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High school moms, I feeling very discouraged lately. My family is on the same page about homeschooling for high school, so that's not the issue. I've been reading a lot lately about what it take to get into college...SAT 2 tests, SAT/ACT scores, AP, etc. and it just feels so discouraging. It seems that we could easily use every bit of our energy and time on setting up a transcript for her to meet the needs of whatever college she attends. (And really, she's only in 9th this year and we're moving to Japan for most of her high school years so it is really hard to know what college she will attend. I think it will most likely be a liberal arts college, since this is where she will be happiest.) I guess, I homeschooled the girls to allow them a chance at a really profound education and now that my older dd is old enough to catch that fire on her own, it feels so frustrating to have to hold her back in her own specific interests to make sure she meets all of the above college demands. And I know that many of you will remind me that she can follow her own interests on her own time, but really how much time will be left over for her? And mostly, I'm afraid of seeing her passion dissolve. It would be so easy if her passions were for math and science. It seems you can never go too wrong with these interests, but having a passion in languages, literature and history just doesn't seem to hold up the same way. How do you moms balance this? I really wish dd and I could follow our own hearts, something I've nurtured in them for so long, but she does want to go to college. Her ambitions are a bit unrealistic, but she is only 14. I think with time she'll have to adjust her dream of going to Oxford. (And dh and I are on a tight budget for college as well.) And who knows where she will end up for college. Of course, we encourage her to dream big.

Any advice for a homeschool mom new to high school? I think we could manage a few SAT 2 tests and I do plan on having her take the SAT and ACT. How much more would we need for her?

And one more question, a little related, how important is to use the standard or typical textbooks? Would the more preferred textbook vs. many good classics, good living books and a good spine bring about a better test score on the SAT 2? My dd is not a fan of a standard textbook although she will be using them as needed. Would it be a bad idea to create a syllabus for a subject which includes books for her spine that are less well known? Does this even make sense?:lol:

Thanks for any guidance!:grouphug:

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And I know that many of you will remind me that she can follow her own interests on her own time, but really how much time will be left over for her?

 

We try to keep a good balance between academic required work and following interests. My 10th grader works for 5.5-6 hours per day on school - that is sufficient for five credits in the core subjects and a bit of work on electives. She has the rest of her day to do as she pleases. Her passionate interest are horses, and she devotes 25+ hours to it, which I think is quite a lot of time.

 

And mostly, I'm afraid of seeing her passion dissolve. It would be so easy if her passions were for math and science. It seems you can never go too wrong with these interests, but having a passion in languages, literature and history just doesn't seem to hold up the same way. How do you moms balance this?

You could simply harness her interests and have her do the minimum requirements in math and sciences, but the honors/AP/extra-and-beyond stuff in languages and history.

 

Any advice for a homeschool mom new to high school? I think we could manage a few SAT 2 tests and I do plan on having her take the SAT and ACT. How much more would we need for her?

If you read on this forum, you see that many students get into college just with ACT/SAT and completely without other exams. For more competetive schools, there are more hoops - but I don't see why she could not do these in HER areas of interest. If she is not interested in a math/science career, I would not worry about AP math and sciences, period.

 

And one more question, a little related, how important is to use the standard or typical textbooks? Would the more preferred textbook vs. many good classics, good living books and a good spine bring about a better test score on the SAT 2?

WHICH SAT2? It depends entirely on the subject. On the literature SAT - sure, you probably don't need a textbook. On the physics and chemistry SAT, I don't see how you would learn the material based on classics and living books.

 

My dd is not a fan of a standard textbook although she will be using them as needed. Would it be a bad idea to create a syllabus for a subject which includes books for her spine that are less well known?

You find that people use a wide variety of materials, even for high school.

I use textbooks for math and sciences, but for literature and history, we use classics, Great books, TC lectures, supplement with fiction, have one text as a spine. Whatever works.

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Hugs.

