Jump to content

Menu

Where DS goes to school, the counselor is now recommending...


Recommended Posts

that they apply to only 3 schools.  Only 3?  That's seems crazy to me.  I get it that the school is a wealthier private school so most kids can write the check to their safe school if they don't get into the other 2, but there are also families who need to compare financial options.  What do ya'll think?  Does 3 seem narrow to you?  Her recommendation is one safe, one fit, one reach.  With the record number of applications though, kids are getting turned away from fit schools all day long.

Edited by Attolia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no problem with applying to more schools if it is somewhere your student would prefer to be over you safe school.

 

If you get turned down from #1 and 2, but have a 3 and 4 ranked higher than your safe school, you shouldn't have to go to your safe school just because you got turned down to the first two.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it can be that simple. It depends on the situation. My eldest applied to three - one fit and two safeties. My 11th grade dd is currently planning to apply to three -- two fits and one safety. But my dd 13 will likely apply to 10 or 12 schools. She has a totally different set of priorities.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends completely on the goals.

DS applied to one school, and then a second because I made him do that as a backup.

DD applied to 12 schools because many of them had tiny acceptance rates.

 

For a student who is applying to schools with single digit acceptance rates, three is too few.

For a student who is fine going to the state flagship, one total is sufficient.

For students with other goals, three may be just the right number.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well then I guess it does seem that way to you  :lol:

You must have felt confident about acceptance and finances  :tongue_smilie:

 

There are schools where acceptance is pretty much a given. I think that most colleges are like this. It's the selective ones that are the exception, not the other way round.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the student. And maybe on the state? I think it would be a rare and probably very foolhardy student here who would only apply to the state flagship. Ours is a "public ivy" and so admission is very competitive.

 

DS21 applied to seven schools, five with quite competitive admissions, two academic safeties and one academic and financial safety.

 

DS18 applied to three. All were academic safeties, two were also financial safeties. But they're the only three schools he was interested in. So three worked fine for him.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that 3 is way too low for students applying to competitive schools. I think my ds applied to 12 (can't remember the exact number), and his public school guidance counselor (he attends part-time) wanted him to shorten his list. However he had schools with single digit acceptance rates, so we wanted him to also have some more moderate choices in addition to the state school safety. She also didn't want him to have more than 2 letters of recommendation even though the common app allows for more. Luckily he did not feel obligated to take her advice.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the student. And maybe on the state? I think it would be a rare and probably very foolhardy student here who would only apply to the state flagship. Ours is a "public ivy" and so admission is very competitive.

 

 

 

This is exactly my concern. DS really wants to go to Carolina or NC State, our two big state schools but both of those are competitive to get into.  Neither is a guarantee.  He is a good tester but he attends a very rigorous school and this pulls his GPA down.  Do colleges know the difference between a run of the mill public school GPA and the GPA at a very challenging school? All I can do is hope so!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The number is highly situation-dependent.

 

Dd1 applied to a bunch because we needed her to receive plenty of merit aid and we had no idea how desirable an applicant she was.

 

Ds1 applied to a bunch for the same reasons.

 

Ds2 applied ED to a tuition-free school, so he knew before Thanksgiving that he was in and we could afford it.

 

Dd2 applied to a bunch for the same reasons as dd1.

 

If you do not need to play the merit aid game, you may apply to fewer schools, but merit aid is fairly random and can't be counted on, so you really do need to apply to a bunch of schools! Ditto for competitive schools. (Dd1 received a full-tuition offer from a top-20 LAC and didn't even get accepted by a similarly-ranked LAC. Go figure!)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is exactly my concern. DS really wants to go to Carolina or NC State, our two big state schools but both of those are competitive to get into.  Neither is a guarantee.  He is a good tester but he attends a very rigorous school and this pulls his GPA down.  Do colleges know the difference between a run of the mill public school GPA and the GPA at a very challenging school? All I can do is hope so!

 

I think they do. All the admissions counselors for state universities we've talked to have had specific counties they handle. So they're quite familiar with the individual high schools.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three is too few if a student is trying for competitive schools unless the second or third choice school is a public safety.

