

We planned to visit the campus a week from Saturday, but learned tonight that they don’t do tours on Saturdays during the summer.  So we may end up doing a self-guided tour. Good point about the climate as well. My son’s preference is a school where it doesn’t snow, but that’s not a dealbreaker. And Purdue’s engineering program is supposed to be crazy good. 

How is the Alabama experience so far?

Does he have an engineering major in mind?

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36 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

In light of today's "student loan debt forgiveness" political climate, is the smart move to simply max out student loans and hope for the near inevitable forgiveness of them?

I don't think 'smart' is the right word, but if you have the means to pay it in a lump sum once the deferral period is over then the accumulating interest in the meantime may justify the risk.  You'd have to crunch the numbers and make a decision given that info though.  And I think the most likely outcome doesn't involve forgiveness of the entire debt for all.  There will be a number of qualifiers and the if-then tree to proactively identify them has way too many branches for me to put any more thought into them.

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1 hour ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

Does he have an engineering major in mind?

Not yet.  Leaning mechanical, but they may be a default.  He is headed to a two-week "Intro to Engineering" camp next week, so hopefully he will have a better idea after that.  As an aside, I think it's crazy that some schools expect 17-year-old high school students to know precisely what engineering discipline they want to pursue, as if they have a clue of what such a career would entail.

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21 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Not yet.  Leaning mechanical, but they may be a default.  He is headed to a two-week "Intro to Engineering" camp next week, so hopefully he will have a better idea after that.  As an aside, I think it's crazy that some schools expect 17-year-old high school students to know precisely what engineering discipline they want to pursue, as if they have a clue of what such a career would entail.

Mechanical is a good starting point. You could also look for departments that at least start people off with general engineering. I know Virginia Tech does this. 

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2 minutes ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

Mechanical is a good starting point. You could also look for departments that at least start people off with general engineering. I know Virginia Tech does this. 

Thanks.  Yes, there are a number of schools he's looked at where you don't specialize until after your first year.  I think that's a much better approach.

Edited by bigbottom

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fingerscrossed for the man- best of luck!

 

just turned 12yo floppinho talking to friends last week for some reason about colleges (started off talking about HS I think)... this is a music school, so some of them may be either professional musicians or in the industry (it goes through HS, and is touted as a "conservatory prep" school... so I listened in)

where do you think you'll go?

Floppinho- probably MIT or Columbia

:lol:

yeah... *ok*

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For those who are interested, we finished up visits at Northwestern, Purdue and Notre Dame (where my son is now attending a two week intro to engineering program).

NWestern:  Amazing campus, stunningly beautiful (right on the lake).  Admissions presentation was absolutely top notch as was the student led campus tour. And then we attended the Engineering presentation. Easily the least impressive presentation of any school we attended, and their facilities felt like an old run down high school. Was a real bummer actually  

Purdue:  We did a self guided tour of the campus and the multiple engineering buildings. Very impressive. Didn’t realize how tied Purdue is to the space program. 

Notre Dame:  The Dream Campus. No joke. Absolutely jaw-dropping. Met and spoke with several current engineering students who seemed to really enjoy the program. My kid will be there in sessions with ND profs the next two weeks, so he’ll know one way or another by the end of it. 

NW probably off the list, which is just as well as getting in RD would be pretty impossible. Purdue and ND still in the running for now.

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On 6/24/2019 at 12:30 PM, bigbottom said:

Not yet.  Leaning mechanical, but they may be a default.  He is headed to a two-week "Intro to Engineering" camp next week, so hopefully he will have a better idea after that.  As an aside, I think it's crazy that some schools expect 17-year-old high school students to know precisely what engineering discipline they want to pursue, as if they have a clue of what such a career would entail.

I could tell you that 75% or more of my incoming freshman class of engineers knew exactly what engineering discipline they wanted to pursue.  I knew I wanted to be a MechE, but then added on Mat Sci as a double major later on.  

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1 hour ago, The Z Machine said:

I could tell you that 75% or more of my incoming freshman class of engineers knew exactly what engineering discipline they wanted to pursue.  I knew I wanted to be a MechE, but then added on Mat Sci as a double major later on.  

