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If I could change one thing....

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Replies to: If I could change one thing....

  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 720 Member
    I would have had my nephew apply ED to his first choice school rather than RD for all the schools to which he applied.
  • HappyFace2018HappyFace2018 Registered User Posts: 751 Member
    @CABoyMom Colleges do value GPA but if that GPA isn't based on rigorous academics it's pushed aside. A lot of the AP/Honors (and IB) better prepare students for the ACT and SAT. Many students who don't have the opportunity to take some of these courses encounter issues with the testing. Balance is key.
  • chemist76chemist76 Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    applied to only community colleges and saved myself time and energy and heartbreak applying to schools I knew I couldn't get in to.
  • HappyFace2018HappyFace2018 Registered User Posts: 751 Member
    @chemist76 I say this not knowing your stats but I know there were many schools you could have gotten into. Once you complete your first semester at your college (and do well) you may be able to get into a school of your choice.
  • chemist76chemist76 Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    @HappyFace2018 stats were extremely low. I haven't even started college yet. A lot of things have happened so I had no choice but to take a gap year.
  • pkchamp89pkchamp89 Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    It's already been said by some posts but start studying for the ACT or SAT early!!! At least sophomore year and sooner if you can stand it. Take advantage of having the luxury of time. Read, and keep reading. Anything you can get your hands on. It all helps.
  • weretywerety Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    I would have been more relaxed about my D's decision to NOT apply ED (and buck the "trend") because she couldn't make up her mind. She landed in exactly the right place that wasn't really on her radar screen in the fall with a fantastic financial package. And she's happy and doing well.
  • MarihorrorMarihorror Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    I would only apply to my ED school and save a ton of stress and money.
  • AmduseusAmduseus Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    I would improve my extracirriculars. All of my objective stats are very good, and I don't think my extracurriculars are bad at all, but not on the same level as a lot of top peers'.
  • Momto2girlsMomto2girls Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    25 hours a week? That is damned impressive.
  • lhw1998lhw1998 Registered User Posts: 483 Member
    I wouldn't have applied applied to MIT EA; rather, I would've applied to Yale SCEA. Also, I would've started this whole process with a better game plan (participating in USAMO instead of USNCO, etc)
  • techmom99techmom99 Registered User Posts: 1,739 Senior Member
    I would have bribed my son to make honor roll and study harder earlier than senior year. It wouldn't have changed the college he went to, but it might have increased his merit aid.
  • ConcernedRabbitConcernedRabbit Registered User Posts: 404 Member
    It's not listed, but...

    I wish I made better friends...I feel into a really bad group, and they made me feel academically "safe", as in "Oh, you got a B? That amazing, you're so smart, I wish I got a B, I got a D+ lolololol"...They weren't "bad" people, but remember there were instances where they would be happy if I failed a test because it was "proof that she's normal", as they would say. I never wanted to just be normal...and I didn't realize the damage I had done until I met a new group of people...people who pushed me to be better, to aim for that A, and to not be happy and settle with a B.

    So maybe that would fit into GPA...but honestly, it's more than the number. I wish I could have spent four years with these friends...not the old group.
  • HapworthHapworth Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    edited August 30
    chemist76: Community colleges have their definite benefits but also drawbacks. I was an apathetic student in HS (though I think bright (I ultimately attended graduate school and received a doctoral fellowship)). I was an unmotivated B+ student through the end of junior year (not bad, I realize), but when I didn't get accepted into the U. of IL Urbana/Champaign, all the wind went out of my sails, and I quite literally bombed senior year.

    Thus, CC was the right option for me. I actually attended immediately after HS but dropped out by Thanksgiving (and had the F's to prove it! (I didn't officially withdraw from classes)). I worked for two years in retail, and when I realized how important college was, I went back. I maintained a 3.7 GPA at the CC, found my major (English), had two professors write amazing letters of recs, and even though I still applied to UIUC, it was no longer my dream choice; I instead transferred to an in-state CTCL school. None of that would have happened if the CC hadn't provided me with the time and space (and the ability to save money) so that I could attend college when I was ready to be successful. My family had almost no history of attending college, so I was on my own.

    The downside, of course, is that CCs can be depressing places to attend school, and I went to a pretty well-ranked one in the Chicago suburbs. There's zero school spirit, as CCs are by definition commuter schools. Class quality also varies wildly. The English department at my CC was very solid, providing me with the experience I needed to handle such classes at not just the 4-year level, but at the 4-year private LAC level. But other courses? Yikes! I know this can be said of many colleges/universities, but it's much more of a mixed bag at CCs.

    That said, to answer this thread's original question, I would have been a more serious student in high school. I am realistic. I know that no amount of devoted study or devoted test prep would have made me an Ivy candidate. I'm okay with that. But to take a shot at Northwestern as my reach, Macalaster or Whitman as my matches, and perhaps my own alma mater (which I'm quite proud of, so it's not an issue of truly wanting to do things over) as my safety, well, that would have made the college application process more enjoyable (hectic, but enjoyable). I missed out on that. I didn't have the traditional college search process. In HS I applied to UIUC and nowhere else. As a transfer student, I applied to two CTCL schools (these were my top choices) and two large public universities. Oh, that's the other positive of CCs. It is *so* much easier to gain admission as a transfer student, and one doesn't need a super-high GPA either.
  • BobG4422BobG4422 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Extra curriculars, I would have wanted to show that I actually have initiative for my passions instead of just thinking about them.
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