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10 minutes ago, Sweet Love said:

Daughter applied for gap year on Thursday last week and found out she was granted the gap year yesterday.  I was absolutely shocked they made that decision so quickly.  To me, it would be quick in the best of times, and we are certainly not there today.  The most surprising part is that the university has yet to announce it's plan for the fall, outside of saying they will be open.  but what does that mean.  I for sure thought they would wait to make that announcement, see what the feedback was like, and then begin making gap year decisions.  Maybe they know something we don't, but i would have taken a different approach if I was the administration.

She has a real internship in her field, so that is great from an enhancement perspective.  Plus she has an interview on Friday at the frozen custard shop, so if she gets that, i will need to get larger pants/shorts...lol.

That’s great news. Sounds like she has a good plan in place. 

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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

Time absolutely flies. Almost 5 years ago I started this thread with my daughter going into her senior year in high school. Today, she is now into her last semester before graduating college

*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

3 hours ago, Sweet Love said:

Daughter applied for gap year on Thursday last week and found out she was granted the gap year yesterday.  I was absolutely shocked they made that decision so quickly.  To me, it would be quick in the best of times, and we are certainly not there today.  The most surprising part is that the university has yet to announce it's plan for the fall, outside of saying they will be open.  but what does that mean.  I for sure thought they would wait to make that announcement, see what the feedback was like, and then begin making gap year decisions.  Maybe they know something we don't, but i would have taken a different approach if I was the administration.

She has a real internship in her field, so that is great from an enhancement perspective.  Plus she has an interview on Friday at the frozen custard shop, so if she gets that, i will need to get larger pants/shorts...lol.

:lmao:  I will be in Raleigh this weekend, so if you can kindly provide the name of the establishment (and alert your daughter about my FBG discount), we will remain thread buddies.

Seriously, heading down to Duke with my daughter and I'm leery about what we'll see in Raleigh/Durham. Any info on the state of things there?

Congrats on the gap year and the internship.

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Son’s college just announced that they will be returning to campus a week early in mid-August and will complete the semester (including finals) by Thanksgiving. All classes will offer both in person and online options for attending (though certain large lecture classes may be offered only online). Classroom space is being modified to allow for social distancing. Residence and dining halls being modified to reduce density, including the reduction in the number of students per room (details still forthcoming on that front - not sure how they pull that off).  Social distancing and masks will be required throughout campus. 

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25 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Son’s college just announced that they will be returning to campus a week early in mid-August and will complete the semester (including finals) by Thanksgiving. All classes will offer both in person and online options for attending (though certain large lecture classes may be offered only online). Classroom space is being modified to allow for social distancing. Residence and dining halls being modified to reduce density, including the reduction in the number of students per room (details still forthcoming on that front - not sure how they pull that off).  Social distancing and masks will be required throughout campus. 

I wonder what enforcement of that policy will look like.

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On 6/3/2020 at 8:06 AM, Galileo said:

I wonder what enforcement of that policy will look like.

The statement indicates that the rules are mandatory and there will be discipline for those who do not follow them:

Quote

Mandatory actions: We will need to put in place a number of actions, as recommended by our health experts and medical authorities in our county and state, to protect the health and wellness of everyone in our community. While these may be modified before you actually return to campus, currently –

The wearing of face coverings is a mandatory requirement for anyone on campus and in the classroom. 

Physical distancing is also mandatory.

Failure to follow these requirements, and any others that are determined necessary to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our entire community, will lead to disciplinary actions.  

For our plan to succeed, our entire community must be part of the solution. 

Each member of our community will be asked to agree in writing to follow campus and public health policies and guidelines, if they wish to return to campus activities. 

We are also developing required educational training sessions for our faculty, students, and staff to take at home before returning to campus.

I am confident that with the participation of you all, we will be able to return safely.

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1 minute ago, bigbottom said:

The statement indicates that the rules are mandatory and there will be discipline for those who do not follow them:

 

 

It is one thing to write a policy.  It is an entirely different thing to enforce it.  Does it fall on the professors' shoulders to kick kids out of class if they show up without a mask?  Do they call campus security to arrest the students in violation?  Is it the RAs responsibility to chase away kids hanging out in the resident hall lounges and fill out incident reports?  What may very well be common sense policy will surely fall upon some deaf ears in a large diverse community.  I have seen more than one social media rant about people up in arms that they can't go into COSTCO without a mask.  A campus community is going to be a difficult place to enforce such a policy with much consistency, I would think.  Are they going to start kicking kids out of the university?  I am not sure what other recourse a college has in terms of disciplinary action.

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19 hours ago, Fear The Turtle said:

:lmao:  I will be in Raleigh this weekend, so if you can kindly provide the name of the establishment (and alert your daughter about my FBG discount), we will remain thread buddies.

Seriously, heading down to Duke with my daughter and I'm leery about what we'll see in Raleigh/Durham. Any info on the state of things there?

Congrats on the gap year and the internship.

That is great - you will love the Duke campus!  It has a very northern college look, situated in the south, so best of both worlds!  In regards to Raleigh, we are still on curfew (8:00pm), and not sure if that will trickle down to the weekend.  For some reason we were hit hard when the protests turned to riots.  As a community, we tend to have a pretty good relationship with the police department, so it was a little surprising.  However, I am not sure whether you are staying in Durham or Raleigh, but if you are in Durham, there are a lot of good, newer restaurants, I am just not sure who is open (same with Raleigh).  Feel free to hit me up for any suggestions.  Enjoy the visit!

