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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 pr

Son got in to his first choice school yesterday - USC. He is super excited and we are relieved to finally be done with this incredibly long and stressful process. He’ll be pursuing a mechanical engine

In at Clemson! Happy that he now has a choice to make for college. Now we’ll see whether the reach schools pan out. It will be a while before we hear for most of them. 

11 hours ago, Bruce Dickinson said:

Just wanted to say thanks for your contributions to this thread.  Inferences we’ve drawn from your insight is one of many reasons we’ve decided Europe is a better option for my daughter than the USA for undergraduate study.  
 

She’s a junior, ranked first in her class, has won a national math competition, her PSAT score last year would have qualified for National Merit Semifinalist, she retook the ACT and improved to 36, is part of a cohort that had a project for their Energy & Sustainability class last spring escalate to a patent pending on it.  But since she’s not a legacy, a recruited athlete, tied closely to a wealthy donor, nor a first-generation college student, and weak in areas like volunteer hours and other bull#### designed to keep the working class out, she’s probably not going to get into a top 30 college here.  And if she did, it would likely be at a total cost of attendance rate in the $60-$70K range.  We would likely pay half that for Cambridge, King’s College, Lund, even less in Germany or Spain.  And because their admissions processes don’t reserve a bunch of slots for jocks and legacies and don’t weigh extracurriculars heavily like USA schools, she’s got a much better chance of admission overseas than here.  
(She also doesn’t have a ton of faith in USA’s willingness to be a future world leader in areas she’s passionate about, so she isn’t planning under the assumption she will continue to live in the USA once she’s on her own, a view I respect.)

With Brexit coming we’re not sure in England is the way to go but wow she sure loves London and the English countryside.  We’re going to visit Lund and a couple other schools in Sweden and Northern Europe this summer.  (She’s fluent in Spanish and is messing around with an app to learn some Swedish, so language isn’t necessarily a barrier)

It’s been weird tossing aside those USA college guides after looking at them closely the last couple years.  She will still apply to a few schools here but not looking to add any USA schools to the list or go out of our way to visit campuses.
I think she will end up overseas, and it blows my mind that going this route will be a lot cheaper.

This is "#### that.  That's 30 minutes per dwarf" daughter?

:eek: We're all getting old.

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13 hours ago, bigbottom said:

Notre Dame doesn’t have ED, but you’re right that they’re encouraging only the more competitive applicants to apply Restrictive Early Action. 

Right.  There’s was early action.  Same point.  The earliest most restrictive they have is also the toughest pool of applicants.  It may not help your application, it may actually lower your chances depending on your scores and grades.  At least that is what they are telling me. 

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21 hours ago, bigbottom said:

As an update, he did decent on the Math II and Physics SAT Subject tests, but not well enough for us to submit them (because his ACT was as high as it was, the Subject Test Scores would only water it down). Actually, the Math II score was probably high enough to submit, but because most kids take 2-3, only submitting 1 score would lead schools to conclude he didn't do well on the others.  And since he is applying for engineering, they would wonder why he wasn't submitting a Physics test score.  So we're not submitting any.  That's sort of a bummer since he expended so much time and effort studying for them.  Oh well.

It will likely help him in his first year coursework, as well as experience in buckling down and studying for a test.  If he wants to go to grad / biz school, the ability to crush the GRE or GMAT, he'll be thankful about learning some of the test taking strategies before.

FWIW, about 8 years ago I took the GMAT and didn't study a whit for the math portion.  In the end, I ended up doing better in the verbal and analytical sections than the math!  Never did go to biz school.

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1 hour ago, GStrot said:

Right.  There’s was early action.  Same point.  The earliest most restrictive they have is also the toughest pool of applicants.  It may not help your application, it may actually lower your chances depending on your scores and grades.  At least that is what they are telling me. 

Here is what Notre Dame publishes. For what it’s worth, our consultant said absolutely 100% that our son should be doing REA there. 

Should I apply during Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision?

Our Restrictive Early Action application process is non-binding, and admitted students have until May 1 to indicate their decision to attend. Every college and university uses Restrictive Early Action in a different way. The easiest way to understand how Notre Dame uses it is to describe what it is not. It is not the avenue students should take merely because Notre Dame is their first choice. Nor is it easier to gain admission through the Restrictive Early Action process.

In deciding whether or not to apply Early, ask yourself: can I submit my best application in October of my senior year? If so, then Restrictive Early Action is probably the correct route for you. However, if you believe that an extra semester could be beneficial for whatever reason (to raise your grades a little, to take an extra SAT or ACT, to add on to your resume) then you should consider applying during Regular Decision.

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30 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

It will likely help him in his first year coursework, as well as experience in buckling down and studying for a test.  If he wants to go to grad / biz school, the ability to crush the GRE or GMAT, he'll be thankful about learning some of the test taking strategies before.

FWIW, about 8 years ago I took the GMAT and didn't study a whit for the math portion.  In the end, I ended up doing better in the verbal and analytical sections than the math!  Never did go to biz school.

Thanks, that makes me feel a whole lot better about the expended effort. 

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12 hours ago, bigbottom said:

Wow, that is quite the resume. I can’t imagine that volunteer hours and the like are going to make one lick of difference. Notwithstanding the info that has been shared here, it sounds like your daughter is one of the few that would be in the running to be accepted at all the top US schools. That said, if it’s not a fit, it’s not a fit.  Very exciting times. Please keep us posted on her search and where she ends up. 

