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BS Class of 2019 Thread

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Replies to: BS Class of 2019 Thread

  • vegas1vegas1 Registered User Posts: 387 Member
    DD had her first college counseling appointment yesterday. The message she came away with was very clear. Grades are the MOST important factor for selective college admission. This is a very different message then our DS heard 5 years ago from the same college counselor. Back then it was about EC’s, test scores and recommendations. It was believed that colleges would understand the rigor of his BS and gpa would not be the primary factor in admission. DD luckily has a good gpa, of course now she is overly anxious about keeping it that way.
  • FrydaddyFrydaddy Registered User Posts: 28 Junior Member
    I definitely understand that grades will be the most important factor, but do folks think that colleges give any "credit" for going to a competitive boarding school? In other words, is a B average from a competitive school basically viewed the same way as a B average from a less competitive (whether boarding, private, or public) school? I'm sure this question has been asked before so sorry to ask it again.

    On a somewhat related note, I am still digesting the grade inflation that has occurred since I was in BS 30+ years ago. Back then, at least at my school, A's were very hard to come by and a B+ average would put you in the top 10% of your class. (Or maybe the kids are getting smarter?). It now seems like having a B average is an impediment to getting into many, many schools -- not just the top ones.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,169 Senior Member
    The colleges understand the schools and their grading. Unless you go outside the usual suspects. I heard grumbling that I suspect was well-founded from kids who decided to look at schools that were unusual choices for our kids (i.e., southwestern schools, and particularly ones that gave scholarships based on GPA.) But at the vast majority of top LACS snd universities, no, this is not an issue.

    I would be surprised if your CC can't give you excellent guidance on this when you meet with them.
  • GMC2918GMC2918 Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    edited January 31
    Yes @Frydaddy they do, in terms of relative "rigor of the curriculum", so you might get a slight boost. However, they probably expect more from you - higher test scores, ECs, community service, athletics, well-written essays etc.

    Regarding grade inflation, it's interesting to look at the school profiles that the BSs put together to give to colleges. Usually you can see grade distribution by year & test scores. Look at Taft's for example - theirs was pretty detailed if I remember correctly.
  • infinityprep1234infinityprep1234 Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    @gardenstategal and @GMC2918 What about within the same prep school. If the course rigor of a student A is much more difficult versus student B in mathematics and science. Both students A and B are enrolled in similar difficulty level in humanities. And both have scored similar grades. Who will get early cum laude in this case? Is it based on grade alone or course rigor is counted too.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,169 Senior Member
    Our school didn't do this for precisely this reason. Colleges could look at your grades and courses but the school was not going to give kids a reason to game the system.
  • vegas1vegas1 Registered User Posts: 387 Member
    @Frydaddy in our experience, colleges do not “give credit” for the rigor at BS. We are going through the college application process for the 3rd time in 4 years. 2 of our kids had B/B+ averages at PEA. They had all the additional qualities that @GMC2918 referenced: near perfect test scores, leadership positions, great recommendations, solid EC’s and played sports. Without a hook, as we have none- upper middle class family from MA, they were locked out of many college options based on GPA alone. Keep in mind that there are kids with near perfect GPA’s at their BS. So, it is not impossible to achieve and colleges know this to.
    Our kids refused to play the game of giving up social lives and trying new challenging clssses in order to earn the perfect GPA. If our kids had attended the local HS they would have had much higher GPA’s, one of our kids graduated from this school- so I can say this with certainty. What I can’t say with certainty is how the college admissions process would have differed as it is all a crapshoot nowadays.
    Our kids are happy with their decision to attend BS in spite of their limited college choices. The 2 who have graduated are very happy with their colleges. We will see how the 3rd one feels after April 1st.
  • infinityprep1234infinityprep1234 Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    @gardenstategal How taking the hard course load and scoring perfectly is gaming the system while doing same level or more activity outside the classroom. I can see that maybe gaming the system will be if kids just sit in the dorm and not participate in extracurricular activities in order to boost only GPA. But if kid is as much as invloved in and out of the campus like other classmates and still takes harder classes as they have genuine interest in leaning, how this is gaming the system.
  • infinityprep1234infinityprep1234 Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    edited February 1
    @vegas1 your kids choice is great. I applaud them. But unfortunately there is a sizeable population in BS who are attending based on generous donation of alumni. Ivy leauge or other equally good colleges including top boarding school are desirable as they provide education without parents pocket book and affordability. This parameters make them very desirable. I bet you if elite colleges only take rich kids, college will not be in high demands after a while. Similarly if they take only braniac kids and not rich kids, in few years college will loose it's reputation. Elite US college have found a niche, how to remain most desirable and attract most rich And famous while maintaining high academic brain power too. And with these parameters we have to play this game. It is what it is.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 18,419 Senior Member
    Your boarding school kid will be placed within the context of his/her school's grading scheme and his/her classmate's performance. Will a B student from a top BS get into Harvard without a hook? No. Will a B student have a shot at many schools a public school B student won't have a shot at? Yes, because the adcoms realize that a B student at the selective BS is better prepared/faced more rigor than a B student at a typical public school (there are exceptions of course) with rampant grade inflation.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,169 Senior Member
    What I was saying is that our school did not want kids taking easier classes to get a higher GPA and academic awards or a higher class rank, so they didn't do either of those things. But when your grades went to colleges, the colleges could see what you took and would also know if a kid had taken the most rigorous courses because that was something the CC noted on the app.

    What I am saying is that when a school sets up some kind of hierarchy, there will be students who game it.

    Seriously, if your kid is "all that" as it sounds like she is, it will come through in her app. She should not concern herself with her classmates.

    As an aside, she may have classmates who preserve a high GPA by taking easier classes and get tutored to high board scores in order to present themselves successfully enough that they can use their legacy (of a major donor) card. Those kids are not her competition. They are playing a different game.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 939 Member
    @gardenstategal , you said,
    "Our school didn't do this for precisely this reason. Colleges could look at your grades and courses but the school was not going to give kids a reason to game the system"

    - Didn't do what?
    - What do you mean by sentence 2?
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 939 Member
    I see - sorry hadn't refreshed and didn't see your #147. @gardenstategal
  • FrydaddyFrydaddy Registered User Posts: 28 Junior Member
    I'm questioning the value of doing college tours pre-application/acceptance. A lot of the schools that we are looking at seem very similar (small to mid-sized LAC's in the New England/NY/Mid-Atlantic area) and I'm not sure seeing a bunch of them is a good use of our limited time and resources. Plus, as we learned from the BS process, impressions can be skewed by irrelevant factors like the weather and the personality of the tour guide.

    I'm thinking we will just do a very small handful of tours/visits -- concentrating on those schools where the atmosphere is different from SmallFry's school (e.g. west coast, urban, large state school etc.). and maybe one or two of the LAC's referenced above. My thinking is that we should put together our application list based on stats, programs, and other "paper facts" and then do in-depth visits if/when SmallFry actually gets in. Any thoughts on that strategy?

    I've heard some schools put weight on doing a formal tour to show interest - truth or rumor? I was hoping that for the most part we could just unofficially poke around the campus instead of doing a canned tour. There is so much information available online, I think that the value of visiting a campus is mostly just to get a sense for the feel of a school.

    Signed, a parent who has so far failed to organize any college visits even though spring break is just around the corner.

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