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My son’s school recently released this statement regarding deferral requests. Wonder if other schools will be taking this approach as more and more kids make the request.  My son can’t wait to start, so this doesn’t affect us  

Can I delay or defer my undergraduate admission to a future term?

Updated 06/02/2020 03:55 PM

In specific cases relating to medical issues, religious obligations or required military/national service, admission deferrals may be available. However, deferral requests for other reasons will not generally be granted. New students who have committed to enroll but fail to do so will forfeit their spot in the entering class and will need to reapply (with no guarantee of admission) should they wish to attend the university in a future term.

Students wishing to request an admission deferral should contact their admission counselor.

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Wonder how much grade inflation is going on with remote learning in the second semester this year, and how that will impact admissions for next year.  My Junior daughter goes to a private school and they kept a modified version of their normal schedule, with Zoom classes every day (I had to call attendance office when she missed a class to take an AP test), and still did quizzes and testing.  Not all of her classes had finals, but they were still being graded on work done.  Meanwhile at the local public schools many classes rarely met and students could choose to just keep the grade they had when school shut down, or switch to pass/no pass.  My kid did great with all As or A-s for a 4.59 adjusted GPA (4 honors/AP classes), but is that going to appear diluted to admissions officers next year?

And of course her two attempts at taking the SAT have both been cancelled.  Logged in yesterday and all of the local August and September slots were full.  So we signed up for an October test, hopefully they're testing again.  And the closest place with open slots is up in Sonoma county where there have been fires that time of year several times recently.  In fact the school she's taking it at was pretty extensively damaged a few years back!  So I had her sign up for another in November in the East Bay, just in case.  The bummer is that she still doesn't really have a solid list of prospective schools yet, so using the screening tools where you can enter your GPA and SAT scores and seeing how that aligns with their admission standards is really helpful but not really possible right now.  She really didn't prep for the PSATs at all and just did ok, but I'm pretty confident with some prep she can raise that score a bit.  Of course some schools have waived SAT/ACTs for this year, so who knows how that will play into things.

And oh yeah she can't get her drivers license because DMVs are still not doing behind-the-wheel testing, and of course there is 3+ months of backlog they'll have to work through the system!  I was so ready to not have to drive her 45 minutes each way to school in the fall, but looks like that's going to keep happening.  :hot:

Basically I'm just venting here.  She and I have talked a lot about how tough this year's seniors have had it with everything they're missing.  But I'm starting to think the impact to these kids is going to last for awhile

On a positive note, I'm looking forward to being more active in this thread in the coming months with you other parents of current high school juniors. Let's get our kids into some schools!

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1 hour ago, SFBayDuck said:

And of course her two attempts at taking the SAT have both been cancelled.  Logged in yesterday and all of the local August and September slots were full.  So we signed up for an October test, hopefully they're testing again.  And the closest place with open slots is up in Sonoma county where there have been fires that time of year several times recently.  In fact the school she's taking it at was pretty extensively damaged a few years back!  So I had her sign up for another in November in the East Bay, just in case.  The bummer is that she still doesn't really have a solid list of prospective schools yet, so using the screening tools where you can enter your GPA and SAT scores and seeing how that aligns with their admission standards is really helpful but not really possible right now.  She really didn't prep for the PSATs at all and just did ok, but I'm pretty confident with some prep she can raise that score a bit.  Of course some schools have waived SAT/ACTs for this year, so who knows how that will play into things.

I don’t want to add to the stress, but is there any way that your daughter can travel to take the August SAT somewhere else?  Because it appears that scores for the Oct. 3rd test won’t be available until Oct. 16, and a week later than that if it’s SAT + essay. If she’s interested in applying early decision anywhere, the deadline for most schools is November 1. If she doesn’t get her scores until late October, that is a really tight turn around to decide where to apply ED (usually your test scores help determine what school to target) and to finalize the application.  I know going out of town to take the SAT is not ideal, but having an August score, with October as a second test date if needed might ease some of the pressure.  Also, has she considered taking the ACT?

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5 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

Wonder how much grade inflation is going on with remote learning in the second semester this year, and how that will impact admissions for next year.  My Junior daughter goes to a private school and they kept a modified version of their normal schedule, with Zoom classes every day (I had to call attendance office when she missed a class to take an AP test), and still did quizzes and testing.  Not all of her classes had finals, but they were still being graded on work done.  Meanwhile at the local public schools many classes rarely met and students could choose to just keep the grade they had when school shut down, or switch to pass/no pass.  My kid did great with all As or A-s for a 4.59 adjusted GPA (4 honors/AP classes), but is that going to appear diluted to admissions officers next year?

There is plenty of grade inflation going on, but there always is.  In fact, one might argue your daughter's grades are inflated.  I am not trying to take anything away from her.  It looks like she is doing fantastic.  I am sure you are proud as hell of her, and you should be.  But for comparison, honors classes aren't weighted at my kids' school.  AP classes are, but not honors.   I wouldn't get yourself worked up about something you can't control.  Colleges know what transpired.  They will sift through the chaos.  The rigor of her coursework and reputation of the school can work in her favor.

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6 hours ago, Galileo said:

There is plenty of grade inflation going on, but there always is.  In fact, one might argue your daughter's grades are inflated.  I am not trying to take anything away from her.  It looks like she is doing fantastic.  I am sure you are proud as hell of her, and you should be.  But for comparison, honors classes aren't weighted at my kids' school.  AP classes are, but not honors.   I wouldn't get yourself worked up about something you can't control.  Colleges know what transpired.  They will sift through the chaos.  The rigor of her coursework and reputation of the school can work in her favor.

