Jump to content
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

College Admissions Questions


Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, ex-ghost said:

Currently on a west coast college visit trip. Sucks so hard not to have a guide and not being able to see inside buildings, like dorms. 

It sucks to not have guided tours, be able to see dorms, ask questions, that kind of thing.  

Where are you visiting?

Took my daughter to see a few here in the Bay Area the past two days.  St. Mary's campus was closed - such a small, self-contained campus that it has one gate in and out.  After asking nicely, the guard agreed to let us in to drive around as long as we didn't get out of the car.  We then went up to UC Davis and walked around (on a 102 degree day!) for an hour or two.  Nothing open, very few people around.  Today we hit Santa Clara which had a handful of people walking around, and the book store and student union were actually open so we could go in and check those out.  Then we drove through and around the Stanford campus.  She wouldn't get in there and isn't even applying, but we were nearby so figured it would at least let her see another campus.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

It sucks to not have guided tours, be able to see dorms, ask questions, that kind of thing.  

Where are you visiting?

Took my daughter to see a few here in the Bay Area the past two days.  St. Mary's campus was closed - such a small, self-contained campus that it has one gate in and out.  After asking nicely, the guard agreed to let us in to drive around as long as we didn't get out of the car.  We then went up to UC Davis and walked around (on a 102 degree day!) for an hour or two.  Nothing open, very few people around.  Today we hit Santa Clara which had a handful of people walking around, and the book store and student union were actually open so we could go in and check those out.  Then we drove through and around the Stanford campus.  She wouldn't get in there and isn't even applying, but we were nearby so figured it would at least let her see another campus.

 

UW, University of Portland, OSU and Oregon. All open, but no tours. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it has been a long time since I posted in this thread. My oldest daughter I posted about earlier in this thread is now a senior in college this year. We have a 16 year old daughter, who is a junior in high school, and we are starting down the college road with her. She is in on-line schooling at this point. As I posted in other threads, last year was a tough one--mentally she broke down and there were some hospitalizations, meds, therapy, etc. She was diagnosed with depression/anxiety and is doing fairly well now. She is an incredibly smart kid--but she is not her sister. Things come easy for her sister--whereas our other girl has to work hard for everything she gets and living in that big of a shadow is understandably hard. Despite all this turmoil, she has a 4.2 GPA going into this year. She wants to load up on AP courses this year--like three of them. My wife and I are really worried about her taking on this heavy load. We are sort of cool with two, but three seems like a lot (AP US History;/AP English/AP Bio). She doesn't handle getting a B or C well and really crumbles when it happens--so we are worried about what the pressure of this will do to her with this heavy load. We just cannot have her go back to that dark place where she was before. 

She keeps holding onto this dream of going to Stanford--but that just is such a long shot. Her being on-line and not having many outside extracurricular opportunities, especially with Covid (and us not being uber rich), there is zero chance she gets in a school like that.  Our oldest took a ton of AP courses was president of everything, had a resume a mile long, but at the end of the day, her 4.5 GPA got her nothing and she ended up attending a college she could have gotten B's in high school to be accepted. We keep trying to tell our 16 year old to just take regular or honors level classes--maybe an AP class or two, get those easy A's and then find a school that has a high acceptance rate and knock out that four year degree as cheaply as possible. She wants to go the medical route (think doctor) and there will be plenty of time for pushing herself once she is in college.  She likes CU-Boulder. It is a good school and has an 81% acceptance rate . It would be a perfect fit for her and is close to us. 

So I ask, are AP classes really worth it? I mean, sure if you do well on the tests, you can maybe skip some entry level classes, but at the end of the day, my oldest is still having to go four years to get her Molecular Bio and Chem degree. Those classes and all the pressure they bring, did absolutely nothing for her.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Courtjester said:

So it has been a long time since I posted in this thread. My oldest daughter I posted about earlier in this thread is now a senior in college this year. We have a 16 year old daughter, who is a junior in high school, and we are starting down the college road with her. She is in on-line schooling at this point. As I posted in other threads, last year was a tough one--mentally she broke down and there were some hospitalizations, meds, therapy, etc. She was diagnosed with depression/anxiety and is doing fairly well now. She is an incredibly smart kid--but she is not her sister. Things come easy for her sister--whereas our other girl has to work hard for everything she gets and living in that big of a shadow is understandably hard. Despite all this turmoil, she has a 4.2 GPA going into this year. She wants to load up on AP courses this year--like three of them. My wife and I are really worried about her taking on this heavy load. We are sort of cool with two, but three seems like a lot (AP US History;/AP English/AP Bio). She doesn't handle getting a B or C well and really crumbles when it happens--so we are worried about what the pressure of this will do to her with this heavy load. We just cannot have her go back to that dark place where she was before. 

