Parents of the HS Class of 2020 - 3.0 to 3.4 GPA

Starting a new thread for Parents of the HS class of 2020 with kids that have slightly lower GPAs as I think our experience will be a bit different from many of the other high stats kids in CC aiming for elite colleges. Hoping we can be a source of support to each as we go through this journey!

Thank you for starting this thread @Lemonlee! Moving my high stat D18 to college this week and when I get back I will be very active on this thread as it is time to start the search/process for D20 and it is going to be a whole new search! She would like to go to school in the south and I have very limited knowledge of that area so I look forward to learning a lot here! I am from New England so I can bring knowledge of this region to the table!

Joining! Thanks for starting. I have a son who had a rough freshman and sophomore year (undiagnosed ADHD and not interested in meds) but ended fourth quarter sophomore year on Honor Roll-yay!) so hoping he can continue to do well and maybe get to the top of this GPA range before application season. He wants engineering, which will make it even more difficult for him. We are scheduling college tours this fall; learned my lesson with d18–summers and senior year tours were tough! So we’re starting earlier with s20.

Yay! I’m No. 3! D20 actually has above a 3.4 but I wouldn’t be surprised if it slipped down before she graduates. She wants Greek life, so her main concerns about grades is squeaking by to get a bid. I, of course, want as much scholarship money as possible. Her list: Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tulane and TCU.

@MinnieFan : I was born in the South, went to college at a different southern school and now live in a different state. Ask away!

I’m in. DS20 has a 2.9 starting this year, mainly due to pre-AP chemistry and AP world history last year, both of which had great teachers but were extremely difficult for him. He isn’t taking any more AP classes; they are just too much for him. He has a great schedule this year (had two days of school last week, so this is the first full week of school) and likes all his teachers (algebra II, U.S. history, health, animation, physics, and English III, plus football). I expect him to have a happier year rather than stressing over the two AP’s from last year.

He is an athlete and hoping to pursue his sport in college, so he hasn’t though a lot about where he might want to go. Some of the decision will be based on how well he does in his varsity sport this year and next year. Definitely not looking at any kind of super-selective schools and nothing out of state.

Last year as a sophomore – and just barely a sophomore, I think they took it in October – he took the PSAT and scored a 920. But he pointed out that a lot of the math was stuff he hadn’t even gotten to yet. He is not scheduled for the SAT yet; I’m giving him some time to find his feet this year.

Thanks for starting this! DS20 is in this GPA range and hopefully will be pulling himself up to the top of the range. I feel behind seeing everyone posting their child is taking the SAT! I was going to wait until after the PSAT. He was out of school during 10th grade PSAT and in 9th he got a 1270 so I have hopes he’ll do well and we won’t have to do a ton of testing. He is using Khan Academy but he has been working a TON so that’s been hit or miss recently.

I’m going to have to push a little, he’s not interested in touring or talking about college. Since last year we dealt with mental health issues I don’t want to stress him out, so mostly I’m just thinking to myself and I will eventually have to have a discussion with him.

Hi everyone! S20 is not a high stat kid like his older sister, so our college search will be very different this time around. But then again, D17 was super stressed all through high school until she got into her ED school so it also feels like kind of a blessing that he is having a less frenzied and more enjoyable HS experience. He did do some test prep over the summer but is definitely not taking the SAT/ACT until spring - he is not a great test taker so I think having the extra time to mature can only he!p. With common core, he also won’t be exposed to all the math he needs until this year. He doesn’t want to go too far from home so is interested in exploring schools in the western states, but haven’t been able to get him to come up with a list of schools he wants to visit yet. I think his test scores will be the deciding factor in what schools he can aim for and have no clue where those will land - hopefully higher than his latest practice test results indicates!

DS20 has an unweighted 3.4 GPA. We decided to have him prep to take the ACT in June and he scored a 26. We wanted him to have a score to help develop a list of out of state public colleges that he may be able to earn merit aid to match our in state cost. He is taking two AP classes junior year and original goal was not to have to study for ACT and AP exams in the spring of Junior year so he got started sophomore year. I know for the overall CC that his score would be considered just average but it’s good enough to get him accepted and with guaranteed merit aid at colleges of interest to him. I think this discussion group will be our happy place on the forum. I have only posted a few times over the years but read the forum often.

Anyway, I told DS that he has a score and can use that to review college data to determine whether he wants to take it again. It’s totally up to him. I can say he feels pretty good knowing that he is starting junior year with a decent score. Summer was spent enjoying time with his older brother who was home from college, summer vacation and traveling to visit family. The 10th grade Honors course load was not that bad so squeezing in the prep worked for him was manageable even while playing a sport. His 11th grade schedule includes AP World, AP Government, Honors Chemistry, Honors English, French 4, Pre-Calculus and Honors Band.

We will just see how it goes junior year as these are his first AP classes. I’m nervous about it.

