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Hoggirl

Flabbergasted by friends' lack of awareness of college costs - UPDATE in post #440

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Oh, "getting into university" is easy!  It's getting into a selective university that is hard. 

 

LOL. I've mentioned before, but there's a prep school locally ($32,000/year) that advertises "100% college admissions."

 

I've worked at state community colleges for twenty years, and I can tell you that the only people who aren't admitted there are:

 

1. People with no diploma or GED; in some cases they will do a provisional admission to let them take three classes as a trial.

2. On probation for a violent, sexual, or drug offense.

3. People who score so low on the placement tests that they don't qualify for remedial math and/or English.

 

From what the admissions people at the local college have told me, that's just a bare handful of people each semester who are turned away.

 

So bragging about college admissions for all of their students is somewhat silly. The only way a student from that school wouldn't get admitted to the community college was if they had committed a crime and were on probation.

Edited by G5052
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LOL. I've mentioned before, but there's a prep school locally ($32,000/year) that advertises "100% college admissions."

 

Heh. One of the schools in DC was advertising that too; it was the same thing, they made them all submit an application to the DC CC's. 

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LOL. I've mentioned before, but there's a prep school locally ($32,000/year) that advertises "100% college admissions."

 

I've worked at state community colleges for twenty years, and I can tell you that the only people who aren't admitted there are:

 

1. People with no diploma or GED; in some cases they will do a provisional admission to let them take three classes as a trial.

2. On probation for a violent, sexual, or drug offense.

3. People who score so low on the placement tests that they don't qualify for remedial math and/or English.

 

From what the admissions people at the local college have told me, that's just a bare handful of people each semester who are turned away.

 

So bragging about college admissions for all of their students is somewhat silly. The only way a student from that school wouldn't get admitted to the community college was if they had committed a crime and were on probation.

 

Our local public, free high school has 98% of kids going on to college, that's 92% to a 4-year, 6% to a 2-year.  1% military, 1% employment.  I'm actually surprised that the % going to a 2-year has gone down by half in the past three years (used to be 12% going to a 2-year; the 1% each to military/employment has been exactly the same for years).  With the way college costs have been going, I'd have thought the trend would be in the other direction.  But yeah, getting in somewhere is not the issue - although our school does regularly send kids to Ivies, MIT and Stanford, that's only about the top 1-2% of the class (5-10 kids/year).  The rest go elsewhere; the greatest percentage at any one place - surprise! - go to one of the UMass campuses.  And yes, still a bunch to CC.

Edited by Matryoshka
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Well, CC *is* college. Just sayin'.

 

Yes. :)  That's why I lumped the two numbers together to 98% college.

Edited by Matryoshka

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I don't disagree at all. But I don't think that having the students send an application to an open-admissions college (most don't actually enroll) counts as "100% college". 

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I think that is very much the case locally. The state university has a different approach to admissions given our remoteness. They will accept any student who meets the minimum ACT/SAT and grade requirements. The CC system is part of the UHawaii system so courses transfer from one campus to another without issue.

 

Popular out of state schools include schools in Oregon,Washington, California, and Nevada (Vegas is called the 9th Hawaiian island). The midwest and the east coast are incredibly distant and out of mind for most students. WUE helps with tuition at some schools, which makes the west coast publics poplar. And the cost of travel to and from school does increase the cost of attendance a lot (Just two trips a year, ie Christmas holiday and starting/finishing in Aug/May costs around $3000. And that doesn't address where the student goes for Thanksgiving or Spring Break when dorms are closed.)

 

On one hand I love that the CC to U Hawaii system makes such a smooth transfer on ramp. On the other hand, I wish that students knew about more the the great schools that could offer a quality education and merit aid to qualifying students. I don't think, for example that Alabama gets many applicants from here. And the colder the winter, the fewer the applications, I think.

 

I think it is very likely that families get sticker shock at the full cost of attendance at out of state schools. The schools here are mostly commuter. Some have few dorms and only guarantee them to freshmen. So the $10-15k for room and board may surprise some families at a point in time when it is really too late to do other applications.

Yes, a lot of things can catch us off guard. I was excited about WUE until I started digging and discovered it only covers some programs in some schools. In other words I was happy to find out that the University of Arizona was covered and very let down when it didn't cover my child's interest. She is only a freshman so we weren't suddenly surprised senior year or anything but it is important to look at the fine print.

