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Did I let my D down?

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Replies to: Did I let my D down?

  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    >>Probably they will invite her over for dinner and ask if she wants to babysit too>>

    Hey, didn't David Stockman, Reagan's budget director, get his start in politics by babysitting for Daniel Patrick Moynihan when he was a Harvard Law student and Moynihan was a prof there? But seriously, most colleges have independent study opportunities.
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  • TheDadTheDad ! 9905 replies323 threads Senior Member
    DOB&G, my D was in something of a similar position but wound up completely happy: denied at HYS, going to Smith. She was also accepted at Wellesley and Barnard, which on some microscale might be better than Smith, but Smith was the better fit. But speaking of fit, if there's a narrow middle between HYS and WBS, none of those schools were particularly good fits and she didn't apply. I suppose you could argue that Brown, Tufts, and Georgetown would be in there and all are great schools...but for one reason or another, they were outside her bullseye, so there's no use regretting it.

    Fwiw, I had worried a priori that she might not be as challenged at Smith as at Yale...fat chance. She's doing well but she's religiously burning the midnight oil and setting a blistering pace for herself to accomplish it.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 threads Senior Member
    I agree that Wesleyan would not be a good fit for someone wanting to be at Dartmouth or Williams.
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  • MotherOfTwoMotherOfTwo 2045 replies65 threads Senior Member
    DofB&G - My daughter received a merit scholarship from her ED school, and similar thoughts to yours ran through my head. By after thinking it through, we should be glad that our kids have a chance to attend excellent school and receive scholarships, too. I have sent you a PM with a more detailed version of my thoughts on this.
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  • DadofB&GDadofB&G 228 replies11 threads Junior Member
    TheDad, If she ever takes a math course, even "How to use an Abacus", I know she'll be burning the 2 AM oil.

    Alumother & Marite, Yes I agree, D has a cousin who went to Wesleyan. The fit would be lousy. The issue was more of what schools were "above" Colgate and "below" Williams et al.
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  • AlumotherAlumother 6109 replies130 threads Senior Member
    Here's a possible scenario. Dad of B&G, MotherofTwo, maybe your kids absolutely had a better than 50/50 chance at getting into that slightly higher tier. But even 70/30 means someone is the 30. The tier of schools they did get into who gave the good dollars know that. So with merit aid maybe it's like that kind of a bid where you don't spread your risk. You just give as much as possible to the ones you really want, the ones you know have a good shot at the higher tier but you hope you can get them with $$$. The crapshoot part plays a role in this statistically. The colleges absolutely believe you have as good a chance as a whole set of students who apply to Crapshot U but not usually to them. So it might not be that there is a huge gap on a broad basis, just that these schools take a few very powerful shots at getting their "reach" kids.

    I know some of these math parents can name the statistical principle I am struggling with here....
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    As a parent of a D. who turned down Williams,, and looked at many of the places you are talking about, I can tell you without question that you are peering at many peas in a pod. Except, in my judgment, the current housing situation at Willaims (the first-year ghetto, coupled with a high degree of clichishness that the administration is openly and overtly trying to combat, making the housing/social scene unstable for the next several years), coupled with a huge hole in the middle of the campus until January 2007 and leaving them without a campus center, to be followed by huge hole where the library is, until 2010, might make Colgate or Hamilton the better choices.

    Ultimately, you leave ALL admissions on the table. Except one.

    Give her a big KISS!
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  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23892 replies208 threads Senior Member
    We visited Cogate last week with WildChild and loved it. This was after successful visits to Penn and Princeton. WildChild, who thought he wanted to be near a city at a larger school, was ready to commit to Colgate on the spot. I think you should be thrilled with your choices so far. The kids at Colgate are bright and talented, and I was given a little bit of inside info on just how competitive the admissions process is by the coach we met. If I could go to college again, I would pick Colgate.
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  • DadofB&GDadofB&G 228 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Mini - Thanks, I will.

    MomofWC, yeah, I'd go to Colgate, too. It's beautiful. I went to the same nondescript state school that most of my family did. Penn's a great school. I was there for grad. school. Philly gets a bad rap sometimes, but I always liked - and felt safe in - University City (20+ years ago). But Penn and Colgate are sure different settings!
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  • cricketcricket 223 replies5 threads Junior Member
    DadofB&G,

    Just imho, but:

    1) As Sybbie said, your D has not yet heard from Dartmouth. (Why are we counting chickens? I think you are bracing yourself if needed. That's ok. Better to be pleasantly surprised by admission to schools that are so tough to get into, even just by virtue of the number of applicants, than to be sorely disappointed for not realizing the odds.)

