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daughter has high hopes - chance her?

mom22girlsmom22girls 328 replies49 postsRegistered User Member
edited August 2008 in Parents Forum
GPA - Unweighted: 4.00
GPA - Weighted: 4.50
Class Rank: 1 out of 350

Scores:

SAT II Math Level 2 (IIC): 800
SAT II Physics: 800
AP Scores: physics 5; Euro 3
took psat as sophomore: 221

Colleges of Interest: MIT; CalTech; Stanford, Brown, U Chicago, Cornell

She's planning on 5 ap courses in junior year. Mostly interested in math/science.
edited August 2008
18 replies
Post edited by mom22girls on
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Replies to: daughter has high hopes - chance her?

  • cnp55cnp55 3650 replies152 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Looks to me that she has the stats to apply to any of these. What you aren't showing us however is equally important in the admissions race. Essentially, she'll make the first cut and then hopefully stand out because of her passions and goals -- i.e. what her essays and recommendations have to say. And as she is a rising junior, there's plenty of time to develop those ECs that demonstrate passions, interests, and goals.
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  • JHSJHS 18336 replies71 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What can anyone say? You've been registered here since February, and you can't predict this?:

    She has great numbers -- couldn't be much greater -- through 10th grade. Unfortunately, great numbers alone won't guarantee her admission at any of the colleges you list. On the other hand, if she keeps it up at this pace, and continues to challenge herself, and shows some leadership and engagement with the world beyond school, and manages to communicate passion and individuality in her essays . . . then she could perfectly well be accepted at all of them, or anywhere else she applied.

    Don't count your chickens. Your daughter is putting a fair degree of stress on herself, and it wouldn't be surprising if some cracks showed in the next year and a half. A few cracks may not make a difference in her college applications, or they may. Plus, this is a period in a kid's life when she is growing and changing a lot. What you think she wants now, and what she thinks she wants 16-18 months from now when she submits applications, could be very different things.

    So . . . stay cool, stay loose. You have a smart, probably diligent daughter. That's wonderful. She should focus on her current education, and on finding things to do that inspire and challenge her. She should take this year's tests and do as well on them as past history suggests. And then next spring you can take a look at where she is, what it means, and what she wants to do about it.

    One final thing: It doesn't take any thought or creativity at all to decide that MIT, Stanford, et al. would be great colleges for a high-achieving math/science student. What takes thought and creativity is figuring out where ELSE she could be happy and stimulated. No matter how great she is, she will want to have a safety or two, because it really IS a crapshoot at the ultra elite level. And, no, Cornell and Chicago don't count as safeties. If you and she want to obsess about something this year, try that: Where would she like to be if all those options were closed off?
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  • skiers-momskiers-mom 242 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    She's a sophmore, correct? This is a great start. What does she do outside of the class room? Friend of mine does admission interviews for MIT. He says about 90% of kids he sees have the test scores and grades to get in (like your daughter), so admissions depends on what else their resume looks like. Sports, music, meaningful community work, debate, drama, school leadership, etc. Also depends on where you're from and track record of your D's high school. Where have the last years' top 10 students gotten into?

    Your D's scores and grades will get her in the eligible pile, but those schools have about 10 kids in that pile for every one they have room for.

    Good luck to her, she's off to a great start.
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  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions 12571 replies759 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    :: applause for JHS advice in post #3 ::
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  • mom22girlsmom22girls 328 replies49 postsRegistered User Member
    Thanks for all your input.
    Her EC's in school are French Club; Math, French, Science Honor Soc., flute choir, Students for Environmental Quality, she'll be editor of the school newspaper next year. Outside of school she volunteers at church (choir and altar server) and is on a multi-school math team competing at the Harvard/MIT Math Tournament and Mandlebrot. This will be her second summer attending mathcamp. She also tutors as a paying job. Is there anything missing? She doesn't volunteer outside of church/school... would that be an issue?
    I've been a member for a while, but not that diligent about scouring the site. Seems very overwhelming sometimes.
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  • mom22girlsmom22girls 328 replies49 postsRegistered User Member
    skiers Mom - I didn't notice your asking about her high school. One got into MIT the last two years - mostly a very mediocre college showing - only 1-5 go to ivies or near-ivies. Though we're on long island, our school has a huge povery level and many of the school's financial resources is spent on them.
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  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions 12571 replies759 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Regarding her already-excellent EC profile: you asked if anything is missing. All I'd say is, as she develops in the coming year, you might prompt her to look for openings or opportunities to show "leadership" as that's an application parameter when describing one's EC's.

    Become editor is an example of leadrship, so brava to her. As next year goes along, if she has a chance to be in charge, at some level, of the choir, or be elected president or officer (vp, treasurer) of any of her clubs, give her a thumbs-up (but not a hard shove) to try a leadership role.

    To volunteer at school and church is plenty good. Sometimes beyond that gets in the way of their evening schedules and academics.

