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Sebastian (a lady)

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Everything posted by Sebastian (a lady)

  1. I agree that the level of an English course taken in 8th grade is not something you need to resolve. Students should take English all four years of high school. Most colleges expect 4 credits of English. His course 9th grade should include works he reads and lots of practice writing. Intro to Literature often uses short stories and shorter novels, but that is just one approach. Grammar and vocabulary are incorporated into high school English courses rather than being a separate course.
  2. I had my kids read Beloved, because I didn't want them to be ignorant when someone mentioned Toni Morrison. Not their favorite book, but I'm glad I had them read it when we would have lots of time to talk through it (They spent a lot of years living outside the US mainland, so there were many pieces of background knowledge we needed to fill in). The Joy Luck Club is another favorite that could fit with many AP Lit long essay prompts. My son ended up writing about Odysseus for his long essay (the prompt was about a character who was deceitful). I did a year I called Roots of Steampunk literature, in which we read classic Victorian era works that get referenced a lot in modern Steampunk fiction. Dracula was one of my favorites, because the original work is so different from modern vampire fiction. (Dracula is in no way the protagonist, like you might see in Twilight or in a popular vampire series.) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (reads like a connected short story collection. Might pair well with either Joy Luck Club or Spoon River Anthology)
  3. When I have taught US government, I found that stronger connections were made through readings like Supreme Court oral arguments and decisions, descriptions of Landmark Court Cases, and speeches/opinion columns than with readings like Machiavelli or de Tocqueville. One exception would be The Constitution and a couple Federalist Papers.
  4. I try to remember that many admissions officers are quite young and not only don't have experience with homeschooling, but may not have any reason to know that homeschooling in Virginia, Hawaii, and Alabama has different laws, access, and paperwork. I try to lean toward patiently explaining rather than going directly to my argumentative mode.
  5. The error I see frequently is taking the fact that in state public colleges are often lower cost than private colleges and then extrapolating that "public colleges are cheaper than private colleges" without accounting for higher prices for out of state students. The people who have this misunderstanding may not understand that large numbers of private colleges offer tuition discounts as a way of bringing students in the door or that up and coming out of state public colleges may have automatic merit aid, BUT that colleges that have far more applicants than seats (both public and private) do not need to offer tuition discounts to increase or maintain their yield rates.
  6. Since my previous post, my son was admitted to CU Boulder University of Cincinnati Both for mechanical engineering.
  7. What is hard to keep in mind as an applicant is how many wonderfully qualified students are out there. And each college is making its own decisions for its incoming class.
  8. Have you read Jeff Selingo's new book Who Gets In and Why? It has good insights, because he was able to embed in three admissions offices during their application review season.
  9. Oh, thanks for sharing. I find this interesting because there is so much variability between districts on GPA and subjectivity in the grades themselves. That is one of the arguments for preferring AP exam scores over community college grades in similar courses -- that the exam has a clear comparison among students where the CC grades have unknown factors, like course content and grading practices. I find it a little ironic that the Subject Tests were scrapped, since I remember a study from several years back (probably pre-2010) that suggested Subject Tests were a superior indicator of success than either GPA or SAT/ACT scores. I ran in an interesting report in Journal of College Admissions that studied student high school experiences and subsequent college performance and concluded that around 5 college level experiences (AP, CC, IB) correlated to success as a freshman at UNC, but that more experiences didn't correlated to increased college success (ie, more wasn't better). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1011884.pdf
  10. My understanding is that right now, a court decision requires University of California to be test blind for admissions, but that they can still require homeschoolers to provide a test score to qualify to apply. In other words, they can set a minimum test score expected from homeschoolers before the application would be considered as part of the applicant pool, but then they don't use test scores in making admissions decisions. I think this eliminates the Admission by Examination option, at least for the next few years.
  11. I agree with this. There are a bunch of factors that are molding trends in college admissions. Lack of test score availability Murky indicators from grades in classes taught remotely or that swung frequently between in-person, remote, and hybrid Letters of recommendation from teachers who had little face to face contact or classroom observation opportunities Curtailed or cancelled activities, summer programs, internships, etc Fewer opportunities for students and colleges to interact through campus tours, college fairs, and school visits. Virtual opportunities to interact aren't always well attended. Huge changes in the number of applications colleges are receiving (Some are way, way up. Others are lower than normal.) College finances took a huge hit as a result of Covid. Colleges that depend on tuition as the main part of annual revenue will have to be more need aware. At the same time, institutions are grappling with institutional histories that have them examining the effects of wealth on the factors usually used for admission. So they may want to increase first generation, low income representation on campus but struggle to do so. They may have a practice of tuition discounting that isn't sustainable in the long run. This is not the year for a student to fall in love with one school, especially one that already had a low admissions rate. This is a year to consider widely and understand that student engagement is the key to a fruitful college experience.
