Parents of the HS Class of 2022- 3.0-3.4

@Sweetgum My daughter is just the same as yours - avoids all talk and action on her part regarding colleges. Says she wants to go to college but doesn’t want to start thinking/talking about schools or doing any research into specific colleges. She did agree to go to an information session and tour at one school on July 31 but has no interest in doing anything before then. I think she’d be happy if I chose the schools and appiied to them for her! (Not happening.)

Thanks @EconPop . That is an interesting idea about the joint email account. I don’t know if she will go for that or not. I think she already thinks I’m all up in her business too much, but it sure would make it a lot easier to keep track of stuff. And I do hear what you are saying about some kids being ready to take on all the responsibilities and some needing a helping hand. What I fear is that D22 will be all, “I can do it myself” until she’s like, “I need some help here” and then it might be past a deadline that could have been really important. I just don’t want to miss something.

Seems to me that this summer is a great time to be planning when things need to happen and to maybe think about starting on some essays. I’m gonna try to get her to at least sit down with me and look at deadlines for the schools she’s expressed some interest in. I would feel better if we at least have an idea of when stuff is due even if it’s November. I really want her to look at some more schools too, but she doesn’t seem too interested right now.

Any more suggestions for low-stress artsy, quirky schools with good English/Creative Writing? I think any size, but medium or even big is probably good for her. She’s been in a really small high school and it’s starting to chafe. She wants to meet new people and reinvent herself it seems. So far VCU and UNC-G are definitely on the list. She is still interested in schools in the UK too, but hasn’t been talking about it as much. Not interested in going anywhere that she knows anyone (App State, Hollins), but I’m not sure that she wants to go to California either (we are in NC). For the schools in the US she seems to be mainly interested in NC and VA, but I wonder if she would like somewhere like Oberlin? We have an acquaintance there, but it’s not really someone she knows so it might be okay.

I think she really likes the dream of going to the UK, but I don’t think she has really delved into the nitty gritty of what that would be like. If I’m being honest, I would like her to stay stateside and do a semester (or two) abroad just because I don’t think she’s ready right now to take on all that living in another country would entail. I think there’s a possibility that she could get herself ready for university in the UK this year and I’m not going to stop her if she does show she’s ready, but I’m just not really seeing it right now. She could always go back to the UK for grad school.

So I’d love to see her in an artsy school with a great study abroad program.

I think I’m going to force her to look at deadlines and stuff with me soon and probably put them into a shared Google Calendar.


@Sweetgum my S21 definitely needed guidance to get through the process. I found that what helped with him was to chunk the process out. Big chunks. And not mix conversations. When it was time for one chunk, we didn’t talk about the others.

Recommendation requests out before the end of junior year. Big kudos when that was done.

Summer was for exploring schools. In a good way, with schools shut down last year he could do that online. On his own time. Without taking whole days or weekends. He was able to find some schools he really liked that way and some he really didn’t. Good for weeding out. If your D is willing to visit places, choose a couple of schools near you–even if she’s not really interested–so that she can see a small campus, a big campus, a rural school and a city school. Her reactions to that will also help weed. Where I helped the most with that process was in giving him a list of 20+ schools that had the program he was interested in and he had a chance of acceptance. Asked him to do 1 virtual visit a week. By the end of the summer, you’ll have a good shortlist of schools.

September was for essay writing.

October was for common app completion. And for you to complete FAFSA.

November is for applying or getting anything missing together.

And that puts your D ahead of the game. Most schools don’t need applications until at least January unless she wants to send Early Action. Scholarship apps in our area aren’t due until the spring.

You will definitely feel more stressed than she will. Just know it will all come together. Promise.

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Oh, I know that is not the case for VCU which is on her list. For OOS applicants you have to have your app submitted in November. Doesn’t have to be EA or ED, but has to be in by then for the scholarship consideration and it’s a nice chunk of change if I recall correctly ($10 or $12k).

D22 has zero interest in doing ANYTHING online after this last year. We have visited schools many times over the years so she has an idea of what a small school vs a large school is like at least.

I like the idea of doing it in chunks. I will suggest that.

