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6 minutes ago, Yankee23Fan said:

I haven't posted much in here, but I've been reading everything.

My oldest just accepted his offer to his second choice. It was a very close second so no disappointment. And we just received his acceptance into Honors College program which means..... my son will be in New Zealand for 5 months starting in January.

New Zealand.

I guess I better do the good dad thing and make sure he has seen the Hobbit movies. 

Is he attending a university in NZ? Are they actually going to let people into the country? I heard they were very strict about letting foreigners in due to covid. 

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13 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Is he attending a university in NZ? Are they actually going to let people into the country? I heard they were very strict about letting foreigners in due to covid. 

No school here. This program sends them overseas for a semester.  Should be this fall but they backed it up for covid.  He will have to be vaccinated. 

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2 hours ago, Yankee23Fan said:

I haven't posted much in here, but I've been reading everything.

My oldest just accepted his offer to his second choice. It was a very close second so no disappointment. And we just received his acceptance into Honors College program which means..... my son will be in New Zealand for 5 months starting in January.

New Zealand.

I guess I better do the good dad thing and make sure he has seen the Hobbit movies. 

That is super cool!

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Doing some back-of--napkin math here...

Using Georgia Tech's numbers since they're in middle-ish of the four schools listed above.  Looks like the average accepted SAT score in recent years has been about 1400. 

Assuming that all schools follow the pattern of 'about half submit submit scores', and if we assume that generally the higher half of scores are submitted, the average applicant's score would tell us the cutoff where scores are generally submitted or not.

My guess for Georgia Tech would be that that number is around 1250 - good, but not as good as the average accepted student.

So we "know" that 10% of students below 1250 are now getting in, while 22% of students above 1250 are getting in.

But since the school has the actual scores for all students over 1250, they're presumably still considering those scores pretty heavily among that group.  

So if we assume an even-ish distribution of scores, that might look something like:

1510+: 35%

1420-1510: 28%

1330-1420: 15%

1240-1330: 10%

If those assumptions are right, then fatguyinalittlecoat's strategy is about right, although not too damaging for those who are making the mistake of submitting without really exceptional scores.

Same exercise for Vanderbilt is ugly.

Average SAT is 1500.  Let's assume that the average applicant gets a 1300.

6% of students below 1300 are getting in.

7% above 1300 are getting in.  Distribution like this looks plausible...

1550-1600: 15%

1500-1550: 10%

1450-1500: 8%

1400-1450:4%

1350-140: 3%

1300-1350: 2%

If that's anywhere near right, those who don't follow fatguyinalittlecoat's strategy are making a huge mistake by submitting their scores.  It's almost impossible to make the math work either - if you want to bump up the percentages for 1300-1450 scorers, then you need to lower the percentages for those from 1450-1600...so at that point, you're saying that as long as you score above a 1300, it doesn't really matter what your score is (and that above 1300 is still barely better than below 1300).

 

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22 hours ago, Yankee23Fan said:

I haven't posted much in here, but I've been reading everything.

My oldest just accepted his offer to his second choice. It was a very close second so no disappointment. And we just received his acceptance into Honors College program which means..... my son will be in New Zealand for 5 months starting in January.

New Zealand.

I guess I better do the good dad thing and make sure he has seen the Hobbit movies. 

I’m fairly certain that this person going to college was the inspiration for my long-ago-banned “Yankee23Fan’s Baby” alias.

We are all so old.

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1 hour ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I’m fairly certain that this person going to college was the inspiration for my long-ago-banned “Yankee23Fan’s Baby” alias.

We are all so old.

Yup

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Posted (edited)
On 4/30/2021 at 7:32 PM, Yankee23Fan said:

I haven't posted much in here, but I've been reading everything.

My oldest just accepted his offer to his second choice. It was a very close second so no disappointment. And we just received his acceptance into Honors College program which means..... my son will be in New Zealand for 5 months starting in January.

New Zealand.

I guess I better do the good dad thing and make sure he has seen the Hobbit movies. 

All or Nothing: New Zealand All Blacks. On Netflix or Amazon Prime, I think. If he becomes a fan, lucky him. Great sport, great sportsmanship. Probably should be a pre-req before entering the country.

ETA: Great show too.

Edited by ⚡DEADHEAD⚡
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brohans say a little angel that i care about was starting high school next year she is a straight a honor society kid in jr high and does all sorts of sports and what should she do to really make sure she has a good college application in a few years like what type of clubs and test classes should she take what would buff up her application the best so i can tell her parents and try to get r dun thank you bromigos take that to the bank

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10 minutes ago, SWC said:

brohans say a little angel that i care about was starting high school next year she is a straight a honor society kid in jr high and does all sorts of sports and what should she do to really make sure she has a good college application in a few years like what type of clubs and test classes should she take what would buff up her application the best so i can tell her parents and try to get r dun thank you bromigos take that to the bank

 

I think this is generally good advice no matter which bank she eventually wants to attend:

 

 

On 12/12/2020 at 7:59 AM, 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.

