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dereksurfs

Reasons to Consider a Less Selective, Less Expensive College

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Collaborative

- Forming classmate study groups to work on problem sets or study materials

- Reviewing another student's papers for readability or grammar/punctuation errors.

- Helping another student with a homework problem they are struggling through

 

 

(Obviously all of the above within the boundaries of what would be considered cheating on the assignment. There is a difference between saying, "This is a sentence fragment" or "I don't understand your argument here" or "You didn't square this number" or "You dropped a negative sign" and writing someone's paper for them or doing their homework assignment.

 

 

Cutthroat

- Declining to participate in any collaborative activities, not because you are busy, but because someone else doing well is seen as a threat to your own grade or class standing.

- Hiding resources in the library so that other students can't use them to study.  

 

 

I think a sign of a collaborative, supportive environment would be when students are willing to celebrate the success of their peers and see it as an incentive, rather than as a zero sum competition.  A positive sign my son was describing was that his neighbor, who is studying graduate level physics as a freshman, is willing to help him with sticky problems in calc 1.  Certainly my ds is never going to be his direct competition, as they are not in the same major.  But I'm encouraged by the fact that he's willing to pause in his hard work to help my kid on something he is having an issue with.

It sounds like the signs open to being either way are then peer editing and free tutoring under the guise of study group.  I just can't take it as cutthroat if a student refuses to help another, one just doesn't know what his schedule is like or if he has the ability to determine quickly why the other person can't solve the hw. What's done at both my dc's Us is free tutoring and a writing center..the U hires students for each subject.  My son gives back this way, by tutoring a few hours a week.  He needs the rest of the time to study.  His study groups are people that have already gone to office hours or tutoring and show up with few major concept questions, so they can nail the details and get the p set review done quickly.  He had to give up on groups where it was an all night in a classroom, teach every concept.  I had similar in my day. That certainly can be viewed as cutthroat if one doesn't want to hire a personal tutor, but I wouldn't call it that. 

 

The cutthroat I saw was in stealing course material or damaging equipment, and slander. 

Edited by Heigh Ho
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This should probably be a new thread, but your ability to research scholarships is increadible. Do you have a process you worked through. I don't even know how one would go about locating those niche opportunities.

 

I spent a lot of time reading CC and researching every major university sponsored scholarship at universities offering kids' majors.  Then I would read the profile of the students who had been awarded the scholarships and brutally analyze my kids to determine whether or not they were even viable contenders.  ;)

 

It took me hrs of research, but between my 2 current college kids, I couldn't have made that much $$ if I had been working full-time multiple yrs!

 

Does it matter where you went to school for graduate school or PhD admissions? If a kid wants a PhD in math or physics, would it matter?

Is it different for professional degrees (medical school, MBA, Law)?

Is it all about GRE or GMAT scores?

 

I know not everybody cares to continue beyond UG, but what about those who do?

 

For physcis, I would recommend spending time reading a wide variety of websites.  Here are a few:

https://www.aip.org/

https://astrobites.org/2013/01/05/so-you-want-to-apply-for-an-reu-heres-how/ (Good article on applying to REUs.  Ds attended 2--Cornell and Duke.  REUs are great opportunities for research and exploring different campus cultures.  They helped ds narrow what he wants to focus on in grad school.  He knows for sure what he doesn't want to do.)

http://physics.dartmouth.edu/undergraduate/careers-physics-and-astronomy (General info on grad school application process)

Grad Cafe and physicsgre are 2 sites to explore to see typical results. https://thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=physics&t=a&pp=50&o=i

(you can sort different ways and hovering over the diamond reveals stats)

 http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6459&start=100

 

 

FWIW, I am not sure how Emily was sorting schools into tiers.  There really isn't a single definition of how schools are categorized.  Elites as tier 1, other top privates as tier 2, flagship publics as tier 3, directional publics as tier 4 or are all major research universities as tier 1?

 

I know that the last serious physics student at Bama  (graduated the yr before ds attended) is a grad student at Stanford. (Bama's physics dept is small.)  Ds scored in the 92nd percentile on the PGRE and has all As.  They are absolutely not a reflection of being taught to the test and not challenging himself.  Grad programs want to know the courses taken and the texts used.  Ds started taking grad level physics courses jr yr.  He did not have limited access to research at his school.  He has been a contributor to his research project and is part of the team working under his mentor professor right alongside the grad students and the post-doc.  I am not sure where all he is applying bc I am trying to stay completely removed from his grad school process. (I have enough stress in my life.  We are closing on a house on Thursday and today I am surrounded by puking kids!)  But, I am not concerned that schools are going to look at his application and doubt his academic preparation or that his knowledge is from being taught to the test (considering the low level of physics on the PGRE, those were mostly courses he took in high school and freshman yr .)  I think that Dartmouth's comment in regards to the PGRE is probably the most accurate 

 

 

 

It is in your best interest to study for the physics GRE. While the subject test will not make or break your career, it can have a strong impact on where you get in to school. A good score on the physics GRE will certainly improve your chances at the school of your choice. Again, no school has a minimum score requirement. A score above the 60th percentile is generally regarded as good, but you may need to score above the 80th percentile to compete with other students applying to the top rated grad schools. 
Finally, one really shouldn't hear this before taking the exam, but here goes.  As important as the physics GRE is, there is no correlation between a high score and grad school success. In fact, its weakness is that it tests quick calculation, which is all it really can do, as opposed to deep reflection or creative, physical insight. These problems with the subject GRE are described in an article in Science, Nov. 1 1996 issue, vol. 274, pp.710-712. You can take some comfort in knowing that graduate committees realize the limitations of the test scores, and also look for other evidence of scholarly aptitude and research potential in your application material.....
Overall, your chances for getting into the graduate school of your choice are best if all your application materials indicate that you are a student with a strong aptitude for physics and show excellent promise for future study and research. 
Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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This is a topic close to my heart, as my oldest college student (public state flagship) was one of those suicide attempts. 

