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What do I say to my daughter?

FloridaladyFloridalady 68 replies5 threads Junior Member
edited April 2011 in Parents Forum
What do I say to my D when she seems to have done everything correct and still gets rejected - 4 times?

She applied to Harvard, Cornell, Duke and Brown. Received 4 rejections last night.

She has had straight 'A's since we moved from the UK when she was 12. Joined the IB program in HS. Took the most challenging course she could. Took 5 AP's - passed with 4's and 5's. GPA of 4.0 (4.7 weighted), 32 on her ACT. Volunteers and has good EC. Lots of awards in HS and in the running for Salutatorian of her school. She applied to 8 colleges in Florida and was accepted by all of them - most of them have invited her onto their honors program.

Now she is asking why she has knocked herself out for the last 4 years and still ended up with 4 rejections. She even felt that she had that little something different - being Scottish.

Hard to know what to say to her : (
edited April 2011
75 replies
Post edited by Floridalady on
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Replies to: What do I say to my daughter?

  • RobDRobD 4969 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Floridalady: sorry that your D is disappointed. But she has 8 fine choices. My D1 had a 32 ACT and as I told her that probably wasn't going to cut it in the Ivy's. Harvard's 25-75% range is 31-35 so your D was in the 25-50% range. Being a hard worker is great, but since she wasn't URM, legacy or the oboe player they needed this year then that 32 wasn't going to help her.

    I know it's hard to believe now, but in October she'll be happy where she chooses and she'll look back at yesterday as a blip on her radar.

    all the best!
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  • violadadvioladad 6351 replies294 threads Senior Member
    The world has not ended.

    Tell her the same we tell our musician kids/students:

    "any audition based admit is a crapshoot. You can only estimate the talent pool, and there are no guarantees."

    Make the most of her opportunities. The schools that rejected her now will still be there for grad school.

    Best of luck to her.
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  • arabrabarabrab 5889 replies78 threads Senior Member
    That you love her and know that she's going to accomplish great things. Elite college admissions decisions are a lottery, and those four schools get many more applicants like your daughter than they have space to admit. Were there some other schools between those four and the Florida choices?

    If she's really unhappy about the state school choices, she could always take a gap year, and reapply to some additional schools, including some where she's more likely to be admitted. She's got lovely stats, and sounds like a great person -- I know that a lot of schools would be delighted to have her.

    This really stings, and I wish I could give you and her each hugs.
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  • Gibson1514Gibson1514 490 replies7 threads Member
    Floridalady- We are Scottish too!!!!
    My D sounds just like your daughter!!!! She was rejected from Harvard, Princeton and Yale too, your D is in good company with the kids rejected from the Ivies. She is completing her acceptances to UGA as I type. She was fortunate to be awarded their Foundation Fellowship.

    Her stats were 35 ACT/ 2290 SAT , 7 5's on AP's, valedictorian.

    We were slightly disappointed but are moving on. The Ivies really are a lottery. Equate it how hard it would have been to get into Oxford or Cambridge.

    Your D has done everything right, I am sure she will go on to be a successful young lady!
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  • shillyshallyshillyshally 1168 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Also, with as competitive as the process is these days - her hard work got her the great 8 acceptances she has in hand - it was not for nothing! Her hard work paid off, likely (hopefully) with some offers of honors and money!

    Let her be dissapointed and then make the choosing fun - write up what each school has that makes it unique and what it may have that knocks it off her list - be as detailed and crazy as you want, make it fun! Does she want the availability of certain restaurants in town? Beach nearby? Free laundry? Think of anything and everything!

    Many students don't have 8 choices, have fun narrowing those down!
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  • WirefoxWirefox 193 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Receiving 4 rejections in one night would be hard for most kids. But as shillyshally said, she has 8 schools and those 8 schools want her! That is quite a few by any standard. It isn't even 24 hours since she got those 4 rejections so let her be sad right now. It's only natural but then start the fun part of evaluating each school's pros and cons and coming up with the best one for her.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40174 replies320 threads Senior Member
    What do I say to my D when she seems to have done everything correct and still gets rejected - 4 times?

    She applied to Harvard, Cornell, Duke and Brown. Received 4 rejections last night.

    She was applying to super-duper selective schools that are a reach for nobody, that turn down tons of highly qualified students. I am sure that it hurts, but I hope her expectations were not set as though any of them was a sure thing. Best of luck to her and to you.
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  • UT84321UT84321 1103 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Maybe she could look over the results threads for those schools--amazing, off the chart kids were rejected. She did everything right; it is more important to do what you enjoy than to spend all your time trying to package yourself just to get into a select few schools.
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  • FloridaladyFloridalady 68 replies5 threads Junior Member
    She applied to some smaller public colleges and some small private ones. She wasn't interested in any of the large state schools. She has two private ones left on the table that gave her a great merit award that I'm hoping we can make work after the final FA letters have been received. She just missed out on a full scholarlship for one of the private ones and while her award is very generous ($30,000) the balance left to pay is beyond us.

