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College Admissions Questions

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22 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

GM, I know the process seems daunting and the price tags astronomical but I'm telling you not to despair. For one thing, most kids are happy with where they end up going to school, even if it wasn't their first choice. My daughter has hundreds of college aged friends, acquaintances, and contacts, and I would say that fewer than 10 are unhappy with where they ended up and several of those 10 have to do with failed romances or roommate problems, which could happen anywhere. For another thing, almost nobody pays the sticker price. My daughter goes to a $70,000+ school and we're paying NOWHERE near that amount. Of course, we're poorer than the average FFA poster but it seems you've got a winning tactic by having your wife claim the kids. By the way, where I live, it's not unheard of for parents to legally divorce so they can save on college. Anyway, buck up and enjoy the ride as best you can and know that you are not alone as there are plenty of guys dispensing great advice in this thread. 

 

 

Thank you. :wub:

 

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26 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

GM, I know the process seems daunting and the price tags astronomical but I'm telling you not to despair. For one thing, most kids are happy with where they end up going to school, even if it wasn't their first choice. My daughter has hundreds of college aged friends, acquaintances, and contacts, and I would say that fewer than 10 are unhappy with where they ended up and several of those 10 have to do with failed romances or roommate problems, which could happen anywhere. For another thing, almost nobody pays the sticker price. My daughter goes to a $70,000+ school and we're paying NOWHERE near that amount. Of course, we're poorer than the average FFA poster but it seems you've got a winning tactic by having your wife claim the kids. By the way, where I live, it's not unheard of for parents to legally divorce so they can save on college. Anyway, buck up and enjoy the ride as best you can and know that you are not alone as there are plenty of guys dispensing great advice in this thread. 

On a completely different note, we are learning that kids end up pursuing avenues and exploring life paths that are so different than ever imagined. We have a daughter that went to private junior high, private school, and a high priced college outside NYC. Beaucoup investment costs. Graduated last year and landed a decent job in marketing at a company in Boston. Stayed a year and then punted to teach English to kids in Grades K-2 in Thailand, where she is currently. Her goal now is to work for UNICEF. Never would have guessed it at any point while she was growing up, even until the day she got on the plane and left.

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18 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

On a completely different note, we are learning that kids end up pursuing avenues and exploring life paths that are so different than ever imagined. We have a daughter that went to private junior high, private school, and a high priced college outside NYC. Beaucoup investment costs. Graduated last year and landed a decent job in marketing at a company in Boston. Stayed a year and then punted to teach English to kids in Grades K-2 in Thailand, where she is currently. Her goal now is to work for UNICEF. Never would have guessed it at any point while she was growing up, even until the day she got on the plane and left.

Reminds me of Bluto's line in Animal House.  Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the ####### Peace Corps!

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1 hour ago, General Malaise said:

I think I'll know how best to proceed after we find out how my son (junior) does on his PSAT.  He's very pragmatic and has stated he wants to go to the school that offers him the most money.  But I don't want him to feel like he can't reach for stretch goals because of costs.  However, with five kids, a job that's hanging by a thread, one income, a divorce that financially set me back much further than I had hoped, it terrifies me on how we're going to help him achieve his next academic chapter.  He's done everything right - terrific grades, 5s on his AP tests, tends to do extremely well on standardized tests (thought we'll soon see), takes parts in plays, leadership council, track, etc. - so I'm hopeful the financial burden isn't as massive as I'm anticipating, but it's what keeps me up at night.  

My ex-wife and I have agreed that she'll fill out the FAFSA for him and he will be claimed by her as a dependent on her 2019 taxes.  The hope here is that her lack of any college coupled with a lower income might help him qualify for more aid.  I don't know if that's the right move or not, but it's how we're leaning.  I checked out a book called "Complete Idiot's Guide to Paying for College" and it helped some; I've at least got a better handle on all the terms, deadlines etc, but it is daunting.  There is A LOT to navigate through.  