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Too lazy to scroll back and quote Sinn Fein's original post, but I feel like while the following is great advice, it needs some elaboration to work for most kids...

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.”

The problem is...how many 9th graders know what their passion is?  For that matter, what about people who simply don't develop one thing that they're passionate about?

My thoughts on this: instead of worrying about guessing at a passion in 9th grade and building a hook around, kids should take some existing interest and come up with a series of small projects that will develop potentially useful skills while 'testing' what they like and don't like.  And if a kid doesn't have any obvious interests, suggest some area of focus for them to start out with, with the understanding that they simply pursue it until they find something they like better.

Depending on the kid and the subject matter, you may need to provide a fair amount of guidance or not.

For example, let's say a kid is interested in fashion, but not much else.  You could start them out with a series of small projects around that...

  • Research free online fashion design software and try out the different products
  • See what fashion design competitions are available to kids
  • Read some articles about the fashion design business and answer some thought provoking questions about them
  • Find some designers on Instagram and reach out to them with some questions about how they got started and what their jobs are like

At this point, they've learned some research and networking skills that can apply to anything.

Let's say they're super-inspired at this point and think they want to become a designer.  Give them some short term goals, maybe...

  • Build a website and use the software they researched to make at least three designs to use as a portfolio
  • Take one of those three designs and enter it in a competition
  • Take another of those designs and send it to one of the Instagram designers with some specific questions they're looking for feedback on
  • Research what would be involved in actually creating the clothing they designed

Also give them some ideas of longer-term goals they could eventually start working towards...

  • Starting an online fashion business
  • Winning design competitions
  • Interning at a fashion business
  • Organize a fashion show

I think you can take this general approach with almost any topic.  The key is using small steps along the way to learn reusable skills and that the later steps building on earlier steps to give them more confidence, more knowledge and more credentials.

And if they decide partway through that fashion design sucks, that's not really a problem.  The example above could have veered off into new focus areas that built on what they've already done, like:

  • Website design
  • Online marketing
  • Video production
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My son chose Stevens. He’s happy with his decision and I’m glad he’s staying close to home. 

Him being our first child to go off to college we were completely unprepared for the entire process. Not sure how you can prepare for something like that? Having just gone through it with him we will be more then ready for the next two.

This thread was super helpful - thank you all for contributing and answering all the odd questions I threw out there.

Special thanks to @Gamma1210 - was nice to chat with someone here that actually went to the school - I really appreciate it.

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22 minutes ago, =Smackdown= said:

My son chose Stevens. He’s happy with his decision and I’m glad he’s staying close to home. 

Him being our first child to go off to college we were completely unprepared for the entire process. Not sure how you can prepare for something like that? Having just gone through it with him we will be more then ready for the next two.

This thread was super helpful - thank you all for contributing and answering all the odd questions I threw out there.

Special thanks to @Gamma1210 - was nice to chat with someone here that actually went to the school - I really appreciate it.

Congratulations!  Amazing school!!  Best of luck to your son. 

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On 5/3/2021 at 4:30 AM, zoobird said:

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.”

The problem is...how many 9th graders know what their passion is?  For that matter, what about people who simply don't develop one thing that they're passionate about?

A couple of thoughts here:

I think most 9th graders can tell you what they are passionate about.

This was the exact quote: "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."

 

Its not about having an "intellectual" passion - its about finding something you like, and really digging into that.

 

Its also not about having a life-long, or even high school long passion.  Maybe as a freshman you have a passion for astronomy, so you join the astronomy club, and become engaged.  Then, in your sophomore year, its an election year, and you get really involved in Young Democrats/Republicans and immerse yourself in that club.  And, then maybe that sparks an interest in public speaking/debate, which you take up your junior year. etc.

 

The idea here, is find something you naturally enjoy doing - and get involved (for highly selective schools, they will want to see you move into a leadership role in some capacity) - but whatever it is you enjoy - that becomes your "hook" about how you, as an individual, are different than someone else who has the same grades/tests.  

If you do "something" just to do it - you are not going to put in the same energy you would if its something you really enjoy.

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

A couple of thoughts here:

I think most 9th graders can tell you what they are passionate about.

This was the exact quote: "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."

 

Its not about having an "intellectual" passion - its about finding something you like, and really digging into that.

