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Which of these schools is not like the others?


Replies to: Which of these schools is not like the others?

  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    @Publisher Religious affiliation is a nonnegotiable dealbreaker for my kid. :)
  • pickledgingerpickledginger Registered User Posts: 473 Member
    @allyphoe, just throwing this out there for what it's worth . . . my older son, now a college freshman, had a somewhat clear idea of what he wanted in a college when he was a freshman, sophomore, and junior. It leaned toward smaller, social-justice oriented, tolerant, academically rigorous schools.

    Fast forward to senior year and his preferences changed and expanded tremendously. He ended up with lots of great options in admissions and is now at a huge public school. I have no idea whether it's the "right" place for him, but I never would have predicted how much his perspective would change. It's like he was one person from birth to junior year in high school and another person once he hit senior year! One thing that became more clearly important to him was racial and socioeconomic diversity, but that was far from the only change. Anyway, happy searching!
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    @pickledginger Yep, I can totally see mine changing her mind next summer - one of the reasons we don't favor ED is that kids change from fall to spring of senior year, even.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    Kid request: Wellesley. She says that it might be nice to be King of (some portion of) the World, after all. This change in position does not surprise me one bit.

    Surprising kid non-request: Not Barnard! She said that she hated the dorms in one of the YouTube tours. No accounting for taste. No tears from me over that decision, though.

    Mom suggestion: Agnes Scott, previously eliminated because the essay talks about leadership. Kid agreed that only two years of Chinese was not necessarily a deal breaker. EA I decisions, with mostly-automatic-for-stats merit, come out December 15, which is great timing.

    Kid is lobbying for AP Chem / Bio / Physics C Mech (taught as a full year course) next year, on top of Lit, BC Calc (after trig, no AB prerequisite) and orchestra. (Foreign language maxes out at AP this year.) I'm lobbying for something brainless in lieu of a third science. Pretty sure I'm winning, but the currently available brainless options are reputed to have poor teaching quality, and kid would rather work her tail off for a great teacher than slack for a poor one.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,280 Senior Member
    I don't think it's even feasible to tie AP chem, bio, and physics C together. Even bio and chem together is a nightmare because often labs. There's a difference between working your tail off and sacrificing EC's+sleep+sanity for a schedule list colleges would consider insane. Logistically it may not even be possible due to aforementioned labs.
    A great class for seniors to take, if offered, is culinary arts or anything that teaches cooking.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    Oddly enough, based on historical course schedules, that particular combo works just fine from a "you could pick up a course schedule that contained all of those classes with no conflicts" perspective. It's utterly ridiculous from a workload perspective, of course.

    My first preference would actually be a free period - either late start or early release. More sleep is almost always a good choice. Wellesley wants a fourth year of history / social science, and there are actually a couple of options there, including USGoPo with a teacher I know she likes.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,280 Senior Member
    English, social science, and math can't be negotiable.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    Three years of social science is the norm around here, even for the very highest performing kids, so if I were to pick a hill to die on, that wouldn't be it. There are few enough sections of social sciences classes that aren't already-met graduation requirements that if she were in AP foreign language next year rather than this year, there would only be one social science class that wouldn't conflict with the rest of her schedule next year.

    Turns out she's thinking about 3 AP sciences because 32-40 classes of college isn't enough to pack in all the stuff she wants to learn. Which I entirely sympathize with! I would probably still be in college today if there hadn't been an 8-semesters-and-out rule. From that perspective, Bio is likely to save her any college classes nowhere but Smith. Econ, on the other hand, is accepted by all of her current interests, and it would expose her to something new. And it fits her schedule. And it means not having to take 2 AP exams on the same day. (Having to take an extra exam on a separate day is a benefit, because they're excused from classes for the full day if they have an AP exam that day.)
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,280 Senior Member
    I understand the frustration!
    If she gets a scholarship, you can promise her she can take summer classes at the closest CC, in subjects she's interested in. Some colleges even have a Maymester to take an extra class in. And interdisciplinary classes cover several subjects.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    Spreadsheet win - Kid: "Most of the schools I'm interested in won't give any advanced placement for AP Bio, and Wellesley wants four years of history / social sciences, so I talked to the AP history teacher I really like and will take Gov with that teacher next year."