Yeah, I didn’t want to comment because all parents want the best for their kids but it’s rich hearing about public school kids having an advantage over private schools.

Worrying that kids who aren’t getting as good an education (we have great public schools but online still wasn’t handled well) or have as many resource advantages might have inflated grades is as close to white privileged as you can get. Yes, I am white and my kids are privileged even though they go to public schools.

Again, I understand the thinking because college competitiveness can get crazy at the top. His daughter is doing great regardless, so nothing I am saying takes away from how hard she’s obviously worked. I didn’t want to respond just because it’s easy to misinterpret but my mom taught in one of the worst areas of CT for years and the horror stories I heard (one of her kids seeing his dad murder his mom) make complaining about private school disadvantages a bit silly.

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Not my intent to pile on here, but this is a pretty fascinating topic.

For what it’s worth, a 2017 College Board study showed that from 1998 to 2016, GPAs rose at a higher rate in private schools than in public schools.

Private Independent Schools: 8% increase

Private Religious Schools: 6.4% increase

Suburban Public Schools: 2.4% increase

Urban Public Schools: 0.6% increase

https://qz.com/1058476/grade-inflation-is-the-worst-at-rich-private-schools-disadvantaging-poor-students/
 

I haven’t read the study to determine whether they controlled for increased availability of AP courses in private versus public. And some have questioned the source, as College Board would have a vested interest in deemphasizing the predictive value of high school GPAs. 

Another study by the Fordham Institute focused solely on a single class, Algebra 1, and whether and to what extent there was grade inflation between 2005 and 2016 among North Carolina students. That study showed that while grades rose at all schools from 2005 to 2016, the rate of increase was 30% greater at more affluent schools versus less affluent schools.

Interestingly, the study also found that starting in 2010, if you control for standardized End of Course (EOC) scores, it was easier for a student to receive an A in more affluent schools compared to less affluent. In other words, for two students who received the same standardized Algebra 1 EOC score, the student at the more affluent school was more likely to receive an A grade in the class than at the less affluent school. 

The study can be viewed here: https://fordhaminstitute.org/sites/default/files/20180919-grade-inflation-high-schools-2005-2016_0.pdf

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13 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

On a positive note, I'm looking forward to being more active in this thread in the coming months with you other parents of current high school juniors. Let's get our kids into some schools!

:hifive:

12 hours ago, bigbottom said:

I don’t want to add to the stress, but is there any way that your daughter can travel to take the August SAT somewhere else?  Because it appears that scores for the Oct. 3rd test won’t be available until Oct. 16, and a week later than that if it’s SAT + essay. If she’s interested in applying early decision anywhere, the deadline for most schools is November 1. If she doesn’t get her scores until late October, that is a really tight turn around to decide where to apply ED (usually your test scores help determine what school to target) and to finalize the application.  I know going out of town to take the SAT is not ideal, but having an August score, with October as a second test date if needed might ease some of the pressure.  Also, has she considered taking the ACT?

Thanks for posting this.  Just texted ex-wife and kid "register for the August SAT!"

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2 hours ago, bigbottom said:

Not my intent to pile on here, but this is a pretty fascinating topic.

For what it’s worth, a 2017 College Board study showed that from 1998 to 2016, GPAs rose at a higher rate in private schools than in public schools.

Private Independent Schools: 8% increase

Private Religious Schools: 6.4% increase

Suburban Public Schools: 2.4% increase

Urban Public Schools: 0.6% increase

https://qz.com/1058476/grade-inflation-is-the-worst-at-rich-private-schools-disadvantaging-poor-students/
 

I haven’t read the study to determine whether they controlled for increased availability of AP courses in private versus public. And some have questioned the source, as College Board would have a vested interest in deemphasizing the predictive value of high school GPAs. 

Another study by the Fordham Institute focused solely on a single class, Algebra 1, and whether and to what extent there was grade inflation between 2005 and 2016 among North Carolina students. That study showed that while grades rose at all schools from 2005 to 2016, the rate of increase was 30% greater at more affluent schools versus less affluent schools.

Interestingly, the study also found that starting in 2010, if you control for standardized End of Course (EOC) scores, it was easier for a student to receive an A in more affluent schools compared to less affluent. In other words, for two students who received the same standardized Algebra 1 EOC score, the student at the more affluent school was more likely to receive an A grade in the class than at the less affluent school. 

The study can be viewed here: https://fordhaminstitute.org/sites/default/files/20180919-grade-inflation-high-schools-2005-2016_0.pdf

This doesn't surprise me a bit.  It is all about keeping up with (or should I say staying ahead of) the Joneses.  I mentioned earlier how our school (suburban public) does not weight honors courses, however many schools do.  Our guidance department has been pressuring the school the last few years to change that policy because they claim our students end up at a disadvantage in terms of admissions and scholarship considerations.  It is all about manipulating the numbers to get gain advantages.  I suggested we should just start using a 6 point GPA scale and get out ahead of those 5 point scales.

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6 minutes ago, Galileo said:

This doesn't surprise me a bit.  It is all about keeping up with (or should I say staying ahead of) the Joneses.  I mentioned earlier how our school (suburban public) does not weight honors courses, however many schools do.  Our guidance department has been pressuring the school the last few years to change that policy because they claim our students end up at a disadvantage in terms of admissions and scholarship considerations.  It is all about manipulating the numbers to get gain advantages.  I suggested we should just start using a 6 point GPA scale and get out ahead of those 5 point scales.