 

Just reading through this thread and the other one and wanting to pause to offer  :grouphug: .

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Ah, the high school I went to (which was a competitive one with 4 NMF my year, the IB Diploma program, etc.) did not grade on a curve. There was only one valedictorian (and to be honest I am not sure she deserved it, and it was she who went to a selective school and dropped out after a semester because it was too hard), but mostly that was because there was also a culture of excellence in music and the arts, so most high achievers in academics also took band or choir or orchestra or drama, etc., which were unweighted courses and thus scored like a B in GPA.

 

At any rate, in a class of 600+ with those variables, there was unlikely to ever be more than 1 valedictorian, because even taking the top available academic track and getting perfect grades, you were still vulnerable depending on how involved you were with the arts or debate or something.

 

But there was no grading on a curve. What would be the point? In math, an A was reserved for anyone who got 95%+ of the questions correct on homework and quizzes and tests. In English, an A was reserved for anyone who met the criteria for an A on the papers according to the rubric. They were very difficult classes but we were not graded against each other.

 

 

It must be a cultural thing, because I cannot see why you would grade something like math on a curve, unless your material is so hard that otherwise you'd have all Cs and below in the class. The students who got As in IB Math 2 (Calculus) got 4s and 5s on the AP test, though, so I don't see what the point would have been of making an A more difficult to attain - the point of the A was you have mastered the material for the point of the class.

I agree with this. I think there is a difference, though, between allowing the hard workers to have their A in a challenging class, if they mastered the material, and dumbing the class down so that 60% of students get an A (which is what has happened at the public schools near us). It is currently a trend to have *many* valedictorians in a graduating class. This was not something I had ever heard of in the past. I am equally against giving Bs and Cs to top students because only so many are allowed to have an A.

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I agree with this. I think there is a difference, though, between allowing the hard workers to have their A in a challenging class, if they mastered the material, and dumbing the class down so that 60% of students get an A (which is what has happened at the public schools near us). It is currently a trend to have *many* valedictorians in a graduating class. This was not something I had ever heard of in the past. I am equally against giving Bs and Cs to top students because only so many are allowed to have an A.

 

Yes, I agree with this as well. Maybe this is a new trend in some high schools - everyone gets a trophy kind of thing to make the school look better. Since we homeschool, I haven't watched the latest high school activities recently. There is definitely a balance between either extreme - dumbing classes down and predetermined, artificial limits on As. Most of the classes I've had while in college did not go to either extreme. There were hard classes and sometimes tests which seemed unfair with ambiguous questions or things which were not covered during the course. Although some instructors who were intellectually honest would revise their grading 'at times' when they realized they made a mistake.

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I have yet to run into anecdotal evidence that any school artificially restricts As. I would think at a school full of top performing kids, classes would just be much harder by design, so you would get your bell curve. I keep coming back to aops courses. They throw out problems there that take miles and miles of conceptual leaps one needs to make, but again, everybody knows that going in.

In my mind that would be the same in schools. We will be closely looking for accadic fit, which for some of my kids will mean extremely rigorous and for others, the opposite.

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I have yet to run into anecdotal evidence that any school artificially restricts As. I would think at a school full of top performing kids, classes would just be much harder by design, so you would get your bell curve. I keep coming back to aops courses. They throw out problems there that take miles and miles of conceptual leaps one needs to make, but again, everybody knows that going in.

In my mind that would be the same in schools. We will be closely looking for accadic fit, which for some of my kids will mean extremely rigorous and for others, the opposite.

 

There have been known cases of both grade inflation and deflation at the university level for many years. I don't have much time to find the references. But a quick google search will yield youi quite a bit. Here's one discussing these issues.

 

"In 2004, in an attempt to curb grade inflation, Princeton University’s faculty senate passed a resolution that asked all departments to restrict the number of A-range grades to no more than 35 percent of all grades given. Though it was not a hard quota, sufficient pressure was put on all departments to significantly decrease the number of A-range grades handed out. But not every department brought its share of A’s quite to 35 percent. A follow-up study done in 2014 shows that only two departments are actually below the target: economics and physics. A few others, including molecular biology, sit just above the target, while humanities classes in general see much higher grades." -- http://www.dailycal.org/2015/05/15/grade-deflation/

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What's the point of an A if everybody is getting it? There is no value to it. Our local high school had something like 15 valedictorians last year. That devalues achievement.

 

 

Because they are making classes so easy that the overwhelming majority has an A. It's ridiculous.

 

I think you are mixing two things that aren't the same.  If you have an Latin test with a good spread of questions and a student gets 90% of the test right, then they have demonstrated solid mastery of the material.  It ought not matter that someone else got 99% of the test right.  

