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42 minutes ago, dancer said:

There seem to be some people knowledgeable of engineering here, so maybe I can gather some info to help my daughter make her decision. Looks like she will be deciding between Rice, Carnegie Mellon, GA Tech and Illinois.

Just looking at things like US news rankings, Rice is listed higher up on the "national university" rankings, while below the other three on the engineering-specific rankings. Then when looking at specific majors she is considering, CMU is ranked highest for computer engineering, while GA Tech is ranked highest for aerospace engineering. 

But putting aside rankings, and putting aside cost and location - what are some other pluses/minuses for these schools that can help one make a decision? Are any of these clearly better or worse than the other?

I think some things that are very important to my daughter are being around students who are smart, working under teachers that she can respect, getting good opportunities for summer internships and jobs upon graduation, and being in a collaborative environment where everyone tries to bring each other up (as opposed to a cutthroat environment where each kid is looking out for themselves). Does one of these schools fit that profile better than another? 

 

Wow fantastic options!!!

I have had a niece go through Rice, have a nephew currently attending Rice, and will have another nephew starting next year. I can’t speak to the other schools, but I’ll say that Rice definitely fits the bill with respect to most of the issues you mention are important to your daughter. The students pretty much across the board are super smart and very driven. The faculty is pretty amazing and my niece and nephew have had very positive experiences with their teachers. Internship opportunities have been pretty plentiful (though neither of them are engineering students) especially because Rice sits in the fourth largest city in the country. As for jobs afterwards, I’ll know better when my nephew graduates, but Rice is incredibly well-respected in Texas and there is a very strong alumni network. But I don’t know how recognized it is nationally for job prospects.
 

Based on what I’ve seen, the downsides (which may not be downsides for your daughter), Rice is very small and doesn’t have the same level of school spirit (in terms of athletics in particular) as some of the larger schools with big time programs. Also, the student body is mostly filled with super smart, incredibly driven kids which can make for an atypical social dynamic. But overall, my niece and nephew’s experience has been very positive. 

Re: Georgia Tech, the one thing I’d mention that was a concern for my son who applied there for engineering (he was waitlisted and then pulled his app) is that the school is like 83% STEM. If she is set on pursuing engineering and you can’t imagine her switching to a non-STEM major, then perhaps it’s not an issue. But if there is a chance (as there is with my son) that she may switch into a different academic path altogether, consider whether GA Tech is the right place for that. And even if she doesn’t switch, I guess it’s worth considering whether she wants to go to school where she’ll be almost completely surrounded by other STEM kids, as opposed to kids pursuing a variety of majors (art, music, English, history, etc.). 

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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 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I haven't updated in a while.  My kid has basically narrowed it down to two choices - Washington U. in St. Louis or UC San Diego.  He's leaning towards Wash. U. but has never seen it.  He's going out there in a couple weeks -- if he likes it he'll go there, if he doesn't like it he'll go to UC San Diego (which he has already seen and he liked).

Two completely different environments, but both are amazing from all reports. Hard to beat San Diego weather. 

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1 hour ago, dancer said:

There seem to be some people knowledgeable of engineering here, so maybe I can gather some info to help my daughter make her decision. Looks like she will be deciding between Rice, Carnegie Mellon, GA Tech and Illinois.

Just looking at things like US news rankings, Rice is listed higher up on the "national university" rankings, while below the other three on the engineering-specific rankings. Then when looking at specific majors she is considering, CMU is ranked highest for computer engineering, while GA Tech is ranked highest for aerospace engineering. 

But putting aside rankings, and putting aside cost and location - what are some other pluses/minuses for these schools that can help one make a decision? Are any of these clearly better or worse than the other?

I think some things that are very important to my daughter are being around students who are smart, working under teachers that she can respect, getting good opportunities for summer internships and jobs upon graduation, and being in a collaborative environment where everyone tries to bring each other up (as opposed to a cutthroat environment where each kid is looking out for themselves). Does one of these schools fit that profile better than another? 

 

I've visited CMU once and went to Georgia Tech for graduate school.  I'm not a huge Georgia Tech undergrad booster.  I think their quality of life isn't great.  The male/female ratio is still pretty whack, and the fraternities are too "southern" for my taste.  Those frats tend to dominate a lot of the social scene, which is also not my preference.  Grad school is a whole 'nother ball of wax though, and since grad students are over 21, the Atlanta nightlife scene offers a lot for anyone.

