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  1. PAGE 1 Welcome to the "motherlode" of linked threads on college topics (with a few non-college bound topics thrown in). Enjoy exploring the amazing collected wisdom of The Hive! (In case links break, I have listed threads by their original subject heading, and have also provided the original post date and poster for search in various ways.) Warmest regards, Lori D. CREATED: Sept. 2018 page 1 topics: College Search Process College Visits Online College / College at Home / Distance Degree page 2 topics: College Applications Common App page 3 topics: Money Matters Financial Aid Scholarships FAFSA / EFC CSS Profile page 4 topics: Honors Programs / Phi Theta Kappa Internships / REUs NCAA page 5 topics Heading to College At College Study Abroad page 6 topics Alternatives to 4-Year College Gap Year Military Career Exploration ======================== High School Motherload #1 -- pinned thread at top of high school board page 1 - high school timetable - getting started with homeschooling high school - planning / scheduling / time management - teen attitudes / expectations - accreditation / cover schools / state regulations page 2 - info/experiences with high school tests (PSAT, AP, ACT/SAT, SAT Subject, CLEP, GED, etc.) High School Motherlode #2 -- pinned thread at top of high school board page 1 - transcripts / credits / grading & GPA - honors designation - record keeping / course description / letter of recommendation - graduation / diploma page 5 - homeschool subjects (English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, Electives) - making your own courses - extracurricular activities - outsourcing / online classes / dual enrollment ======================== COLLEGE SEARCH Resources Resources for researching colleges — Aug 10 2018, Joyful What resources did you use to narrow down your lists of colleges to visit? -- Jan 23 2016, Daria Colleges That Change Lives [book]: reviews, experiences — Feb 6 2017, Miss Mousie What are your favorite websites for researching colleges (pinned thread; links to search engines, lists of “schools good for", links to past threads about specific colleges)— April 8 2016, Penguin How to search / what to look for Can someone walk me through the college search process? -- Aug 10 2016, Daria How to search for colleges — Jan 25 2018, Roadrunner Where to begin with the college search? — Mar 29 2017, OnMyOwn Finding colleges/programs (how did you get started?) -- Nov 23 2015 -- Hilltopmom Where do I start in the college search for DD? — Jan 10 2018, Kassia Knowing how to choose college options (help!) — June 5 2017, Rebecca Tuition, college campuses, admission, etc (what factors do you look for? do you also look at “fancy trimmings”?) -- The Accidental Coach For those that chose out-of-state schools, how did you decide? -- Dec 17 2016, mirabilis Considerations if DC goes out of state/far away — Jan 10 2018, teachermom2834 Choosing a college (what do you look for?) — Feb 28 2017, bibiche College search considerations beyond the obvious — Jan 28 2017, wapiti I think I need help with guidance counseling, i.e., I am clueless (topics touched on include: JanetC's link to her giant Evernote college guidance resource; CC vs. state university vs small private college; financial aid overview; NCAA overview; career exploration; etc.) -- April 24 2018, Evanthe Comparing schools How do you "check out a college"? -- May 20 2013, Hot Lava Mama How important are [college] rankings? — April 4 2017, Attolia How much consideration do you give the Forbes financial grades for colleges? — Nov 27 2017, bctnin1059 College spreadsheets (for comparing/choosing college) — Aug 22 2018, breton NM [discussion on how to weigh scholarship/financial factors in deciding on schools] — Mar 30 2017, Attolia Pros & cons of a small polytechnic U vs. big state U — May 25 2017, Hilltopmom How to decide when the fancy private school is worth it vs. the good enough public? — Oct 6 2017, Hilltopmom Can we talk big fish/small pond again? (discussion on options of 3 colleges and how to choose between them) — May 27 2017, plansrme Small liberal arts school vs big university — May 15 2017, Janeway How hard is it really to get into and pay for a selective school? — Jan 8 2017, whitestavern s/o: CA admissions [thread]: article on “does where you attend college matter?” — Mar 22 2018, 8FillTheHeart Narrowing the list / finding a "fit" / choosing "the one" Possible college list: when is enough, enough? — Mar 17 2018, RootAnn How do you cull the list? — June 29 2017, prim*rose How do you decide whether to bother applying to Ivies (includes (URochester discussion) — Feb 14 2018, kokotg Approach for finding best fit for college — Nov 19 2017, OnMyOwn