 

That does require the instructor to know their subject well enough to write tests that demand mastery of the content appropriate for the level being tested.  I would expect a different command of a subject for Latin 1 than for Latin 3.  

 

I think it would be thrilling to see a college that was instructing students to a high level of mastery.  I see no reason why there should be a  bell curve limit on how many students get an A if they have mastered the material.

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I guess the question becomes is it necessary to differentiate between students. If everybody graduates with 4.0 (which seems to be the growing trend), the industry keeps inventing ways to sort kids out. At a high school level it's now the frenzy of gazzilion AP and SAT exams, because those are still scores that really sort kids into buckets. I am not sure what is heppening at the UG level to sort kids wanting to enter grad schools and such.

I sometimes wonder if we had less grade inflation if our kids would be less stressed out because maybe they would be taking fewer exams.

I can write a test for 50% of kids to get a 100 or I can write one when just 10% of the class will get a 100. I am not a cheerleader of the former approach.

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I guess the question becomes is it necessary to differentiate between students. If everybody graduates with 4.0 (which seems to be the growing trend), the industry keeps inventing ways to sort kids out. At a high school level it's now the frenzy of gazzilion AP and SAT exams, because those are still scores that really sort kids into buckets. I am not sure what is heppening at the UG level to sort kids wanting to enter grad schools and such.

I sometimes wonder if we had less grade inflation if our kids would be less stressed out because maybe they would be taking fewer exams.

I can write a test for 50% of kids to get a 100 or I can write one when just 10% of the class will get a 100. I am not a cheerleader of the former approach.

 

LOR, research experience, job experience, co-ops, etc.  SOme kids go to class and that is it.  Other kids are out there doing things that matter.

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I guess the question becomes is it necessary to differentiate between students. If everybody graduates with 4.0 (which seems to be the growing trend), the industry keeps inventing ways to sort kids out. At a high school level it's now the frenzy of gazzilion AP and SAT exams, because those are still scores that really sort kids into buckets. I am not sure what is heppening at the UG level to sort kids wanting to enter grad schools and such.

I sometimes wonder if we had less grade inflation if our kids would be less stressed out because maybe they would be taking fewer exams.

I can write a test for 50% of kids to get a 100 or I can write one when just 10% of the class will get a 100. I am not a cheerleader of the former approach.

We have a couple of friends who sit on admission committees for medical school.  They have told us that they know which schools have grade inflation and which have grade deflation and adjust the applicants GPA accordingly when evaluating the applicant.  A few years ago someone posted on CC a list that contained many undergrad institutions and the GPA adjustment that was applied by this grad school. (I can't remember which grad school it was)

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I sometimes wonder if we had less grade inflation if our kids would be less stressed out because maybe they would be taking fewer exams.

 

 

Even without the added work of AP exams, etc, I think the grade inflation may be causing additional stress.  If students think they need to get a 4.0 cumulative GPA to get into a "good" college, a single B in a single semester of high school work is a mistake that they can't recover from.  That must weigh heavy upon them.

Edited by GGardner
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We have a couple of friends who sit on admission committees for medical school.  They have told us that they know which schools have grade inflation and which have grade deflation and adjust the applicants GPA accordingly when evaluating the applicant.  A few years ago someone posted on CC a list that contained many undergrad institutions and the GPA adjustment that was applied by this grad school. (I can't remember which grad school it was)

 

The challenge would be for those cases when they 'do not' make such an adjustment. I wouldn't expect that to always occur. Some schools and employers set minimum GPA standards without adjustments. I know our company is one of them regardless of where one went to school. That GPA standard is even higher if an applicant is applying to an area deemed mission critical. And I have heard some grad schools set those non-adjusted standards based upon the program applied to. I'm not saying they shouldn't adjust, just that it does not matter is certain situations. The same concern would be true for Merit based scholarships. The GPA standard is set forth by the policy of the scholarship.

Edited by dereksurfs

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I guess the question becomes is it necessary to differentiate between students. If everybody graduates with 4.0 (which seems to be the growing trend), the industry keeps inventing ways to sort kids out. At a high school level it's now the frenzy of gazzilion AP and SAT exams, because those are still scores that really sort kids into buckets. I am not sure what is heppening at the UG level to sort kids wanting to enter grad schools and such.

I sometimes wonder if we had less grade inflation if our kids would be less stressed out because maybe they would be taking fewer exams.

I can write a test for 50% of kids to get a 100 or I can write one when just 10% of the class will get a 100. I am not a cheerleader of the former approach.

 

If a student is stressed out, he needs to drop a level or do some negotiating. Leave that seat for someone who will benefit from challenging themselves.

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So maybe there is a reason why we all turn to tests. Testing is more objective and GPA more dependent on schools. I feel bad though for kids taking 6 or 7 tests every year. My friend's senior took 5 AP exams last year and I believe equal number of SAT tests. Nuts.

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Even without the added work of AP exams, etc, I think the grade inflation may be causing additional stress.  If students think they need to get a 4.0 cumulative GPA to get into a "good" college, a single B in a single semester of high school work is a mistake that they can't recover from.  That must weigh heavy upon them.

 

I think this aspect has more to do with existing problems we're seeing at the high school level. If most high school students attending X elite school have a 4.35 GPA, then yes, a 'B' is like a total failure and shameful in some high school circles. There was a post on CC asking a similar question. When did a 3.4 GPA in high school become a negative thing? Was it 10 years ago, maybe 20?