But man, when I see figures tossed around like $70K a year, I just want to stick my head in the oven and remain there.  Because right behind my son who is a junior is a son who is a sophomore, only he's not exactly a real go-getter in school and views it more as social event than a chance to earn an education.  He's a LOT more like his dad (though way better looking and more successful with the ladies) and I treated college like a 4 year party that had nuisances like tests and papers.  We're banking on there being some sort of Type 1 Diabetes scholarships available, which is sort of like banking on the Hail Mary as an offensive system in football.  

And then college for a kid who is 7 followed by twin boys who are 4.  Can't wait to see what college costs then, assuming I make it that long and with the stress load I carry around, that ain't a bet I'd make.  

Given where it appears your son will end up in terms of gpa and test scores, there will be multiple opportunities for full rides or near full rides. It will just be a matter of matching those opportunities with schools he wants to attend. By way of example, if he were graduating this year, you would likely be able to send him to Alabama for $4k a year. 

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1 hour ago, Fear The Turtle said:
minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

All I know is our son and his high school coach were in regular contact after school ended. Our son ended up going to a hurdling camp at a college over the summer and participated in a few summer track meets (both at the youth and adult levels). They communicated pretty regularly over how he was doing at the meets and the coach looked at videos to give him some pointers and feedback. Then around mid-August the coach basically went AWOL. Our son hasn't heard back from him, the assistant coaches and athletic director say they really haven't heard from him, and all I know is as of last night we still hadn't heard from him (our son at a minimum was trying to get a recommendation from him). That's where we're at, and our son has mostly been the one facilitating this all on his own. I have pretty much been an interested observer. 

Strange this guy has disappeared...unfortunate for your son and hope it gets resolved.

Still- your son needs to figure out what schools he's interested in and contact their  coaches directly. Nobody's going to be as good an advocate for him as him. And at least with this sport, if he tells the coaches he ran 4.5 40 or whatever, they'll know right away if he fits their plans and he'll know the same.

 

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On 9/30/2019 at 4:25 PM, The_Man said:

Have you filled out the Net Price Calculators at his various target schools' websites? I find them surprisingly accurate and many of them even take into account potential merit aid based on your kid's stats. Having a recent tax return is enough to get you started and you might be surprised at some of the aid available. Good luck!

I hope I am missing something - filled out the net price calculator for Lehigh and got $71,000!!!  No merit aid/grant aid - only thing noted was possible $3,500 student loan....ugh.  I really thought a 1480 on SAT would get some merit aid....I mean my wife and I do ok but nowhere near enough to pay full freight on a $70K yrly tuition.  

Edited by Hedgehog

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Ugh. It was an eventful evening with ups and downs for us. The good news is we were finally able to get a hold of the heretofore AWOL track coach. He has different contact info than before for some reason.

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

I also think my wife is the one driving the early decision bus, as I am pretty sure her agenda is to get him to commit to a warm climate school so we can work on moving to that area and getting our house on the market (she hates cold / snow / winter with a passion). That's also impacting where she wants him to apply, as she wants to move to where it is warm. A couple of the replacement schools he wanted to apply to were in New England (where we live currently).

Now we need to regroup, because there is no point in bringing in the track coach yet as the list of potential colleges has almost completely changed. No point in calling him in until we have a clear path and direction. Just when you think you are making some progress . . .

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3 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Ugh. It was an eventful evening with ups and downs for us. The good news is we were finally able to get a hold of the heretofore AWOL track coach. He has different contact info than before for some reason.

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

I also think my wife is the one driving the early decision bus, as I am pretty sure her agenda is to get him to commit to a warm climate school so we can work on moving to that area and getting our house on the market (she hates cold / snow / winter with a passion). That's also impacting where she wants him to apply, as she wants to move to where it is warm. A couple of the replacement schools he wanted to apply to were in New England (where we live currently).

Now we need to regroup, because there is no point in bringing in the track coach yet as the list of potential colleges has almost completely changed. No point in calling him in until we have a clear path and direction. Just when you think you are making some progress . . .

Damn. Good luck, with all of that- sounds like lots more than just college decisions going on.

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6 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

Did the FAFSA tell you this or did this all come up when you got to the list of 10 schools to send the information?

