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NE Prep School Grade Compression - Depression 2019-2020

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Replies to: NE Prep School Grade Compression - Depression 2019-2020

  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3108 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Our private school (day) tried to hold the line for a long time, but just recently caved and began grade inflation. They feared their students were disadvantaged in college admissions otherwise. My eldest was amazed at how much easier college was than high school and how much better she did.
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  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom 1676 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I just wish I knew more about "gaming" course selection on the front end. Not that I would change the experience (and I bet my DD wouldn't either); however, the ride is VERY visibly different for certain students at our school. Merit, something important to our family, will be adversely affected by the two or so points (yes, just two or so points) that my DD will be dinged as a result of taking honors and AP classes as they are not weighted. Her merit will be half of that of a friend who took a straight load as it is clear that the school does not dive as deeply into the profile and curriculum as some might believe. These are not sour grapes at all, but families should go into this knowing this important information - and select classes wisely.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21575 replies226 threads Senior Member
    edited October 31
    There is merit aid given out that is not based on strict GPA cutoffs. One of my kids was offered some generous merit aid without stellar grades. But I'm sure it depends on how much merit aid one is looking for.
    edited October 31
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 297 replies9 threads Member
    I guess I think there is a more balanced ground between 47% of kids having an A- GPA or better (which I agree with @CaliPops seems absurd) and only 7 kids in a class having ONE grade between a 90 and 95, not even a whole GPA in that range. You can't tell me that's not *active* grade deflation and I guess I don't get the purpose of that.

    I am not really complaining but I am puzzled.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 539 replies6 threads Member
    doschicos wrote: »
    There is merit aid given out that is not based on strict GPA cutoffs. One of my kids was offered some generous merit aid without stellar grades. But I'm sure it depends on how much merit aid one is looking for.

    This!! Highly selective schools are not looking for more boarding school kids so it's not an advantage. But others are (SMU, I'm looking at you!). SMU, in its bid to have a more national presence, is affirmatively targeting BS kids because SMU believes it will raise the school's profile in the Northeast. I think they are right. One or 2 kids from my son's school went every few years, but my son's year 5 went from Hotchkiss. And the next year SMU started rejecting some kids.

    My other son got merit aid from his match and safety schools (about $10,000/year for matches and about $25,000/year from the safeties). And he didn't have a world beating GPA.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21575 replies226 threads Senior Member
    University of Denver is another. I've seen students who were frankly pretty mediocre at their boarding school get hugely generous merit aid at DU. The school has a lot going for it and the students have been very happy there.

    Many very solid LACs in the midwest can be very generous as well.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1543 replies12 threads Senior Member
    It IS a factor and unfortunately parents need to know too much data before kids even get to Junior year in high school. Parents who know BS kid is likely to go to a state honors program need a different plan than parents who plan to send their kid to a small liberal arts school. Many BS parents don't need FA. So that means that the school can deflate grades more easily than a local public where parents would be screaming. This used to work for BS, since AO's knew the schools. But it is likely more of a math formula these days and some can get the short end.
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  • carpoolingmacarpoolingma 731 replies8 threads Member
    All of the Senior parents are stressed out right now which is trickling down to the Jr and Soph parents. We went through the same thing last year but most people were happy with how it all shuffled out by the time April rolls around.
    I get the feeling that grading does make a difference at some large flagships that basically use a matrix of GPA and test scores for admissions, honors and merit. That is just a reality of the situation. But, as @vegas1 said, most are aware of it going in and would do it again for kids that are well-prepared to succeed in college wherever they end up.
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  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom 1676 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I think you've hit the nail right on the head @Happytimes2001 !
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1149 replies20 threads Senior Member
    FWIW @doschicos, Golfnephew#1 got merit aid and golf team @ (loves it) DU....Golfniece#1 got merit aid at U of Chicago - merit aid was a factor and they received more offers and $ from Midwest & Southern schools after prep school - rejected by NE schools. This was a couple of years ago, but their grades were in the 3.6-3.75 ranges - Golfnephew had more offers (we believe) because of his sport. Some schools had unique merit aid and scholarship offerings (first generation, parent who is first-responder, local family, etc) did the homework on it starting Sophomore year.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21575 replies226 threads Senior Member
    I definitely think applying to some schools out of New England is good for any boarding school students list. There are some excellent colleges who would love to have BS kids that aren't the usual BS kid targets. Too many applications and therefore competition to NESCAC, for example while schools in other regions don't see the love but are equally impressive.
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  • 417WHB417WHB 88 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Cat is out of the bag with going south, the 'best' schools in the south are massively popular with NE kids - Duke is the hottest school there is these days, with Vanderbilt, Emory and Wake Forest not far behind. And Davidson and Elon are getting there, plus UVA and UNC for people willing to look at state flagships, and Georgia Tech for STEM people. And a lot of more, getting out of the NE winters is a draw for a lot of kids, and some of the southern flagships offer good merit aid too (Alabama). I think if you want to get some real points for geographical diversity, mountain west or west north of CA (and the handful of CA SLACs) are probably your best bets.
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