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GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ski_racer, a high-achiever in high school, was rejected by some of the elite schools she applied to. This rejection was the best thing that happened to her as she got to choose her own path. Learn how she fell in love with her safety school, ASK HER ANYTHING!
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Which of these schools is not like the others?

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

  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    In the Spring, a young person's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of self-doubt. Maybe next year I'll be interested in coed colleges. Maybe I won't be able to handle the ambitious senior year schedule I'm planning. Maybe I should drop orchestra and have a free period.

    So, add coed schools back to the list? What's your best case scenario there? Minimal additional applications, only schools I'll love as much as Mount Holyoke and Smith, I don't care if there are men in the dorms or even on campus, but I might change my mind and like to have some of them in class. Bryn Mawr and take more classes at Haverford? Oh, yeah, I forget you could take all your classes there if you wanted. That would work! Never mind.

    Apparently some random comment I made caused her to doubt her next year's schedule. Your schedule is fine. You will be fine. Go talk to the teachers you'll have and ask them about handling the workload. Practice good sleep hygiene.

    There's no good solution to the orchestra issue, which is really a personality issue with the orchestra teacher.

    Fifteen more months, right?
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    She finally went to talk to the the biggest unknown - the AP Chem teacher who is new to the school this year. "Oh, you're [physics teacher's] Physics 2 student! AP Chem will be fun and easy for you." Rumor mill says that he's not preparing current students well for the AP test; turns out this is his first year teaching and he has no formal teacher training, but does have a PhD in Biochem. A year of fun chemistry with a smart teacher she likes and who likes chemistry, and no expectation of doing well on the AP exam, sounds like a good plan.

    So the requested schedule is:
    Orchestra
    AP Lit (recommended for anyone with a passing score on the AP Lang test; kid is expecting a 4 or better based on feedback from her teacher, who is an AP grader)
    AP Calc BC (recommended for anyone with an A or B in Honors Pre-calc; AB is recommended for anyone with a C in Honors Pre-calc)
    AP Physics C Mechanics (taught as a year-long class by kid's current physics teacher)
    AP Chem
    AP US Gov (taught as a year-long class by kid's 10th grade APUSH teacher)
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43281 replies471 threads Senior Member
    Wow, that sounds like way too much, especially combining AP physics C and AP chem AND keeping in mind she'll be a senior preparing college applications (=equivalent to an additional, writing intensive class)

    Check that it's AP US gov and not AP gov (US+ comparative).
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Like the Harvard man, you can always tell my kid, but you can't tell her much. Having heard about her interaction with the Chem teacher, I'm actually less worried about next year than I was about her sophomore year, when she had a similarly unwise schedule and the teachers were all unknown quantities. One of those turned out to be a dud, and another merely okay.

    It's just US Gov. AP Comp Gov is a different full-year course. She picked US over Comp in part because she really likes the teacher, and is familiar with the workload that teacher expects in an AP class.

    Only five applications (Wellesley / Smith / Mount Holyoke / Bryn Mawr / Agnes Scott), and the current versions of their apps are not particularly writing heavy. No outside scholarship / competitive scholarship apps. If she were applying to ten schools, or applying to more schools with multiple essays each, or chasing competitive merit, or weren't a strong writer, I'd worry more.

    Fortunately for everyone's sanity, her school only does whole letter grades (no +/-), and kid is mostly indifferent to grades and class rank. Physics 1 really beat the perfectionism out of her. A B or two at midterm would not be the end of the world.
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  • calmomcalmom 20896 replies168 threads Senior Member
    What about a safety? (financial as well as admissions). Is there an unmentioned backup app to an in-state public to fill that spot? Or are you confident that you can afford the schools listed even if anticipated merit aid doesn't come through). (I wouldn't even put Agnes Scott as a "safety" -- more a very highly likely match. The problem is that small colleges sometimes make some quirky decisions with higher stat applicants tied to yield protection -- so probably also very important to show her love along the way).
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    No point in having a safety she won't attend; I think it's more likely she'd do a gap year abroad (language immersion with overseas relatives) if she didn't get in to any of those five. She really wants a women's college with four years of Chinese and a physics major, and there aren't many options there. (ASC does not have four years of Chinese, but I felt like she needed to compromise some in the name of risk management. I agree completely with the love, and fortunately they have the most extensive essays, all of which are essentially asking "Why ASC?")