CMU is a beautiful campus, right in Pittsburgh, so similar in the campus situation.  From my recollection, the social scene is better there, less dominated by frats.  I think the lack of big time college sports can be a plus or minus depending on one's disposition.

Overall, the education received at both will be good to excellent.  Both make good quality engineers with lots of potential for grad work if desired.  CMU might be better for training for grad school and GT might be better for training to go directly into the workforce, but it's splitting hairs a bit.

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2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I haven't updated in a while.  My kid has basically narrowed it down to two choices - Washington U. in St. Louis or UC San Diego.  He's leaning towards Wash. U. but has never seen it.  He's going out there in a couple weeks -- if he likes it he'll go there, if he doesn't like it he'll go to UC San Diego (which he has already seen and he liked).

Don't remember if there's a major picked yet, but I went to grad school in architecture with some Wash U grads who were all really smart and talented architects coming out of undergrad. Fwiw...

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37 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

Don't remember if there's a major picked yet, but I went to grad school in architecture with some Wash U grads who were all really smart and talented architects coming out of undergrad. Fwiw...

He’s admitted to the Engineering School, but I do think one appeal of the school is that there are a lot of smart and talented kids doing different stuff.

 

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On 3/25/2021 at 11:11 AM, scorchy said:

Son and I visited Macalester last week on our midwest college road trip and it came off really well - felt like an almost ideal location in St Paul.  However, he's pretty much decided that a small LAC most likely isn't for him.  In context though, both of us strongly preferred Mac to Carleton, where he didn't really like the campus or the "feel" and had a very negative reaction to Northfield.  It's gonna be interesting to see if his thoughts on LACs change when he visits Middlebury, which is isolated like Carleton but I'm guessing has a totally different campus vibe than both Minnesota schools.

My daughter is a junior at Carleton and has had a great experience there.  She knew she wanted a small LAC and had Macalester high on her list too but had the exact opposite feel for the two locations that your son did.  She enjoys the small town vibe of Northfield with the Cities just 45 minutes away.   I assume the campus visit was recent and thus it was essentially on lockdown due to the pandemic---in normal times it's much different, but, still in Northfield :lol: .

Both great schools but not if the small libs are not for him.  Best of luck in his search!  

My wife and I really enjoyed those college search years with our daughters.

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My daughter got a great email yesterday from UC Davis about their ability to accommodate her life-threatening food allergies, and their experience doing so with other students.  I kept telling her they would be able to and had lots of kids like her, but it sure means a lot more for the school to tell her that.  

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Anyone willing to guess what college admissions and financial aid looks like in a dozen years or so?

I have a matriculating kindergartner, a matriculating preschooler and a gap year preschooler (4/3/1).
Been reading this thread and a bit of the A2C subreddit and it's a heck of a lot different than I remember, even when I applied to law school in 2006. How will the world of college admissions look in 2033?

Congrats to all the parents and the kids with awesome acceptances in this thread!

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5 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

I did a ton of hiring of engineers before I retired.

All of those schools are excellent, first off.

When it comes to a job in engineering, your daughter will have a leg up to begin with because of her gender.  But if she really wants to stand out, experience is what separates young engineers who have just graduated from others. 

Do any of the schools you mentioned have a co op program?  While summer internships are nice, they pale in comparison to co op programs.

If none have co op programs then she needs to choose the one she feels the most comfortable at.  She is going to get a dynamite education at all of those schools.  To get in those schools she is clearly n excellent student.

Thanks. I don't know much about co op programs...taking a quick look, I see that CMU and GA Tech both seem to have highly rated co op programs, so something to investigate more

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1 hour ago, SFBayDuck said:

My daughter got a great email yesterday from UC Davis about their ability to accommodate her life-threatening food allergies, and their experience doing so with other students.  I kept telling her they would be able to and had lots of kids like her, but it sure means a lot more for the school to tell her that.  

:pickle:

 

:oldunsure:

...unless she's allergic to dancing pickles.

Great news! Do you think it'll be Davis?

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5 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I haven't updated in a while.  My kid has basically narrowed it down to two choices - Washington U. in St. Louis or UC San Diego.  He's leaning towards Wash. U. but has never seen it.  He's going out there in a couple weeks -- if he likes it he'll go there, if he doesn't like it he'll go to UC San Diego (which he has already seen and he liked).