Thank you for the feedback. To your point, at pretty much every engineering presentation we’ve been to where the presenter polls the high school students on which engineering discipline they want to pursue in college, I’d say that 95% of the kids quickly identify that speciality. I’m sure that a good number of them are highly knowledgeable and have made a very educated and well-informed decision. But I would guess that for a not insignificant number of them, they only have a general sense of what a career would truly be like in a particular discipline. They just know they are good at math and science and engineering makes sense as a profession. My son is certainly in that bucket for the most part and I know he’s far from alone. He’s never taken a real engineering class before and his parents aren’t engineers. I think it’s unrealistic to expect him to know at 16-17 (his birthday was three days ago) whether he wants to be a petroleum engineer or a chemical engineer or a materials engineer. Hopefully his two week engineering camp will help him discover more particular areas of interest, but lots of families can’t afford programs like that for their high schoolers. There are a number of colleges that purposely don’t have kids specialize until after their first year for this very reason. And the presenter at USC was surprisingly aggressive when he told the kids in the room who said what speciality they wanted to pursue that most of them probably had no idea of what a career in that specialty would actually be like (for what it’s worth, my son was only one of two kids who said “undecided”).

But I don’t know. I’m not an engineer. So I can’t say whether or not I should be worried that my son is still open on what engineering discipline he wants to pursue. We’ll revisit the issue in two weeks when he’s had the opportunity to be exposed to a bunch of different disciplines. But if he’s still open/undecided when he applies, I think that’s going to end up factoring into where he applies. For example, UT requires you to choose the specific engineering discipline when you apply and it’s notoriously difficult to switch if you end up making the wrong decision or changing your mind. That is a concern for us.

Edited by bigbottom

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33 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Thank you for the feedback. To your point, at pretty much every engineering presentation we’ve been to where the presenter polls the high school students on which engineering discipline they want to pursue in college, I’d say that 95% of the kids quickly identify that speciality. I’m sure that a good number of them are highly knowledgeable and have made a very educated and well-informed decision. But I would guess that for a not insignificant number of them, they only have a general sense of what a career would truly be like in a particular discipline. They just know they are good at math and science and engineering makes sense as a profession. My son is certainly in that bucket for the most part and I know he’s far from alone. He’s never taken a real engineering class before and his parents aren’t engineers. I think it’s unrealistic to expect him to know at 16-17 (his birthday was three days ago) whether he wants to be a petroleum engineer or a chemical engineer or a materials engineer. Hopefully his two week engineering camp will help him discover more particular areas of interest, but lots of families can’t afford programs like that for their high schoolers. There are a number of colleges that purposely don’t have kids specialize until after their first year for this very reason. And the presenter at USC was surprisingly aggressive when he told the kids in the room who said what speciality they wanted to pursue that most of them probably had no idea of what a career in that specialty would actually be like (for what it’s worth, my son was only one of two kids who said “undecided”).

But I don’t know. I’m not an engineer. So I can’t say whether or not I should be worried that my son is still open on what engineering discipline he wants to pursue. We’ll revisit the issue in two weeks when he’s had the opportunity to be exposed to a bunch of different disciplines. But if he’s still open/undecided when he applies, I think that’s going to end up factoring into where he applies. For example, UT requires you to choose the specific engineering discipline when you apply and it’s notoriously difficult to switch if you end up making the wrong decision or changing your mind. That is a concern for us. 

EDIT to add:  I’m guessing that law school is a horrible analogy, but I’d say that while some enter law school knowing precisely what type of law they want to pursue and ultimately end up having that precise career, the majority don’t truly know yet which specific area will suit them for a career. And they’re 21 or 22. I’d think it would be even more difficult at 16-17. 

But again, I am completely ignorant of pretty much all things engineering. So I really need to take your input to heart. I wonder now if I’m going to be nervous if my son isn’t focused on a particular discipline when he starts to apply in the next couple months. Maybe I should be worried!

Relax.  Everything will work out fine in the end.  Even with Z's number, that means 25% of incoming freshmen still don't know.  That is a significant number.  You are doing the right things by getting him touring schools, participating in the camp, and thinking about his options in earnest.  He still has time to figure things out.

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On ‎9‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 11:16 AM, NewlyRetired said:

It really depends on the type of schools the child wants to go to.

If the schools are only safety schools, then the number can be limited.

If the child wants to focus on target schools (schools they look appropriate for but might not get in) the number needs to grow.

