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Does everyone snap like this?

Dancer41Dancer41 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
I can't believe I am posting this and I swore I wasn't one of "those parents" but now I'm afraid I am. Maybe too many college visits but I've worked myself up into a frenzy that my daughter won't get accepted to the colleges she's decided will make her life perfect. (Of course they won't but she can dream.). On top of it all, today she got her first B for a semester and it's just reinforcing my irrational fears. (Of course I know this doesn't matter in the grand scheme but this is how crazy I've gotten.)

She attends a public school in NJ. Her average in core courses is between an 88 and a 92. She will have 2 AP history courses (US and Euro); 2 AP English courses; AP Environmental; Honors Psych (really AP level but school doesn't have a certified psych teacher). Foreign language to level 4 (honors not offered and AP not offered next year due to low enrollment). All other classes except math are honors level. (Math is not honors because she has fine motor skill issues and can barely write.) No study halls, all electives like sociology, anthropology, etc.

She will have good recommendations and is a strong writer.

ACT- reading 31: English 28; Math 19. She took test cold and hadn't covered some of the math topics in class yet. She is getting some help and taking again in June.

NHS, Math and Language Honor societies

Most ECs are service related and she volunteers outside of school with disabled children a a hospital where she was a patient. (She has a disability as well.)

Her top choices are:
St Olaf

More competitive schools she liked:
Colorado College
Vassar (a legacy if it matters)

Still have to visit Clark and Haverford

We are full pay.

I realize I am asking a bunch of strangers but all these threads has me in a panic.

Thanks for your support of this crazy momma!

Replies to: Does everyone snap like this?

  • my2caligirlsmy2caligirls Registered User Posts: 680 Member
    edited April 20
    No need to snap - she will do fine. Looks like GPA, and EC's are solid. She needs to really focus on getting her ACT score up - the Math 19 should be a MAJOR prep focus. Unclear what her overall composite score is but strongly recommend prep class, tutor, prep guides etc to get her where she needs to be in a short period of time - June, Sept, Oct ACT are her main opportunties assuming she is a junior. Good luck!
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 11,951 Senior Member
    "she has fine motor skill issues and can barely write."
    Given this disability I strongly suggest you research and find colleges that do NOT require any college math courses for graduation eligibility . I have no idea whether any of the colleges currently on her list qualify.
    No matter what college she attends, the classes will be harder than HS classes, and having a writing impediment may mean many difficulties for her at any college.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,218 Senior Member
    She would probably qualify for accommodations on standardized tests. Does she have a 504 plan or IEP at her school?

    But perhaps an even better idea is to look at this list of test-optional schools, which includes some of the best schools in the country that either don't require or don't emphasize standardized tests (some require them for merit aid but if you can full pay that is not an issue). This is NOT a second-rate way to apply. One of my kids applied only to schools that were test-optional and got into all of the ones she applied to.


  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,559 Senior Member
    edited April 20
    You haven't mentioned safeties, both in terms of an admit and the level of support she can receive for any challenges. A few of those targets will be quite competitive. Some, you probably know, are test optional. But I suspect all will like to see some varied ECs, to show a range of interests and commitments, some flexibility. Think about what else she may be involved in, that will show she's likely to engage, on campus.

    You can breathe. It's at this point, when you have the first set of basics done, she's developing an idea of what she likes, wants, and needs in a college, that we all start the CYA.
  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen Registered User Posts: 798 Member
    HI, I understand your worry, I have similar concerns for my sophomore (that she'll fall in love with out-of-reach options). One thing, though, is that Skidmore is already on your list and is one of those test optional schools @compmom was talking about.
  • LBowieLBowie Registered User Posts: 1,723 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    I think she has a decent chance to get in to Skidmore. What are your thoughts on early decision? If Denison is her top choice and she doesn't get in, she could try ED2 at one of the others. Skidmore has an ED2 option. Clark would probably be a safety.

    Did she try the SAT? Some kids do better on it (I have one kid that did better on the ACT and one who did better on the SAT.)

    Remember, colleges don't see quarter grades except maybe senior year.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,431 Senior Member
    Hey, if we didn't snap at our kids once in awhile, we wouldn't be human. That said, please try and not let the college stuff get to you and you family dynamics. It can take over interactions, discussions, etc. As parents, we need to push back on that and set the tone for our kids so they don't get stressed out in this competitive college game. Our children's mental health is the most important thing.

    One of my kids was lopsided on scores and did fine. I agree with focusing on some testing optional schools of which it looks like you have a few on the list.