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So maybe there is a reason why we all turn to tests. Testing is more objective and GPA more dependent on schools. I feel bad though for kids taking 6 or 7 tests every year. My friend's senior took 5 AP exams last year and I believe equal number of SAT tests. Nuts.

 

This is 'one' of the reasons we won't be applying to an elite school right out of high school. We simply don't want to play the multiple AP game along with hooks, etc.... The sad part is even for many who do all of that, they can still be rejected by the schools they've jumped through so many hoops to try to impress. Talk about stress and depression. If 'almost' everyone in certain circles believes they should go to an Ivy or equivalent and they don't get in for whatever reason, that can be devastating to their sense of self worth. A 'B' in those cases are very, very bad.

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This is 'one' of the reasons we won't be applying to an elite school right out of high school. We simply don't want to play the multiple AP game along with hooks, etc.... The sad part is even for many who do all of that, they can still be rejected by the schools they've jumped through so many hoops to try to impress. Talk about stress and depression. If 'almost' everyone in certain circles believes they should go to an Ivy or equivalent and they don't get in for whatever reason, that can be devastating to their sense of self worth. A 'B' in those cases are very, very bad.

I agree with the bolded. I refuse to turn my homeschool into a ps equivalent. It isn't why we homeschool. Fwiw, I disagree with "hooks" (though I don't think the term is hooks, more like accomplishments). Kids can accomplish all sorts of things simply bc thatbis what they want to be doing. They don't have to fabricate opportunities. Doing things uniquely them can have high pay offs and be self-satisfying in the process.

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I agree with the bolded. I refuse to turn my homeschool into a ps equivalent. It isn't why we homeschool. Fwiw, I disagree with "hooks" (though I don't think the term is hooks, more like accomplishments). Kids can accomplish all sorts of things simply bc thatbis what they want to be doing. They don't have to fabricate opportunities. Doing things uniquely them can have high pay offs and be self-satisfying in the process.

 

The current mess the public school system is in is one the main reasons we homeschool to begin with. Teaching to the test academically, obsession with n number of APs, cheating, grade inflation, no child left behind, intense peer pressure to get all 'A's, etc... Some well known universities are aware of the current problems and therefore not placing as much weight on things like APs and only giving elective credits for them. 

 

Regarding hooks, I think if a child has a passion then great, explore that passion. But if their extracurricular life is relatively normal for a high school student that's perfectly fine also. Well, at least for those 'not' trying to jump through someone else's hoops just to attempt to impress them in an artificial sort of way. 

Edited by dereksurfs
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This is 'one' of the reasons we won't be applying to an elite school right out of high school. We simply don't want to play the multiple AP game along with hooks, etc.... The sad part is even for many who do all of that, they can still be rejected by the schools they've jumped through so many hoops to try to impress. Talk about stress and depression. If 'almost' everyone in certain circles believes they should go to an Ivy or equivalent and they don't get in for whatever reason, that can be devastating to their sense of self worth. A 'B' in those cases are very, very bad.

It isn't just elite schools. For those in CA, UCs are the same in terms of admissions. Some CSUs are also the same.

 

For our family it is about educational quality, not the name, although they often go hand in hand. We will absolutely pay top dollar for rigorous education at a small liberal arts school.

My friend's kid came back from a certain UC to CC because of overcrowding. I am looking at affordable options in the state and they all look very impacted. I would rather pay double for quality, but I understand that this is a personal choice. It is worth it for us, so we will have to jump through whatever hoops.

Edited by Roadrunner
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It isn't just elite schools. For those in CA, UCs are the same in terms of admissions. Some CSUs are also the same.

 

For our family it is about educational quality, not the name, although they often go hand in hand. We will absolutely pay top dollar for small rigorous education at a small liberal arts school.

My friend's kid came back from a certain UC to CC because of overcrowding. I am looking at affordable options in the state and they all look very impacted. I would rather pay double for quality, but I understand that this is a personal choice. It is worth it for us, so we will have to jump through whatever hoops.

 

Yes, in state, affordable and 'not impacted' are very challenging here when combined together. Sometimes something has to give. Pick two of the three, possibly. Or find a compromise which works. For example, UCSC is not as impacted or as large though not as highly ranked as the other famous public Ivys (Cal, UCLA, et al).

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Just reading through this thread and the other one and wanting to pause to offer  :grouphug: .

 

Thank you! She is actually doing so very well now, and I am feeling particularly blessed at the moment. It's funny how life can change so much in three years.

 

I do share our story though, because I have hopes of destigmatizing the illness and perhaps making care more readily accessible. It is such a common problem, but so difficult to treat.

 

Another part of our story is that my mother is severely affected by mental illness, and is in an institution at this point. Mom was full of promise as a young person. Class president, homecoming and prom queen, cheerleader and basketball player; first in her impoverished family in the Deep South to go to college, and graduated in three years with a degree in Microbiology. Her first job was at the Centers for Disease Control. It all went downhill from there.

 

It was a different time though, and my wish was that we would do everything we could to get our daughter the coping skills she would need to deal with this chronic illness. At that point, what she did with that knowledge was up to her, but at least I would know we did what we could at the time when it was likely to benefit her the most. In my opinion it's much easier to help people in their youth.

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Yes, in state, affordable and 'not impacted' are very challenging here when combined together. Sometimes something has to give. Pick two of the three, possibly. Or find a compromise which works. For example, UCSC is not as impacted or as large though not as highly ranked as the other famous public Ivys (Cal, UCLA, et al).