 

Oldest ds applied to 10.  He was still a little unsure of what he wanted and many of those were private schools that didn't publicize merit aid cutoffs or guaranteed scholarships. In fact, the school he ended up at (happily) was a late add on that was easy because it was common app.  I told him to just apply and maybe we'd check it out.  It ended up being his best fit and best financial deal.  Out of 10 schools he applied to it was probably 8th at best when application season began.  So the wide net was good for him.

 

Next ds might apply to only one.  It is an in state public school.  Acceptance is safe and automatic merit aid based on ACT scores is published online.  He knows he will get in and get great scholarships.  Dh and I are happy with the school.  If , as parents, we had reservations we might  require another application or two. Right now I worry that forcing any further applications would muddy the water with a less desirable or more expensive school.  So he might just apply to one.

 

This is highly individual but three is too few if shooting for competitive schools or if merit aid is a mystery.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely too risky from my perspective. My kids need merit $$ which is often extremely competitive. It looks like my Dd will be going to the second school she applied to, but she had no way of knowing if she would get the scholarship she needed. They told us at scholarship weekend that they started off serious review of applications with around 4000 qualified applicants for 46 scholarships, definitely no way to count on that. Wo the scholarship, she couldn't attend.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that they apply to only 3 schools.  Only 3?  That's seems crazy to me.  I get it that the school is a wealthier private school so most kids can write the check to their safe school if they don't get into the other 2, but there are also families who need to compare financial options.  What do ya'll think?  Does 3 seem narrow to you?  Her recommendation is one safe, one fit, one reach.  With the record number of applications though, kids are getting turned away from fit schools all day long.

 

That advice looks dangerously old-fashioned to me... Back in the day, I applied to Duke, Wake, UNC, and State... but UNC and State were both rolling admissions schools then... very much unlike now. So, if you didn't get in you'd know in the Fall and could still apply at branch campuses... or if you got in could aim higher with a sure back up plan. These days I think 3 is way too few. In NC, assuming I could afford my EFC, with a normal bright kid, I'd apply to a branch campus like App and/or ECU as a safety, UNC and State as a fit, and one or two private schools with the possibility of aid. So 4-6 schools as a minimum in most cases.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As general advice I think it's shortsighted.  Specifically, though, for some students, one is enough.  If your kid is a very good student and would get a guaranteed full ride + at a flagship state school, and you know for certain you couldn't afford the EFC or anywhere close to it of any very selective school, then your kid might only have one great option, and it would be a guaranteed option.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As general advice I think it's shortsighted.  Specifically, though, for some students, one is enough.  If your kid is a very good student and would get a guaranteed full ride + at a flagship state school, and you know for certain you couldn't afford the EFC or anywhere close to it of any very selective school, then your kid might only have one great option, and it would be a guaranteed option.

 

 

Are there states where this is true?  The problem in NC is that the public school that gives good merit aid and need aid is also a top 30 school.  When I run EFCs for other state schools, they are high.  It kind of puts us between a rock and a hard place.  When the state school we know we can afford is not a guaranteed safety for anyone, especially my DS.

Edited by Attolia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about today; when I was in school 12 years ago KU (Kansas) was a guaranteed full ride for NM scholars.  It looks like it still more or less is for in-state students, with an ACT of 32 and a GPA of 3.85 (plus national merit).  Things have definitely gotten tighter, though.

 

Looks like Kentucky, Idaho, Oklahoma all do full rides for national merit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about today; when I was in school 12 years ago KU (Kansas) was a guaranteed full ride for NM scholars. It looks like it still more or less is for in-state students, with an ACT of 32 and a GPA of 3.85 (plus national merit). Things have definitely gotten tighter, though.

 

Looks like Kentucky, Idaho, Oklahoma all do full rides for national merit.

KY is talking about eliminating their NM scholarship for 2018 applicants. OK is not full ride, but full tuition+. It is about $7000-8000/ yr. (still low cost, but definitely not $0.)

 

Scholarships change yr to yr. One school changed their policy mid application cycle.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about today; when I was in school 12 years ago KU (Kansas) was a guaranteed full ride for NM scholars.  It looks like it still more or less is for in-state students, with an ACT of 32 and a GPA of 3.85 (plus national merit).  Things have definitely gotten tighter, though.

 

Looks like Kentucky, Idaho, Oklahoma all do full rides for national merit.

 

Guaranteed full rides have always been rare.

