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My 11th grade son

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Replies to: My 11th grade son

  • flinqueflinque 16 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16 New Member
    NOTHING!! Having been through the process several times now, they will get interested in colleges when they see their friends around them getting interested. That's typically how 11th graders get interested and motivated. A parent trying to direct their interest usually won't have much of an affect unless this is typically how your child is motivated to do anything - mainly by your instigation. Otherwise just sit back, don't hover and stop worrying about it. In reality what will but them in the absolute best position for college admission is to have the best grades, test scores, etc. All the positive motivation in the world won't make up for an academic record which is lacking. The better the record the more choices they will have.
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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1521 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,539 Senior Member
    Why are people telling OP that her son is headed to CC or vocational school because they haven't made specific college plans by mid junior year?
    Don't let others scare you. You're not too late

    OP posted “What should I be doing to prepare my 11th grade son for college?”

    As I read this post I saw ONLY 2 facts (S and 11th grade) and question about what should OP do now about college. Nothing else was included, nada, zilch, zero. Although I respect OP and S’s privacy, with this extremely limited info, the fact of the matter is everything under the sun could be on the table as to OP's S. Everything! Many people responded with great info (e.g. talk to counselors, take SAT, visit colleges, workshops, net price calculators, college trips, life skills, etc.) I did not intend to scare OP or go off on OP by telling her to send her S to community college. I am simply not as wise as others by being able to draw conclusions from 2 extremely limited facts which is why I posted started by “adding alternatives.”

    To OP, I did not intend to scare you or suggest that your S needs to go to a community college (which by the way could still be a viable solution as MORE facts are known). Good luck to you and your S. If I did scare you, I apologize.

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  • MarianMarian 13175 replies83 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,258 Senior Member
    Having been through the process several times now, they will get interested in colleges when they see their friends around them getting interested

    Interested or not, they need to take the SAT or ACT in the second half of junior year. If necessary, the parents should tell them to do it or even sign them up.
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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1521 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,539 Senior Member
    Although I would agree about that the quality of info coming from high school counselors can range from excellent to downright poor, before signing up for any SAT/ACT, I’d start with a visit to counselor. At least the counselor would have more info than male, junior in high school at his/her fingertips.
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,274 Senior Member
    Another thing that @mom2collegekids has been good about reminding people is that many, many schools use December 1st as the application cut off for the larger merit scholarships. If you start getting an idea of what your financial profile is RE "need" vs ability to pay and what your son's stats are likely to be you can start mentally lining up some financial safety options. There are many schools out there with pretty reasonable benchmarks for academic merit. Some OOS public schools award in-state status to kids who meet certain benchmarks as well. If you do some of that back channel work now it will be easier to put viable options in front of him. December 1st comes fast, though.

    My DS who is now a senior had some roller coaster grades and needed a strong 2nd semester junior year. I had some schools in mind for the program that he is interested in and just made several spread sheets calculating his GPA in all the different ways that those schools figure it. It made an impression on him to see where he was and where he needed to be to meet the benchmarks for the different levels of merit $$$. It really is the easiest money that a kid will ever earn. He found that motivational enough to really push hard through 2nd semester and it is turning out well for him now. He needed to see the options in a really concrete way, though.
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,274 Senior Member
    It can also be tricky if your kid plays a sport which conflicts with college visits. We did a round of visits with our D over mid-winter break her Junior year because she wasn't able to get away spring break as their sports season played through the break.
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,274 Senior Member
    Each kid has their own way of sorting out schools so it can also help just to get a feel for what he might like. I know someone whose first priority was PAC-10 football (back in the day). That was the one thing she felt she needed. My D sorted by size (small but not too small) and eliminated all the states that she didn't want to go to (most of them). After that we were left with a manageable list of target schools to research. DS identified his program of interest plus urban and we worked from there.
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  • TheDidacticTheDidactic 2092 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,113 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    I didn't get my LOR's until senior year, so I wouldn't worry about that part. If your son is at least a decent student, he should be fine.

    Also, you're not THAT late. Maybe you're like a month late but it's not a big deal. I'd sit your son down and ask him what he would like to do, where he'd like to go...all that fun stuff. He may not know everything right away and that's okay, but you guys can still have an idea of what you're looking for. Next step is to prepare him for SAT and ACT testing. Get some test prep books and register now. The earlier in the spring he take it the better. Don't worry about being rushed too much. I took most of my SAT's in the spring (March and May) so I could have plenty of time to bring it up in the fall of my senior year.

