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Can we talk to the B and C students about college?

bjkmombjkmom 7942 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
edited April 2015 in College Search & Selection
I'm a high school teacher, and the mom of 3 kids. My oldest is a junior in high school, and we're in the process of looking at colleges.

While this site has some amazing information, there's a real dearth of information for students with B's and C's, who aren't looking at Top Tier or Ivy league schools. So I figured I would start my own user's guide, in the hopes that others with shared experiences could add in.

Let me begin by saying that over the years I've known HUNDREDS of B and C students who went on to good colleges, and on to careers. You can and will find those schools too. In fact, there are a number of schools in this country who shine their brightest with kids who have struggled in high school-- some specialize in nurturing the C- and D students. So take some deep breaths... we're going to help you find your college.

OK, my first piece of advice: Strongly consider whether or not community college is your best option.

It was for me. I was an honors student, and one of 5 kids in my family. For me, CC was an inexpensive way to get my Associate's degree. I graduated 2 years after I started, and every one of my credits transferred to a local university, where I graduated 4 years after my high school graduation, with a job offer already signed.

But it's not the right choice for my son.

I'm very much afraid that he would fall through the cracks at our local huge community college. For a student who isn't largely self motivated and driven to succeed, community colleges may be seen as an extension of high school. Consider carefully whether you would have the motivation to succeed in such an environment. Speak to your guidance counselor about advice here.

Here's the process we've taken to find schools for my son:
- After a bit of googling, we found college tool kit . You can find a list there by state that classifies colleges by admission difficulty, as well as by price. We started with schools in surrounding states that they classified as "low" in terms of difficulty of admission.

- OK, so we had a preliminary list of schools. Then we googled "schools offering sports management" (his major" and added a few others.

- From there, collegedata.com has the specifics of the 25th and 75th percentile SAT scores. My son hasn't taken the SAT yet, but we do have his PSAT scores as a ballpark estimate.

- collegenavigator.com has specifics on tuition and financial aid. Merit aid isn't looking good, and need-based isn't likely either. But there are some schools listed where 99 or 100% of the student body seems to be getting institutional based grants. While that's no guarantee, it certainly looks as though my son would fall into that population.

You can google schools with Open Enrollment, and schools that are "test optional." Take a look at some, and take your list to your guidance counselor.

Your guidance counselor can be an amazing resource. But here's the catch: he or she is brutally overworked. You need to go in there with a list of schools, and a list of questions. Do your homework before making the appointment. Know whether you want home or away, a ballpark price range, and a list of schools you're thinking about. Do it as a Junior.

As of now we've seen 3 of the schools on the list... this winter was too brutally cold to see too many others. But we have a list of schools were hoping to see in the coming months. After seeing one or two, we were able to narrow down the type of school he's looking for: smallish, in a suburban setting. But he wouldn't have known that had we not visited a few schools. So start that search soon.


edited April 2015
272 replies
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Replies to: Can we talk to the B and C students about college?

  • crowladycrowlady 1094 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Also note that over on the Parent's forum there are discussions with 3.0-3.3 GPA in the title -- these groups do discuss and encourage each other when top tier schools aren't the primary goal. My S14 was a little above 3.3 and my S16 is a little below, but I felt that the discussion here was most appropriate for our situation: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/class-20xx-community/1656351-parents-of-the-hs-class-of-2016-3-0-to-3-3-gpa.html
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  • bjkmombjkmom 7942 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    SAT scores are back.

    And I'm happy to say that apparently we're looking at the right schools.

    My son's SAT scores were an improvement over his PSATs, which we were using as a guide in colleges to see. Of the dozen or so schools on his list, he's close to the median in 2 or 3, above the 25th percentile in about half, and very close to another 2 or 3. There are still a few "reach" schools on his list.

    He's planning on an SAT prep course over the summer, and to re-take in the fall.
    edited May 2015
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  • N's MomN's Mom 2206 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think the gap year option for these students is strongly under-considered. In a lot of cases, the extra year (or two) of maturity would be a huge gift.
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  • profparentprofparent 331 replies0 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 2015
    Re: maturity and grades. It depends entirely on whether the B and C grades are coming from a bored, unmotivated and/or immature student who is perfectly capable of understanding the material and getting As, but needs more maturity and motivation to do so (a perfect candidate, IMO, for a gap year), or whether the B and C grades are coming from a motivated student who simply takes longer or struggles harder to learn the materials (a better candidate for finding the right school and going straight on to college).
    edited May 2015
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29606 replies173 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Money is an even bigger issue for the B and C students than it is for the A students. These students don't have the grades to get into the places that offer the best need-based aid, and they aren't going to land merit-based aid unless they have at least a 3.0 and stellar ACT or SAT scores. This means that their parents have to be brought into the process early on, and need to be pushed to run the Net Price Calculators in order to find out whether any of the academic matches can be afforded.
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  • tk21769tk21769 10646 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are many good colleges for B students, including (but not limited to) the so-called Colleges That Change Lives
    (http://www.ctcl.org/).

