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Help with college list for visits and applications

howdidwegetherehowdidwegethere 18 replies3 threads Junior Member
D22 is top student (1/275) at elite private in the south. She is a viola player interested in studying music and ? (math, biology, or psych/sociology) in college - 1470 PSAT this yr hitting the likely SI needed for NMSF if she was a jr.

We are hoping that the visits will help her narrow down the college choices to a type of school (size, location, 'vibe') without getting her crazy about any one school as these are all pretty reach-y.

Sophomore yr visits to include:
NOV: Rice (went in Nov - and she LOVED Rice but was so so re: Shepheard as the kids seem rather separated from the other students),
FEB: Vandy (planned visit in Feb for their Black & Gold Days along w/a visit to Blair),
MARCH: Brown, Tufts (multi-generational legacy), Brandeis, Harvard, NEC

Planning summer trip to include
UNC-CH, UVA
Swarthmore, Haverford, Penn,
Princeton, Vassar, Yale, Williams, Skidmore on the way to visit family in Montreal.

Thinking of Stanford (legacy) and UCB Spring Break Junior year (the students will be there at the time).
Trying to figure out a good time to see UMich, Claremont consortium, UMiami/Frost

Should she be crazed about any one of these summer visit schools, we will make time to revisit to confirm true 'vibe' while the students are back on campus. Just hard to fit in the visits with workload and music commitments.

so, my questions are:
(1) are we missing any type of school?

(2) what wonderful, relaxing, little side trip can we take over the weekend between UVA and Swarthmore?

(4) if she is not doing ED, can we be done after this long list and just let her enjoy the bulk of her Junior year (minus regular stressors and SAT/ACT testing) and her senior year (minus application challenges)

(3) what do you think an advisable ratio for college list should be re: under 10% acceptance rate, 10-20% rates, 20-30%? Professional College Counselor friend has suggested 70 - 20 - 10 which feels a little top heavy to me. We are very fortunate that $$ is not an issue and are confident in her ability to succeed (once there) BUT that getting in to a T20 is beyond insane these days

Thanks so much - and Happy New Year
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Replies to: Help with college list for visits and applications

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15264 replies1034 threads Senior Member
    If you are visiting family in Montreal you should certainly visit the Schulich School of Music at McGill.
    https://mcgill.ca/music/
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3421 replies40 threads Senior Member
    edited January 3
    You should absolutely do ED or REA to have a chance at the most elite schools as money is not a concern. Your school's naviance and counselor should help narrow your list substantially. Your list is composed of all high reaches, with the exception of Skidmore and Miami. That is not a good idea. Find matches and safeties as well.
    edited January 3
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  • howdidwegetherehowdidwegethere 18 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the quick responses.

    @TomSrOfBoston - McGill is definitely on the list although she would rather not be in MTL during the winter (having visited her grandparents multiple times)

    @roycroftmom - current plan is to REA to Stanford or Harvard if either appeals to her as it seems like those two would tick all the boxes

    @cinnamon1212 - UR is one that we thought about but can't figure out how to visit given time constraints - might just add it, send in the prescreen and if it all works out, then we'll visit for the live audition. Bard just doesn't seem to be strong enough academically to challenge her if she decides mid-college to drop music - will investigate more to confirm.

    How are we to define a safety? Besting the top 75% GPA/test scores + admit rates + naviance + willingness to attend? Anything else to look at when defining safety VS match? We figured UGA, Brandeis, UMiami (but not Frost), Skidmore.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15264 replies1034 threads Senior Member
    The thing about mid-tier colleges is that if they suspect that you are using them as a safety they may waitlist or even deny the student. That is when "showing interest" comes into play.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 199 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam would be a better choice than Skidmore, I think. You would go right by on your way to Montreal.
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  • howdidwegetherehowdidwegethere 18 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thanks @TomSrOfBoston @momofsenior1 @cinnamon1212 @helpingmom40 -

    I have checked Naviance (looks pretty good except for Princeton) and will schedule a meeting with the college counseling office prior to any more planning for the trip. I will definitely add/exchange safety schools to the visit list lest they think we are "just playing" :wink:

    Still looking for fun weekend plans on the way from VA to PA - should we just veer off course a bit and hit the beaches?
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2831 replies67 threads Senior Member
    Bard would only be a safety if applying to the college and not the conservatory - and it's certainly possible to get high level instruction in viola through the college music program, if one is not a student in the conservatory. But if applying for the double degree in the college and conservatory - it is one of the elite viola programs in the country.