    Gibson1514 - your daughter has amazing stats and one would have thought she would be a dead cert.
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  • WirefoxWirefox 193 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Floridalady, just remember there are no dead certs with the Ivies and many other top schools. No one can predict which kid gets in and which doesn't.
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  • mom489mom489 29 replies0 threads New Member
    IVY schools are really a lottery and this year especially.

    2011 college trends -
    10 College Admissions Trends: Southern Schools, Waitlist, More - The Daily Beast

    My D rejected from Johns Hopkins and Cornell, Cornell was her #1.

    GPA: 4.0 UW, 4.58 W, ACT 32, 760 Biology, 740 Math
    Lots of APs, 2 years hospital volunteer, varisity sports
    Started essays and application in Summer 2010.

    Yes, my D probably wondering the same thing, worked very hard to apply for Cornell, but rejected nonetheless. That's reality.

    However, on the bright side, she applied to a variety of in state schools and got accepted to all and some with merit scholarship, so she has some good choices. We'll be visiting during Spring break!
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39151 replies470 threads Senior Member
    What do you say to an Olympian who places 4th in her event? "The next Games are only 4 years away!" Your D will be OK. By busting her tail in HS, she developed the work habits that will take her far in college. She will be a star at her state school, and with a stellar GPA she will have a shot at many fine graduate and professional schools.
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  • parentstwoparentstwo 169 replies18 threads Junior Member
    When you look at the % of admitted applicants from the selective schools you listed, most of their numbers are well below 10%. Add to that the fact that a number of these spaces went to URM's or athletes or others who receive preferential treatment, your daughter's odds were never very good despite her hard work and numerous good qualities. It feels like a bummer now, but all of us with older kids have been where you are now. FWIW, oldest D ended up at her state school (not a first choice), absolutely loved it her four years there, and now is in graduate school at Harvard.
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  • MLevyNJMLevyNJ 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Because the 4 schools are so highly regarded, they each receive tens of thousands more applications than they have space available. Harvard alone received more than 30,000 applications this year. That means that thousands of hard-working, top-notch, qualified candidates have to be turned away. Your daughter is in good company. However, the hard work she put in will definitely benefit her...she already knows how to study and do well, and I'm sure that she will be sucessful no matter where she goes.

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  • megdogmegdog 256 replies27 threads Junior Member
    A similar situation in our house. There were lots of tears last night. My daughter also got into great schools but felt crushed by the rejections from the uber-selective schools. I let her cry, I reminded her when I could that she is still my wonderful daughter, and I spent some time starting to plan visits to the schools that did accept her. I don't know if I communicated this very well to her, but I think and I said that I was relieved that now we're back to our children being real human beings, not the pieces of paper that admissions committees see them as.
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  • Gibson1514Gibson1514 490 replies7 threads Member
    Thanks Floridalady. There are a lot of amazing students out there with similar stats. She did get accepted to the public Ivies- UVA, UNC Chapel Hill. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the Ivies. She was accepted to Duke and some kids she knows where denied at Duke and accepted at Harvard and Yale.

    We had already emotionally moved on from the Ivies before last night's results. D realized the value of a free ride for undergrad. We wouldn't have received very much FA and would have had to dig deep to pay Ivy tuition. D is thrilled to have her undergrad paid and to try again for the Ivies in 4 years for law school.

    Hugs to you and your daughter. We lived in Edinburgh and moved to Atl 15 years ago. My girls have gaelic names- which gives us much amusement as Southerners try to pronounce them :)
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  • faithfirst2226faithfirst2226 162 replies9 threads Junior Member
    When God closes a door he opens a window

    My D is also facing some challenges and there is nothing we can do to control or fix it...hurts to see your child hurt. Your not alone.
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  • FloridaladyFloridalady 68 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Gibson1514 - we're also from Edinburgh (Barnton). Moved in 2006. As we're not citizens or GC holders we are not entitled to FAFSA (even although we pay our taxes here) so funding college with our business in the toilet was always going to be a challenge. D has no social security # on our visa so she can't work and can't take out loans. Partly why D applied to the Ivy Leagues as she would possibly have been given great scholarships.
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  • pugmadkatepugmadkate 5824 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Floridalady, just remember there are no dead certs with the Ivies and many other top schools. No one can predict which kid gets in and which doesn't.

    This is the absolute truth. I feel that we were lucky to go through an admissions season on CC before my son's application year because I saw students with his stats get rejected and, honestly, I just assumed kids with those kinds of grades, SAT/ACT scores, ecs and so on would get into the Ivy League. We were much better prepared when Yale and Brown said "no" and, honestly, I cannot picture him anywhere that the college that he is at. It's a great fit and he loves it.

    We had told our son that just being competitive for these schools is something to be very proud of and it really is. The fact is that that level of excellence simply buys you a lottery ticket at that level.
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  • parent56parent56 7523 replies135 threads Senior Member
    unfortunately all you can do is remind her when she is able to listen, that about 9out of10 other kids with great stats are in the same boat. Remind her its not her!! its the system, the number of applicants, all of whom are qualified.
    btw if you dont qualify for fafsa, they need fafsa for need based aid..how would you get need based aid? ivies dont have merit scholarships
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