This is a weird year - I now know of three kids - all smart, and from different parts of the country (none from California) who have been accepted to, and are strongly considering, UC San Diego.  I am quite certain I new nothing of the school before this year.

 

Best of luck to Peter in his choice!

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1 hour ago, El Floppo said:

:pickle:

 

:oldunsure:

...unless she's allergic to dancing pickles.

Great news! Do you think it'll be Davis?

Thanks, gb. I’ve thought for awhile now the odds were like 70% Davis, 25% St Mary’s, 5% the field. I think this email and the confirmation it hopefully gives her that she’d be safe there might officially put it over the top. 

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15 hours ago, Gawain said:

Anyone willing to guess what college admissions and financial aid looks like in a dozen years or so?

Wait five years and check back in.  I'd expect really big changes to be underway.

Some events/changes that I think are likely along the way:

  • a number of well regarded schools going bankrupt and shutting down
  • much more acceptance of non-traditional college experiences (such as bootcamps, community colleges, work/school combination programs) by companies looking to hire people
  • some schools completely eliminating test scores as part of acceptance process, while a few may move towards using some sort of test (probably something resembling AP tests more than SAT/ACH) as the sole or primary criteria
  • much more widely available alternate funding methods, such as income share agreements and companies funding promising candidates
  • some schools shifting analytics focus from maximizing traditional school rankings to maximizing success
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2 hours ago, zoobird said:
  • much more widely available alternate funding methods, such as income share agreements and companies funding promising candidates
  • some schools shifting analytics focus from maximizing traditional school rankings to maximizing success

These are very interesting and not something I've heard much about.  Any links to articles about this?

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2 hours ago, zoobird said:

some schools completely eliminating test scores as part of acceptance process, while a few may move towards using some sort of test (probably something resembling AP tests more than SAT/ACH) as the sole or primary criteria

I think some schools have already done this - even prior to the pandemic - maybe the California schools?

 

On the other hand, MIT released this earlier this week:

I am writing to announce that, due to the ongoing pandemic, our office will again suspendour usual SAT/ACT testing requirement for next year’s application cycle.

We have described this policy as a "suspension" of our testing requirement, rather than as us being "test-optional," because the latter term implies we are agnostic as to whether a student who has taken the exams should submit their scores; as stated above, we encourage students to send scores if they have them, because they help us make better decisions. However, given the disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic, we cannot and will not require them for an application to be considered.⁠back to text

While — as the pandemic has repeatedly taught us — we can't know what the future holds, we do expect to return to requiring the SAT/ACT once it is possible for everyone to take them safely.⁠back to text

 

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6 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

I think some schools have already done this - even prior to the pandemic - maybe the California schools?

 

On the other hand, MIT released this earlier this week:

I am writing to announce that, due to the ongoing pandemic, our office will again suspendour usual SAT/ACT testing requirement for next year’s application cycle.

We have described this policy as a "suspension" of our testing requirement, rather than as us being "test-optional," because the latter term implies we are agnostic as to whether a student who has taken the exams should submit their scores; as stated above, we encourage students to send scores if they have them, because they help us make better decisions. However, given the disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic, we cannot and will not require them for an application to be considered.⁠back to text

While — as the pandemic has repeatedly taught us — we can't know what the future holds, we do expect to return to requiring the SAT/ACT once it is possible for everyone to take them safely.⁠back to text

 

With that communication, if I’m applying, I’m doing everything I can to take a test and get a good score. 

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10 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

With that communication, if I’m applying, I’m doing everything I can to take a test and get a good score. 

Agreed.  I think it also puts pressure on AP test scores if you don't have SAT/ACT.

In the podcast I like somewhere above - they had a Yale admissions officer who essentially said the same thing.  So my sense is that most "highly competitive" schools* will continue to support the standardized testing, while schools lower on the food chain will be test-optional - in the hopes of getting more students to apply.

 

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3 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

These are very interesting and not something I've heard much about.  Any links to articles about this?

Googling 'income share agreements' or 'ISA' should have some useful results.  They've mostly been used for boot camps and that type of thing, but I believe that Purdue has (or at least, had) some kind of arrangement they were offering. 

Basic idea is, you don't pay anything up front, and then for the first x years where your salary exceed some threshhold, you have to pay y% of salary.  But if you aren't earning the threshhold, you don't have to pay anything.