I know that much has changed and UCSC has some wonderful programs, but all I picture when I think of that school is a whole lot of hippies on the lawn smoking pot. 😂😂😂

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I think this aspect has more to do with existing problems we're seeing at the high school level. If most high school students attending X elite school have a 4.35 GPA, then yes, a 'B' is like a total failure and shameful in some high school circles. There was a post on CC asking a similar question. When did a 3.4 GPA in high school become a negative thing? Was it 10 years ago, maybe 20?

I don't think a 3.4 has been common among applicants to elite colleges for a very long time. A 3.4 = 16 Bs and 12 As. One or two Bs actually has very little impact on GPA — it's literally only a few hundredths of a point (1 B out of 28 credits = 3.96, 2 = 3.93). Assuming a student took at least a few honors/AP/DE classes, their weighted GPA will be over 4.0 anyway. I don't think elite colleges consider a difference of a few hundredths of a GPA point to be any more significant that the difference between a 35 and a 36 on the ACT.

 

It's a shame that so many HS students are so obsessed with rankings and with the idea that the only way to get into elite schools is by doing boring things perfectly (5s on tons of APs, 1600/36 on SAT/ACT, etc.) instead of doing really interesting and usual things well and with passion. Especially since the latter is often more successful.

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I don't think a 3.4 has been common among applicants to elite colleges for a very long time. A 3.4 = 16 Bs and 12 As. One or two Bs actually has very little impact on GPA — it's literally only a few hundredths of a point (1 B out of 28 credits = 3.96, 2 = 3.93). Assuming a student took at least a few honors/AP/DE classes, their weighted GPA will be over 4.0 anyway. I don't think elite colleges consider a difference of a few hundredths of a GPA point to be any more significant that the difference between a 35 and a 36 on the ACT.

 

It's a shame that so many HS students are so obsessed with rankings and with the idea that the only way to get into elite schools is by doing boring things perfectly (5s on tons of APs, 1600/36 on SAT/ACT, etc.) instead of doing really interesting and usual things well and with passion. Especially since the latter is often more successful.

 

FWIW, my kid is at a very selective school.  He did take AP exams.  We had a lot of fun with some of the courses.  The two government courses were some of my favorite ever.  He had a mix of 4s and 5s, primarily because he is an excellent essay writer.  He also has high test scores, though not perfect.

 

But he didn't spend his high school years trying to figure out how to get into an elite school.   He did activities that he found meaningful, enjoyable and challenging.  He read a lot.  He hiked and served as a camp staffer.  He moved three times in 4 years.  I would describe his high school years as anything but boring.

 

He wasn't obsessed with getting into an elite school.  He applied to one tippy top selective school, a number of pretty selective (10-20%) schools, and some pretty open state schools.  He was thrilled to the bones with where he was accepted and is attending.  But he was also thrilled with a number of other acceptances and seriously weighed the pros and cons of 2-3 schools before choosing where his is now.

 

I think that I'm probably agreeing with the point you are trying to make.  The classmates of his that I've met are anything but boring.  They are mostly incredibly talented and interesting people.  DS was also tickled by people he met at one of the other schools he toured.  He came back describing how incredible he thought the other students were.

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I know that much has changed and UCSC has some wonderful programs, but all I picture when I think of that school is a whole lot of hippies on the lawn smoking pot. 😂😂😂

 

I know that is what comes to a lot folks minds who know the area, remember the 60s/70s and some of the protests. But when you actually look at all the academics and research they are doing its really cool stuff. We visited the campus including the Baskin school of Engineering are were impressed with it overall. Though it was just a short visit. I'd like to take another trip to sit in on some classes, etc...

 

Speaking of stigmas, UC Berkeley is another that falls into that category especially given the recent protests, riots, etc... Still, that doesn't take away from the quality of their academic programs nor the research being conducted. Not every student is out there going crazy in the streets. lol  :tongue_smilie:

 

After reading fairly extensively about it and hearing from both alumni and employers, students haven't been negatively affected by those notions. Many have gone to do great things without hindrances.

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The challenge would be for those cases when they 'do not' make such an adjustment. I wouldn't expect that to always occur. Some schools and employers set minimum GPA standards without adjustments. I know our company is one of them regardless of where one went to school. That GPA standard is even higher if an applicant is applying to an area deemed mission critical. And I have heard some grad schools set those non-adjusted standards based upon the program applied to. I'm not saying they shouldn't adjust, just that it does not matter is certain situations. The same concern would be true for Merit based scholarships. The GPA standard is set forth by the policy of the scholarship.

Yes we normally use 3.0 minimum for all schools but we know that 3.2 at college X is higher than 3.4 at college Y.

I recently argued for a candidate with a 2.9 because he had good coursework and project and he worked while going to college.

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It isn't just elite schools. For those in CA, UCs are the same in terms of admissions. Some CSUs are also the same.

 

For our family it is about educational quality, not the name, although they often go hand in hand. We will absolutely pay top dollar for rigorous education at a small liberal arts school.

My friend's kid came back from a certain UC to CC because of overcrowding. I am looking at affordable options in the state and they all look very impacted. I would rather pay double for quality, but I understand that this is a personal choice. It is worth it for us, so we will have to jump through whatever hoops.