If the child has some reach schools, then the number has to grow even bigger.

Naviance is a nice tool for when the time comes.  It will show you how children from your child's school have done when applying to specific schools based on their GPA and Test Scores.  These charts are always interesting because you will see students that look like they should have gotten in, being rejected and vice versa.

My daughter has identified 4 she wants to apply to but 2 of these are reach schools (two Ivy leagues) and as such we need to add a few more to her list.  Yay! More college visits :(

Pulling this back up from Page 1.  Naviance is a data junky's crack pipe.  You can get lost in the scattergrams.  If you are trying to stratify your college search between reach schools, target schools, and safety schools, there is likely no better tool than Naviance.

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13 hours ago, bigbottom said:

So I can’t say whether or not I should be worried that my son is still open on what engineering discipline he wants to pursue.

I wouldn't be concerned at all with that.  Exploring is part of the game in college, both academically as well as personally.  I wasn't trying to alarm you, but I was just relating my experience going through school that engineers (generally) had a more concrete vision of their future professional life than most other majors.  It's diving into a specialty earlier than most other professions as the academic and lab training is needed for success.

Personally, I think that law and medicine should also be structured similarly.  Sure there are lots of kids that don't know exactly what profession to pursue, but it reducing the number of years of broad education for more specialization early would serve the country better.

Why do lawyers need to read more classics and study pre-columbian american history compared to engineers?  Why not begin courses on legal analysis during undergraduate studies?

Edited by The Z Machine

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My son's AP test results come in Friday.  Nervous for him.  Proud of him regardless.  He's way smarter than I ever was or will be.  Just hope I can help him navigate the waters of getting into the right school.  

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1 hour ago, The Z Machine said:

I wouldn't be concerned at all with that.  Exploring is part of the game in college, both academically as well as personally.  I wasn't trying to alarm you, but I was just relating my experience going through school that engineers (generally) had a more concrete vision of their future professional life than most other majors.  It's diving into a specialty earlier than most other professions as the academic and lab training is needed for success.

Personally, I think that law and medicine should also be structured similarly.  Sure there are lots of kids that don't know exactly what profession to pursue, but it reducing the number of years of broad education for more specialization early would serve the country better.

Why do lawyers need to read more classics and study pre-columbian american history compared to engineers?  Why not begin courses on legal analysis during undergraduate studies?

I think that the skills learned in reading, interpreting and writing about text and events are much more applicable to lawyers than engineers.

which is not to say that i disagree that it is ultimately often best for people to have a varied background.

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1 hour ago, General Malaise said:

My son's AP test results come in Friday.  Nervous for him.  Proud of him regardless.  He's way smarter than I ever was or will be.  Just hope I can help him navigate the waters of getting into the right school.  

Good luck to him!  Not sure which AP exam(s) he took as a sophomore, but I wouldn’t stress to much about it.

Edited by bigbottom
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51 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

My son's AP test results come in Friday.  Nervous for him.  Proud of him regardless.  He's way smarter than I ever was or will be.  Just hope I can help him navigate the waters of getting into the right school.  

In general, AP scores are up this year from past scores across the board.  This, of course, doesn't give you any insight into your son specifically, but just an observation.  Several disciplines have had their highest scores or largest increases from previous year type stuff.

Edited by Galileo
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13 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Good luck to him!  Not sure which AP exam(s) he took as a sophomore, but I would stress to much about it.

He took history and one other that I can't recall because I'm a terrible dad. :)

I did pay for them, however.  Ain't cheap.

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32 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

think that the skills learned in reading, interpreting and writing about text and events are much more applicable to lawyers than engineers.

You'd be surprised.  I spend a lot of time reading and writing about results and what they mean.

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12 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

He took history and one other that I can't recall because I'm a terrible dad. :)

I did pay for them, however.  Ain't cheap.

Typo - I “wouldn’t” stress about them. For what it’s worth, my kid took AP World History as a freshman and AP US History as a sophomore. Got 2s on both of them. Disappointing, but he only had so much free time in his schedule and didn’t devote sufficient time to study for either of those tests. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. 

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16 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Typo - I “wouldn’t” stress about them. For what it’s worth, my kid took AP World History as a freshman and AP US History as a sophomore. Got 2s on both of them. Disappointing, but he only had so much free time in his schedule and didn’t devote sufficient time to study for either of those tests. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. 