 

Even if you happen find the right program in the right school it isn't just an exchange but more like a scholarship with only a certain number of openings. You win it just like any other scholarship. This all makes sense but it isn't always advertised as a scholarship you earn and can lose like any other scholarship and specifically for certain degree programs in certain schools; it is advertised as a deal states make with each other.

 

Then I realized many midwest schools were cheaper than the western schools even after WUE was applied. Ha

 

It certainly is a great thing to check on if you happen to hit the jackpot with right program and right school and it has a nice web site to get you started but it's not what I thought it was to begin with.

Edited by frogger
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Our local public, free high school has 98% of kids going on to college, that's 92% to a 4-year, 6% to a 2-year.  1% military, 1% employment.  I'm actually surprised that the % going to a 2-year has gone down by half in the past three years (used to be 12% going to a 2-year; the 1% each to military/employment has been exactly the same for years).  With the way college costs have been going, I'd have thought the trend would be in the other direction.  But yeah, getting in somewhere is not the issue - although our school does regularly send kids to Ivies, MIT and Stanford, that's only about the top 1-2% of the class (5-10 kids/year).  The rest go elsewhere; the greatest percentage at any one place - surprise! - go to one of the UMass campuses.  And yes, still a bunch to CC.

 

Two trends here..first is that the echo boom is over, so colleges have less graduates available to fill seats...easier to get in to a 4 yr.  Secondly, the CC program -- the students that used to CC and transfer now have acceleration and DE available in 11th and 12th grade, so often they run out of classes at the CC so quickly they might as well start at the 4 yr. With the 4 yr price close to the 2 year, and a long commute...they are just better off financially going to a 4 year in a town where they can work part time. ymmv of course

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LOL. I've mentioned before, but there's a prep school locally ($32,000/year) that advertises "100% college admissions."

...

So bragging about college admissions for all of their students is somewhat silly. The only way a student from that school wouldn't get admitted to the community college was if they had committed a crime and were on probation.

 

I hear you on the idea that such a statistic can be meaningless, depending on how it is measured.  BUT - assuming the stat isn't totally bogus (e.g. everyone is getting admitted to cc and not even going), it's a legitimate thing for a prospective parent to consider.  Some things to think about - 

  • Only around 69% of students nation-wide go on to college.
  • For a surprising number of states, the percent is in the fifties or even the mid-forties.
  • Within states, it also varies.  Many students don't have access to magnet schools or other public "choice" options; they have only one public option for high school.

So for a family whose local public high school has a 50% college rate, investing in a private school with a ~100% college rate might be a very good choice.  It is not just about ensuring that one's student is well-situated, academics-wise, for college applications.   It's also about surrounding the student with classmates/friends (and their families) who have similar goals.  Community matters - are the student's friends going to spend their time getting into trouble, or helping each other with their AP Stats homework?  

 

Of course, some parents choose to get similar results by spending their money on a house in a "good" public school district.  I've seen similar houses on opposite sides of a school district line have selling prices that differ by as much as 500K.  Other parents choose to live in a lower-cost area where the public schools aren't as good, leaving their money liquid so they can pay private school tuition.  There are pros and cons to each approach, and all kinds of local factors, financial considerations, and student-specific concerns, can come into play.

 

Obviously, a prospective parent needs to dig deeper than a one-sentence claim before choosing a school, whether it be college (as we've been discussing in this thread) or high school.  Most of the private high schools I've looked at mention not only their college acceptance rate, but the specific schools their students have been admitted to, and which schools they've chosen to attend.  Just as with choosing a college, the more you look, and the more information you gather, the easier it is to read between the lines and see differences between schools.

 

Tl;dr - The private college prep schools I'm familiar with, which claim 100% college rates, do so legitimately.  Their students attend college at a dramatically higher percentage than public school students in many of the local areas they serve, and the group of colleges they attend are significantly more selective than those attended by the public school students.  It's not a guarantee, and parents are wise to look closely at any school before enrolling their student; in addition "fit" matters.  But don't assume all private "college prep" schools are fudging the numbers.  

And some parents choose to spend their money on a house in a "good" school district, vs. other parents who choose to live in a lower-cost area where the public schools aren't as good, leaving their money liquid so they can pay private school tuition.