    As for academics, although the admission rate is more generous than many of the elite colleges, the students are passionate, intellectual, and committed. And the professors are some of the best anywhere. My son, who had the stats & background to be admitted anywhere, chose Bard for many reasons - he did his double degree in Composition in the conservatory and Classics in the College. His peers were always up to his intellectual weight, both in and out of classes. And the course work was always challenging, engaging and inspiring. I would not write off Bard for a top musical student just because the admission rate is higher for the college than for an Ivy.
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  • OhiBroOhiBro 514 replies6 threads Member
    edited January 3
    I second @bloomfield88 ’s suggestions for your weekend excursion.

    A small tweak:

    Could overnight Friday in quaint Annapolis, tour the Naval Academy Saturday morning, drive to Lewes, DE and take the ferry to Cape May, NJ to overnight. Then, Cape May beach Sunday, and drive to Philly that night.

    Also, I don’t know anything about music education, but doesn’t IU have a reputable school?
    edited January 3
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  • bloomfield88bloomfield88 295 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Answers:
    1. No, looks like a comprehensive list, including city to country, giant state uni Michigan to small LACs with one-of-a-kind campus Claremont consortium.

    2. Sent my suggestions

    3. I think along the lines of your PCC friend. My 3 kids had three different plans, but the eldest had the best in my opinion. Found a true Safety that she could live with that had rolling admissions and was top 10 rated in her major. She sent the application in very early. Within 2 weeks she was accepted direct admit to the major, with scholarships and directly into the Honors college. So, she had a high floor and didn't bother with any other safeties or matches, because there wasn't really any upgrade to her. She focussed on < 20% acceptance Reach schools her senior year.

    4. ED1 and ED2 are free options that in many, if not most, cases increase the odds of admission, so I advise making decisions a couple of months early and utilizing the 2 free options.
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  • howdidwegetherehowdidwegethere 18 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thank you again for all the info above.

    @bloomfield88 - we are looking into the path you suggested along with the modifications of @OhiBro (thanks to both of you)
    Also - I like how your eldest thought things through!

    @SpiritManager - thanks for the insight re:Bard - I am embarrassed to say that we wrote it off bc of the super-aggressive nature of the marketing for the early college program - but upon your recommendation, I just looked at their conservatory information and they might have the most robust Viola division I have seen yet! Going to add that one on for sure!

    Thanks again everyone - this community is amazing
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3421 replies40 threads Senior Member
    Naviance is great but doesn't tell you which admits were hooked, and results from even 3-5 years ago can be unreliable. Talk to your counselor asap. Also, check the policies on legacy at both Stanford and Tufts- sometime you are required to apply early if you want the legacy hook.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2831 replies67 threads Senior Member
    @howdidwegethere Bard's Early College program is completely separate from Bard College, and the conservatory. And, if she's interested in a double degree - it is one of the few music programs which actively supports that path - indeed, requires it!
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  • bloomfield88bloomfield88 295 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited January 3
    I agree that Cape May would be a good add-on, but I think you might be tight for time and just want to hang out a little more in one or two spots in-between college visits.

    @OhiBro "Also, I don’t know anything about music education, but doesn’t IU have a reputable school?"

    Indeed, Indiana University does. I have seen IU ranked as high as #1 in music and at worst #33 in music, with several hovering around #10.

    @howdidwegethere might want to peruse IU's viola faculty.

    Indiana was indeed my eldest daughter's Safety (Kelley School of Business), so I know IU does have rolling admissions and returns an admissions result very quickly. Quintessential university campus in the quintessential university town. Love it there. She is a student at Vanderbilt, but IU was a superb safety choice for her.
    edited January 3
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2831 replies67 threads Senior Member
    If @howdidwegethere's D is considering studying music in college I recommend hopping over to the Music Major forum where there is a wealth of information on studying music, in all ways - as well as informed and specific recommendations for programs. In addition, pinned to the top of the forum is an invaluable thread on The Double Degree Dilemma written by an admissions counselor to Peabody. It has the clearest description of the various ways to study music in college - and to whom each might appeal.
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  • ultimomultimom 228 replies3 threads Junior Member
    If your daughter really wants to attend a T20, I agree with your strategy of applying to quite a few of these schools to increase the odds. However, I also agree with others that you should apply to more matches (assuming all T20 schools are reaches for everyone regardless of whether or not you meet all the metrics) and safeties so that your daughter has choices come spring senior year. That is, unless she gets into a safety she is totally good with attending early on.

    My kids attend a nationally ranked high school with quite a few students attending T20 colleges. However, there are always students who meet every metric who don't get into a T20 college while some may get into most schools they apply to with very similar profiles.

    Just an FYI, my son did not like schools he visited during slow times on campus. Summer visits were not at all helpful for him. Some students may feel differently.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2831 replies67 threads Senior Member
    This is the thread I was referencing - which is really a must read for anyone considering studying music in college, regardless of major: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/1948726-double-degree-dilemma-essay-written-by-david-lane-p1.html
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