:thumbup:

Really proud of the kid just for getting to this point.  I never even sniffed an AP anything.

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19 hours ago, bigbottom said:

For those who are interested, we finished up visits at Northwestern, Purdue and Notre Dame (where my son is now attending a two week intro to engineering program).

NWestern:  Amazing campus, stunningly beautiful (right on the lake).  Admissions presentation was absolutely top notch as was the student led campus tour. And then we attended the Engineering presentation. Easily the least impressive presentation of any school we attended, and their facilities felt like an old run down high school. Was a real bummer actually  

Purdue:  We did a self guided tour of the campus and the multiple engineering buildings. Very impressive. Didn’t realize how tied Purdue is to the space program. 

Notre Dame:  The Dream Campus. No joke. Absolutely jaw-dropping. Met and spoke with several current engineering students who seemed to really enjoy the program. My kid will be there in sessions with ND profs the next two weeks, so he’ll know one way or another by the end of it. 

NW probably off the list, which is just as well as getting in RD would be pretty impossible. Purdue and ND still in the running for now.

How do BU and Northeastern stand on your kid’s list?  I know they have no big time football programs but I believe they each have big time hockey programs.

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5 hours ago, bigbottom said:

Pulling this back up from Page 1.  Naviance is a data junky's crack pipe.  You can get lost in the scattergrams.  If you are trying to stratify your college search between reach schools, target schools, and safety schools, there is likely no better tool than Naviance.

It is the best available source to give you a realistic assessment of how your kid stacks up to his peers when it comes to admission. But don't take Naviance as the absolute gospel. You can never tell when someone is a legacy, or athletic recruit, or is from an under-represented ethnic background. All of that being said, it is an incredibly helpful tool.

From my son's school, it was fun (and easy) to deduce which X on the scattergram represented various recruited athletes. A kid who got into Yale had a 3.3 GPA, 1300 SAT - he went on to be a four-year starter there in football, which left me thinking those must be the very bottom academic credentials for Ivy League football and basketball recruits (with recruits in other sports probably having to score higher).  

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42 minutes ago, johnnycakes said:

How do BU and Northeastern stand on your kid’s list?  I know they have no big time football programs but I believe they each have big time hockey programs.

Both are still on the list (he visited both and liked both).  I think he'll end up choosing one of the two to apply to, and my best guess is that it will end up being Northeastern because of the Co-Op programs.

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1 hour ago, The_Man said:

It is the best available source to give you a realistic assessment of how your kid stacks up to his peers when it comes to admission. But don't take Naviance as the absolute gospel. You can never tell when someone is a legacy, or athletic recruit, or is from an under-represented ethnic background. All of that being said, it is an incredibly helpful tool.

From my son's school, it was fun (and easy) to deduce which X on the scattergram represented various recruited athletes. A kid who got into Yale had a 3.3 GPA, 1300 SAT - he went on to be a four-year starter there in football, which left me thinking those must be the very bottom academic credentials for Ivy League football and basketball recruits (with recruits in other sports probably having to score higher).  

It is true; at Ivies there is an average credential, I don't know what it is or who requires it, but the other sports pick up the slack.

I am an MIT alum and in their Educational Council which means I interview local (Phoenix for me) students for admission.  A few comments about admission to elite universities:

- Everyone who applies is smart, has good grades, good test scores, etc.  That's the ante into the game and that isn't enough.  They look through 15K applications and pick 1K.  Your kid needs to differentiate him/herself.  Which leads me to:

- They look for "diversity" through different individual pursuits of excellence.  What this means is they are not looking for 3 kids each of which are in the robotics club, dance, and play softball.  They are looking for one kid who is president of the robotics club and created an outreach program to introduce robotics to lower-income kids, a dancer who worked odd jobs to pay for ballet and also got into Julliard, and the captain of the softball team who worked with the school district to get new equipment.  Basically the question the school is asking is:  How will your child enhance the community here, and do they have the drive to (1) succeed here, and (2) change the world.

- I can't speak for other universities but if your kid gets into MIT, don't let finances scare you.  They want your kid and have the endowments to make it happen.  I'm confident this is true at other schools but I can't say from direct experience.  I came from a lower middle class, blue collar  background and was amazed at the financial aid package I got.