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So for a family whose local public high school has a 50% college rate, investing in a private school with a ~100% college rate might be a very good choice.  It is not just about ensuring that one's student is well-situated, academics-wise, for college applications.   It's also about surrounding the student with classmates/friends (and their families) who have similar goals.  Community matters - are the student's friends going to spend their time getting into trouble, or helping each other with their AP Stats homework?  ...

 

The private college prep schools I'm familiar with, which claim 100% college rates, do so legitimately.  Their students attend college at a dramatically higher percentage than public school students in many of the local areas they serve, and the group of colleges they attend are significantly more selective than those attended by the public school students.  

 

Of course it's legitimate  - but how much of that is self selection?

Only parents who consider college important for their kids will send them to a private college prep school.

The kids who come from families where college is not considered important, whose parents never went, and who are least likely to attend college won't be at these schools.

It is very easy to claim "100% college" if your student body consists 100% of parents from educated and well off families for whom college is the standard path. It's a complete no brainer. No kids from the demographic that isn't going to college will attend these schools.

Edited by regentrude
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Two trends here..first is that the echo boom is over, so colleges have less graduates available to fill seats...easier to get in to a 4 yr.  Secondly, the CC program -- the students that used to CC and transfer now have acceleration and DE available in 11th and 12th grade, so often they run out of classes at the CC so quickly they might as well start at the 4 yr. With the 4 yr price close to the 2 year, and a long commute...they are just better off financially going to a 4 year in a town where they can work part time. ymmv of course

 

The first part may well be a factor.

 

The second part may be true elsewhere, but not at this particular school.  DE is available, but almost no one uses it, and NONE of the top kids go that route.  That would be unthinkable.  DE is only available if you do it full-time on the CC campus, and it's usually only for senior year - and since you effectively have to stop going to the high school (and get your own transportation to the CC 20 min away), it cuts you off from social life there.  The kids who go this route from this school are kids who are sick of the performance pressure.  The CC is relaxing in comparison.  My own kid is doing DE at the same campus these kids get sent to, so I know some of them - they wanted OUT.  It's the reason 2/3 of my kids ended up punting the local high school to do DE.  The ones who are past what the high school curriculum offers do extra stuff at MIT (they actually do a lot of outreach to high school kids) or do advanced stuff with some of the online gifted programs - but not DE/CC. 

 

I feel like I live on a different planet when I read some of the stats about high schools where 40-60% of kids go on to college.  But then, in this town, we're actually poorly educated with only bachelor's degrees.  More people in this town have master's or PhDs than have bachelor's, and those with less than that barely show up in the pie chart - so yes, the education level of the parents has a lot to do with it.  They have some good teachers at the school, but also some really poor ones, but this is a student body who can overcome that.  When the AP Physics teacher taught some concepts wrong, the kids set up a Facebook group and the kids who had already taken it through CTY or somewhere corrected the teacher and helped the rest of the class.

Edited by Matryoshka
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Of course it's legitimate  - but how much of that is self selection?

Only parents who consider college important for their kids will send them to a private college prep school.

The kids who come from families where college is not considered important, whose parents never went, and who are least likely to attend college won't be at these schools.

It is very easy to claim "100% college" if your student body consists 100% of parents from educated and well off families for whom college is the standard path. It's a complete no brainer. No kids from the demographic that isn't going to college will attend these schools.

 

Yes, I agree that that self-selection plays a huge role in who goes to private college-prep schools, though the ones I'm familiar with have a mix of educated/well-off families and 1st generation college/less-well-off students.  

 

I was, kind of tangentially to the rest of this thread, addressing G5052's skepticism about claims of 100% college admission.  She raised the valid point that college admission rates alone, without any sense of which colleges are granting the admission, can be a fairly low, potentially misleading standard.  I was trying to show the other side of the coin - that at least in the cases of the schools in my area with which I am familiar, the schools not only have ~100% college admission, but the colleges are, generally speaking, fairly selective ones and not "anyone gets in" / community colleges. 

 

My point was simply that, while skepticism is a good idea in general when evaluating schools of all kinds, interested families shouldn't write off the claims of private college-prep high schools without further investigation, as the reality behind the claim may be bogus but it may also be completely legit.  (As is the case with any kind of school - ask questions, dig deeper, get specifics, don't focus on just what the top "star" grads are doing, etc.)