One blessing/curse with the kid is she’s extraordinarily principled.  At this time last year her top school was Yale.  But she was really turned off by how many slots they hold for students who wouldn’t get admitted in a straight meritocracy.  

Probably should save this for another thread, but I suspect she’s worn out by having classmates who want to argue climate change isn’t real (either to enrage or from straight ignorance), a struggle pretty much limited to the United States.  Also factor in she doesn’t know a USA pre-Columbine or pre-9/11, so she hasn’t experienced the USA shining beacon on a hill her parents’ generation did.  So she doesn’t see going overseas for college as a sacrifice or defeat, but as a quest to find her people.  She’s exchanged DMs with Greta Thunberg (we will try to meet her in person when we visit Sweden next year) and the response Thunberg gets from the mediocre white men of the USA makes my daughter not want to live here.

Maybe that will change once it’s time to choose a college.  Maybe she’ll fall in love and not want to go far away for school because of that.  I don’t know.  But I respect her for calling a game rigged and not wanting to play it.
 

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so just started browsing this thread - some good stuff here...my Sr son has a top 3 but leaning toward general admissions based on getting another semester of grades in and we are nervous that any ED would limit financial merit aid which is key.....

Our 1st pass on "need aid" was a whiff as we make good money - but living in metro area it goes quick and we only have saved enough $ for 1 yr per kid if tuition is around $50K  per yr.....the sticker on his top 3 schools is going north of $70K per yr......just cant afford that and dont want both of us to get crushed in loans....Id be all in on $50K per yr but dont know if merit aid could stretch that far....his GPA is 3.95 (weighted) with a 1480 on SATs....hoping SATs could get him some merit aid but just have no idea what to expect in amounts or how it works - any thoughts, links or other threads to help out?  

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1 minute ago, Hedgehog said:

so just started browsing this thread - some good stuff here...my Sr son has a top 3 but leaning toward general admissions based on getting another semester of grades in and we are nervous that any ED would limit financial merit aid which is key.....

Our 1st pass on "need aid" was a whiff as we make good money - but living in metro area it goes quick and we only have saved enough $ for 1 yr per kid if tuition is around $50K  per yr.....the sticker on his top 3 schools is going north of $70K per yr......just cant afford that and dont want both of us to get crushed in loans....Id be all in on $50K per yr but dont know if merit aid could stretch that far....his GPA is 3.95 (weighted) with a 1480 on SATs....hoping SATs could get him some merit aid but just have no idea what to expect in amounts or how it works - any thoughts, links or other threads to help out?  

Merit aid varies from school to school.  It can be hard to come by but it is there for top students, specifically at the second/third tier schools.  Some schools don't even publicize that they have merit aid but even those usually have some cache.

The second/third tiers are made up of great schools that don't have the Ivy league pull and they can sometimes use merit aid as a way to entice an Ivy level student to come to their school.

Can you say what schools you are looking at?

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1 minute ago, NewlyRetired said:

Merit aid varies from school to school.  It can be hard to come by but it is there for top students, specifically at the second/third tier schools.  Some schools don't even publicize that they have merit aid but even those usually have some cache.

The second/third tiers are made up of great schools that don't have the Ivy league pull and they can sometimes use merit aid as a way to entice an Ivy level student to come to their school.

Can you say what schools you are looking at?

He's interested in engineering.....top 3 so far are Lehigh, Bucknell and Stevens......Lehigh would be his #1 but think it will be tougher to get merit aid there vs the others....all over $70K sticker....may have to look at 2d tier like Rutgers/Penn St for price which is much lower but also much lower on his preference list....

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6 minutes ago, Hedgehog said:

He's interested in engineering.....top 3 so far are Lehigh, Bucknell and Stevens......Lehigh would be his #1 but think it will be tougher to get merit aid there vs the others....all over $70K sticker....may have to look at 2d tier like Rutgers/Penn St for price which is much lower but also much lower on his preference list....

Have you considered a school like Northeastern or Drexel? 

I have nephews at both schools in engineering and they make VERY good money on co-op which lowers the cost of education quite a bit while also giving them a killer resume when graduating.  These are typically 5 year programs.

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1 hour ago, Hedgehog said:

He's interested in engineering.....top 3 so far are Lehigh, Bucknell and Stevens......Lehigh would be his #1 but think it will be tougher to get merit aid there vs the others....all over $70K sticker....may have to look at 2d tier like Rutgers/Penn St for price which is much lower but also much lower on his preference list....

Hell yeah!   :headbang:

When I started there 25 years ago (holy ####) we didn't have much money so I got a good amount of help.  Got a better package there than Villanova and other schools I was looking at.  Good luck!

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I normally would read a thread before posting but just don't have the time. Our son is a HS senior and is in the Top 5% of his class and has a really high weighted GPA (all honors and AP classes). The problem is he ALMOST qualifies for scholarships at the schools he is interested. He makes it with tons of room to spare on his class rank and GPA. The issue is he misses the scholarship threshold by 20 points in his SAT score and 1 point on his ACT score. He needs one of those to get a scholarship (and the schools claim that those are the rules, no exceptions).

He will be taking the standardized tests again (SAT this upcoming weekend), but the issue is the schools demand early action and early decision to get a scholarship offer. The deadline for providing scores for the standardized testing is today. Some of the schools have indicated he may end up qualifying for the scholarships . . . but they base their decisions on what they know now, not what might happen down the road.