She keeps holding onto this dream of going to Stanford--but that just is such a long shot. Her being on-line and not having many outside extracurricular opportunities, especially with Covid (and us not being uber rich), there is zero chance she gets in a school like that.  Our oldest took a ton of AP courses was president of everything, had a resume a mile long, but at the end of the day, her 4.5 GPA got her nothing and she ended up attending a college she could have gotten B's in high school to be accepted. We keep trying to tell our 16 year old to just take regular or honors level classes--maybe an AP class or two, get those easy A's and then find a school that has a high acceptance rate and knock out that four year degree as cheaply as possible. She wants to go the medical route (think doctor) and there will be plenty of time for pushing herself once she is in college.  She likes CU-Boulder. It is a good school and has an 81% acceptance rate . It would be a perfect fit for her and is close to us. 

So I ask, are AP classes really worth it? I mean, sure if you do well on the tests, you can maybe skip some entry level classes, but at the end of the day, my oldest is still having to go four years to get her Molecular Bio and Chem degree. Those classes and all the pressure they bring, did absolutely nothing for her.  

As you basically recognize from comparing your own children, every individual is different.  Every situation has its own uniqueness.  For some, I am sure they are worth it.  For others, maybe not so much.  I have had former students tell me stories about the credits they’ve been able to earn and how that afforded them other opportunities in college as they didn’t have to fill their schedules with core requirements for which they have earned credit.  Perhaps they were able to take other courses within their areas of interest or participate in specialized programs they may otherwise not have had time for.  For them it seemed worth it.  I do not know how it will impact my own children yet as they are still in HS, but my current senior should have 12 AP courses completed before heading to college.  My youngest will likely have a similar transcript, maybe one or two fewer.  So, I sure hope they get some value out of it.  The older one seems to be plowing through it all pretty much stress free.  The younger one has a little more anxiety that gives us a little worry about the “cost”.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughter and I had a virtual meeting with her school counselor today. She is suggesting my daughter enroll in the local community college and do concurrent classes. They actually have a program already in place with our community college. So instead of taking an AP English class 11A at the high school, she can take an English/Literature course virtually from the local college. The benefit to this is there is no AP test at the end and this will count as credit towards HS graduation, but also be college credit. The real plus side is they will pay for her tuition to attend (minus fees and books). So we are going to madly do some paperwork and try and get her enrolled. 

We also got the info for the liaison who works between CU Boulder and the on-line academy and we anticipate she is going to be a wealth of help.  

Now I just need to find her a virtual choir or something. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Courtjester said:

My daughter and I had a virtual meeting with her school counselor today. She is suggesting my daughter enroll in the local community college and do concurrent classes. They actually have a program already in place with our community college. So instead of taking an AP English class 11A at the high school, she can take an English/Literature course virtually from the local college. The benefit to this is there is no AP test at the end and this will count as credit towards HS graduation, but also be college credit. The real plus side is they will pay for her tuition to attend (minus fees and books). So we are going to madly do some paperwork and try and get her enrolled. 

We also got the info for the liaison who works between CU Boulder and the on-line academy and we anticipate she is going to be a wealth of help.  

Now I just need to find her a virtual choir or something. 

Sounds like you are describing the College Credit Plus program in Ohio.   I may be mistaken, but I thought there was a still minimum number of courses the student still had to take at the high school in addition to what is enrolled in at the college.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the least surprising news ever, some local colleges that have brought kids back to campus early have experienced new Covid cases after the kids partied together almost immediately.

UConn actually evicted kids from student housing who were caught partying.

=================

My daughter decided to do this semester entirely remotely.  She did not want to deal with the constant testing and all the other constraints.  Her school is making the kids sign a contract in which if the student breaks the contract rules, they can be suspended or even face expulsion.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any of you have kids that have done Honors College/Program at their school?  I really don't know much about them at all, just started to poke around at a few schools that my daughter is interested in.  She's always thought she'd want to go to a small school, but is looking at a few larger schools as well and it seems like a way to get a smaller school feel within a larger university.  She obviously would have to get in, which is an even higher bar than general admission, but curious if any of you have experiences you could share.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
17 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Caltech has enacted a two-year moratorium on both the requirement and consideration of SAT and ACT test scores as part of the undergraduate admissions process. This change, made in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on access to these exams for students across the country and globe, will be in effect for all first-year students applying to Caltech for Fall 2021 and Fall 2022.