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2 hours ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Great news: daughter's university will allow each graduate to bring two guests to the in-person commencement ceremony! 

That's cool.  We're just thrilled our daughter's school recently announced their plans for an in-person ceremony at all, even if it is only for the students. 

Can't believe she graduates in under two months...

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2 hours ago, Fear The Turtle said:

Great news: daughter's university will allow each graduate to bring two guests to the in-person commencement ceremony! 

Louisville is going to be held outside at Cardinal Stadium. They are splitting things up with 3 different ceremonies. Each student is allowed up to 6 guests I believe. 

Crazy was in this thread since they were in high school and the college selection process and now the oldest is graduating. 

Man, I'm getting old. 

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:35 PM, Gamma1210 said:

Hey Smack, I'm sure I'll miss some things but here we go. 

For the merit, think I was around the same 30-40%, although it was cheaper then. Everything is negotiable, but I know this is a strange year with applications way up. I think it makes sense to have the conversation, it's a small school and admissions getting to know you and your son is not a bad thing. 

 

I did not do the 5 yr co-op, but I wish I did. Almost all of my friends did in a variety of majors. If I remember, you tell them you are interested now, then you apply freshman year, and its mostly just a quick interview. If he is going MechE, they have a ton of connections in the area to help get his foot in the door. It's as much about learning what you don't like as it is leveraging it for a job post graduation. MechE is a very broad field, does he know what he wants to do in it? The co-ops will help with all of that. Since most students do it there, the weird schedule will feel normal. There will be classes over the summer, co-ops in the fall, etc. Another plus is that you get one free class per co-op. If he may want a masters, between the free classes and taking extra classes (he'll have to work his ### off), he could end up with a masters in those 5 years for free too. 

I need to run, but I'll add more later. 

A few more things. 

As for ROI and debt, I was lucky and did not have much when I left, but others did, and its individual but Stevens placement in the area is excellent, but I can understand that is a sticking point, especially if he may want to work in other parts of the country. It may be better now, but the Stevens name is most known in the northeast, as are most of their industry connections. 

One downside of an engineering school is lack of diversity in majors if he decides engineering isn't the right fit. I had friends who decided they wanted to teach, they had to transfer at that point since the major isn't offered vs a larger school with most options. That really depends how much he thinks he wants to be in the field. 

Location is obviously nice, close to the city and Hoboken is a really nice town. Although if he wants to live off campus that can be an additional cost vs other schools. I'm happy to talk vis PM or phone call if you want to get into more detailed questions. 

 

 

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On 4/7/2021 at 11:47 AM, SFBayDuck said:

My daughter got a great email yesterday from UC Davis about their ability to accommodate her life-threatening food allergies, and their experience doing so with other students.  I kept telling her they would be able to and had lots of kids like her, but it sure means a lot more for the school to tell her that.  

She had a great call with the contact at Davis about their accommodations, and came away saying to me, "Dad, I can eat anything I want."  They have a separate food prep area for kids with allergies, a dedicated chef, and she can schedule/text/request in an app what she wants for each meal and pick it up and eat with all the other kids.  Such a relief.  Meanwhile at St. Mary's the contact "joked" to her, "sounds like you'll have to eat steamed veggies every meal."  That didn't land well.

So last night I got to watch her, via Zoom, click the Accept button on the Davis admissions portal!

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34 minutes ago, SFBayDuck said:

So last night I got to watch her, via Zoom, click the Accept button on the Davis admissions portal!

Congrats on having survived the process. :thumbup:

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3 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

She had a great call with the contact at Davis about their accommodations, and came away saying to me, "Dad, I can eat anything I want."  They have a separate food prep area for kids with allergies, a dedicated chef, and she can schedule/text/request in an app what she wants for each meal and pick it up and eat with all the other kids.  Such a relief.  Meanwhile at St. Mary's the contact "joked" to her, "sounds like you'll have to eat steamed veggies every meal."  That didn't land well.

So last night I got to watch her, via Zoom, click the Accept button on the Davis admissions portal!

So happy for you guys... Amazing and huge news! 

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1 minute ago, El Floppo said:

So happy for you guys... Amazing and huge news! 

Thanks gb.  Financial aid package has to be clarified since my ex screwed up her FAFSA submission, but assuming it doesn't change the current offer more than 20% or so we're going to be in good shape there, too.  