 

25+ years ago the only full ride at UNC was the Morehead, which requires school nomination of a single kid and the offered like ~12 scholarships total. State had no university wide full ride scholarship. Since then State has added the Park and UVA has added the Jefferson. So there are more scholarships out there now but they are insanely competetive and by no means guaranteed.

 

Here in MN, as a NMF you *might* get full tuition or a bit more. When we lived in WA, UW was stingy and didn't really have any meaningful scholarships. States that have guaranteed scholarships are more the exception than the rule.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ds's public charter required a MIMINUM of three applications. The school promotes itself with a 100% college acceptance rate, so they insist on three (which are advised upon) so that claim can be legitimately made. Not all go (most do, but some choose military instead), but all get accepted.

 

Ds applied to 11 - 3 safeties, 2 matches, and 6 reaches. Matches can be hard to determine for high stats kids. I am a fan of 8. 2 safeties (always nice for the student to still have a choice), 3 matches, and 3 reaches.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect the school is trying to cut back on the work for the guidance counselor and teachers. Even with the Common App, there can be a good bit of administrative work for a kid with many applications. They also may be trying to spread the opportunities among their students; some colleges will not admit multiple students from the same school.

 

That said, Regentrude had a good analysis above. Three will be fine for some. It would not have worked for my two daughters' situations though.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO, it totally depends upon circumstances.

 

DD1 applied to something like 8-10 universities. We narrowed it down to those schools - all schools where she thought she could be happy - and after that point, we were "chasing the money."

 

DD2 will quite possibly wind up only applying to one school (at this time, it's the only school she is is remotely interested in because it has a very specific program she is interested in) and I will pray heavily for talent-based scholarship - and she will work hard for that talent-based scholarship, lol (it is a pricey-for-around-here private university). And she will probably apply for outside scholarships AND have to have a part time job to offset costs.

 

So. Totally different "right" scenarios for two totally different daughters.

 

DS, I predict, will be applying to 8+ schools like sister#1. They are very similar.

Edited by hopskipjump
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that they apply to only 3 schools.  Only 3?  That's seems crazy to me.  I get it that the school is a wealthier private school so most kids can write the check to their safe school if they don't get into the other 2, but there are also families who need to compare financial options.  What do ya'll think?  Does 3 seem narrow to you?  Her recommendation is one safe, one fit, one reach.  With the record number of applications though, kids are getting turned away from fit schools all day long.

 

Is this a new policy or has the school always operated this way?  What is the school's track record of getting students accepted to the 3 schools they apply to?  Some of the elite private schools have very strong relationships with admission offices at the highly selective schools, and acceptance rates are extremely high.  The guidance counselors work with the families to predetermine which students are going to apply to which schools, so if Jack is applying to Yale, they will not let Jeff apply as well. 

 

Is this how your private school operates?  If so, only applying to three schools (provided the NPC are reliable for your situation) wouldn't make me that nervous.  If your counselor doesn't have a strong relationship with the colleges, then 3 schools may not be enough.

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first thought is that sounds like a lazy Guidance Counselor... but I wouldn't actually say that to anyone there - only on here where I'm not "known."

 

Is it just a recommendation or are they making it a rule?  I've heard of schools limiting apps to 6 or 8, but never as few as 3.

 

That said, my oldest applied to 3, middle to 6, and youngest to 1.  As Regentrude said so well above - different students, different needs.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only with a kid who knows exactly what they want, knows exactly what they can pay, and has excellent advising on admissions and financial aid chances.

 

My kid did 4: one safety, two match, one low reach.

 

But they were all liberal arts colleges, and she knew she wanted a strong art department and wasn't going to radically change her major, and we educated ourselves about financial aid early.

 

The consequences of missing -- realizing too late in the game that maybe the big football schools aren't the best match for what you want to do after graduation, or that you're not the special snowflake colleges fight over after all, or that the price tags have really gone up and the financial aid office thinks you're made of money -- are significant, and applying broadly helps mitigate the risks a bit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When DS1 applied to colleges, he was also applying for a Navy ROTC scholarship.  The scholarship app allows a student to list up to 5 schools with ROTC units that the student would be willing to attend if awarded the scholarship.  (The scholarship assigns the student to the ROTC unit at a specific school.  Transfer requests are permitted, but transferring the scholarship to another school's unit isn't guaranteed.)