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6 minutes ago, GStrot said:

Did the FAFSA tell you this or did this all come up when you got to the list of 10 schools to send the information?

FAFSA had nothing to do with the pricing. We entered our financial info and our son's academic info into the individual school's aid package calculators. Unfortunately, he just misses the scholarship levels and we are out of state for state schools . . . so also not a good options there. And we make too much money so no aid available other than loans.

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1 hour ago, Anarchy99 said:

Ugh. It was an eventful evening with ups and downs for us. The good news is we were finally able to get a hold of the heretofore AWOL track coach. He has different contact info than before for some reason.

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

I also think my wife is the one driving the early decision bus, as I am pretty sure her agenda is to get him to commit to a warm climate school so we can work on moving to that area and getting our house on the market (she hates cold / snow / winter with a passion). That's also impacting where she wants him to apply, as she wants to move to where it is warm. A couple of the replacement schools he wanted to apply to were in New England (where we live currently).

Now we need to regroup, because there is no point in bringing in the track coach yet as the list of potential colleges has almost completely changed. No point in calling him in until we have a clear path and direction. Just when you think you are making some progress . . .

Best of luck to your son!  And I know you know this because you’ve gone through the process with your older son, but depending on how many schools he applies to, there could be a lot of work in terms of essay writing. With November 1 early action deadlines less than a month away, I would try to get the schools narrowed down soon so he can start working on those essays. My son is writing 14 different essays for his various applications (and may be adding 5 more if he opts to apply to the honors colleges at two of the schools).  For just his Georgia Tech essay (max 300 words), he went through five drafts. Even if your son's athletic recruitment greases the wheels, I suspect that he'll still need to write the essays.

Edited by bigbottom

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1 hour ago, Anarchy99 said:

Ugh. It was an eventful evening with ups and downs for us. The good news is we were finally able to get a hold of the heretofore AWOL track coach. He has different contact info than before for some reason.

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

I also think my wife is the one driving the early decision bus, as I am pretty sure her agenda is to get him to commit to a warm climate school so we can work on moving to that area and getting our house on the market (she hates cold / snow / winter with a passion). That's also impacting where she wants him to apply, as she wants to move to where it is warm. A couple of the replacement schools he wanted to apply to were in New England (where we live currently).

Now we need to regroup, because there is no point in bringing in the track coach yet as the list of potential colleges has almost completely changed. No point in calling him in until we have a clear path and direction. Just when you think you are making some progress . . .

My wife used to tease/scare our daughter by saying that we were going to move to wherever she chose to go to school, thereby ruining her first chance at freedom. Sounds like your wife is deadly serious about it. 

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1 hour ago, Anarchy99 said:

Ugh. It was an eventful evening with ups and downs for us. The good news is we were finally able to get a hold of the heretofore AWOL track coach. He has different contact info than before for some reason.

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

I also think my wife is the one driving the early decision bus, as I am pretty sure her agenda is to get him to commit to a warm climate school so we can work on moving to that area and getting our house on the market (she hates cold / snow / winter with a passion). That's also impacting where she wants him to apply, as she wants to move to where it is warm. A couple of the replacement schools he wanted to apply to were in New England (where we live currently).

Now we need to regroup, because there is no point in bringing in the track coach yet as the list of potential colleges has almost completely changed. No point in calling him in until we have a clear path and direction. Just when you think you are making some progress . . .

I'm from MA, daughter is a swimmer who knew as early as her freshman HS year that she wanted to go to a D1 college in California. So the whole academic/athletic/geographical soup actually served to limit her choices to maybe five or six schools. Long story short, she ended up at a great CSU and wife and I simultaneously bought a property in the same town. I stay out of my daughter's way, but it's nice to be down the street in case there is an issue I can help deal with. Especially nice to enjoy reasonable weather in the winter for a change.

We still have a house in MA, so we pay out of state CSU prices, but it totals far less than a Northeast private school and not too much more than a MA public. I *think* we can get the CA in-state tuition in her 3rd or 4th year- still navigating that maze. 