It is very frustrating. Many of us have posted just like you at just about the same point. I remember posting myself. After agonizing a bit, I picked a path and stuck with it for high school. I spoke to a number of colleges and decided that for that particular child, a particular approach would probably work. I decided not to try to keep 100% of the options open, but neither did I pick a path that would have limited him to only a few college choices. I found that I had to speak to the colleges, not just read their literature, because what colleges said they wanted of most students did not necessarily apply to homeschooled students. I made sure my son knew what choices we were making and agreed. In the end, I comforted myself that the path we chose was at least less restrictive and more individualized than sending him to public school. I did a similar thing with the second child. He is about half way through right now and we had an argument just a minute ago about a requirement which he considers useless and I consider necessary in case colleges want it. Remember, too, that when a college says it wants SAT2s from a homeschooler, it doesn't necessarily mean that it wants a tip top score on those SAT2s. They just need a standard point of comparison. A student getting a C in Spanish might still get into that college, just like a homeschooled student getting a somewhat mediocre score on the SAT2 might still get into that college. It depends on the college.

 

I should think that a particular US public school and a homeschooler would be equally unknown and Oxford would in all likelyhood want standardized tests from both. Are there directions on the site for US students? That might give you some idea of what sort of hoops you are likely to have to jump through.

 

There is more time for students to pursue their own interests than it seems like, even if you choose to take a test-heavy path.

 

Nan

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Thanks regentrude, this was encouraging. I definitely think she could take the SAT 2 test for literature. When I was asking about textbook choice, I was thinking of the SAT 2 test for World History and American History. I know she prefers World History, so I would lean towards this one first. I was thinking she might try the SAT 2 test for either French or Latin or both, depending on how well we manage those two subjects over the next couple of years. This would be two SAT 2 tests at minimum and most likely 3 and maybe 4. You're right though, I need to think about this the way you have it set up. I should set aside a certain number of hours per day (2.5?) for math and science credits (4 total in math and 4 total in science) and use the remaining time for subject she loves. I probably should go ahead and begin looking over the SAT 2 tests so that I can keep the requirements in mind as I build a syllabus for literature, history and languages each year. ETA: We are definitely using standard textbooks for math and science. I don't think I could manage these subjects without them.

Thanks!

(P.S. Every time I see your name I think of my mom. She was born in Kaiserslautern and her name has Trudy in it)

Edited by Kfamily
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Thanks Nan, this was encouraging too. I'll take all of the hugs I can get right now. And thanks for reminding me that it doesn't have to be a super top score as long as we have it. I'm probably more concerned over how she'll do on the SAT test vs. a subject test since I can at least choose her top subjects for the latter test. She is not a very good test taker in math and I just hope we can manage a good score for the SAT and ACT. I will do my best to help prepare her. This is where the time taking comes in... I think she would be a good candidate for some SAT math test prep. It is so hard knowing that so much depends on the results of one test. As a homeschooler, it seems even more depends upon it.

Thanks again!

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I often drool over the choices you're making for your dd. If I were in school, I would want you to be my teacher/facilitator, seriously. I try not to compare ourselves to what public school may be doing, but just a glance at your rich literature selections and I feel like you are working way above average.

 

Think of the exposure your dd has had with literature already, before high school. How many kids can even pronounce Nibelungenlied, much less know what it is and have read it? When I read of some public schools reading four books and calling it literature class I feel alarmed.

 

I have similar fears about college admission and interests, so you're not alone there. :grouphug:

 

I do believe you will craft an academic resume that paints a true picture of your dd. Some college is going to snatch her up because of that, hopefully the one that will be the perfect fit for her.

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Thank you Paula! (You brought tears to my eyes...very encouraging and so needed...) And I would really like to say how much I admire your book choices and the path you follow with your son. I was just over in your bookstore last week and admiring your choices there too. :grouphug: My older dd is really becoming aware lately at how differently she sees the world and is curious as to how she will become a part of it. It's a good thing she is full of confidence and a stubborn sense of what she believes is good/true. I think this will be useful for her later. :001_smile:

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If it helps, my oldest is in a decent (but not top) college (and got accepted to others) with absolutely no SAT II tests and no AP. He did have a rather high ACT (31), but not super high. He also had one cc class (A).

 

He did the usual 4 years of traditional education, but then had plenty of time for things he liked.