Our suburban public school seems to have really boarded the inflation train the last few years.  First they substituted class rank percentile for raw class rank.  Then they lowered the band for an A from 93 to 90.  Now they eliminated the class rank percentile as well.  It's like they're actively trying to eliminate any sort of contextual data to determine what students are elite, very good, decent, etc.  I find it abominable.  We went to the NHS induction ceremony and it was ridiculous - like a quarter of the class.  I asked my son about it and his response was "I felt proud about it, then I saw all of the goons that got in and realized it didn't mean anything".  

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13 minutes ago, Galileo said:

This doesn't surprise me a bit.  It is all about keeping up with (or should I say staying ahead of) the Joneses.  I mentioned earlier how our school (suburban public) does not weight honors courses, however many schools do.  Our guidance department has been pressuring the school the last few years to change that policy because they claim our students end up at a disadvantage in terms of admissions and scholarship considerations.  It is all about manipulating the numbers to get gain advantages.  I suggested we should just start using a 6 point GPA scale and get out ahead of those 5 point scales.

I see what you’re saying, but it was my understanding that many admissions departments calculate their own internal GPA based on unweighted grades and then comparing the rigor of the classes taken. So if two kids got an A in Honors Pre-Calc, it wouldn’t matter that one school treats that as a 5.0, while another treats it as a 4.0 (or another still treats it as a 95 on a 100 point scale, etc.). So GPA is really broken down into two components - unweighted GPA and rigor of course section. Is that not the case?

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Also, I understand the logic behind weighting GPA, but it does lead to some stupidity.  For instance, the high school offers different levels of orchestra class (every day, every other day, etc.)  Some of the strongest players (who unsurprisingly are some of the best students) don't want to take every day solely because then it counts towards their GPA and the 4.0 they will get will bring down their overall GPA :no:

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21 minutes ago, Dr_Zaius said:

Also, I understand the logic behind weighting GPA, but it does lead to some stupidity.  For instance, the high school offers different levels of orchestra class (every day, every other day, etc.)  Some of the strongest players (who unsurprisingly are some of the best students) don't want to take every day solely because then it counts towards their GPA and the 4.0 they will get will bring down their overall GPA :no:

Yeah this is an old problem.  We had the same issue 100 years ago when I was in high school.  My school had a seminar in Philosophy that only seniors could take that was pretty cool, but it wasn't technically an honors class.  At least one of my classmates took a study hall instead because that was better for his GPA. 

Colleges are aware of all this stuff and try to take it into account as best as they can.

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1 hour ago, bigbottom said:

I see what you’re saying, but it was my understanding that many admissions departments calculate their own internal GPA based on unweighted grades and then comparing the rigor of the classes taken. So if two kids got an A in Honors Pre-Calc, it wouldn’t matter that one school treats that as a 5.0, while another treats it as a 4.0 (or another still treats it as a 95 on a 100 point scale, etc.). So GPA is really broken down into two components - unweighted GPA and rigor of course section. Is that not the case?

Yes and No.  Every college is different.  Our guidance department rolled out several examples to us from local universities where a particular student's profile would fall on different sides of various scholarship thresholds with and without weighted grades.  It can make a difference in several circumstances, but it becomes sort of like the NCAA Basketball tournament where no matter where the cutoffs are placed, there will always be those on the bubble.

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15 hours ago, bigbottom said:

I don’t want to add to the stress, but is there any way that your daughter can travel to take the August SAT somewhere else?  Because it appears that scores for the Oct. 3rd test won’t be available until Oct. 16, and a week later than that if it’s SAT + essay. If she’s interested in applying early decision anywhere, the deadline for most schools is November 1. If she doesn’t get her scores until late October, that is a really tight turn around to decide where to apply ED (usually your test scores help determine what school to target) and to finalize the application.  I know going out of town to take the SAT is not ideal, but having an August score, with October as a second test date if needed might ease some of the pressure.  Also, has she considered taking the ACT?

Thanks, I had looked into when the test scores would be available and it seemed to still give us time for regular admissions schedules, but hadn't considered early admission.  She really has no idea where she wants to go yet, nor even what she wants to study, so I'd be surprised if by November 1 she's that focused on a school that she'd want to go that route.  But I'm also all about keeping options open, so maybe we'll look into an August date somewhere else.

As for the ACT she took a practice test and the PSAT, and performed much, much better on the PSAT.  

 

10 hours ago, Galileo said:

But for comparison, honors classes aren't weighted at my kids' school.  AP classes are, but not honors.   I wouldn't get yourself worked up about something you can't control.  Colleges know what transpired.  They will sift through the chaos.  The rigor of her coursework and reputation of the school can work in her favor.

 

33 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

I see what you’re saying, but it was my understanding that many admissions departments calculate their own internal GPA based on unweighted grades and then comparing the rigor of the classes taken. So if two kids got an A in Honors Pre-Calc, it wouldn’t matter that one school treats that as a 5.0, while another treats it as a 4.0 (or another still treats it as a 95 on a 100 point scale, etc.). So GPA is really broken down into two components - unweighted GPA and rigor of course section. Is that not the case?

Yeah, I honestly assumed colleges just looked at unweighted GPAs and the course rigor, since I assume different schools weigh things differently, and the weighting is more for honor roll, valedictorian, that kind of thing.  Hell, at her school a 94 is an A-, which seems crazy to me.  