 

- This was done prior to the court ruling, and mostly in response to Covid - but seems to be where we are headed.  

 

ETA:  Caltech's Undergraduate Admissions Office has updated its first-year admissions requirements to emphasize the increased attention that will be paid to curriculum and academic preparedness in lieu of test results. "Evaluations of applications during the two-year moratorium will continue to thoroughly examine academic preparedness from the secondary school level up through enrollment," says Jarrid Whitney, assistant vice president for student affairs, enrollment and career services.

Edited by Sinn Fein
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our good friends' kid was about to head to Northwestern- told one week before she was set to move in (from CA) that in-person wasnt happening. Tickets bought, bags packed, and 18yo's dreams snapped.

Nephew is still slated to go in person to U of Chicago...but we'll see.

 

Floppinho is about to enter 8th grade- applying to all manner of high schools from NYC Public (typical application process reviews their 7th grade attendance, tests and grades...none of which were counted for them, and still zero word how they'll approach it), NYC private schools and boarding schools.

He's a great test taker, and had great grades- if anybody's even going to look. We love some of the private schools and boarding schools, but we'd have to get almost full scholarship/financial aid to have any way for him to attend. Sucks.

His current school continues into HS, but is more of a music conservatory prep than standard HS. The HS is new and the students have been matriculating to better colleges each year, along with music conservatories, but the academics are still an uncertainty relative to other traditional HSs. It's also in the basement of a shared HS building, and as a result of poor air, going fully remote.

So many unknowns. I feel so bad for all these kids who've worked so hard to get to this point only to be met with a rash of uncertainty.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Galileo said:

11?  That was the extent of the party?

Maybe gathering is a better term than party. 

These students were being housed in the Westin Hotel and had the same rules as the kids in normal dorms.  Two Northeastern staff members were patrolling the hotel and found the gathering.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

Maybe gathering is a better term than party. 

These students were being housed in the Westin Hotel and had the same rules as the kids in normal dorms.  Two Northeastern staff members were patrolling the hotel and found the gathering.

 

NYU kids had a rager Sat night in Washington Sq Park. 

20 kids suspended.

NYC has had our covid numbers waaaay down for 30 straight days (under 0.1%)...really hoping return to school selfish/stupidness/youth doesn't push the city back up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, El Floppo said:

NYC has had our covid numbers waaaay down for 30 straight days (under 0.1%)...really hoping return to school selfish/stupidness/youth doesn't push the city back up.

I am not knowledgeable about the trends.

Logically, though, it is hard to not acknowledge that American college age kids combine a certain lack of maturity that when coupled with the near invincibility people that age feel, is a terrible concoction.

I am not that worried about the kids though but I do worry that there is a chance they become carriers to re-spread the disease this fall when they eventually interact with other people.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

I am not knowledgeable about the trends.

Logically, though, it is hard to not acknowledge that American college age kids combine a certain lack of maturity that when coupled with the near invincibility people that age feel, is a terrible concoction.

I am not that worried about the kids though but I do worry that there is a chance they become carriers to re-spread the disease this fall when they eventually interact with other people.

Exactly my concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, El Floppo said:

NYU kids had a rager Sat night in Washington Sq Park. 

20 kids suspended.

NYC has had our covid numbers waaaay down for 30 straight days (under 0.1%)...really hoping return to school selfish/stupidness/youth doesn't push the city back up.

Why did only 20 get suspended?  There are clearly way more people involved.  How are they enforcing their policy?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Galileo said:

Why did only 20 get suspended?  There are clearly way more people involved.  How are they enforcing their policy?  

I think they are two separate items.

There was a large party that NYU officials don't know who participated according to the article.

Meanwhile, back on campus, 20 students have been suspended for not following the rules, which does not appear to be related to the party.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/29/2020 at 3:02 PM, themeanmachine said:

My incoming senior hasn't been able to take any SAT or ACT yet, unclear right now if he will at all.  But the school says they are planning on all seniors taking SATs the last week of September (they are going back to school on a hybrid schedule, at least as of right now).  

He's getting mailers/emails from some of the schools he is interested in applying to (all public universities, none highly competitive overall, though perhaps a bit at some for his major of interest), encouraging applications now, with benefits like 2-week turnaround on admissions decisions and no essay required.  Every school he's applying to is test optional for 2021 admission.

