To the Parents of the World STOPP!!!

<p>My name is Anthony Sopher. I am a Frehsman at the University of Florida. I see in these parents threads alot of worries about thier kids maybe not being able to make it in thier first choice school. I see alot of parents starting early on getting thier kids into good schools. Coming out of High schol and going to college was eas for me. I did almost everything on my own from the admissions process to interviews. My parents stood by my side and were just support. I think the best thing that you guys can do is just be there for them. Dont force them to pick certain schools. I cans stand walking around UF and meeting kids who got accepted to Columbia, Brown, and even Harvard and didnt go becasue of thier parents. Your kids are going to grow up and want to move away and start thier own lives. In state tuition is easy on the ockets but you should do everything to support your childrens decisions. Now by saying this I do not mean let them run wild. Make sure they do thier homewwork. Take them to schools to visit and tour to give them an idea of what it is like. Make sure if anything you force on them is not not let them procrastinate. Make sure they take the SAT on time. For those who are new to this, the ideal SAT time is Spring/Summer of thier Junior year in HS. Make sure they retake it uness they score perfect. If they do not do so well, help them to make themselves better Make goals that can assist them with accomplishing thier own. Also make sure they take the ACT at least once. Some people do better on one test than the other. Make sure they do thier homework and study for tests in school. Look at profiles of kids who were accepted to the schools your kid is looking at going to. Get an idea of what it takes. Make sure they do not apply to only 1 school. Community college is a great stepping stone, but its a stepping stone. Dont force them to join extracurricular activities. Let them pick one on thier own. If you know they will need financial aid, make sure you have everything they will need and make sure they apply in time. IF they dont seem to interested in community srevice dont force them to it. Just remind them what the schools they want to go to look for in succesful applicants. Well rounded kids are the ones who do what they want to becasue they enjoy it. They bring dicersity into the classroom, challenge the teacher or professor and make a differance. They best thing for parents to do is just be there for them in thier every decision (reguarding college). If they dont get into thier first choice shools wait a little hile. They will get used to the idea of going to college and wil be excited about that alone. If they have thier heart set on a first choice school and do not get in, have the contact the admissions officers and see what fauts they have. Starting college is a fresh start and they can possible get into thier first choice as a transfer. I used to be a college advisor at my high school and I hope this helps alot. I will post later on some insider info on admissions officers. I have a class in 5 minutes. Well good luck to all of you and your children. You guys are our heros whether we say it or not.</p>

<p>Thanks for the collegeconfidential digest, Anthony. But I'm puzzled: what was that STOPP!!! about?</p>

<p>PS did they ban your bluealien nick?</p>


<p>Ummm. Huh?</p>

<p>Can't wait for you to get back from class.</p>

<p>OK when I said stop, I ment stop forcing your kids to do something they do not want to do. Some of you parents and not all of you force your children into going to certain schools. Eventually the student evolves to college life and is just as any normal college student. But there is always the question of what if? What if they applied to Yale and would have gotten in? I am just trying to help those who do not know much about college admissions and directing thier kids. I spoke with many parents who that it was ok for them to choose thier childs major. Do you want to force your kid to study something they have no passion for? If they dont know by the time they start let them be undecided for a year and then make thier decision. I dont want this discussion to be controversial and I do not want to argue with parents. I am just trying to help.</p>

<p>AS foar as my nickname goes I was never banned. I am a new member to this. AlienBlue is a screename I picked up in middle school and stuck with.</p>

<p>Some insider info. I have read a few books, one in particular written by Racheal Toor named Admission confidential. I have also voluntered as a college advisor at my high school before I came here. </p>