The schools are telling us to either apply early action (which some are binding) and see what happens or apply on a regular application timeline but they just won't consider him for a scholarship. Neither one of those would be ideal.

The other debate going on at our house is what package typically will be better . . . being an out of stater going to a state school . . . or going to a private school. It probably will depend on the individual schools.

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17 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

I normally would read a thread before posting but just don't have the time. Our son is a HS senior and is in the Top 5% of his class and has a really high weighted GPA (all honors and AP classes). The problem is he ALMOST qualifies for scholarships at the schools he is interested. He makes it with tons of room to spare on his class rank and GPA. The issue is he misses the scholarship threshold by 20 points in his SAT score and 1 point on his ACT score. He needs one of those to get a scholarship (and the schools claim that those are the rules, no exceptions).

He will be taking the standardized tests again (SAT this upcoming weekend), but the issue is the schools demand early action and early decision to get a scholarship offer. The deadline for providing scores for the standardized testing is today.  Some of the schools have indicated he may end up qualifying for the scholarships . . . but they base their decisions on what they know now, not what might happen down the road.

The schools are telling us to either apply early action (which some are binding) and see what happens or apply on a regular application timeline but they just won't consider him for a scholarship. Neither one of those would be ideal.

The other debate going on at our house is what package typically will be better . . . being an out of stater going to a state school . . . or going to a private school. It probably will depend on the individual schools.

I’m not fully understanding the timing. You state that the deadline for providing his test scores is today. Does that mean his applications for ED or EA are due today?  Typically those deadlines are November 1 or November 15.  Also, has he already submitted his prior test scores to the schools where he is applying?

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39 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

I’m not fully understanding the timing. You state that the deadline for providing his test scores is today. Does that mean his applications for ED or EA are due today?  Typically those deadlines are November 1 or November 15.  Also, has he already submitted his prior test scores to the schools where he is applying?

Maybe I described it wrong. 11/1 is the proper deadline, but they essentially said if you didn't take the standardized tests by today they won't get the results in time for the 11/1 deadline. He hasn't officially applied anywhere but we asked those schools about his situation when we visited them over the summer. 

I also am not sure . . . how binding is binding early action? I think a couple of schools (forget which ones) he is interested in want it to be a binding decision, but he would have to apply hoping for a scholarship offer based on upping his SAT scores and them somehow getting the schools his results and the school them offering the scholarship. The point being, he probably wouldn't want to commit to one of those places unless the scholarship part kicks in. We are not going to qualify for need based aid, so getting scholarship money is going to make a big difference.

The other thing my wife was curious about was if you applied for early decision (11/2019) to an out-of-state state school and got accepted (starting in 8/2020), could the student elect to start later (8/2021) and move and establish state residency first.

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2 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

so just started browsing this thread - some good stuff here...my Sr son has a top 3 but leaning toward general admissions based on getting another semester of grades in and we are nervous that any ED would limit financial merit aid which is key.....

Our 1st pass on "need aid" was a whiff as we make good money - but living in metro area it goes quick and we only have saved enough $ for 1 yr per kid if tuition is around $50K  per yr.....the sticker on his top 3 schools is going north of $70K per yr......just cant afford that and dont want both of us to get crushed in loans....Id be all in on $50K per yr but dont know if merit aid could stretch that far....his GPA is 3.95 (weighted) with a 1480 on SATs....hoping SATs could get him some merit aid but just have no idea what to expect in amounts or how it works - any thoughts, links or other threads to help out?  

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!

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1 hour ago, Anarchy99 said:

I normally would read a thread before posting but just don't have the time. Our son is a HS senior and is in the Top 5% of his class and has a really high weighted GPA (all honors and AP classes). The problem is he ALMOST qualifies for scholarships at the schools he is interested. He makes it with tons of room to spare on his class rank and GPA. The issue is he misses the scholarship threshold by 20 points in his SAT score and 1 point on his ACT score. He needs one of those to get a scholarship (and the schools claim that those are the rules, no exceptions).

He will be taking the standardized tests again (SAT this upcoming weekend), but the issue is the schools demand early action and early decision to get a scholarship offer. The deadline for providing scores for the standardized testing is today. Some of the schools have indicated he may end up qualifying for the scholarships . . . but they base their decisions on what they know now, not what might happen down the road.

The schools are telling us to either apply early action (which some are binding) and see what happens or apply on a regular application timeline but they just won't consider him for a scholarship. Neither one of those would be ideal.

The other debate going on at our house is what package typically will be better . . . being an out of stater going to a state school . . . or going to a private school. It probably will depend on the individual schools.

Being out of stater at a state school often isn't that great a deal - they don't have the deep pockets of private schools and have increasingly used full-pay out of state students to make up the declining budget allocations from their state governments. However, some schools will offer a "scholarship" that is essentially giving in -state tuition rates (or close to them) to out of state kids. 

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1 minute ago, The_Man said:

Being out of stater at a state school often isn't that great a deal - they don't have the deep pockets of private schools and have increasingly used full-pay out of state students to make up the declining budget allocations from their state governments. However, some schools will offer a "scholarship" that is essentially giving in -state tuition rates (or close to them) to out of state kids. 

The debate we were having was if trying early decision might help in getting in . . . but then choosing to attend a year later at in-state tuition costs instead. I countered with just moving and waiting a year and then applying, but her point was our son wouldn't want to move somewhere if he wasn't guaranteed a spot in the school. We aren't all on the same page to begin with, so that isn't helping any.

