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Barbara H

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Everything posted by Barbara H

  1. If she's not convinced here's something to share. One thing colleges are often looking for in their top scholarship winners are young people who will represent the university well when they are students. This pool of students is often tapped to meet with visiting speakers, alums, conferences, etc. So, this is an opportunity to demonstrate she understands how to present herself in that kind of situation. She doesn't have to wear a business suit. A blouse, cardigan and nice skirt/pants is an appropriate choice.
  2. I would also suggest that if you have not already done so now is a good time to run a Net Price Calculator and start to get an idea what your Expected Family Contribution will be. You might find this article from my website to be helpful. It explains how you can use online tools to better estimate what college will cost your family. You may want to also check your library for the Princeton Review book "Paying for College without Going Broke." It is a good general reference on financial aid.
  3. It is always an interesting thing to me that homeschoolers who have been happy doing their own thing k-8 suddenly think they have to throw that all out and follow the crowd for high school. I think it is very wise that you are looking ahead thoughtfully and making your own choices about what will work for your family. Some outsourcing does make sense for a lot of a families in high school, but it doesn't need to be an all or nothing decision. I was very happy to do any verbal subject at home but I absolutely just needed to be done with math. Outsourcing math relieved a lot of stress for me and helped keep the love of the subject alive for what turned out to be a child who ended up majoring in math. It was a wise decision and if I had a do-over I would have outsourced it even sooner than I did. As a consultant, I see a very wide range in outsourcing decisions. Some families outsource everything, some nothing, some outsource here and there. All of these options can work in producing happy kids who are well prepared for college and life. Every family needs to just make their own decisions and do what makes sense for their family without getting concerned about what is working for other people. We all have different kids and different resources so of course we should not do the same thing. Here's an article from my site that speaks to some of these questions about competitiveness in homeschooling high school.
  4. I'm glad she was able to transfer and I hope she's happier at the in state school. Sometimes students realize very early in fall semester that they made a mistake and usually it is possible to transfer to another school. It sometimes works out because schools often lose some students and are happy to pick up spring transfers. It is important for everyone to understand that ethically it really is against the rules to make deposits at more than one school or to accept more than one offer. When a student puts down a deposit and enrolls they really should let other schools on their list know about their choice so they can free up spots and scholarships for other students. These are the rules that all students are expected to live by and often public and private schools enforce these rules by not allowing the school counselor to send the final transcript to more than one school. As frustrating as it is when kids need more time to make a decision, homeschoolers really should follow the same ethical rules as other students need to follow.
  5. FWIW, I had a counseling student last year who had a C in calc I as a younger dual enrolled student. Instead of just ignoring it, we decided to confront it head on and try to repair it. The community college allowed retakes so he took it again and got a low A. He went on to take calc II. He was very pleased with his admissions outcomes. He was accepted to 10 programs in his field - and a lot of merit aid at some more mid-range schools. If he'd let C stand as the last math grade I don't think his admissions results would have been so strong. In all of situations we have to look at the big picture. If the homeschooler has a dozen outside grades and 11 are As and one is a C - that's entirely different if they have two grades and one of them is a C. My advice isn't that it is the end of the world, stuff happens and it can be a learning experience. In the case I mentioned above it was a huge learning experience not to get behind and to seek out help as soon as you are struggling. My message is not to avoid dual enrollment classes, I just like to discourage homeschoolers from thinking that grades don't count or nobody cares what happened when you were 12. Prevention of bad grades can be easier... but if they happen, don't panic there are often things that can be done.
  6. It is really only a tiny handful of US colleges that are "need blind" and "fully meet financial need" of international students. Last time I checked that list was: Amherst, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale... and of course very low acceptance rates at all of those schools. Many of the most selective schools that do a great job meeting financial need for US students are "need aware" for international students. In other words, they consider whether or not the international student can pay when they make admissions decisions and they don't promise to meet the student's financial need.
  7. That is not at all stupid - it is an excellent question with a pretty complex and varied answer. As a consultant, I work with homeschoolers, including early entrants, from around the country and we always look at this question on a case by case basis. Some states have allow high school students to take college courses under dual enrollment programs. In states like Minnesota, California, Florida students can earn a significant amount of credit this way for little or no cost. Limitations vary from state to state, but it can be a system that works very well. When the student graduates high school they may use those credits to shorter their time in college. In other states the funding for dual enrollment programs is much more limited or the programs may be entirely nonexistent. We had a child start dual enrollment quite young and there was no price break on that at all because our state did not offer any formal dual enrollment options. Part time students can't get federal financial aid and they aren't eligible for most scholarships. There is also a real concern that when students enter full time college early it can be difficult for them to compete for merit scholarships and/or admissions to selective schools. Having a full four years in high school helps make students more competitive - in academics, testing, extracurriculars. That is true no matter what age a student is in high school. While in some circumstances the only/best option is to opt for sudden and unplanned grade skips or full time enrollment, it can significantly lower a student's competitiveness both for admissions and scholarships. It is not uncommon that parents of early college entrants will find their student's options are limited because it is simply hard to develop a competitive profile at a younger age no matter the student's level of talent. Also, geographic limitations may come in to play if there are not good local options. Everyone's plan should be different based on their resources and options. Given the specific options we had available in our state we opted to take the following steps to make early college more affordable. 1. Extending a period of informal audit status - sitting in on classes keeping the brain alive, but not worrying about credit. (Dmmetler - it sounds like this might be where you are right now). 2. Part time dual enrollment for a while - paid for out of pocket so we kept that to part time. 3. Planning to maximizing scholarship eligibility at the time of full time enrollment. We did that by looking carefully at the timing of grade skips. Our goal was to time full time college entrance when the student would be competitive for merit scholarships. Fortunately, it worked out just as we'd planned. I hope that wasn't too confusing and I'm glad to answer questions. The bottom line is that families are going the right thing by asking questions early and trying to sort through options. It varies a lot based on your student's interests, the dual enrollment options in your state, your local options for colleges, your finances, your student's testing ability, your student's personality, etc. etc. etc. There are kids of absolutely equal smarts and academic ability, who will need different choices. It is great to learn about how other people navigated through these questions but always remember there are many different options even for different kids in the same family.