    Please keep your daughter from developing "dream schools". I think that it a dangerous place to go. There are so many great colleges out there. Based on the schools you've listed, I'd also take a look into both Lawrence University in WI and St. Lawrence in NY. Wonderful schools and less competitive than some on your list.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,218 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    Okay so on your list, most are test-optional: Bates, Denison, Dickinson, Clark, Skidmore (and Smith right next to it), Colorado College are all on the list. There are many others to consider as well....

    St. Olaf, Haverford and Vassar are not on the list.

    There is really no point in spending time and energy on raising scores, not to mention stress, when testing will either make no difference or harm her chances. Instead, she could spend the time on interests and activities that make her life more interesting- and also, as a byproduct, increase her chances.

    Her service is the strongest thing in her favor, and the fact that she volunteers at a hospital where she was a patient is a wonderful story. For many schools, academics have to meet a benchmark and after that it is about other things....

    I know that Clark has merit awards for service, others might.

    The only reason I could see for taking a single ACT or SAT in the future would be if she got accommodations and could then show the colleges how much of a difference they made in her scores. Because that would help get her accommodations at college. But if she has professional documentation and testing, that would not be a problem anyway. If she has accommodations already at high school, that helps too. If not, make sure to get some diagnostic documentation soon.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,431 Senior Member
    Just for the record, Colorado College is test flexible not test optional.
  • snorkelmomsnorkelmom Registered User Posts: 276 Junior Member
    ^^ Very important to have the educational testing taken care of now while she's in HS. She will have to show a history of accommodations in HS in order to receive these services in college and it can only help her be successful in all academic subjects, not just math.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,218 Senior Member
    Thanks doschicos, I was just going back to check that because the list now includes test-flexible as well as test-optional schools. So some of the others may be too :)

    By the way, I didn't take the thread title to mean that the parent "snapped" at the child. I took it to mean that she got herself in a "frenzy" and therefore emotionally "snapped." Maybe OP can clarify.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 523 Member
    As the other posters have mentioned, you need to focus on not just getting in but staying in college. The very top colleges have students who are strong across the board and thus can fulfill the distribution requirements easily. I had a lopsided child as well and looked for a college with almost no quantitative class requirements and more focus on experiential learning.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,431 Senior Member
    Either way, best not to/no need to panic! Reign it in and focus on the long game. Your daughter has a lot going for her and there are places who will want her and where she'll do great. Just focus on flushing out a well rounded and balanced list of schools.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,559 Senior Member
    But she still needs safeties she'd be equally happy at. CC has seen some that have been "decent chance" schools disappoint. A safety means backups.
  • Dancer41Dancer41 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    edited April 21
    Thank you all for your comments and support. Feeling a little calmer today and wanted to clarify a few things.

    I snapped internally, but not at her. It was a poor choice of words on my part. Just feeling like I was someone who swore I wouldn't let this get to me, and it has in a way I never expected.

    She does have a 504 plan and has been receiving accommodations since pre school. We've avoided the SAT because her PSAT wasn't so great and the ACT allows her to take the test in small chunks over multiple days which I think is a much better option for her. She is working with a tutor for the June exam and has also learned a lot more in math class in school since she last took the test which I'm hoping will help. This is the last time she will take the test as many of the schools top on her list are test optional and will happily go that route.

    As far as ED and dream schools, I am discouraging both. While ED certainly can raise the acceptance rate (this was made very clear at CC), I am nervous that making a decision w/out the benefit of more time, meeting other accepted students etc. could be dangerous. She has a bit of anxiety and is socially somewhat reserved and shy so "fit" is going to be very important. I feel like that's something you need to assess over multiple visits. Also, not one single school has stood out for her above all others, more like a few and I think if she got into either of them she'd be fine. Dickinson and CC have Early Action so that is something she plans to do.

    She does have additional activities that include photography, stage crew, language club but her passion is service and it's those activities that she's really committed herself to.

    As far as the accommodations going forward, this is huge I agree and another reason that we want to make sure to understand what school might able to support her most appropriately. I see it as another reason to stay away from dream schools and ED. We will need to understand what each offer, their approach and attitude about students in her situation. For most classes, extra time and typing or getting copies of the notes is all she needs. Math is always a bit trickier because you can't just open Word and do math problems - it's harder to accommodate.

    The guidance and support here (along w/ all of the other threads I'm getting the benefit) of is fantastic! Thank you.

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