<p>This may come as a surprise or as a shock but all your child is, is a number. Colleges get tens of thousands of applicants a year. TO sort your kids application they just number you. Now I can not speak for every school. This is the majority of elite private schools. An admission officer sits down and starts looking through applications. They read a name. They look at scores, GPA, Extracurricular activities, essays (for some), recommendations, and community service. Like Duke University, they score each one of these subjects 1-5. 1 being the worst, 5 being the best. The two most important subjects are Scores, GPA, and Extracurriculars. Each officer reads through the essays, the recs and all the other stuff. Once they are done they score each section. They add it up and compare it to a chart. Most likely if you are a perfect 5 accross the board you are in. Sometimes 4's slip in and you are still in. Then there are the students who are in the middle. They have perfect SAT score and really good teacher recs but have low GPA's, this is a brilliant slacker. They were smart but didint put in any effort. Does the college want this, no. But because the scores add up they are not automatically accepted but are placed into the discussion pile. Then you have what are called the BKN's. Bright kids but no chance. These kids have deceatn GPA's and scored decently on thier sat's. But they are not involved with alot of extracurriculars. Now in the few exceptions, essays can make up for the void and they are discussed and most likely accepted. But most of the time thier essays aree good but not the best. If the college had more room they would take them. But these students fall into the automatic decline. Thier scores just dont add up. You also have the kids at almost no chance of getting in. They scored 500's to low 600's on thier SAT's. Dont have great GPA's but good 1s. They are of course automatically decline unless, unless they are a legacy or in sports. Now if the kid is good in sports usually they are recruited but these students applications are forwarded to the sports department for final review. Now if they are legacy's than it really depends. Did thier parents go to Harvard, graduate and make something of themselves, or did they go to Harvard graduate and give alot of money to Harvard. Well if any of these two fit they are most likely accpeted but the officer is not alowed to decide. Thats the job of the dean of admissions. In mid April and March an anual comitte of admissions officers get together to go over the discussion pile. These are the students who make it but are not quite sure about. These team reads through every part of the application and they then vote on acceptance, wait list, or reject. Many make it, a few dont, and a few are waitlisted. Some students are waitlisted out of pure kindness. This is either in respect to the schools they attended, they were really ncie kids, or thier parents are alumni and just are not the kind that donate alot of money.</p>

<p>There are some exeptions to the rules but this is the norm of college admissions. Rember that a college (private one's) is a business and besides getting thier numbers up, they get to keep the $65.00 application fee no matter what. With the human population growing, readily accesable information, and the college reputation towards ones future, there are more studnets applying to college. If there is no expansion that admissions decisions get hardder every year. Statistics for admissions changes every year. Usually the most prominate change is the acceptance rate. These schools are not accepting less people but are reviewing more applications. </p>

<p>I hope this helps some.</p>

<p>Have you read any of the threads on this forum?</p>

<p>LOL. When I opened this thread, I expected it to be a long emotional rant about how overinvolved parents are, much like the article by Sue Shellenbarger in today's WSJ Personal Journal: "Tucking the Kids In - in the Dorm: Colleges Ward Off Overinvolved Parents."</p>

<p>Fortunately, Anthony, a lot of what you're saying, the parents here already know. Don't worry - they are doing a good job; their membership in this board proves that.</p>

<p>Im guessing not</p>

<p>Uhh. I'm still here. And why call me Nick?? I'm a girl!!!</p>

<p>Why'd you copy my screen name??</p>

<p>Man, I've seen surreal threads before, but . . . </p>

<p>bluealien01, I think "nick" was short for "nickname", as in "did they ban your bluealien nickname?"</p>

<p>alienblue, I realize that you're relatively new here -- you need to spend some time reading the threads before jumping in and telling us all how the admissions process works.</p>

<p>I opened this thread thinking that it was letting us know about some parent group we could belong to--STOPP:</p>

<p>Stop The Overly Present Parents
Spare The Omnipresent Parents' Payments
Save The Omnivorous Patagonian Penguins</p>

<p>But, alas, no. . .</p>

<p>What if the parents can't afford Columbia, Brown or Harvard? If the kids don't want to take out massive loans there is not much the parents can do...</p>


<p>Apparently the hands off approach does not seem to be working for you or you would not be posting on CC asking about your chances to transfer to Yale even though you were rejected in this year's round. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Don't worry, we won't bite. If you need advice from us just ask.</p>

<p>This thread definitely provided me with my daily dose of entertainment. Thank you Alienblue for explaining how college admissions works. Thanks too for warning all us parents to STOPP! We must all be telling our kids what to do! </p>

<p>Ellemenope....your post cracked me up. </p>

<p>AlienBlue, a college hint for you....please edit your writing for spelling and typos on your college essays. This is very important.</p>

<p>Like I said before, this does not apply to every parent and this does not apply to every college. No I did not steal any screen names. Like I said I have had the AlienBue screen name for years. It was originally AlienBlue24, then 25, now 2005. </p>

<p>I did not start this thread to pick on anyone, to cause humor, or to act like I know everything this is to know about college and admissions. </p>

<p>Back at my high school, I worked with some 200 students who half of them complained about their parents influence on college decisions.
I believe it is important for parents to assist their kids but not make any prominent decisions for them. </p>

<p>Davidav87, If a student is accepted to a college and does not have enough money there is always financial aid. Many schools like Cornell, Columbia, Brown, usually offer a great deal of it. I am at UF and my parents did not pay a red cent. I am here solely on scholarships and the pell grant. If loans become a part of the financial aid package, replace them with scholarships. There are thousands out there. </p>

