right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We have changed the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

Rising Junior Seeks Merit: 32ACT, 4.0W/3.5UW, 19 AP/Honors, 4+2 FL. Public Policy/History

PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
Our 11th grade son has gotten an early start in the college search. He has no FA need.

His interests are in public policy/political science and history. International studies also interests him as do some of the leadership programs out there. Very patriotic kid, Eagle scout. Would consider the military except that he has a sibling with significant special needs that will require oversight. The sibling's needs also make college merit something to seriously pursue.

Homeland security, State Department, and FBI might be career paths but he could end up in the legal field, as a lobbyist, etc. He "identifies" as a moderate Republican but has interned for an openly gay candidate. Schools which have student bodies that are super left or super right might not be a great fit... he accepts others, but they might not reciprocate. Has done public speaking on remembrance of enslaved populations and Native cultures and has been published on the topics.

He's visited schools in DC, VA, NC, SC, TN, AL, and MS. Might consider PA, but he's only seen snow once, so no further north. Would like a break from deep south heat. Hikes, camps, kayaks so outdoor programs are important.

He has not yet taken any test prep classes. Subscores are 36 reading, 34 English, 30 science, 27 math. All courses taken through senior year will include 5 AP, 7 gifted, and 7 honors, 4+2 years foreign language, plus an extra World Geography from junior high (it gave a full Carnegie unit). Huge history buff! Any suggestions would be most appreciated!
107 replies
· Reply · Share
«13456

Replies to: Rising Junior Seeks Merit: 32ACT, 4.0W/3.5UW, 19 AP/Honors, 4+2 FL. Public Policy/History

  • thumper1thumper1 76070 replies3352 threads Senior Member
    For merit...American University might be an option.
    · Reply · Share
  • SybyllaSybylla 4148 replies53 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    For sure work on test prep and aim higher, same with the UW GPA if you need merit anywhere in as far as that is possible. What is his rank?
    Make sure he has his instate options lined up. What is your budget? Do you have BF locked?
    edited December 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Sybylla , he is working on that UW but with the sheer volume of advanced classes & foreign languages, I can't see him boosting it by that much... maybe to a 3.6. For his electives, he's been taking things like AP Comp Gov and AP Euro... instead of intro to figure drawing or drama. The volume of course rigor is fantastic, but UW gpa suffers.

    As he is a junior, they don't assign class rank yet. He has three safeties in mind (one instate), and we'll consider varying OOP net costs versus quality of degree program. We wouldn't pay 30 for Alabama, but would for W&M (not that it is likely - just an example). But because our other child will have to be in a full-care facility for probably 60 years, obviously we're trying to balance college costs for the other child with an outstanding degree program.

    Thanks for your insights!
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76070 replies3352 threads Senior Member
    If you have significant expenses relative to your other child, perhaps you could request a special circumstances consideration. This would especially apply for any costs you incur in the tax year for your financial aid submissions. If you allocate money out of income for something like a special needs trust (for example), it’s possible the colleges might consider this as well.
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @thumper1 That is an excellent idea. The only hitch is that while we do have the special needs trust established (and a tutorship set up since he is over 18), the trust is not yet funded.

    You may already know this, but once a family puts funds into the special needs trust, that transfer of monies is irrevocable. If the family has some sort of disastrous calamity, what ever is in the trust cannot come out until the person with special needs passes away. We have funds tucked away in various investments/insurance that will go to the trust upon our deaths, but it is obviously risky to fund the trust beforehand.

    Secondly, our older special needs child still lives with us, and hopefully will remain in the family home until the college bound one is finished with undergrad and possibly grad school. Husband and I will be 60 when the college bound boy graduates HS, then mid 60s after undergrad. On paper, we will not have evidence of the high cost of the group home since we don't want him there until we cannot care for him. We take him kayaking, on hiking trips, to see places like the Grand Canyon, etc - there is no group home out there that will do that, so we're delaying putting him in one.

    Kids are just a pain in the neck! Ha.
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Sybylla wrote: »
    For sure work on test prep and aim higher, same with the UW GPA if you need merit anywhere in as far as that is possible. What is his rank?
    Make sure he has his instate options lined up. What is your budget? Do you have BF locked?