I'm happy to answer questions.  

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23 minutes ago, JerryG said:

It is true; at Ivies there is an average credential, I don't know what it is or who requires it, but the other sports pick up the slack.

I am an MIT alum and in their Educational Council which means I interview local (Phoenix for me) students for admission.  A few comments about admission to elite universities:

- Everyone who applies is smart, has good grades, good test scores, etc.  That's the ante into the game and that isn't enough.  They look through 15K applications and pick 1K.  Your kid needs to differentiate him/herself.  Which leads me to:

- They look for "diversity" through different individual pursuits of excellence.  What this means is they are not looking for 3 kids each of which are in the robotics club, dance, and play softball.  They are looking for one kid who is president of the robotics club and created an outreach program to introduce robotics to lower-income kids, a dancer who worked odd jobs to pay for ballet and also got into Julliard, and the captain of the softball team who worked with the school district to get new equipment.  Basically the question the school is asking is:  How will your child enhance the community here, and do they have the drive to (1) succeed here, and (2) change the world.

- I can't speak for other universities but if your kid gets into MIT, don't let finances scare you.  They want your kid and have the endowments to make it happen.  I'm confident this is true at other schools but I can't say from direct experience.  I came from a lower middle class, blue collar  background and was amazed at the financial aid package I got.

I'm happy to answer questions.  

Whoa very cool of you to give us insight into MIT.  My son is interested in pursuing an engineering degree so your thoughts are very much appreciated.  That being said, my son doesn't plan to apply to MIT because (1) it's absolutely crazy competitive to get in and he probably has something along he lines of a 0.5% chance; and (2) I think his self-confidence would be absolutely destroyed by the intellects there who would be his fellow students.

For what it's worth, my dad got his masters in aeronautical engineering from MIT, but that was forever ago, and he has virtually no relationship with my son, so he isn't much of a resource.

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4 hours ago, General Malaise said:

He took history and one other that I can't recall because I'm a terrible dad. :)

I did pay for them, however.  Ain't cheap.

wait until you see that first year college bill and you'll think AP was the best bargain ever offered.  I'm glad both my daughters took as many AP classes and thankfully got a high enough score to get the college credit. 

What it really accomplished is getting the college credit so they can take a lighter class load; 15-17 credits.  Still will take them 4 years, but they don't have to kill themselves and can get into their major's coursework much sooner. 

 

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3 hours ago, The_Man said:

It is the best available source to give you a realistic assessment of how your kid stacks up to his peers when it comes to admission. But don't take Naviance as the absolute gospel. You can never tell when someone is a legacy, or athletic recruit, or is from an under-represented ethnic background. All of that being said, it is an incredibly helpful tool.

From my son's school, it was fun (and easy) to deduce which X on the scattergram represented various recruited athletes. A kid who got into Yale had a 3.3 GPA, 1300 SAT - he went on to be a four-year starter there in football, which left me thinking those must be the very bottom academic credentials for Ivy League football and basketball recruits (with recruits in other sports probably having to score higher).  

Given that it's limited to our school, I think we can spot the few outliers as you point out.  I think looking at the data in the aggregate is particularly useful.  The scattergrams (scattergraphs?) are hugely helpful in this regard.  If I see lots of acceptances around my kids data point on the graph, you can feel a lot better about your chances.  On the other hand, we've seen almost across the board rejections around my kid's data point for some schools, which makes it easy to conclude that it isn't worth the effort to apply.  Using the data to inform these decisions is extremely helpful when determining how to allocate your resources.  For example, given my kids scores, I would have thought it would be worth a shot to apply to Duke.  But looking at the admissions data for our high school, it just doesn't make sense.

Edited by bigbottom
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5 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Whoa very cool of you to give us insight into MIT.  My son is interested in pursuing an engineering degree so your thoughts are very much appreciated.  That being said, my son doesn't plan to apply to MIT because (1) it's absolutely crazy competitive to get in and he probably has something along he lines of a 0.5% chance; and (2) I think his self-confidence would be absolutely destroyed by the intellects there who would be his fellow students.

For what it's worth, my dad got his masters in aeronautical engineering from MIT, but that was forever ago, and he has virtually no relationship with my son, so he isn't much of a resource.