FWIW, my daughter's club coach was incredibly well connected with California universities and made a number of connections on her behalf. But, in the end, it was really up to my kid to initiate contact, arrange visits, explain her interest, follow up, and make the ultimate decision. It's good to have a current coach as a strong advocate, but in our experience it was more important to be super organized and proactive on our own. 

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12 minutes ago, MrJimmy said:

I'm from MA, daughter is a swimmer who knew as early as her freshman HS year that she wanted to go to a D1 college in California. So the whole academic/athletic/geographical soup actually served to limit her choices to maybe five or six schools. Long story short, she ended up at a great CSU and wife and I simultaneously bought a property in the same town. I stay out of my daughter's way, but it's nice to be down the street in case there is an issue I can help deal with. Especially nice to enjoy reasonable weather in the winter for a change.

We still have a house in MA, so we pay out of state CSU prices, but it totals far less than a Northeast private school and not too much more than a MA public. I *think* we can get the CA in-state tuition in her 3rd or 4th year- still navigating that maze. 

FWIW, my daughter's club coach was incredibly well connected with California universities and made a number of connections on her behalf. But, in the end, it was really up to my kid to initiate contact, arrange visits, explain her interest, follow up, and make the ultimate decision. It's good to have a current coach as a strong advocate, but in our experience it was more important to be super organized and proactive on our own. 

You hiring by chance? ;)

 

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Have I mentioned how much I love group projects? The son I have been posting about has the same teacher for three classes and had 100 average in all of them. 

He just finished up a big group project that counts half of his first quarter grade. The teacher selected the kids on the four person teams. 

On his section, he got 100. Two other people didn’t do much and each got 50 on their sections. The fourth kid did nothing, blew it off, and scored a 0. 

But that’s not how the grade for the project works. 200 points divided by four kids = they all get a 50. So my son’s grade went from an A+ to a D.  He talked to the teacher, who admits his section was an A+ but all kids get the same grade for the project. 

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57 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Have I mentioned how much I love group projects? The son I have been posting about has the same teacher for three classes and had 100 average in all of them. 

He just finished up a big group project that counts half of his first quarter grade. The teacher selected the kids on the four person teams. 

On his section, he got 100. Two other people didn’t do much and each got 50 on their sections. The fourth kid did nothing, blew it off, and scored a 0. 

But that’s not how the grade for the project works. 200 points divided by four kids = they all get a 50. So my son’s grade went from an A+ to a D.  He talked to the teacher, who admits his section was an A+ but all kids get the same grade for the project. 

I’m burning #### down in that situation. Out of courtesy I will talk to the teacher first, but if that doesn’t garner immediate results, I’m going straight to administration. 

By the way, all the more reason to get those early decision applications in. Much more likely to make their decisions without asking for Fall grades. 

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57 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

But that’s not how the grade for the project works. 200 points divided by four kids = they all get a 50. So my son’s grade went from an A+ to a D.  He talked to the teacher, who admits his section was an A+ but all kids get the same grade for the project. 

There was very few, if any things, I ever bothered teachers with regarding my daughter. 

If I found that something like this would have lowered my daughters overall grade, I would not have hesitated to have been in the teachers office first thing in the morning and if no satisfaction was received I would have moved up the chain.

This is unacceptable to me.

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*exhale*

Admitted to Texas A&M engineering. Regardless of what happens with his other applications, it’s a big relief to know that he has somewhere to go in the fall. And a top engineering program to boot. 

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2 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

*exhale*

Admitted to Texas A&M engineering. Regardless of what happens with his other applications, it’s a big relief to know that he has somewhere to go in the fall. And a top engineering program to boot. 

Awesome! Congrats to your son.

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1 minute ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Awesome! Congrats to your son.

Thanks!  This process has been such a grind for so long, so it’s a great to get some good news.

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22 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Thanks!  This process has been such a grind for so long, so it’s a great to get some good news.

It's very early in the season to be finding out about acceptances, no? What are the timetables and deadlines for A & M?

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23 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

It's very early in the season to be finding out about acceptances, no? What are the timetables and deadlines for A & M?