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2 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

Early Action is non binding

Early Decision is binding

Theoretically, couldn't you just decline an Early Decision package if it is way too expensive, especially if another school would offer a much cheaper alternative? For example, suppose someone applied early decision and the student got accepted and the cost after the package would be $40,000 a year. Jump ahead a few months and a school recruits the kid as a student - athlete and offers a free ride athletic scholarship. Is the student than supposed to turn down the athletic scholarship because he/she went Early Decision?

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14 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Theoretically, couldn't you just decline an Early Decision package if it is way too expensive, especially if another school would offer a much cheaper alternative? For example, suppose someone applied early decision and the student got accepted and the cost after the package would be $40,000 a year. Jump ahead a few months and a school recruits the kid as a student - athlete and offers a free ride athletic scholarship. Is the student than supposed to turn down the athletic scholarship because he/she went Early Decision?

A couple of pieces of heresay: i have heard that just about the only legit way to back out of a ED is to "plead poverty" and claim that the school's price tag is beyond your means. Don't know how it would be looked upon if the first school found that you were working another after you had already been accepted to theirs under ED. Also, I've heard that going the "establishing state residency" route is not as easy as you'd think; that the schools are onto this tactic.

It's been a few years, but I remember that if you paid an extra fee you could get the testing agencies (at least with the ACT) to expedite the result reporting to selected schools. Don't know if that will help you.

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45 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Theoretically, couldn't you just decline an Early Decision package if it is way too expensive, especially if another school would offer a much cheaper alternative? For example, suppose someone applied early decision and the student got accepted and the cost after the package would be $40,000 a year. Jump ahead a few months and a school recruits the kid as a student - athlete and offers a free ride athletic scholarship. Is the student than supposed to turn down the athletic scholarship because he/she went Early Decision?

Early decision is ethically binding, not legally binding.

How far a school will go depends on the school in cases where ED is broken for reasons outside of finances.

If a student bails for a reason other than financial, some schools will call the other schools a student has applied to to let them know he was an ED kid and then other schools could then, theoretically rescind the kids acceptance.

I have no idea if it ever gets that far though. 

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3 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

Theoretically, couldn't you just decline an Early Decision package if it is way too expensive, especially if another school would offer a much cheaper alternative? For example, suppose someone applied early decision and the student got accepted and the cost after the package would be $40,000 a year. Jump ahead a few months and a school recruits the kid as a student - athlete and offers a free ride athletic scholarship. Is the student than supposed to turn down the athletic scholarship because he/she went Early Decision?

If someone was a full-ride caliber athlete he’d have offers by this time in the process.

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17 minutes ago, Nigel said:

If someone was a full-ride caliber athlete he’d have offers by this time in the process.

I get that. Doesn't necessarily have to be a total free ride. Using our son as an example, his primary sport has been basketball, and he probably could have been recruited at a non D-I school (but he chose not to). Never having done it before, he became a hurdler for track and field as a junior in the spring. In 2-3 months, he made the state finals in the 110m hurdles and was ranked 7th or 8th in the state. He recently put together a hurdling recruiting video and has started getting contacted by coaches. He already has a competitive college time and has started doing adult track tournaments. He's going to do indoor track and have another year of outdoor track. 

Since he is new and no one in track circles has a clue who he is, there isn't much out there about him. The other good hurdlers in the state graduated and he has a chance to be one of the top few hurdlers. He went to a hurdling camp over the summer and people say he has a lot of upside given that he's only competed in a handful of meets. We know other kids that did get free rides in track (or close to it). 

So my question would be if SCHOOL X accepted him as an early decision candidate and another school then offered him a much better package (or a free ride), would he be bound to SCHOOL X or could he take Door #2?

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3 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

Early decision is ethically binding, not legally binding.

How far a school will go depends on the school in cases where ED is broken for reasons outside of finances.

If a student bails for a reason other than financial, some schools will call the other schools a student has applied to to let them know he was an ED kid and then other schools could then, theoretically rescind the kids acceptance.

I have no idea if it ever gets that far though. 

Probably only if the parent or child is bragging about it on social media.

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13 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

So my question would be if SCHOOL X accepted him as an early decision candidate and another school then offered him a much better package (or a free ride), would he be bound to SCHOOL X or could he take Door #2?

I don't know if you saw my previous post or not but the answer is still the same.

You are ethically bound, not legally bound. 

If you can prove financial hardship (which is not just getting a better deal), then you can back out. If not, then you roll the dice.   More times than not I would assume nothing would happen.  But I have read some horror stories online of some rare cases of kids almost going in some sort of college "black book".  I don't know how true that it but I doubt I would tempt fate.

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On 9/27/2019 at 1:29 AM, Bruce Dickinson said:

Just wanted to say thanks for your contributions to this thread.  Inferences we’ve drawn from your insight is one of many reasons we’ve decided Europe is a better option for my daughter than the USA for undergraduate study.  
 

