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Adding more schools now -- how to manage w/recommendations?

CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
We are adding 2-3 schools to my DD application list since her SSATs didn't go as well as planned.

Will she need to alert her recommenders, assuming the schools are all Gateway or SAO? Or can we just add the schools on our end? (Her recommenders all know they are doing her recommendations and have her info but none have started the actual process in SAO or Gateway yet).

We haven't decided for sure which 2-3 to add, but we've narrowed it down to 5-6.

Should we just add all 5-6 now so that they all received the recommendations, even if a few don't end up getting our applications?

Does the answer change for SAO vs. Gateway?

(Does this even make sense?)
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Replies to: Adding more schools now -- how to manage w/recommendations?

  • mondaydevilmondaydevil 179 replies9 threads Junior Member
    So when her teacher submits the recommendation, they can select an auto-submit option which allows you to attach their recommendation to other schools you applied that didn't send the request directly. This is on Gateway, by the way. So I don't think you need to add the 5-6 schools right now. Does that answer your question? Also what schools are you guys looking at?
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thx @mondaydevil
    She is looking at adding a couple from the following: NMH, Mercersburg, George, Pomfret, Berkshire, Kent.
    It looks like they could all be on SAO (some have gateway option), but I think we would probably just do SAO for the added schools.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1804 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I would send each teacher a short email detailing that you have added some new schools. That way if they are hyper organized they will know that the recommendations have to go to 6 instead of 3 schools. You can track the recommendations in the systems. Also, FYI, sometimes there are glitches in the recommendations getting to the email of the recommender. IF your folks haven't responded send a reminder in the system and another email to let them know that you are just checking up to make sure they received it. Don't wait until the last dates. The system gets really bogged down. My kid asked that they please respond by Jan. 1.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Just to circle back for future reference:
    We added recommenders no problem.
    In SÃO there was nothing to do — every school just automatically gets what’s in file in SÃO.
    Gateway is a portal for individual applications; not a true common app like SÃO is.
    It seems as though in gateway, recommenders have the option of allowing “auto submit” for any additional schools. One of my daughters recommenders did that and we just checked a box and the recommendation went to the added school. For the recommenders who did not give that option, we had to email them and ask to link in the new school, which apparently was very easy to do, according to one recommender.
    In summary:
    In SÃO a total non issue.
    In gateway, a non issue of your recommender had given the “auto submit” option but only a small issue even if they hadn’t.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1998 replies34 threads Senior Member
    What was your final list?
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
    @CaliMex PA, DA, SPS, Groton, Mx, HK, Taft, LC, Kent, MB, NMH, GS
    A long list but every single school earned its place there. Also, it's "top heavy" frankly given 80th final score -- because we visited before testing. So we figured why not leave on the schools she truly loved at visits since the biggest piece of the work was done -- she had visited, interviewed and loved these schools. And if she gets mostly NO's then no regrets. (We removed 4 schools from the visit tour for fit reasons). Anyway -- she did a fantastic job on her applications, and ended up with a 4.0 for the semester that ended today with a very tough schedule, so she feels great. She has made it easy for the right school to say yes to her, IMO. Now, we walk away until M10. (right??? easier said than done...)
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1998 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I have no doubt that you will have choices.

    Picking a school will be hard. What will your criteria be?

    Such a diverse list: Big schools! Small schools! Rural! Suburban! Traditional! Modern! Preppy! Artsy!
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
    I think our 12-school Interview tour in the fall made very clear to us that what mattered most to my DD was how people treated each other on campus. And finding that sense of connection could happen on a big campus or small campus or on a suburban or rural one, and they all had their charms (and drawbacks). Of course each school had pros and cons but we looked at different criteria than perhaps what some might consider important. She loved both Groton and Andover, for instance even though their campuses are very different. She really looked at the people, including any staff or faculty we met or just saw interacting.
    We assumed the academics would be solid everywhere, and figured we could drill down into greater detail once she had specific options. Then we could give more thought to what her life would actually look like in terms of curriculum options and EC options. You can’t take every class offered so just a big course catalog isn’t necessarily better than another school that has some nicely targeted offerings in curriculum and ECs.