 

Middle son will have no SAT II tests and only has one AP at this point (all he'll be accepted on). He has had two cc classes (both As) and is currently taking one more. He does have a very high ACT. He has a couple of acceptances already from state school, including one who has guaranteed free tuition. We'll see what happens with other schools over the next year, but I'm pretty positive he'll have options.

 

If you ask me to boil things down, you want a high ACT/SAT (how you get there doesn't matter), at least a couple of outside confirmations of grades, and an interesting person via extra curriculars. There's time for it all. You don't need AP everything.

 

For lower level colleges you don't even need as much as my boys had.

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When you choose exactly how you are planning on validating each subject, the whole thing will seem less overwhelming.

 

If your daughter really is thinking of Oxford, I think I would look at AP tests in her good subjects and aim for those. The initial prep work won't seem like a chore and then the year she plans on taking it, she can decide whether to self-study or to sign up for a course that will prep her for it. That leaves the other three years to do something more unusual.

 

I don't have much experience with this, but since my children weren't aiming for elite colleges, I chose to try to validate my children's mummy transcript by deciding on the SAT and then picking ONE way to validate each subject. I chose between the SAT and the ACT, and then chose between an SAT2 test, an AP test, an online high school class, a community college class, a class at a public or private school, and a class at a 4-year college or university for each subject. I chose the SAT and to validate the subjects by having my son take a variety of cc classes. In the end, my older one only had some subjects validated, but they were the ones his college cared about so it worked out fine. I'm not sure yet whether my youngest will have all of his subjects validated, but I have a plan for each one. This fall (11th grade) I will probably have him contact the colleges he is interested in and ask what they want from homeschoolers. It may well be a form of validation that I haven't prepared my son for, which will make me feel awful, but probably less awful than trying to prepare my son for every single possible test. (That would probably have resulted in my son rebelling and enrolling himself in public school.) When I winnowed down the mass of different test and outside class options to the SAT and one in each core subject, it made the whole thing seem much more doable.

 

VERY IMPORTANT TIP - Remember that students apply to colleges in the middle of their senior year. That means that anything you want colleges to see has to be done in 9th - 11th grade. Deciding to have your student take the SAT2s the spring of his senior year, or take a few classes at the cc the spring of senior year WILL NOT HELP him get into college if you want him to apply at the beginning or the middle of senior year. Senior year is a great time to do all sorts of interesting things just for education's sake : ). So is 9th grade. 10th and 11th are probably going to be devoted, at least in part, to jumping through those hoops.

 

HTH

Nan

Edited by Nan in Mass
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I totally get how you feel. I actually think it depends on your goals. To me, a lot of people are doing all these things (AP, SAT subject etc) to aim for scholarships or to cast a big net out there and see what they will get back (college offers etc). It can be a lot of pressure to put on yourself and your child. Some people will not want that added pressure. In my opinion, you don't necessarily need all those extras to get into college. You have to adjust your plan to your goals. If you're trying to get scholarships or get into Ivy League or some selective program then that might be necessary. Otherwise, you might want to follow a path that gives more flexibility.

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I totally get how you feel. I actually think it depends on your goals. To me, a lot of people are doing all these things (AP, SAT subject etc) to aim for scholarships or to cast a big net out there and see what they will get back (college offers etc). It can be a lot of pressure to put on yourself and your child. Some people will not want that added pressure. In my opinion, you don't necessarily need all those extras to get into college. You have to adjust your plan to your goals. If you're trying to get scholarships or get into Ivy League or some selective program then that might be necessary. Otherwise, you might want to follow a path that gives more flexibility.

 

:iagree: I have kids that have completely different personalities/goals/skills. We didn't worry about APs, 2s, or even specific subjects and were much more laid back in designing their high school transcripts for my kids that wanted to attend a public university or a small private non-top anything LAC. For our ds that wants that select school, we are being far more directed. He needs scholarship$$ to attend, so making him competitive is an actual goal. If he wanted to attend the great public university in our state, I would not be doing what we currently are.