She’s a junior, ranked first in her class, has won a national math competition, her PSAT score last year would have qualified for National Merit Semifinalist, she retook the ACT and improved to 36, is part of a cohort that had a project for their Energy & Sustainability class last spring escalate to a patent pending on it.  But since she’s not a legacy, a recruited athlete, tied closely to a wealthy donor, nor a first-generation college student, and weak in areas like volunteer hours and other bull#### designed to keep the working class out, she’s probably not going to get into a top 30 college here.  And if she did, it would likely be at a total cost of attendance rate in the $60-$70K range.  We would likely pay half that for Cambridge, King’s College, Lund, even less in Germany or Spain.  And because their admissions processes don’t reserve a bunch of slots for jocks and legacies and don’t weigh extracurriculars heavily like USA schools, she’s got a much better chance of admission overseas than here.  
(She also doesn’t have a ton of faith in USA’s willingness to be a future world leader in areas she’s passionate about, so she isn’t planning under the assumption she will continue to live in the USA once she’s on her own, a view I respect.)

With Brexit coming we’re not sure in England is the way to go but wow she sure loves London and the English countryside.  We’re going to visit Lund and a couple other schools in Sweden and Northern Europe this summer.  (She’s fluent in Spanish and is messing around with an app to learn some Swedish, so language isn’t necessarily a barrier)

It’s been weird tossing aside those USA college guides after looking at them closely the last couple years.  She will still apply to a few schools here but not looking to add any USA schools to the list or go out of our way to visit campuses.
I think she will end up overseas, and it blows my mind that going this route will be a lot cheaper.

Fwiw, one of our nieces is at St Andrews and loves it. Almost as much as her parents, who are paying a fraction what they thought they'd be paying in the states.

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48 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

I get that. Doesn't necessarily have to be a total free ride. Using our son as an example, his primary sport has been basketball, and he probably could have been recruited at a non D-I school (but he chose not to). Never having done it before, he became a hurdler for track and field as a junior in the spring. In 2-3 months, he made the state finals in the 110m hurdles and was ranked 7th or 8th in the state. He recently put together a hurdling recruiting video and has started getting contacted by coaches. He already has a competitive college time and has started doing adult track tournaments. He's going to do indoor track and have another year of outdoor track. 

Since he is new and no one in track circles has a clue who he is, there isn't much out there about him. The other good hurdlers in the state graduated and he has a chance to be one of the top few hurdlers. He went to a hurdling camp over the summer and people say he has a lot of upside given that he's only competed in a handful of meets. We know other kids that did get free rides in track (or close to it). 

So my question would be if SCHOOL X accepted him as an early decision candidate and another school then offered him a much better package (or a free ride), would he be bound to SCHOOL X or could he take Door #2?

When's the season? 

With something like track, I'd assume it's all about his time for recruiting and probably scholarships. Seems like that's an easy thing to get right away to coaches at schools he's interested in...regardless of whether he's known or not. 

I took one of nephews to some goofy honor society bs at my (and his dad's) Alma mater. While there, he also wanted to check out the crew boat house (far away from campus). He rows, but isn't tip top. Got lucky and there was an alum event so coach and head recruiter was there. Recruiter asked him for some score (urg?), and told him flat out it wasn't good enough to be on their recruiting list...unless it got better during the fall.

I'd imagine track coaches could do the same for your kid...hopefully with happier results (coach at least thought his grades, scores and urg thing might be good enough to get in and walk on).

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Regarding ED, I would carefully read the text of the commitment your son is making when he opts for early decision at a school. If you think there is a chance that your son would break that commitment if he was offered scholarship money from a different school, then I would think long and hard before encouraging your son to make that commitment, even if you think the likelihood of any negative consequences is remote.

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6 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

The debate we were having was if trying early decision might help in getting in . . . but then choosing to attend a year later at in-state tuition costs instead. I countered with just moving and waiting a year and then applying, but her point was our son wouldn't want to move somewhere if he wasn't guaranteed a spot in the school. We aren't all on the same page to begin with, so that isn't helping any.

Other than a few SUNY schools and Virginia/Virginia Tech, I’m not sure there are state schools offering Early Decision. 

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I'm going to strangle my child. She is dead set on going to tOSU. A couple of problems with that...

The reason she wants to go to OSU is because she wants to be in the band. Small problem- she doesn't play an instrument that the OSU band features. Their band is brass/percussion only. She plays woodwind. She insists that she can become proficient enough in a brass instrument by next summer.

Second problem- She wants to be a pilot. OSU does not have a flight program. Her plan is to go Air Force or Navy ROTC, and have them train her.

Third problem- If she were to somehow get in, my wife wants to move to Ohio too. That #### ain't happening. I told her she could go, and come visit me wherever I am.

 

We do have a campus visit to Auburn coming up in 2 weeks. They have woodwinds, a flight program, and are not in Ohio. Wish me luck.

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11 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

I get that. Doesn't necessarily have to be a total free ride. Using our son as an example, his primary sport has been basketball, and he probably could have been recruited at a non D-I school (but he chose not to). Never having done it before, he became a hurdler for track and field as a junior in the spring. In 2-3 months, he made the state finals in the 110m hurdles and was ranked 7th or 8th in the state. He recently put together a hurdling recruiting video and has started getting contacted by coaches. He already has a competitive college time and has started doing adult track tournaments. He's going to do indoor track and have another year of outdoor track. 

Since he is new and no one in track circles has a clue who he is, there isn't much out there about him. The other good hurdlers in the state graduated and he has a chance to be one of the top few hurdlers. He went to a hurdling camp over the summer and people say he has a lot of upside given that he's only competed in a handful of meets. We know other kids that did get free rides in track (or close to it). 

So my question would be if SCHOOL X accepted him as an early decision candidate and another school then offered him a much better package (or a free ride), would he be bound to SCHOOL X or could he take Door #2?