 

Its also not about having a life-long, or even high school long passion.  Maybe as a freshman you have a passion for astronomy, so you join the astronomy club, and become engaged.  Then, in your sophomore year, its an election year, and you get really involved in Young Democrats/Republicans and immerse yourself in that club.  And, then maybe that sparks an interest in public speaking/debate, which you take up your junior year. etc.

 

The idea here, is find something you naturally enjoy doing - and get involved (for highly selective schools, they will want to see you move into a leadership role in some capacity) - but whatever it is you enjoy - that becomes your "hook" about how you, as an individual, are different than someone else who has the same grades/tests.  

If you do "something" just to do it - you are not going to put in the same energy you would if its something you really enjoy.

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On 3/10/2021 at 10:31 AM, General Malaise said:

Gonna come down to University of Puget Sound, Western Washington and Oregon.  Puget Sound came in with a very competitive aid package.  Visiting PS and WWU in April and feel fortunate to have guided tours for both campuses.  Will spend a couple of days in Bellingham.  

Now I just need to hit the lottery.

Post-script here:  

Western Washington is a hidden jewel of a university.  I was blown away by the campus and the city of Bellingham.  That's a city on the come for sure.  Campus backs up against an arboretum with giant pines and 12 miles of hiking trails.  In front of it and with incredible views from good elevation is the Bellingham Bay.  Interactive works of art interspersed around the campus and we saw bald eagles soar overhead.  Just spectacular.  I may go back there and get that elusive MBA.  ;)

Puget Sound was cool and the surrounding area of Tacoma was full of gorgeous homes, but it just didn't move the needle and while I'm sure he would have been happy there, I think he made the right choice in the end.

GO DUCKS!!!!!   Now, my friends can't make fun of me for wearing so much Oregon gear because I didn't go there.  Suck it, haters!  Putting in an order for a Ducks' Dad Visor now.  

 

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33 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

Post-script here:  

Western Washington is a hidden jewel of a university.  I was blown away by the campus and the city of Bellingham.  That's a city on the come for sure.  Campus backs up against an arboretum with giant pines and 12 miles of hiking trails.  In front of it and with incredible views from good elevation is the Bellingham Bay.  Interactive works of art interspersed around the campus and we saw bald eagles soar overhead.  Just spectacular.  I may go back there and get that elusive MBA.  ;)

Puget Sound was cool and the surrounding area of Tacoma was full of gorgeous homes, but it just didn't move the needle and while I'm sure he would have been happy there, I think he made the right choice in the end.

GO DUCKS!!!!!   Now, my friends can't make fun of me for wearing so much Oregon gear because I didn't go there.  Suck it, haters!  Putting in an order for a Ducks' Dad Visor now.  

 

Nice, and congrats to your boy!  Now that I've moved back to Eugene we'll have to meet up at a tailgate in the fall!

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21 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

A couple of thoughts here:

I think most 9th graders can tell you what they are passionate about.

This was the exact quote: "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."

 

Its not about having an "intellectual" passion - its about finding something you like, and really digging into that.

 

Its also not about having a life-long, or even high school long passion.  Maybe as a freshman you have a passion for astronomy, so you join the astronomy club, and become engaged.  Then, in your sophomore year, its an election year, and you get really involved in Young Democrats/Republicans and immerse yourself in that club.  And, then maybe that sparks an interest in public speaking/debate, which you take up your junior year. etc.

 

The idea here, is find something you naturally enjoy doing - and get involved (for highly selective schools, they will want to see you move into a leadership role in some capacity) - but whatever it is you enjoy - that becomes your "hook" about how you, as an individual, are different than someone else who has the same grades/tests.  

If you do "something" just to do it - you are not going to put in the same energy you would if its something you really enjoy.

This sounds good but a lot of 9th graders have a passion for playing video games or watching TikTok and YouTube videos.  Not sure that’s a really effective  strategy to get into MIT.

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11 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

This sounds good but a lot of 9th graders have a passion for playing video games or watching TikTok and YouTube videos.  Not sure that’s a really effective  strategy to get into MIT.

But they'd be applying sideways- its a slam dunk.

 

 

And for some reason italicizing that made me think of this

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26 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

This sounds good but a lot of 9th graders have a passion for playing video games or watching TikTok and YouTube videos.  Not sure that’s a really effective  strategy to get into MIT.

If they use that passion for video games as a base for learning to program games, getting hundreds of thousands of followers on their Twitch streams or TikTok accounts, etc. then I think it still can be an effective strategy (although definitely a common enough path that they'll really need to do a lot to differentiate themselves).

I think the key is really to just keep building on whatever they're interested in, or trying a variety of things to find new interests that they can build on.