My comment was more about now probably more than ever it's going to be really tough for schools to compare students, and yes as a father how that may impact my kid.  You then take out standardized test scores at a lot of them and it would seem even tougher.  But they're the professionals, and I'm just starting down this path with my one and only child so just beginning to learn and think about these things.

 

4 hours ago, stbugs said:

Yeah, I didn’t want to comment because all parents want the best for their kids but it’s rich hearing about public school kids having an advantage over private schools.

Worrying that kids who aren’t getting as good an education (we have great public schools but online still wasn’t handled well) or have as many resource advantages might have inflated grades is as close to white privileged as you can get. Yes, I am white and my kids are privileged even though they go to public schools.

Again, I understand the thinking because college competitiveness can get crazy at the top. His daughter is doing great regardless, so nothing I am saying takes away from how hard she’s obviously worked. I didn’t want to respond just because it’s easy to misinterpret but my mom taught in one of the worst areas of CT for years and the horror stories I heard (one of her kids seeing his dad murder his mom) make complaining about private school disadvantages a bit silly.

I appreciate the comment, and as I stated above my intention wasn't to complain about public school kids having an advantage, but I see how it could come across that way.  After going to public schools through middle school, we made the decision to move her to private school exactly because of the advantages she would have.  Her step-brother at her mom's house is a year older and was in the public high school, and it's been stark how much better the resources, quality of teaching, counseling, everything is at her school.  So I was willing to make a financial sacrifice to send her there, and still needed financial aid to make it work.

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3 minutes ago, SFBayDuck said:

Thanks, I had looked into when the test scores would be available and it seemed to still give us time for regular admissions schedules, but hadn't considered early admission.  She really has no idea where she wants to go yet, nor even what she wants to study, so I'd be surprised if by November 1 she's that focused on a school that she'd want to go that route.  But I'm also all about keeping options open, so maybe we'll look into an August date somewhere else.

As for the ACT she took a practice test and the PSAT, and performed much, much better on the PSAT.  

Sounds like SAT is the way to go. Lots of kids do markedly better on one versus the other. 

Regarding early decision, I realize it’s challenging to feel confident about focusing on one particular school, particularly in this environment where campus visits are difficult, if not prohibited. That said, it sounds like your daughter may be looking at some of the highly competitive schools given her GPA and course rigor. If that’s the case, you should know that applying ED provides a substantial advantage over regular admission at many colleges. Some schools look to fill half of their incoming class with ED applicants.  Indeed, a student’s only real chance of gaining acceptance to particular schools is through ED. For example, our school counselor told us that if our son didn’t apply to Duke early decision, he shouldn’t even bother. As it turns out, my son’s top two schools didn’t offer ED, so that made our decision very easy. But if you blow off the early decision deadline, and then your daughter decides in December that she really wants to go to Vanderbilt (just as an example), she is going to have a much tougher road gaining admission. If she has no interest in those highly competitive schools even if she has the stats to get in, then there is much less to worry about in terms of ED deadlines. 

 

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3 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

My kid’s grades were ridiculously inflated in the second semester this year.  Second semester grades this year are virtually meaningless.

Same here.  My senior's AP Physics teacher graded on "completion" of homework, vs grading on whether it was done correctly or not.  AP Physics.

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20 minutes ago, SFBayDuck said:

I appreciate the comment, and as I stated above my intention wasn't to complain about public school kids having an advantage, but I see how it could come across that way.  After going to public schools through middle school, we made the decision to move her to private school exactly because of the advantages she would have.  Her step-brother at her mom's house is a year older and was in the public high school, and it's been stark how much better the resources, quality of teaching, counseling, everything is at her school.  So I was willing to make a financial sacrifice to send her there, and still needed financial aid to make it work.

No worries. I didn’t post initially because you obviously care about your daughter. Heck, we moved to our neighborhood specifically because the schools were top 10 in the state. Not at the level of the $30k per year private schools but I do want to retire at some point and 12 years of college is enough.

That said, with everything going on now, my own past experiences and @bigbottom’s stats, it’s clear that private schools give your daughter way more of an advantage. Honestly, I think the grading (as posted above) isn’t as inflated at public schools because private schools are competing and they certainly don’t want to get less kids into prestigious schools due to lower average grades. Public schools don’t really have the same worries although there’s a wide gap in resources and grades at top public schools and the rest. I know my kids have advantages even if their schools weren’t ready for remote learning.

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46 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Same here.  My senior's AP Physics teacher graded on "completion" of homework, vs grading on whether it was done correctly or not.  AP Physics.

You may not want to blame the teacher.  The school district mandated that we do that.  Now, that doesn't mean your child shouldn't have gotten feedback regarding correctness, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  I spent more time than ever providing feedback to students, since it was more challenging to do so in the home school environment.  I couldn't use any of that work, however, for purposes of traditional grading at the direction of the district.

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1 hour ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Yeah this is an old problem.  We had the same issue 100 years ago when I was in high school.  My school had a seminar in Philosophy that only seniors could take that was pretty cool, but it wasn't technically an honors class.  At least one of my classmates took a study hall instead because that was better for his GPA. 

Colleges are aware of all this stuff and try to take it into account as best as they can.

I'm sure colleges try to take everything into account as best they can.  I guess my frustration is, let's face it, people are busy and there's only so much time to go through the nuance of every kid's situation.  My daughter's college said they had >30K applicants this year - this is for a school that has like 5K undergraduate enrollment.  Add in people gaming the standardized tests.  Then add in high schools seemingly going out of their way to obfuscate things as much as possible, and it just adds to the impossibility of the task for admissions departments.  I know some of my daughter's friends had very strange results with admissions decisions (e.g. getting rejected at a school a tier lower than a school they got accepted at), and I can't help but think all of the noise is part of the reason.