She's been so stressed about this whole thing, she was crying last night while I was saying "sounds like you know what you want to do, just do it!".  I could see the release when she clicked that button.  I'm just happy she'll be able to unwind a bit now, and focus on enjoying the rest of her senior year (last football game against Redwood this Saturday!).

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On 12/18/2020 at 9:30 AM, brettdj said:

May as well throw my story in.

Daughter is looking for vet school.  So far she is accepted to Mississippi State, Mizzou, and Kansas State.  Still waiting for Purdue, Maryland and St. Georges.

She still needs to apply to the early Vet programs and that will make the final decisions.  Miss St, KSU and Mizzou have given scholarships to keep the out of state tuition down to in-state levels.

She has choices for the Early Vet program.  She will pick between Mizzou and Miss St.  She has a little more than a week to make that choice.

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Done deal, kid is heading to UVM. While it feels a little weird to pass up Top 40 schools like Tulane or BU for one that's not in the Top 100, it's where my kid wants to go and is excited to be. I believe that's the real key for success (especially with this kid), rather than the name of the school. 

And it's the one school that's going to be essentially free for us, which - not going to lie - is going to have some very positive impacts on my life. 

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15 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Done deal, kid is heading to UVM. While it feels a little weird to pass up Top 40 schools like Tulane or BU for one that's not in the Top 100, it's where my kid wants to go and is excited to be. I believe that's the real key for success (especially with this kid), rather than the name of the school. 

And it's the one school that's going to be essentially free for us, which - not going to lie - is going to have some very positive impacts on my life. 

Sounds like the best choice for all involved (especially the bolded) - congrats! 

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31 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Done deal, kid is heading to UVM. While it feels a little weird to pass up Top 40 schools like Tulane or BU for one that's not in the Top 100, it's where my kid wants to go and is excited to be. I believe that's the real key for success (especially with this kid), rather than the name of the school. 

And it's the one school that's going to be essentially free for us, which - not going to lie - is going to have some very positive impacts on my life. 

Awesome news. Congratulations!!

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35 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Done deal, kid is heading to UVM. While it feels a little weird to pass up Top 40 schools like Tulane or BU for one that's not in the Top 100, it's where my kid wants to go and is excited to be. I believe that's the real key for success (especially with this kid), rather than the name of the school. 

And it's the one school that's going to be essentially free for us, which - not going to lie - is going to have some very positive impacts on my life. 

A good fit for the kid and free for the parent!  Sounds good to me!  Congrats!

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Any 529 Plan experts in here?  I see that you can use up to $10,000 per beneficiary to pay off student loan debt.  What if the beneficiary has two separate 529 Plans, one from each (divorced) parent?  Is it still $10,000 total, or $20,000?

Once UC Davis updates their financial aid offer, which will include some loans, we'll need to decide which loans to accept.  My initial thought is to take at least any subsidized loans offered, since they don't accrue interest while she is in school, even if we could afford to pay that amount now.  I want to plan out how we'll use 529 funds, in a way that gives us the most flexibility and ability to absorb anything like a job loss or reduction in income over the next 4 years.  For example if we could afford to pay as we go and push off using 529 funds until her senior year and then use the rest to pay off any loans she's taken, that would give us that backstop.  It would also possibly give us the flexibility to hold on to the funds for graduate school, if she decides to go that route.

Am I thinking about this the right way?

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Turns out UVM charges a $495 acceptance fee - it's not a deposit against freshman tuition, it's literally a onetime fee you pay when you sign up to attend. Guess it's not going to be entirely free after all LOL

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So what's the best route for student loans? I see my credit union offers student loans. I guess I can shop around at various banks? Parent Plus loans don't sound like a great deal.

I don't have a full plan yet, but I think right now I'm leaning towards us (parents) paying a portion of my daughter's bill through monthly payment plans and then rest being on her through loans.

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On 4/14/2021 at 7:14 AM, SFBayDuck said:

She had a great call with the contact at Davis about their accommodations, and came away saying to me, "Dad, I can eat anything I want."  They have a separate food prep area for kids with allergies, a dedicated chef, and she can schedule/text/request in an app what she wants for each meal and pick it up and eat with all the other kids.  Such a relief.  Meanwhile at St. Mary's the contact "joked" to her, "sounds like you'll have to eat steamed veggies every meal."  That didn't land well.

