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Big scholarships

mamagx3mamagx3 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
edited February 2010 in Parents Forum
I am just curious to find out what everyone thinks of this:

My D has excellent stats - 3rd/423, 4.93 weighted GPA, ACT 32, SAT 1970 (Math & Reading), tons of extracurricular activities and community services. She was very choosy about the colleges she applied to, only three - Clemson, NC State and William & Mary. At her school, the staff selects students to vie for certain in-state college scholarships, such as the Morehead and Parks scholarships at UNC and NC State, respectively. She did not put her name in the pool since she either was not applying there or the school wasn't her first choice.

Bear with me, for a minute...

Now, she is a NSP finalist at Clemson, which is great, but what we discovered at the NSP weekend was that several of the finalists had applied to 10+ schools and didn't have Clemson as their top 3 choices. Many were still waiting on decisions from places like Duke, Princeton, Yale, etc. Does anyone else find it frustrating that these kids even attended the NSP weekend to compete for the schoalrship? I heard one girl say that she had been accepted at Vanderbilt and would probably go there.
Post edited by mamagx3 on

Replies to: Big scholarships

  • rockvillemomrockvillemom Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    Curious about Vanderbilt - is she already had an acceptance - wouldn't that be ED? I would agree that if she had an ED acceptance from Vanderbilt she should have withdrawn her other applications and would have no reason to be at this Clemson scholarship program. If she was RD, she would not have heard yet. Very odd.
  • digdigdigdig Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    I get the frustration, but it sounds like what you heard was just talk. High school kids say a lot of things, but the reality of the family's financial situation may lead them in another direction. A big award from Clemson may change their minds in a hurry. If their top choices are super-reaches, then they are just covering their more realistic bases by attending the NSP weekend.

    Is having school staff select scholarship contenders typical? That makes me twitch a little.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Registered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    It can seem frustrating, but think about it from their perspective. A lot of them probably were not that excited about Clemson (or saying that they weren't) but they probably have parents and families in need of scholarships too and they want to keep their options open. They want to go to the school that's the best deal for them, so if they get into Princeton but don't get enough money to make it affordable, but they get an NSP scholarship to Clemson, they're going to go to Clemson. And since they can't know if they'll even get into Princeton yet, it would be bad to waste a good scholarship opportunity to a school where they're already accepted.

    Even if they were to get the scholarship over your D or another student where Clemson is their first choice, if they get accepted to a different school they like more and decline the scholarship, the money will still be there, waiting to go to another deserving student. It may be galling to you because you want your D to be as competitive as possible, but they aren't doing anything wrong. And if she doesn't get hte NSP scholarship, it won't neccessarily be because it went to one of these other kids who were not in love with Clemson, it could be for a lot of other reasons.
  • lgreenlgreen Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    Curious about Vanderbilt - if she already had an acceptance - wouldn't that be ED?

    Some RD applicants on the Vanderbilt forum have been saying they got early notification of acceptance through the Mosaic program. Maybe this girl was in that group.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,010 Senior Member
    Clemson offers the scholarships to attract students who, if they didn't get the scholarship, would go elsewhere. Logically, if Clemson is the OP's kid's first choice, and she isn't in the running for scholarships at W&M or NC State, then Clemson would be nuts to waste a scholarship on her. (Luckily, I don't believe they think quite that logically.) Everyone at the scholarship weekend should probably have other options that, if the price were the same, they would choose over Clemson. Some of them may choose one of the other options even if they are offered the scholarship. But in many cases, when push comes to shove, getting that scholarship offer will be a big inducement to go to Clemson.

    Clemson will get what it wants -- high-profile, high-quality students -- and the students will get what they want -- a free or cheap decent quality college education.
  • DejaDeja Registered User Posts: 551 Member
    How many of the finalists are offered the chance to become a NSP Scholar?
  • PackMomPackMom Registered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    digdig, In NC, to compete for the Morehead at UNC or the Park at NCSU, students are nominated by their h.s. guidance counselors. It has always been that way. DH was a Morehead nominee from our h.s. way back in the 70's. There can be more than one student nominated from each school.
  • mamagx3mamagx3 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    Y'all make sense. Just venting a little since my D absolutely LOVES Clemson and it would be a dream come true for her to become a National Scholar there. It just made her a bit angry that a few, not all, during the weekend were saying things like that and there she was really wanting to go to Clemson in the fall. I told her that that's just how the world works sometimes and to think positive. The interview process was grueling for all and I'm sure that every one of the finalists deserved to be there.

    Deja: they didn't give us an exact number - there were 31 finalists and in the past, between 6 -11 National Scholars, but that's not necessarily the number that are offered the scholarship. They tend to offer more than that and then several turn it down, is what we heard. It was difficult to figure out what they're really looking for since all the finalists are probably very similar on paper.
  • mamagx3mamagx3 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    BTW, as far as I know, they didn't ask the finalists what other places they have applied or why they chose to apply to Clemson. Their college choices never came up in the interviews.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member

    I completely understand your point. This happens all over the country. At may kids' school they just had their major honors finalist weekend, and it's very likely that some just accepted because the school paid for everything - airfare, hotel, food, etc. There were probably some who would have loved to have been chosen for the weekend, but only about 100 kids were chosen. So, some of those kids will get picked and still won't go to the school.
  • spring162spring162 Registered User Posts: 386 Member
    Mama, what I learned from this site is that when trying for scholarship money it is best to apply to all types of schools. I feel it is a game of sorts. A very important game that my DD is trying to win. She has attended scholarship/interview weekends where 500 kids are invited and only 20 given out. Every other candidate we spoke to was awaiting or entertaining other offers from other schools. The schools are playing the game also. They invite many kids and try to make them all feel wanted. I am sure they know some of these kids will attend even if they are not offered the money. Unfortunately this is how it is done. Some kids will be offered awards and still decline to attend the school thereby keeping someone who really wanted/needed the scholarship to attend from doing so. Sad but true. All the more reason to apply to a moderate amount of schools if a scholarship is needed to attend college.
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    The point of a large merit scholarship is not to reward high-achieving students (though it does do that) but to "poach" high-achieving students accepted at and otherwise attending a competing (usually higher-ranked) school.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Registered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    Yeah, I get your point too mamag. It's really frustrating when you want or need something so bad and you know that other people that don't want it as badly as you might get it and not appreciate it. It's worse when you're in a high-pressure competition. But all she can do is stay positive and not worry about everyone else, just focus on herself and what makes her such an outstanding candidate that Clemson could not help but pick her. Believe me, colleges do take note of which kids seem enthusiastic and well informed about the school and which ones are just there for the free food and the money.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    Do you know if Clemson offers their scholarships to a bit more than they expect to accept? Do you know if they re-award their scholarships if their offers are declined?
  • ImontoyaImontoya Registered User Posts: 226 Junior Member

    Actually, it could work out in your D's favor. At those things, you are on "stage" constantly, and acting like you dont want it might hurt the chances of getting it. Also, the college knows that not everyone accepts, so they offer it to more students. Be proud your D was invited to the interviews. She probably has a great chance.

    But, you might consider having your D send thank you notes re-stating her commitment to the school. I am sure she had people help with travel, and I am sure she can find adresses and Emails for some of her interviewers. These decisions are made quickly, so strike while the iron is hot and get those thank yous out! I am sure that the school would rather offer the scholarship to a taker than not.
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