 

It was a useful exercise.  It really required ds to consider which schools most met his criteria of major, location and other factors.  He had one reach school on the list, but even that school was one where he was in the middle 50% of the accepted student stats, not the bottom 10-25%.  He was accepted to 4 of the 5 schools on his list.

 

DS2 also went through the same winnowing to 5 exercise, but for him it was more challenging.  He does not intend to be a STEM major, so his 5 schools are focused on colleges where he could use the Navy ROTC LREC scholarship (which requires the school have certain specific majors and language opportunities).  However, because he was only listing schools with specific majors and because the scholarship is a real long shot, he also has a number of schools he is applying to that have majors that are a good fit for his interests, but don't meet the narrower requirement of the LREC scholarship.  His plan B is to go to one of those schools, participate in ROTC in a non-scholarship status and continue to apply to 3 and 2 year scholarships.  

 

DS2 is a high stat student who is able to get into some very good schools, but we aren't able/willing to pay for them in the absence of a large merit award or ROTC scholarship.  So he mentally categorized schools like Stanford, Wash U, Georgetown, and U of Chicago as filling a single slot, with a remaining need to apply to several other schools that were closer to match in terms of acceptance rates and others that were clear safeties.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this a new policy or has the school always operated this way?  What is the school's track record of getting students accepted to the 3 schools they apply to?  Some of the elite private schools have very strong relationships with admission offices at the highly selective schools, and acceptance rates are extremely high.  The guidance counselors work with the families to predetermine which students are going to apply to which schools, so if Jack is applying to Yale, they will not let Jeff apply as well. 

 

Is this how your private school operates?  If so, only applying to three schools (provided the NPC are reliable for your situation) wouldn't make me that nervous.  If your counselor doesn't have a strong relationship with the colleges, then 3 schools may not be enough.

 

 

 

I think it must be new because he said that the students last year were recommended to apply to 6 schools, 2 safe, 2 fit, 2 reach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is highly individual.  There are many variables to consider, including how certain is student about what type of school she wants to attend, what is the student's academic record, what are the family finances, what are the acceptance rates at the schools, what are the students backup plans. 

 

I have seen many high school students applying to too many schools, getting overwhelmed with the application process, and not really thinking through why they are applying to the schools they are applying to.  I don't even agree with the you should apply to 2 reach, 2 fit, and a safety.  If a student really is interested in a "fit" school, it meets their academic needs, it meets their emotional requirements (location, size, extracurricular, environment, etc) and it meets the family's financial needs there is no need to apply to a "reach" school (often done so the school can brag) if the student doesn't have one that they would be likely to attend if accepted.

 

DD applied to five schools-- the list changed a lot from junior year to when she was actually a senior ready to apply.  Some of the places she had been interested in dropped from the list.  She applied to two all-women's schools, one large school, and two small LAC--she was still undecided whether she wanted to go to an all-women's school so she wanted a variety of options. 

 

DS only applied to one school early decision; it is where he really wanted to go; he could have applied to some "reach" schools but when it came down to it, he knew he wouldn't want to go to any of them.  He was fairly certain he would get into the one school.  If he did not, he still had months that he could apply to the local university and get in. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, we only went with applying to ONE school, so anything above that seems like a lot to me. ;)

 

But seriously, 3 is fine. But if that doesn't cover all the schools your student is interested in, applying to 6 schools is the "new normal". While many students apply to 12 or more, that's excessive.

 

As long as you're got a safety, a match, and a reach, and you're applying to all the places that are a good fit as far as degree program, campus life, financial aid, and any other considerations that are important to your family, the number of applications that makes all that happen is really up to you. :)

 

 

ETA - P.S.

Read through the rest of the thread, and I see you also mention other circumstances, so you're wise to go with more than 3. Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked someone at a private school in a medium sized town about their recommendation.  She said they are rethinking their recommendations.  They have seen a trend toward applying to more schools and the amount of energy and time being put into college applications.  They are concerned that for some students the time, energy, and stress of college tours, college applications, etc. is distracting from academic college preparation (and their high school classes).  They have found that while they can state that their students were accepted to a long list of schools and had combined scholarship offers of a huge amount (these statistics are generally all added together across schools--so if one student was accepted to 10 colleges and received $20,000 a year scholarship to each of those schools, that counts as 10 acceptances and adds $800,000 to the scholarship count), 2/3 to 3/4 of their students still ended up going to one of 2 universities:  the local state university or the state flagship university.  Those who ultimately went to another university were outliers who usually had some connection with the university they attended (parents went there, was near where grandparents lived, had an academic program of special interest, etc.)

