Parents of the HS Class of 2025

My D25 just uses her school email address for college stuff. She doesn’t use it for much else.

I believe the digital ACT is completely optional. They still have the paper test option.


College junk emails: We created C25’s junk mail address upon signing up for tours as the trailing sibling a couple summers ago.

Digital testing: I don’t think my kid cares? But most of their standardized tests at school have been digital to this point anyway, so paper might be if anything worse.

I strongly recommend having your student create a college application email address that is not their personal or high school address. If this your first time, you will be shocked at the volume of emails and marketing materials they receive. It doesn’t stop after they have been admitted and are attending college. Make sure the college account has a professional name (ex. Bill_Smith @ gmail).

When it comes time to apply for colleges, we created a second email (ex. BillSmith @ gmail) that was only sent to colleges they applied to. That account received marketing info from the schools they applied to, but also received confirmation that the application was submitted, info on setting up a portal and admissions emails, along with financial aid and housing info. It was great to have it separated from all of the marketing emails in the first account.

If you used a personal or school email with College Board or ACT, you can log on to those accounts and change it.


You may not have access to a school account during summer as well.

Did you use the email created for applications to communicate for college visits also?

So far all of the college marketing emails go to her school account since that’s the one she used for her college board account.

Yes we did. Most colleges ask for additional information (address, high school, expected grad date, etc) when registering for a tour. They had no problem knowing that Bill_Smith from XYZ high school, living at ABC address was the same BillSmith (or Bill_Smith25) with the same demographics, that applied through the Common App.

I would strongly recommend that she log onto College Board and change the email associated with her account. This will save her a lot of grief in the future.

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Mine both used their school email for everything(they always have mandatory summer work so it is a year round email)and it worked very well: in fact since their school naviance uses this email for that account it links better. Kids just unsubscribed when they got unwanted colleges emailing. Plus, we know folks who have missed interview emails caught up in spam or sent to an address they forgot to check. We did have a school who sent me a scholarship nomination update intended for her, because I had used my email to schedule a tour months before. All other communication they had sent correctly to her, so it was just an error. In hindsight I should have made her schedule all tours, but as I was driving the long distance and setting it up based on my work schedule, it was me.
Her school email account is set up so spam is visible and does not hide “spam” emails so she can always “see” all new messages at the top. For schools that track interest it helps to have it all one email and the same email that the school uses for her naviance account. To each his own, I suppose, depending on circumstance.


D25 college search will be very different than S23 with very little overlap (like maybe 1 or 2 schools- Baldwin Wallace, Jacksonville U-shes touring both end of the month).
Lots of new ones like Valparaiso, Butler, Mercer, U of St. Thomas-Houston, Florida Southern.

Same situation for us too. D23 is considering Butler, Hope, and Trinity, looked at schools like Elon and Baylor. S25 is hoping for W&L, Wake Forest, or maybe Richmond. Overlap with Trinity.

Different kids, different stuff!

C17 was a humanities and SLAC kid.

C19 was an engineering and Big State School kid who hates winters.

C23 is a fine-arts-adjacent and Big State School kid looking for as much sunlight as possible and with a touch of hatred of prestige-chasing (to the point of dismissing all high- and many mid-prestige colleges from the search early on).

C25 is a social sciences kid whose primary care is campus climate, in both of its meanings (that is, LGBT-friendliness and an absence of hot days).

So yeah, all of our searches have been/are/will be very different.

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I loved Hope when we toured in January. Funny because when I toured in high school it was scratched off the list right away.

I wish more colleges would have the kids sit in on a class. We went to Hillsdale last month and they had D25 sit in on a biology class and she LOVED it.

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I think the new(ish) President of Hope is doing amazing things. Even if D23 doesn’t choose it, I highly recommend. Best communication and kindest people we’ve interacted with.

We just went out to eat with a couple that went to TCNJ. They absolutely loved it and had nothing but positive things to say. One of them went to Wake for grad school and was not nearly as positive about Wake.


My D has indicated that she would like to take it in August so that is what we are shooting for.

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Our state uses ACT for state testing. Sophs will take the preACT, juniors take the regular ACT. In theory she was interested in studying now in the hopes of taking the real ACT at the same time, and being one and done. In reality, she doesn’t want to do it, so has had an excuse about why tonight doesn’t work to study every night.

I’m guessing she will do the ACT just because to the extent that her HS teachers address this in their subjects, they are familiar with SAT not ACT. As far as digital, she is used to doing this digital not on paper. So that may be a pro-SAT point. I’d like her to at least take both cold once to see what we should focus on, but I suspect that won’t happen.

I don’t know about SAT, but ACT math goes through preCalc. And I think that’s a fair assessment of the ACT vs. SAT. ACT tends to be easier, but under more time pressure. If your kiddo is a fast reader, ACT may be easier. If not, it will probably be harder.

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According to US News and World Report, in 2022 the average SAT score was 1050, the average ACT score was 19.8. An ACT score of 20= an SAT of 1020. This indicates it is not an easier test. They are different and kids usually prefer the format of one over the other.

Though in fairness, a selection effect bias could account for some of this.

(Disclosure: I don’t think it does, but it should be pointed out that the populations taking the tests aren’t, strictly speaking, identical.)


Is that a way of saying mid-westerners aren’t as smart as those on either coast? :thinking:

that chart is interesting. I grew up in WI and we were all about the ACT. Now, in IL, it seems like it’s more about the SAT, although a lot of places have the kids do both.

At D25’s school the juniors all take the PSAT in October (and they let a certain amount of sophomores also take it for funsies) and then in January they give them all a practice ACT. We have to find our own places to take the the SAT or ACT as the school doesn’t proctor those.

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