Yes, it’s definitely early for most schools. A&M is an outlier as they start accepting applications July 1 and have rolling admissions that start in September. Also, they do auto-admit for students with certain test scores and grades, though that doesn’t apply to the College of Engineering. We were told that the College of Engineering wouldn’t start reviewing until October 15 so we were surprised to get the news this morning. 

Edited by bigbottom
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1 hour ago, bigbottom said:

*exhale*

Admitted to Texas A&M engineering. Regardless of what happens with his other applications, it’s a big relief to know that he has somewhere to go in the fall. And a top engineering program to boot. 

:thumbup:

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2 hours ago, bigbottom said:

*exhale*

Admitted to Texas A&M engineering. Regardless of what happens with his other applications, it’s a big relief to know that he has somewhere to go in the fall. And a top engineering program to boot. 

Congratulations - money in the bank! Hopefully that takes a lot of stress out of the next few months. 

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4 hours ago, bigbottom said:

*exhale*

Admitted to Texas A&M engineering. Regardless of what happens with his other applications, it’s a big relief to know that he has somewhere to go in the fall. And a top engineering program to boot. 

:clap:

This thread is more fulfilling than following a sports team.  Love seeing all the stories.

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On 10/1/2019 at 10:06 AM, General Malaise said:

IMy ex-wife and I have agreed that she'll fill out the FAFSA for him and he will be claimed by her as a dependent on her 2019 taxes.  The hope here is that her lack of any college coupled with a lower income might help him qualify for more aid.  I don't know if that's the right move or not, but it's how we're leaning.  I checked out a book called "Complete Idiot's Guide to Paying for College" and it helped some; I've at least got a better handle on all the terms, deadlines etc, but it is daunting.  There is A LOT to navigate through.  
 

 Sounds like I should check out that book.  

Trying to figure out the FAFSA thing as well.  The advisor I listened to told us it's not the dependent thing, it's wherever the kid lives more - 1 day more at Mom's than Dad's and Mom should be filling out FAFSA.  We have 50/50 custody so we could easily claim either way with this.  I make way more than my ex, but she is remarried so his income and assets will figure in as well even though he isn't going to contribute to my daughter's education.  He does have a son who is a senior in HS now who will likely be going to JC, so that could help by cutting the EFC in half for each kid (I think?) as long as he's in school.  So we need to find a mock FAFSA website or something, each fill it out, and see what it spits out to determine which of us will actually do it.  Anything like that out there? 

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15 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

 Sounds like I should check out that book.  

Trying to figure out the FAFSA thing as well.  The advisor I listened to told us it's not the dependent thing, it's wherever the kid lives more - 1 day more at Mom's than Dad's and Mom should be filling out FAFSA.  We have 50/50 custody so we could easily claim either way with this.  I make way more than my ex, but she is remarried so his income and assets will figure in as well even though he isn't going to contribute to my daughter's education.  He does have a son who is a senior in HS now who will likely be going to JC, so that could help by cutting the EFC in half for each kid (I think?) as long as he's in school.  So we need to find a mock FAFSA website or something, each fill it out, and see what it spits out to determine which of us will actually do it.  Anything like that out there? 

Try the FAFSA4Caster:  https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/estimate

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On 10/2/2019 at 1:03 PM, Anarchy99 said:

Ugh. It was an eventful evening with ups and downs for us. The good news is we were finally able to get a hold of the heretofore AWOL track coach. He has different contact info than before for some reason.

We entered all of stuff into the FAFSA system last night, and that's when things started to go in a different direction than expected. The list of schools we thought our son wanted to apply to apparently is not accurate. Lots of emotion and hand wringing followed and most of the places we visited the past 6 months are now off the list for any number of reasons (mostly because they were too expensive). But there weren't many replacements under consideration, which is a whole new issue.

I also think my wife is the one driving the early decision bus, as I am pretty sure her agenda is to get him to commit to a warm climate school so we can work on moving to that area and getting our house on the market (she hates cold / snow / winter with a passion). That's also impacting where she wants him to apply, as she wants to move to where it is warm. A couple of the replacement schools he wanted to apply to were in New England (where we live currently).