 

I have no idea how typical that high school's distribution of graduates across universities is.  My guess is it would vary quite a bit depending on the quality, availability, and distance of universities in the state.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the situation. In the end, my two oldest each applied only to one school because their top choice school was a safety and had rolling admissions. We knew they were in two weeks after applying. 

 

My youngest applied to four schools. Three were out-of-state and one of those was a financial safety (projected scholarship made it the same cost as staying in-state). The in-state was in case none of the out-of-state offered sufficient scholarships. All four accepted, but only the in-state and the out-of-state financial safety were financially feasible.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that they apply to only 3 schools.  Only 3?  That's seems crazy to me.  I get it that the school is a wealthier private school so most kids can write the check to their safe school if they don't get into the other 2, but there are also families who need to compare financial options.  What do ya'll think?  Does 3 seem narrow to you?  Her recommendation is one safe, one fit, one reach.  With the record number of applications though, kids are getting turned away from fit schools all day long.

 

I think that advice is out of touch with the current college admissions environment. I would suspect budget cuts are restricting the admissions counselors' time to complete application materials, or that the admissions counselor has not had recent training, or that they are using the current students as guinea pigs to test their theory that "students apply to too many colleges these days."

 

ETA: Obviously, I don't think everyone needs to apply to more than three, or even three. But there is a big difference between what a homeschooler decides for their one child and what a school sets as a blanket recommendation for their students.

Edited by angela in ohio
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

that they apply to only 3 schools. Only 3? That's seems crazy to me. I get it that the school is a wealthier private school so most kids can write the check to their safe school if they don't get into the other 2, but there are also families who need to compare financial options. What do ya'll think? Does 3 seem narrow to you? Her recommendation is one safe, one fit, one reach. With the record number of applications though, kids are getting turned away from fit schools all day long.

Dd applied to 4, but she should have really just applied to 2. By the time we were waiting on acceptances, she had decided that she had no desire to go to 2 of the schools.

 

You have to freedom to do whatever you want, but I don't see 3 as unreasonable.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked someone at a private school in a medium sized town about their recommendation. She said they are rethinking their recommendations. They have seen a trend toward applying to more schools and the amount of energy and time being put into college applications. They are concerned that for some students the time, energy, and stress of college tours, college applications, etc. is distracting from academic college preparation (and their high school classes). They have found that while they can state that their students were accepted to a long list of schools and had combined scholarship offers of a huge amount (these statistics are generally all added together across schools--so if one student was accepted to 10 colleges and received $20,000 a year scholarship to each of those schools, that counts as 10 acceptances and adds $800,000 to the scholarship count), 2/3 to 3/4 of their students still ended up going to one of 2 universities: the local state university or the state flagship university. Those who ultimately went to another university were outliers who usually had some connection with the university they attended (parents went there, was near where grandparents lived, had an academic program of special interest, etc.)

 

I have no idea how typical that high school's distribution of graduates across universities is. My guess is it would vary quite a bit depending on the quality, availability, and distance of universities in the state.

Those stats are interesting. I'd also love to see 2nd year stats. Of dd's friends who went out of state for college, about 1/2 didn't return for their sophomore year. The kids who went to more local schools are all still enrolled. Edited by Sassenach
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this was just a general, broad suggestion rather than a limit or strong recommendation?  A *one-size-fits-all limit* of 3 would be absurd.  It may be enough for many students, maybe even most at a particular school, but for certain types of student situations, it would be far too limiting and utterly lacking in wisdom and good judgment.

 

Alternatively, maybe the school in question works super carefully with early admission apps?

 

Next week we (sophomore parents) have our first event with college counselors at our kids' private school.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they say, though my guess is there won't be anything I don't already happen to know.  The school typically sends kids to colleges in all 50 states ranging from some elite colleges to the state flagship to community colleges, so I doubt there will be limits or one-size-fits-all numbers.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those stats are interesting. I'd also love to see 2nd year stats. Of dd's friends who went out of state for college, about 1/2 didn't return for their sophomore year. The kids who went to more local schools are all still enrolled.