Choosing a college -- prestige vs program -- July 16 2013, Hoggirl Wearing the counselor hat: how to help your students find the right fit -- April 30 2013, Jane in NC Finding a “fit” — April 9 2017, Hilltopmom How to choose “the” college — Feb 11 2018, whitestavern Paid college consultant / guidance counselor Homeschool Guidance Counselor — Mar 14 2018, Joyful Do any of you have experience with college consultants? — Dec 6 2017, Jazzy College Reach / Match / Safety Schools How many universities should you apply to? And how do you choose backups [safety schools] — Feb 25 2017, lewelma Is this combo of safeties/matches/reaches sufficient? — Feb 13 2018, Jazzy Reach schools (how far to “reach”?) — Sept 5 2017, DawnM PSA: make sure you have a true safety school — April 9 2018, Attolia Perspective: the highly accomplished student rejections (discusses importance of having a true safety school that you like in case of rejection) — April 26 2017, 8FillTheHeart College acceptances/rebuffs: would you do anything differently? — May 29 2017, mirabililis Anybody apply to just one college? — Jan 18 2017, TwoEdgedSword Is “one and done” a mistake? — Nov 5 2017, Chanley Community Colleges How do you rate a local community college? -- 20 May, 2014, teeterbunch ======================== COLLEGE VISITS College Fairs College fairs? — Oct 5, 2016, Hilltopmom Should we visit a college fair? — April 18 2014, shanvan What are college visits / visit or not Touring universities: how does this work and what is the purpose? — Feb 25 2017, lewelma What exactly does a college visit entail? — Jan 22 2013, Unicorn How do college visits work? -- Dec 31 2015, swimmermom3 Advice for making college visits — April 29 2016, Grantmom To visit colleges or not? — Aug 10 2018, Joyful College visit by self or with mom? — Jan 11 2018, Jean in Newcastle Would you even bother with college tours? — Jan 3 2017, DawnM To visit or not to visit, that is the question; article on skipping college visits (which led to discussion) — April 27 2017, Hoggirl When “meh” about a college visit — Mar 26 2017, TwoEdgedSword When to visit When to visit colleges? — April 7 2018, Joyful What do you look for in a college visit, esp. early in high school — June 24 2013, Sebastian (a lady) Is fall of sophomore year too early to make a college visit? — Mar 27 2013, MorningGlory Individual college visit, or admissions “event”? — Oct 10 2015, bctnin1059 Visiting campuses after acceptance: “Accepted Student Days” or not? — Jan 31 2018, g1234 Accepted Students Day — Dec 19 2017, Hilltopmom What to ask or look for Questions to ask when touring universities — July 12 2017, lewelma What to ask at a college visit — Mar 24 2015, Jane Elliot Department visit questions Department visit: what would YOU want to know? — Jan 20 2018, regentrude How to arrange a department visit at college? — Jan 2 2018, bctnin1059 Meeting department faculty [during college tour]: What to ask? — Oct 19 2017, PinkyandtheBrains College interviews Preparing very shy kid for college interviews — Apr 10 2018, kokotg Interview thank you notes — Nov 10 2017, OnMyOwn ======================== ONLINE COLLEGE / COLLEGE AT HOME / DISTANCE DEGREE Online College Online college? -- Sept 30 2018, HollyDay Online degree completion program suggestions? -- Nov 15 2018, mamakelly Online college degrees? -- Jan 27 2018, Night Elf Online universities - can we make a list -- Jan 20 2019, Æthylthryth the Texan Lumerit (formerly College Plus) Dual enroll at home through College Plus? Has anyone here real experience with College Plus? -- May 25 2015, Vida Winter
  2. I found this CA post about the new "rollover" feature for application information. It gives a detailed explanation of what will save and what will need to be re-entered. http://www.commonapp.org/whats-appening/college-counseling/common-app-account-rollover In a nutshell, essays, answers to writing prompts and documents don't seem to save. Recommendations don't seem to rollover. (I'm not sure if the actual recommendation will still be there for assignment or if the whole thing will clear. To be safe, I'm telling my son to wait on CA recommendations until August.) Some colleges change their requirements from year to year, particularly with short writing prompts. So you might be able to get an idea of what they are looking for, but be prepared to adjust if necessary. I really like this change, because it lets a student do some of the tedious part of the application earlier in the summer. By August 1, our local high schools have been in session for a couple weeks. If you write the CA essay over the summer and wait to upload it, you could have the majority of your apps ready to go before September, this could remove a lot of stress from senior year.