  8. I'm not referring to the question early in the interview about Penn grads. I'm referring specially to the question about legacy status for law school applicants. Interviewer: What about applicants whose parents might have attended Penn Law? Do legacy candidates receive any special preference? Dean answer: No. That is quite straight forward.
  9. Interesting thread. I wanted to address a few subjects that have been raised. First, there was the idea that no one will "hold it against" a 10 year old if they get a bad grade in a community college class. While I certainly don't want anyone thinking that life is over and the sky is falling if their dual enrolled student gets a lower grade in a community college class, I think it is important to understand these grades are real college grades and they do count. They will need to be reported in college admissions. Graduate and professional school typical requires all college transcripts. While it may seem like everyone would be impressed a child was in college young and cut them slack for bad grades that isn't actually how it works. If anything scrutiny may be higher. I strongly suggest that homeschoolers have experience with "outside" teachers and grading before they start college classes. If you have the choice get your feet wet with online or non-college classes first. As we discussed in the other thread it is certainly possible for early college students to very well out of schools that aren't at the top of the rankings. That's also true of students who attend mid tier colleges at the traditional age. It is important to understand though that expectations are actually higher for students who attend lower or mid tier schools. The mid tier state u GPA is not viewed the same way as the Ivy/highly selective school GPA. For students with the highest ambitions like admissions to top 20 graduate or professional programs, the expectations are extremely high. They really do need to pulling very strong grades in undergrad and in many fields there is an expectation of some grad work in undergrad too. That's not to say that admissions to a top 20 grad program should be every student's goal. Rather, if a potential goal you really don't want your student in college until they can earn top grades and are ready to take advantage of opportunities. Finally in terms of law school admissions I'd keep in mind they are getting less competitive by the minute. Due to very poor employment prospects, applications are down 37% since 2010. I would not generalize too much from experiences with law school admissions to predict admissions in other graduate or professional fields which are much more competitive and depend very heavily on testing that is difficult to do well on without really strong undergraduate preparation. There are highly verbal people who can do well on the LSAT without a specific plan of undergraduate studies. Some of the top ACT/SAT scoring kids in high school could pull a good score on the LSAT without ever going to college. This is not true of MCAT for med school. For the MCAT have to actually know core subject content and if you are relying on a foundational biology or chemistry course you got a B in at a lower quality school, that may not be adequate preparation. To sum up...I'm in full agreement with the posters who say early college really needs to be approached on a case by case basis looking at the individual student, their goals, and their resources. It is absolutely a great choice for some. It isn't the magic cure for all gifted homeschoolers though. It really needs to be approached thoughtfully with an understanding of the long term ramifications. Editing to add: A Dean from Penn Law says that legacy status is not considered in admissions. The value of legacy status varies widely in undergraduate admissions and people often overestimate the current importance. There is a big difference between "donating money" and being a major contributor, name on the building kind of level.
  10. No, that seems really off to me. More often people think of grad school in the UK as something for the wealthy. Many grad students in the US in academic programs (sciences, humanities, etc. - not professional programs like law or medicine) are awarded research and teaching assitantships. These typically require students to research or teach in exchange for tuition, health insurance, and a stipend (that allows them to live on ramen). Also, under the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) students can stay on their parent's employer provided insurance until age 26. That covers much of the typical time students are in graduate school. The one place where UK grad school may be a better deal is with business degrees as those students can't typically get teaching or research positions and MBA tuition is often much higher than tuition in PhD programs in academic disciplines.
  11. It is worth reading. I recommend it often to parents and many say it is helpful. Your library probably has it.
  12. Have you seen the book Five Love Languages? You don't even really need to the book to get the concept. People don't all like the same stuff. They have a quiz on the website where you can determine your "love language" and your partner can take it as well. Just having that information about each other can be helpful. I didn't even have to take the quiz to know my "love language" is acts of service. Nothing says love to me like a kitchen I didn't have to clean. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ Also I think there can be a phase of life thing. It is easy to get "touched out" when you are with kids a lot.
