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College Decision Day 2019 is past. How is everyone feeling? Lessons Learned?

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Replies to: College Decision Day 2019 is past. How is everyone feeling? Lessons Learned?

  • Trixy34Trixy34 1183 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @OneMoreKid - I might have lost it too. Glad the performance went well, though!
    Sounds like your son has ended up with a phenomenal opportunity.
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  • TheodenTheoden 252 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @OneMoreKid We all live and learn. If you see in my first post, my daughter only applied to a ton of reach schools, 1 match and 2 safeties. She got rejected from all her reaches, 1 of her safeties. The match that accepted her was too expensive. She went to the safety that accepted her, got straight A's transferred to the safety that rejected her for her sophomore year, and is now happy in a well-regarded BA program in dance. It worked out. Your son is a wonder and the school that accepted him (should he go there) will lavish him with attention and nurture him.
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  • TheodenTheoden 252 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @sunnryz There are some statistics that show, especially in engineering, it's often better to be a big fish in a small pond.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30394 replies59 threads Senior Member
    @Trixy34 , yes, I know Temple is still giving out merit awards, but they are no longer guaranteed as they were when my son was looking at colleges. It was a great boon to have two strong schools like Alabama and Temple that were full rides right out front when he started his college search. No more.

    My oldest child is in his mid 30s now so I've been looking at schools for a while on a personal basis. Back in his day, getting a Chancellor's scholarship at Pitt and accepted to the Honors College there was a matter of numbers. Now it's a highly selective process and the numbers that got you both back then don' t even get you under consideration today. For one of my kids, Pitt was a reach school; his first choice and a school for which there really wasn't much one could do to up the chances. Things have really gotten tighter these days in terms of selectivity and merit money at the more competitive schools.

    I had gone through so many college searches with our kids, being the old woman who lived in shoe, that by the time our youngest was applying to colleges, I avoided a lot of the foibles that I saw many fall into. The thing is, you can't really tell anyone in a way that gets through their heads. I tried with a close friend who was applying alongside my son and just this year, tried with an old friend from nearly a half a century of connections. It's so very difficult to ignore the luster of the big name schools when you have a kid up there in the stats, who has gotten all of the awards and accolades all of these years. I don't think one should ignore them. Sure, apply to HPYMSC et al. Line them all up and apply to them. Pick one as a SCEA or ED if you can, and get the apps rolling on them.

    But first order of business is to get that list cranking on what you know you can afford among schools that you KNOW will take your child. That's why it's a big loss when those guaranteed free rides for threshholds of merit disappear. More and more becomes a game of chance. Each year there are more twists to the rules (?) or really outcomes as you throw the dice. For my son's year it was UMICH EA decisions. For some crazy reason, kids who were accepted to top schools were deferred. Which threw a likely EA choice that could have smoothed some waters into a turbulence. Just this year, happened again. Kid deferred at both UMICH and MIT. Denied at MIT in the end. It was a miserable 4-5 months before he got his acceptances along with those denials. He did get into UMICH which I think would have been his choice school but that kick in the solar plexus back in November gives it a bad taste to him. I know my son and several others were so done with the process by year end that they were looking hungrily at EA and rolling schools that accepted them and not interested in doing another round of the applications and admissions roulette. My son out and out told us he was going to one of the EA schools if his ED choice did not pan out. Whether it's ego or the will to just move on in life, I saw a lot of that.

    Sample too small to generalize, but this year I've heard and read more cases where kids are going to do a do-over. They did not get accepted to anything that they wanted and they felt they made enough critical mistakes that they want to go through the process again, hoping to do better with the results. I don't think I knew anyone personally who did that. Now I know of three, heard of a few others, and read a couple of the sort here on the boards. The only reason I would suggest something like that is if the student is absolutely sure that the results are not what was wanted and, of course in the case where all of the choices are unaffordable and the applicant simply did not do the application process in a way to get the aid and scholarships, he probably would have gotten.
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  • Trixy34Trixy34 1183 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @cptofthehouse - I will be coming to you when my D22 is ready to start looking! And I promise I'll listen. Lol.