<p>Soozievt, I am not telling you or anyone else that you are telling your kids what to do regarding their household life. I am purely talking about college influences. Oh and by the way for your pleasure I edited this post. My college essays were fine in the regards to spelling and grammatical errors.</p>

<p>Ellemenope, sorry the title was misleading. If this information was not of importance to you, then why bother leaving a reply?</p>

<p>I am not looking to be picked apart in this discussion, nor am I providing information. I have conducted a few lectures to local high schools and am working on creating a program that influences the importance of college. I don’t see why there is any reason for arguments or trashing one’s thoughts. If you simply do not agree, then don’t reply.</p>

<p>AlienBlue, no one wants to pick on you. The humor comes from the concept, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" -- from what you have posted so far, it seems that you know a lot less about the college admissions process than most of us parents, but you presume to be able to proclaim your expertise and offer us "insider" tips -- which in fact comes from reading the same books we already have read. </p>

<p>You also do not know much about the financial aid process. Since you are eligible for a Pell grant, I will excuse you -- that shows that your income is low enough that you probably would get substantial financial aid if you could get into an Ivy League school. But that isn't true for most middle-income to upper-middle-income families. For families with above-median income, there is a widening gap between what colleges will finance and what most can really afford to pay that really does make it hard for college to be financed. There are not all kinds of available scholarships just waiting for some kid to apply - every dollar of private scholarship money generally subtracts directly from whatever financial aid the college offers -- so for the most part its a wasted effort for a kid who qualifies for some needs based aid to apply for outside scholarships. Families with unusual income patterns: the self-employed; the divorced; the house-poor (limited income, family home with big equity & sizeable mortgage payments) -- all have a hard time qualifying for financial aid that truly meets their need. </p>

<p>Those of middle-class parents who know we cannot afford private college tuition but plan carefully simply tell our kids what we can afford to pay. My kids know that the "deal" for private college is that they need an aid package that will bring the cost of private college to approximately the same level as their state university -- if that doesn't happen, it doesn't matter where they are accepted, they will attend the college we can afford. I am sure that many of your UF friends who had to turn down Columbia, Brown or Harvard were in similar positions. </p>

<p>I agree with you that parents should let kids make their own decisions as to majors, and that our most important role is provide emotional support - to "be there" for our kids - not to control the process. But I think that some kids need to STOPP!!! seeing us parents as bottomless pits for financial support. Yes we have paid for everything you needed or wanted from the day you were born, but that doesn't mean that we are obligated to pay upwards of $50K a year for college tuition for a prestige degree when we live in states where you can get a perfectly adequate college education for under $20K a year. Keep in mind that we parents are also aging - those of us who are older are worried about our long-term earning ability; we may have health problems of our own or elderly parents who will need our financial help. Age 50 may not be a good time of life for us to take on significant debt ourselves - especially if we are already in debt or do not have adequate savings for retirement. </p>

<p>So part of making your own decisions is taking responsibility for all parts of the decision. The kid who has been accepted at Columbia has every right to go there if he can figure out how to finance it on his own.... but if Mom & Dad are only willing to pay the cost of tuition at UF, then the kid has to make a choice. </p>

<p>Finally: a word of advice: Try to make the best of your current situation. I looked at your post in the Yale transfer thread, and I am somewhat surprised that you even bothered to apply before with ~500 range SATs'. But maybe you had a hook that you thought would help with admissions, such as URM status, or perhaps you simply didn't read those college admission books until after it was too late. In any case, I'd suggest that you really could use help with your writing, both in order to improve test scores and for purposes of an essay; sentences like "My college essays were fine in the regards to spelling and grammatical errors." are a problem (one does not say "in the regards to") - my guess is that perhaps English is your second language. </p>

<p>I also do not think that based on your writing and information that you have provided about yourself that you have much of a chance at getting into Yale as a transfer; if you are unhappy at UF then you might seriously look at some of the excellent private colleges that are well respected but take a higher proportion of applicants than Yale. That is no reason to give up on your dreams - after all, as you say, how will you ever know whether you could have gotten in if you don't apply? I'm just suggesting that you consider other options as well, and that you focus on your own goals before trying to to tell us parents how we should go about helping our kids. We would be very glad to give you the best advice of our collective wisdom and experience if you weren't acting like such a little know-it-all and instead appeared willing to listen to our suggestions. </p>

<p>Again - we don't want to pick on you. Its just that we grownups are a lot smarter than you give us credit for.</p>

<p>I understand your message and where you're coming from, but I don't think the parents on this message board are the target audience for that message.</p>