  13. One thing I'd explore is whether research options would really be closed to undergraduates at the state flagship. Because most of the students involved in research are PhD students doesn't necessarily mean that an extraordinary younger undergraduate would be excluded. It is tough to apply generalizations to really unusual kids.
  14. This stuff can be confusing. Often people mix up private nonprofit schools with for profit schools. Private colleges, including the highly selective institutions you mentioned, are nonprofit. They are structured primarily to serve student educational interests rather than business interests. For profit institutions are structured more like a business. The bottom line is the key. For profit colleges put much less of the money into student instruction. This is key because at the end of the day what you are paying for is for your student to get a good education. For profits are taking tuition money and putting a much higher percentage into marketing and to profit rather than to instruction. For profit schools are much less likely to provide good financial aid. Due to low graduation rates and low return on investment many of these schools have come under scrutiny. Employers and graduate schools are often leery of for profit institution graduations. You are wise to look for regional accreditation. I encourage you to also look carefully at graduation rates. How many students finish in four years? What kind of jobs do they get? Also, look carefully at the specific majors and degrees offered. Are these the degrees that employers and grad schools typically want to see in this field? What is the average amount of debt for graduates of the school?
  15. I'm wondering if you've read about slow processing speed and if any resources targeted to that issue might be helpful. I haven't read this book yet, but I have it on my to do list. http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Kids-Who-Cant-Keep/dp/1609184726 An interview with the author. http://thecoffeeklatch.com/bright-kids-who-cant-keep-up-guest-dr-ellen-braaten/
  16. Me too. I'm thinking maybe I'll get it for Christmas. I'd love to hear reviews from anyone who gets one. I'm wondering about the 7 in one option to make yogurt.
  17. Glad it worked out. One thing that put these cancellation fees into perspective for me was being told by the physical therapy clinic they were to the point where many days a third of their appointments would be no shows and most of those without a phone call. That ends up being a huge waste of therapist's time and frustrating for people who are on a waiting list to get in too.
  18. Hippity Hop, minitrampoline, kid basketball and hoop, tee and ball, and our absolute favorite for four year old energy - Stomp Rockets. They aren't necessarily the most durable thing on the planet but they are really fun and can be a good special thing to take out under supervision and you really have to follow the rules to make them work so it can be a good one to work on multistep directions.
  19. It is a fascinating story. I'm thinking that a lot of people put faith in the goodness of their children and in the judgement of institutions. It simply wouldn't occur to them that Harvard would make a mistake. For parents actively involved in homeschooling it may come as a surprise, but I bet that if we could randomly place pretty average B- students into schools like Harvard or Stanford most of their parents wouldn't question it. They'd feel validation. They'd feel pride. They'd assume Harvard and Stanford knew what they were doing to recognize the promise in their children. One thing this story made me think of was the SAT cheating scandal as covered by 60 minutes a few years ago. As a parent my first thought was to wonder where the parents were... but then that was quickly followed up by the realization that in most situations the parents not only knew about it but were paying for it. It is hard to process but some people really don't care at all about ethics. They just want their kids to get ahead at any cost.
  20. These are necessarily school subjects but some issues that I every child needs before they go to college or move on their own. Stress management Personal finance Alcohol and drug education - more than "just say no" Quick and nutritious cooking Safety (fire safety, crime prevention, what to if you get in a car accident) Interpersonal relationship skills (conflict resolution, what to do when a friend is in crisis, how to recognize disrespect and what to do about it - a.k.a. people don't change please recognize the signs of a jerk and don't marry one).
  21. Yes, the teachers and counselor from last year would have letters saved. She would also be well advised to have one new letter from this year (perhaps from an internship, coordinator at a volunteer job, etc.) that would address the gap year and how she's doing great stuff this year.
  22. If you haven't run a net price calculator that's where you should start. http://netpricecalculator.collegeboard.org/ Your accountant may know a great deal about college financing, but the reality is that most accountants don't. While he may understand your financial picture that doesn't mean he understands your daughter's academic profile or how widely costs may vary from one institution to the next. What college route is affordable is a really big question that doesn't have one answer. It depends on a number of factors. Transfer scholarships are the best financial path for some students, but again that varies a great deal based on what state you live in and on your student's academic profile and goals.
  23. I'm glad they are getting outside at least. In my state one credit of PE is required for high school graduation. Students who are in the better public school programs mostly take PE during the summer. So instead of getting movement throughout the school year it is crammed into four or five weeks during the summer. This makes it so students have more room for honors courses and APs during the school year. It is very intense.... and seems like not at all what was intended when PE was made part of the curriculum. They simply have no more time during the school day as the set up already requires many students to come in for "zero hour" - an extra class before the school day begins. So, so glad homeschooling exists as an alternative to this madness.
  24. I suggest he try to set up a meeting with dining services. It depends on the school what the person's job title might be - executive chef, some have registered dietician's on staff with dining services.
  25. The best use for the BYU middle and high school courses are usually if you need accredited coursework for a school. It is widely used for "credit recovery" (in both public and private schools, there is no religious content). These courses can be a fast way for a student to make up a course they failed or didn't get to take. If you are looking for engaging online courses where a gifted kid is going to be challenged and grow, this isn't the one I'd choose.
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