Parents of the HS Class of 2022

Any other parents of a 22 whose kid is freaking out as 21’s in their high school get acceptances/make decisions? What her upperclass peers are doing and where they are going is giving her anxiety about her list! She is afraid she isn’t thinking big enough, or may be selling herself short. Her friends keep telling her to apply to the universities we attended because she is a double legacy. UGH!!! I thought I was doing a good job of keeping her from the competitive drive toward getting into the most selective college you can rather than finding the best fit, but the peer pressure is mounting. Sorry. Needed to vent.

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You aren’t alone! I think my D’s head is spinning too! She just went through her BF leaving her and thought she would be staying close to home since he was not going to be far. But that changes things in her mind (mom always knew better) :wink:

And two girls from our HS just accepted to UVA which is a super stretch for D but now she’s like maybe that’s not impossible.

Our list is all over the place. Definitely need to reign it in and get focused this summer!

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Yep we are still trying to get S22 to put some financial matches and safeties on his list. It is tough when he sees an older friend get into friend’s dream school, Middlebury, ED and have the money to pay for it. He knows his friend is a single child with older parents who can pay full cost, but I know it still bothers him. We’d love to send him to my wife’s school, UVA, but that OOS tuition is ridiculous.

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@songbirdmama we’re in California and it’s been insane how few of our kids have gotten into UCs. It’s gotten harder and harder to predict who “should” get into where. Then add the weirdness of the pandemic and so many kids coming off a gap year, it all just looks arbitrary. We’re constantly being shocked by who did and didn’t get into this or that UC. And in a weird way, I think it’s made S22 realize he only has so much control. He can only do his best, try to apply to a variety of schools, and trust that he’ll land in a good spot. I pat him on the back for such a healthy attitude about it, then promptly, quietly stress about it on my own. haha

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Also, got SAT scores back today. S22 had a massive wipeout on his skateboard the day before and was sure he bombed the test. We told him- no sweat, take it in May, and then there’s June or next Fall beyond that if you need it. But it’s been hard to get him motivated to study for it, which I get. Well, his score is 1420! His goal was to get over 1400 this first time. The first thing he said was “I can beat it.” Competition with himself has always been his best motivator!

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We’ve got our first one on one college counselor mtg with S22 at his HS next week. I am expecting to see a disheveled person with bags under the eyes shouting at her zoom camera that “It’s all a big crapshoot!” while she throws a bunch of papers in the air then laughs maniacally. Then she’ll pause, take a deep breath and say, “I’m sorry. Who are you again? Oh right. Be sure to apply to your state directional university as a safety. Next!”

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Ah just checked for D’s SAT scores as well, thanks for the reminder! Honestly, she’s not in the same league as most kids here, I had low expectations based on her PSAT and how she’d scored on every one of the practice tests she took in the weeks leading up to the test. But she blew my expectations away! Scored about 100 pts higher than I expected her to! After looking over our list of schools for her, it looks like she’s brought her score into the range where she doesn’t necessarily have to apply test optional, as I thought she would. So great news all around. I told her I’d still like her to try the ACT as I think it may actually be a better test for her, but testing in general is not a thing she does well with so we’ll see how she does on practice tests. This was always going to be a “one and done” SAT, just glad it went well for her, she worked really hard on it, and she’s had such a rough year.

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@vistajay Literal LOL! 100%!

@1822mom One of the cool things I’ve learned going through this process (now for a 2nd time) is that there is something for everyone! My husband was looking at our S’s list of colleges and asked if maybe he should put a couple of wildcard schools on because of the aforementioned “crapshoot” that @vistajay pointed out. And I said, why, if he’s not dying to go to one of those schools? If he managed to get in, does he really want to go to a college with kids who approach school with an intensity that he simply doesn’t? I’m for finding the good fit. Not a place he can skate through or a place that is a constant struggle to keep up. If your D’s SAT score reflects the kind of student she is and her grades, I’m sure it will be helpful to the colleges that will want her contribution to their campuses!

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I should have added that if we were in CA the counselor would have said, “Remember, there’s always community college.”

While I am joking somewhat, I am actually impressed how students in CA can go to CC and then transfer into very good CA universities for their last two years. Very sound financial approach. @packacards , do CA CCs offer a decent educational experience for those who may want to save $$ then transfer into a school like USC?

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@vistajay We’re in the Bay Area and the CC’s are great! And plentiful! No one bats an eye if a really good student does 2 years at College of San Mateo, or Skyline, or Foothill. They go on and finish at a UC and end up with a degree from Berkeley or UCLA or Davis, etc. My kid doesn’t want to go to school in the West which is a curse and a blessing.