So last night I got to watch her, via Zoom, click the Accept button on the Davis admissions portal!

Jeebus I have a lump in my throat. Congratulations to her, you and your family. Great accomplishment! And GO AGS!

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4 hours ago, dgreen said:

So what's the best route for student loans? I see my credit union offers student loans. I guess I can shop around at various banks? Parent Plus loans don't sound like a great deal.

I don't have a full plan yet, but I think right now I'm leaning towards us (parents) paying a portion of my daughter's bill through monthly payment plans and then rest being on her through loans.

No matter who is paying for them the best rates, flexible re-pay plans, and potential for forgiveness is through your child borrowing. Exhaust that eligibility before anything else and hopefully more isn't needed.

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9 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

No matter who is paying for them the best rates, flexible re-pay plans, and potential for forgiveness is through your child borrowing. Exhaust that eligibility before anything else and hopefully more isn't needed.

Do you just mean that her name is on the loan? I assume my name with have the be on it too, right? So don’t get a loan in just my name?

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Just now, dgreen said:

Do you just mean that her name is on the loan? I assume my name with have the be on it too, right? So don’t get a loan in just my name?

Most govt student loans do not require a co signor, so it'd be just her. The school will coordinate with her after her fafsa is processed about that option. Assuming she elects to take some portion of them she will need to go through entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note (takes a couple hours). Co-signors are only needed if pursuing private lending and in some cases parent plus loans. IIRC annual eligibility for a freshman is 5500, sophomore 6500, junior plus 7500, and a student can't run out of borrowing eligibility until sometime in year 5.

**important note- I'm not aware any of the above has changed the last few years, but I no longer work directly with this process anymore so if I got something wrong I apologize 

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40 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

Most govt student loans do not require a co signor, so it'd be just her. The school will coordinate with her after her fafsa is processed about that option. Assuming she elects to take some portion of them she will need to go through entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note (takes a couple hours). Co-signors are only needed if pursuing private lending and in some cases parent plus loans. IIRC annual eligibility for a freshman is 5500, sophomore 6500, junior plus 7500, and a student can't run out of borrowing eligibility until sometime in year 5.

**important note- I'm not aware any of the above has changed the last few years, but I no longer work directly with this process anymore so if I got something wrong I apologize 

We’ve done fafsa. The school sent me an email about applying for parent plus loan. But I guess I don’t get why I’m applying for that when I don’t even know how much things are going to cost and I haven’t seen anything about my daughter getting a federal loan. I don’t even know if I want a parent plus loan. The email says if I’m denied then they’ll start the process for unsubsidized federal loans? I guess I need to talk to the school. I don’t know the process or what step we are on right now. 

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Just now, dgreen said:

We’ve done fafsa. The school sent me an email about applying for parent plus loan. But I guess I don’t get why I’m applying for that when I don’t even know how much things are going to cost and I haven’t seen anything about my daughter getting a federal loan. I don’t even know if I want a parent plus loan. The email says if I’m denied then they’ll start the process for unsubsidized federal loans? I guess I need to talk to the school. I don’t know the process or what step we are on right now. 

The parent plus loan app process is very fast. If you have bad credit then you could be denied and that increases your child's borrowing eligibility, but the feds standards are quite low. If you have even just mediocre credit you'll probably be approved for far more than you need. You also aren't bound to taking them after you apply either - you can adjust the borrowing amount as long as your child is enrolled. And it's year-to-year, so you can opt not to borrow this year but borrow next year, vice versa, or any other combination. 

That said, I wouldn't worry about the plus loan in April. Your kid's school probably doesn't have any payment deadlines until August so I wouldn't worry about that until at least June. Hopefully you'll have firm numbers by then then can make better informed decisions. 

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Not sure if this is common knowledge, but since it seems like a lot of you also have kids who will major in engineering, my daughter has been researching whether schools with a requirement of 3 years of Spanish in high school REALLY require it, and the answer in most cases is that they don't.  I can provide specifics for a bunch of schools, but it appears that in most cases, they're fine with applicants who took two years as long as they took something else worthwhile instead.  In some cases that's specific to engineering majors, in others cases it appears to be general.