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I'm officially done! ...and btw I cried my eyes out when she flew off to California! A difficult time indeed but on the other side of my grief of a chapter in my life closing I now am looking forward to what God has for me and my husband....!!!! With that said, we 'got here' and it really wasn't that hard. I know I labored so many times...'Am I ruining their lives?!'...but each one of them have worked their tails off in college and done very well.

 

I am not a SAT fan....at all...although we had to do it, too. But we didn't do the 'classes or books' for it. I think it's a huge money maker and colleges are also way too expensive. Young adults are graduating with extreme debt and moving back home, so where is the victory here?

 

My heart goes out to you as you process all this for it's not easy when in the middle of it. I'm past all that now so it's 'lighter conversation' for me....but I did labor over it as I shared. My advice to you would be to keep that 'relaxed' mindset of a homeschooler in tack even in these high school years.

 

A great idea is community college....it's affordable....it gives the student time to adjust & think more seriously over what they want to do career wise, even if to 'continue' down the college vein or not...and it's all transferable to most any college your family can afford. This is getting so popular anymore it's about time!!! Why go into such debt and have the student then change their minds or marry and never work in that debt ridden degree program!!?

 

God bless ya....and have a cup of 'homeschool tea'...the relaxing kind! :001_smile:

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A great idea is community college....it's affordable....it gives the student time to adjust & think more seriously over what they want to do career wise, even if to 'continue' down the college vein or not...and it's all transferable to most any college your family can afford. This is getting so popular anymore it's about time!!! Why go into such debt and have the student then change their minds or marry and never work in that debt ridden degree program!!?

 

 

Just to make sure parents (as guidance counselors) know, community college does not work well for some plans. Med schools, for one, frown upon any pre-requisite courses taken there. Since less than half of med school applicants make it in to any med school, having a nick on your application is not recommended. Some engineering schools also "need" a student in the program for 4 years. Therefore, if one starts at cc, it only extends their college years by an additional year. Architecture is another that can work that way.

 

There really are multiple paths each "correct" for a different plan. A start at community college works for some, but not all.

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I want to add to this: Listen to your kids.

 

When my son was in 8th and 9th, I planned on keeping all doors open regarding the future path that he would choose. In 10th, he opted to do AP Bio--probably not the best AP exam to choose as one's first! It turned him off to the AP slog, recognizing in the prep books that it was about gaming the system, not necessarily learning the material. (Some will certainly argue this point, feeling that AP offers a rigorous and measurable opportunity for homeschoolers. I appreciate that but as a side note I do not consider AP to be the equivalent of a college course. Off the soapbox.)

 

Instead of AP, he choose to attend our local CC for some courses in 11th. Well, to be fair, I wanted him to do two semesters of chemistry and Basic Composition there--plus whatever else struck his fancy. We knew the limitations of our CC and thus tried carefully to pick courses and instructors. Even that was not completely satisfactory so it was back to AP in 12th.

 

But in this process, my son recognized a passion that had been brewing for years: archaeology. He applied to colleges not because of their overall reputations but to schools that had archaeology majors (or archaeology concentrations in their anthropology departments) and had faculty who do research in the area that interests him. At the end of 11th grade he volunteered with a college field school which in turn led him to work on a noteworthy senior project.

 

Another thing happened along the way. I had hoped that he would attend one of the interesting LACs which offer more "big fish in little pond" opportunities. As we visited schools, he recognized the difference between the large unis and these smaller schools. Not all but some give generous merit aid (again allowing that we all define "generous" differently). He landed at what appears to be the right place, particularly because it is a school that focuses on the independent (and often interdisciplanary) study something which we homeschoolers certainly appreciate.

 

Bottom line: things do sort themselve out, but one needs to 1) listen to one's children and 2) cover one's bases which implies some knowledge going into the process. This board certainly helps with 2).

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I don't know if all states are like this, but in Texas as long as you can get a 1500 on the SAT (don't know about ACT, mine didn't take that), you do NOT have to follow the traditional "plan." All you have to do is print out a form that says your student scored 1500+ and it is considered equivalent to a rigorous high school program. I can't remember the exact wording, but it's similar. Does that help?

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I don't know if all states are like this, but in Texas as long as you can get a 1500 on the SAT (don't know about ACT, mine didn't take that), you do NOT have to follow the traditional "plan." All you have to do is print out a form that says your student scored 1500+ and it is considered equivalent to a rigorous high school program.

