Parents of the HS Class of 2024

The school notified us of PSAT sign ups on the last day of sign ups :woman_facepalming: We decided not to do it this fall since S24 is taking Geometry now. He will take them next fall and the SAT spring of Junior year/ fall of Senior year.

I am having S24 look at the instructions since he has almost no experience with standardized testing but no other PSAT prep. I have no idea how much of a role there will be for standardized testing for their admission cycle but practice in taking a test is a good idea.

@helpingthekid73 UC and CSUs probably will still be test-blind for 2024 kids, although it would be interest to see any pivots will be made with how kids in 2021 and 2022 perform. I feel that private schools will still want testing. College Board does too good of a job lobbying with universities.

We will see! I certainly hope that a decrease in dependence on these tests is made after the schools see how this year’s class is compared to previous. It is so frustrating to spend so much time and money preparing for a test that was designed to be an equalizer, but clearly is not (since I will spend so much time and money to make sure my S is well prepared when others cannot!)


@helpingthekid73 I 100% agree with your point. On the one hand, we are privileged and can afford the prep if we needed to. On the other hand, I grew up dirt poor and never could participate in sports—no insurance to cover for injuries, let alone money for sports.

My SAT was the equalizer because I could study from the book I borrowed from the library and use my brain to offset the ECs. I know a kid I’ve mentored who was in the same boat. I’m not sure if there’s a solution other than you hope the AO can get the real picture thru essays and things students can control.

My D will take the PSAT 10 this year and the PSAT NMSQT (for National Merit) her junior year. I don’t see any advantage in a great score on the PSAT 10, so she will go in cold.

I think the PSAT NMSQT is a great spot to prep and try to nail it because it’s practice for the SAT/ACT and if their score is high enough for NMF there can be $. Some schools give full rides, some full tuition, and some just $3k. My wife’s employer has a scholarship for $2,500 that puts a lot of weight on NMF too. All of my college kids have received over $5k for their PSAT score.

fwiw, my kids take an SAT prep class late summer before junior year that finishes right before the PSAT, and then they take the SAT right after that. Hopefully they’re done!

Updated last June, but this is the list of school that gives aid if you’re a National Merit or NMSF.

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D24 has suddenly picked up interest in the college search process. She transitioned from regular school to home school to on-line school over the past 4 years. It’s early but after learning a lot about how this process works with S20, earlier this summer I ran some NPCs for her at some schools, choosing “Fall 2024” as enrollment date. As a result, she’s now on a couple of mailing lists.

She’s grown more and more interested in the brochures. Surprisingly, she’s asking about schools far as well as near. Yesterday, she asked “what are fly-ins?” It turns out a couple of schools have already offered that for when her time comes - one offer arrived yesterday. It’s too early to do this year, but that is definitely something we’ll take advantage of if the offers are still there in 2023.

This one is truly a daddy’s girl and I had half assumed she might choose to start her first couple of years at the local community college before transferring to a nearby 4yr. Now she’s asking about schools in the upper midwest, northwest, northeast, and Florida. I didn’t think I’d see my very shy girl perk up about spending the night in a stranger’s dorm for a fly-in, but here we are - at least “if you(dad) go with me and stay in town.” Another unexpected benefit of starting this process early.


Hi what are NPCs?

Net Price Calculator
Most colleges have a tool on their websites that will estimate the cost for a student to attend, based on the financial situation of the family. It takes about 2-5 minutes to fill out and you get an estimate.

Just do an internet search for “(College Name) NPC” to see the one for any university. For instance, when I enter “Manhattan College NPC” I get a link for this page:

I see. Thank you

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@Curiousncuriouser It’s a great tool and something President Obama’s pushed for to try to help families get some transparency in college costs. I found it helpful, at least helped to accept our scenario. Just be mindful that sometimes schools define financial aid differently. It could come in a form of grants or loans. The loans tend to throw families for a loop since we think that aid is all grant and not comprised of multiple sources like loans, student work, etc.