Is there any downside to him just applying now to some of those schools? If he waits to take the SAT (fingers crossed) and gets the scores, he's probably not applying until November.  No guarantee his scores will help him, though if he's on the bubble, it's possible.  If he applies now and is rejected, I wonder if he could go back later in the fall with good test scores and ask them to reconsider?

Sorry...working on getting caught up on this thread.

 

Schools that are promising 2 week turnaround are doing rolling admission and are typically less selective in nature.  (As opposed to highly selective schools who release decisions in bulk on one day.)

 

I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.  In the "test" section, he should indicate he is taking the SATs in September.  If the school wants to wait for those, they will.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/14/2020 at 11:41 AM, NewlyRetired said:

I was looking at my daughters college bill today and there is a grant on there that looks suspiciously like the exact amount of the Pell Grant, but it is a separate line item from the normal Pell Grant and just has some generic name with it.

Just to double check, is there any government aid in regards to Covid for this semester for students as part of the CARES act?

No.  Student's need to apply for CARES act funding.  Schools can't just include it in financial aid packages.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, SteelCurtain said:

Sorry...working on getting caught up on this thread.

 

Schools that are promising 2 week turnaround are doing rolling admission and are typically less selective in nature.  (As opposed to highly selective schools who release decisions in bulk on one day.)

 

I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.  In the "test" section, he should indicate he is taking the SATs in September.  If the school wants to wait for those, they will.

 

 

Thank you, appreciate the input!

He applied to his first school 2 weeks ago, heard back one week later, accepted!  We're visiting in early October unless they shut things down.  The only thing holding him back on getting other applications in is his essay, he's having a hard time getting started on it.  I came across a website and YouTube channel from College Essay Guy, hopefully that will give him some inspiration.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, themeanmachine said:

Thank you, appreciate the input!

He applied to his first school 2 weeks ago, heard back one week later, accepted!  We're visiting in early October unless they shut things down.  The only thing holding him back on getting other applications in is his essay, he's having a hard time getting started on it.  I came across a website and YouTube channel from College Essay Guy, hopefully that will give him some inspiration.

Essays are particularly important this year.  Colleges haven't had the opportunity to meet students either at their high schools or college fairs.  And for many colleges, they haven't been able to host visitors for much of the year.

 

Therefore, learning about the students as well as determining demonstrated interest is particularly important through the essay as well as the "Why is <COLLEGENAME> a good match for me?" supplemental essay. 

 

He should spend less time thinking about "What do colleges want me to tell them?"  Instead, he should reframe it around what does he want to tell the colleges?  What is his journey (academically/socially/etc.)?  Is he a leader?  Is he an active learner?  Is he quieter?  Does he care deeply about the environment or his community or his pet or his grandma or something else?  What has been his biggest challenge in high school?  What does he like to do for fun?  etc, etc, etc.

 

Colleges are looking for lots of different people in their freshman classes.  They need academic stars, they need students who will be really active with clubs, they want students who will give back to the world through community service, they are looking for students who will simply be a really good roommate.  He shouldn't try to be someone he isn't.  Share with the colleges what makes him tick.  Colleges will embrace a genuine and authentic essay.

 

Finally, on the college supplemental essay, don't describe the school in a 30,000 foot level that isn't specific to that school.  For example, if a student says "I want to attend Harvard because of their international reputation as well as fabulous outcomes with Fulbright scholars", that's not very good.  Because a student could easily write in Yale or UPENN or a host of other colleges and universities.  He will want to make it much more specific.  I recommend students read the school newspaper on line and find parts of the student experience that resonates with the young person and infuse that into the "Why Harvard" essay. 

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, SteelCurtain said:

Finally, on the college supplemental essay, don't describe the school in a 30,000 foot level that isn't specific to that school.  For example, if a student says "I want to attend Harvard because of their international reputation as well as fabulous outcomes with Fulbright scholars", that's not very good.  Because a student could easily write in Yale or UPENN or a host of other colleges and universities.  He will want to make it much more specific.  I recommend students read the school newspaper on line and find parts of the student experience that resonates with the young person and infuse that into the "Why Harvard" essay. 

This is fabulous advice about reading the schools newspaper.  I had never heard that before but it makes so much sense.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

This is fabulous advice about reading the schools newspaper.  I had never heard that before but it makes so much sense.

Just understand that some school newspapers are particularly critical of the adminstration/faculty depending on the environment. 

 

Students can also browse through social media (and I would go back to a time before COVID both on social media as well as newspaper) to see the essence of the place. 

 

Youtube can also give some more information but that's can really be hit or miss in learning about the culture. 