Now we need to regroup, because there is no point in bringing in the track coach yet as the list of potential colleges has almost completely changed. No point in calling him in until we have a clear path and direction. Just when you think you are making some progress . . .

Have you looked at state schools in NC? Even out of state can be cheaper than many other places.

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Wow, ACT just blew itself up:

https://www.compassprep.com/act-section-retesting/

I haven't even had time to begin to unpack the ramification of this, but the link above does a pretty good job. After taking the full ACT test once, students can do computerized, section-by-section retesting. No more need to sit for the full 4 hours and toggle back and forth between English and Math/Science. Just cram for Math/Science, go in, and power it out. 

Though there's no telling how colleges will take/treat these hybrid scores. And so much for ACT's own previous contention that you can't superstore the ACT. Just a huge shake-up - so unhappy to have a junior right now in the midst of all this. 

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2 hours ago, The_Man said:

Wow, ACT just blew itself up:

https://www.compassprep.com/act-section-retesting/

I haven't even had time to begin to unpack the ramification of this, but the link above does a pretty good job. After taking the full ACT test once, students can do computerized, section-by-section retesting. No more need to sit for the full 4 hours and toggle back and forth between English and Math/Science. Just cram for Math/Science, go in, and power it out. 

Though there's no telling how colleges will take/treat these hybrid scores. And so much for ACT's own previous contention that you can't superstore the ACT. Just a huge shake-up - so unhappy to have a junior right now in the midst of all this. 

Wow, this is fascinating.  I will be interested to see how this plays out, but do feel bad for your kid and others who will be the guinea pigs for this experiment.

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42 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Wow, this is fascinating.  I will be interested to see how this plays out, but do feel bad for your kid and others who will be the guinea pigs for this experiment.

This will obviously increase the raw scores on the exams, though whether they adjust the scoring curve remains to be seen.  By shifting to online testing (as well as allowing single section retests), I think it substantially increases the number of times a student will take the ACT, which will likely result in increased revenues.  Kids will be retaking and retaking in an effort to fine-tune the individual scores.  This will also be a boon to test prep agencies and tutors that will now be able to diversify their products into specialized section by section tutorials, and there will be a greater demand for those individualized services, I would think. 

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7 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

This will obviously increase the raw scores on the exams, though whether they adjust the scoring curve remains to be seen.  By shifting to online testing (as well as allowing single section retests), I think it substantially increases the number of times a student will take the ACT, which will likely result in increased revenues.  Kids will be retaking and retaking in an effort to fine-tune the individual scores.  This will also be a boon to test prep agencies and tutors that will now be able to diversify their products into specialized section by section tutorials, and there will be a greater demand for those individualized services, I would think. 

Absolutely. But just because the ACT is going to push people to take and take and take section tests over again doesn't mean colleges are going to look at those inflated scores the same way. If anything, I think this might help fuel the test-optional movement, as the standardized tests reveal themselves more and more to be something that affluent/educated parents can help their kids game. 

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I'm curious how the test center logistics is going to work.  First, they're going to need a crazy number of computers.  10,000?  100,000?  How do they get shipped to each location?  Where do they get stored in between test dates?  And at the testing centers, how do they handle the fact that some kids are only taking one section of the exam?  Will there be different rooms for each section and the kids move from room to room between sections?  How do you plan for that when there are twice as many kids taking the reading section as taking the English section?  Seems like a logistical nightmare to me.

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27 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Absolutely. But just because the ACT is going to push people to take and take and take section tests over again doesn't mean colleges are going to look at those inflated scores the same way. If anything, I think this might help fuel the test-optional movement, as the standardized tests reveal themselves more and more to be something that affluent/educated parents can help their kids game. 

I think you may very well be right. 