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Yes @packacards I couldn’t agree more. When I did this process with my D18, a totally different type of student, she had the stats to try for reaches, but she applied to zero. Got in everywhere she applied, with merit aid. The schools all fit what she wanted and needed at the time. I’m not sure I can say D22s scores reflect the kind of student she is, but they do match the kind of grades she is suddenly getting this year during virtual school! I expect her list to be comprised of safe and close match schools as well. She’s always worried no school will want her because of her struggles this year, but I tell her all the time, the schools on her list do! As for D18, where she ended up worked well for her, for the first 2 years, this fall she ended up taking a medical withdrawal to deal with some emergent health problems (not COVID related) and during this time “off” she has been reflecting that while she really enjoyed her time there, she feels like she might be needing something different and is now considering a transfer. The path to fit is not always as straight as we imagine. :blush:

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Our D19’s experience was totally useless for the current process. She was set on Parsons, which had the exact program she wanted and high prestige in the art world while essentially being a safety given her stats, so she applied only there. Got in, got great merit, done. So this is our first time in a more traditional multischool process. It’s possible Pratt could be like Parsons for S22 – on Naviance, pretty much everyone with his stats has been admitted – but he doesn’t have the same one-school focus and we do want to come up with matches, reaches and safeties. Certainly won’t be an overwhelming number of applications, but at least two or three in each category seems right.

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I’m glad to read kids are hitting the scores they want. That’s so great!

S22 took the school day SAT. He’s now officially done taking tests and is very happy about that. Now if I could just figure out how to send his score to colleges, I’d be happy too, lol.

I asked a parent with a 2020 grad what to expect from the school and counselors. She said pretty much nothing. They didn’t have any one-on-one meetings, didn’t look over the college list, or anything. I wasn’t expecting a huge amount of help, but I thought there would be some direction given. Good thing for CC!

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We are in California. College Counselor’s summary of this year’s bloodbath is “Last year’s targets are this year’s reaches, last year’s safeties are this year’s targets, add a couple of non popular Cal States to the list”.

We are in Southern California. Here, High school Juniors and Seniors scoff at the CC plan initially, but many Seniors end up at CC anyway for a variety of reasons.

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D16 went to a medium size, good, suburban Philly HS. Counselors met with parents and students to ask what we wanted them to know about our student (special traits, talents, challenges). They used this information in crafting more personalized letters of recommendation. They met individually with students to look at stats in Naviance and guide the college selection process. This was not particularly useful for D16 as she was applying to music schools and stats were less rigid since admissions heavily weighted musical talent.
D22 attends a small, private all girls day school. Top rated in the state. They have a robust counseling department, and have many individual and group meetings with the students, starting in January of junior year. Through counseling, they have access to collegekickstart, which has been a great way to search for potential colleges since the algorithms are keyed off historical data for her school. So far, they have really downplayed standardized tests . I am not sure if this is because of COVID or this is just their bias. It does reduce stress compared to what D16 experienced in public school, where competing for/bragging about scores was a way of life.

My D22 is in a public magnet school, with a class of about 200 kids. We have at least 4 counsellors. All are useless during a process of college selection. They don’t hold any one on one, not helping in selecting college list and certainly do not advise on type of classes or opportunities students may be interested/good at or inspired to have. I am not even able to get a clear guidance on how dual enrolment might work with my D schedule. So, I am happy to found CC collective mind. Helped me a lot to sort through possibilities and see a little better what is out there. Especially considering I am an immigrant so my perspective was definitely skewed on American education.

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We are in Florida and we have prepaid and she just qualified for Bright futures with the March ACT with a superstore of 29. However, it is crazy that I have to worry that she won’t get into the colleges that has the major she want to study! She wants to study Digital game design and the main 2 colleges are UF and UCF.

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Sorry to hear so many of your school GC’s haven’t been much help. My son just met with his GC last week and she was very encouraging with him in terms of the process and felt he would have a strong application - she even followed up with a really, really nice note to him and a list of next steps. I was pleasantly surprised. Since we are a public HS I think a lot of the process depends on what GC you get - there are about 12 at our school and I’d guess they are of varying quality. On the not so good note, we got SATs back and it was pretty mediocre - as expected, much better on the Reading v the Math (over 100 point difference). Not sure whether we’ll pursue a TO strategy, try the ACT or have him prep over the summer to re-take SAT in the fall.