Congrats on your son's achievements and progress. One thing to consider: difference-making track scholarship money is hard to come by, ESPECIALLY for boys. Most schools seem to use track and other sports' money to counterbalance the money they give to football, which, of course, all goes to boys. At least, that's been my experience. The schools you're looking at may differ, plus if he's really elite then that might be a game changer. He has chosen his sport well since a lot of track kids shy away from hurdling, so that might help his market.

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On 9/24/2019 at 3:47 PM, SFBayDuck said:

Went to a financial aid seminar last night at my (Junior) daughter's school.  Mostly a dude pitching his services here in our obscenely rich county to help people minimize the Expected Family Contribution that the FAFSA spits out.  But there was some good info in there for a much more middle class guy like me just starting the process.

He talked about the Total Cost of Attendance - EFC = Award formula, and that the "% of Award Met" for a school is hugely important.  Knowing that before you start visiting schools is key so the kid doesn't fall in love with a place that we won't be able to afford.  He said he of course had that info in his database, and that you might be able to find it elsewhere like Princetonreview.com.  But in poking around there I haven't found that metric yet (just their "Financial Aid Rating").  Anyone have a good source for that metric?  

Sorry about the delay in response.  I only check into this thread every once in a while and help where I can based on my experience.

 

Go to www.collegeboard.org

 

Scroll down to the green bar where it says college search.  Put in the school you are interested in, i.e., "Pepperdine" and it will populate with the full name.  Click the school.

 

Pepperdine's page will load.  Then on left side there is a tab labeled "Paying".  Then click on the tab above the tuition that says "Financial Aid by the numbers". 

 

Listed there is % of need met.  Realize this is the average so invariably, there are students who get more of their need met and less of their need met.

 

Questions, please ask.

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6 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Congrats on your son's achievements and progress. One thing to consider: difference-making track scholarship money is hard to come by, ESPECIALLY for boys. Most schools seem to use track and other sports' money to counterbalance the money they give to football, which, of course, all goes to boys. At least, that's been my experience. The schools you're looking at may differ, plus if he's really elite then that might be a game changer. He has chosen his sport well since a lot of track kids shy away from hurdling, so that might help his market.

Our older son was a state champion wrestler and got recruited by a number of schools. He was also strong academically (very strong in math and science). Other subjects, not so much. Most of the schools that really wanted him for wrestling were not all that academic. A few of the better schools that wanted him to wrestle didn't offer him much money, but they would have accepted him only if he wrestled (Duke and NYU as examples). One school (Washington and Lee) wanted him and offered a great package and said the balance would get paid by the alumni booster club. They claimed he could end up going there for free through a combination of scholastic, academic, and outside assistance. They didn't have the program he wanted to take, so it ended up not happening. Not sure how schools can promise getting kids outside assistance, or how you can get that in writing, but it seemed a little sketchy at the time. He ended up getting a couple of scholarships at Ohio State that really reduced the cost and is now a senior.

Our youngest is the one I am asking about now. That's why I was curious as to the whole process of finding college funding as a combined package and also the binding nature of early decision. The younger one overall is stronger academically than the older one. Better grades, more well rounded, higher GPA, better class rank, higher SAT scores, etc. The only problem is, his older brother scored one point higher on his ACT's and that qualified him for the scholarships at Ohio State (which the younger one just misses out on). He also is interested in Washington and Lee, who based on the aid calculators seem to have a lot to offer package wise (they also offer binding early decision).

I understand getting a full ride track scholarship is rare and unlikely, but there could be a way (like I just described above) for him to get him into a decent school for lower dollars through a blend of assistance. I don't know enough about how this stuff works, so I have no idea if he had a school he really wanted to go to if early decision is the way to go (and if they would offer a better package because of taking the early decision option).

As far as getting more exposure for track, the difficulty is it isn't really track season. Maybe if he found a track club to work with him there might be a little more going on. But HS indoor track here doesn't start until December and outdoor track is in the spring. His track coach says he could be the best hurdler he's ever had in 40 years as the track coach. I have no idea, I am not a track evaluator. I have no idea how he will do in track moving forward. A handful of college track coaches have reached out to him but they were schools and geographies that he wasn't interested in.

Bottom line, we would hope there might be a decent school that would offer him a blend of assistance for his academics and for athletics, but fo because on paper it will say we make too much money. (They really need to factor in cost of living, as we really aren't living large at all.)

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Our older son was a state champion wrestler and got recruited by a number of schools. He was also strong academically (very strong in math and science). Other subjects, not so much. Most of the schools that really wanted him for wrestling were not all that academic. A few of the better schools that wanted him to wrestle didn't offer him much money, but they would have accepted him only if he wrestled (Duke and NYU as examples). One school (Washington and Lee) wanted him and offered a great package and said the balance would get paid by the alumni booster club. They claimed he could end up going there for free through a combination of scholastic, academic, and outside assistance. They didn't have the program he wanted to take, so it ended up not happening. Not sure how schools can promise getting kids outside assistance, or how you can get that in writing, but it seemed a little sketchy at the time. He ended up getting a couple of scholarships at Ohio State that really reduced the cost and is now a senior.

Our youngest is the one I am asking about now. That's why I was curious as to the whole process of finding college funding as a combined package and also the binding nature of early decision. The younger one overall is stronger academically than the older one. Better grades, more well rounded, higher GPA, better class rank, higher SAT scores, etc. The only problem is, his older brother scored one point higher on his ACT's and that qualified him for the scholarships at Ohio State (which the younger one just misses out on). He also is interested in Washington and Lee, who based on the aid calculators seem to have a lot to offer package wise (they also offer binding early decision).

