Parents of the HS Class of 2022- 3.0-3.4

It’s interesting to see the thoughts on the activities section. I agree that it can be a tough call in terms of how to list it. I think it really depends on the activity and the kid. My D also participated in theatre during the freshman and sophomore years, I think in 4 productions. She ended up listing them individually because she’s a techie, so what she did for each production was different and by the final production she had gotten a leadership role, and with only 50 words, it was just hard to convey the different activities she had done for each production in only one slot. She also doesn’t a have a lot of high level activities so she had space within the 10 allowed to do this. Some of her other activities we were able to condense better into one slot. I’m not really a fan of the format for this section, seems like it’s changed a lot since my D18 did it, and it wasn’t even fantastic then, but I do recall a bit more flexibility. :woman_shrugging: :thinking:

Anyway, congrats to everyone having successes on here! :tada: We’re making progress!

In our house we are progressing through essay :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:, and I think she finally made a breakthrough on her main essay this weekend so my :crossed_fingers: fingers are crossed :crossed_fingers: that we are on the final approach to submitting! Her teacher has submitted her recommendation, but no movement yet on the counselor end, hard to say whether I need to be worried about that or not honestly. I’m also doing a tolerable job keeping myself off the ledge over the fact that somehow she is applying to 6 schools but really is only considering maybe 3 of them. :woman_facepalming: In my mind I know that all of her schools are safe/matches for her, but honestly it’s freaking me out that we made this list of schools to apply to and she’s busily crossing them off as though she’s already in and it’s decision time for her! :pleading_face: I’m just, can you please apply first, or if you don’t like these, can we add a few others that you like better? Nope, she doesn’t want any more, and even if she did, none of the ones we previously discarded meet her new stricter requirements, so there we are. Ah well, like I said, I know it’ll be fine, but I have that annoying voice in the back of my head… :hear_no_evil:


Mine has already decided on one! We have two more college visits open house things to go to at Hiollins and Agnes Scott and I bet she wouldn’t do those if she hadn’t signed up for them before she fell in love with Warren Wilson.


Yeah, this seems to be another parallel our daughters have! She’s on board for visiting Knox I think mostly because it was #1 for her for a long time and only fell out of favor after she started actually visiting schools. She’s ruled out even visiting Tulsa unless she is admitted. I think honestly I’m probably just thrown off by how hard she fell for Cornell. It was unexpected in part because her older sister never fell for a school that way. So logically I know all of this is just in my head and I need to get over it. At least she likes a school she is likely to be accepted to, that will likely be affordable! :grin: As I was telling my husband this morning, this is just the dumb thing my brain has decided I need to worry about, it’s not an actual thing I need to worry about lol 🤦


Some good news here, D was accepted to Tulsa with a merit award! :tada: So she’s 2 for 2 now and gaining in confidence. The merit award especially boosted her, even though I did tell her to expect to get them. Again, seeing is believing! Now that she’s been accepted she’s willing to visit, so we’re going to take a quick trip up for one of their fall visit days later in the month. I don’t expect her to fall in love with this school, my guess is the vibe is a bit too pre-professional and sporty (Div 1 football :eyes:) for her, but it does have some features that I think will appeal and I think she’ll appreciate having it as an already snagged spot. Probably it will be preferred over her safety UNT.

But first up, we leave tomorrow for a visit to Knox, a place I think will appeal to her a lot if she lets it. :face_with_monocle: :crossed_fingers:


Was anyone else aware that colleges can see if you’ve started an application on Common App? S got a note from a Lawrence student saying they could see he had started an application and wanted to know if he needed help with anything. I was very surprised!

Lawrence seems to be very (overly?) proactive in its admissions approach. After my S19 applied, they saw he lived in Japan and all of a sudden he had Lawrence students from China and Vietnam calling him up. With the time difference, he was receiving those calls in the middle of the schoolday/middle of class in Japan. On top of the inconvenience, he felt like he was being stereotyped and the whole thing really put him off. Lawrence was his first acceptance, EA with very nice merit, but in the end he didn’t even want to visit.
Editing just to add that I thought it was a shame, as from everything I’ve read on here, Lawrence is a terrific school.

