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Barbara H

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Everything posted by Barbara H

  1. One thing I'd keep in mind is that engineering programs are very demanding in terms of credits. It is not uncommon for students to end up with 16 or 17 hours every semester and still be unable to graduate in four years and most of those are students coming in with some AP credit. So, for any student considering debating between dual enrollment conventional enrollment, I suggest looking at limits on financial aid and parent resources. Another option for a student who needs something part time would be to think about maybe completing some credits through CLEP if the school allows that.
  2. The Roasted Red Pepper spread is really good. http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1433
  3. Thanks on the blog compliment... and big congrats to your son on National Merit. Is he looking at schools that offer bigger National Merit offers. For general information I don't suggest College Confidential, but I'm agreeing with Creekland that it is a good place to look for info about Questbridge and be sure to check out the threads on major scholarships for National Merit Finalists. There are some dedicated people really maintaining that information. I always think it is tricky "from the outside" (not knowing the student's full profile) for anyone to offer a lot of specific advice. If it was as simple as just stats colleges would not need to have a full application process. Here in cyberland we can't know all the other factors that might be coming into play to make your student more or less competitive - everything from great extracurriculars, to a compelling story, to regional diversity to an unusual interest, to brilliant essays, etc. Once you get to that super highest level of competition that stuff makes a significant difference. So, "from the outside" I'm never going to tell a student not to bother to apply to something that could be a huge scholarship. Good luck! ETA: I think Questbridge also pays for a free CSS/Profile. Whether your son does Questbridge or not please look at the CSS/Profile soon. A lot of families overlook that step and some schools want it is quite early.
  4. Not a scam at all. Yes, only a small minority get the full match scholarship. but that is a huge award - including travel and books. Free applications and the chance to apply to a lot of selective schools is worth a lot. Being able to multiple schools on ED for free is also a huge benefit. As you compare admission stats keep in mind overall stats for the applicant pool may be very different than average admissions rates for low income students. That's true even at need blind schools. It is harder for low income students to be as competitive on paper and Questbridge is one way for students to have more opportunity to do so.
  5. For us the biggest benefit was connecting with other families in our region and with other parents online. The e-lists are a helpful source of information. If your child already has qualifying scores and it won't require additional expense for more testing, I can't see a downside to applying.
  6. Three suggestions.... 1. If it is in the area check with the college where you went before - see if they have a degree completion program. Some do have programs specifically designed to help people who attended their college but didn't graduate. It helps colleges boost their graduation numbers. 2. Look at degree completion programs at other schools. There are local schools that offer them in many areas. Also, Thomas Edison State is an online option that for many will be the least expensive way to transition from a pile of credits to a degree. I helped a homeschool mom with this recently. She had quite a lot of undergrad credits from back before she had kids but never settled on a major and didn't earn a degree. The college was able to incorporate many of those credits into a degree program. She had to take three or four online classes (which she said were pretty good quality) and a couple of CLEP tests and to pay fees. She had her degree within six months of starting the process. 3. Go meet in person with the community college. Bring your records if you have them. The first two options I mentioned are the road to getting your BA or BS more quickly using what you've already earned. It may be a "general studies" kind of degree but it will be a four year degree which is what it takes to be considered for a lot of jobs. Of course most jobs also require some up to date job skills or training so it isn't the full solution. But, in some situations you really just need the four year degree to get considered for the job or to get the better pay grade. That can always be combined with some additional training elsewhere. Best of luck!
  7. AP tests aren't the only option but they provide some standardized basis of comparison. Depending on the student's goals and the specific schools involved, I'd look seriously at SAT subject tests as an alternative.
  8. Thanks. Turn around time is a key consideration. I had a student complain about that but it was in a summer term and a while ago. I know ideally academic quality would be a bigger consideration, but sometimes just being able to crank through it for the credit is key.
  9. I'm trying to help a student who is very bright but needs some "credit recovery" kind of credits for school. For those of you who have had kids in BYU, especially English, how much of a time commitment is it. What would work best for this student would be an option he can just crank through and test.
  10. It is not a bad thing to think about. By high school age it may well be that other stuff appears in Google searches (news from organizations he's involved in or articles from the local newspaper about volunteering or sports and so forth). One easy option to get some web presence is to set up a LinkedIn profile. At least currently, Google search engines seem to like LinkedIn and feature it in searches. That might sound like a crazy suggestion for a high school age student but LinkedIn has been trying to pitch itself more to students. It is free and it is possible to set up a profile even without work history and there is good control over email/privacy settings so it is a pretty easy thing to do.
  11. Don't worry about it. College often list little things on transcripts like 1/2 credit study skills courses. Our state university has some funky titled 1/4 credit PE courses like zumba and one called "Awesome Abs." It is normal for stuff like this to appear and it doesn't cause any problem. Making use of the tutoring center is never going to be seen as a negative in admissions. Good students seek out and make the most of campus resources and that includes the writing and math center. That's exactly the sort of responsibility and dedication that reads as a positive in admissions.
  12. Ditto to that suggestion. And, funny to read this thread... just about as this was being posting my family was making our way from IKEA to Alladin's. It is a really good restaurant. We've liked everything we've had there.
  13. What a horrible situation - it is so sad that happened during such an important transition! One thing that sometimes helps is to try to identify specifically what could resolve the situation or if it is just too far gone to fix. If I'm understanding so far it sounds like the college has: Offered a different room in a different building Given her the original room Given her a single Obviously they can't turn back time and make the girls get along or assign a different roommate or respond more quickly. They can't make your daughter feel better about leaving campus and missing orientation activities. They can't make kids not gossip. So, the question is... is there something specific that the school could o or that you could do? Would it resolve the situation given the anxiety she's feeling from this difficult experience. One thing she may want to weigh is that while she's missed some orientation activities this week at Baylor she would have missed a whole semester. Which one of those is going to more impact on getting to know other people?
