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How to Advise My Girl?

MommaJMommaJ Registered User Posts: 5,756 Senior Member
edited July 2008 in Parents Forum
I've posted before about my daughter whose SAT's I's (670 M, 770 CR, 720W) were better than her 3.3 unweighted GPA (weighted will be much better, probably 3.7, but I don't have the numbers yet). Her just-released SAT II's kept up the pattern with a 770 in Lit., 690 in US History. She copes with mild OCD and ongoing anxiety disorder, has ADHD and non-verbal learning disability, gets accommodations (sitting the front row of class and extra time on tests, printed copies of any material that has to be copied from the board), but she forgoes them most of the time. She has one main EC, a deep and abiding commitment to the school theater program--she's been in every show since freshman year, and expects to finally get a lead in her upcoming senior year musical (the casting is seniority weighted). This is a huge time-taker, since for weeks before each show, rehearsals are daily and run late. She was just elected to the governing board of the student drama group, but beyond that is simply not a leadership-type. (Hey, somebody needs to be a follower, right?) She has never been one to join clubs just for the sake of saying she's a member, and I can't fault her on that.

Let's see, what else: NHS; Tr-M (music honor society); sings in the school's elite chamber singers; she competed to state regional level in singing, but didn't make all-state; just got the Emerson College Book Award; in top 10% of 650-member high school class, but it's a public school in a small city, with a totally mixed bag of kids, many not college-bound; community service is an ongoing commitment over three years to a group that provides companionship and activities to developmentally disabled kids. Her current and last summer spent as a CIT in the theater section at a performing arts camp she previously attended as a camper. Loves kids and babysits when she can. Not an athletic gene in our entire family tree.

She hasn't a clue what she wants to do in life--it took quite a while for her to realize that a career in musical theater was probably not realistic (she can't dance) and she hasn't quite moved forward from there. (I am in awe of the kids who are so career directed at such an early age--I can't imagine how one can know one wants to be an engineer at 16 or 17, I sure had no clue at that age, nor did my son, who is still pretty aimless after graduating college.) In any case, whatever she does will not involve an iota of math, the bane of her existence. She's not a scholar by nature, doesn't love learning for learning's sake and all that, so I don't see graduate school in her future, unless it is something vocationally oriented.

Soooooo-How do I advise her about what schools to consider? What sort of schools would be reaches, safeties, fit? (We've done a little basic visiting, enough for her to decide that she doesn't want to be in an isolated rural area nor in an urban school that lacks a campus.) I gather from CC and other sources that her scores will be subordinated to her GPA by admissions officers, which makes it hard to assess her fit at colleges based on their stated SAT ranges. I guess she should not be looking at schools where her scores are a fit, but at places where median scores are lower than hers. Does this make sense? Oh yes, we are in the Northeast, and right now, given the way that air travel is spiralling down into expensive chaos, I want her in the Northeast or Atlantic states so that she can use auto or train for travel to and from school. I think she's done awfully well considering the impediments she's had to deal with, and would hope schools would see this, but I know everybody and their dog seems to claim a disability these days, and I fear hers will not register in her favor.

If you made it through this, my thanks (and shouldn't you be doing the laundry or something?), and I would appreciate your thoughts.
Post edited by MommaJ on
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Replies to: How to Advise My Girl?

  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,515 Senior Member
    Skidmore?

    Note: even if the SAT scores were not subordinated to the GPA, I don't think you would want your d. in a hugely competitive college environment with her history -- she should be in a place that is well within her academic comfort level so that she doesn't get overwhelmed. If she targets colleges that are a good fit academically - in other words, where a B+ GPA is fine for admissions -- then I think her SAT scores will be a big advantage and may even draw some merit money.

    Given your d's strong writing & CR scores, Sarah Lawrence could also be a good fit, but I don't think they even look at test scores any more -- so the scores would not confer any admissions advantage there.
  • munchkinmunchkin Registered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    My son has nvld too. His specialist tutor recommended Landmark college. His first year at a regular college was very very difficult with his executive deficits.
  • latetoschoollatetoschool Registered User Posts: 3,143 Senior Member
    You might want to consider Rutgers (sp?) - a good friend of my daughter's choose this school over William & Mary and some other nice acceptances, and she participated all years in the music department, and in the choir. What struck me was when she came down with mono just days before she was scheduled to leave with the choir for Rome - and how the department reached out to support her, and made sure to make room for her in future events.