    What's your opinion on choice of electives? We know they can boost the overall GPA, but last year he chose AP Comp Gov & Span 2. This year, he chose AP Euro, Span 3, & Fren 1. Next year (senior) he plans on AP Macro, Span 4, Fren 2.

    The faciliatator for his IEP suggested he instead take things like computer skills, broadcast, intro to law, etc for easier As, but he absolutely loves the government-related electives and the foreign languages. We've supported him taking the harder load because he enjoys what he's learning. A better UW gpa might look better, but I felt like I'd go to Mommy Hell for saying "NO! You cannot take another history class!"
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76070 replies3352 threads Senior Member
    @PolllyDactile you mention an IEP. Are you anticipating accommodations being needed in college? If so, you need to also consider the disability offices at the colleges he likes.

    What is his career end goal (now as a HS junior) understanding that could change multiple times between now and when he actually graduates from college.

    I know you say he wants to get out of the south, but really, your instate public options might be the best cost options. He can get a degree in history just about anywhere.

    Just curious why you would pay more for WM than Alabama.

    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    @PolllyDactile you mention an IEP. Are you anticipating accommodations being needed in college? If so, you need to also consider the disability offices at the colleges he likes.

    What is his career end goal (now as a HS junior) understanding that could change multiple times between now and when he actually graduates from college.

    I know you say he wants to get out of the south, but really, your instate public options might be the best cost options. He can get a degree in history just about anywhere.

    Just curious why you would pay more for WM than Alabama.

    The IEP is for the gifted program - it is housed within the special education department.

    Right out of undergrad or grad school, he'd like to work with the State Department, Homeland security, or other federal agencies. He believes everyone able should serve their country some way for a few years. He is currently writing and presenting bills in his two government-related clubs and is in heaven doing so... law school and politics, maybe lobbying could be in his future.

    He doesn't want a career in history, per se. He is just very cognizant that there are controversies and turmoils going on nationally and internationally that are near-repeats of past events. A local TV station interviewed him this past summer, and he said something to the effect that all history is treasure, and that if we don't keep its lessons in the forefront we cant effectively improve our future.

    If cost were the only consideration, then by all means, he'd stay instate. But history will be the co-major or minor. We would absolutely pay more for College of William & Mary than Alabama for its outstanding public policy program and proximity to the federal government.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76070 replies3352 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    There are many, many folks working in the areas you mentioned who never set foot in a college with close proximity to DC. One of the most successful lobbyist we know went to college in Arkansas. Just saying.

    But again I’m going to suggest American University.

    It sounds like getting significant merit aid is very important...that being the case, you need to look at places where he actually will be in the very top of the applicant pool.

    Thank you for explaining the IEP need gifted programs. That won’t do anything in terms of colleges.

    @blossom could you perhaps do some explaining about how college majors and even colleges don’t necessarily align with specific jobs?
    edited December 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3282 replies39 threads Senior Member
    The federal government won't value a William and Mary degree more highly than any other, and initial pay rates are rather low, with a high cost of living in Washington. If federal employment is the goal, a less expensive degree is better. Look into the NSA college scholarship program, but his math numbers may be too low. Might be a good candidate for ROTC scholarship.
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    There are many, many folks working in the areas you mentioned who never set foot in a college with close proximity to DC. One of the most successful lobbyist we know went to college in Arkansas. Just saying.

    But again I’m going to suggest American University.

    It sounds like getting significant merit aid is very important...that being the case, you need to look at places where he actually will be in the very top of the applicant pool.

    Thank you for explaining the IEP need gifted programs. That won’t do anything in terms of colleges.

    @blossom could you perhaps do some explaining about how college majors and even colleges don’t necessarily align with specific jobs?

    He's toured American and interviewed with one of their traveling reps here locally - it's on the list!
    · Reply · Share
  • mommdcmommdc 11651 replies31 threads Senior Member
    He could look into the Boren scholarship

    https://www.borenawards.org/eligible-programs
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3282 replies39 threads Senior Member
    American is not known for generous merit money, but you can always try.
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    The federal government won't value a William and Mary degree more highly than any other, and initial pay rates are rather low, with a high cost of living in Washington. If federal employment is the goal, a less expensive degree is better. Look into the NSA college scholarship program, but his math numbers may be too low. Might be a good candidate for ROTC scholarship.