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My point was simply that, while skepticism is a good idea in general when evaluating schools of all kinds, interested families shouldn't write off the claims of private college-prep high schools without further investigation, as the reality behind the claim may be bogus but it may also be completely legit.  (As is the case with any kind of school - ask questions, dig deeper, get specifics, don't focus on just what the top "star" grads are doing, etc.)

 

I do agree. Families also ought to investigate -- how does what the private school is doing compare to what you would have expected the same families to achieve in the public system.

 

If they're taking a lot of kids from families with average or better socioeconomic backgrounds (but still, parents sufficiently invested to pay for school) and sending them to decent schools, that's great. But if they have a significant proportion of students on full scholarships, or especially kids who would qualify for free lunches in PS, and they're still going to decent schools, that's even better. 

 

JMO. 

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Private, public, homeschool... The best option really does depend on the particular school and child.

 

I have a friend, whose child was scoring low in standardized tests and needed additional academic support. My friend believed an elite school would provide all this support. She also believed that such a school would be the door to a selective college. I have experience with private schools, and tried to explain that it would not necessarily be the case. Our public school is college bound and kids get into selective colleges all the time.

 

It turned out, they still had to find private tutors for this child to keep up academically. They must have low ball spent over $40,000 per year with tuition, extra fees, donations, and private tutor fees. Senior year, there was intense pressure to apply and accept private colleges where this family would be full pay, because that was the plan for most of her school peers. The child did well, and ended up at one of the mid tier UC campuses, same as her neighbor who attended the public school. Was it worth it? They are sending their second child to the public high school.

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I was just chatting with a mom whose kid is applying to multiple Ivies and Ivy-level schools with single-digit admissions rates, plus just one "safety" that's not even a guarantee (general admissions rate is in the 40s, and direct admit to engineering is more selective than that). Took the SAT once, scored in the low 1400s, decided he didn't need to take it again. No APs, no DE, no outside classes, and therefore no LORs (yes, seriously). Also does not meet the basic checklist of coursework for most of the schools on his list and is not a top-ranked athlete. His coach pulled strings to get him an interview with the coach at a super-selective engineering school with an 8% admission rate where perfect SAT scores are a dime a dozen. First thing the coach asked about was test scores and said "if you're under 1500 I can't help you." The mom said to me "Well, it would have been nice to know that beforehand!"  As if there was no possible way they could have known that beforehand.   :blink:


 

Edited by Corraleno
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My ds attended a small public charter high school that boasts 100% college admissions. It is a big part of the brand. Every student must apply to at least three colleges. Many apply to many more. I would estimate that 60% stay in-state (probably for financial reasons), but a list of all acceptances is posted in the graduation program. Many students aim for and are accepted at highly competitive schools. Ds was accepted to four top 20 schools. They finally broke the Ivy barrier the year after ds graduated. This year’s graduating class of 63 has already had two accepted REA to Stanford. They routinely send kids to military academies as well. I know kids from his school at Princeton, Columbia, Notre Dame, Berkeley, Harvey Mudd, WashU, and Middlebury. Admission to the school is by lottery. Granted, people are self-selecting in putting their names in the hat for the lottery, but that’s it.

 

My point is that one can always look *behind* the “100% college admissions†claim to see what’s actually there. Maybe it means nothing, but maybe there is more substance to it.

Edited by Hoggirl
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The way they weed out for the top academic charters here is by placing students according to skill level instead of grade level.

 

So for kids who start there in 7th (it's 7-12), they start Latin and Pre-A.  If your kid can't do Pre-A by 7th, they'll take him, but the class offered at 7th is Pre-A and he's going to be behind.  If you want your kids to transfer in for HS, which a fiar number do, if your kid isn't in Geo for 9th (or above) they can take a lower class, but it will be with 7th or 8th graders.  If they haven't had 1-2 years of Latin at that point they'll also be taking Latin with 7th or 8th graders.  

 

I figure it's fair enough as the purpose of the school(s) is basically an accel-track classical education, so if you want to send your kid there he should be prepared for an accel-track classical education, but while it's technically a lottery, in reality they don't exactly take all comers.

 

These charters do generally have the highest ACT scores in the state among public schools.

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The way they weed out for the top academic charters here is by placing students according to skill level instead of grade level.

 

So for kids who start there in 7th (it's 7-12), they start Latin and Pre-A.  If your kid can't do Pre-A by 7th, they'll take him, but the class offered at 7th is Pre-A and he's going to be behind.  If you want your kids to transfer in for HS, which a fiar number do, if your kid isn't in Geo for 9th (or above) they can take a lower class, but it will be with 7th or 8th graders.  If they haven't had 1-2 years of Latin at that point they'll also be taking Latin with 7th or 8th graders.  

 

I figure it's fair enough as the purpose of the school(s) is basically an accel-track classical education, so if you want to send your kid there he should be prepared for an accel-track classical education, but while it's technically a lottery, in reality they don't exactly take all comers.

 

These charters do generally have the highest ACT scores in the state among public schools.

 

Wow!  The IB charter high school near us kind of has the opposite way of weeding out--you have to start in the elementary school by 5th grade at the absolute latest (and it's pretty rare to get in after kindergarten)...  I'm sure there's still some self-selection (though they appear to send out application forms to the addresses of known 4 and 5 year-olds in the sending area, but if we're being honest, even filling out a basic form and submitting it by a deadline weeds out some people.) but they're definitely not leaving it up to someone else to do the K-6 prep work, but they also have kids still taking pre-algebra in 8th grade, because even with a solid math program, not every kid will be ready for 8th grade algebra.  (In my high school math teaching days, my biggest complaint was that the high school, with a very mixed population from literally all over the world, refused to have any math classes below Algebra I.  I'd still feel a bit like I was lying if I was reviewing the four basic operations with kids in a "pre-algebra" class, but calling it "algebra" for those kids was a joke.  But the sad part was there were kids in the class who *were* ready for algebra, and I didn't like that there was no good way to decide who to help.  I know some people complain that, say, charters take the "best" students away, but I wouldn't have minded being able to focus on helping the students who weren't ready for pre-algebra but didn't qualify for special ed. Or just the kids who were ready for pre-algebra or even algebra in 7th.  But not a combination of kids ranging from barely ready for pre-algebra to kids who probably already know some algebra but didn't have enough English at the time to pass the placement test all in one class!) 

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Ds was also placed by skill level in math for his charter school. He came in mid-year, so did not go through the lottery process. The fact that he was accelerated in math was the only reason he got in. Had he been closer to grade level for math, there wouldn’t have been space for him to enter. They also skipped him a grade bumping him from halfway through 8th to halfway through 9th when he enrolled. But, for those who go through the beginning-of-the-year lottery (held February before starting) those selected do take a math placement test. I’m not sure if there is a minimum for that or not. Now I’m curious!

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I really appreciate this thread.  I think I've read just about every post.

 

I am one of those parents who is overwhelmed with the modern college application process.   I've read many threads on TWTM, but there is so much information, scattered in many threads, and finding a beginning point is sometimes hard.   I'm no dummy.  I have three degrees, including one advanced degree, and still the college application process overwhelms me.   There is so much to read, so much to sort out, so many questions to ask, and meanwhile, I'm trying to educate my kids and live my life.   I have one student who is difficult, but smart.  I've had a hard time looking beyond just getting him educated in my homeschool.   And still, I find working with him and educating him to not be as intimidating as facing the whole guidance counselor role.  It's the one thing I dread most about homeschooling.  Although it seems like from this thread that one can't count on the school guidance counselors, either.   Is there a book, Guidance Counseling for Dummies?  That is something I need, lol.  But I imagine it's not so simple anyhow. 

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I really appreciate this thread.  I think I've read just about every post.

 

I am one of those parents who is overwhelmed with the modern college application process.   I've read many threads on TWTM, but there is so much information, scattered in many threads, and finding a beginning point is sometimes hard.   I'm no dummy.  I have three degrees, including one advanced degree, and still the college application process overwhelms me.   There is so much to read, so much to sort out, so many questions to ask, and meanwhile, I'm trying to educate my kids and live my life.   I have one student who is difficult, but smart.  I've had a hard time looking beyond just getting him educated in my homeschool.   And still, I find working with him and educating him to not be as intimidating as facing the whole guidance counselor role.  It's the one thing I dread most about homeschooling.  Although it seems like from this thread that one can't count on the school guidance counselors, either.   Is there a book, Guidance Counseling for Dummies?  That is something I need, lol.  But I imagine it's not so simple anyhow. 

