<p>My son has great scores/stats, yet he did not get into most of his top choices. He has 2260 on his SAT and a 760 and a 790 on his subject tests. He is third in his class and has a weighted GPA of 103.6, unweighted is 97. He is captain of a sports team and president of a club. He is in National Honor Society and Spanish Honor society. He has never gotten a B in a class and has been on distinguished honor roll every semester of high school. He takes all honors or AP classes. He is a National Merit Commended student. He also works a part-time job about 10 to 12 hours a week. He applied to three state schools as safeties. He got into all of those and a couple gave him some scholarship money. He also got into one highly selective school (not an ivy), which he loves, but we aren't positive that we can afford it. HOWEVER, he got rejected from the three ivies he applied to, rejected from two other highly selective schools and waitlisted at another. He understands how hard it is to get into these schools; but what stung was when kids with lower stats/scores got into some of the schools that rejected him. He actually is the one some of these admitted kids come to for help with classwork. He is a great kid and taking it well, but he was hurt by some of these rejections. I feel like I steered him wrong and should have had him apply to some less selective schools just so he would have more choices now. I have a lot of parental guilt right now. This has been a difficult few days.</p>

<p>Actually, it seems to me that your son’s results were pretty good. He got into a highly selective college in a tough year, and into three other places that are more affordable.</p>

<p>Only a tiny fraction of kids are getting into most of the top-ranked schools they are applying to. Admissions can be very arbitrary. You don’t know what the colleges are looking for and how they are trying to balance a class. It’s frustrating to see kids who are no more capable than yours getting into places at which your S is rejected. But you also don’t really know the whole story, the whole record, of these other kids. So it’s a waste of time to compare and stew.</p>

<p>You should certainly not feel guilty. Your son has 4 choices. That is good. Too many choices can be a burden also.</p>

<p>You also really don’t know what the total application any other student submitted. Unless you read their full applications, with corresponding recommendations, essays, transcript, all test score, etc., you simply cannot know how competitive any student really is. Once you are in the stat range for a highly selective school, other things come into the equation and can be more significant than you’d think.</p>


<p>the same with my son</p>

<p>2300 SATs</p>

<p>top 3% of his class.</p>

<p>But weight listed at four schools, and accepted into only one school that I would deem truly top notch.</p>

<p>And similar results for my friend’s son in New York, with a 2200. </p>

<p>I think that parents are unaware how tough it is to get into top schools even with perfect records.</p>

<p>If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t even have my son apply to the top 12 or so schools on the US News rankings, and instead apply to #12 through #30. </p>

<p>The good news is that in the end, you only need to get into one highly selective school, and your kid did that.</p>

<p>Quote (emphases added): “The good news is that in the end, YOU only need to get into one HIGHLY SELECTIVE school…”</p>

<p>No, the good news is that in the end, your child only needs to get into one school that’s a good fit (academically/socially/financially)!</p>

<p>So I see two good results here! Congratulations! (I wish we could rename the thread “acceptances”).</p>


He’ll only attend one so he only needs one school that he’ll be happy at and is a good fit. Don’t beat yourself up about more choices - that only would make the decision making more difficult but not necessarily better.</p>

<p>Look at it this way: Could you have afforded the Ivies if he had gotten in?</p>

<p>I don’t see that you did anything wrong. When you are dealing with colleges with such low admissions rates, you have to realize that you can’t count on anything. It sounds like your son has some good choices.</p>

<p>Holistic admissions means that your stats aren’t the most important part of the application. Of course you need good enough stats, but after that, admissions committees really are looking at the rest of the application - and that’s the part you just can’t know how your kid compared with others. For example, almost no one at school knew that my oldest had been working freelance in computer programming getting paid the same rates as college graduates while he was in high school. No one knew that my youngest wrote a clever alternate history of the US for a Tufts optional essay that may well have given him the nod over someone with a better math SAT score.</p>

<p>You also have to realize that someone on the admissions committee may have loved your kid and was rooting for him, but still got outvoted as AdmissionsDan at Tufts says <a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt; . There just isn’t room for every deserving applicant. And some kids lose the lottery through no fault of their own.</p>

<p>I hear my wife make the same statements as the OP. Did we do something wrong… Bottom line: admissions are a crap shoot and you can’t take the rejection personally. My son is still trying to process that concept. His brother is a junior at an Ivy and it kills him that he will likely be going to the state university. March/April is a really tough time, but it can also be a good time for students and parents to learn important life lessons.</p>

<p>I’m sorry, jmom2016, that your son’s results weren’t what you wanted or expected. But I agree with NJSue; the results seem pretty good to me. If the safeties really are not acceptable, however, there is the oft-suggested “gap year.” Can your son continue to work his part-time job and take that time to regroup and/or save money to help pay for the highly selective school? </p>

<p>I agree with what others have said about the folly of comparing one student to another. There is no way to know everything about a kid’s portfolio even if it were possible to divine what any given adcom is looking for. The only thing we can do as parents is encourage our kids to put their best selves out there.</p>



<p>Hmmm, four choices. Assuming he likes them all enough to have applied to them in the first place, if any one or more of them is affordable, then he is fine. This does not look like a “got rejected everywhere, including my safety” thread.</p>

<p>And plenty of state schools are excellent schools.</p>

<p>Ivy league is an athletic conference not Nirvana.There are mulititudes of happy, well adjusted people that chose a different road.Congrats on those acceptance letters.</p>

<p>Parents - Don’t feel guilty. You did your best. And your fine kids will likely do well wherever they land.</p>

<p>I often wonder why the GC don’t do more coaching though on safety/match schools. They must know from experience that the tippy top schools are a crap shoot for all.</p>

<p>I want to say thank you to everyone for their advice! Like any parent my heart breaks a little when I see my child hurting. I just felt like somehow I had failed him. Neurotic parental guilt I guess. But, I realize that I am overreacting and this is not the end of the world! We did have a terrific visit at one of my son’s safety schools this weekend. A great state school. My husband and I were marveling at the fact that with the scholarship $ he got from this school, 4 years tuition will be less than 3 semesters at a private college. That is something to be smile about! We are still going to visit the other schools he got into before making a final decision. But, I know the right track is to be excited for what is ahead for my son and not sit around and think about the “should of’s” or “could of’s” in this whole crazy process. I’ll try and keep everyone posted. And, thanks again!</p>

<p>Another facet to this (which the Wall Street Journal discussed in an article many moons ago) - in order to increase their yield*, a college may reject top students who they presume have more options, in favor of selecting students who might not have as many choices, and therefore would be more likely to attend the school.</p>

<p>Now this gets very complicated, and the rise of the Common Ap certainly affects the scenario, and makes the whole enterprise more of a wild card than it ever was. </p>

<p>But, OP, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those schools that did not admit your son were trying to control their yield.</p>

<p>*for those who might not be familiar with the term: the percentage of admitted students who choose to attend the school</p>

<p>"We did have a terrific visit at one of my son’s safety schools this weekend. " - Yay! Rejoicing at your happy situation. If he attends, perhaps there can be some extra funding for something a Semester Abroad or another perk along the way.</p>

<p>So glad to hear of the great visit - Whoo-hoo!!</p>



<p>Well said!</p>

<p>My D was accepted at a few very selective schools which we ended up not being able to afford. She wound up at a state school that offered her a very nice scholarship. And you know what? She’s had fabulous opportunities there and has connected with professors in her area of interest and has started a student group there–I was afraid she’d be a ‘number’ at that big school, but she’s absolutely bloomed. I’m sure your son will, too. In fact, it made her feel wanted and valued that they offered the great scholarship.</p>