Sorry about the dad thing.

You bring up some interesting points.

- It is true in some ways that it is competitive.  They admit about 1K kids and every one was at or very near the top of their class.  Now, only one of them is at the top, and the other 999 need to deal with it.  Many aren't prepared emotionally, some commit suicide as a result.  That's one of the things I look for in my interviews.  As a side note, I don't ask for grades/scores/etc., the school looks at that stuff.  That being said, the environment is not so much competing against each other, but banding together to compete against the school.  There is a strong greek system which I was part of, and even the dorms have their own bonding/personalities.

- I didn't read the thread to see where your kid is applying but... IMO for a bachelor's degree in engineering there are a handful of schools that warrant going out of state.  Otherwise, my advice is to send him to one of your in-state schools.  My son went to Arizona State, graduated last year as an EE, and got a great job with great pay with a major tech company.  And because of his SATs he paid almost no tuition so has no debt.  I'm confident most states are similar.  That being said, he interviewed 3 times for 3 different jobs at this company; rejected, rejected, accepted.  He flew to Texas 3 times.  An MIT grad may have gotten the first one based on school name, so it depends on your kid's personality and if he has the gumption to do what it takes to get a job (or grad school acceptance).  

- MIT has a single digit acceptance rate, but that is based on global applications.  Their international acceptance is very low; in the US it is in the teens.  

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6 hours ago, General Malaise said:

My son's AP test results come in Friday.  Nervous for him.  Proud of him regardless.  He's way smarter than I ever was or will be.  Just hope I can help him navigate the waters of getting into the right school.  

My son’s results hit Friday as well. AP Human Geography as a Freshman. I'm not sure what to expect, but I’m like you, proud of my kid who is a hell of a lot smarter than me!

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29 minutes ago, JerryG said:

Sorry about the dad thing.

You bring up some interesting points.

- It is true in some ways that it is competitive.  They admit about 1K kids and every one was at or very near the top of their class.  Now, only one of them is at the top, and the other 999 need to deal with it.  Many aren't prepared emotionally, some commit suicide as a result.  That's one of the things I look for in my interviews.  As a side note, I don't ask for grades/scores/etc., the school looks at that stuff.  That being said, the environment is not so much competing against each other, but banding together to compete against the school.  There is a strong greek system which I was part of, and even the dorms have their own bonding/personalities.

- I didn't read the thread to see where your kid is applying but... IMO for a bachelor's degree in engineering there are a handful of schools that warrant going out of state.  Otherwise, my advice is to send him to one of your in-state schools.  My son went to Arizona State, graduated last year as an EE, and got a great job with great pay with a major tech company.  And because of his SATs he paid almost no tuition so has no debt.  I'm confident most states are similar.  That being said, he interviewed 3 times for 3 different jobs at this company; rejected, rejected, accepted.  He flew to Texas 3 times.  An MIT grad may have gotten the first one based on school name, so it depends on your kid's personality and if he has the gumption to do what it takes to get a job (or grad school acceptance).  

- MIT has a single digit acceptance rate, but that is based on global applications.  Their international acceptance is very low; in the US it is in the teens.  

Thanks again, Jerry.  For our state schools (we're in Texas), the big players for engineering are UT and A&M.  Getting into UT Engineering is ridiculously difficult.  There are countless stories of kids at the top of their class with 1560s on their SATs that don't get into the engineering program at their flagship state institution.  If he gets in, great, but we're not banking on it.  He should get into A&M engineering no problem.  But he doesn't really feel like it's a fit for him.  And it's also something like the second largest school in the nation, which we think is less than optimal for him.

As for which schools that warrant going out of state, which are those?  Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford?  Yeah, he's not getting into any of those.  For reasons that many here know, we saved for two college educations but will only need to pay for one.  So for us, the ROI calculus is a bit skewed.

Edit:  If I were to guess today where he will end up applying, I think it will be something along the lines of UT, A&M, Georgia Tech, USC (Calif.), Notre Dame, Purdue, Northeastern, Clemson.

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4 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Thanks again, Jerry.  For our state schools (we're in Texas), the big players for engineering are UT and A&M.  Getting into UT Engineering is ridiculously difficult.  There are countless stories of kids at the top of their class with 1560s on their SATs that don't get into the engineering program at their flagship state institution.  If he gets in, great, but we're not banking on it.  He should get into A&M engineering no problem.  But he doesn't really feel like it's a fit for him.  And it's also something like the second largest school in the nation, which we think is less than optimal for him.