In the end, good students will tend to excel wherever they end up, so maybe it's just the utopian in me ranting over stuff that doesn't matter much in the end.  It just seems to me that the whole process could be much better than it is.

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45 minutes ago, Galileo said:

You may not want to blame the teacher.  The school district mandated that we do that.  Now, that doesn't mean your child shouldn't have gotten feedback regarding correctness, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  I spent more time than ever providing feedback to students, since it was more challenging to do so in the home school environment.  I couldn't use any of that work, however, for purposes of traditional grading at the direction of the district.

I will have to double check, but he made a comment regarding that practice specific to this class.  It's not that he said "all my classes were graded on homework just being completed," he specifically brought up AP physics when we were talking grades in general.

That said, I certainly do not put any blame on the teachers.  My wife is an assistant principal so I saw first hand (second hand?) what schools were going through trying to adjust in a short amount of time.  It is what it is for the most part.  I only found it interesting because his comment was specific to an AP class.

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18 hours ago, Dr_Zaius said:

I'm sure colleges try to take everything into account as best they can.  I guess my frustration is, let's face it, people are busy and there's only so much time to go through the nuance of every kid's situation.  My daughter's college said they had >30K applicants this year - this is for a school that has like 5K undergraduate enrollment.  Add in people gaming the standardized tests.  Then add in high schools seemingly going out of their way to obfuscate things as much as possible, and it just adds to the impossibility of the task for admissions departments. I know some of my daughter's friends had very strange results with admissions decisions (e.g. getting rejected at a school a tier lower than a school they got accepted at), and I can't help but think all of the noise is part of the reason.

In the end, good students will tend to excel wherever they end up, so maybe it's just the utopian in me ranting over stuff that doesn't matter much in the end.  It just seems to me that the whole process could be much better than it is.

Re: the bolded, this could be evidence of more holistic admissions reviews. Because if it was simply a straight calculation of test scores and GPAs, presumably you wouldn’t have a student rejected by a lower tier school and accepted by a higher tier school. I don’t have any inside knowledge or anything so this is admittedly rank speculation, but I would guess that it’s more likely that the strange results you reference are a factor of admissions departments taking factors other than grades and test scores into account than the suggestion that they are having difficulty figuring out how to compare test scores and GPAs between students.

Also, I would submit that the results you mention aren’t strange at all, or at least shouldn’t be. I think admissions departments rightly look at a number of factors in making their admissions decisions, and something that one admissions department values (say, a child who has worked a part time job throughout high school) may be totally irrelevant to another admissions department based on their goals for constructing their class. Personally, I think that enhances rather than undermines the validity of the admissions process.

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On 6/11/2020 at 9:07 AM, bigbottom said:

Not my intent to pile on here, but this is a pretty fascinating topic.

For what it’s worth, a 2017 College Board study showed that from 1998 to 2016, GPAs rose at a higher rate in private schools than in public schools.

Private Independent Schools: 8% increase

Private Religious Schools: 6.4% increase

Suburban Public Schools: 2.4% increase

Urban Public Schools: 0.6% increase

https://qz.com/1058476/grade-inflation-is-the-worst-at-rich-private-schools-disadvantaging-poor-students/
 

I haven’t read the study to determine whether they controlled for increased availability of AP courses in private versus public. And some have questioned the source, as College Board would have a vested interest in deemphasizing the predictive value of high school GPAs. 

Another study by the Fordham Institute focused solely on a single class, Algebra 1, and whether and to what extent there was grade inflation between 2005 and 2016 among North Carolina students. That study showed that while grades rose at all schools from 2005 to 2016, the rate of increase was 30% greater at more affluent schools versus less affluent schools.

Interestingly, the study also found that starting in 2010, if you control for standardized End of Course (EOC) scores, it was easier for a student to receive an A in more affluent schools compared to less affluent. In other words, for two students who received the same standardized Algebra 1 EOC score, the student at the more affluent school was more likely to receive an A grade in the class than at the less affluent school. 

The study can be viewed here: https://fordhaminstitute.org/sites/default/files/20180919-grade-inflation-high-schools-2005-2016_0.pdf

As you point out, the College Board has a huge financial interest in making people believe grades are not a reliable indicator of academic achievement. The reality is that they are a better indicator than the SAT or ACT. Here's a piece that pretty thoroughly debunks this study:

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/09/15/analysis-college-boards-study-grade-inflation-essay

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1 hour ago, The_Man said:

As you point out, the College Board has a huge financial interest in making people believe grades are not a reliable indicator of academic achievement. The reality is that they are a better indicator than the SAT or ACT. Here's a piece that pretty thoroughly debunks this study:

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/09/15/analysis-college-boards-study-grade-inflation-essay

Yes, in looking into the topic, that was precisely the article that led me to add the caveat. I thought the analysis of the Fordham Institute was better grounded. In any event, while I certainly don’t dispute that GPA is a better predictor of college performance than SAT/ACT scores, that doesn’t mean that grade inflation isn’t occurring, or that it isn’t occurring in some contexts faster than others. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Starting to receive more information on what school will look like in the fall, and it's shaping up to be a whole lot different than my freshman year experience.  Of course, things are continually evolving, but here are just a few of the current key points:

- some/most classes will only be offered on line.

- students will be encouraged to attend remotely if they have any concerns.  this is so they can . . .