Editing to add: I just checked and the VCU scholarships that require the Nov 1 deadline are not the OOS scholarships, but high achieving merit scholarships. Not sure when the deadline is for the OOS scholarships. Need to dig more.

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We are doing the same thing that I did with my D19 – we have a weekly meeting where we go through the next items on the to do list. Both D and S have ADHD with accompanying EF issues, so project managing this makes it easier for all and lessens the household stress level.

We have a calendar timeline as one of the tabs on our Google sheet. The schools he is applying to have deadlines not only for applications and scholarships, but he wants to submit an arts supplement. So he has organized his schools based on deadline dates. He wants to get the arts supplement recorded in August.


I like that idea @OrangeFish. I don’t think mine really has ADHD, but she does have anxiety and sometimes avoidance comes with that. I doubt I can get her to do a weekly meeting, but I think I can get her to do a Google calendar with me and maybe Google Sheets.


Have you looked at Eckerd College? They have a fantastic creative writing program with the Writers in Paradise series each Winter Term. Number 2 for short term study abroad programs. Winter term, spring, fall, spring into summer and service learning trips abroad. Scholarships available for study abroad programs. Very welcoming, live and let live spirit. Wonderful community spirit, noted for professor/mentorship. Artsy, quirky, yup! Also has an honors program, peer mentor, great tutoring programs. They offer a freshman artistic achievement scholarship, great with merit and financial aid. Why Creative Writing at Eckerd | Eckerd College in Florida

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I will mention it to her, but she really doesn’t like hot weather and I think is not wanting to go further south than North Carolina.

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@Sweetgum if she’s not interested in engaging with stuff online, one thing I did with my older D that worked pretty well was one of those big desk calendars. I just tore out the months we were working with and we came up with a schedule and our own deadlines (well before actual deadlines), we marked up that calendar and posted it on the wall a month or 2 at a time so we could both see it. As she got things done she could cross them off and I could see and didn’t feel stressed or like I needed to bug her about things. We had once a week “meetings” to discuss progress and anything else that came up. Eased tension all around. I’m getting ready to implement a similar system for D22 probably next month after she finishes her summer program.


This is a good framework with the big milestones on it. One of them is really dependent on the schools on your list and how much schoolwork your kid has. My D21 started all essays in September and we won’t take that route with our younger daughter. She had a lot of schoolwork, extracurriculars and worked so it was really challenging. The big essay will be done before school starts, we won’t go through the same process again, I want to relieve as much stress on my daughter as possible, and not put myself in a place where I have to keep checking in.


As a parent of a kid who is not interested in doing anything college-related right now, and has an extremely busy fall due to marching band, I wanted to share what a Lawrence ad con told us. Despite how the statistics appear, there is no advantage to applying early action. He said that the early applications tend to be higher quality, so that affects the percent admitted, but you do not have any sort of advantage applying early. YMMV depending on the school, of course.

This came as a relief to my son because 1) he’s not sure what he wants to do or where he wants to go and 2) he will hopefully post better grades next semester.


That sounds promising, @murray93. Don’t know how true it is across the board, but good to know that at least in some places EA is not a must. I doubt my D22 is going to be ready for that.

Do any of y’all have suggestions for schools (not in the Deep South) that give merit aid to a kid with 3.5 unweighted/3.7 weighted GPA and 28 ACT? She is not interested in a stressful school environment so not looking for Top 20s. I keep thinking there may be some LACs that we have overlooked.

We have friends whose kids got some good scholarships at southeastern LACs but one was homeschooled and the GPA mom gave is 4.0+ and the other may have had a better GPA too. In real life the homeschooled kid is no brighter than my D22 but I think she fell into the perfect storm of having mom give her grades and this past cycle being test optional most places (she didn’t do well on the ACT the one time she took it). She ended up getting some great scholarships. I had been thinking that since they are similarly bright my D22 might get some too, but then I realized it may be due to the homeschool GPA looking so high.

So does anyone know of any schools that give merit for our kids?

@Sweetgum You may want to look at the previous year’s thread Parents of the HS Class of 2021 3.0-3.4, that would definitely have information on lots of schools that give merit at those scores.