I understand getting a full ride track scholarship is rare and unlikely, but there could be a way (like I just described above) for him to get him into a decent school for lower dollars through a blend of assistance. I don't know enough about how this stuff works, so I have no idea if he had a school he really wanted to go to if early decision is the way to go (and if they would offer a better package because of taking the early decision option).

As far as getting more exposure for track, the difficulty is it isn't really track season. Maybe if he found a track club to work with him there might be a little more going on. But HS indoor track here doesn't start until December and outdoor track is in the spring. His track coach says he could be the best hurdler he's ever had in 40 years as the track coach. I have no idea, I am not a track evaluator. I have no idea how he will do in track moving forward. A handful of college track coaches have reached out to him but they were schools and geographies that he wasn't interested in.

Bottom line, we would hope there might be a decent school that would offer him a blend of assistance for his academics and for athletics, but fo because on paper it will say we make too much money. (They really need to factor in cost of living, as we really aren't living large at all.)

 

 

Again, has he and/or his coach reached out to coaches at schools he's interested in? It's not like ball sports that are more objective- I'd bet each coach/school has a time for his event that would qualify him for recruitment and/or scholarships. And in the case of my nephew, they told him on the spot.

And given his lack of history with the sport and the late season, it's up to him to do the leg work.

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Just now, El Floppo said:

Again, has he and/or his coach reached out to coaches at schools he's interested in? It's not like ball sports that are more objective- I'd bet each coach/school has a time for his event that would qualify him for recruitment and/or scholarships. And in the case of my nephew, they told him on the spot.

And given his lack of history with the sport and the late season, it's up to him to do the leg work.

The track coach used to teach at the school but retired and his only involvement with the school is through the track program. I don't really know the track coach all that well. Unfortunately, he really hasn't been around or available (hasn't returned my son's calls / texts / emails). Our son has been communicating with the athletic director but has not been able to get in touch with the track coach yet. There is some talk of the rack coach retiring from coaching as well, so not really sure how to facilitate anything here.

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48 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Our older son was a state champion wrestler and got recruited by a number of schools. He was also strong academically (very strong in math and science). Other subjects, not so much. Most of the schools that really wanted him for wrestling were not all that academic. A few of the better schools that wanted him to wrestle didn't offer him much money, but they would have accepted him only if he wrestled (Duke and NYU as examples). One school (Washington and Lee) wanted him and offered a great package and said the balance would get paid by the alumni booster club. They claimed he could end up going there for free through a combination of scholastic, academic, and outside assistance. They didn't have the program he wanted to take, so it ended up not happening. Not sure how schools can promise getting kids outside assistance, or how you can get that in writing, but it seemed a little sketchy at the time. He ended up getting a couple of scholarships at Ohio State that really reduced the cost and is now a senior.

Our youngest is the one I am asking about now. That's why I was curious as to the whole process of finding college funding as a combined package and also the binding nature of early decision. The younger one overall is stronger academically than the older one. Better grades, more well rounded, higher GPA, better class rank, higher SAT scores, etc. The only problem is, his older brother scored one point higher on his ACT's and that qualified him for the scholarships at Ohio State (which the younger one just misses out on). He also is interested in Washington and Lee, who based on the aid calculators seem to have a lot to offer package wise (they also offer binding early decision).

I understand getting a full ride track scholarship is rare and unlikely, but there could be a way (like I just described above) for him to get him into a decent school for lower dollars through a blend of assistance. I don't know enough about how this stuff works, so I have no idea if he had a school he really wanted to go to if early decision is the way to go (and if they would offer a better package because of taking the early decision option).

As far as getting more exposure for track, the difficulty is it isn't really track season. Maybe if he found a track club to work with him there might be a little more going on. But HS indoor track here doesn't start until December and outdoor track is in the spring. His track coach says he could be the best hurdler he's ever had in 40 years as the track coach. I have no idea, I am not a track evaluator. I have no idea how he will do in track moving forward. A handful of college track coaches have reached out to him but they were schools and geographies that he wasn't interested in.

Bottom line, we would hope there might be a decent school that would offer him a blend of assistance for his academics and for athletics, but fo because on paper it will say we make too much money. (They really need to factor in cost of living, as we really aren't living large at all.)

 

 

Sounds like he should forgo early decision and keep his options open.

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30 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

The track coach used to teach at the school but retired and his only involvement with the school is through the track program. I don't really know the track coach all that well. Unfortunately, he really hasn't been around or available (hasn't returned my son's calls / texts / emails). Our son has been communicating with the athletic director but has not been able to get in touch with the track coach yet. There is some talk of the rack coach retiring from coaching as well, so not really sure how to facilitate anything here.

Very disappointing. How many unique talents like this could he have had over the years? What a jerk!

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6 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Very disappointing. How many unique talents like this could he have had over the years? What a jerk!

To be fair, he taught at the high school for like 37 years, retired, and continued to coach when they begged him to stay on. He's generally a good guy and took our son under his wing. He gave him keys / access to hurdles so he could practice on his own all summer long. He gave him way more attention then anyone else on the team and devoted one or two assistant coaches to work with our son every day at practice. I have no idea what he is up to in the off season, if he is even in the area, and can't speak to why he hasn't gotten back to us.