 

And you show that form to WHOM?

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For most kids its not a matter of getting in to college. College's are a biz like everyone else and they are feeling the crunch of the economy too. They want/ NEED students. The real issue (imho) is how much money will you get in scholarships compared to loans will your kiddo have to take out to get the ed they want. Don't sweat getting into college. Get your kid a good, solid high school education and, as much as possible, fan the flames of their passions.

I wouldn't discount Oxford, or anywhere else. Someone told me that a female from SD has a GREAT chance of getting in to Harvard, even without 100% perfect everything becuase of admissions stats. So do plenty of research even for places that seem way out of reach.

 

Schools WANT kids that are passionate, have done unique and interesting things, are on-fire for something, have raised money, traveled, written, etc. They are not looking for cookie-cutter kids. Yes, test scores and refs matter. But so do a lot of other things. Be true to your vision. Be true to your kid.

I just wrote an article on How to Educate Your Kid and my main points are:

1.Your Vision

2.God's provision

3. Who they are

 

High school isn't rocket science. It's just doing what you've been doing with a bit more focus, a bit more diligence and a bit more intentionality. You'll do great.

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VERY IMPORTANT TIP - Remember that students apply to colleges in the middle of their senior year. That means that anything you want colleges to see has to be done in 9th - 11th grade. Deciding to have your student take the SAT2s the spring of his senior year, or take a few classes at the cc the spring of senior year WILL NOT HELP him get into college if you want him to apply at the beginning or the middle of senior year. Senior year is a great time to do all sorts of interesting things just for education's sake : ). So is 9th grade. 10th and 11th are probably going to be devoted, at least in part, to jumping through those hoops.

 

HTH

Nan

 

 

I wish I had been more on top of WHEN test scores were going to be needed. Also, write out your course descriptions as your student starts or completes each class. Take a peek at the Common Application web site early (sophomore year), so that you can see approximately what they want, and give yourself time not to change what you did/or plan to do, but to think about how to put it into terms a college will understand. The application process starts earlier than I thought. Especially try to get to visit colleges earlier (by early junior year), and expect the summer between junior and senior year to be application time.

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And you show that form to WHOM?

 

To the college that requests it. But you know what, I just looked over the exemption form on a website and realized that, at least for the university my daughter attends, even exempt students must meet minimum course requirements. I don't even remember filling out that form, but I guess I must have!

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Then it's ridiculous. An average of 500 on a subtest is not an equivalent of a rigorous high school education.

 

I agree with you, but 500 per subtest or 1000 m/cr only is what our school considers good. Anything over that is great. Anything over 600 per subtest is considered superb.

 

So, it doesn't surprise me that a state would set 1500 as the benchmark. It's essentially average and average is "rigorous" because schools don't provide a subpar education across the board. ;)

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A great idea is community college....it's affordable....it gives the student time to adjust & think more seriously over what they want to do career wise, even if to 'continue' down the college vein or not...and it's all transferable to most any college your family can afford. This is getting so popular anymore it's about time!!! Why go into such debt and have the student then change their minds or marry and never work in that debt ridden degree program!!?

 

God bless ya....and have a cup of 'homeschool tea'...the relaxing kind! :001_smile:

 

Community colleges vary WIDELY. My boys ( 9th and 11th) are in their first CC class taking Spanish. They have been completely shocked by the students in their class. They and another homeschool 9th grader are the star students in this class. The students are completely unprepared for class, don't do the work, ask the same questions over and over and over, etc. They are only doing CC classes for courses that are just "get em done" in their future degree. There is NO way I would let my oldest do Calculus of Physics there and then try to take Calc II or Physics II at a "real" university. That would be a recipe for disaster if they did do it.

 

Now granted, they have only taken one class so maybe other classes are different. But so far it sounds like what I remember high school being like.

 

Christine

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Then it's ridiculous. An average of 500 on a subtest is not an equivalent of a rigorous high school education.