    Did he take the PSAT at all? He should have done that if he were interested in NMSF and just at least getting a good idea of how he would do on the exams. If not, it's okay and you can move on straight to the exams but you should get moving on that by January and February. The deadline to register for the next SAT is the 9th but I think you'll have to pay extra for it. If you don't think it's worth the effort and you would like him to prepare for it, you can wait for February.

    Following step is to talk finances, scholarships and all that jazz. Depending on how he does on the SAT and ACT, he might be able to earn some merit scholarships. Those really help out in a pinch and make it easier for many families. Run some numbers through colleges' net price calculators so you guys have a good idea of what you can afford. That heavily affects the college selection process.

    I wish you the best of luck! Once you proceeded through these steps, you can start visiting schools, going to college fairs, talking with the guidance counselor, and requesting more information from college reps.
    edited December 2014
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  • MassmommMassmomm 3843 replies79 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,922 Senior Member
    For starters, avoid this site. Your normal kid will never measure up to the amazingly gifted people who frequent CC and this will lead you to conclude that he is unlikely to be accepted to your local, for-profit, debt-incurring, Storefront College of Higher Learning and you will go away terribly sad. ;)

    But seriously, if he's not motivated about college, don't panic. Lots of juniors, especially boys, just aren't ready at this point to talk about the college search process.

    In the spring, have him set up a meeting with his GC (assuming yours is decent) to talk about beginning the search.

    Get a copy of the Fiske Guide (do not get him any of the ones that rank schools, such as US News and World Report--those are worthless to a person looking for fit, and they are terrifying!) Leave the guide on his desk or wherever he does his schoolwork. Leave little sticky notes to mark pages of schools you think he'd like. (He will reflexively hate them all, but at least he will open the book and look a bit for himself.)

    If he says anything funny or brilliant in the next month or two, say "You know, MelodyA3's Son, that sounds like a great topic for your Common App essay..."

    Ask him what date he'd like to take the SAT or ask him if he'd prefer the ACT. Sign him up, then buy one of those study guides. Leave it on his desk next to the Fiske Guide. Also leave out some super sharp pencils.

    Good luck.
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  • compmomcompmom 10606 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,682 Senior Member
    The initial post was so general and open-ended that I don't think it is clear at all what was meant.

    It is most certainly not too late. Feb. vacation is a great time to visit schools mainly because students aren't on campus in the summer, and fall gets busy.

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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8843 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,921 Senior Member
    For those considering spring break college tours, go online to check about the college break schedule. It is usually more interesting to visit when school is in session. I found "academic calendar" is helpful search term when checking.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 83932 replies1004 discussionsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,936 Forum Champion
    I would NOT advise avoiding this site. Yes, there are some super-stars here, but even those with "somewhat average" kids can learn a lot here....even if it's just finding out that some desirable schools will be too much of a reach.

    You'll want to identify some admissions&financial safeties....schools that you know FOR SURE will be affordable and will accept your child.

    @saintfan is right that some of us frequently remind people that many schools have Nov and early Dec deadlines for merit scholarship consideration. (and every New Year timeframe we see posts from kids realizing that they desperately need large merit....and it's often too late.

    If you're married, discuss with your spouse how much you can realistically contribute each year....and share that with your child.

    If your child's parent lives elsewhere, find out if that parent will help pay for college.
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16616 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,682 Senior Member
    It is not to late. Parents should run some net price calculators and have an understanding if they are full pay or not. Parents can also figure out how much they are willing to pay. Kids can take a look-see to nearby colleges small and big and figure out which they prefer. Kids should take the ACT or SAT or both depending on area of country. Kids should make sure they are on schedule with a college prep curriculum and make any adjustments needed for senior year. Kids should be setting their own alarm and getting themselves out the door and should be managing their homework and study time between now and senior year if they don't do this already. If kids want to play a sport in college they should make their coaches aware if they aren't already aware. Even Div 3 coaches will be all over the kids in the coming months.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8843 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,921 Senior Member
    " Parents should run some net price calculators and have an understanding if they are full pay or not." - YES. I'm not sure that hs GC emphasize that enough.
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