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Freshman year over..grades in..sigh of relief

PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
edited May 2006 in Parents Forum
Anybody else out there breathing a sign of relief? S had a great first year but is so glad to get a break. He (and we) were a little anxious about the grades due to scholarship requirements. Good news. The grades came in last night and he made the grades to keep his scholarships for another year...hooray.

Just a note of warning for seniors (and parents of). The merit scholarships are great but the ones S got (and probably some your kids got) come with the requirement of maintaining a certain gpa. For my S, it was 3.2.

Last year when he was a happy go lucky senior cruising through high school with well over a 4.0, the thought of only needing a 3.2 to keep the great scholarship seemed easily attainable to him...no problem.

He found out that it wasn't as easy as he thought it was going be. It's a lot harder to get those A's (and even B's ). in college.
So all is well for one more year for us but I'm sure next year we may be holding our breath again.
edited May 2006
24 replies
Post edited by PackMom on
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Replies to: Freshman year over..grades in..sigh of relief

  • momofthreemomofthree 1416 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,486 Senior Member
    Congrats, PackMom. I know this is a real comfort and relief to you! And now that your S has gotten the first year in, with all of its various adjustments, I imagine it will be easier in the future!
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  • MrsPMrsP 165 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    Isn't keeping a scholarship a good motivation for studying?
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  • PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    momofthree, Thanks. Relief is putting it mildly!

    Mrs. P, Yes, keeping the scholarship is great motivation for studying. S did a lot and spent many hours in the office of his Calc2 teacher getting help. In Calc2 this past semester they had 4 tests. The class average on every test was in the 60's. In Eng. 101 entire grade was based on 4 written papers. S had always been an excellent Eng. student (740V SAT1 and been told in h.s. he was a good writer) but yet in this Eng. class he got 2 C's and 2 B's on his papers that he put a lot of effort into. On each paper only 2-4 students got A's (out of 35 in class). Ended up with B- in both classes and was happy to have it. He had 18 hours this semester and did better in his other 3 classes so was able to "make the grade".
    I was really just pointing out that students with scholarships based on gpa need to be prepared for the fact that subjects that were a breeze for them in h.s might not be as breezy for them in college despite their best efforts.
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  • GoBlueAlumMomGoBlueAlumMom 828 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 829 Member
    S. will be a freshman this fall, but I guess he's lucky with the terms of his merit scholarship:
    "We expect that a student with your academic qualifications should be able to maintain the necessary cumulative GPA that assures the continuation of this award (2.3 GPA for first-year, 2.5 GPA for upperclass). We purposely set this GPA at a low level to permit our students to experiment with courses in unfamiliar subjects, without fearing loss of scholarship support."
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  • northeastmomnortheastmom 11939 replies440 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
    GoBlueAlumMom, That is the lowest gpa that I have seen as necessary to keep a scholarship. I think that takes some of the angst away from the parents and students, and gives them the green light to enroll.
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  • originaloogoriginaloog 2631 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Our son received merit scholarship offers exceeding $14,000 at 5 of the 7 colleges he applied to and his first 2 choices boiled down to Case($17,500) and Rensselaer($25,000). Because both universities have reputations as being academically challenging, the fact that the three RPI scholarships had no gpa requirement had a significant impact on his final decision.

    Fortunately he is far exceeding our expectations in the classroom so it would not have been an issue but he didn't know 2 years when it came time to make that fateful decision. A friend's daughter did loose her scholarship after a poor 4th semester but got it reinstated after a boffo 5th semester.
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  • weenieweenie 5444 replies349 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,793 Senior Member
    My son has a nice scholarship with a 3.0 gpa requirement. Since I think that should be easily attainable for him (and it has been so far), I don't see it as a hurdle. I do think any gpa requirement could be worrisome in, say, engineering.

    I guess that if your child receives a merit scholarship, it already indicates they are at "the top of the heap" so to speak, so some reasonable gpa requirement shouldn't be a huge problem, unless they're goofing off.