S isn’t home from band yet to see the note. I’m curious to get his reaction. But I had no idea the admissions office had that type of insight via Common App before you’ve even submitted the application. I wonder what else can they see?

I think they can see your contact info if you’ve “added” the school in the common app. I seem to recall with my older D that she would get “don’t forget to complete your application” messages as deadlines approached. D22 has only added schools she is definitely applying to and none that are just maybes because she doesn’t want them to think she is applying if she’s not. But of course it means she can’t see if the app is easy with no extra questions or not so 🤷 I don’t think they see anything besides contact info unless you submit the application.


@murray93 When you sign up for Common App, there is a question that asks if you do NOT want colleges you’ve marked as ‘Applying to’ to see that info or to contact you. It’s easy to not notice this if you are in somewhat of a hurry.


Hi, I’d love to join this group. S22 has a 3.5uw. I know it’s a tad higher than 3-3.4, but honestly, we have more in common with this group than with all the 3.8-4+ GPAs that proliferate CC.
S22 had a lousy virtual 2nd semester of junior year, which weighs heavily on his GPA. His school was online until the last few weeks of 11th grade, and 1+ years of virtual school crossed some sort of threshold for him, he lost his motivation, stopped turning assignments in on time, etc… However, the summer was rejuvenating and his school is completely on campus this fall- he seems himself again! I can tell he is really disappointed now that he understands how the middling GPA limits his prospects.
He wants to study Engineering, and while he won’t be able to get into UW (our state flagship with direct admit Eng) or the UCs he was interested in, it looks like there are some great options.
He is applying to ASU, Oregon State, Mines (Colo), Washington State, CU Boulder, maybe Gonzaga, maybe Utah, maybe Arizona. He is also interested in the UK (he did 8th and 9th grades in the UK), so will give that a shot too. I think for the UK, it all depends on how his AP calc BC and AP Phys C exams go in May. He had a bunch of mid-western and east coast schools on his initial list, but we crossed them all off -sticking with the Western US and the UK.
He submitted his Common App to ASU last week for Mech Eng. We all cheered when he pressed “Submit.” There was something very satisfying about sending off the first application!


Welcome @skkseattle ! I think you’ll find your story is not uncommon here! My D is also at a 3.5 right now predominantly due to the virtual year last year. We’re a pretty chill group over here and gpa matters less I think than the journey you and your family are on. If you feel like this group fits, it fits! :blush:

In my corner of the world, D and I visited Knox on Monday and despite the terrible weather she liked it. She is now feeling very torn amongst her favorites. She told me she was feeling anxious about choosing between them. I pointed out that it might be a good idea to apply to them first! :thinking: I’m hoping to get submission done on many this weekend. :crossed_fingers:

Tulsa sent a very cute little admissions package to her with a t-shirt and a bell, guessing the bell has something to do with a tradition they have. Maybe we’ll find out when we visit next week. 🤷


I hear ya. Mine hasn’t applied yet either, but is “ready to be done” and just wants to go to Warren Wilson.

If it works for y’all you might be able to calm her anxieties by telling her you can go back to see the schools she gets in if they have an “admitted students day”.

Did you like Knox? That was on my D22’s list for a good little while this summer and into September, but then fell off in favor of staying closer to home I think.

And welcome @skkseattle ! My D22’s GPA is a little above the range in the thread title, too, but she doesn’t want any part of the rat race of college application open season. She pretty much just has safeties on her list and it’s a very short list. 4 schools right now.

Can you share more details about Knox? My S said no way, I am really unclear as to why, but I am seriously thinking why not just apply to as many schools as you can… I have NO idea how this all is going to shake out due to his amazing senior year so far and very strong extra curriculars. And less than stellar 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. LOL

Yeah, @Sweetgum we definitely plan at least one more visit to any finalists for admitted students days in spring and I am even pondering a winter visit to some of these wintery locations she is considering. She knows this, but still gets twisted up in her head with worry.

She hit submit and ordered transcripts on all four of her common app schools yesterday so she is now officially in the waiting game. :tada: I think that’s a relief to her, getting stuff off her plate. She has one task remaining which is to submit a writing piece for an additional scholarship at Knox.