    2) That scholarship from Colgate is FANTASTIC. I'd be jumping up and down if this were one of the schools she truly liked.

    3) Why second-guess your list? What does it matter what might be ranked any which wherever above? What matters is that your daughter goes to a school where she will get a good education AND BE HAPPY.

    That beer glass is AT LEAST half full, at least it appears so from where I sit.
    Congrats!!
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  • wjbwjb 2843 replies65 threads Senior Member
    DadofB&G: I know how easy it is to be a Monday morning quarterback as decisions come in (although the 4th quarter is not yet over for your daughter) but if it helps at all, my daughter is a freshman at Colgate, and she has several friends whose first choice (denied) was Williams. I think the two schools have much in common academically and culturally.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    Let's put it this way. Is Dartmouth or Williams academically speaking better than Colgate? Oh, I imagine. Marginally. But okay, I'd grant the point.

    But, suppose you got into one of those, with aid at your EFC, but at Colgate, you received $40k more over 4 years, AND YOU ACTUALLY SPENT IT ON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. Would Dartmouth or Williams then be better than Colgate? I think the answer is an unequivocal NO. Whether you used the $40k for a year of med school, or four summer trips around the world, or took a year off and decided to spend a year at the Sorbonne doing something completely different, or...(you name what you could do with $40k) - there is no question in my mind that the Colgate PLUS educational experience would be superior to that of Dartmouth or Williams. No question. Remember: Colgate ain't Podunk! (Add in the Williams holes-in-the-ground, and disruptive changes in social/housing setup to begin in 2006, and, frankly, I don't think it's close - unless you are an art history major or something.)

    So write the letter to Williams if you like -- can't hurt. But you might decide even after a favorable waiting list call that what you have in hand is better in any case (and the same would hold for Dartmouth.)
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  • dstarkdstark 33322 replies919 threads Senior Member
    There aren't any schools between Colgate and Williams except in magazines.
    Boalt Law School used to add to an applicant's gpa if they graduated from certain schools.
    Colgate was third if my memory serves me right, behind Williams and Swarthmore.
    You should be thrilled about Colgate.
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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon 11830 replies298 threads Senior Member
    mini wrote:
    But, suppose you got into one of those, with aid at your EFC, but at Colgate, you received $40k more over 4 years, AND YOU ACTUALLY SPENT IT ON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. Would Dartmouth or Williams then be better than Colgate? I think the answer is an unequivocal NO. Whether you used the $40k for a year of med school, or four summer trips around the world, or took a year off and decided to spend a year at the Sorbonne doing something completely different, or...(you name what you could do with $40k) - there is no question in my mind that the Colgate PLUS educational experience would be superior to that of Dartmouth or Williams. No question
    What a wonderful way to think about it! Colgate and a year at the Sorbonne or Cambridge or contemplating your navel in Papeete vs. Williams or wherever. Dang, you've convinced me.
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  • MotherOfTwoMotherOfTwo 2045 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Dad of B&G - I was interested in seeing what the "Alumni Memorial Scholar" program at Colgate offers, and I looked it up on the Colgate website. It says that this award includes a $5000 grant for summer research or independent projects. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity and your daughter is fortunate to have received this award. Stanford (where my son is a student) used to offer something like this ($3000) to its top applicants, but has since discontinued the program. At Stanford, they were pretty lenient as to the projects they would approve, and my son was able to use his award for summer immersion language study in a foreign country, although his college major is unrelated to this. If your daughter decides to go to Colgate, this would give her a great chance to travel or pursue some other opportunity which she likely would not be able to do otherwise.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    "What a wonderful way to think about it! Colgate and a year at the Sorbonne or Cambridge or contemplating your navel in Papeete vs. Williams or wherever. Dang, you've convinced me."

    Well, we are actually acting this way in my house. Now, granted, for what my d. wanted, academically Smith had more than Williams (or D. or H.) and a bunch of other places, and the paid research assistantship in her field clinched the deal. But the extra aid money meant she doesn't have to work summers, and she has raised additional funds (some from Smith) to return to India (via Cambodia) to build houses with flood and tsunami victims, study south Indian botanical medicine, and learn Tamil. She leaves May 27th. And we expect the rest of her education will be that way as well (the year in Florence is part of the deal.)

    Look - none of these colleges are chopped liver. The faculty all come from the same places (and who gets hired at which one has more to do with who has an opening that year than anything else.) There are occasional exceptions (Williams in Art History, Amherst in Law and Social Thought, Wesleyan in Ethnomusicology, Smith in Italian), but the programs are all pretty similar. There are differences in campus culture, but for a smart, middle-of-the-road kid, not hugely significant (mine's not - and the athletics/alcohol at Williams/Colgate would likely have set her off, but I don't think that's generally true). The students are all coming from the same pool.