    W&M is one of a handful of schools that offer Public Policy as an undergrad program and it's well reputed - thus the draw. He considered ROTC and actually would like to serve but has an older brother with significant special needs. He will be tied down with his brother sooner rather than later, so being committed to eight years of service in who knows where doesn't work with our family situation. Good suggestion, though.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3282 replies39 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I spent along time at the highest levels of the federal government, and have a degree in policy from a school ranked far higher than William and Mary. Trust me when I say it does not matter. The FBI, DHS, and NSA will not care. The ROTC obligation is 4 years, not 8.
    edited December 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    mommdc wrote: »
    He could look into the Boren scholarship

    https://www.borenawards.org/eligible-programs

    Interesting! I actually worked in Sumatra for a short while and (used to) speak some Bahasa Indonesia. I'll show him - thanks.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 76070 replies3352 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Someone does not need a public policy degree at all to work in the federal government. Not at all.

    We know a lot of folks working for the federal government with degrees in economics, history, Spanish, communications, math, psychology. Please don’t think the only thing that will get him a job in government is a degree in public policy or history or whatever. Degrees can be in anything.

    You mention the military not being an option, but the jobs you do mention don’t sometimes have “flexibility” in terms of where you work. Sometimes the way to move up within a government agency is to take a job in another city to gain the expertise you need to then move into a DC position. And remember too...many “DC” positions are in Maryland or Virginia, not in DC. If he works for the State Department, his postings could be almost anywhere.

    What I’m saying is...help him keep his options open. Very open.

    I’m hoping the responsibility for his older sibling can be managed while also taking his desires into consideration.
    edited December 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    Someone does not need a public policy degree at all to work in the federal government. Not at all.


    You mention the military not being an option, but the jobs you do mention don’t sometimes have “flexibility” in terms of where you work. Sometimes the way to move up within a government agency is to take a job in another city to gain the expertise you need to then move into a DC position. And remember too...many “DC” positions are in Maryland or Virginia, not in DC. If he works for the State Department, his postings could be almost anywhere.

    What I’m saying is...help him keep his options open. Very open.

    I’m hoping the responsibility for his older sibling can be managed while also taking his desires into consideration.

    I'm totally with you! At present, he is more oriented toward what he'll study than where he'll end up. What he studies will influence what career he finds, and not the other way around. A future engineer, pilot, doctor, nurse, attorney would do it the opposite way, but he wants to keep his career options open (other than believing he needs to serve for awhile). If he can be near a major airport and get home to check in on his brother (who we'll eventually house in a care facility of some type), that would be the goal. If he were deployed to Japan or Iceland, flying in to see his brother would't work.

    He just absolutely loves discussing policy, history, international affairs, and all that is from when he was in kindergarten to now. Silly, but when he was in second grade, the teacher was playing a game to teach kids how to use their dictionaries. She had them look up the word "pocket" whereupon he raised his hand and told her the dictionary was missing a definition. He mentioned the French civilians in WWII who created pockes of resistance. As a little kid, he was your regular little knuckle head but also watched the military history channel instead of Nickelodeon. He knows more aracane info about WW2, the Korean War, Viet Nam etc than anybody we've ever met. He's been yakking lately about Venezuela, compared Putin's move right after the Olympics with Hitler's move right after the Olympics. He'll bore you with the Boerr Wars (whatever those were). He writes, presents, and debates bills in his clubs.

    All that to say, I don't know that Homeland Security will be his final home. He did the FBI teen academy program this summer and enjoyed it, but also has been to some youth legislature retreats that he was crazy about. My background is in geology and geophysics. My husband's is in finance. We are capable of researching on our son's behalf, but are pretty much adrift as to what career path(s) he'll travel.

    If we can assist him in finding great educational opportunities with medium costs, we'll do it. Its just culling the list of about 30 possibles that is the chore! Thank you!
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79687 replies712 threads Senior Member
    Target net price?
    · Reply · Share
  • PolllyDactilePolllyDactile 68 replies2 threads Junior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    Target net price?

    30 for a really great program... possibly more, hopefully less. We have acorns squirreled away but would prefer to allocate them to the other boy's special needs care.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity