Jump to content

Menu

"Where's Harvard?"


Recommended Posts

she sounds very wise.  i had trouble even waking up for class. i had a 9am honors calculus class tuesday - thursday - saturday.  oh boyy..and laundry,  ouch,  i still remember the time my roommate added his red socks to my whites.

 

i also identify with the fun of being in the hearts card game every night.  the main problem was that as a nerd, i had never before been in an environment where my peers were my classmates.  In high school it was " what did you get on the test?..,,..,I hate you!"  In college everyone had the props to hold their own on a test.  and my scores did not intimidate anyone.

 

Yeah........  Spring freshman year, I missed most lectures.  10am/11am plus more of another class that might've been at 2pm.  And I even lived in a dorm that was in the middle of campus.  And once you're behind, you've no clue what's going on.  It was Pass/Fail, but I still got Bs in most of the classes.  Not exactly a good wakeup call.

 

I do think I must've made a decent amount of the fall classes, but I don't remember for sure.  But by spring all good habits were out the door. 

 

Such a waste.  I didn't get back into the groove until my 5th year in college.  Had taken a year off and made a decision to go to every class from there on out.  But my sleep cycle was completely wrecked (I worked that year for a software company that refused to buy enough computers for everyone so I worked a graveyard shift to get dedicated time on the computer I needed).  

 

So many things I wish I could do over again.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that the thread is light-hearted, but I am throwing in a cautionary tale bc of how many heartbreak threads I have read on CC over the past few yrs. What is cute and funny at 8-11 can turn into single-minded ambition tied up in self-identity in high school.

 

For those who haven't been through the college app process in the past few yrs, it is nothing like applying to college when you applied to college. Stellar, top-notch, extremely gifted students are rejected from top schools every single yr. Test scores and even college level classes in middle school are not enough to get accepted.

 

Costs are outrageous. If you haven't run any net price calculators for colleges, you might want to run a few before your kids become too enamored. The idea that tippy top colleges are generous and therefore affordable is not true for all families. It certainly not true for ours bc they don't care that we have 8 kids spread over 21 yrs. If we paid what they expected, we would be destitute at retirement age bc it would consume the equivalent of close to 8-9 yrs of gross income, not net, and there would be no way to save.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When ds was choosing between CMU and Columbia, dd13 said pick the Ivy!  She had no idea what it meant, other than it was for smart kids.

 

He did pick Columbia (mainly due to finances).  DD was disappointed and said, "Awwww. I wanted him to pick the Ivy."   Funny girl.  She has no idea.

 

8 - I always appreciate your cautionary tales. Truly!  DS had practically perfect SAT scores and APs and a pretty impressive EC, filled with amazing experiences.  He was rejected (although waitlisted first at MIT and Penn) by all ivies he applied to, except for one.  

Edited by lisabees
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just recently, a relative was telling my rising junior that she could do better than the selective colleges that he and I attended, that she should shoot for Stanford.  Gah!  He was just trying to be encouraging but I wanted to kick him under the table.  Fortunately my child seems to have some understanding of the situation, vague though it may be.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your cautionary tale. I'll give mine. I transferred from a cc as a junior. Up to this point in my life, I had very limited sexual encounters. No money, no car, and did not have my own room at home. My first week at the new college, I meet a gorgeous girl. She was all everything academically: joint ba/ma program, honor societies,, key clubs. She would study everyday from 8 p.m. to approximately 11 pm. I would go to her dorm to study with her.. This should have been an ideal mentor for me, except for one thing. When she would finish studying, she would want an extended romp in the hay every night.. My downfall, instead of studying , I did everything humanly possible to help her finish before 11pm. i got her snacks, opened her soda, turned her pages, lit her one cigarette per day, wiped her brow, whatever it took to get her to finish at 10:59. Anyway, I failed a class this first semester. Also, ended up in the infirmary for a week with an std ( where I add that I also found out that infirmary beds squeak).. Fortunately, she decided to be chaste the second semester before marrying her fiance (a graduate student at another school) on her graduation. I would have never completed my junior year otherwise.

LOL. Actually that does sound like some of the houses at Harvard.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

this might seem naive, but remembering my college days makes me think of something i seldom hear discussed that relates to college preparation. namely a child that goes away to college and lives in a dorm has to be able to get himself up early in the morning, get ready for the day, and make it to class on time, without mom or dad helping. Then they have to make sure they do all their assignments with no nagging, and get them in on time. I.e. they are suddenly treated like an adult in terms of responsibility. i was totally lacking in this department and I missed so much class, and slacked off on so many projects, i actually failed out. fortunately after a year off working, i went back and finished successfully. do people today realize they must let up on the reins a bit in high school to give practice in maturity? Probably you all do, and kids today seem more mature anyway. But this one thing can matter more to success than all the AP preparation and advanced curricula in the world. I remember in my day students missed so many meals from sleeping in, meals that mom and dad had paid for in tuiton, that there was a famous sandwich shop, Elsie's, that practically coined money selling sandwiches at night. Of course Elsie's food was better than Harvard's, and cheaper.

 

Here is Elsie's obit and a remembrance:

 

https://www.ccgfuneralhome.com/obit/elsie-j.-baumann

Not naive at all. Mine will commute from home due to younger age, lower cost (I am now a single parent) and other issues I can't go into here but for the last three years has been incredibly independent except for depending on me for transportation. That was a KEY reason for deciding to graduate A early. I know I would not have otherwise. A also takes the train alone now to Berkeley for summer classes, cooks own food regularly, minds the home while I am out at work, and has started earning money teaching math. In A's case, no dorms is a good thing for now but my point to those here with younger kids chomping at the bit to go to college is that this can be practised even while commuting from home.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not naive at all. Mine will commute from home due to younger age, lower cost (I am now a single parent) and other issues I can't go into here but for the last three years has been incredibly independent except for depending on me for transportation. That was a KEY reason for deciding to graduate A early. I know I would not have otherwise. A also takes the train alone now to Berkeley for summer classes, cooks own food regularly, minds the home while I am out at work, and has started earning money teaching math. In A's case, no dorms is a good thing for now but my point to those here with younger kids chomping at the bit to go to college is that this can be practised even while commuting from home.

 

 

What this prepared independence also gives them is a sense of confidence.  Helicopter parenting does not help!  I hear so many stories of kids leaving during that first semester, depressed, anxious, not being able to cope with the basics.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What this prepared independence also gives them is a sense of confidence.  Helicopter parenting does not help!  I hear so many stories of kids leaving during that first semester, depressed, anxious, not being able to cope with the basics.

 

True, but let's be clear, some kids can do it at an early age, some can't.  I have one that takes the train to the city followed by a group cab.  But I wouldn't do the same with his brother.  Not all kids have that maturity.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been a really interesting thread.  In the light of 8FillTheHeart's posts, I'm wondering what people think of this situation:

 

We are in CA in a high cost-of-living area.  We are renting at below-market, a house that we are running out of space in.   We can't buy a house in near our current place that would even come close to matching the original-condition rental we have except in areas that have drugs and gangs (and even those areas seem to be too expensive now).  We would have to move 20-30 miles away--or out of state (hence the questions about St. Louis and probably more on other cities to come) to buy  a house.

 

With three kids, would you stick it out in CA with a dismal housing situation, nanny state regulations, and long commute for the possibility of being able to attend state schools at half the price of the Ivy's?  Or would you move somewhere more affordable house-wise and just figure out the college thing later?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True, but let's be clear, some kids can do it at an early age, some can't.  I have one that takes the train to the city followed by a group cab.  But I wouldn't do the same with his brother.  Not all kids have that maturity.

 

Without a doubt.  I have six kids with six very different personalities.

 

A few have traveled the world under the age of 18, without an adult.

 

One is slowly, but surely on her way (the next up for college).  We have made purposeful steps to help her with the confidence, because we worry about her.

 

My goal is to do all I can to make them feel as capable as possible by the time they leave.  :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With three kids, would you stick it out in CA with a dismal housing situation, nanny state regulations, and long commute for the possibility of being able to attend state schools at half the price of the Ivy's?  Or would you move somewhere more affordable house-wise and just figure out the college thing later?  

 

 

Meh. All states have state schools that are cheaper than the Ivies (afaik), and it's not like admittance to the specific UC you want is guaranteed. IOW, *I* wouldn't stay in California just for the universities, unless my oldest was 17 already or something. That said, I've never been to CA. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With three kids, would you stick it out in CA with a dismal housing situation, nanny state regulations, and long commute for the possibility of being able to attend state schools at half the price of the Ivy's? Or would you move somewhere more affordable house-wise and just figure out the college thing later?

We are only staying put because of jobs. If a good relocation offer comes to move to another state or country, we will go. We prefer condos so the housing cost isn't a big issue regardless of which HCOL city/country we end up going. I'm near SJSU and my condo is as good as paid up.

 

I'll move somewhere as long as there are jobs. That is why we couldn't move to Reno, NV unless my husband stays in the Bay Area to work. He would be unemployed there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With three kids, would you stick it out in CA with a dismal housing situation, nanny state regulations, and long commute for the possibility of being able to attend state schools at half the price of the Ivy's? Or would you move somewhere more affordable house-wise and just figure out the college thing later?

Fwiw, we move all the time due to dh's job. We cannot think about college in the decision bc he is our sole breadwinner and his career comes first. Our perspective is that there are good colleges across the country. We are not elite-visioned bc wecan't afford them. Our kids have to pursue large merit $$ scholarships. That means going down the food chain. It works. Our kids have gotten great scholarships and have had exceptional experiences/opportunities at their lower ranked schools/have great careers.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that the thread is light-hearted, but I am throwing in a cautionary tale bc of how many heartbreak threads I have read on CC over the past few yrs. What is cute and funny at 8-11 can turn into single-minded ambition tied up in self-identity in high school.

 

For those who haven't been through the college app process in the past few yrs, it is nothing like applying to college when you applied to college. Stellar, top-notch, extremely gifted students are rejected from top schools every single yr. Test scores and even college level classes in middle school are not enough to get accepted.

 

Costs are outrageous. If you haven't run any net price calculators for colleges, you might want to run a few before your kids become too enamored. The idea that tippy top colleges are generous and therefore affordable is not true for all families. It certainly not true for ours bc they don't care that we have 8 kids spread over 21 yrs. If we paid what they expected, we would be destitute at retirement age bc it would consume the equivalent of close to 8-9 yrs of gross income, not net, and there would be no way to save.

That's one reason why I'm planning to try to continue to get DD to the state level herp conferences-because a result of that is that many in-state, affordable even if she only gets the automatic scholarships for the ACT scores she already has are appealing to her, since she knows that they're doing some awesome work. The last two schools to get added to her list were MTSU (extremely affordable) and Villanova (need awesome scholarships and maybe sacrificing a bodily organ).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should add that my 7 year old son is going to "computer college" because he claims he's never leaving home. :lol:

 

 

I just nod and say ok. :laugh:

My son is going to become a neuroscientist and then go off to the local college. He doesn't want to be far from home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been a really interesting thread.  In the light of 8FillTheHeart's posts, I'm wondering what people think of this situation:

 

We are in CA in a high cost-of-living area.  We are renting at below-market, a house that we are running out of space in.   We can't buy a house in near our current place that would even come close to matching the original-condition rental we have except in areas that have drugs and gangs (and even those areas seem to be too expensive now).  We would have to move 20-30 miles away--or out of state (hence the questions about St. Louis and probably more on other cities to come) to buy  a house.

 

With three kids, would you stick it out in CA with a dismal housing situation, nanny state regulations, and long commute for the possibility of being able to attend state schools at half the price of the Ivy's?  Or would you move somewhere more affordable house-wise and just figure out the college thing later?  

No, I wouldn't because that's a lot of iffy things you are counting on to not change. 

 

Looking at a listing of top public colleges, you've got Berkeley and UCLA, but then come UVA, Michigan, UNC, William and Mary, and Georgia Tech before you get to UC Santa Barbara.

 

Emily

(grew up in Silicon Valley, lived in Santa Cruz, now in the midwest)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So do people feel that going the second tier, scholarship route is a better way to go?  I guess it does open the search to the entire US.

 

That is a can of worms.  :coolgleamA:  You are not going to get any consensus on that question.  It is going to depend on the family.  Some parents are well off and can afford anything. Some are willing to go into debt and pay for their kids college via loans with 20 yrs of loan payments.  Some are like us and can't afford what college costs and equally refuse to take out loans.  Only you can decide what is right for your family.  

 

It is just our experience that attending a lower ranked school has not impacted our kids negatively at all. The older ones have great careers.  Our current college student will be applying to grad school this fall.  Am I concerned that his BS is from Bama?  Nope.  Not at all.  He has had non-stop research experience at his university.  He has had REUs at top physics programs the past 2 summers.  He scored extremely high on the physics GRE.  And he has earned his degree on full scholarship.  Debt destroying our future or free?  For us there is only one possible answer.   But for other families, the scenario is very different and what they decide has to fit them.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So do people feel that going the second tier, scholarship route is a better way to go? I guess it does open the search to the entire US.

Since my DS12 strongly favors commuter colleges, I would say SJSU is the most financially sound choice for us leaving "excess" money that we can gift our kids after graduation. Our mortgage was > $36k per year. SCU and Stanford would be the financial headache as we would have two in college most years (ignoring acceptance rate and just looking at cost).

 

If DS12 is open to out of state universities when the time comes for college applications, colleges that offer some out of state scholarships based on ACT or SAT scores like BAMA would definately be in our shortlist for our kids to consider.

 

For example, DS12 hit the SAT and ACT score requirements for UA scholar while DS11 hit the SAT score requirements for presidential scholar. Both kids will retake SAT and ACT in high school.

 

"UA Scholar

 

A student with a 30-32 ACT or 1390-1480 SAT score and at least a 3.5 GPA, he or she will be named a UA Scholar and will receive $76,000 over four years ($19,000 per year).

 

Presidential Scholar

 

A student with a 33-36 ACT or 1490-1600 SAT score and at least a 3.5 GPA will be selected as a Presidential Scholar and will receive $100,000 over four years ($25,000 per year). Students graduating with remaining scholarship semester(s) may use these monies toward graduate school and/or law school study at UA." https://scholarships.ua.edu/types/out-of-state.php

Edited by Arcadia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When ds was choosing between CMU and Columbia, dd13 said pick the Ivy! She had no idea what it meant, other than it was for smart kids.

 

He did pick Columbia (mainly due to finances). DD was disappointed and said, "Awwww. I wanted him to pick the Ivy." Funny girl. She has no idea.

 

8 - I always appreciate your cautionary tales. Truly! DS had practically perfect SAT scores and APs and a pretty impressive EC, filled with amazing experiences. He was rejected (although waitlisted first at MIT and Penn) by all ivies he applied to, except for one.

your boy's results make no sense to me :( Yield protect for sure. Edited by madteaparty
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. Housing crash made housing so much more affordable for us and we bought a lovely 5-room huge house waaaaay in the outskirts of the Bay Area (did not qualify as Bay Area any more) 

 

My point -- there are some good, affordable areas if you are willing to look. I don't know exactly where you are but it might be something to think about. 

 

Congrats on buying something!  We blew it and didn't manage to buy something before it really shot up. 

 

There are two patches of houses that might still be affordable on the peninsula, and they both have gangs and drugs.  In 15 years, they'll probably be safe enough, but husband isn't willing to risk it.  The nearest decent affordable areas would be across the Bay and mean moving my younger two kids to a different school.

 

Moving across the Bay is essentially like relocating--new schools, new church, new friends, new restaurants, new doctors/dentists/etc. etc..... but we could keep #1 at his school, DH could keep his job....  Frankly, that's the only real reason to stay--keep #1 at his school.   But for 1/2 to 1/3 of the price, we could go somewhere like St. Louis and buy an updated 3000 sq ft house in one of the best school districts.  Obviously, job is an issue--that's on DH's list of things to investigate.  It's a numbers game--either we can or can't afford the cheapest house in a great school district.    I just need to know what the number is.   And if I want to start a small business selling stuff online, whatever I make would be taxed less elsewhere and go a lot farther.  And CA is continually trying to pass legislation that takes away parental rights.  At some point it gets kind of exhausting. 

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

So do people feel that going the second tier, scholarship route is a better way to go?  I guess it does open the search to the entire US.

 

This entirely depends on each family and the child. In my circle of friends (bay area) there are 3 kinds of people - there are some parents and their kids who feel that anything other than Ivy league admissions is a fate worse than death itself :) , there are many that aim for the top UCs and hope to get into UCB or UCLA, and then there are the 3rd kind who apply to universities all over the US and look for the best fit for their chosen major (most of the kids I know want to major in CS) and then hope to get into a fantastic Master's program. 

 

In my experience, the master's degree carries more weight than the undergrad degree in the local employment market. So, if your 3 kids are planning on doing their postgraduate studies, then you need to take that into consideration too when you make future plans. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since my DS12 strongly favors commuter colleges, I would say SJSU is the most financially sound choice for us leaving "excess" money that we can gift our kids after graduation. Our mortgage was > $36k per year. SCU and Stanford would be the financial headache as we would have two in college most years (ignoring acceptance rate and just looking at cost).

 

If DS12 is open to out of state universities when the time comes for college applications, colleges that offer some out of state scholarships based on ACT or SAT scores like BAMA would definately be in our shortlist for our kids to consider.

 

For example, DS12 hit the SAT and ACT score requirements for UA scholar while DS11 hit the SAT score requirements for presidential scholar. Both kids will retake SAT and ACT in high school.

 

"UA Scholar

 

A student with a 30-32 ACT or 1390-1480 SAT score and at least a 3.5 GPA, he or she will be named a UA Scholar and will receive $76,000 over four years ($19,000 per year).

 

Presidential Scholar

 

A student with a 33-36 ACT or 1490-1600 SAT score and at least a 3.5 GPA will be selected as a Presidential Scholar and will receive $100,000 over four years ($25,000 per year). Students graduating with remaining scholarship semester(s) may use these monies toward graduate school and/or law school study at UA." https://scholarships.ua.edu/types/out-of-state.php

Bama's allowing scholarships to stack makes it even more affordable. They have a high school physics competition every yr and the top 2 scorers are awarded the equivalent of an instate tuition scholarship that can stack on top of the presidential. (They do not have to major in physics to receive the scholarship, but I think they do have to be enrolled in the university the following fall.) If they major in physics, they qualify for an additional physics dept scholarship. Add in the perks if they are accepted into the honors research program (was called CBH, but they changed the name to something I don't remember), and it makes it a price hard to beat. :) )

 

https://physics.ua.edu/recent-events/high-school-physics-contest/

 

your boy's results make no sense to me :( Yield protect for sure.

Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as justifying the outcome as yield protection. His results are not that unusual. There was another young man that I was floored was rejected by MIT. He had perfect test scores across the board, has been doing physics research with a prof at UCSB (which is ranked 10th in physics, the prof wrote his LOR, he applied as a physics major), attended SSP, has been DEing at UCSB, did not want to attend UCSB bc it was too close to home and MIT was his #1 choice (lots of interest demonstrated), etc. He will be attending CalTech in the fall.

 

Admissions to extremely competitive schools is just that unpredictable bc the applicants are just that competitive. It is impossible to know exactly who will get accepted. That, however, is not the same as being able to guesstimate who won't be accepted. When the applicant pool is national and international, there are a lot of stellar kids out there and a very limited number of seats. (Fwiw, many of the tippy top schools like MIT also don't reject many kids upfront. They defer and then reject. That just makes the process that much longer and painful when rejected. It really behooves kids to not fall in love and have a single-minded outcome as the goal.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bama's allowing scholarships to stack makes it even more affordable. They have a high school physics competition every yr and the top 2 scorers are awarded the equivalent of an instate tuition scholarship that can stack on top of the presidential. (They do not have to major in physics to receive the scholarship, but I think they do have to be enrolled in the university the following fall.) If they major in physics, they qualify for an additional physics dept scholarship. Add in the perks if they are accepted into the honors research program (was called CBH, but they changed the name to something I don't remember), and it makes it a price hard to beat. :) )

 

https://physics.ua.edu/recent-events/high-school-physics-contest/

 

Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as justifying the outcome as yield protection. His results are not that unusual. There was another young man that I was floored was rejected by MIT. He had perfect test scores across the board, has been doing physics research with a prof at UCSB (which is ranked 10th in physics, the prof wrote his LOR, he applied as a physics major), attended SSP, has been DEing at UCSB, did not want to attend UCSB bc it was too close to home and MIT was his #1 choice (lots of interest demonstrated), etc. He will be attending CalTech in the fall.

 

Admissions to extremely competitive schools is just that unpredictable bc the applicants are just that competitive. It is impossible to know exactly who will get accepted. That, however, is not the same as being able to guesstimate who won't be accepted. When the applicant pool is national and international, there are a lot of stellar kids out there and a very limited number of seats. (Fwiw, many of the tippy top schools like MIT also don't reject many kids upfront. They defer and then reject. That just makes the process that much longer and painful when rejected. It really behooves kids to not fall in love and have a single-minded outcome as the goal.)

 

DS was definitely attached to MIT - all of the kids who attended SPARC (a math camp at Berkeley he attended last year and will this year) have gotten into MIT or Harvard.  He got into neither.  I think the weirdest bit was getting waitlisted and then rejected at Penn, where he had taken classes with stellar results for two years - including a graduate level math class.  He did graduate early as a junior.  That may have been an obstacle.

 

 

Last night, I brought five 12-14 year old girls back from the barn after camp.  They were sharing horrific, highly suggestive public instagram photos of a 15 year old girl they know from the barn.  It makes me shudder every time I think about it.  I don't know who she is or I would tell the parents.  It is dangerous to say the least and the girls said the pics have been up for two weeks.  Anyway...

 

In response, the 12 year old said that she has dreamed of Yale since she was a little girl and she will let nothing jeopardize that dream.  She won't attend middle school parties or post anything online, for fear of losing her goal.  Apparently, an uncle attended Yale and it is what she has always wanted.

 

Her comments reminded me of this thread.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So do people feel that going the second tier, scholarship route is a better way to go?  I guess it does open the search to the entire US.

 

My oldest did that and it was the perfect thing to do for him, especially since he wanted an LAC.

 

DS18, however, needed/wanted a school with math classes and research of a certain kind and level.  Most schools just didn't have the offerings he wanted. LACs were not an option for him.  My financial situation had drastically changed, so I was able to have a different approach with him.

 

ETA: Just read the other responses to this question.  Getting into college is playing a game.  Know the rules.  Be realistic about the cards you have to play.  And you can come out a winner.

Edited by lisabees
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So do people feel that going the second tier, scholarship route is a better way to go?  I guess it does open the search to the entire US.

 

To complicate the big picture further, the question isn't binary, 1st-tier expense vs 2nd-tier scholarships.  Not only is there a continuum of schools, but schools-within-schools, the honors programs, may offer qualities that aren't apparent in rankings.

 

Moreover, different schools have strengths in different areas of study.  While very top schools will be strong in all subjects, for various STEM majors, there's more variety, with state flagships often offering a good value for good opportunities.  For example, I would be reluctant to send one of my kids to our state flagship for English or history because the student body in those subjects might not be the best fit, but physics or engineering, aerospace especially, would be another matter entirely - the university is well-respected for those subjects and the engineering school has published student stats significantly higher than the rest of the university.

 

If you move to a new state, it seems prudent to choose a state where the flagship may be a decent option in a few subjects, though it's impossible to predict what major a student may need.  Mostly, I think you'll have to cross that bridge when you come to it.  As for CA, meh; no way would the public college system keep me there (as I say that, my junior gets googly eyes at the mention of California, just because it's different from her life experience thus far and she is determined to go out of state).

Edited by wapiti
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DS18, however, needed/wanted a school with math classes and research of a certain kind and level. Most schools just didn't have the offerings he wanted. LACs were not an option for him. My financial situation had drastically changed, so I was able to have a different approach with him.

 

ETA: Just read the other responses to this question. Getting into college is playing a game. Know the rules. Be realistic about the cards you have to play. And you can come out a winner.

We were limited to research universities for similar reasons. And yes, Lisa and 8 and others are spot on. The key word is REALISTIC. A was deferred and then denied from MIT too but the blow was not hard because I did not put too much weight on it and kept reminding A of what our best options were (financially more than anything else). Remember, kids also change/ develop into different individuals and sometimes, who they are when applying in a busy fall season can be different from who they grow into months later.

 

By the time we heard about the denial, our life had changed so much and A was already so much more in favor of Cal/UCs. Do I think MIT would have been a better fit? Absolutely. But it helps to be practical and not put too much stock on one goal. It keeps a kid down to earth too. I think Cal will be wonderful for A and am so excited to see my kid blossom there. Best of all, given all our ups and downs, I don't stay up at night worrying about fees. I do worry (who doesn't?) but at least not as much as I would have if things had taken a different turn. That peace of mind is golden.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were limited to research universities for similar reasons. And yes, Lisa and 8 and others are spot on. The key word is REALISTIC. A was deferred and then denied from MIT too but the blow was not hard because I did not put too much weight on it and kept reminding A of what our best options were (financially more than anything else). Remember, kids also change/ develop into different individuals and sometimes, who they are when applying in a busy fall season can be different from who they grow into months later.

 

By the time we heard about the denial, our life had changed so much and A was already so much more in favor of Cal/UCs. Do I think MIT would have been a better fit? Absolutely. But it helps to be practical and not put too much stock on one goal. It keeps a kid down to earth too. I think Cal will be wonderful for A and am so excited to see my kid blossom there. Best of all, given all our ups and downs, I don't stay up at night worrying about fees. I do worry (who doesn't?) but at least not as much as I would have if things had taken a different turn. That peace of mind is golden.

So much wisdom in this post. Liking it is not enough. It is spot on.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This entirely depends on each family and the child. In my circle of friends (bay area) there are 3 kinds of people - there are some parents and their kids who feel that anything other than Ivy league admissions is a fate worse than death itself :) , there are many that aim for the top UCs and hope to get into UCB or UCLA, and then there are the 3rd kind who apply to universities all over the US and look for the best fit for their chosen major (most of the kids I know want to major in CS) and then hope to get into a fantastic Master's program. 

 

In my experience, the master's degree carries more weight than the undergrad degree in the local employment market. So, if your 3 kids are planning on doing their postgraduate studies, then you need to take that into consideration too when you make future plans. 

 

Sigh.  Our experience with graduate studies has been pretty abysmal, and as far as I'm concerned a PHD in CS is not nearly as useful as the same amount of time put into work experience (and I know a fair number of people for whom that PHD took 10 years!!!).   But I could see the Master's being a good balance, although one of my kids is talking about skipping college entirely, so i doubt he'll be going for a Master's at all.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for CA, meh; no way would the public college system keep me there...

 

Different strokes for different folks :laugh: .

 

Cal is crazy impacted :glare: . Kiddo could only start registering on July 11 and all the upper division classes kiddo wanted (except for Linear Algebra) were full. Thankfully, they created a new section for Analysis last week so kiddo has a spot but A so, so, so wants a spot in the Honors section. Will have to turn up on Day 1 to see if a late add code will be available BUT as luck would have it the regular section A managed to find a spot in is right after the Honors section and on the other end of campus :glare: . The orientation introduced A to "Berkeley time" (where every class starts 10 minutes after scheduled time, I guess due to the walking distance and campus terrain).

 

Fun, fun, fun (not). First world problem :laugh:. But I can't help appreciating the story of a friend with a son in nearby Santa Clara U. She was so happy that her kiddo is in such a small cohort where almost everyone gets into every class they want. That must be so lovely.

 

The only class kiddo was able to snag on first try was one on Dante's Inferno (ever my lit lover).

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To complicate the big picture further, the question isn't binary, 1st-tier expense vs 2nd-tier scholarships. Not only is there a continuum of schools, but schools-within-schools, the honors programs, may offer qualities that aren't apparent in rankings.

 

Moreover, different schools have strengths in different areas of study. While very top schools will be strong in all subjects, for various STEM majors, there's more variety, with state flagships often offering a good value for good opportunities. For example, I would be reluctant to send one of my kids to our state flagship for English or history because the student body in those subjects might not be the best fit, but physics or engineering, aerospace especially, would be another matter entirely - the university is well-respected for those subjects and the engineering school has published student stats significantly higher than the rest of the university.

 

If you move to a new state, it seems prudent to choose a state where the flagship may be a decent option in a few subjects, though it's impossible to predict what major a student may need. Mostly, I think you'll have to cross that bridge when you come to it. As for CA, meh; no way would the public college system keep me there (as I say that, my junior gets googly eyes at the mention of California, just because it's different from her life experience thus far and she is determined to go out of state).

The English major/ comparative lit kid is so much more of a problem than a STEM one, IMO. On one hand there's only so many schools that offer classes left to take in chosen subjects after continuous DE since 7th grade. On the other, getting into those schools and then paying full price for an undergrad literature major of some sort when there's at least a master's or PhD following seems impossible. I'm hoping to go back to work to pay, but what we refuse to do is play admission games and so this will be a fun trip :) Edited by madteaparty
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our case, honestly classes are almost an afterthought. In her first major,  Yes, we want nice, solid, interesting classes in a range of subjects. She wants a school with and ECB/EECB program. But what DD is looking for most is multiple people and projects going on that she can participate in, ideally from Day 1. In many respects, she's approaching the undergrad college search like you would approach grad school, where she's trying to figure out which lab she wants to be in, what research she wants to do, and where funding is most available. One benefit of staying in state is that all of her work at the CC and any DE classes taken at the state U will transfer, but she can transfer as a Freshman, and the state scholarship for ACT scores, plus the additional money her ACT scores and honors program status at the CC already qualify her for (if you complete the honors program at the CC, you are guaranteed admission to the honors colleges in state, which usually includes several thousand dollars a year of additional funding. For the schools she's looking at, it also gives the opportunity to apply for in-house research funding) make it a very affordable option, and potentially gives us some flexibility to help fund research if needed.

 

For her second major, well, it's education now, but that's not because she wants to teach in a classroom setting, so I don't know that it will even continue into the BS level, as opposed to being a way to get some useful skills, but be replaced by other electives when she has a broader selection. And whether you can find a teaching job has a lot to do with how far you're willing to go (most college towns have a surplus, but there are many areas with major shortages) and what you're qualified to teach-not where you got your undergrad degree.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Different strokes for different folks :laugh: .

 

Cal is crazy impacted :glare: . Kiddo could only start registering on July 11 and all the upper division classes kiddo wanted (except for Linear Algebra) were full. Thankfully, they created a new section for Analysis last week so kiddo has a spot but A so, so, so wants a spot in the Honors section. Will have to turn up on Day 1 to see if a late add code will be available BUT as luck would have it the regular section A managed to find a spot in is right after the Honors section and on the other end of campus :glare: . The orientation introduced A to "Berkeley time" (where every class starts 10 minutes after scheduled time, I guess due to the walking distance and campus terrain).

 

Fun, fun, fun (not). First world problem :laugh:. But I can't help appreciating the story of a friend with a son in nearby Santa Clara U. She was so happy that her kiddo is in such a small cohort where almost everyone gets into every class they want. That must be so lovely.

 

The only class kiddo was able to snag on first try was one on Dante's Inferno (ever my lit lover).

 

Ok.  You've convinced me.  Don't bother staying for a public CA college.  Flee in terror.

 

Surprised there aren't more stories about people dropping out of Berkeley and making it big.  Seems like that'd be your best option when you can't get the classes you want--go to work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Different strokes for different folks :laugh: .

 

Cal is crazy impacted :glare: . Kiddo could only start registering on July 11 and all the upper division classes kiddo wanted (except for Linear Algebra) were full. Thankfully, they created a new section for Analysis last week so kiddo has a spot but A so, so, so wants a spot in the Honors section. Will have to turn up on Day 1 to see if a late add code will be available BUT as luck would have it the regular section A managed to find a spot in is right after the Honors section and on the other end of campus :glare: . The orientation introduced A to "Berkeley time" (where every class starts 10 minutes after scheduled time, I guess due to the walking distance and campus terrain).

 

Fun, fun, fun (not). First world problem :laugh:. But I can't help appreciating the story of a friend with a son in nearby Santa Clara U. She was so happy that her kiddo is in such a small cohort where almost everyone gets into every class they want. That must be so lovely.

 

The only class kiddo was able to snag on first try was one on Dante's Inferno (ever my lit lover).

 

Can your son sit in on the honors class while officially taking the regular class? If someone drops out, as is often the case in the honors classes, he could take the spot and drop the regular class. If your son decides honors is not quite right yet, he's not committed, has seen a bit of what it offers and can continue on with the regular math class. Seems a shame to have to take the regular class if he feels the honors is a better fit for him. My son is doing the honors math sequence and the classes are very challenging -- for him, not for one of his peers who doesn't even take notes! LOL

 

There are also the Thiel scholarships for kids who are so inclined.

Edited by MBM
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

With three kids, would you stick it out in CA with a dismal housing situation, nanny state regulations, and long commute for the possibility of being able to attend state schools at half the price of the Ivy's?  Or would you move somewhere more affordable house-wise and just figure out the college thing later?  

 

I'm glad Quark shared her recent experience with Cal, as I've heard anecdotally about problems at the UCs with impacted classes and lack of housing at Cal.  

 

But many flagships at other states are underfunded, and will even favor applicants from out of state and out of country because they get more tuition from those students.  

 

So you'll want to do some research to identify state schools that are still receiving adequate support from their local governments.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok.  You've convinced me.  Don't bother staying for a public CA college.  Flee in terror.

 

FWIW, the latest news:   UC Irvine rescinded 500 admitted students using any and all clerical errors as excuses because they have enrolled too many freshmen.

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-uc-irvine-rescissions-20170728-story.html (many more news stories)

Edited by wapiti
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok.  You've convinced me.  Don't bother staying for a public CA college.  Flee in terror.

 

Ack, that's not what I meant to do. I was just venting. It may be hard to get classes but nothing to flee yet if you have a persistent, focused kiddo who knows what s/he wants. I am confident kiddo will get the Honors section. This kid knows exactly what to do to get it. If there isn't a spot no worries too. We are very practical folks and roll with things easily.

 

Can your son sit in on the honors class while officially taking the regular class? If someone drops out, as is often the case in the honors classes, he could take the spot and drop the regular class. If your son decides honors is not quite right yet, he's not committed, has seen a bit of what it offers and can continue on with the regular math class. Seems a shame to have to take the regular class if he feels the honors is a better fit for him. My son is doing the honors math sequence and the classes are very challenging -- for him, not for one of his peers who doesn't even take notes! LOL

 

That's probably what A will do. A has already taken two honors math classes (one lower div, one upper) at Cal as a concurrent enrollment student and aced both so I don't worry about challenge level as much as actually getting a foot in the door. But I think A will do what needs to be done and back out gracefully if they insist there is no space. No biggie. We have a lot going on these days and A is aiming for an easier first semester anyway.

 

A does take notes by the way. A mentioned how one abstract algebra classmate just stared at the prof all the time and knew everything or seemed to know everything already! Wow, right? But that's a good problem to have. Students (including math majors) at the CC were just not passionate/ engaged at all. It's a lovely difference to have classmates who truly care.

 

It's so nice to see you back here MBM! Hope everything has been well with you! :001_wub:

Edited by quark
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anecdotally we have heard from those at UCLA that students will be able to get the classes they need -- maybe not the quarter they want it, maybe not the professor they wanted, but they will get it.  Registration is staggered throughout the summer and they hold spots open in the classes for every session.  But it is much harder for a student with freshman standing to get upper division classes, and they don't change your class status for AP's (since everyone has so many). I was hoping they would as my daughter will be trying to graduate in three years and it would be nice to have the flexibility . 

 

I will update after my daughter actually tries to register and ends up with basket weaving. :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That has been going on for some time at UCB - a friend of mine from high school transferred from Cal to the school I went to (the University of Kansas) because she spent a year and $$$ taking the equivalent of basketweaving.  It would have been fine if she'd been a liberal arts major, I think, as the course progression is not so rigid, but she was some sort of hard science major.  She ended up getting a phD from Yale.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest did that and it was the perfect thing to do for him, especially since he wanted an LAC.

 

DS18, however, needed/wanted a school with math classes and research of a certain kind and level.  Most schools just didn't have the offerings he wanted. LACs were not an option for him.  My financial situation had drastically changed, so I was able to have a different approach with him.

 

ETA: Just read the other responses to this question.  Getting into college is playing a game.  Know the rules.  Be realistic about the cards you have to play.  And you can come out a winner.

 

Any advice for us moms on where to learn about this kind of thing?  I haven't given college too much thought honestly.  My DS is not a self starter or over achiever.  He's EG, and capable though, and I can tell as he matures he's starting to focus more.  

 

He's only 10.5, we have a ton of time, I'm just curious where to even look for this info.

 

I'd also like to say that I've enjoyed where this conversation has gone.  I posted what I thought was just a funny kid comment, and I'm learning a lot!  Thank you to the posters who have gone through this for sticking around helping those of us that are clueless. (I'm probably the only clueless one.)