- reduce residence hall density down to one student per dorm room.

- students in residence halls are not permitted to have any guests in their rooms.

- masks and social distancing will be mandatory when a student leaves his or her room and these requirements will be heavily enforced.

- campus dining will be restructured with grab and go options to minimize students gathering to eat.

There's a bunch of other stuff, but the above is what really stuck out to me.  I understand why they are implementing these policies, but what it sounds like is that my kid will be going to a school where he knows no one, will be alone in his dorm room where he attends most or all of his classes remotely and eats meals by himself, and must wear a mask consistently and continuously every time he leaves his room to go anywhere.  It sounds like the only in person socializing that will be permitted is outdoors, with everyone distanced and wearing masks.  That may work for returning students who already have friends and existing relationships, but I'm honestly not sure how my son is going to meet people and make friends under those conditions.  I really hope the school is giving thought to both how they are going to create opportunities for socialization, as well as providing mental health support for these kids who will be far from home and essentially alone in their room for most of their time.

Interested in what others are hearing from their kids' schools.

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14 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Starting to receive more information on what school will look like in the fall, and it's shaping up to be a whole lot different than my freshman year experience.  Of course, things are continually evolving, but here are just a few of the current key points:

- some/most classes will only be offered on line.

- students will be encouraged to attend remotely if they have any concerns.  this is so they can . . .

- reduce residence hall density down to one student per dorm room.

- students in residence halls are not permitted to have any guests in their rooms.

- masks and social distancing will be mandatory when a student leaves his or her room and these requirements will be heavily enforced.

- campus dining will be restructured with grab and go options to minimize students gathering to eat.

There's a bunch of other stuff, but the above is what really stuck out to me.  I understand why they are implementing these policies, but what it sounds like is that my kid will be going to a school where he knows no one, will be alone in his dorm room where he attends most or all of his classes remotely and eats meals by himself, and must wear a mask consistently and continuously every time he leaves his room to go anywhere.  It sounds like the only in person socializing that will be permitted is outdoors, with everyone distanced and wearing masks.  That may work for returning students who already have friends and existing relationships, but I'm honestly not sure how my son is going to meet people and make friends under those conditions.  I really hope the school is giving thought to both how they are going to create opportunities for socialization, as well as providing mental health support for these kids who will be far from home and essentially alone in their room for most of their time.

Interested in what others are hearing from their kids' schools.

That sounds really sucky. My son and his friends are going back regardless because they’ve got an off campus house (5 or 6 of them, all have separate rooms). He said they are going even if they are remote. I think that will help offset any difficulties.

I think a lot of kids who had apartments stayed on campus like one of his friends at App State. Most leases are for a year so I’d bet many kids stayed at college through the spring and summer. I’m glad he got off campus housing because that sounds legitimately awful for social life in dorms.

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22 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

- students in residence halls are not permitted to have any guests in their rooms.

- masks and social distancing will be mandatory when a student leaves his or her room and these requirements will be heavily enforced.

I don't know how they'll successfully enforce these rules without turning the campus into a police state.

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7 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I don't know how they'll successfully enforce these rules without turning the campus into a police state.

Well they are indicating that there will be penalties for non-compliance. Apparently (I missed the webinar and am relying on summaries of those who attended), the school said specifically that all undergrad parties are prohibited (not sure how that will be enforced off campus).  There is other stuff like you will have to complete a daily survey (presumably health questions) each morning in order to get a code (QR code?) that will give you access to campus buildings. There will also be testing of all students when they arrive to campus and then random testing of students periodically thereafter. 

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24 minutes ago, stbugs said:

That sounds really sucky. My son and his friends are going back regardless because they’ve got an off campus house (5 or 6 of them, all have separate rooms). He said they are going even if they are remote. I think that will help offset any difficulties.

I think a lot of kids who had apartments stayed on campus like one of his friends at App State. Most leases are for a year so I’d bet many kids stayed at college through the spring and summer. I’m glad he got off campus housing because that sounds legitimately awful for social life in dorms.

Yeah, I wish my son had already experienced freshman year and developed friendships where he could live in an off campus situation like you mention. I keep telling myself that my kid, while somewhat of an introvert, is super-resilient. I think he’ll find a way to make it work. But there are a whole bunch of parents that are freaking out right now. And the school has basically stated that deferral is not an option outside of a medical issue, or a military or religious service commitment.

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1 minute ago, bigbottom said:

Well they are indicating that there will be penalties for non-compliance. 

Yeah, that's what I mean by a police state.  If they really have people checking all the time to make sure kids aren't in each other's dorm rooms and penalizing those that do, and penalizing a kid that is out without a mask, or that's too close to another kid, that's just not a place I would want to be.  

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Just now, bigbottom said:

And the school has basically stated that deferral is not an option outside of a medical issue, or a military or religious service commitment.

Not that your kid is going to do this, but couldn't kids just decline to enroll anywhere and go through the application process all over again next year?

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Not that your kid is going to do this, but couldn't kids just decline to enroll anywhere and go through the application process all over again next year?

Yes, that is for sure an option. You’d have to roll the dice and reapply for admission.  But deferring a year and maintaining your admitted status is not. 

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4 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Yeah, that's what I mean by a police state.  If they really have people checking all the time to make sure kids aren't in each other's dorm rooms and penalizing those that do, and penalizing a kid that is out without a mask, or that's too close to another kid, that's just not a place I would want to be.  

I guess this would effectively outlaw any and all hooking up. Maybe my kid can ride his skateboard to a sketchy motel or something. 