  3. Has anyone used the services of Aiming Higher Consultants for your child's college planning and/or application process? If not Aiming Higher, has anyone used any other professional services? We are specifically looking for assistance with the college essay, transcripts, and making sure the whole package is properly put together (recommendation letters, other documentation such as AP/SAT II scores). Would love any feedback!
  4. Hello all, I am trying to sort out our plan for next year. My son will be a 10th grader and is most likely interested in a STEM major at this point. (I say most likely because I want to keep options open for anything.) I have been doing a lot of reading here and on college websites about their admissions requirements, and I have a few questions about testing. I am going to make two threads because I want to ask questions about reporting test scores, but also figuring out which tests to take. So, in regards to reporting test scores: 1) For AP and SAT 2 tests, do you have control over which scores get reported to the colleges? For example, if you were to get a poor score on an AP test, but 4s and 5s on the rest of them, can you send only the 4 and 5 scores? Or, if you send a report from the AP or SAT 2 place, will it include all the tests you've taken? Is the answer different for AP and SAT 2? 2) Can you retake an AP or an SAT 2 if you get a poor score? And if you do, again, can you choose not to send the lower score? Or will a report show both scores? 3) If you take completely optional tests, like Le Grand Concours, the national French exam, for example, and you don't do well, can you just choose to not include that in your applications? Just because you take a test, does that automatically mean that you should send those scores to the colleges? When my kids were younger, I really didn't like the idea of teaching to a test, memorizing facts to spit back out, etc., I mean it's the main reason we have homeschooled. But now that they are older, I understand needing to have some validation, and I want my child to have experience with that kind of testing. I want him to have opportunities for whatever he wants to try for. At the same time, I don't want all of our time taken up by studying for high stakes tests. So, I'm trying to strike a balance. And I want to know upfront how much wiggle room there is for us to give things a try. If you take a test, and you don't get a good score, will it hurt you? Or is it one of those things where, it can't hurt you if you try? Thanks for any insight!
  5. We're thinking of using the Universal Application rather than the Common App where we can. About half of my D's schools are on it, her recommenders don't mind submitting her recs twice, and she and I don't mind doing our work in duplicate. It's more user-friendly than the Common App, and provides the option to insert web links in the main application to online art portfolios and such. Has anyone used it? Any downsides of using it in addition to the Common App ?
  6. Please don't quote as this is some sensitive info and I may delete it later. I just don't know where to turn. My son is almost finished with his college applications - most were in before early action deadlines. He has recently started treatment for depression, social anxiety and some other issues. I didn't realize until today how much it has affected his school work. He is acing in his college Calc and Physics classes. However, he is struggling in his online classes, not getting things done (and telling me he is "doing fine.") Berating him will not help - he has simply shut down and won't talk to me. He does open up to my husband and to his counselor. We are also getting some psychological testing done. So, I have emailed the teachers involved asking them for grace and patience as we are implementing an accountability plan - I plan with him and he has daily meetings with my husband to go over what he has accomplished. He is afraid I will freak out when he doesn't get things done, so he doesn't want report to me (and I know he won't be honest with me.) So, I am worried about the mid-year grades in these classes. I know I have to do the mid-year report. I'll have his college grades in early December, but won't have these grades until January. I am worried about how this will affect his college acceptances. I do think he will do well in a college environment - especially if we can get the underlying issues addressed that are leading to him feeling overwhelmed and depressed, that is if we can get him through these online classes. Anyone have any advice here? Also, if you are the praying kind, please keep my son in your prayers. He is suffering.