 

Just for a timely example... I'm teaching Chemistry today and tomorrow. In my Advanced Chem class is a nice young lady who has been in many of our top classes. She's a senior and plans on being pre-med. I asked her which colleges she was considering and she gave me a respectful list - followed by a lower level one she was using as a last resort. Then I asked her how she did on the SAT. 1560 (all three sections). One of her dream schools is Princeton. Edited to add that I just looked up where 1560 fits in with percentiles. It's 57%. She's above average nationally based on 2010 scores.

 

She also told me the test she took today was a lot easier than she was expecting and she overstudied. I told her that it was impossible to overstudy Chemistry if one wants to be pre-med - that anything she could learn would help her next year. What else can I do? She could be doing more if it were here.

 

My top level (college bound) regular Chem class was spent doing density conversions (after a quick lab). The calculations alone should be a 5 minute review IMO - or even if just teaching it from the start (which I did) it should be 25 minutes to pick up on the concept and different applications (why is water 1.000 at 4 degrees and what does it mean for life, etc). But... this class struggled with the algebra involved. That's NOT helpful when trying to explain the chem concepts and significant figures involved with multiplication/division, etc. Fortunately, they have the concepts (I think).

 

I'm going to need to go over the math again tomorrow as few will go home and work on understanding. Hopefully accuracy vs precision will go more quickly (what I'm supposed to cover tomorrow).

 

Remember too, that we are on block scheduling so each day in class is supposed to be two days worth of the subject.

Edited by creekland
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I don't know if this is still true, but 15 years ago when I was looking at colleges Oxford wasn't an option because they have very odd admission standards for Americans: if you can pay cash, you can probably go. I couldn't.

 

Honestly, if she's seriously passionate about liberal arts... Try for some of the reach schools, like Harvard, where tuition is forgiven to families who don't have very high income or assets. Even Harvard's less expensive open-enrollment extension program might be a good option (no tests needed, but she would have to be SERIOUSLY motivated as it would mean living off campus, without the structure of their dorm system). You could even do a few of those classes from anywhere in the world as part of homeschool, which would not only prove she's capable of harvard-level work, experiences abroad would only increase her likelihood of admission, IMO. Try to get her into a language school there & get as much fluency as possible.

 

But I wish, oh how I wish, I had known what my younger cousin did: She got into the Honors program at the University of Iowa. This would have been MUCH better for me for several reasons: 1) Full scholarship 2) The honors program was small & had small class ratios like the highly-selective school I went to 3) She got to really get involved in research as an undergraduate 4) Her scholarship dollars and prior AP classes translated into the ability to take a semester as an exchange student, which gave her a minor in Spanish 5) All of those combined meant she got a full ride scholarship to Mayo medical school, where they paid her a stipend to go. Now she's a resident, and is making pretty good money, with no debt.

 

When I figured out my pricey liberal arts degree (I had a scholarship for tuition, but took loans for things like the dorms and my computer) landed me in debt that I've only recently paid off... Oh, how I wish I had NEVER taken a student loan for that. And now wages are the same for college graduates as they were for high school graduates when I graduated high school in 1997.

 

Now, some states have REALLY BAD public universities. My family recently considered a move to Ohio, and I had no idea how bad those schools were in comparison until I started looking, considering going back to college myself. The good news is that with a great ACT or SAT score, many of those schools will waive out of state tuition just to get your child there. And public schools don't typically require things like AP or subject tests (though the AP's will give them more freedom later).

 

Seriously, a graduate degree with no debt is the only way to make liberal arts fields pay off, most likely by teaching or doing creative work herself in those fields. And public schools CAN be a really great way to do that. Look into it, even if it's only to prove that I'm wrong.

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I don't know if all states are like this, but in Texas as long as you can get a 1500 on the SAT (don't know about ACT, mine didn't take that), you do NOT have to follow the traditional "plan." All you have to do is print out a form that says your student scored 1500+ and it is considered equivalent to a rigorous high school program. I can't remember the exact wording, but it's similar. Does that help?

 

I looked up the law, and it is, of course, confusing, but I'm not sure you are understanding it correctly. As I read it, it says that in order to be considered for acceptance to college in Texas, you must at the very least, either have gone to some kind of accredited high school, or gotten 1500 on the SAT.

