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Gwen in VA

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Gwen in VA last won the day on March 27 2014

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About Gwen in VA

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  1. My kids took the GRE cold with no studying. One thing -- do make sure your student knows about the timing. Writing a 60-minute essay in 30 minutes because you thought the essay was only 1/2 hour long does tend to lower the writing score! (Ask my son how I know this!)
  2. We never paid for a sample lesson. Maybe it was dd's instrument, maybe it was because we didn't offer to pay, maybe it was because she knew all the profs beforehand from competitions and summer programs, but no one asked and we didn't pay. Our big expense was the travel, since there were lots of trips -- a preliminary trip to each of schools she was considering and then the auditions.
  3. And double-majoring in music is challenging. Dd thought she wanted to double-major. After talking with LOTS of people, she decided not to. Apparently most people who double-major love music but their main focus is the other major, so the music department often won't take double-majors seriously.
  4. 1) Dd sat in on a few classes -- mostly music ones but others if relevant music classes weren't convenient. 2) My dd is very friendly and definitely approached people and talked about the program, the professors, etc. 3) When possible, she attended concerts and master classes, but since she did a few of her visits over the summer it wasn't always possible. 4) YES! Do take "sample lessons"! Teachers are VERY different from one another, and just because someone is a great teacher doesn't mean he/she will be great for your student! Dd ended up not applying to two schools that she thou
  5. My dd is attending a conservatory. She needs a total of ten liberal arts classes, including two semesters of a foreign language, a writing class, and some other classes that fall under categories that have strange catch-all titles like "self and society." Math is only required through Algebra 2, and the science requirement is similarly lame. Dd ended up fulfilling almost all of her liberal arts classes (including science and math) through her AP's, her dual-enrollment classes, and the classes she took as a freshman at a LAC.
  6. My son applied to a school several states away from our home that was well below his stats. This college found out that he was looking at other schools by asking what other colleges he was visiting on his college tour. While the school accepted him, they took an interesting approach -- they told him at his college visit / interview that if he didn't get awarded any merit aid, he should contact the admissions office since his not receiving any merit aid would have been a mistake on their part. He wasn't offered any merit aid and he didn't contact them since by that point he had other offers
  7. What she said! Look at the colleges your student is thinking of applying to. For top merit aid, you want to go over and above what they recommend..... My kids' route -- PSAT both sophomore and junior years SAT -- one and done, March of junior year ~5 AP's -- scattered over sophomore, junior and senior years, though you want at least some during sophomore and junior years so colleges can see the scores ~4-5 SAT-2's, taken as relevant classes were finished. They did bio after 9th grade, chemistry after AP chem, physics after AP physics, English lit after their junior year, U
  8. My kids went the "all of the above" route -- AP's, SAT-2's, and dual-enrollment. My kids found the SAT-2's to be high-satisfaction tests. Studying for them allowed them to really cement the material and organize it in their brains coherently. They seriously enjoyed studying for them! SAT-2's are intended to test material at the advanced high school level. Usually only honors-level students take them, but SAT-2's are relatively straightforward if the student has a solid background in the subject. Do buy a prep book and have your student work through it before taking the test! AP's a
  9. I think that the music supplement is meant to be that -- a way for musicians to show their talent, an indication that they would be interesting people to have on campus and maybe participate in a choir, orchestra, band, etc. Music majors at schools that have remotely decent programs will do auditions entirely separately. Dd applied to two LAC's, one of which had a very strong music program, and one conservatory. She auditioned at the conservatory, she did a "visit" at the LAC with the strong music program, and she just submitted the music supplement to the LAC with the less-strong musi
  10. During my growing up years, my dad was a professor. Having a professor as the main income earner in the family meant we didn't live in the lap of luxury, BUT my dad was around. While he did work during the summer, he took lots of three- and four-day weekends in addition to actual vacations. He was there to drop me off at summer camp. He was there when the weather was too good for working and we took a spontaneous day trip. I had some medical issues that required lots of appointsments in "the big city" (about 45 minutes away), and he was the parent who took me to work with him for the day a
  11. Funny warning -- do make sure someone will be in a position to spend it! I have a friend whose child is attending more of a trade school and it is not accredited. 529 funds can't e used for it. Her younger sibling went ROTC and so didn't need any aid. Thankfully her oldest got married and the spouse is going back to school and so can use the money, but for a bit they thought they were really going to lose that money completely!
  12. Dd2 just mader her grad school decision public -- she will be attending the Master of Sacred Music program at Notre Dame, a two-year program for organists that focuses not only on organ performance but also sacred music, theology, and liturgy. It prepares students to be directors of music in liturgical churches with strong music programs. She will have a two-year internship at the basilica there. And best of all, it is fully funded and comes with a stipend! :-) :hurray: Happy mama dance! :hurray:
  13. My kids' only experience was at a college that had less than 33% eligible for work-study, so all students who were interested and eligible got positions. My son had a great position in IT that helped him get used to large-scale computer systems. He is now a computer software engineer at Google..... My daughter was interested in museum studies, and she had a position at the college museum involving logging acquisitions. She was able to list it on her grad school application, and it was mentioned by some NSF people as one of the reasons why she got her NSF grant (multi-year worth hundred
  14. My kids participated in a scholarship weekend without acceptance letters. I am close friends with a prof there, and I asked why. She said that the admissions office has told the professors loudly and clearly that -- 1) These are the tippy-top applicants. Barring something weird, they will be accepted. 2) If the profs notice anything seriously odd with any of the students, they need to contact the admissions office immediately. My friend knew of only two students (oveer well over twenty years) who were invited to the scholarship weekend but weren't accepted. One was an odd duck -- wore
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