    All of the schools are 100% affordable with no parent borrowing assuming a reasonably accurate NPC, and we have a straightforward situation: wages, cash in the bank, both legal parents married to each other. The only reason merit is even a consideration is that we're right at the tipping point where merit could possibly be a better answer than need-based aid, and it's administratively more convenient to get merit aid.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2451 replies51 threads Senior Member
    Remind me why Scripps fell out of favor? (Seems to meet the stated criteria rather well.) Though, it seems more than likely she'll have good options from that list, so no reason she can't just like what she likes...
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Seasons, and vast shady green lawns. And I think their online videos didn't speak to her the way the other schools' did. Pretty much the same story with Barnard. I also think she saw the close integration with (a) coed school(s) as more a bug than a feature.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10390 replies122 threads Senior Member
    @allyphoe FWIW, my daughter took both AP Chem and AP Physics C (both mechanics and E&M) senior year along with a full load of other AP and DE courses and was just fine. Depends on the kid and the teachers.
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 944 replies7 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    I haven't read the whole thread but your kid sounds great. If this has been said before, I apologize, but I will say this about acceptance rates at women's colleges: you really can't just look at the number in comparison to co-ed schools. It not only omits half the population of applicants, women's colleges tend to appeal to a certain type of woman, and often that type is high-achieving and studious. *

    That said, I suspect she has a great shot. I'd take her! Also wanted to add that IME Bryn Mawr is the most generous with merit aid, followed by MoHo and IDK about Agnes Scott. Smith only has a handful, Wellesley none. I can give you specifics in DMs if you want.


    *Not to suggest that women at co-eds aren't high-achieving!
    edited February 2019
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    @aquapt Also, Scripps is right up there between Smith and Wellesley in RD admissions rates, so I don't think she'd be improving her odds of admission any by adding it. If it were more of a match, I'd have encouraged more love for Scripps.

    @calmom She'll also apply EA1 to Agnes Scott, so can expect a decision 12/15. If for some reason she's rejected, there will be a little time to regroup. And I've been running the NPCs with the cash we expect to have in the bank after another 9-12 months of saving, and not planning for any decrease as we spend down. So I think there's as much margin for safety built in as we can reasonably get.
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  • calmomcalmom 20896 replies168 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    Ok-- sounds like you have things figured out. I was a little bit misled by the references to merit aid. I'd be very surprised if she does not get accepted to Agnes Scott, but after all these years on CC I've seen enough surprises to know not to take anything for granted. But probably more likely that your daughter's carefully curated list of 5 colleges will end up with 5 acceptances.
    edited February 2019
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    @PetraMC My kid really is great! She is the best teenager a parent could ever want. And yeah, the self-selection part of admission percentages means I'll worry until she has an acceptance in hand, even though I think it's reasonable to expect more than one.

    Agnes Scott has guaranteed merit for her current test scores and [current grades plus straight B's first semester senior year] GPA. Definitely the cheapest option by far, most convenient to get to, super-diverse student body, IMHO the best hand-holding for setting yourself up for after-college success. Lots of plusses there.

    Wellesley is most expensive, but not by a huge amount, even with no merit at any of the other schools. And the reality is that we have the ability and willingness to pay, if it comes down to it.
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    @calmom That was me being greedy more than me grasping at a possibility of affordability. :) I have some limited ability to shift income between years, and merit would mostly mean that there would be no reason to try to do that - we really are at the tipping point where most schools would be in the same ballpark either way. And not having an incentive to try to shift income would be good, because I was not very successful for 2018!
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6936 replies171 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    I think MoHo is so underrated. I hope she goes there! And vote for best all around campus.

    My time in the area (many a weekend with a romantic interest and her friends hanging out and/or studying) always thought it was an awesome place with smart but approachable students. Do they still have horses?
    edited February 2019
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2548 replies61 threads Senior Member
    MHC is currently my secret favorite. We would all be delighted if she ended up there. Everyone there was just so friendly.

    And they do still have horses!
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6936 replies171 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    Nice! Glad to hear.

    It’s been a while. Like Depeche Mode and The Cure were a thing, long.
    edited February 2019
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  • ItisatruthItisatruth 389 replies25 threads Member
    Also, definitely want to hear what she thinks of Bryn Mawr! Is that a summer visit now?
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