 

Before COVID, the best way to learn more is to grab some random kids in a dining hall on campus.  Or go find the academic department you are interested in and start knocking on doors of faculty.  If you want to see how student centered the faculty are, that's the best way to REALLY find out.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Schools are hurting 4 sure and not sure if this belongs here but... My daughter turned this Lemons thing into something sweeter.  Architecture student at Northeastern U second year.  Covid thing has been front page and she contacted about 50 architecture firms about an internship.  Most responded "thanks but we aren't looking for someone with your experience at this time".  She got one to bite based on her portfolio.  She's doing menial stuff but getting a #### load of experience. Plus she's  helping them with there social image, and she's taking a year off from school as they've offered her a ft position.  She will need a ton of hours before she can get her license and she'll be getting experience that should make life easier to get her degree.  Proud papa here.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, squidrope said:

Schools are hurting 4 sure and not sure if this belongs here but... My daughter turned this Lemons thing into something sweeter.  Architecture student at Northeastern U second year.  Covid thing has been front page and she contacted about 50 architecture firms about an internship.  Most responded "thanks but we aren't looking for someone with your experience at this time".  She got one to bite based on her portfolio.  She's doing menial stuff but getting a #### load of experience. Plus she's  helping them with there social image, and she's taking a year off from school as they've offered her a ft position.  She will need a ton of hours before she can get her license and she'll be getting experience that should make life easier to get her degree.  Proud papa here.  

It's not to late to find another major/career.

Signed,

Every architect ever.

 

Eta... I made the mistake of not listening to every architect talking to me as a kid. While interesting and fulfilling at times, it's a brutal industry that gets hit first by every economic wrinkle and is last to come out of them. 

I can make some "don't do what I did" recs about how to proceed, but seriously- it's a job for rich people. Better to be in some other job for 10-15 years that makes her independently wealthy and then jump into it. Or just avoid it.

 

Eta2... But congrats to her and you for her hustle landing the internship. If she ever ends up in NYC, I know people.

Edited by El Floppo
  • Thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Looking for a little advice.  My oldest is a HS Sr and has applied to 4 schools.  She's already heard back from 2 of them, EKU and Michigan State - she was accepted to both.  She is waiting to hear from TN (told mid-Dec) and Cincinnati (told Feb?).  Waiting to get financial aid packages from the first two schools.  Curious on the funding portion.  She's filled out her FAFSA and put all 4 schools on the application. She received a package from EKU, which was didn't have more than what we expected.  Waiting on MSU.  Is there anything else to do, outside of looking for supplemental aid?  I'm on her FAFSA application, and I continue to get emails from the four schools to update the application with their code they send to us.  However, that code is already listed on the application.  Am I missing something?

I didn't really go through this phase when I went to school.  I was probably offered one grant, but that was it.  My parents didn't help me much back then, so I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can for my kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughter just submitted her UC applications on Sunday to Davis, Santa Cruz, and Irvine.  Apparently their systems crashed on Monday (the deadline), so they actually extended the deadline to later this week.  So glad her's went through, as she would have been a stressed-out mess if we had experienced any technical difficulties.

Now she's got the Common App to complete for the others she's considering - Pepperdine, LMU, Santa Clara, St. Mary's, Chapman, USD, and U of O (one of these things is not like the other).

She actually got an SAT in last month at her high school, and was pretty happy with her 1300 score (her PSAT score translated to like an 1160, so a good improvement).  Of course the UC schools can't even look at it, which might not necessarily be a bad thing as it's a little lower than the average SAT scores for accepted students from her school over the past five years (they range from 1307-1354).  I think most of the others are test optional, but in most cases it should be a positive.

All three UCs and Santa Clara are probably stretches; Pepperdine, Chapman, LMU, USD she should have a pretty good chance; and St. Mary's and Oregon are her safety schools.  I had her put them in three tiers of preference, and the good news is that she has a mix of all three categories with the 4 schools in her first tier.

She still doesn't have a clue what she wants to major in, so is putting some version of undeclared on each submission.  We know she's not interested in Engineering or any of the most competitive programs at these schools, but I'm not sure if being undeclared will help or hurt her chances of admission - any thoughts from the experts in here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SFBayDuck said:

My daughter just submitted her UC applications on Sunday to Davis, Santa Cruz, and Irvine.  Apparently their systems crashed on Monday (the deadline), so they actually extended the deadline to later this week.  So glad her's went through, as she would have been a stressed-out mess if we had experienced any technical difficulties.

Now she's got the Common App to complete for the others she's considering - Pepperdine, LMU, Santa Clara, St. Mary's, Chapman, USD, and U of O (one of these things is not like the other).