 

That's really strange and not at all what we see from our high school.  Those who opt to go out of state (or farther away/private in state) tend to be the most "committed" students and it's rare that they return or drop out (not unheard of, but certainly not approaching 50% - maybe 5%).  Those who go to local state schools may or may not stay in and complete 4 years.  Even that isn't approaching 50%, but most who drop out, do so from those schools.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If one takes a quick look at graduation stats (via college board), it tends to support more dropping out from local state schools...

 

Here's one of our common places - 6 year graduation rate of 56%:

 

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/shippensburg-university-of-pennsylvania

 

Here's a local CTCL school several of our students attend - 67% 6 year graduation rate:

 

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/mc-daniel-college

 

Here's the OOS (for us) private middle son attends - a Top 30 school - 86% 6 year graduation rate:

 

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/university-of-rochester

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I'd say lazy counselor. 

 

I think that is way too low for most kids. For example, kids aiming towards an Academy. Total lottery, so you can't count on any of them. If you want an Academy, that means ROTC, which means you must apply to a whole pile of schools. And then there's the state school with probably not much money, compared to the well-endowed private school, but you don't know how much $$ you'll get. So, for many of mine: 3 Academies, 3-6 ROTC schools, and then a safety or two. And the Academies and ROTC processes have MANY, many parts to them. Welcome to life as a junior and senior. 

 

I warned the NARHS lady what we were doing, and her response, "How bad can it be?" Well, bad. She rued the day... 

 

 

I really think it only works for families who a) are game for writing a full ticket check AND  (b) know that one of their favorite schools is a solid safety with no doubt whatsoever. 

We needed to compare $$$ and the best financial options for dd were reaches so dd applied to 11 schools.  The safeties for admissions have been the worst financially.  She is in the running for merit aid, but she might not make it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know, we never put much trust in our local PS guidance counselors.  They seem to go pretty much by the book and don't take into account individual circumstances.  For example, they thought it was a horrible idea that our kids were all taking off a year before continuing to college.  But that year was probably the one of the best things our kids did before entering college.  Counselors just couldn't wrap their heads around that.

 

So anyway, bottom line is that you do what works out best for you.  A couple of our kids only applied at one college, another at three, and another at six, and it was all good.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think 3 is just fine...  But then we were not applying to Princeton, Yale, etc.  My boys got accepted to all three of their choices.   Each of them had a choice that started accepting people in the summer.  ( Like Letourneau) So we knew they had one.  We knew they qualified for automatice academic aid at all three as well.  I think it is fine. 

 

Just to clarify - you think it's fine for all kids at this school?  Or just kids looking to stay lower/safety level admission-wise and who can afford to pay for those schools?

 

Many families have difficulties paying for colleges even if their kids get accepted, and at schools they can afford (due to very generous need based aid), acceptance rates are rather low.  Often they don't know what is most affordable until quite late in the game.  For those students, 3 possibilities sure isn't many.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps it is the area that I am in,

 

...  

 

Edited to add, just saw that she said this was a wealthy school.  Then it really isn't a problem unlessl they are applying to Stanford, Princeton, etc.    If they are applying to schools like Baylor, TCU, Letourneau etc., then there is no problem at all.  It just depends on what schools they are applying to.  

 

No offense, but it really is the area you are in (TX) and that you've been able to save a bit for college.

 

There are plenty of states that aren't all that great with aid and there are plenty of people who aren't able to save all that much for college.  For kids with high stats - tippy top high - top 2 or 3% in scores - there are usually affordable options that are guarantees, but roughly 96 - 97% of students don't fall into that category of tippy top high scores.  Then too, around here, many of those guarantees are far from home and not necessarily where one hopes to go.  Having other options that might come through is nice.

 

Actually... as I google to see costs in TX... they still look out of range for many parents I come into contact with:

 

http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/collegecosts.cfm?Type=1&Level=1

 

I work in a public high school... at our school roughly one third are on free or reduced lunch (I just looked up stats).  That can be pretty low among high schools (some have 80%+ on free or reduced lunch).  Parents who fit into that lower income category can't easily save for college.  Parents just above that income category can't either.  Their kids, if they do well, ought to be able to try for colleges with significant financial aid.  Our state schools provide some, but nowhere near meeting need (even as per FAFSA).  One can only borrow $5500/$7500 per year.  Other states are better at this, but not most of them.