 

Does UC or CSU have anything like SUNY Geneseo which rates quite well with the typical Northeast liberal arts colleges.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_University_of_New_York_at_Geneseo

https://www.niche.com/colleges/suny-geneseo/

 

It is medium size 5000 not small.

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FWIW, my kid is at a very selective school.  He did take AP exams.  We had a lot of fun with some of the courses.  The two government courses were some of my favorite ever.  He had a mix of 4s and 5s, primarily because he is an excellent essay writer.  He also has high test scores, though not perfect.

 

But he didn't spend his high school years trying to figure out how to get into an elite school.   He did activities that he found meaningful, enjoyable and challenging.  He read a lot.  He hiked and served as a camp staffer.  He moved three times in 4 years.  I would describe his high school years as anything but boring.

 

He wasn't obsessed with getting into an elite school.  He applied to one tippy top selective school, a number of pretty selective (10-20%) schools, and some pretty open state schools.  He was thrilled to the bones with where he was accepted and is attending.  But he was also thrilled with a number of other acceptances and seriously weighed the pros and cons of 2-3 schools before choosing where his is now.

 

I think that I'm probably agreeing with the point you are trying to make.  The classmates of his that I've met are anything but boring.  They are mostly incredibly talented and interesting people.  DS was also tickled by people he met at one of the other schools he toured.  He came back describing how incredible he thought the other students were.

 

I definitely wasn't implying that only boring kids with tons of APs and perfect test scores get into elite schools — quite the opposite. I think kids who believe that the ONLY way to get in is to basically sacrifice 4 years of their lives doing the maximum number of APs, maintaining a 4.8 GPA, and spending every spare moment in test prep to maximize SAT scores, are very much mistaken and may find themselves passed over in favor of kids with lower numbers who are more interesting and passionate.

 

It reminds me of the girl who published a snarky essay a couple of years ago after being totally devastated when she was rejected by all the elite schools she applied to. She was extremely bitter that she'd worked so hard, doing everything she thought she was supposed to do, and it wasn't enough. The list of her accomplishments was impressive, but nothing out of the ordinary. She was very good at all of the things that most students do (the usual honors/AP courses, high GPA & test scores, varsity athlete) but didn't have anything that really set her apart from the thousands of other middle-class girls from NJ who were applying to Ivies.

 

Another cautionary tale about the pursuit of perfection for the sole purpose of admissions is the kid who was rejected by MIT not because he lacked perfect SAT scores, but precisely because he had them — he took the SAT three times, having gotten 1590 the first two times, which was a real turn-off to the adcoms. Maybe he should have been thinking more about what the kids who got in with scores in the 1400s had that made their test scores less important, and focus on those characteristics. In fact, I'd say that's good advice for any kid who is looking at elite schools — instead of obsessing about a 4.5 GPA or 1600 SAT scores, look at what the kids in the bottom 25% of admitted students were doing that made them stand out enough to be admitted.

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I definitely wasn't implying that only boring kids with tons of APs and perfect test scores get into elite schools — quite the opposite.

 

Gotcha.  

 

Something my son has commented on is that a number of his friends at school are all a bit bemused to find themselves there.  I think he's not the only one who was a bit shocked at the acceptance letter.

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 instead of obsessing about a 4.5 GPA or 1600 SAT scores, look at what the kids in the bottom 25% of admitted students were doing that made them stand out enough to be admitted.

 

Is there any way to determine what this is, other than anecdotally?

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I know that much has changed and UCSC has some wonderful programs, but all I picture when I think of that school is a whole lot of hippies on the lawn smoking pot. 😂😂😂

 

Think again.  I know some pretty serious students who graduated there.  

 

I will always remember the beautiful trees and dirt paths between buildings.  It ain't called Uncle Charlie's Summer Camp for nothing.  

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My friend's kid came back from a certain UC to CC because of overcrowding.  

 

If I may ask, which UC?  Is there a plan to return to the UC again after a year or two at CC?  

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I know that much has changed and UCSC has some wonderful programs, but all I picture when I think of that school is a whole lot of hippies on the lawn smoking pot. 😂😂😂

UCSC is still famous for their annual Pot Day

 

“And even though Prop 64 passed, which legalized adult use of marijuana in California, officers said UCSC is a federally funded institution, and cannabis is still illegal under the law.

 

“We realize and recognize that although we might not be able to talk to everybody or cite everybody,†Oweis said. “We are going to do our best to make sure everyone is safe on this campus.â€

 

This time around, there will be about 100 officers from various agencies on patrol and guarding a DUI checkpoint.

 

All this police activity tomorrow is costing the school $100,000, that many say could be used for other things.â€

http://www.kion546.com/news/uc-santa-cruz-gets-ready-for-420/455256262

 

ETA:

Unrelated to UCSC; if your child has tree allergy check if the trees on campus would cause a nasty allergy reaction. For example, I avoid cherry blossoms and some shrubs if possible.

Edited by Arcadia

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Yes, she will go back. It's UCSD.

 

What's going at SD?  Is it housing, or not enough sections of classes?  Too big classes?  

 

Wasn't it UCI that admitted too many students, then rejected them, then admitted them again?  I wonder how that campus is coping?   Such a mess.  

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What's going at SD? Is it housing, or not enough sections of classes? Too big classes?

 

Wasn't it UCI that admitted too many students, then rejected them, then admitted them again? I wonder how that campus is coping? Such a mess.