She actually got an SAT in last month at her high school, and was pretty happy with her 1300 score (her PSAT score translated to like an 1160, so a good improvement).  Of course the UC schools can't even look at it, which might not necessarily be a bad thing as it's a little lower than the average SAT scores for accepted students from her school over the past five years (they range from 1307-1354).  I think most of the others are test optional, but in most cases it should be a positive.

All three UCs and Santa Clara are probably stretches; Pepperdine, Chapman, LMU, USD she should have a pretty good chance; and St. Mary's and Oregon are her safety schools.  I had her put them in three tiers of preference, and the good news is that she has a mix of all three categories with the 4 schools in her first tier.

She still doesn't have a clue what she wants to major in, so is putting some version of undeclared on each submission.  We know she's not interested in Engineering or any of the most competitive programs at these schools, but I'm not sure if being undeclared will help or hurt her chances of admission - any thoughts from the experts in here?

My son submitted his on the 27th.  I guess he avoided the mess.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have been meaning to post this for a while - a parent in my daughter's program posted it (after his older son got into MIT last year):

Applying Sideways

Its a bit by an assistant admissions director at MIT - and though its a bit dated (from 2010) - I think the advice is timeless and universal.

 

"[H]ere’s what you need to understand:

There is nothing, literally nothing, that in and of itself will get you in to MIT.

For example:

A few years ago, we did not admit a student who had created a fully-functional nuclear reactor in his garage.

Think about that for a second.

Now, most students, when I tell them this story, become depressed. After all, if the kid who built a freakin’ nuclear reactor didn’t get in to MIT, what chance do they have?

But they have it backwards. In fact, this story should be incredibly encouraging for most students. It should be liberating. Why? Because over a thousand other students were admitted to MIT that year, and none of them built a nuclear reactor!'

 

***

[W]hat should you do if you still want to come to MIT?

  • Do well in school. Take tough classes. Interrogate your beliefs and presumptions. Pursue knowledge with dogged precision. Because it is better to be educated and intelligent than not.
  • Be nice. This cannot be overstated. Don’t be wanton or careless or cruel. Treat those around you with kindness. Help people. Contribute to your community.
  • Pursue your passion. Find what you love, and do it. Maybe it’s a sport. Maybe it’s an instrument. Maybe it’s research. Maybe it’s being a leader in your community. Math. Baking. Napping. Hopscotch. Whatever it is, spend time on it. Immerse yourself in it. Enjoy it.

If you do these three things, you will be applying sideways to MIT.

See:

If you get into MIT, it will be because you followed these steps. If you do well in school, you will be smart and prepared for an MIT education. If you are nice, then your letters of recommendation will convince us that MIT would be a wildly better place with you on campus. And if you pursue your passion, you will have developed a love for and skill at something that helps distinguish you from other applications – something that is your “hook.”

But what if you don’t get into MIT?

Well, you may be disappointed. But you learned everything you could, so now you’re smarter; you were a positive member of your community, and you made people happy; and you spent high school doing not what you thought you had to do to get into a selective college, but what you wanted to do more than anything else in the world. In other words, you didn’t waste a single solitary second of your time.

Applying sideways, as a mantra, means don’t do things because you think they will help you get into MIT (or Harvard, or CalTech, or anywhere). Instead, you should study hard, be nice, and pursue your passion, because then you will have spent high school doing all the rights things, and, as a complete side effect, you’ll be cast in the best light possible for competitive college admissions.

Sometimes, you really can have the best of both worlds.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

I have been meaning to post this for a while - a parent in my daughter's program posted it (after his older son got into MIT last year):

Applying Sideways

Its a bit by an assistant admissions director at MIT - and though its a bit dated (from 2010) - I think the advice is timeless and universal.

 

"[H]ere’s what you need to understand:

There is nothing, literally nothing, that in and of itself will get you in to MIT.

For example:

A few years ago, we did not admit a student who had created a fully-functional nuclear reactor in his garage.

Think about that for a second.

Now, most students, when I tell them this story, become depressed. After all, if the kid who built a freakin’ nuclear reactor didn’t get in to MIT, what chance do they have?

But they have it backwards. In fact, this story should be incredibly encouraging for most students. It should be liberating. Why? Because over a thousand other students were admitted to MIT that year, and none of them built a nuclear reactor!'

 

***

[W]hat should you do if you still want to come to MIT?