    Spreadsheet fail - Kid: "Summer Program A, which is closer to home, marginally cheaper, and longer in duration, actually has fewer instructional hours than Summer Program B if you look at the class schedules closely. So even though you think I should go to A, I really think B is a better fit."

    Spreadsheet grumble - Me: "How did our EFC get so high compared to a year ago? Oh, yeah, both of us got unexpected bonuses and that money is sitting in the bank to pay for college. At least that money is sitting in the bank to pay for college. And it's this year that's the actual base year, so who knows what will actually happen."

    Spreadsheet goal - Visit Agnes Scott, but not Bryn Mawr or Wellesley, over Spring Break. That converts an expensive, exhausting venture into a direct flight to ensure that a safety is loveable. My kingdom for a couple more larger (1,500-3,000) secular women's colleges with reasonable admissions rates, a thing that does not actually exist.

    Spreadsheet trivia: In the years between the 2007 CDS and the 2016 CDS (just added to IPEDS), applications increased by 50%, while enrollments increased by only 10%. Kids are putting in more applications than they used to.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    PSAT scores are out - clearly no chance for even commended, so one less thing to worry about. Based on the amount of effort (not) put into prep, I would not actually be surprised if her current ACT (31) and whatever no-prep score she gets on the "every junior takes it at school in April" SAT were the extent of the test scores. This is consistent with the kid I know; she is just not a hoop-jumper and sees standardized testing as a waste of effort.

    Of her four desired schools (Mount Holyoke, Bryn Mawr, Smith, and Wellesley), if she were only accepted to one, would she wish she had more choices? "No. I would be really happy to go to any of them."

    Of her four desired schools (Mount Holyoke, Bryn Mawr, Smith, and Wellesley), if she were accepted all four, would she wish she'd added some reachier schools? "No. Those are the only schools I want to go to. Why would I apply somewhere I didn't want to go?"

    Senior schedule drama: the district dropped a ton of AP sections (and one class entirely) between last year (kid's sophomore year) and this year (kid's junior year). If the schedule remains unchanged, there's exactly one configuration that gets all the desired classes in. Looks like there will be another nailbiting year at schedule pickup.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,524 Senior Member
    If she has to take an honors or college prep level class rather than the AP, life will go on and colleges won't care. Remember there are hs that don't offer any AP classes and the students still go to college.
  • parent1973parent1973 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    Your DD sounds like mine, so am interested in your journey and decisions. Probably looking at a 31 on ACT. A minus average (about 3.7-- no weighting.) No religious schools, doesn't have to be all women's but she is open to it.

    We may look at:

    Mt Holyoke
    UMass Amherst

    Any feedback anyone on these and what else we should be looking for?

  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    @twoinanddone She doesn't care about her GPA or class rank, but she cares enormously about being bored, and she cares enormously about unengaged classmates. She'd do better with a free period or TAing if need be.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member

    I didn't really look at any OOS publics - my kid really wanted a smaller school, because she feels like such a nameless faceless number in her big bureaucratic high school. And when I ran the NPCs originally, our price at privates was better than the price at a public would have been.

    I really liked Rochester, particularly the Take Five program. I don't remember what idiosyncratic kid preference kicked it off - too big, it looks like maybe.

    Skidmore wasn't as ethnically diverse as she wanted (I had a formula that produced a score; her high school got a .55, Skidmore got a 0.51). Brandeis fell off due to reputed dorm and food quality. Basically, she gave me a bunch of arbitrary criteria, and I gave her back a list of schools that fit them, then she refined from there. There are enough coed schools that you can be pretty arbitrary in cutting down to a manageable number.
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