Apparently all of it. She said it felt like she was paying to self study. Way too many kids in the classroom. I believe they are also having housing issues and are trying to pay kids to live off campus. She felt she could get the first two years at a CC cheaper and get more attention from teachers. She plans to go back.

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UCSC is still famous for their annual Pot Day

 

“And even though Prop 64 passed, which legalized adult use of marijuana in California, officers said UCSC is a federally funded institution, and cannabis is still illegal under the law.

 

“We realize and recognize that although we might not be able to talk to everybody or cite everybody,†Oweis said. “We are going to do our best to make sure everyone is safe on this campus.â€

 

This time around, there will be about 100 officers from various agencies on patrol and guarding a DUI checkpoint.

 

All this police activity tomorrow is costing the school $100,000, that many say could be used for other things.â€

http://www.kion546.com/news/uc-santa-cruz-gets-ready-for-420/455256262

 

ETA:

Unrelated to UCSC; if your child has tree allergy check if the trees on campus would cause a nasty allergy reaction. For example, I avoid cherry blossoms and some shrubs if possible.

 

Arcadia, there is nothing about '4/20 Day' that is unique to UCSC. It's actually celebrated across the nation on 'many' college campuses, city parks, etc...

 

Let's face reality, pot is everywhere including all of our top campuses. In fact, according to one survey students smoke more pot at UCSB, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Virginia Tech, Brown, Princeton and Yale than at UCSC. Its just an old stereotype that is not unique at all to UCSC compared to countless others which most parents have no problem sending their kids to. 

 

Regarding the trees, yes, they are plentiful on campus, especially the redwoods. I can see how someone with tree allergies would have to be careful. Though I've never heard of anyone with allergies to redwoods, I'm sure its possible. I didn't see any cherry blossom there. I don't think they're native to the area.

Edited by dereksurfs

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Apparently all of it. She said it felt like she was paying to self study. Way too many kids in the classroom. I believe they are also having housing issues and are trying to pay kids to live off campus. She felt she could get the first two years at a CC cheaper and get more attention from teachers. She plans to go back.

 

Its pretty bad at UCSD and UCI. I have friends and family members attempting to get their classes to graduate. Many are having problems completing their 4 year degrees in 5 which is the limit the schools will allow. Here's one article talking about the population explosion on these campuses which are continuing to bloat in size: Tidal wave of enrollment hits UC San Diego, UC Irvine.

 

At some point you have to ask if its really worth it with programs which are this impacted. Apparently thousands of students still think it is. 

Edited by dereksurfs
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Let's face reality, pot is everywhere including all of our top campuses. In fact, according to one survey students smoke more pot at UCSB, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Virginia Tech, Brown, Princeton and Yale than at UCSC.

We have people smoking pot in their cars on US101 and I880. Besides my kids eliminated UCs for other reasons and we have visited UCDavis, UCSF, UCB, UCSC, UCI, UCSB, UCLA, UCSD so far. We haven’t visit UCRiverside and UCMerced. My kids aren’t keen on East Coast either so Princeton, Yale, Brown and Virginia Tech are out. They aren’t interested in MIT and Harvard either regardless of ranking of drug use.

 

ETA:

Heavy sports culture is definitely out. My kids didn’t have a good impression of frat houses either.

Edited by Arcadia

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Its pretty bad at UCSD and UCI. I have friends and family members attempting to get their classes to graduate. Many are having problems completing their 4 year degrees in 5 which is the limit the schools will allow. Here's one article talking about the population explosion on these campuses which are continuing to bloat in size: Tidal wave of enrollment hits UC San Diego, UC Irvine.

 

At some point you have to ask if its really worth it with programs which are this impacted. Apparently thousands of students still think it is.

I am surprised Davis and UCSC aren't having the same issues.

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Arcadia, there is nothing about '4/20 Day' that is unique to UCSC. It's actually celebrated across the nation on 'many' college campuses, city parks, etc...

 

Let's face reality, pot is everywhere including all of our top campuses.

 

Youngest son's college regularly ranks in the Top 10 for Reefer Madness according to Princeton Review.  I just checked on 2017.  #4!

 

http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Princeton-Review-Colleges-with-the-most-reefer-11744545.php

 

Amazingly enough, no one in our family cares to use it (even if it were legal) and he still enjoys the college - even has non-using peers.

 

I know being in the Top 10 for that category would turn many off.  He's thankful we didn't let it sway our opinion as it was his #1 choice - and only school he applied to.

 

So much depends upon the personality involved with the kids.

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... and he still enjoys the college - even has non-using peers.

But, didn't it take over a semester for him to find some peers? I seem to remember a rough first semester with partying roommate and classmates who were openly hostile to his clean living.

 

Eta: I think I am thinking of this thread. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/536668-end-of-semester-report/

Edited by RootAnn
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Youngest son's college regularly ranks in the Top 10 for Reefer Madness according to Princeton Review.  I just checked on 2017.  #4!

 

http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Princeton-Review-Colleges-with-the-most-reefer-11744545.php

 

Amazingly enough, no one in our family cares to use it (even if it were legal) and he still enjoys the college - even has non-using peers.

 

I know being in the Top 10 for that category would turn many off.  He's thankful we didn't let it sway our opinion as it was his #1 choice - and only school he applied to.

 

So much depends upon the personality involved with the kids.