As for which schools that warrant going out of state, which are those?  Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford?  Yeah, he's not getting into any of those.  For reasons that many here know, we saved for two college educations but will only need to pay for one.  So for us, the ROI calculus is a bit skewed.

Funny, those are the 3 I was thinking of.  Scanning thru the thread I saw schools like Michigan (my wife's alma mater), Purdue, Georgia Tech... great schools, but IMO you start to reach a point of diminishing returns.   Cal Berkeley as well but the U Cal schools are also crazy hard to get into.  Those schools love out of state applicants because they pay several hundred K in tuition over the years.  For science you might add Harvard and Princeton; the Ivies come with a very good alumni network.

My manager went to A&M.  His father told him "you can go wherever you want, I'll pay for A&M."  :D  It's a well-respected school.  You absolutely need to make sure he applies to a few "safe" schools, I tell my applicants the same.  Even if it doesn't feel like a good fit, life sometimes tosses lemons at you, he needs to have a way to move forward.  UT Austin is great, I don't know much about the satellites but they may be an option.

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Just a heads up for those HS seniors who took the AP tests this spring. My daughter logged into her Alabama account today and the AP test scores must get released to the schools before the kids. She is starting off with 38 credits transferred in as a new freshman. 

Meeting with the counselor during her orientation weekend to see if there is a way for her to do the 5 year accelerated Masters program in 4 years given all the credits transferred in. 

Fingers crossed. 

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6 hours ago, The_Man said:

It is the best available source to give you a realistic assessment of how your kid stacks up to his peers when it comes to admission. But don't take Naviance as the absolute gospel. You can never tell when someone is a legacy, or athletic recruit, or is from an under-represented ethnic background. All of that being said, it is an incredibly helpful tool.

From my son's school, it was fun (and easy) to deduce which X on the scattergram represented various recruited athletes. A kid who got into Yale had a 3.3 GPA, 1300 SAT - he went on to be a four-year starter there in football, which left me thinking those must be the very bottom academic credentials for Ivy League football and basketball recruits (with recruits in other sports probably having to score higher).  

Agree on Naviance.

 

The Ivies have an academic index that the athletic teams must meet. For every “dumb jock” (which is relative at Ivy’s because they all need to be smart.....just not brilliant) who is admitted, there are super strong athletes to offset. 

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52 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Just a heads up for those HS seniors who took the AP tests this spring. My daughter logged into her Alabama account today and the AP test scores must get released to the schools before the kids. She is starting off with 38 credits transferred in as a new freshman. 

Meeting with the counselor during her orientation weekend to see if there is a way for her to do the 5 year accelerated Masters program in 4 years given all the credits transferred in. 

Fingers crossed. 

Yeah, I have heard of several cases over the years of students seeing their results through the school they had scores sent to.  Nice for seniors, but those of us with younger kids need to wait it out.  I have a freshman who took AP World History and a sophomore who took AP US History and AP Biology.  Those little ####s better get 5's...lol...just kidding.  I am pretty confident they will do well.  The one going to be a junior is signed up for 5 AP classes/tests next year.

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10 hours ago, SteelCurtain said:

Agree on Naviance.

 

The Ivies have an academic index that the athletic teams must meet. For every “dumb jock” (which is relative at Ivy’s because they all need to be smart.....just not brilliant) who is admitted, there are super strong athletes to offset. 

Yeah, there was a very top student from my kid's school who was a Princeton lacrosse recruit. They actually told him to drop a couple of really hard classes his senior year because he was already admitted and they wanted him to finish with a 4.0 so that his GPA could help balance out the much lower GPA of another lacrosse recruit. The school wasn't too happy about it, but he did it. 

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3 hours ago, The_Man said:

Yeah, there was a very top student from my kid's school who was a Princeton lacrosse recruit. They actually told him to drop a couple of really hard classes his senior year because he was already admitted and they wanted him to finish with a 4.0 so that his GPA could help balance out the much lower GPA of another lacrosse recruit. The school wasn't too happy about it, but he did it. 

As a parent, I wouldn't be happy about it either.

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