    For C and D students? My small state has at least 24 colleges with open admissions. Most are either community colleges, for-profit colleges, or extension schools. There are at least two residential colleges among them, with full costs of attendance in the $20K-$30K range.
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  • NASA2014NASA2014 2331 replies128 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm a A B and C student. After completing my high school I decided to go to a community college, after every college rejected me. I think because I was stuck trying to pass this biology regents (7 tries). I'm now going to my sophomore year and planning to transfer. I have 3.04 gpa and I can't tell you that cc was the best choice for me.
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  • N's MomN's Mom 2206 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    I said "in a lot of cases." And I wasn't asked about whether A students might also have maturity issues. I think many students - at all levels of academic performance - would benefit from a gap year. I especially think students who are not working up to their potential and making Cs and Bs (not those who work hard and struggle with the material), would benefit.
    edited May 2015
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The reality is that the vast majority of non open admission colleges in the country welcome B and C students. Whether they would be good fits for certain students is debatable.

    What B and C students should do is check the graduation rates at the schools they have a realistic chance of getting into as well as what the academic experience is like for the average student. At my school only 1/3rd of students graduate in four years, and only 2/3rds graduate in six. The average freshman only takes two classes with fewer than 50 students in his first year. Though the my school loves B students (in fact it would likely go bankrupt without them), I'm not convinced it's a great place for a less focused freshman.
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  • LBad96LBad96 3442 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    I was a B- student in high school, but had immense SAT scores for someone with my GPA, and got into six schools in six different states as a result. I had great options for myself. The biggest thing that B and C students need to do is study HARD for the SAT.

    But it's not always a maturity issue. Sometimes, students have extenuating circumstances in their lives that are a huge obstacle to their success.
    edited May 2015
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  • BatesParent2019BatesParent2019 257 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited May 2015
    Choosing a college for the solid B student with 1500-1600 SAT has never been more challenging or frustrating. I do not recall such pickiness in terms of location, weather or amenities as exists today. This is especially true when the family is affluent because there is a sense of entitlement. So the solution they believe is to find a school with general name recognition rather than if the fit is right or if the quality is any good. I try to stay out of these discussions with other parents about schools for B students because it usually includes inane comments like "isn't that upstate?", "isn't that a small school?", "can you fly there?" Etc. It takes a lot more work to find the right schools for these students and the parents just drop the ball, in my opinion.
    edited May 2015
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77741 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    NASA2014 wrote:
    I'm a A B and C student. After completing my high school I decided to go to a community college, after every college rejected me. I think because I was stuck trying to pass this biology regents (7 tries). I'm now going to my sophomore year and planning to transfer. I have 3.04 gpa and I can't tell you that cc was the best choice for me.

    Seems like community college was your best choice of college because it was your only choice of college. It is often the case for B to C students, especially those closer to C than B, that community college is the only suitable and affordable choice of college. Indeed, doing better at community college than in high school can allow the student to significantly "upgrade" his/her choices of four year college that s/he can transfer to, compared to those which s/he can attend right after high school.
    whenhen wrote:
    What B and C students should do is check the graduation rates at the schools they have a realistic chance of getting into

    Such schools are likely to have low graduation rates, simply because B to C students in high school usually tend to have more difficulty with college courses or are more likely to need remedial courses in college than A students in high school tend to have or need.
    edited May 2015
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  • NASA2014NASA2014 2331 replies128 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus Seems like community college was your best choice of college because it was your only choice of college. It is often the case for B to C students, especially those closer to C than B, that community college is the only suitable and affordable choice of college. Indeed, doing better at community college than in high school can allow the student to significantly "upgrade" his/her choices of four year college that s/he can transfer to, compared to those which s/he can attend right after high school.

    Thank you, it means a lot! Yes I finally see my improvements and I'm happy about. If I don't mind asking, why do people hate community college so much?

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77741 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    NASA2014 wrote:
    If I don't mind asking, why do people hate community college so much?

    Lots of people on these forums apparently think of a college's worth mainly in terms of admission selectivity. Open admission community colleges are at the bottom of the selectivity scale, so such posters look down on them.

    It is true that the quality of community colleges for the purpose of transferring to four year schools varies (for example, those in CA tend to be better in this respect than those in NH). However, some posters still look down on community colleges even when the ones in their areas are suitable for transfer preparation.
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  • albert69albert69 3191 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Because cc~=prestigious for the reasons ucbalumnus stated.
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