 

Some students can easily get by with 1-3 applications, but others need to have options of trying for more for both financial and low acceptance rate reasons.  A school should realize that and act accordingly.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps it is the area that I am in, but there are many decent options around within an hour: SFA, UT Tyler, Letourneau, Louisiana Tech, ETBU. None of those are particularly difficult to get into. With the exception of Letourneau, they all give very good financial aid and/or service/leadership money. For Letourneau, you would need to live at home to make it affordable probably. I've heard of many kids getting into aTm from our local high school, so it must not be too hard. Lots of people around here just apply to aTm, UT Tyler and SFA.

 

Now for us, we have more funds because we have been saving since each child was a few months old. My oldest applied to TCU, Baylor and Letourneau. He went to Baylor with academic scholarships. I won't lie . It was fairly expensive, but we had saved and it all came out of his 529. He is graduating this year and his fund is tapped out.

 

Middle one applied to Baylor and I cannot remember if he applied anywhere else. He hated his visit to TCU.. Then in the spring decided to go to ETBU. He got a very nice academic and leadership package as well . Plus, since he is going to be a pastor, he gets a stipend each semester from the Baptist association or something. It has made his cost quite affordable. It would be free if he lived at home.

 

Now if you want to go to UT, yes make a back up plan. But for a decent student, the other state schools are affordable and easy to get into.

 

At our horrible local high school, getting in doesn't seem to be a problem, staying in and passing is. They are in no way prepared.

 

Edited to add, just saw that she said this was a wealthy school. Then it really isn't a problem unlessl they are applying to Stanford, Princeton, etc. If they are applying to schools like Baylor, TCU, Letourneau etc., then there is no problem at all. It just depends on what schools they are applying to.

If only it was that simple for all students. My Dd is graduating from high school at an advanced level in French and intermediate level in Russian. There is not a single in-state university that offers Russian at an advanced enough level to allow her to make significant progress. That meant OOS or private schools were her only option and we had to find one that fit our shoe string budget. It required applying broadly to ensure ending up with one we could afford.

 

Not every student fits a simple profile. A 3 school limit for everyone is grossly unrealistic.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No offense, but it really is the area you are in (TX) and that you've been able to save a bit for college.

 

There are plenty of states that aren't all that great with aid and there are plenty of people who aren't able to save all that much for college.  For kids with high stats - tippy top high - top 2 or 3% in scores - there are usually affordable options that are guarantees, but roughly 96 - 97% of students don't fall into that category of tippy top high scores.  Then too, around here, many of those guarantees are far from home and not necessarily where one hopes to go.  Having other options that might come through is nice.

 

Actually... as I google to see costs in TX... they still look out of range for many parents I come into contact with:

 

http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/collegecosts.cfm?Type=1&Level=1

 

I work in a public high school... at our school roughly one third are on free or reduced lunch (I just looked up stats).  That can be pretty low among high schools (some have 80%+ on free or reduced lunch).  Parents who fit into that lower income category can't easily save for college.  Parents just above that income category can't either.  Their kids, if they do well, ought to be able to try for colleges with significant financial aid.  Our state schools provide some, but nowhere near meeting need (even as per FAFSA).  One can only borrow $5500/$7500 per year.  Other states are better at this, but not most of them.

 

Some students can easily get by with 1-3 applications, but others need to have options of trying for more for both financial and low acceptance rate reasons.  A school should realize that and act accordingly.

This!

 

And for the record, when dh was injured one year and going to miss some work and be on short term disability so lower pay, I went back to work for a year and one of my gigs was as a part-time guidance counselor plus chemistry and algebra teacher at a private school. I took it upon myself to attend some conferences for guidance counselors.

 

Guess what? Most of them don't know what they are talking about. The whole career has changed to being the person that deals with all of the discipline problems the principal doesn't want to fool with. The paper pushing and red tape crap they deal with is far beyond what you would imagine. They spend almost no time at ALL staying up on current trends in college admission, professional licensing, trade school requirements, etc. Most of them are giving out REALLY outdated advice. Every conference I went to was more about how to make peace between parents and teachers, parents and principals, get a problem kid you don't want to keep expelled, running and efficient after school detention program, new federal and state rules, the paperwork related to these policies, etc. Not one time. NOT ONCE. Did the speakers ever talk about advising students, college admissions, trade school options, or anything else. Not once.