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24 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

This sounds good but a lot of 9th graders have a passion for playing video games or watching TikTok and YouTube videos.  Not sure that’s a really effective  strategy to get into MIT.

I actually disagree.

(assuming they do the other parts also)

 

The examples he gave included napping, baking, and hopscotch.  This aspect is not about doing something intellectual - that is done in the classroom.  Its about immersing yourself in something, and being able to distinguish your self. Sure, if you have no motivation other than watching TikTok, you are not getting into MIT.  But, if you become a content creator, and develop a large following - that is something MIT would take into account - that shows a level of initiative that they would want to see.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My daughters long, mostly painful, journey ended today as she graduated.

She did not want to attend the ceremony sadly, but we did watch it online and had a few laughs. 

The last month of finals was pure hell but she got through it with flying colors and ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.93 average.

Now we enter a decompression stage and then figure out what is next :)

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43 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

My daughters long, mostly painful, journey ended today as she graduated.

She did not want to attend the ceremony sadly, but we did watch it online and had a few laughs. 

The last month of finals was pure hell but she got through it with flying colors and ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.93 average.

Now we enter a decompression stage and then figure out what is next :)

Congrats to her for the stellar grades and finishing up! And congrats to you and the Mrs for helping her get there, gb...I feel good about her finding something that will work for her.

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My son just finished his Junior year. Took our first college tour last week at Univ. South Florida in Tampa. He loved it, to say the least. He’s gotten more excited about college in the past 6 months, and I wanted to get him to see the “college life” aspect hoping it would help him to see that all of the hard work in HS can pay off in ways other than just “what am I going to major in?”. I also wanted him to see something different than University of Central Florida which is literally 5 minutes away from us. (He was looking at UCF more for it’s location than the educational fit for him) we will look at UCF, but also have plans for Florida in Gainesville, and I’ve asked him for 2 more schools to look at. And so the journey officially begins….

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2 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

My daughters long, mostly painful, journey ended today as she graduated.

She did not want to attend the ceremony sadly, but we did watch it online and had a few laughs. 

The last month of finals was pure hell but she got through it with flying colors and ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.93 average.

Now we enter a decompression stage and then figure out what is next :)

There is absolutely a career for her somewhere.  You already know this, but she's smart and talented.  She'll find her place. 

Has she tried creative writing?

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5 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

There is absolutely a career for her somewhere.  You already know this, but she's smart and talented.  She'll find her place. 

Has she tried creative writing?

thanks to you and Floppo for the kind words.

She majored in Creative Writing.   That is basically how she won her full scholarship to college as well. 

She won a nice award at college honors day (that she did not want to attend either) for one of her stories.  It even came with money (that she liked :) )

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Has she published anything or gotten aurally paid for any work?  I bet she could.  Does she have a genre she enjoys?

She writes for fanfiction magazines and regularly gets paid but the money is miniscule.  It would be more of a hobby than a job.  

Our task these next couple of years is to figure out how to turn her skills into something that can functionally be paid for.  We are never expecting her to be highly paid with her problems but we have to try and find some niche for her even if it is the equivalent of minimum wage on average.

Getting paid as a writer is near impossible.  You either win the lottery and hit it big or struggle forever.  There are ten zillion people who write and no one wants to pay for anything anymore because of how we have been trained to read everything for free online.

If my daughter did not have her specific problems, she would be near perfect as a junior editor some where to grow into a full editor and I bet with her resume/grades that is something she could land.  She has been editing adult papers online since she has been in early high school and enjoys the editing process.

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Hmmm... I think I asked this before but does she have any technical, scientific, or medical training?

I have 2 friends that have done work editing scientific papers, theses, and dissertations. One runs a small company focused on academic paper editing. Now this woman has a PhD in neuroscience, so she's got an "in" there. I'm not sure if she only hires editors with scientific degrees or general writers/editors.

The other woman is a writer and PR/Marketing person.  She got leads from various people to edit dissertations and publications for medical students. 

If she's connected to a university, perhaps this is an option for her to explore.  Maybe finding a small company that does this work and approaching them?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/10/2021 at 12:48 PM, The Z Machine said:

Did any of you guys look into attending university in Europe or Asia due to the lower tuition costs?

 

On 3/10/2021 at 1:09 PM, Fear The Turtle said:

@Bruce Dickinsonwas looking into Europe for his daughter. He had some interesting posts about it a while back.

She's made her decision.  

London School Of Economics.  

Going to take a gap year and enroll at LSE for Fall 2022.  