  7. Would it be possible to have a sticky where everyone could add their advice and possibly samples on how to write school profiles, arrange transcripts, and create course descriptions? Sort of a "everything but the kitchen sink" for paperwork for college applications. There have been several good threads about the process, but I am having trouble keeping track of what I need and sometimes I don't know I will need something until later when my understanding of the process is more developed. I feel as though if I start the course descriptions and reading lists now, the senior crunch will be easier. If it is not possible to have a sticky like the chemistry thread, could we please at least link threads on the above topics? Thanks so much!
  8. I found this guideline for homeschoolers applying to University of Maryland: If you’ve been home-schooled, you should provide with your completed application a transcript with the following: course descriptions, books used, methods of evaluation and grades received (credit contracts). You should meet the same minimum high school course requirements expected of all applicants; your SAT and/or ACT scores will be strongly considered in the review of your application. Please also include general information about your home schooling program or agency and a letter of recommendation from an academic professional as well as the home schooling teacher/parent. If you’ve taken college-level courses, you should also include an official college transcript with your application. So what is a credit contract? Is this just a guideline for how each course was graded? (I also found it interesting that UofMD spelled it home-schooled. That made my first couple searches come up empty.)
  9. Dd is in 8th grade. I'm wanting to understand what we need to know and/or keep in mind about college admissions. Has anyone had a "rude awakening" when applying to colleges about the path they chose for their dc? I know this is a huge, broad question! What's the best way to get a handle on the college admissions process so that we can consider what they want to see along with our own goals and plans? Feel free to recommend resources/books/websites too!
  10. *Just* starting. Because I'm just starting to look at colleges, LOL. DS is a junior. Yes, yes, I know people start looking at colleges way before now - but this is DS's gig, not mine, and frankly, he hasn't been interested, so the ball is just now starting to roll. And even now he is only marginally interested... like "um... is there one located in a desert?" :confused: So. I read all of the posts here about transcripts, book lists, etc. I diligently keep records. I am expecting to have to provide booklists, stuff, recommendations, blah, blah, blah. But you know, when you really start reading these webpages, I'm sorry, I find them insulting. People can disagree with me, but that is how I feel. I find it appalling that my kid should have to submit something like this on top of all of the other admissions stuff. Why? Because it is asinine. I'm sorry. If my kid is at the level to be applying to flipping Gonzaga, them providing ONE LINE to write which books I used for curriculum for EACH COURSE ds completed is an utter waste of everyone's time. You want an appendix? Ask for one. But a cheesy, REQUIRED form? With one line per subject? BITE ME. What if I wrote "Harcourt Brace American History"? What if I simply wrote down the crap textbooks that my local PS was using? Would ds suddenly be a "loser" HSer that isn't worthy? Yet, those are the books that the PS kids are using, and they don't have to list their books. There isn't ROOM to write Homer, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Spencer, Kreeft, blah, blah, blah. And don't even get me started about U of Utah requiring a GED. UTAH! UTAH! Hello! Someone page Joseph Smith! Grrr. a
  11. My son found this article that I think you will find encouraging to read! http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2000/novdec/articles/homeschooling.html
  12. Is there a recommended order in which the courses should be listed (by grade, by subject, alphabetically, by order of importance (to you) based on the student's planned college major? I appreciate your thoughts as I polish things up for submission. :)
  13. Hi everyone, I have a dd in 9th this year and we have taken the Iowa tests every year since 4th garde. I was about to order the annual spectrum test prep and do not see one for 9th. Should I move her to a different test this year, and if so, which one?? What should the next few years of testing look like? For those of you whose kids have gotten into college what tests, if any seemed most important. I know she will obviosuly need to do the SAT later, but what else and when and what prep books? She did take the PSAT in 7th grade as we were considering a private for 9th. It looks like we are staying home and dd is interested in medical, so I want to make sure we will be properly prepared. Kathy
  14. I'm just beginning to think about/plan for next school year. It would be so helpful if you would share your experiences in the following area(s): What did you do during your dc's junior year to prepare for senior year college application season? When did you begin college visits? Did you contact the school's admissions office directly during junior year? Did your dc finish the majority of testing (SATs, SAT IIs, ACTs) during junior year? What are some things I need to be thinking about/planning to accomplish during junior year in order to help my dd be ready to apply to the schools of her choice in the fall of her senior year? Please share anything that might be helpful for those of us who are doing this for the first time with our oldest dc. Thank you!
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