    I think we ended up doing pretty well, considering all the angles we had to wrangle with - finances, changing interests, stubborn kids who won't take advice ;) , etc. I wish we had required applications to some more local public schools just so he had those options in case he decided at the last minute he didn't want to go so far from home after all, and so he would have options at schools where his friends are going. He has some really awesome friends.
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  • turtletimeturtletime 1249 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @3js3ks Departmental scholarships ARE great and super helpful to a family! However, some colleges, students don't qualify until they declare and some colleges don't let them declare until mid-sophomore year. They are usually smaller scholarships... still helpful but not going to make-up a 20K gap. On top of that, some schools will use that departmental scholarship to cancel out whatever grants are in the financial package. The point is, you can't COUNT on a departmental scholarship to cover expenses. You have to go into a school willing and able to fund the full four years as is. If additional scholarship comes to the student over the years, have a party! Depending on potential scholarship over the years to pay for a school you can't afford is a good way to end up in a lot of debt and no degree should the student have to drop out.
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  • JWU1964JWU1964 45 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    @Theoden, thank you for this thread and can I say I love your screen name!! Huge LOTR fan here. Feeling relief on our end and surprised where my D19 ended up. Someone already said, there are schools out there that may not be on a student's radar that sometimes come into focus. An open curriculum, or at least very relaxed curriculum, was important to my D and she will be attending a school that was the last one added to the list! We visited it last summer, and she liked it enough to put it in the "apply pile." It turned out to be a great last minute addition. As we anticipated, she got her fair share of rejections--only applied to one Ivy for it's open curriculum and did not get in. But, happy for those who did! But, I think we mistook the difference between a match and a safety for this kid. One thing that changed between my 2011, 2012, & 2017 kids, was the level of competition for some schools. But, in the end, the lesson is that it usually works out and our youngest kid is off to great school for her and I completely relate to the folks who are ready to be empty nesters. Just happy to see my kids happy, and so if that means an empty nest, bring it on!! Plus, the college she is attending has a bunch of cool things in an area my husband and I have never really explored despite being from the Northeast and not too, too far from the school she is attending. It's a bit of drive, but shorter than our drive to Maryland for the 2012 graduate, which is good because we are older now. LOL.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful drop off and your kids are all where they need to be, or soon will be.
    edited May 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30394 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Ha, ha, @Trixy34 . I’m back on these boards after a several years hiatus and am learning still. Things do change, so always something to learn

    I just posted a question on the College Admissions board that probably will not get noticed asking what”EA2” is. A new one on me. Allowed with SCEA, according to Yale.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2597 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    @cptofthehouse Unfortunately, as kids continue increase the number of colleges to which they apply, the number of kids who are waitlisted or deferred will continue to increase. All it will needs is another of those dumb articles along the lines of "this kid applied to 732 colleges, and received over $500 million in scholarships!" to have kids double the number of colleges on their common app.

    EA II is non-binding early action application, usually with a Jan 1 deadline.
    edited May 2019
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  • TheodenTheoden 252 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @JWU1964 Thanks...he's my favorite LOTR character. My son's top 2 that accepted him were NOT on our radar. One was a fluke, because I remembered the name from when I was looking at schools in the 1980's and I said, "Put it on his list, I hear it's a good school". He almost took it off his common app, saying, "I'm not going to school in Illinois". The other was suggested by Princeton Review while he was prepping for the SAT's the fall of his senior year. Both were "Tier 2" LAC, but punched above their weight, were big on internships and research, offered really nice merit aid, and happened to be on the CTCL list! Guess what, he's going to college in Illinois!
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  • JWU1964JWU1964 45 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @Theoden, great to hear. My second child went to a CTCL school and loved it!! That list is worth taking a look at for parents who are still in the thick of this process!! We are thankfully done!! :-) Totally off topic, but I am an Eomer, Eowyn, and Faramir fan. But, Theoden is up there.
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  • mtemmdmtemmd 156 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all for your input on this thread! It has been so helpful to read. I have a junior and 2 freshman and am definitely learning a lot this year. I do have a question, I keep hearing to do the FAFSA early. When (and where) would we do it? For some reason I thought it wasn't until we were applying?
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 273 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    @mtemmd, I completed the FAFSA and CSS Profile by mid October. This turned out to be a good thing; we needed to submit supporting documents for specific colleges, dragging out the process.
    edited May 2019
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 273 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Unfortunately, my daughter added 2 more colleges and eliminated 2 after I submitted.
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