Part of the reason our son does well in hurdles is he has legs like a giraffe and runs like a gazelle. Unlike most track kids who typically are small, light, and thin as a rail, our son is the polar opposite. He's almost 6'6", around 200 pounds, and all muscle (he works out all the time). His inseam is 36 or 38 inches and we have to special order him pants. His issue is he clears the hurdles by so much that it slows his time down. They have to get him to run faster and glide over the hurdles and not jump over them because he can be a foot over the hurdle going over them. He just needs a lot more practice when everyone else he has competed against has been doing hurdles for 5-10 years.

I'm struggling with the fact that after playing basketball at a high level for 12 years, most years all year long, he has opted not to pursue anything in basketball. Not a whole lot I can do about it. We have been going to track meets that are pretty far away and it's not the same going to an all day event to watch something for 15 seconds.

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On 9/27/2019 at 1:29 AM, Bruce Dickinson said:

Just wanted to say thanks for your contributions to this thread.  Inferences we’ve drawn from your insight is one of many reasons we’ve decided Europe is a better option for my daughter than the USA for undergraduate study.  
 

She’s a junior, ranked first in her class, has won a national math competition, her PSAT score last year would have qualified for National Merit Semifinalist, she retook the ACT and improved to 36, is part of a cohort that had a project for their Energy & Sustainability class last spring escalate to a patent pending on it.  But since she’s not a legacy, a recruited athlete, tied closely to a wealthy donor, nor a first-generation college student, and weak in areas like volunteer hours and other bull#### designed to keep the working class out, she’s probably not going to get into a top 30 college here.  And if she did, it would likely be at a total cost of attendance rate in the $60-$70K range.  We would likely pay half that for Cambridge, King’s College, Lund, even less in Germany or Spain.  And because their admissions processes don’t reserve a bunch of slots for jocks and legacies and don’t weigh extracurriculars heavily like USA schools, she’s got a much better chance of admission overseas than here.  
(She also doesn’t have a ton of faith in USA’s willingness to be a future world leader in areas she’s passionate about, so she isn’t planning under the assumption she will continue to live in the USA once she’s on her own, a view I respect.)

With Brexit coming we’re not sure in England is the way to go but wow she sure loves London and the English countryside.  We’re going to visit Lund and a couple other schools in Sweden and Northern Europe this summer.  (She’s fluent in Spanish and is messing around with an app to learn some Swedish, so language isn’t necessarily a barrier)

It’s been weird tossing aside those USA college guides after looking at them closely the last couple years.  She will still apply to a few schools here but not looking to add any USA schools to the list or go out of our way to visit campuses.
I think she will end up overseas, and it blows my mind that going this route will be a lot cheaper.

No good schools in your state for less than $60k a year?  Yikes.

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37 minutes ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Very disappointing. How many unique talents like this could he have had over the years? What a jerk!

I think I am confused.  I thought he was talking about the college coach but I think he is talking about the high school coach.

The high school coach not being around should have little effect on his son trying to contact the college coach.

Or I could still be confused...

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11 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

I think I am confused.  I thought he was talking about the college coach but I think he is talking about the high school coach.

The high school coach not being around should have little effect on his son trying to contact the college coach.

Or I could still be confused...

Now I am confused, too. I was talking about our high school coach as a potential door opener to college track programs. Maybe I misread what the other poster was recommending. Yes, we could try to reach out to potential college track coaches . . . we were going to try to have his current HS coach get in a good word for him to college track coaches..

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Just now, General Malaise said:

This thread deperesses and terrifies me.  But I do find it helpful.

Knowledge is power :) 

ask as many questions as possible.  Going in blind can be terrifying but going in with some education makes everything just a little bit smoother.

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13 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

I think I am confused.  I thought he was talking about the college coach but I think he is talking about the high school coach.

The high school coach not being around should have little effect on his son trying to contact the college coach.

Or I could still be confused...

 

Right, it's the high school coach. My experience has been that his high school coach should be taking the lead, pursuing scholarship opportunities for his kids with gusto and pleasure. For one, it's his "kids" and he'd want to look out for them. For another, for selfish reasons, it's a feather in his cap to get an elite athlete at a nice program. He should be plying the contacts he's built up over the years, etc. Anarchy has explained why this coach's situation might be different but still there's no excuse for not returning multiple attempts at communication.

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1 minute ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Right, it's the high school coach. My experience has been that his high school coach should be taking the lead, pursuing scholarship opportunities for his kids with gusto and pleasure. For one, it's his "kids" and he'd want to look out for them. For another, for selfish reasons, it's a feather in his cap to get an elite athlete at a nice program. He should be plying the contacts he's built up over the years, etc. Anarchy has explained why this coach's situation might be different but still there's no excuse for not returning multiple attempts at communication.

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. 

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10 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

Knowledge is power :) 

ask as many questions as possible.  Going in blind can be terrifying but going in with some education makes everything just a little bit smoother.

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.  

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10 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. 

You know, if I were your son, I would contact rival schools' coaches to see if they could assist. If his talent has caught their attention, I bet some would be glad to help. As long as it's not in direct recruiting competition with one of their kids, I bet at least a few would be glad to give advice and get in touch with their college contacts for him. In my time watching high school track, I saw many examples of rival coaches encouraging and helping other schools' kids. It's not like most other sports.  

 

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8 minutes 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.  

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. 

 

 

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