  • Do well in school. Take tough classes. Interrogate your beliefs and presumptions. Pursue knowledge with dogged precision. Because it is better to be educated and intelligent than not.
  • Be nice. This cannot be overstated. Don’t be wanton or careless or cruel. Treat those around you with kindness. Help people. Contribute to your community.
  • Pursue your passion. Find what you love, and do it. Maybe it’s a sport. Maybe it’s an instrument. Maybe it’s research. Maybe it’s being a leader in your community. Math. Baking. Napping. Hopscotch. Whatever it is, spend time on it. Immerse yourself in it. Enjoy it.

If you do these three things, you will be applying sideways to MIT.

See:

If you get into MIT, it will be because you followed these steps. If you do well in school, you will be smart and prepared for an MIT education. If you are nice, then your letters of recommendation will convince us that MIT would be a wildly better place with you on campus. And if you pursue your passion, you will have developed a love for and skill at something that helps distinguish you from other applications – something that is your “hook.”

But what if you don’t get into MIT?

Well, you may be disappointed. But you learned everything you could, so now you’re smarter; you were a positive member of your community, and you made people happy; and you spent high school doing not what you thought you had to do to get into a selective college, but what you wanted to do more than anything else in the world. In other words, you didn’t waste a single solitary second of your time.

Applying sideways, as a mantra, means don’t do things because you think they will help you get into MIT (or Harvard, or CalTech, or anywhere). Instead, you should study hard, be nice, and pursue your passion, because then you will have spent high school doing all the rights things, and, as a complete side effect, you’ll be cast in the best light possible for competitive college admissions.

Sometimes, you really can have the best of both worlds.

This is really good. Thanks for sharing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

There are architectural engineering programs. Penn State has (or at least did when I last heard) 100% job placement for their grads.

I think Texas has one too. 

But I remember when I was applying to architecture schools back in 87-88. The father of a girl I dated briefly in high school was an architect and he had multiple conversations with me encouraging me NOT to pursue architecture as it is a brutal profession - there aren’t many jobs that pay well and/or allow for much creativity. I ignored him and started college as an architecture major. I lasted one year before dropping out. It wasn’t because of the job prospects so much as it was because I discovered that while I was a good draftsman, I would have been a really crappy architect. Too bad as it was my dream.

That said, I do have two good friends who stuck with architecture and by all accounts are incredibly successful, so talent and tenacity can yield results. On the other hand, my best friend from high school got a Masters in Architecture from Berkeley. He’s a preacher now. 

Edited by bigbottom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

I think Texas has one too. 

But I remember when I was applying to architecture schools back in 87-88. The father of a girl I dated briefly in high school was an architect and he had multiple conversations with me encouraging me NOT to pursue architecture as it is a brutal profession - there aren’t many jobs that pay well and/or allow for much creativity. I ignored him and started college as an architecture major. I lasted one year before dropping out. It wasn’t because of the job prospects so much as it was because I discovered that while I was a good draftsman, I would have been a really crappy architect. Too bad as it was my dream.

That said, I do have two good friends who stuck with architecture and by all accounts are incredibly successful, so talent and tenacity can yield results. On the other hand, my best friend from high school got a Masters in Architecture from Berkeley. He’s a preacher now. 

He's helping to build the house of God :oldunsure:

  • Laughing 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son was accepted to his ED school yesterday, Stevens Institute of Technology, and will be studying computer engineering. Even better news is they offered him a pretty generous scholarship. I was always afraid applying ED would mean I’d have to foot the full bill.

What I am seeing early this year is his classmates getting acceptances to great schools after applying ED. I’m thinking it has to do with Covid uncertainty. If you haven’t applied ED yet, and the school offers an ED2, my advice is to strongly consider it, particularly if you have a reach as your first choice. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Whyatt said:

My son was accepted to his ED school yesterday, Stevens Institute of Technology, and will be studying computer engineering. Even better news is they offered him a pretty generous scholarship. I was always afraid applying ED would mean I’d have to foot the full bill.

What I am seeing early this year is his classmates getting acceptances to great schools after applying ED. I’m thinking it has to do with Covid uncertainty. If you haven’t applied ED yet, and the school offers an ED2, my advice is to strongly consider it, particularly if you have a reach as your first choice. 

That is fantastic news!!! Congrats to your son. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, bigbottom said:
5 hours ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

There are architectural engineering programs. Penn State has (or at least did when I last heard) 100% job placement for their grads.

I think Texas has one too. 