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5 hours ago, bigbottom said:

This will obviously increase the raw scores on the exams, though whether they adjust the scoring curve remains to be seen.  By shifting to online testing (as well as allowing single section retests), I think it substantially increases the number of times a student will take the ACT, which will likely result in increased revenues.  Kids will be retaking and retaking in an effort to fine-tune the individual scores.  This will also be a boon to test prep agencies and tutors that will now be able to diversify their products into specialized section by section tutorials, and there will be a greater demand for those individualized services, I would think. 

...and we get to the real motivation behind such changes.

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20 hours ago, The_Man said:

Absolutely. But just because the ACT is going to push people to take and take and take section tests over again doesn't mean colleges are going to look at those inflated scores the same way. If anything, I think this might help fuel the test-optional movement, as the standardized tests reveal themselves more and more to be something that affluent/educated parents can help their kids game. 

A highly regarded and very visible VP of Enrollment Management tweeted this yesterday:

We may some day look back and point to this as the turning point, when everyone finally realized that the whole system is a sham, and that it's just two private companies, accountable to no one, attempting to get a market-share leg up on the competition. (It's not about students)

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7 minutes ago, The_Man said:

A highly regarded and very visible VP of Enrollment Management tweeted this yesterday:

We may some day look back and point to this as the turning point, when everyone finally realized that the whole system is a sham, and that it's just two private companies, accountable to no one, attempting to get a market-share leg up on the competition. (It's not about students)

Wow.  There is no doubt that ACT's shift to superscoring was done because it was a "feature" that was attracting kids to the SAT.

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4 minutes ago, The_Man said:

A highly regarded and very visible VP of Enrollment Management tweeted this yesterday:

We may some day look back and point to this as the turning point, when everyone finally realized that the whole system is a sham, and that it's just two private companies, accountable to no one, attempting to get a market-share leg up on the competition. (It's not about students)

The whole system is a sham.  A look back isn't really needed to recognize this.  But the biggest part of the sham is not from the private companies.  They are filling a need in the marketplace, and they are doing it for profit.  This is the way business works.  The bigger problem is that college admission process gives so much weight to these products that students/families are motivated to "game" the system to the point where the system fails.  

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3 hours ago, Galileo said:

The whole system is a sham.  A look back isn't really needed to recognize this.  But the biggest part of the sham is not from the private companies.  They are filling a need in the marketplace, and they are doing it for profit.  This is the way business works.  The bigger problem is that college admission process gives so much weight to these products that students/families are motivated to "game" the system to the point where the system fails.  

Counterpoint:  you're poor, yet for some unknown reason your kid is able to ace this ACT which ordinarily might help with college aid.  Now, this academic accomplishment is diminished.  Right?  Isn't that the read-through?

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I'm just a spectator now but it's probably a good time to remind those going through this that they changed the SAT midstream on our kids a few years ago amid much hand-wringing and many dire predictions. As I recall, It wasn't near as bad as many feared.

Another reminder for those concerned about the impact on the poor: ACT does waive testing fees and test reporting fees based on economic hardship. The waivers are not hard to obtain. 

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2 hours ago, General Malaise said:

Counterpoint:  you're poor, yet for some unknown reason your kid is able to ace this ACT which ordinarily might help with college aid.  Now, this academic accomplishment is diminished.  Right?  Isn't that the read-through?

Not sure that is a "counterpoint", but yes, I agree with you.  If everyone can score high, there is nothing special about it anymore and the system fails.  Are colleges going to need to start discerning between the 1 time takers and the 3 1/2 time takers?  Also not working as intended.

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6 hours ago, General Malaise said:

Counterpoint:  you're poor, yet for some unknown reason your kid is able to ace this ACT which ordinarily might help with college aid.  Now, this academic accomplishment is diminished.  Right?  Isn't that the read-through?

Yes. Scores are going to be inflated. 

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3 hours ago, Galileo said:

Not sure that is a "counterpoint", but yes, I agree with you.  If everyone can score high, there is nothing special about it anymore and the system fails.  Are colleges going to need to start discerning between the 1 time takers and the 3 1/2 time takers?  Also not working as intended.

They may not be able to. My son took the ACT twice. But he only sent one score to the schools to which he is applying. They have no idea he took it twice. So if ACT will now only provide a single superscored score report no matter how many times a kid has taken and retaken individual sections (as it sounds like they plan to), there would be no ability for the successful one-time taker to stand out. 