    This young lady simply enjoys singing, being in the choir, being around music - no real intent in any sort of a career in it. She is also very shy, yet had no problem navigating Rutgers for four years...graduated with an art history degree and is now applying to grad schools.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Drew. Drew, Drew, Drew. New Jersey, near the city, big on musical theater but other fields also, small classes, a great match, likely for scholarships, happy and artsy students, great fields for students who like the arts (i.e. arts administration, museum studies, and all the musical theater majors), etc., etc.
  • mmaahmmaah Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    She sounds like such a great kid! And she definitely sounds like a fit for a small liberal arts school with a well-developed drama program and a warm community. I don't know the east coast schools well, but would echo the Skidmore listing and have heard Otterbein has great music/theater. Some others that bounce into my head are Franklin and Marshall and Alvernia. Just looking those up on College Board and then using the "find similar" search tool will probably lead to some you wouldn't have thought about. She has good scores and grades in fact if you get past the CC skew of who posts. Look at the links at admissionsadvice.com
  • colormehappycolormehappy Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    She sounds like a pretty grounded kid who isn't concerned with prestige. That's good. A mix of schools that are in or slightly below her range would be good. It might build her confidence academically which could help with her anxiety (though I'm not an expert on the issue so I could be grasping at straws here). Skidmore sounds like a good choice. Most LAC have small enough classes that her professors would be able to get to know her and help her work through her impediments. They would be more likely to give her extra time on an exam than a professor who has 300 students in one class. LAC also tend to have active and involved theater departments and groups but allow you to explore other disciplines and find what suits you. I wish you and your daughter the best of luck.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,895 Senior Member
    I would google learning disabled support, and get the list of schools that have this service. Talk to the people there, visit them, and check out the mental health services that are provided as well. I don't think it is the academics that will be a problem for your d as much as the usual college anxieties. Kids that have no underlying problems often have trouble with mood disorders, relationships, time management, substance abuse, etc. Someone who is fighting some emotional/behavioral issues already may have an even tougher time away at school. If I were you, I would look for schools that are not too far from home, maybe within the hour so that you can keep an eye on her. I know families whose children had issues, and it was truly much easier if they were close by, than having to fly out or drive a huge distance. Many of these kids really grow up after college and are then ready to go anywhere, but these next few years are often very difficult for kids.
  • icantfindanameicantfindaname . Posts: 256 Junior Member
    If you live in Ct, you say the NE, I would look into UConn Honors. The SAT is about right. I think you need top 5% of class also. They have smaller class sizes than regular a dedicated dorm registration benefits and other perks. We looked into it for one of my children who is also a little ocd and we were quite inpressed. It is run extremely well by some very qualified administrators. They have put a lot of money into the school and it keeps going up in the rankings. My child went to Williams but the full ride at UConn honors was not that easy to pass up. Public U's are looked down on by some in the NE but in bang for the buck 18k in state UConn honors is imo a much better choice than say Fairfield or Holy Cross at 40K. I never quite get how they charge almost the same rates as Amherst or Williams, but I guess thats the market. Good luck.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Registered User Posts: 13,330 Senior Member
    Muhlenberg in Pennsylvania, Goucher in Baltimore, Wheaton College in Rhode Island
    came to mind for some artistic pleasure as well as nice locations.
  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster Registered User Posts: 2,015 Senior Member
    I would second Drew. We know a student there who has had to overcome many challenges and heartbreaking setbacks in his early life, and he has thrived at Drew. It's located in Madison, N.J., a suburban location within easy reach of Manhattan on the commuter rail. Drew is also known for its political science program. I imagine Drew would be a safety/match for your daughter.
  • mmaahmmaah Registered User Posts: 944 Member
    Yes for Muhlenberg and I think they are know for working well with any LD issues. I'd second Drew also from what I've heard.
  • bonanzabonanza Registered User Posts: 1,105 Senior Member
    Wheaton College is in Norton, Ma--not RI but I would second that suggestion. It is a good choice for bright kids with learning differences.

    Elon in NC is also known for that.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    Ohio Wesleyan is terrific for students with learning disabilities, and is an outstanding school.
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    Some who is a bit OCD and loves theater is an ideal candidate for stage managing or lighting. Of course, there's no money in that either.
  • binglebingle Registered User Posts: 427 Member
    My d and her friend (both very interested in drama and music) visited Wheaton and loved it. We were lucky enough to be there for a play (Dracula) and they thought it was well done and they "approved" of the technical aspects of the theater.
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