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Just now, bigbottom said:

Yes, that is for sure an option. You’d have to roll the dice and reapply for admission.  But deferring a year and maintaining your admitted status is not. 

Yeah I don't know what the right move is for these kids.  I just know for me the college experience was like 1% about learning stuff and 99% about all the stuff your kid isn't going to be allowed to do.  On the other hand, even if a kid did defer or reapply next year, what's he going to do with that year?  It's a tough situation all around.

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1 hour ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Yeah I don't know what the right move is for these kids.  I just know for me the college experience was like 1% about learning stuff and 99% about all the stuff your kid isn't going to be allowed to do.  On the other hand, even if a kid did defer or reapply next year, what's he going to do with that year?  It's a tough situation all around.

Yeah, it’s a real bummer. Senior year of HS and freshman year of college are such momentous years for our kids and it’s all F’d up. 

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9 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Yeah, it’s a real bummer. Senior year of HS and freshman year of college are such momentous years for our kids and it’s all F’d up. 

It does suck, but remember that is coming from our perspective.  Our kids don't have any basis for comparison, so it may not as catastrophic for them.  It will be the only thing they know.

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No set plans from our school yet (son is going to be a freshman, daughter a senior, so kind of a big deal for them both).  So far just communication of all the possible options they are considering.

Interesting to see some plans coming out from places like Bowdoin - planning on freshmen & transfers only on campus in the Fall and then possibly having them going remote in the Spring while seniors and some juniors and sophomores are on campus again.

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Schools are just as unsure about how to proceed as parents. The vast majority will not proceed with anything resembling a police state type environment. And most will do everything they can for it to be as normal of an experience as they can. There will be exceptions. And the ones that screw up will make the news. They aren't going to be the norm though.

Prepare for all scenarios and exude confidence around your children, especially those going away for the first time. 

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16 hours ago, bigbottom said:

Starting to receive more information on what school will look like in the fall, and it's shaping up to be a whole lot different than my freshman year experience.  Of course, things are continually evolving, but here are just a few of the current key points:

- some/most classes will only be offered on line.

- students will be encouraged to attend remotely if they have any concerns.  this is so they can . . .

- reduce residence hall density down to one student per dorm room.

- students in residence halls are not permitted to have any guests in their rooms.

- masks and social distancing will be mandatory when a student leaves his or her room and these requirements will be heavily enforced.

- campus dining will be restructured with grab and go options to minimize students gathering to eat.

There's a bunch of other stuff, but the above is what really stuck out to me.  I understand why they are implementing these policies, but what it sounds like is that my kid will be going to a school where he knows no one, will be alone in his dorm room where he attends most or all of his classes remotely and eats meals by himself, and must wear a mask consistently and continuously every time he leaves his room to go anywhere.  It sounds like the only in person socializing that will be permitted is outdoors, with everyone distanced and wearing masks.  That may work for returning students who already have friends and existing relationships, but I'm honestly not sure how my son is going to meet people and make friends under those conditions.  I really hope the school is giving thought to both how they are going to create opportunities for socialization, as well as providing mental health support for these kids who will be far from home and essentially alone in their room for most of their time.

Interested in what others are hearing from their kids' schools.

I agree with your assessment, and that is dissapointing.  While unrealistic, I would prefer they make campus one big quarantine, where commuter students are forced to take classes online, and resident students can move freely, but must remain on campus.  Obviously staff is and issue, so it doesn't really work.  However, half of the reason to go to college is the experience, and this is eliminating a big chunk of that.

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1 hour ago, Bull Dozier said:

I agree with your assessment, and that is dissapointing.  While unrealistic, I would prefer they make campus one big quarantine, where commuter students are forced to take classes online, and resident students can move freely, but must remain on campus.  Obviously staff is and issue, so it doesn't really work.  However, half of the reason to go to college is the experience, and this is eliminating a big chunk of that.

And no way college kids are staying on campus 24/7.  That is not realistic either.

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13 minutes ago, Galileo said:

And no way college kids are staying on campus 24/7.  That is not realistic either.

I think the best best it to limit visitors. I wouldn’t be shocked to see college sports play in front of only students and college employees who are on campus. I think I saw some potential schedules where the Fall semester ended right at Thanksgiving and maybe cancel any fall breaks. Try to limit time away to just one winter break.

I mean look at the college football teams with positive tests. There’s going to be kids who have it. Try to contain the spread but based on the age ranges don’t get crazy. Make sure you have a quarantine contingency plan, what happens if someone does test positive.

I wonder if they will test. If they don’t then you could see spreads that never even get seen. Again, look at the football players. It wasn’t like some of them got sick and they pulled them. They were doing practice and pulled them after the test results. Most teams probably could have just had summer practices and without testing it would have run through the team and barely been noticed.

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18 hours ago, bigbottom said:

That may work for returning students who already have friends and existing relationships, but I'm honestly not sure how my son is going to meet people and make friends under those conditions.  I really hope the school is giving thought to both how they are going to create opportunities for socialization, as well as providing mental health support for these kids who will be far from home and essentially alone in their room for most of their time.

A few thoughts - its college, where many rules are broken/stretched.  I suspect students will relax some of the social distancing / mask wearing just as a matter of course.

I would encourage my kid to join 1 or 2 student organizations as a way of integrating into college life outside of the dorm.

Study groups would also be another area I would encourage - just meeting in small groups for a class is one way to branch out socially.

 

Strange times indeed, and some will handle it better than others, but I think it presents growing/maturing opportunities for everyone.

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