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This Student Didn’t Break 20 on His ACT — Here’s His Admissions Journey

Replies to: This Student Didn’t Break 20 on His ACT — Here’s His Admissions Journey

  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35299 replies399 threads Senior Member
    So he got a 16 Composite, then with help, moved it to a 19, aimed for 4 colleges and got into 3 where the admit rates were 50, 71, and 100%.

    I guess the lesson is good for kids with low scores, to find the right targets. Not sure what else. We don't know his subsequnt outcome.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30018 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Given that the national average ACT was 20.9 in 2018, I don't see what the big surprise is with this . There are about 3000 4 year colleges in the US there are plenty of choices for a low ACT score.

    The issue is when parents and kids want a school with name recognition, a non local, non directional school with a 20 ACT. It would have been nice if this example was of a kid who did Fairtest, for example. Unless you live in TX, in that area, those schools are not options for most kids. They are almost fully local students so coming in out of state is a tough go and additional expense.

    My kid barely got 1000 on SAT and was accepted to Holy Cross, Fairfield, Dickinson, Iona, Penn State main campus, UD, NEU (abroad at first) UMDCP (second semester start), Pitt, Gettysburg, Fordham, SUNY Buffalo. It took nerve racking strategy and trust in Fairtest and GCs and some theories that I don't dare share here because not sure if it's really true, though I believe it is.

    It's also a problem if the kid needs money and wants to go away to school. The high score kids have the full need met schools and merit money options that are simply not there for the low test scores. I'm struggling with options for a kid with a 1300 SAT and 3.5 average. Can't afford college away is about what it comes down to. They are not going to entertain possibilities like West Texas A&M and Minot college, etc. Bama Huntsville isn't even going to cut it. It's local and commute unless I can help him pull a rabbit out of the hat.
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 549 replies2 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    @cptofthehouse I guess my Asperger's is going to show a bit here, but I'm not sure I see the problem. You listed a bunch of facts (low or average scores, needs aid) and then started using the word "want" like it carried equal weight. Families with less money get fewer options. Kids with lower abilities (academic or athletic or artistic) are not pursued by schools and offered extra enticements to attend. If you live in some areas of the country your local options are pretty weak. These things are certainly disappointing, especially for kids that worked really hard to get those average results, but it shouldn't be a huge surprise. Life's never been like that.

    The linked article showed that there are paths forward for kids who don't have great numbers, and that's good for everyone to hear. If you want college there are options for nearly everyone once you set aside the comparisons to the rest of the world and start focusing on your own needs and resources. The best part of the story was his "bloom where planted" attitude, where he didn't get hung up on the process and just got on with his life.
    Not every student is going to a top 10 school. There are a lot of options for those of us who didn’t break 20 on the ACT, and once that part of your life is behind you, what you got on the ACT is forgotten.
    edited September 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30018 replies59 threads Senior Member
    There are many local colleges with open admissions or fanged close to it. Local to many areas.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30018 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I was too harsh and sanctimonious here and I apologize

    My son was a good student who did not test well. He had watched his siblings and peers all looking at colleges that seemed out of reach because of his test scores. He seemed resigned to the local schools that take anyone. It was an invigorating experience for him to be able to consider choices commensurate with the rigor of academics he took and the grades he had earned. I think most of us know what the local choices are that are pretty much open admissions. It’s finding other choices that is challenging. Even more so, is finding funding for those choices.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42530 replies460 threads Senior Member
    @cptofthehouse : 3.5/1300= EFC 0? EFC/budget mismatch? State with terrible aid? What's the problem? Because there should be options.
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 549 replies2 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    @cptofthehouse No need to apologize, it wasn't really harsh. There were just a lot of ifs and frustration in there that made it hard to discern the real from the hypothetical. Clearly there's no surprise at your house over the situation and I'm glad your son had some success in the hunt, but the money part always sort of sucks. Hope you find an affordable path for him that he embraces like the guy in the article did, as his enthusiasm for his destination is the measure that counts.

    EDIT: Just wanted to add that my DS ended up with a 3.0 and a 19 ACT, and after looking a couple directionals he opted for trade school. He's always been a comfortable iconoclast (eg a drummer, alter serving in high school, running his own business, etc) so being the only person in his class to voluntarily choose two year over four year didn't phase him at all. We put him in touch with a career counselor, she ran him through some interest tests, exposed him to several union trades and looked at a few vo-tech options, and he eventually picked a program. Could not be happier, gets out in May and is already talking to people about jobs. It was sort of surprising to us, but whatever, he found something that works for him. Good luck to your DS.
    edited September 2019
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  • ptptmomptptmom 23 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @cptofthehouse I'd love some insight into your strategy...for my daughter with a low SAT and high GPA and otherwise strong application. Looking at a few of those same schools. How do I message you privately?
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  • Shelby KShelby K 1 replies0 threads New Member
    ptptmom... We have the exact same challenge with my daughter. VERY low SAT and ACT scoring with no prep but carries a weighted GPA of 4.23 - 12th in class of 180. She is very involved in school athletics, clubs, leadership roles, ambassador, honor societies, church, etc... BUT has a low test score!
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  • RDMC1111RDMC1111 7 replies0 threads New Member
    Agree--West Texas A&M is in the middle of nowhere and not a good choice.
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