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Well, my youngest applied to study astrophysics (or astronomy) at a number of big schools....  Univ Colorado Boulder, Michigan State, Washington, Penn State, UMass Amherst, and U California at Santa Cruz.  She was accepted everywhere she applied.  Now for the killer....  she could have gone to UMass Amherst and paid in-state tuition, but she thinks the school is a party school and she's not a party girl, so she didn't want to go there, which kills me.  No, she wants University of California Santa Cruz.  UCSC.  We just paid the $412 acceptance fee.  We'll be paying out-of-state tuition to go there.  Hope it was a good decision.  

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3 minutes ago, johnnycakes said:

Well, my youngest applied to study astrophysics (or astronomy) at a number of big schools....  Univ Colorado Boulder, Michigan State, Washington, Penn State, UMass Amherst, and U California at Santa Cruz.  She was accepted everywhere she applied.  Now for the killer....  she could have gone to UMass Amherst and paid in-state tuition, but she thinks the school is a party school and she's not a party girl, so she didn't want to go there, which kills me.  No, she wants University of California Santa Cruz.  UCSC.  We just paid the $412 acceptance fee.  We'll be paying out-of-state tuition to go there.  Hope it was a good decision.  

We visited the campus last month, pretty cool up on the hill there with views of the Pacific from some spots.  Congrats!

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8 minutes ago, johnnycakes said:

Well, my youngest applied to study astrophysics (or astronomy) at a number of big schools....  Univ Colorado Boulder, Michigan State, Washington, Penn State, UMass Amherst, and U California at Santa Cruz.  She was accepted everywhere she applied.  Now for the killer....  she could have gone to UMass Amherst and paid in-state tuition, but she thinks the school is a party school and she's not a party girl, so she didn't want to go there, which kills me.  No, she wants University of California Santa Cruz.  UCSC.  We just paid the $412 acceptance fee.  We'll be paying out-of-state tuition to go there.  Hope it was a good decision.  

Congrats to your daughter on her perfect acceptance rate!  I think she’ll love UCSC. Besides, she gets to be a banana slug! 

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4 hours ago, zoobird said:

Not sure if this is common knowledge, but since it seems like a lot of you also have kids who will major in engineering, my daughter has been researching whether schools with a requirement of 3 years of Spanish in high school REALLY require it, and the answer in most cases is that they don't.  I can provide specifics for a bunch of schools, but it appears that in most cases, they're fine with applicants who took two years as long as they took something else worthwhile instead.  In some cases that's specific to engineering majors, in others cases it appears to be general.

Somewhat related, my son applied to engineering and only had two years of language in high school (Latin 2 and 3).  However, a reference to Latin 1, which he took in eighth grade, was included on his transcript, so we felt like that was enough to address the 3-year requirement, even though it sounds like it’s not actually a requirement.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Copied from another board:

 

A lot of junior parents are coming here and asking about "test optional" next year. This morning, an excerpt from Jeff Solingo's monthly email:

By the numbers: In general, my discussions with deans at about a dozen selective colleges over the last few weeks found that about half of their applicant pools applied without test scores.

In every case I heard so far, students with test scores got accepted more often. In some cases, the admit rate was twice as high for students with test scores vs. those without.

Emory: Admit rate 17% (with tests) vs. 8.6% (without tests)

Colgate: 25% (w/tests) vs. 12% (w/o tests)

Georgia Tech: 22% (w/tests) vs. 10% (w/o tests)

Vanderbilt: 7.2% (w/tests) vs. 6% (w/o tests)

Bottom line: For students from the Class of 2022 who are applying to schools without a long history of test-optional admissions, it’s best to have a test score if it will help your overall case.

 

I think many schools are continuing the test-optional period for next year - so this is somewhat relevant.  I do think the admissions rates are a little self-fulfilling - if you tested well, you were probably more likely to submit those test scores (so you might expect those kids to have a higher admit rate with or without tests)

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12 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

 I do think the admissions rates are a little self-fulfilling - if you tested well, you were probably more likely to submit those test scores (so you might expect those kids to have a higher admit rate with or without tests)

My takeaway from this is a bit different overall, and focuses on your comment about the self-fulfilling nature of this.  While I agree that kids who can score well should take the tests, I also think this is really hurting them.  Previously, those who would have scored low were likely getting in at a far lower rate to many of these schools than the rates for the 'no test' kids now, and I suspect that those who scored well were probably getting in at a higher rate than the current test submitters.

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