As far as Knox, yes, she liked it. I liked it too. I would ordinarily do a review on the Knox sub, but the weather was so poor, and with COVID restrictions as well, we didn’t see as much as we might have in other circumstances. That said, some things we noticed… the town is small, but not so small as to not have familiar resources. Target, Walmart, etc, all the big names were there. The campus is a few blocks from the historic downtown area and the Amtrak station. the area was cute, clearly taken a hit from the pandemic as so many places have, but still with restaurants and shops. I think there were 3 pizza places in walking distances of campus, a brewery/restaurant, and a few bakery/coffee places among others. On campus, they had a really nice museum quality display about the history of the area, and the school in the admission building. During the event, the newly installed president of the college spoke to the group, which was nice, I have rarely seen that at prospective student events. More often at admitted student events, but it was nice, he seemed very genuine and open, and spoke about the welcoming vibe of the campus. The school does have a different schedule, they do trimesters, so 3 courses at a time, 3 times a year. Each trimester is 10 weeks long. This is similar to the quarter system they use in the UC system, so it is familiar to me. It means students can complete 9 courses a year instead of 8 on a semester system. This gives students a bit more flexibility and opportunity to take exploratory courses, and students said there were a lot of course to choose from. Tour was pretty wet, we did not get to see inside any res hall, or the cafeteria other than peeking through the windows. But the library was really pretty. A good library is a top factor for my D, and this one is up there. Agnes Scott still has my favorite so far, but this one is pretty close. It had so many little nooks and different types of study desks, it was pretty cool. Finally, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas had one of their famous debates at Knox, and Lincoln apparently spent some time in the area when he was a lawyer. Knox is very proud of their association with Lincoln, and rightly so, he’s a pretty awesome guy, but I will say the Lincoln love was a bit overwhelming. I love Lincoln as much as anyone (and I was a history major so I love this stuff) and even I found it to be a bit much. Fortunately, it did not overshadow what was otherwise a nice if damp visit. The students seemed like a nerdy, quirky bunch, and the academic vibe was one of exploration, even within a major it felt like there was plentiful room for intellectual wandering and I think that appealed to my D.

I’m curious @murray93 if your S has a clear reason for his reaction, I know sometimes they just have those feelings and that’s all there is to it. My D has certainly had that reaction to schools that just leave me smh. :woman_shrugging:


No, he has no real basis for his reaction that I can ascertain. My best guess is that it’s the name of the school or the way the campus appeared to him online. He likes big evergreen trees. eye roll

We visited Lawrence over the summer and I wanted to include Knox in the trip but also didn’t want to push my luck with him. He really didn’t want to go to WISCONSIN (ew!) but guess what, he enjoyed visiting WI and he loved Lawrence.

Thanks so much for the Knox review!!

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Are any of y’all’s kids answering the optional covid question? Mine did not have any extraordinary circumstances or events related to the pandemic, but he has some things to say related to impact on grades, and activities he started to fill his time, one of which relates to a potential career path. Are those worthy of being addressed in an essay?

The buzz on CC I read was unless there was something of significant impact (ie death of a family member, loss of parent job etc) it would not be advisable. Most kiddos suffered, not to diminish that impact, but they know about lost EC opportunities and challenges with grades and continuity of school.

@murray93 My S’ common app essay included some mention of the pandemic as it relates to his need for community. He chose to skip the optional covid question.

Mine did do the covid response. I wasn’t going to tell her not to do it because she “hasn’t suffered enough”. Let the admission people read her story and decide for themselves whether they needed to know or not. As far as I’m concerned she suffered, in several ways, and taking the opportunity to share that story only enhances her application by giving them another window into who she is. She’s not applying to super competitive schools so I think cc “wisdom” doesn’t apply. I think if your kid has a story to tell that is not being told in other areas of the application, there’s no reason not to tell it. 🤷

And I lol’d about the trees @murray93 both of my kids have weird things about trees on campus! D22 was very upset yesterday when she saw on Instagram that Cornell college was planting new trees! She’s worried now there will be too many :roll_eyes:🤦


I’m also leaning toward having S do it. I feel like it’s an additional chance to stand out and I think he has something a little different to say about how he used his time.