You are definitely on the right path with LACs, the Colleges that Change lives website might be another place to check out

A big question, though, will be what amount of merit aid will you be looking for? There will be plenty of schools that will offer $15-20k, but if your budget is under $20k, getting $15-20k off a $70k bill doesn’t help all that much.

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$15-$20K merit would be great. We haven’t set a specific budget, but we are not wanting to spend away our retirement either. I am feeling like $35K would be fairly doable although we would be very very happy to spend less than $35K, too. In state public tuition would be great, but I think she wants to get away a smidge further. We could probably do more than $35K if needed, but not looking to spend $70K either.

Thanks for the suggestion to look at the 2021 thread. That’s a good idea.

@Sweetgum Figure out your firm budget now. It sounds like $35k is the number floating around your head, but (like most of us), you would always prefer to spend less if that is an option. If $35k is the budget, figure out where that money is coming from literally, not “We will find it when we need it”.

$15-20k in merit isn’t going to get a budget down to $35k at most LACs out of the Southeast. With a $65-70k price tag at many schools, $15-20k is going to get you to ~$50k per year. Are you comfortable with that? If so, then great you will have plenty of options.

Some schools on CTCL do have pretty transparent merit aid offers. I believe Ohio Wesleyan offers a guaranteed $30k/yr with the possibility for an additional $10k (competitive & stackable) for students with a 3.6 or higher - renewable for 4 years.

The $30k merit brings the price tag to $32,120 for the 21-22 year. $21,120 if your child is awarded the additional $10k competitive scholarship. However, the scholarship amount will not increase each year, while COA will. Something to keep in mind.

This is a great time to really dig into schools and their financial aid/merit aid policies. Run the NPCs, figure out your child’s needs versus wants, and don’t be afraid to cast a wide initial net if you are looking for money.


My D had almost identical stats and got a wonderful package from Southwestern U in Georgetown, TX. It’s a CTCL school and has lower COA than a lot of comparable schools.


That gpa is definitely in range for good merit, depending on the school. My D & S had uw gpas in this range (though both had good test scores). They received quite a few merit scholarships in the $30k range. So it’s definitely possible. I think colleges take homeschool transcripts with a grain of salt, though many homeschooled students take DE and other outside classes that help a college evaluate them. I do know many schools also require additional recommendations for homeschoolers. Can’t help with the recommendations; both my kids only applied to schools in the northeast.


Southeast is fine. We live in NC. I think if she stays in the US she likes Virginia (also looking at the UK, but because of COVID we haven’t been able to get over there again). She seemed to like VCU which might be doable although OOS tuition is not ideal. I think UNC-Greensboro is probably the front-runner for in-state.

I have to get my husband to sit down with me and run the numbers and he is almost as bad as D22 for not wanting to talk about college expenses. He would rather her apply to wherever she wants to go and then we will run the numbers. I’d rather do it the other way and eliminate anywhere that is going to be too much, but she says she is okay with either one and understands that if it is too expensive we won’t do it. Personally I think it would be better to just not apply places we are unlikely to want to pay for, but I think he is feeling a little softer about it. (His brother and sister did not go to college much to his parents’ chagrin and his parents were willing to pony up for an expensive private school for him when his time came as the youngest.)

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Hi @Sweetgum with those numbers Roanoke college would provide really solid merit. Nice LAC in VA. If PA is an option, lots of possibilities there too.


Hi all,
I’m new here and have a S22 (trying to learn the lingo here) who is relatively motivated. He’s on some other CC forum right now seeking college ideas for his list.
He had a bad fall semester last year like many kids. Didn’t do well with online school. Lost motivation. Literally repeated over and over “What’s the point?”when I tried to rally him to work harder. But I’m still really proud of him for pulling through. It was a miserable year for all.
Right now he has a 3.8 UW GPA. He has 6 B’s. Two from last year and two from PE (grrr!) Hoping the schools doing “holistic” reviews will notice this and give him some leeway. Anyway, I’m looking forward to tips and thoughts and a year of commiseration with this forum!