  12. Do you mind sharing which university is asking for 2 validations per subject area? I'm part of a group that is working on a list of extra requirements for homeschoolers that would be affected by the loss of the Subject Tests.
  13. My son has been admitted by three colleges: George Mason University Worcester Polytechnic Institute University of Alabama in Huntsville He applied to each for engineering and with test scores that were strong from sophomore year. He didn't do dual enrollment until senior year, so these admissions were without the benefit of the grades from DE courses. Now the long wait for the rest of the schools to report back. His #1 choice won't release a decision until April, so it's going to test my patience.
  14. Yes the UAH is a bit of a pain. I was grieved to have to condense my course descriptions into something like 40 characters. I did have a couple conversations with my kid's admissions counselor, which clarified how to report a numerical grade when I only had letter grades recorded (I used an actual number if I had it. If I didn't have a percentage, I used a mid-range number like 95, 85, unless I felt that his work was well above average (97, 87) or below average (91, 81). Honestly I got the impression that they just wanted something in the block. The admissions rep also told me that it was acceptable to report a weighted number for Grade Point (GP). This was not evident from the instructions.
  15. ED does often come with an explanation of costs, because that is really the only reason for breaking the ED agreement. I know that more aid or scholarships could come in the spring. I simply dislike it when a college leads with the discount, without the context of the cost basis. There are a lot of families who aren't familiar with college costs and don't know important items like the difference between in state and out of state tuition.
  16. The package was pretty light on info. It did not include what I would consider an award letter, showing direct costs against aid and a remaining cost to be paid. There was a mention of the score based merit scholarship in the middle of a paragraph in the admissions letter. He submitted the centralized scholarship application a week ago. Hopefully a more formal financial offet letter will follow. It may be that this is the only aid he gets. As an Educational Consultant, I am looking for an award letter that is more transparent about cost of attendance.
  17. Thank you both. We finally found the award letter and [cough] he also pulled out the snail mail packet that both of us had seen and forgotten about.
  18. How long did it take to get an award letter? My son was accepted about a month ago by email, with the promise of paperwork to follow and hasn't gotten anything other than a suggestion to apply to the Honors college. Is he missing seeing something in the online account?
  19. I sent them the transcript and course descriptions I provided other schools. I also did the fillable transcript form they have for homeschool students. I used 95 for any class where I didn't have a percentage. If it was a course where he did really well, I adjusted up to 97-99. There is a way to indicate weighted credit for AP or DE. I added a point in the column for GP. This isn't in the instructions, but was mentioned in one of my conversations with my son's Admissions Rep. I thought the UAH rep was very responsive, but unfamiliar with states that don't use cover or umbrella programs. ETA: My son was accepted a week after applying. I haven't seen the aid offer yet.
  20. Has he explored other trade options beyond welder, electrician, plumber? HVAC Sheet metal fabrication Ship fitter (check out The Apprentice School at Newport News shipyard) Landscape design Environmental mitigation Locksmith The Washington Post had an article recently about the high demand for appliance repair techs.
  21. Are there any less common sites she uses? One of my kids had a couple online resources for Latin. Java code test site 3D design or printing software (Tinkercad, Cura, Blender, Skyciv) Khan Academy Specific YouTube channels I could even make a case for something like iTunes or Spotify.
  22. I think it would be worth her time to contact the college and ask if they also received the December scores on the score report sent in August. My experience is that they ought to have been sent all together with the report after the August test.
  23. When you say portal, do you mean for the EA college or for College Board? My understanding is that unless you use Score Choice to suppress scores, they are all on the same report. In other words, the score report for Aug 2020 would have also included the Dec 2019 scores. I would have her contact the school and ask.
  24. College Board seems pretty silent on this, but it usually takes 2-3 weeks. Did she also self-report the scores in the application?
  25. From the PSAT Coordinator Manual: "If you have students from other schools, provide the school information and AI codes given in the list provided by your test coordinator. If any students are homeschooled, tell them to leave fields 3 and 4 blank." (page 51) https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/psat-nmsqt-coordinator-manual.pdf
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