But I remember when I was applying to architecture schools back in 87-88. The father of a girl I dated briefly in high school was an architect and he had multiple conversations with me encouraging me NOT to pursue architecture as it is a brutal profession - there aren’t many jobs that pay well and/or allow for much creativity. I ignored him and started college as an architecture major. I lasted one year before dropping out. It wasn’t because of the job prospects so much as it was because I discovered that while I was a good draftsman, I would have been a really crappy architect. Too bad as it was my dream.

That said, I do have two good friends who stuck with architecture and by all accounts are incredibly successful, so talent and tenacity can yield results. On the other hand, my best friend from high school got a Masters in Architecture from Berkeley. He’s a preacher now. 

Talent and tenacity? Dammit, man...now you speak up with this ####?! No wonder my career isn't going anywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Floppinho applied to 5 private high schools here in NYC, and one boarding school. 

With the state of nyc public schools and the mayor and chancellor seemingly trying to use the pandemic as their chance to force-feed their no-screened schools policy down our collective throats (chancellor - "never waste a good crisis to transform a system"), we felt backed into at least applying to these places. 

These schools are all amazing looking...really similar in feel to my undergraduate experience. The application process is identical to colleges, with tests, interviews, essays and ridiculous price tags (and financial aid). We think floppinho (top of his class, loved by his teachers and almost all perfect test scores) would be a slam dunk if not for his talent/tenacity-less broke ### dad.

If he gets in and the aid package works, that's his likely route. We find out in the end of Feb.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, El Floppo said:

Floppinho applied to 5 private high schools here in NYC, and one boarding school. 

With the state of nyc public schools and the mayor and chancellor seemingly trying to use the pandemic as their chance to force-feed their no-screened schools policy down our collective throats (chancellor - "never waste a good crisis to transform a system"), we felt backed into at least applying to these places. 

These schools are all amazing looking...really similar in feel to my undergraduate experience. The application process is identical to colleges, with tests, interviews, essays and ridiculous price tags (and financial aid). We think floppinho (top of his class, loved by his teachers and almost all perfect test scores) would be a slam dunk if not for his talent/tenacity-less broke ### dad.

If he gets in and the aid package works, that's his likely route. We find out in the end of Feb.

Best of luck to Floppinho.....sounds like he's got a great chance of getting accepted.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kid didn’t apply ED because he didn’t feel he knew enough (because of Covid canceling almost all visits) to have a first choice

I hugely regret that right now. Agree that colleges are looking to lock in as much of their class as possible in this uncertain time and seeing acceptances everywhere: Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Middlebury, BC, Carnegie Mellon

Never seen anything quite like it

  • Thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/1/2020 at 5:03 PM, SFBayDuck said:

My daughter just submitted her UC applications on Sunday to Davis, Santa Cruz, and Irvine.  Apparently their systems crashed on Monday (the deadline), so they actually extended the deadline to later this week.  So glad her's went through, as she would have been a stressed-out mess if we had experienced any technical difficulties.

Now she's got the Common App to complete for the others she's considering - Pepperdine, LMU, Santa Clara, St. Mary's, Chapman, USD, and U of O (one of these things is not like the other).

She actually got an SAT in last month at her high school, and was pretty happy with her 1300 score (her PSAT score translated to like an 1160, so a good improvement).  Of course the UC schools can't even look at it, which might not necessarily be a bad thing as it's a little lower than the average SAT scores for accepted students from her school over the past five years (they range from 1307-1354).  I think most of the others are test optional, but in most cases it should be a positive.

All three UCs and Santa Clara are probably stretches; Pepperdine, Chapman, LMU, USD she should have a pretty good chance; and St. Mary's and Oregon are her safety schools.  I had her put them in three tiers of preference, and the good news is that she has a mix of all three categories with the 4 schools in her first tier.

She still doesn't have a clue what she wants to major in, so is putting some version of undeclared on each submission.  We know she's not interested in Engineering or any of the most competitive programs at these schools, but I'm not sure if being undeclared will help or hurt her chances of admission - any thoughts from the experts in here?

File this under "Things you can't control".  She should apply Undeclared and see how it plays out.  I don't think it will materially impact her admission at most places, but it may be a positive or negative at a place here or there.

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Son #1 got his first acceptance notification...Ohio State.  His friends have been hearing results from there for a few days now, but we hadn't gotten anything until today.  This is sort of his safe/fall back option (really 3rd choice on his list), so I am glad he got in.  A couple of his buddies who are pretty decent students got rejected or deferred, so he was a little nervous.   This was actually a lot earlier than I was expecting to hear anything.  I figured we'd be waiting until the new year before results rolled in...probably will for the others.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
  • Create New...