 

1500 SAT doesn't guarantee entrance in any way to any school, as I read it. However, if you don't get 1500, you need some kind of waiver. (e.g. If you can throw a football a mile...) It looks like for UT-Austin, a 1500 would put you somewhere in the lower 10% of the class, and I'm sure that very few students with 1500 SAT scores are accepted there.

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I looked up the law, and it is, of course, confusing, but I'm not sure you are understanding it correctly. As I read it, it says that in order to be considered for acceptance to college in Texas, you must at the very least, either have gone to some kind of accredited high school, or gotten 1500 on the SAT.

 

1500 SAT doesn't guarantee entrance in any way to any school, as I read it. However, if you don't get 1500, you need some kind of waiver. (e.g. If you can throw a football a mile...) It looks like for UT-Austin, a 1500 would put you somewhere in the lower 10% of the class, and I'm sure that very few students with 1500 SAT scores are accepted there.

 

Yep, I live in Texas. AS a matter of fact, if you are not in the TOP ten percent of your class, you will have a hard time getting accepted. They passed a law several years ago saying that all Texas state schools had to automatically accept the top 10 percent of high school graduates. I believe they did this so that more minorities could get in. I can almost guarantee you that someone in the top 25 percent of a suburban school district like Plano got a better education than the top 10 percent of Dallas ISD. Basically, it was filling up UT and other state schools. I'm not sure what you have to do to get in if you are a homeschooler... They have capped it but I don't know what the figure is anymore... maybe 80 percent of so can be filled by top 10 percent. Anyway, I understand what they want to do, but it makes it hard for homeschoolers or ps kids who are not in the top 10 percent of a really tough school.

 

Texas House Bill 588, commonly referred to as the "Top 10% Rule", is a Texas law passed in 1997.

The law guarantees Texas students who graduated in the top ten percent of their high school class automatic admission to all state-funded universities. The bill was created as a means to avoid the stipulations from the Hopwood v. Texas case banning the use of affirmative action.

The law only guarantees admission into university. Students must still find the means to pay, and may not achieve their desired choice of major. (Another existing law, which preceded 588, provides a full tuition scholarship for the class valedictorian of a Texas high school for their freshman year at a state public school.)

The law has drawn praise and criticism alike. Supporters of the rule argue that it ensures geographic and ethnic diversity in public universities. They also point out that students admitted under the legislation performed better in college than their counterparts.[1] The law has been blamed for keeping students not in the top ten percent but with other credentials, such as high SAT scores or leadership and extracurricular experience, out of the larger "flagship" state universities, such as The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) and Texas A&M University. UT-Austin has argued for several years that the law has come to account for too many of its entering students, with 81 percent of the 2008 freshmen having enrolled under it.[2]

Some administrators, such as former University of Texas at Austin president Larry Faulkner, have advocated capping the number of top ten percent students for any year at one half of the incoming class. Others have suggested a move to a top seven percent law. However, until May 2009 the Texas Legislature had not revised the law in any way since its inception. A 2007 measure (HB78) was introduced during the 80th Regular Session (2007) but never made it out of committee.

Under legislation approved in May 2009 by the Texas House as part of the 81st Regular Session (Senate Bill 175), UT-Austin (but no other state universities) was allowed to trim the number of students it accepts under the 10% rule; UT-Austin could limit those students to 75 percent of entering in-state freshmen from Texas. The university would admit the top 1 percent, the top 2 percent and so forth until the cap is reached, beginning with the 2011 entering class. UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and UT-Austin President William Powers Jr. had sought a cap of about 50 percent, but lawmakers (led by Representatives Dan Branch (R-Dallas) and Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio)) brokered the compromise.

A study by Julie Berry Cullen et al. (2011) found that the law created a perverse incentive for students to transfer to a high school with lower-achieving peers, in order to graduate in that school's top percent

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Yikes!

I've heard the same about top high schools and top colleges. A top college is unlikely to accept two students from the same top high school, so you might be better off at a not-so-good high school where you will be the top student. This is a very depressing idea. Sometimes it is better not to play the game.

Nan

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