    The bottom line for my son is if he loses his scholarship he's coming home. I think you have to make your expectations on that one clear from the start.
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  • digmediadigmedia 3122 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,331 Senior Member
    My son also has a gpa requirement for his scholarships, but the program he's in has even stricter requirements. One B-minus or lower and he will be brought in for a "talk." Another B-minus or lower COULD lead to dismissal from the program altogether.
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  • anxiousmomanxiousmom 5788 replies105 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,893 Senior Member
    DD's scholarship at Rice requires a 2.8 gpa. I believe that College of Wooster had no gpa requirement for their scholarships. College is stressfull enough without having the pressure of meeting a high GPA requirement.
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  • jprojpro 74 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    My oldest D has a merit scholarship that requires she keep a 3.0.Fortunately she has but it does add to the stress level.She is studying Engineering and the first year of engineering school is like boot camp.The amount of classes and labs she had were insane.That boot camp environment and the pressure to keep her grades up made her freshmen year pretty tough on her.
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  • MrsPMrsP 165 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    PackMom, I wonder why the college courses are so much more difficult than high school. My son goes to a very competitive high school and is doing college level work in some subjects. I've heard from other parents that they are then well prepared for college. I'm trying to help my son find a college that is a match for his educational background and abilities so he will not find himself over his head in college. It may be that the most competitive, elite colleges are much more difficult than the mid-level LACs or some of the state schools, which is something to take into account when looking at schools. That is good information for me to keep in mind if he asks me for guidance on selecting a school.
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  • PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    MrsP, My son goes to a state school,most known for engineering. My H graduated from same school(in engineering) and is of the opinion that Calc.1,2,3 are "weed-out" classes to determine who was going to be able to make it through. S. agreed saying that he knew quite a few people who would be re-taking Calc.2. A grade of at least C is required to pass.
    Oftentimes the rigor of the course is totally up to the instructor. While S worked hard in Eng.101, one of his best friends from h.s. (who was not a strong Eng. student) breezed thru his Eng.101 at same univ. but with a different grad student for instructor.
    There is one Chem. prof. at his school who is so notorious for failing people that S's advisor told him to drop the class immediately if he got that prof. for Chem 101. Sometimes it's just luck of the draw.
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  • newmassdadnewmassdad 3792 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,848 Senior Member
    I'm not so sure college IS that much harder than HS. Rather, it is different. With all too many HS courses, now driven especially by NCLB testing and AP curricula, a student can do very well by fairly passive regurgitation of material (s)he read or heard in lectures. Even with AP classes, the "analytical" component borders on rote. That's why teachers can teach the "formula" for the so called critical analysis parts (the essays) of the AP exams.

    Some colleges are no different, but the better ones often expect much more. They expect a degree of synthesis and critical analysis. Since so few HS kids have had experience with this, especially at the level expected in college, it comes as a bit of a shock. Hence the grading.

    One should also keep in mind that grading practices in college vary widely by discipline. The sciences, engineering and math are notorious for tough grading. I suspect this is largely due to the lack of subjectivity in the answers expected: In most cases, there is only ONE answer (OK, you might be able to follow multiple paths in mathematical proof etc!). As you move from the hard sciences to the social sciences to the humanities (and finally the arts!), testing and grading becomes increasingly subjective, and average grades usually rise in step.

    MrsP, it is curious that hard data shows that the most competitive LACs and Universities are NOT more difficult than state Us, at least based on GPA. Of course, the student mix is different. With the talented students one finds at the elites, one would expect to find famously challenging classes. U. Chicago is famous, for instance, for its Honors Analysis course, an invititation only math class reputed to be among the most difficult freshman courses in the country. State Us don't have courses like this. At the same time, elite colleges offer a broad range of courses, including the "rocks for jocks" type of courses, so it is possible to go to many elites and slide through, as long as one is willing to live with the consequences. For example, although Harvard is infamous for having 90% of the kids graduate with honors a few years ago, and I think it is still over 70%, consider those that don't!
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  • berurahberurah 4478 replies82 discussions- Posts: 4,560 Senior Member
    PackMom~

    SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad to hear about your son's success this year...I can imagine how very stressful the gpa requirement must be! Tell him WAY TO GO for me, and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!! ~berurah
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  • PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    Thanks berurah, we're pretty happy too. Your posts are always so warm and encouraging. BTW my S is just down the road from yours (he's at NCSU).
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  • originaloogoriginaloog 2631 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    jpro, first year engineering is indeed like a boot camp. Since your daughter successfully negotiated it, she should have no problem for her remaining years. The worst is over for her.
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  • jprojpro 74 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    orinaloog

    Yes the hardest part was the first year.She wanted to drop it but I told her it would get easier and that an engineering degree opens up a lot of doors.She is through 2 years now and her GPA is solidly and safely above a 3.0.So she'll keep the scholarship for her last 2 years.I think she told me there are only like 50 kids still majoring in her area (BME) in her class.They really do weed kids out.

    My brother started out as an engineering major and dropped it after Freshman year.He had a real high GPA but he said the stress of constantly getting 30's and 40's in tests (even though 30's and 40's were good grades) freaked him out.So I think his experience helped D out because to this day he regrets his decision to drop engineering
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  • PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    I agree. While my S is not in engineering, the program he is in requires the same science/math sequence. His advisor told him that students
    who lose the departmental scholarship that he has almost always do so during the first 2 years and if they can hang on thru that then they are usually fine the last 2 years.
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  • overseasoverseas 2872 replies53 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,925 Senior Member
    Son just got scholarship renewed! Whew! :)
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  • Tara251088Tara251088 172 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    I am a current HS Senior and I received the Regent's Scholarship at UC Berkeley, where I will have to keep a 3.0 GPA to renew it each year. The scholarship is $18,555 per year, so it's a little bit of pressure.
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