    So the difference in the educations offered is what you make of the opportunities.. And in those terms, money helps (especially if you are starting from a position of not having much)!
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  • momrathmomrath 6022 replies39 threads Senior Member
    DadofB&G,I'd like to assure you and your daughter that a mid-1400 SATI is not a weakness. It's a VERY GOOD score and would not on its own keep your daughter out of any college in the US -- or for that matter get her in. What I think landed her on the waitlist at Williams instead of the RD acceptance list was her white, middleclass status. After ED, Williams RD pool is very small, with an acceptance rate of around 16%, so the competition is fierce. She most likely isn't at the "bottom of the pack (or below) at Williams" but there may well have been other talented, smart kids with some other hook that rose above. One of my son's high school friends was accepted at Yale but waitlisted at Williams (he ended up at Pomona), so there's just no rational explanation.

    I don't know the waitlist acceptance rate, but I suspect that it's not uncommon for Williams to dip further into its waitlist than other selectives, since many of their first choice minority, talent, sports and academic superstars choose more bigger name schools. I agree that it's hard to "demonstrate interest" in Williams as personal contact with the adcom is limited. They do seem to do a good job of selecting kids that fit their profile and your daughter certainly sounds like a Williams kid. If she is still interested, she should write a heartfelt letter, send some updated information, contact the coach for her sport (if applicable), have her counselor contact the adcom and just generally hang in there for a few weeks until the dust settles.

    My son (who is a sophomore at Williams) liked Hamilton a lot and I have no doubt that he would have received a fine education there. I don't think that there's a lot of difference in the quality of teaching among the top 25 LACs, although the level of intellectual intensity among the students may vary somewhat. Having said that, I never had the feeling that he would receive anything less than an excellent education at Hamilton and in the two intervening years I think the trickle down effect of the increased competition at the ivy league and AWS has actually raised the caliber of less selective schools like Colgate and Hamilton.

    I think your question about did you miss a strata is a good one. Three years and a wildly happy college experience later, I still think about schools that we could have visited. (Colgate, Cornell for two. Why didn't we go there?) But, no, I don't think there is a missing link here. Williams and Dartmouth are highly selective schools. Hamilton and Colgate are academically excellent schools with similar ambience to Williams and Dartmouth, but are less selective. I think you did a great job of directing and focusing your daughter's search process.

    In retrospect some other options would have had would have been to 1) Apply ED 2) widen the geographic range 3)consider women's schools [no help for your #2] or 4) just take a shot gun approach and apply to another handful of reaches on the theory that acceptances are random anyway. All of these are valid strategies but the outcomes may not have been any better than what she achieved.

    I hope that Dartmouth comes though with good news for your daughter at the end of the week. If not, I would suggest that she stay on the Williams waitlist at least until mid-May when the first round of selections filter down. It seems to me that it's the waitlist with its attendant feeling of open-ended anxiety that is preventing you and your daughter from whole heartedly celebrating her acceptances. The waitlist system is a cruel sort of limbo, but since she's already waited four months, another 6 weeks of indefiniteness may be worthwhile just to achieve closure with her reach school.
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  • SBmomSBmom 5697 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Dad of B&G,

    I think there is a fairly steep drop off from Ivies +AWS to the next level.

    Thus there are not a huge number of schools between the Colgates & the Williamses. You did not miss anything obvious if NE was the target.

    Heartfelt congratulations to your D.
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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon 11830 replies298 threads Senior Member
    In this thread I learned two wonderful things-

    A selective LAC that is as of now one of D's favorite D-1 schools (schools where she won't make the basketball team) exceeded the aid reflected by the EFC by $10k plus offered really serious stipend dough. I didn't know that ever happened, thanks to the OP-again.

    Secondly mini's ideas have gained purchase in the box of rocks I'm stuck with as a brain. A Florence year. A year doing Tsunami relief. A summer of research instead of waitressing. A summer of language immersion in San Miguel de Allende while working at a local clinic.

    For a kid like mine who has known nothing but work-what an educational/enlightening/life-changing gift she could give herself as a reward for busting her :eek: .

    Now if she could get so lucky as to apply to the right school at the right time. Time to start on a new plan. Thanks mini. I guess it was the old "forest for the trees thing".
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  • SBmomSBmom 5697 replies28 threads Senior Member
    curmudgeon,

    I have a friend whose son had a $40K+ EFC who was offered 10K in "merit aid" (normally unheard of) from a D3 LAC that wanted him for a team.
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