How we got there:
After visiting a few schools sophomore year of HS and getting an overview of the USA elite college scene, it was pretty clear overseas was going to be a better option for the kid.  There were three main reasons:
1) The kid doesn't plan on living in the USA as an adult.  There's a lot of reasons why, listing them might trigger some of the trash from the PSF to come over and start talking #### so I'll just say there are a lot of reasons and I accept her reasoning.  So, we thought it would be better for her to try an overseas school and she how she likes life in another country.  
2) The game at the USA elite colleges is too rigged towards the wealthy.  Top schools waste a lot of spots on legacies and megadonors who wouldn't have been candidates for admission otherwise.  The kid was more interested in a college environment where the admitted students were a meritocracy.  Didn't see the virtue in begging for a spot at a school where the general population has a 3-5% chance of admission but being a million-dollar donor adds a zero to those percentages.  
3) Even with overseas travel, cost at comparable overseas schools is a lot lower, and ones we inquired about were interested in grabbing a 99th percentile student from the United States.  There are even a handful of public universities in the EU who offered tuition waivers to admitted students from the USA just as they waive tuition for students from their home country.  The LSE rack rate for overseas students (variable based on exchange rates of course) is about $31K-$32K for tuition with expectation of tuition increasing 4% each year.  Housing cost about $10K-$15K depending on which house and if you have a roommate or not.  So not cheap, but still tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the top private colleges in the USA.  Thanks to a combination of a scholarship from LSE plus private awards, it's going to cost us on average about $8K-$10K per year depending on how often she comes home.  I doubt an American school in LSE's class would have gotten down even close to that.  In fact, I'd guess a single year at the best American schools the kid would have gotten into would more than the entire LSE undergraduate programme.             

COVID of course threw a wrench into these plans.  We had to cancel a trip to the EU for summer 2020 where we would have visited schools in England, Spain, Germany, and Sweden.  We had previously been to the some of the cities where schools of interest were located (London, Oxford, Cambridge, Barcelona, Madrid) but with COVID we were going to have to settle for virtual visits, applications, and interviews.  
We also, unfortunately, had to scratch Australia and New Zealand entirely.  When we inquired, schools there couldn't promise they would be able to get an American on campus in the next couple years even if the candidate was exceptional.  We didn't want to risk taking a gap year and waiting to apply, only to find out they still couldn't take Americans.  So that was disappointing, but I respect how upfront they were from the beginning.  

We've even fortunate enough to travel all over North America the last 5 years pre-COVID and went to Europe a couple times.  We've been to pretty much every big city in the USA and Canada, all over the UK and the Iberian Peninsula, plus a couple islands.  The kid's favorite places of all our visits were "beaches" and "London".  We had originally put England on the college radar to get Oxford and Cambridge in play, but then LSE emerged as a great fit for her academic interests (economics, environmental policy, maths) with the opportunity to study and live right in London.  And then when the COVID vaccines got rolled out it was clear UK universities would be accepting Americans for on-campus study, LSE was alone in the top tier.  So when the offer came in from LSE, there was screaming and joy and tears, and the kid was pretty excited too.  Got offers from a few other EU schools, but LSE said yes, the search was over and decision was made.  

LSE was really cool about the kid deferring a year.  They officially needed a letter explaining why the deferral was requested and what would be done during a gap year, but they understood why ANY admitted student might want to take a gap year right now, especially an American, and their offer and award would be waiting Fall 2022.

Not sure yet what the empty nest plans are.  My wife and I are self-employed and can work from home from pretty much any location with high-speed Internet access, by design.  We don't plan to follow the kid to London, too much pressure to also have the parents uproot their lives.  But if the kid loves it there and wants to live their as an adult, I'd be open to moving to the English countryside to keep the family closer - I don't have interest in living in the big city, but I'd enjoy one of those countryside towns where you could hop on a morning train and be in London by lunch. 

Thanks to everyone in this thread for sharing the ups and downs of their searches with their kids.  It helped us think unconventionally for our unconventional kid, and I couldn't be happier or prouder with the result.

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23 minutes ago, HarryKane09 said:

 

She's made her decision.  

London School Of Economics.  

Going to take a gap year and enroll at LSE for Fall 2022.  