 

Yes, I've been hearing something similar from some of the students at UCSC. Some of them have no interest in smoking pot and find other like minded students to hang out with, study, etc... There's just no getting around the fact that it will be present and so they'll get somewhat accustomed to in the dorms and around the campus. I've heard different dorms definitely have their own personalities, some more into the larger party scene, etc... Off campus can also be a good option for students if a group of friends can share a place with similar preferences such as no pot in the house. In our case, there is even the possibility of commuting.

Edited by dereksurfs
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But, didn't it take over a semester for him to find some peers? I seem to remember a rough first semester with partying roommate and classmates who were openly hostile to his clean living.

 

Eta: I think I am thinking of this thread. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/536668-end-of-semester-report/

 

Oh definitely.  His first semester was rough adjusting especially due to his roommate at that time.  That lad was downright mean - locking him out of his own dorm and similar things.  Fortunately, changing roommates and getting involved in clubs was all it took.  His first roommate never could room with anyone else.  His second one became a nice buddy - even though the second one parties and my guy doesn't.  He found his like minded peers in the clubs.

 

Had things not changed, we'd have certainly let him come home and transfer somewhere else to find a better fit.  I also doubt I'd have been singing their praises right now, but my opinion reflect's my guy's.  He loves it there and will be graduating this May.  ;)

 

On a different note, in hindsight, I'm glad he was able to work through his situation taking our advice for changes.  It did require our giving him advice.  It wasn't anything that came naturally to him at that time as he was used to his friend group here at home.  If we'd ever had him tested, I'm also pretty sure he'd be on the Aspie scale based upon other students I know, so extra "social" guidance and teaching was also needed throughout his life.  But still, if it hadn't worked, we'd have been fine with him transferring.  A place isn't always what one dreams about.  There's no shame in that.

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Yes, I've been hearing something similar from some of the students at UCSC. Some of them have no interest in smoking pot and find other like minded students to hang out with, study, etc... There's just no getting around the fact that it will be present and so they'll get somewhat accustomed to in the dorms and around the campus. I've heard different dorms definitely have their own personalities, some more into the larger party scene, etc... Off campus can also be a good option for students if a group of friends can share a place with similar preferences such as no pot in the house. In our case, there is even the possibility of commuting.

Yes, this is going to be true of any university, and I’d include even the more religious based ones, to a certain degree.

Pot will be readily found for the asking. The same for hard drugs, even. The kids learn very quickly who can supply which drug, from marijuana to the Ritalin type. Certain dorms have reputations, which attracts or repels. Many RA’s, and even campus police, will not interfere if drug or alcohol use is kept inside your dorm room, while stressing the need to be on the alert for possible overdoses. Just because there’s some poll or article claiming the place to be more straight-laced means little unless you’re able to spend actual time there.

And this of course doesn’t mean it should be crossed off your( general you) list, just be aware that things aren’t always as it is presented, and there are plenty of students and activities, etc that are perfectly happy to take no part in it.

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
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Yes, this is going to be true of any university, and I’d include even the more religious based ones, to a certain degree.

Pot will be readily found for the asking. The same for hard drugs, even.

We have pot-laced brownies issues even in elementary schools here so parents are well aware. My younger kid has a harder time with the state law being different from federal law, it would be harder for him to remember that schools (kindergarten to college) can choose to enforce federal law even though they usually turn a blind eye.

 

He is already annoyed at smokers who smoke in smoke free areas and not all smokers take kindly to someone giving them a disgusted look. We are trying to teach this kid to be much more street smart.

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We have pot-laced brownies issues even in elementary schools here so parents are well aware. My younger kid has a harder time with the state law being different from federal law, it would be harder for him to remember that schools (kindergarten to college) can choose to enforce federal law even though they usually turn a blind eye.

 

He is already annoyed at smokers who smoke in smoke free areas and not all smokers take kindly to someone giving them a disgusted look. We are trying to teach this kid to be much more street smart.

 

This is part of the craziness in our schools which do not reflect professional life once one graduates and starts their job. Can you imagine your coworkers smoking weed and selling drugs to each other during the break? At least for most workplaces this is not common due to corporate policies on drug use, etc... In fact many jobs require drug testing. Yet we have elementary school (and college) behaviors occurring regularly which are totally unacceptable in the common workplace. I'm not at all saying adults don't engage in drug use, alcoholism, smoking pot, etc... Its just not as open, celebrated and in one's face as it is while growing up and going to school. At least its not in most professional environments. Something is wrong with this picture. 

Edited by dereksurfs
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This is part of the craziness in our schools which do not reflect professional life once one graduates and starts their job. Can you imagine your coworkers smoking weed and selling drugs to each other during the break? At least for most workplaces this in not common due to corporate policies on drug use, etc... In fact many jobs require drug testing. Yet we have elementary school (and college) behaviors occurring regularly which are totally unacceptable in the common workplace. I'm not at all saying adults don't engage in drug use, alcoholism, smoking pot, etc... Its just not as open, celebrated and in one's face as it is while growing up and going to school. At least its not in most professional environments. Something is wrong with this picture.

Weeelllll, maybe not selling and smoking during breaks, but a big chunk of my coworkers smoked and everybody knew who did, and parties weren't drug free either.. Drug testing never seems to occur at places where everybody has at least a masters degree, or at least that has been my experience. ☹ï¸

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