 

Don't take their advice. They are good people, but they don't know what they are talking about. The annual "speech" to seniors about college admissions is a show put on to make parents think their kids are getting good advice at school, but I've known so many kids who were given the worst possible advice for their situation from school guidance counselors that I have come to the conclusion that no one's students should be consulting them UNLESS your student is attending a prep school or one of the high schools in the top 700 in the nation. Those schools definitely stay on top of this stuff or they wouldn't be in that group of tippy top schools. The vast majority of students in this country should not be listening to their school guidance counselor.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This!

 

And for the record, when dh was injured one year and going to miss some work and be on short term disability so lower pay, I went back to work for a year and one of my gigs was as a part-time guidance counselor plus chemistry and algebra teacher at a private school. I took it upon myself to attend some conferences for guidance counselors.

 

Guess what? Most of them don't know what they are talking about. The whole career has changed to being the person that deals with all of the discipline problems the principal doesn't want to fool with. The paper pushing and red tape crap they deal with is far beyond what you would imagine. They spend almost no time at ALL staying up on current trends in college admission, professional licensing, trade school requirements, etc. Most of them are giving out REALLY outdated advice. Every conference I went to was more about how to make peace between parents and teachers, parents and principals, get a problem kid you don't want to keep expelled, running and efficient after school detention program, new federal and state rules, the paperwork related to these policies, etc. Not one time. NOT ONCE. Did the speakers ever talk about advising students, college admissions, trade school options, or anything else. Not once.

 

Don't take their advice. They are good people, but they don't know what they are talking about. The annual "speech" to seniors about college admissions is a show put on to make parents think their kids are getting good advice at school, but I've known so many kids who were given the worst possible advice for their situation from school guidance counselors that I have come to the conclusion that no one's students should be consulting them UNLESS your student is attending a prep school or one of the high schools in the top 700 in the nation. Those schools definitely stay on top of this stuff or they wouldn't be in that group of tippy top schools. The vast majority of students in this country should not be listening to their school guidance counselor.

 

I would definitely recommend to anyone that they confirm any information given to them by guidance counselors. DH and I went to the public school information session last year for juniors getting ready to apply to colleges. They had some good information, some slightly misleading information, and some downright incorrect information.

 

I will add that this is a relatively small public high school where (according to the school profile) only 47% of the students go on to 4-year colleges. And most of the kids who go to 4 year colleges go to state schools. So for the vast majority of the students the information they gave out was fine. DH told me afterwards how grateful he was that I had done so much research, and I was able to tell what was correct and what wasn't.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guidance counselor thing is so bad here that at our local high school, the teachers have taken over, brought themselves up to date on the real process and issues, and now offer some Saturday seminars and help for seniors. It is really nice of them to do this because the administration is not paying them for their time.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see a guidance counselor making this a recommendation in response to thinking the college app process has become crazy and taken over senior year for so many people. That's fine in theory but not for the individual kids.

 

Yes, college application season has gotten crazy, in my opinion. But I'm not going to just sit it out on principle and let my kid miss out because I have limited the options. It just isn't realistic for many kids.

 

First kid applied to ten schools. Next is planning on applying to exactly one. Same family dynamic. Same quality student. Same economic situation. Totally different kids with different needs.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of them don't know what they are talking about. 

...

Don't take their advice. They are good people, but they don't know what they are talking about. 

 

As a PSA, remember don't trust pre-med advisors at colleges either - even top colleges.  Check their credentials as apparently many are hired with no background for their job and no desire to learn about it.  We're still reeling...  What we are finding from (multiple) knowledgeable people vs what my guy was told from his college's advisors keeps our heads spinning.  It's making the knowledgeable folks' heads spin too.  There is absolutely no reason my guy should be needing one more year before starting med school.  It's 100% due to bad advising - incorrect info - and he's not the only one affected (this year or other years).

 

On the plus side, next year things should be very different... but still, it's another year of his life for an already long commitment, esp since he's already taken an extra year.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...