    If anything begins to go sour on any of the activities in school or church, then you can realize there are other community-based offerings. Our D had no in-school opportunity to get choir on her schedule, for example, and our synagogue had no choral group. But she loved music! So once a year she'd join in an adult choir at a church, rehearse 8 weeks and then perform with them, because they sang some beautiful masterworks. That's just an example of how, if she has a real interest or passion, she can pursue it outside of school and church offerings, but only if those disappoint her or can't be scheduled.
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  • bartlebybartleby 1162 replies60 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    CalTech will see she clearly has an excellent mind for math/science from her grades and test scores, but I think they'd be even more impressed if she does some sort of science research over her summer after junior year or otherwise puts her scientific abilities to work.
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  • mathmommathmom 32137 replies158 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Mostly it's way too early to be thinking specific colleges. Your daughter could be accepted at all of the colleges on your list or rejected at them all. They are too selective to make any predictions - especially at this point.

    I agree that leadership and/or evidence of being a self-starter is lacking at this point. (Perfectly normal at this stage!) I agree that a summer science research experience would be beneficial. There are a number of programs for rising seniors - applications as I recall will be needed in Jan. or Feb.

    Remember that there are ways of showing leadership besides being the president of a club. You can spearhead a project for example.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28784 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think at this point your daughter is an excellent prospect for any school. I tend to agree with JHS. It is early in her life, and junior year can make a big difference. Certainly she should be reaching for the stars with her stats, but make sure there are some schools she knows if things do not go that way. It is very easy to pluck those big names off a list. The hardest part of the college list is getting the likely/safety school that both parent and kid can like and look forward to going. Yeah, that is very tough when you are licking chops at the ivies and MIT.

    About your high school, have kids with your D's stats been routinely denied by such schools as you llist? Ask your GC what the experience has been with kids of your D's calibre. If they are not experience with elite school admissions, you and D are going to have to take more charge of her app process.

    Also, have you looked at the financial situation? Are you able to pay for the education? Do you have need according to those schools? Make sure the schools and you are on the same page. Many, many parents I know with bright, talented kids with what they felt were meager or average financial were sure that their kids would get what they need from the schools in terms of scholarships. Some were very sadly mistaken. Your definition of need and the schools' and governments' may differ greatly. Get that situation under control before whetting your D's appetite for the most expensive schools.
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  • ellemenopeellemenope 11344 replies36 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    >>I think they'd be even more impressed if she does some sort of science research over her summer after junior year or otherwise puts her scientific abilities to work.<<

    Agree that this could be very useful, especially if she ends up writing a paper for the program that she could use to attach to the application. D attended the YSP program run at UC Davis, which was a 6-8 week program of scientific research with one professor.

    I would download the MIT application or get a hard copy of one. It is a good way to compile info that you'll be needing for most of the college applications that you do. Also, reading the essay prompts and looking to see what info the colleges request gives you an idea what "holes" you may want to try to fill.
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  • HeliMomNYCHeliMomNYC 363 replies10 postsRegistered User Member
    You've gotten some great advice here. It can be a problem finding opportunities for the creme de la creme of students to stretch themselves if the school and GC are overburdened with work and the school district is challenged. Also, you may well encounter the perception that high-achieving students don't need much help because "they can get in anywhere." One thing you might want to consider is private college counseling, if you can afford it and if you don't feel your daughter's GC is adequate. (When we attended College Night at our S's magnet public HS, parents were very forthcoming with this advice. Although we did not follow it, our S did not have your D's stats.) There is also a wealth of information, both in book form and on the internet, dealing with elite college admissions. Good luck to you and to your D!
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  • oaklandmomoaklandmom 994 replies82 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    If she's looking towards MIT/Caltech, has she done AMC, AIME or ARML? If not, she might want to look into them. She might also think of applying to RSI for next summer.
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  • Jman21Jman21 197 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You MUST get some non-reach schools in there for her. All of those schools are reaches for everyone so if that's her school list she'll end up very disappointed when she doesn't get into any of them...which very well could happen. You need some safety-nets as well as the reach/match schools.
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  • travel familytravel family 67 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I also agree with JHS's advise totally! Your D is very talented and bright. But as you must have seen here, no one can guarantee admission to any of these colleges. Also, getting into a college is really the first step. It is not an end but means to an end and I would say, we as parents need to remember that.

    Don't make getting into a specific college as the end all proposition. Remind your D that if she is motivated and works as hard as she has so far, she will do well no matter where she ends up going.
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  • NewHope33NewHope33 6136 replies72 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yeah I agree with the other posters -- JHS provides terrific advice. I guess the only other thing might be to figure out what kind of college experience your D wants. Taking just two of your prospies, what is your D looking for that both Brown and CalTech offer? Yes they're both "top schools." But what else?
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your D is involved in a lot of ECs. What typically happens with students who are serious about their ECs and show leadership and passion is that junior and senior year, they drop some of their ECs in order to devote lots of attention to the ECs that they most care about. As they drop some ECs, they also may add some ECs reflecting new and/or deeper interests.

    These tend to be the students who are most on track for top colleges, which look for students with leadership (meaning real leadership with results such as projects a student has initiated and coordinated, not just titles that are resume dressing only), not students who have laundry lists of ECs that they don't have much time for.

    Chance threads are a waste of time. No one except admissions officers could do that with any accuracy.

    I agree with those who suggest making sure that your D is interested in a broad range of schools including safeties that you know she'd love and where she'd be fulfilled, and that you can afford. No matter how stellar a student is (and your D's stats are stellar), all of the schools on your D's list are reaches, so the odds are against her.
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  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ 6345 replies328 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Have you considered RPI as a safety? (Someone might say no one should use RPI as a safety, but if her stats stay on track like this, and her gender, RPI sounds safe to me.)
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