    Schools admittedly did start to blend together a month or two after visits when we looked back so I was glad we had recorded our conversations on our phone voice memo and I was glad we gave each school a score of 1-10 so we would have shorthand for how much she loved the school. We decided to trust our reactions, apply to schools she loved after the tours, and leave the rest of the analysis for later after M10. (Which if you know me you know I love to analyze.)

    Another reason why our list may seem quite varied (more analysis!) — we live in a tiny town in the west, so “New England” (or even just east coast) to us is the big change. Rural or suburban feels like a detail compared to the massive change that is coming her way if she goes to BS next year!! We walk to the water here and wear flip flops year round. (In fact just yesterday my barefoot DD and I were walking the dog along the water. Her feet were cold, and I chastised her. “Why aren’t you wearing your flip flops!? You know full well it’s winter!!” We both had a laugh at how that will NOT be her experience next year!)

    The one word you mentioned that didn’t quite sound like her was artsy. Which school did she pick that is artsy? We may have overlooked that element somehow.

    I think she will have options. But we applied for FA and may not qualify so we may have limited options or options that vary greatly from a financial perspective. So, getting too stuck in the idea of having a “top school” seemed not helpful.
    Also, she also does not know which schools are “higher ranked” than the others. BS is simply not part of our culture here so all the schools except maybe Andover and Exeter and SPS were off the radar until a few months ago. She and I both agreed that I would do the deeper research on schools to create the short list of schools that I thought passed muster so she could be free to find the right fit. So she has no idea what any of the average SSAT scores are of the schools . I assured her they would all be challenging and we moved on to the rest of it. (She knows her mom analyzes everything so I think she was happy to let that part of the process go. Plus, tbh she was pretty focused on fixing that SSAT score debacle in November.)
    Time will tell.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 738 replies17 threads Member
    You can’t take every class offered so just a big course catalog isn’t necessarily better than another school that has some nicely targeted offerings in curriculum and ECs.

    So smart and I wanted to just highlight this for future applicants, mostly kids, who get very wrapped up in “only Andover and Exeter have enough classes for me to take”. Most schools have enough mandatory classes that you aren’t going to be taking 10 electives. If a school offers 50 electives but you can only take 2 of them, the fact of the 50 is not so important.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1998 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited January 17
    @Calliemomofgirls

    It is interesting what people notice during a brief visit.

    When we toured, we were turned off by a school where our tour guides completely ignored the "hired help" and gardeners and custodians lowered their gaze and didn't make eye contact when we walked by.

    At most schools the tour guides at least greeted such staff with a nod and/or a smile, even though they clearly did not know their names.

    At one school, our tour guide knew each and every name. And they knew hers! And some even knew she had had a Spanish exam the previous day and asked her how it went. That was our favorite East Coast school by far. It said so much about the community (and who the community considers part of the community!) Even more than the interactions between peers...
    edited January 17
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1998 replies34 threads Senior Member
    BTW, a score in the 80th percentile is FINE. If she doesn't get admitted somewhere, it will be because other applicants had even more impressive grades/recommendations/ECs or because they were looking to fill specific roles that weren't a match. All of the schools on your list have kids with scores below the 80th percentile.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
    @CaliMex oh that is very telling!
    Thx for the reminder about the 80th. I think my stomach was still living in the world from before. Also, verbal in the 60's still swirling in my head. So a great reminder that 80 is actually pretty good shape, if not what we were originally hoping.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 230 replies11 threads Junior Member
    btw @CaliMex not to split hairs but I realized that it was 81 gender/78 overall. Whatever. it's done. Hooray!
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 738 replies17 threads Member
    Schools have told me the number they care about is gender. I asked cause I thought it was weird and my older daughter was offended. So your kids score is an 81!
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