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2 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

They may not be able to. My son took the ACT twice. But he only sent one score to the schools to which he is applying. They have no idea he took it twice. So if ACT will now only provide a single superscored score report no matter how many times a kid has taken and retaken individual sections (as it sounds like they plan to), there would be no ability for the successful one-time taker to stand out. 

...unless that changes.  We'll see, I guess.  

One of the reasons colleges have put so much emphasis on test scores is because grades/GPAs have become so inflated over the years.  Now with inflated test scores as well, they'll have to utilize other strategies of evaluating candidates...I guess many schools already do to some degree.  That will prompt students/high schools/testing companies to make new moves and so on... The cat and mouse game will continue.

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4 hours ago, Galileo said:

Not sure that is a "counterpoint", but yes, I agree with you.  If everyone can score high, there is nothing special about it anymore and the system fails.  Are colleges going to need to start discerning between the 1 time takers and the 3 1/2 time takers?  Also not working as intended.

Yeah, I don't know why I typed out the word "counterpoint".  Just really bummed reading things like this.  

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Anyone know where I can get help filling out the CSS profile?   Specifically, I tore down and rebuilt my house three years ago.  It is worth 3x what I bought it for.  CSS asks its current value and the debt owed.   But, they also ask when I bought it and for how much.   Do I report the 1999 figure that I bought the house for or do I report the value in 2015 when I moved into my new house? 

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25 minutes ago, GStrot said:

Anyone know where I can get help filling out the CSS profile?   Specifically, I tore down and rebuilt my house three years ago.  It is worth 3x what I bought it for.  CSS asks its current value and the debt owed.   But, they also ask when I bought it and for how much.   Do I report the 1999 figure that I bought the house for or do I report the value in 2015 when I moved into my new house? 

I think a rebuild on the same land is contiguous and is looked at as basically a home improvement.

In the Home Purchase Price section, put the price you purchased in 1999.

In the Home Value section, , put what the house is worth today (you might need a real estate agent unless zillow has all the new specs)

You can always call a schools financial aid department and ask, they are usually fairly helpful.

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Just now, NewlyRetired said:

I think a rebuild on the same land is contiguous and is looked at as basically a home improvement.

In the Home Purchase Price section, put the price you purchased in 1999.

In the Home Value section, , put what the house is worth today (you might need a real estate agent unless zillow has all the new specs)

You can always call a schools financial aid department and ask, they are usually fairly helpful.

I figured this was the answer. I just don’t want a college thinking I pulled out my home’s appreciation through refinancing.  I actually hate telling them how much my home is worth.  Do they anticipate I am going to sell my home to pay for college?  Does the purchase price really matter?

guessing I should have “sold” my house to my builder and “bought” it back when done so I had a record.  
 

Thanks.  

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Just now, GStrot said:

I figured this was the answer. I just don’t want a college thinking I pulled out my home’s appreciation through refinancing.  I actually hate telling them how much my home is worth.  Do they anticipate I am going to sell my home to pay for college?  Does the purchase price really matter?

guessing I should have “sold” my house to my builder and “bought” it back when done so I had a record.  
 

Thanks.  

The unfortunate answer is yes, some schools (not all), do put a major emphasis on current home value.

My brother has 4 children all at Northeastern.  He gets nothing from them for aid.  He got so frustrated that he and his wife went to the school to sit down with the financial aid officers.  After getting the run around, he finally forced the head of the department to talk to them.  It was then that the head told him that it was his home that prevented any financial aid.

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5 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

The unfortunate answer is yes, some schools (not all), do put a major emphasis on current home value.

My brother has 4 children all at Northeastern.  He gets nothing from them for aid.  He got so frustrated that he and his wife went to the school to sit down with the financial aid officers.  After getting the run around, he finally forced the head of the department to talk to them.  It was then that the head told him that it was his home that prevented any financial aid.

That’s messed up.  One of many things in this process that’s messed up.  

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