How we got there:
After visiting a few schools sophomore year of HS and getting an overview of the USA elite college scene, it was pretty clear overseas was going to be a better option for the kid.  There were three main reasons:
1) The kid doesn't plan on living in the USA as an adult.  There's a lot of reasons why, listing them might trigger some of the trash from the PSF to come over and start talking #### so I'll just say there are a lot of reasons and I accept her reasoning.  So, we thought it would be better for her to try an overseas school and she how she likes life in another country.  
2) The game at the USA elite colleges is too rigged towards the wealthy.  Top schools waste a lot of spots on legacies and megadonors who wouldn't have been candidates for admission otherwise.  The kid was more interested in a college environment where the admitted students were a meritocracy.  Didn't see the virtue in begging for a spot at a school where the general population has a 3-5% chance of admission but being a million-dollar donor adds a zero to those percentages.  
3) Even with overseas travel, cost at comparable overseas schools is a lot lower, and ones we inquired about were interested in grabbing a 99th percentile student from the United States.  There are even a handful of public universities in the EU who offered tuition waivers to admitted students from the USA just as they waive tuition for students from their home country.  The LSE rack rate for overseas students (variable based on exchange rates of course) is about $31K-$32K for tuition with expectation of tuition increasing 4% each year.  Housing cost about $10K-$15K depending on which house and if you have a roommate or not.  So not cheap, but still tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the top private colleges in the USA.  Thanks to a combination of a scholarship from LSE plus private awards, it's going to cost us on average about $8K-$10K per year depending on how often she comes home.  I doubt an American school in LSE's class would have gotten down even close to that.  In fact, I'd guess a single year at the best American schools the kid would have gotten into would more than the entire LSE undergraduate programme.             

COVID of course threw a wrench into these plans.  We had to cancel a trip to the EU for summer 2020 where we would have visited schools in England, Spain, Germany, and Sweden.  We had previously been to the some of the cities where schools of interest were located (London, Oxford, Cambridge, Barcelona, Madrid) but with COVID we were going to have to settle for virtual visits, applications, and interviews.  
We also, unfortunately, had to scratch Australia and New Zealand entirely.  When we inquired, schools there couldn't promise they would be able to get an American on campus in the next couple years even if the candidate was exceptional.  We didn't want to risk taking a gap year and waiting to apply, only to find out they still couldn't take Americans.  So that was disappointing, but I respect how upfront they were from the beginning.  

We've even fortunate enough to travel all over North America the last 5 years pre-COVID and went to Europe a couple times.  We've been to pretty much every big city in the USA and Canada, all over the UK and the Iberian Peninsula, plus a couple islands.  The kid's favorite places of all our visits were "beaches" and "London".  We had originally put England on the college radar to get Oxford and Cambridge in play, but then LSE emerged as a great fit for her academic interests (economics, environmental policy, maths) with the opportunity to study and live right in London.  And then when the COVID vaccines got rolled out it was clear UK universities would be accepting Americans for on-campus study, LSE was alone in the top tier.  So when the offer came in from LSE, there was screaming and joy and tears, and the kid was pretty excited too.  Got offers from a few other EU schools, but LSE said yes, the search was over and decision was made.  

LSE was really cool about the kid deferring a year.  They officially needed a letter explaining why the deferral was requested and what would be done during a gap year, but they understood why ANY admitted student might want to take a gap year right now, especially an American, and their offer and award would be waiting Fall 2022.

Not sure yet what the empty nest plans are.  My wife and I are self-employed and can work from home from pretty much any location with high-speed Internet access, by design.  We don't plan to follow the kid to London, too much pressure to also have the parents uproot their lives.  But if the kid loves it there and wants to live their as an adult, I'd be open to moving to the English countryside to keep the family closer - I don't have interest in living in the big city, but I'd enjoy one of those countryside towns where you could hop on a morning train and be in London by lunch. 

Thanks to everyone in this thread for sharing the ups and downs of their searches with their kids.  It helped us think unconventionally for our unconventional kid, and I couldn't be happier or prouder with the result.

That is so awesome. What an amazing adventure she has in store!

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7 hours ago, HarryKane09 said:

She's made her decision.  

London School Of Economics.  

That is amazing- congrats to you, the wife and especially your daughter!

Our 8th grader (rising HS freshman) got it into his head when he first heard about the school that LSE is where hes interested in going. Hes 13, so who knows what he thinks next year...but of course now I'm interested- so I hope you keep us posted somehow about the journey for her. Ive mentioned my wife's niece in here who goes to St Andrews in Scotland. Loved it (and the parents loved not using the entire 529), and now will be going to Cambridge for graduate work (not sure what in), but had to make a tough but no-lose decision between there and LSE (furthering my interest). 

Congrats again!

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On 5/21/2021 at 9:29 PM, MindCrime said:

My son just finished his Junior year. Took our first college tour last week at Univ. South Florida in Tampa. He loved it, to say the least. He’s gotten more excited about college in the past 6 months, and I wanted to get him to see the “college life” aspect hoping it would help him to see that all of the hard work in HS can pay off in ways other than just “what am I going to major in?”. I also wanted him to see something different than University of Central Florida which is literally 5 minutes away from us. (He was looking at UCF more for it’s location than the educational fit for him) we will look at UCF, but also have plans for Florida in Gainesville, and I’ve asked him for 2 more schools to look at. And so the journey officially begins….