Thanks for starting this @Lemonlee !
S20 had a rough sophomore year - too much stress, too much pressure. For his junior year schedule, we met the GC to choose courses that he likes and would meet the prerequisites for graduation. He’s taking AP Computer Science, AP Psychology, English, Biology, Calculus, PE, Honors Global Studies, Honors Latin.
Hoping for a less stress-free junior year!

D20 fits right in with this group–with a weighted GPA. Her PSAT test scores have been average. I’m happy she has broken 1000.

She has ADHD with truly terrible EF skills. Freshman year was good, but she had to stop meds sophomore year due to side effects. She’s tried most options but side effects always seem to develop. So without meds, her grades dropped, and the worst effect is due to not handing in assignments.

Community college was what I had in mind for her, but a lot of her friends will be going away. I’m a little afraid of her being at home and feeling depressed when her friends leave. And she is MUCH better off surrounded by motivated people than kids without a plan.

She has started working this summer and has held two jobs simultaneously. To be honest, I consider them therapy for the EF skills. Seeing how she manages with her jobs has made me more optimistic about the future.

For D18, I was looking for merit. For D20 I will be specifically looking at low cost colleges where she can get in and be successful. That will probably be an instate public but someone like her might do better an a smaller, nurturing private college not too far from home.

A good solution would be a less selective college that only uses the FAFSA and meets need to a decent degree. :wink:

Joining up and excited to be here! Will post soon on my visits to Marist and Rowan - they were for S19 but definitely bringing D20 to Marist. Rowan was not a fit for our family, but it is a great school, and I think a lot of students would like it here.

I will say that I am biting my fingernails off because D20 took SAT prep classes for this Saturday’s SAT siting, and every practice test she took she went DOWN. Like seriously, with no prep, she was higher. What the heck?

D20 - Social Anxiety, ADHD (no meds - side effects) and terrible EFs. Always a journey, never status quo. :slight_smile:

@cakeisgreat I’ll be watching for your reviews. I think I would be happy to have D20 at Rowan. It’s close even though it’s big. I’m just not sure if she could get in.

TCNJ is a better size for her but it would only ever work if she chose one of the least sought after majors since admission is very major dependent.

Have you looked at Ramapo?

I’ve been waiting for this thread! S20, my oldest, has a 3.46 UW & W, though that’s a bit misleading because it includes straight A’s in two years of concert band and one year of a visual art. We’re in California; UC/CSU GPA is 3.6, if I’m calculating correctly. Jr. year he’s taking his first two weighted classes: AP Lang. & Comp. and Honors US Hist (wanted APUSH but didn’t have the grades for it). Also, Spanish, Biology, Pre-Calc, concert band. Has room in his schedule for another course, but wants two free periods. Not sure how I feel about that; his course work rigor is already below average for his school, and I kind of wish he would add something in his area of strength (humanities), maybe International Relations or the school literary magazine. BUT, he won’t be aiming for top schools, and certainly don’t want to overload him and bring his GPA down.

Took PSAT sophomore year because his school requires it; scored 1200. Just finished up an SAT prep class; his mock exams were 1180/1290/1290. Will take PSAT again in October and then I guess he’ll try the ACT. Assuming he dislikes the ACT (science is his least favorite subject) and decides to go with the SAT, I’m a bit confused about SAT timing. Is there a reason to wait until the spring?

Not much in the way of ECs – besides band, just his sport that he plays year round (club and school). He’s ambivalent about how much, if at all, he wants to make his sport part of the college search process. I think he would have a great time playing at the D3 level (I played D3 sports myself) but he hasn’t given it much thought. Lots more D3 opportunities outside the West Coast/Southwest, and he says he wants to stay reasonably close to home.

No college visits yet – other than, over the summer, the women’s college in the area where I grew up. :slight_smile: That was for his younger sister, and just for something to do while visiting the grandparents.

DS is slowly finishing up all the summer work required.

We haven’t done any college visits but he did tag along with DS16.

@MACmiracle Hi! I will definitely post soon on the tours. I usually read on my cell phone, so I want to be On my computer when I write on the tours. But I promise I’ll do it soon. Rowan was a great college! Just too big for D20 and for S19 biggest turnoff was they did not talk at all about STEM except engineering of course which they are known for…and he felt it too big as well. And when we asked questions about science, the tour guide didn’t know anything. He wants to go South anyway. Neither S19 or D20 wants to tour Rutgers because too big But D16 goes there for food science. And I am finishing my business degree there as well so if you or anyone has any questions let me know!

We will definitely look at Ramapo for D20. Did you tour yet? D19 toured out lol.

Both Liked TCNJ…definitely the right size. S19 has the stats But D20 not so sure yet. Her practice SAT tests are not very high. We shall see how it goes. She does want to major in psychology so that is good.