Edited by Runningmom80
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah,another advantage to being in elite honors college programs at lower ranked schools--priority registration.

 

And LACs. I never had a class with more than 25 people in it, never had a TA, never had to compete with grad students for research/internship opportunities, never had a problem getting the classes I wanted... I could go on, but...

 

I'm currently taking prereq nursing classes at my local Cal State, and, thus far, I am not impressed. It's night and day different from my previous schools, and cheating in the sciences is rampant. :(

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

But many flagships at other states are underfunded, and will even favor applicants from out of state and out of country because they get more tuition from those students.  

 

I have heard the same thing about the UC system as well, and apparently, it started during the past state budget crisis. So, it is no different.

 

ETA: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-limit-nonresident-students-20170306-story.html

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

Any advice for us moms on where to learn about this kind of thing?  I haven't given college too much thought honestly.  My DS is not a self starter or over achiever.  He's EG, and capable though, and I can tell as he matures he's starting to focus more.  

 

He's only 10.5, we have a ton of time, I'm just curious where to even look for this info.

 

I'd also like to say that I've enjoyed where this conversation has gone.  I posted what I thought was just a funny kid comment, and I'm learning a lot!  Thank you to the posters who have gone through this for sticking around helping those of us that are clueless. (I'm probably the only clueless one.)

 

I'm not Lisa but I have a few minutes and will add what I've learned.

 

Oh goodness, no for the bolded. I actually help other people now with the whole college conversation/ application stuff and I still feel so clueless. There is just so much to learn and it feels overwhelming but once you have a better idea of your kid's path it will be easier to help him/ her find the tools/ info she/ he/ you need. I don't believe that path's necessarily clear at 10-12 or 13-15 or 16-18 or in the case of a brilliant friend of ours, 20-22!

  1. I started by reading here. The high school board has wonderful pinned threads. Lori, 8filltheheart, Sebastian, snowbeltmom, regentrude, and so many others have contributed excellent information over the years.
  2. College Confidential scares me but when A was in junior year, I pulled on my big girl pants and started spending some time there too (brrrr...).
  3. I called the colleges themselves to find answers I needed. Cal is not too far for us so I visited their admissions talks twice. A and I attended about 3-4 talks when some colleges made their rounds to our area.
  4. The PrepScholar and Ask Ms Sun blogs were also helpful to me (Ask Ms Sun focuses on UCs).
  5. If you are on Facebook, start liking college-admissions related pages. Just search "college admissions".
  6. I started my own, local early college/ non traditional homeschoolers group and learned a lot from veteran homeschoolers who posted their experiences there.
  7. I used the services of a college counselor and fellow boardie, Barbara H, for about 8 hours and learned so much from her too.
  8. Familiarize yourself with sites like collegedata.com, collegescorecard.ed.gov, fafsa.ed.gov, etc.
  9. Familiarize yourself with the application portals by completing pretend applications e.g. Common Application
  10. Familiarize yourself with terms/ tools/ abbreviations like COA, EFC, NPC.
  11. I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of other avenues. Oh yes, books! But we did not find any that were very helpful because we already knew what colleges A was going to apply to about 3 years beforehand. We did find an essay writing book very helpful. This one: https://www.amazon.com/Writing-College-Application-Essay-Anniversary/dp/0062123998/

You don't need to do everything right away but about three years before your son applies, do a little every few months or so and you will build a body of knowledge that will give you more confidence.

 

In the end, you cannot lose sight of the most important thing. No matter what you learn from all of these sources, you have to help *your* kid and make it work for *your* family's situation. No one can tell you what that is. There really is no point comparing or relying 100% on what someone else says because they don't have the kid you do.

 

And don't forget to breathe, laugh, cuddle, hydrate, sleep well, be yourselves throughout the whole process because believe me, fall and spring of senior year might make you feel the worst you've ever felt in a while. And don't let applications come in the way of true learning. Let your child's transcript reflect who they are because trust me, adcoms will be reading lots of transcripts that look very much the same.

Edited by quark
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There are also the Thiel scholarships for kids who are so inclined.

Wow!  I had no clue.  That is really awesome!  Perfect for a kid who prefers to do rather than sit and learn.

 

I think in the long run, this list is going to save me $$$$$$$$$$.   I would never know how to find these options otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ack, that's not what I meant to do. I was just venting. It may be hard to get classes but nothing to flee yet if you have a persistent, focused kiddo who knows what s/he wants. I am confident kiddo will get the Honors section. This kid knows exactly what to do to get it. If there isn't a spot no worries too. We are very practical folks and roll with things easily.

 

No, it's ok.  Frankly, I'd forgotten, but I'd been told this when I applied to Berkeley years ago--no one local graduated in less than 5 years, and those paying full tuition got top priority for class placement.  You never knew what you would get until registration day.  Coming from dual registration at a state U where I got whatever I wanted and knew weeks ahead of time, I found it to be a negative for attending Berkeley.  (The procedure for changing majors was the other negative.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughter chose Harvard over MIT (and Stanford and Princeton), and was a computer science major.  You can get a excellent computer science education at Harvard now; it's come a long way in that specific field.  I may be a bit biased because several of my friends are computer science professors at Harvard...

 

 

My ds also chose Harvard over MIT for comp sci.  He visited both during their days for admitted students and found the idea of going to school with all kinds of kids with all kinds of interests very appealing.  He loved MIT but said, "Everyone there is just like me!" 

  • Like 5
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...