Live in a suburb of Tampa and USF has been improving and the surrounding area has been improving over the last 5 years.  My son just finished his 2nd year at UF and absolutely loves it after he begrudgingly wanted to go there.  His future is already set up for him.  He has his 2022 Internship with a company in Atlanta locked in which should lead to FTE when he graduates in 2023.  UF offers amazzing resources to set yourself up for success after UF.  The Gator Nation is a powerful networking tool also.

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3 hours ago, El Floppo said:

That is amazing- congrats to you, the wife and especially your daughter!

Our 8th grader (rising HS freshman) got it into his head when he first heard about the school that LSE is where hes interested in going. Hes 13, so who knows what he thinks next year...but of course now I'm interested- so I hope you keep us posted somehow about the journey for her. Ive mentioned my wife's niece in here who goes to St Andrews in Scotland. Loved it (and the parents loved not using the entire 529), and now will be going to Cambridge for graduate work (not sure what in), but had to make a tough but no-lose decision between there and LSE (furthering my interest). 

Congrats again!

Thank you!

One of my cousins got his PhD at St. Andrews.  He loved his time there, his family still goes back and visits friends they made there, was a great resource when we were having “are we nuts for considering this route?” thoughts.  

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1 hour ago, HarryKane09 said:

Thank you!

One of my cousins got his PhD at St. Andrews.  He loved his time there, his family still goes back and visits friends they made there, was a great resource when we were having “are we nuts for considering this route?” thoughts.  

And the real question... If Harry leaves spurs, does she have to pick a new team?

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On 5/4/2021 at 12:03 PM, SFBayDuck said:

Nice, and congrats to your boy!  Now that I've moved back to Eugene we'll have to meet up at a tailgate in the fall!

Oh hell yeah!  I'd love to grab a beer with you - I'll be down there for 2 football games at least, so let's circle back on this.  :thumbup:

 

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3 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

Oh hell yeah!  I'd love to grab a beer with you - I'll be down there for 2 football games at least, so let's circle back on this.  :thumbup:

 

We're finally moving into our place in Eugene this Sunday, 2.4 miles from Autzen (not that I've looked it up or anything).  Our tailgate spot is right next to the footbridge in front of Autzen, so let's definitely connect in the Fall!

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2 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

We're finally moving into our place in Eugene this Sunday, 2.4 miles from Autzen (not that I've looked it up or anything).  Our tailgate spot is right next to the footbridge in front of Autzen, so let's definitely connect in the Fall!

Awesome!  I could live in Eugene - that's such a cool place.  Very excited that my son chose Oregon so I have more reasons to visit.  The food scene has improved markedly since I started going down there for games in the late 90s.  So much fresh produce available in the grass seed capital of the world. 

Did you guys have any problems buying a place in Eugene (assuming you purchased)? 

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Just now, General Malaise said:

Awesome!  I could live in Eugene - that's such a cool place.  Very excited that my son chose Oregon so I have more reasons to visit.  The food scene has improved markedly since I started going down there for games in the late 90s.  So much fresh produce available in the grass seed capital of the world. 

Did you guys have any problems buying a place in Eugene (assuming you purchased)? 

We got pretty lucky.  We looked at about 25 houses over 10-14 days back in mid-late April.  Wrote offers on three of them within 2-3 days of them hitting the market, all 15% or so over ask, and lost on all of them to higher, all cash offers.  The first house we had looked at wasn't getting offers since they didn't want to move out until the end of June, so they pulled it off the market.  We wrote an offer that day at ask, and they accepted.  So yeah it's crazy there just like everywhere else, and we needed some luck to find a place.

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3 hours ago, El Floppo said:

And the real question... If Harry leaves spurs, does she have to pick a new team?

The kid and I are both game theory enthusiasts, and PKs are a great game theory lab.  During the last World Cup, the kid wondered aloud why so few PKs are kicked to the center since goalies usually dive left or right.  On that match day, Kane scored a PK on a shot right down the middle.  And the kid’s all “that’s my guy!  Right there!  Kane!  Down the middle!”  So we became Harry Kane fans, and started following the Spurs.  

I think she will follow Kane to his new club, but if it’s City his home games are no longer a Tube ride away.  

We checked.  Arsenal’s is the closest EPL stadium to campus, but the rest of the London stadiums are just a short walk to a train/tube station.  We have pledged to catch a game at Selhurst Park because so much of Ted Lasso was filmed there.  

Edited by HarryKane09
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  • 3 weeks later...