OK - here’s the tour! Posted in 2019-3.0 as well :slight_smile:

Marist - wow what a pretty campus right on the Hudson. About 5000 students. Every building has open windows facing that area. I was mesmerized, which could be good or distracting depending on how you look at it ha! Info session was boring but key takeaways are their study abroad programs and their internship/research. Many majors require at least one, sometimes two internships. This info session was the first time I heard anything said about psychology - people in that major have to do 2 internships or research opts to graduate. This appealed to me because D20 wants to go that route. I will bring her next year. Also, they built a new science building with all the latest stuff across the highway (other part of campus) which is walkable through an open underpass. They added PA program, have a medical technology program with 100% job placement, and either OT or PT (cant remember which). Tour guide was okay. Mentioned community service was really big on campus (used to be a Catholic college but no longer). Campus was bustling (for a medium size) which was nice to see…The guide new everyone and said hi by name to everyone who passed, including staff. I liked that. No major complaints…if I had to nitpick, it does seem preppy, but for us, that’s not a problem unless the people are snobs, which they didn’t seem to be. Cost might be too expensive. We’ll see. We toured because I have a friend who graduated from there in Finance and got a job immediately at Morgan Stanley I believe and 2 years later now works with Oppenheimer. Not bad. He also said the sciences are hard but not impossible and job placement seemed good - no complaints from his friends. All got jobs. Don’t know much about Poughkeepsie, but it looked adorable from what we saw. Loved that walking bridge! Definitely applying.

Rowan - Nice looking campus in the middle of town (seemed). Very clean! Very big. For NJ folks, it felt to us like Rutgers-lite. If you like a big school with a central town street full of restaurants, etc., you’ll really like Rowan. The Marriott was right there for parents. Info session focused on it being a good value, which it is - cheaper than other NJ schools. First t-shirt received! Nice business school, all the perks. Went through engineering and explained a lot about social life. Definitely trying to sell that they are not a suitcase school and have a lot to do, even on weekends. S19 ended up not liking it though but could be because tour guide talked ahead while walking (away from audience), so no one heard her and she did not talk at all about STEM (except engineering) which he is interested in. Did not see the science building. Only knew about education which was her major. The history about the campus was nice but she kept saying “we dont use this for anything” and “this is backwards but whatever” and “that building is haunted.” Did not talk about the college education or job placement or anything we were interested in and did not have answers when we asked. Also, they made us park on the 3rd floor of a parking deck in the sun far enough away that we got lost (and another family also) trying to make our way back to admissions. There was no helpful signage anywhere. And there were a thousand empty parking spots on the 1st and 2nd floors. Not bringing D20 - will be just too big and confusing for her.

And thank God D20 made it through SATs! Was super nervous going in, but once she sat down, she said “Easy-Peasy.” That phrase is NEVER part of her vocabulary, so I am ecstatic! Said it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. Also never part of her language. It was a great outcome for the day!

Hoping for an 1100 for first try. Goal is a 1300 by next year, but if she doesn’t make it, no pressure.

@cakeisgreat Your tour comparison of Rowan and Rutgers is interesting. Compared to Rutgers, Rowan feels small to me–even though it’s not small–maybe because it’s all one walkable campus.

Interestingly, in terms of size Rowan didn’t feel much bigger than TCNJ, even though the student body is much larger. For some reason, TCNJ felt cramped to me; Rowan felt somewhat more spacious even though there aren’t a lot of open spaces.

We had he same experience of not a lot of talk about sciences outside of engineering, and the science building was not included in any of our tours. The exception was talk of the two medical schools. Friends who did visit the chemistry labs in the science building loved them. A friend’s son studied physics at Rowan and is now in a PhD program, so something is working, but it’s not talked about for some reason.

@macmiracle Yes it is definitely smaller than Rutgers! Maybe I could say it’s more like one of Rutgers campuses ha ha. I am on the Livingston campus every day, and it reminded me of It where you could walk down the street and have a movie theater, haircutters and a yogurt place and lots of other things. And then you see all the buildings nestled around it Rowan felt really big to me and confusing as we walked around and large enough to have shuttles and get lost, But it definitely could just have been my perception.

TCNJ Seemed smaller and more manageable, and they mentioned we could walk that campus within 10-15 minutes if I recall. I could see how it might feel cramped. I remember they also had a street with stores on it that they built a couple years ago.

Checking in here, on behalf of DS’20. His UW GPA is right in the middle of the range, 3.23 UW.

DS’20 is our third and as I’ve said on the main 2020 thread, this will be a different kind of search. DS '14 and DD’17 were high stats merit aid chasers. He’s trying to get recruited for lacrosse, so that will be a new wrinkle for our family

Next Saturday is the first day that recruiters (D1 and D2) can contact him. We’ll see if he gets calls or crickets. His club coaches say he will get contacted, but I don’t want to raise his expectations too much.

And so it goes…