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What are some things you wish you learned about college/college admission process?

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Replies to: What are some things you wish you learned about college/college admission process?

  • Coldsummer123Coldsummer123 Registered User Posts: 261 Junior Member
    edited June 2016
    It's ok to have a dream school. Because it's your dream school you'll spend the most time on the essays for that school and it'll be your best application. Having a dream school is incentive to try really really hard.
  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys Registered User Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Parts of scholarships are taxable income.
  • MSMeadMSMead Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    Websites that calculate chances are misleading if you are applying to a popular-selective major. It may show an 80% chance of getting in based on the schools overall SAT-GPA but your major may only have a 15% acceptance rate.
  • scubadivescubadive Registered User Posts: 588 Member
    edited February 19
    As a parent my advice is to visit schools close to your home whether interested or not to get an idea of what you like and disalike about schools. You may think you want a small or big school but after visiting a number you may stay consistent or change your mind. Its better to have some clue before you spend the money and the time to travel further away. Always apply somewhere close even if you are deadset against your instate university. Alot can change from the time you apply in the fall and have to make a decision in the spring. Apply to at least one school early action that is affordable and aa safety so you are assured an acceptance. Do not just look at the school but the area around it. What is off campus can be just as important as oncampus. If you are from the south visit a northern school in the winter and those from the north visit southern schools when the heat has settled in. What matters in college selection first is affordability and second is fit. Your senior year provide the necessary information to the counselor that they require for your recs to be completed asap. Start your essays the summer before senior year. Take the classes you like in high school that have rigor. If you are weak in a subject that you dislike its ok to take onlevel. If you want to dual enroll its not going to ruin your shot at acceptance. Do what you like not what you think colleges want. This does not mean take fluff classes but there is a time and place to know your weaknesses and take classes accordingly. I cannot stress this enough apply to some colleges you can afford without financial aid.
  • RustyTrowelRustyTrowel Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Physically sort schools into a Google Docs file that is shared between student and parents. The file changes over time as you go through the search process, and it is useful for everyone to be able to see the latest version.

    Sort the schools in the file into the following categories:
    -- Safety
    -- Likely
    -- Target
    -- Reach
    -- Double Reach
    -- Winter Contingent
    -- No Application Planned

    Keep the main list to 1 page for all 7 categories. Notes on the schools are fine, but notes go onto page 2+.

    Definitions:
    -- Safety/Likely/Target/Reach -- standard sorting methodology.
    -- Double Reach -- raw odds of admission are less than 10% given the application method (e.g., applying RD at tippy top school where you know going in that the odds of admission are extremely poor via that application route).
    -- Winter Contingent -- These are schools that you plan to apply to in addition to all the others if your EA and/or ED1 apps fail to generate an admission. Think of the scenario this way: with the new information in hand in middle of December that you did not get in to any EA or ED1 schools, does that change where else you would like to apply to? The plan would be to work on these apps over winter break. On the flip side, if you did get in via EA or ED to one of your favorites, then you may not need to apply to any of these schools.
    -- No Application Planned -- A place for keeping track of some school names you might need later (i.e., partially researched schools, schools you want to research, etc.).

    Why I recommend this approach:
    -- It forces you to write down your choices. Writing forces thinking and planning.
    -- The shared file serves as a communication vehicle between students and parents, esp. busy students and parents.
    -- The sorting method makes explicit how many reaches and double reaches you have working in the current version of your plan. As many others have noted, you must limit the number of reaches and double reaches in your plan. Viewed this way, you start to think of the reaches and double reaches as competing among themselves for the limited number of spaces that you can afford to allocate to them.
    -- It keeps the list organized as there is a surprising amount of movement in the list over time. IME, schools were getting promoted off the No Application Planned list and demoted off of the active roster (Safety/Likely/Target/Reach/Double Reach/Winter Contingent) frequently due to trip findings and additional research on the schools.
  • Meganerd2012Meganerd2012 Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    Don't fall in love with a school early on. Make sure when you pick all of your safeties, matches, and reaches that you would love to attend and that it is affordable.
  • YnotgoYnotgo Registered User Posts: 3,536 Senior Member
    If possible, write essays for a school you don't care that much about first. Don't have the first essays you write be for your top choice. You'll get better at essay writing along the way. (Unfortunately, that's hard to fit with an ED strategy.)
  • ctseasctseas Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    College Admission process:
    Get in your applications ASAP. But especially for the schools with rolling admission (the big popular state schools), you want to send those apps in in like September or October. Even if they're your safety school. I got waitlisted at my safety school (luckily I got into my target schools already) because they just had so many applicants and so many people wanted to go. If you apply early, you find out sooner and you will more likely get a spot.
  • ctseasctseas Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Also, unless you are certain it is your #1 and your chances are decent, don't apply ED for the heck of it. Applying ED to a reach school (that I got rejected from) prevented me from applying to restrictive early actions schools that have much higher acceptance rates early. Applying ED can tie you up so don't do that unless you're positive that that is where you want to go.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 986 Member
    Several things I learned.

    1. Only apply EA or REA if you will attend that school if you get in.

    2. Expect unexpected. Don't try to figure out why you got in or got rejected. That will just take up valuable time and effort. My kid got into Stanford REA and got denied at UCLA for the same non-STEM major. UCLA was a safety school for my kid, so we thought. lol 50 students get into UCLA from my kid's high school, whereas only one kid gets into Stanford per year on average.

    3. Seriously consider Community College route or Honors College route if you can be designated NMF. Once you have an Honors College with a nice merit-scholarship as a back-up, you will at least have a nice college to go to if other reach colleges don't line up.

    4. Convey clearly to your kid what you as a parent can afford and not afford.
  • porcupine98porcupine98 Registered User Posts: 1,505 Senior Member
    I think you mean ED, not EA. EA is a great option because it's non-restrictive.
  • VANDEMORY1342VANDEMORY1342 Registered User Posts: 721 Member
    I wish I knew one could file for extra time on the SAT/ACT for learning or mood disabilities/disorders (which I have). I would have done a lot better, even though I did well and got into some great Universities. I'm a first generation college student whom didn't receive much help from guidance councilors or parents. Now I know for Law school.
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