  14. If anyone tries this I hope they will post a review. I'm interested in hearing more.
  15. I'm all about the resale value. Over time we've had fairly low textbook costs by buying used and reselling fast at the end of the semester. Occasionally an edition will change and you get stuck, but over time most students will have the lowest cost with this approach. With just $25 price difference I would not consider the loose leaf.
  16. Yes you aren't allowed past the check in table, but especially with a younger student it can be good to hang through that step just to make sure their ID is fine and they get checked in. While there are "big kids" there for many test sites they are used to younger testers. It was always a positive experience in our family. If a "big kid" says anything it'll be something like "you must be super smart" or something like that. Also, you can get a pretty good prediction of how they will score by doing a simple practice test at home. That will give you an idea if it is worth traveling or which test might be a better fit.
  17. My big advice would not be do not trust their version of a school profile without seeing it. Some schools write very good ones, but I've seen a handful of small private and umbrella school profiles that were shockingly bad. They did not contain the appropriate content and including spelling and grammar errors. The profile serves an important function and if the document is unprofessional that leave a bad impression about the quality of your student's high school education. So, it is very wise that you are looking at this and taking care to make sure it is done correctly.
  18. If all a student wants is group test experience it can be worthwhile. If they are looking for an accurate idea how they will score on the SAT I don't think it is the best choice. I've had high school students who came home stressed from free Kaplan testing because the testing conditions were less than ideal, they found some of the questions confusing, and they scored lower than they should have. That can undermine confidence and introduce test anxiety and particularly for a younger student I'd be wary of that. The same students ultimately got more accurate predictions of scores from using an old SAT test at home. If the goal is to find out what the student is capable of scoring on the SAT I suggest the Blue book at home under simulated conditions using a paper and pencil test with a timer. If the goal is to get experience of taking a test in public with some distractions, I suggest using the same Blue Book but taking it at the library or coffee shop. If the goal is to have scores to use for college dual enrollment or qualification for programs, registering for the actual test would accomplish more. The ACT is a better choice for some young testers. That's where we started and it was a better because the exam was shorter and the essay was optional. By registering with ACT we had scores that were usable for college courses and then later with the SAT through talent search useful for Study of Exceptional Talent SET and other programs.
  19. I wish I had something more specific to suggest but I would encourage you to bring her counselor in on this situation. For some teens who really shut down with homeschooling it is related to anxiety or depression and it is hard to resolve the school challenges separately from working on anxiety or depression. Even for teens who aren't dealing with those challenges there often comes a time of lower motivation when kids aren't that motivated to do schoolwork that is strictly for parents and for many it helps to have more outside accountability - to online teachers, community college instructors, peer group, etc.
  20. It is frustrating and good to think of new ideas as you approach a new year. More detail about what is happening may lead to more ideas. Is the work she is going just for you - are there outside classes or tutors? Is she getting distracted by stuff online or is she off task? How often are you checking in on progress and is there any consequence if she isn't on track?
  21. For testing in the US paper registration forms are available from the local public high school guidance office. For international testing though, I'd suggest you call the College Board and have them talk you through the process. This should be done quickly as there can be a shortage of seats available for international testers. Good luck!
  22. When I read the subject line my immediate thought before I clicked was cleaning out the refrigerator. I hate every single thing about it. The cold, the crumbs, potential icky surprises in the bottom of the veggie bin or in some container in the back of the fridge.
  23. The Math Association of America has good information on their site. With the need for math teaching assistants he should expect to be funded (tuition free, stipend to live as a poor grad student). http://www.maa.org/a-graduate-school-primer If he's a rising junior, I would suggest just as soon as school is back that he goes and talks to his advisor about what he needs to be doing this year. GPA in his math major is important as is rigor and depth of courses he's taken. Recommendations carry a lot of weight. The GRE is different than it was 30 years ago when many of us strolled in without prep and took it once. It is much more common for students to put some time into prep particularly for the subject test if their field requires it. So, he's going to want to allow some time for that.
  24. You do have seven days to cancel the CLEP and since you are unsure maybe that's a good idea as she could always register again later if she decides to test. I would factor her college goals into the decision making. Is she a junior? If so this the last year for a community college class to be really helpful for the purposes of college admissions and scholarships. While plenty of kids do just fine without dual enrollment and it certainly isn't mandatory, it can be helpful in terms of letters of recommendation and a demonstration your child is mature and does well in a classroom environment. Writing is also a core skill for college success and a good writing class can be worth a lot. This from the College Board website might also be helpful. If a test-taker registers for the wrong exam, can it be changed? If a test-taker registers for the wrong exam, he or she must log in to My Account, change the exam title and print an updated registration ticket. Within My Account, the test-taker can go to the My Exams page and select the exam title to change. Then follow the steps to change the exam title.
  25. Yes. Mine said fish or flax seed oil but he thinks flax works better for a lot of people. It made a huge difference for me - dry eye isn't 100% gone but much less bothersome. Here's some information on the research. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/news/20111028/flaxseed-oil-supplements-may-help-dry-eyes Editing to add: Another treatment that is sometimes recommended is a warm damp washcloth on the eyes a couple of times a day. I'm not sure it really helped me but it was a good excuse for a break!
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