PSA for the rookies out there sending their first kid to college...I discovered that Purdue (really all Indiana public universities) require incoming students to have had the meningococcal B vaccine.  This is not something required in Ohio, so my son did not have this.  It turns out the vaccine is a 2 shot sequence (possibly 3 depending on brand) that must be given at least a month apart.  I was able to get my son's first dose this morning and have an appointment for the second early August.  Had I discovered this a little later we wouldn't have had the immunization done before reporting to school.  Anyway, you may want to double check immunizations for your children, especially if heading to an out of state university.

 

 

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On 6/14/2021 at 7:11 AM, El Floppo said:
On 6/13/2021 at 11:53 PM, HarryKane09 said:

She's made her decision.  

London School Of Economics.  

That is amazing- congrats to you, the wife and especially your daughter!

Our 8th grader (rising HS freshman) got it into his head when he first heard about the school that LSE is where hes interested in going. Hes 13, so who knows what he thinks next year...but of course now I'm interested- so I hope you keep us posted somehow about the journey for her. Ive mentioned my wife's niece in here who goes to St Andrews in Scotland. Loved it (and the parents loved not using the entire 529), and now will be going to Cambridge for graduate work (not sure what in), but had to make a tough but no-lose decision between there and LSE (furthering my interest). 

Congrats again!

Just saw her mom...turns out she IS going to LSE for her graduate work in...global policy? I dont remember.

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On 7/1/2021 at 3:54 PM, Galileo said:

PSA for the rookies out there sending their first kid to college...I discovered that Purdue (really all Indiana public universities) require incoming students to have had the meningococcal B vaccine.  This is not something required in Ohio, so my son did not have this.  It turns out the vaccine is a 2 shot sequence (possibly 3 depending on brand) that must be given at least a month apart.  I was able to get my son's first dose this morning and have an appointment for the second early August.  Had I discovered this a little later we wouldn't have had the immunization done before reporting to school.  Anyway, you may want to double check immunizations for your children, especially if heading to an out of state university.

Really good advice here.  So much of immunization/health talk is dominated by COVID, it's easy for other required immunizations to slip by.  And like you said, requirements vary state-to-state and campus-to-campus, so double-check campus requirements.  I had a big scramble before my freshman year of college to get sufficiently vaccinated - the combo of going to college in a different state from where I grew up and my parents not being too detail-oriented about my health history created some gaps.  

Tangential to this... check out the student health insurance offerings by the college to see if it's a better deal, especially if out-of-state.  It's not always a great fit, but we've had a few friends report back cost savings for comparable coverage by having the college student get health insurance on campus.  Definitely worth looking into it you had a work disruption/stoppage due to the pandemic.      

 

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So I thought this might be a place to put this question. We have a 14 year old son who is going to be a freshman in the Fall. I love the concepts up thread of having kids find activities and pursuits they are passionate about.  
 

Son currently has it in his head that he might want to be a teacher. He has been fortunate to have a few really awesome teachers over the years that made a big impact on him.  Any suggestions on things we can encourage him to do over the next year or two to explore that interest a bit more? TIA 

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Just now, dnurk said:

So I thought this might be a place to put this question. We have a 14 year old son who is going to be a freshman in the Fall. I love the concepts up thread of having kids find activities and pursuits they are passionate about.  
 

Son currently has it in his head that he might want to be a teacher. He has been fortunate to have a few really awesome teachers over the years that made a big impact on him.  Any suggestions on things we can encourage him to do over the next year or two to explore that interest a bit more? TIA 

Camp counselor, volunteer or apply for work at local kid clubs or library to help out, volunteer (or get paid) as a tutor... I'll think of more, I"m sure.

our sons are the same age and grade, so :popcorn: for how it moves forward for you guys

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14 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

Camp counselor, volunteer or apply for work at local kid clubs or library to help out, volunteer (or get paid) as a tutor... I'll think of more, I"m sure.

our sons are the same age and grade, so :popcorn: for how it moves forward for you guys

Great ideas. I’m going to have him fire off some inquires to our local boys/girls club and library today. For sure will post up if something works out. 
 

He also loves sports so working with kids in a sports capacity would be ideal too. 

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6 hours ago, dnurk said:

Great ideas. I’m going to have him fire off some inquires to our local boys/girls club and library today. For sure will post up if something works out. 
 

He also loves sports so working with kids in a sports capacity would be ideal too. 

My son has been assisting/coaching/ umpiring at his old Little League all through high school. It’s been very rewarding for him, in addition to racking up volunteer hours. He’s also considered teaching, but leaning towards other options now as he approaches college.

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We are headed out to visit Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount in the LA area and then headed to USF and Santa Clara University.  Any FBGs familiar with these locales and have any travel/logistics advice? 

Thinking we fly into either city - rent a car and drive Gonna have to fly into either LA or SF then rent a car.  Any particular places to stay, eat, etc?  

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