 

As you find yourself with questions, ask.  You'll likely get a variety of answers and perhaps links to specific threads to help out.  The variety seems overwhelming, but it mainly gives you options because there is no single right answer to almost any question.  You'll start getting a sense what seems to work for your kids - what path is most likely to be right for them - as you go along.  There's no limit to the number of questions asked.  ;)

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Wow!  The IB charter high school near us kind of has the opposite way of weeding out--you have to start in the elementary school by 5th grade at the absolute latest (and it's pretty rare to get in after kindergarten)...  I'm sure there's still some self-selection (though they appear to send out application forms to the addresses of known 4 and 5 year-olds in the sending area, but if we're being honest, even filling out a basic form and submitting it by a deadline weeds out some people.) but they're definitely not leaving it up to someone else to do the K-6 prep work, but they also have kids still taking pre-algebra in 8th grade, because even with a solid math program, not every kid will be ready for 8th grade algebra.  (In my high school math teaching days, my biggest complaint was that the high school, with a very mixed population from literally all over the world, refused to have any math classes below Algebra I.  I'd still feel a bit like I was lying if I was reviewing the four basic operations with kids in a "pre-algebra" class, but calling it "algebra" for those kids was a joke.  But the sad part was there were kids in the class who *were* ready for algebra, and I didn't like that there was no good way to decide who to help.  I know some people complain that, say, charters take the "best" students away, but I wouldn't have minded being able to focus on helping the students who weren't ready for pre-algebra but didn't qualify for special ed. Or just the kids who were ready for pre-algebra or even algebra in 7th.  But not a combination of kids ranging from barely ready for pre-algebra to kids who probably already know some algebra but didn't have enough English at the time to pass the placement test all in one class!) 

 

There's one that also has a K-8 feeder (or I think a K-5 and then a 6-8 and then a high school); they are less classical and more direct instruction.  

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...I am one of those parents who is overwhelmed with the modern college application process.   I've read many threads on TWTM, but there is so much information, scattered in many threads, and finding a beginning point is sometimes hard.   I'm no dummy.  I have three degrees, including one advanced degree, and still the college application process overwhelms me.   There is so much to read, so much to sort out, so many questions to ask...

 

There are so MANY aspects to the Guidance Counseling, it's enought to make anyone's head explode! Look at all the different things parents have to figure out:

- research curriculum / AP / dual enrollment

- college prep (required credits, ACT/SAT tests)

- transcripts & record keeping

- career exploration

- extracurriculars, internships, and opportunities in support of credits or college/career prep

- college search and application process

- financial aid and scholarships

 

 

Is there a book, Guidance Counseling for Dummies?  That is something I need, lol.  But I imagine it's not so simple anyhow. 

 

I believe 8FillTheHeart of these boards is working on a book about the college search/financial aid fit aspect of the guidance counseling. :) She has self-published Homeschooling at the Helm (guide to designing your own curriculum to fit the child) and Treasured Conversations (a gentle LA dictation / grammar / writing program for grades 3-4). Her website is Treasured Conversations.

 

The FinAid website is overwhelming, but has a lot of good financial aid info.

 

Lee Binz and her website The Home Scholar, and book, Setting the Record Straight, are helpful for the transcripts and record keeping aspect.

 

And Dicentra (science) and Quark (math) have created pinned threads at the top of the high school board with overviews of tons of the high school Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and Math programs in one place, to make it a bit easier for comparing curricula.

 

Other than that, I find it easiest to just keep plugging away at reading current and past threads on the high school and college boards here at WTM forum. So much good stuff, but it requires "sifting". I've tried to help a bit by linking helpful threads in grouped topics in the two big pinned threads at the top of the high school board -- "Starting High School" (timetable and planning high school, plus all of the tests), and "Transcripts, Credits..." (high school record keeping and college topics, including financial aid, plus links to threads on career exploration and alternatives to 4-year college).

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My ds attended a small public charter high school that boasts 100% college admissions. 

 

The way it is often expressed here (UK) is percentage that go to their university of first choice.  Admissions are more transparent here (there's no legacy, intake balancing for geography or other factors, strong reliance on extra-curriculars) so people tend to know where they stand and can apply sensibly.  My boys' school gets 80% into their first choice of university.

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I hear you on the idea that such a statistic can be meaningless, depending on how it is measured.  BUT - assuming the stat isn't totally bogus (e.g. everyone is getting admitted to cc and not even going), it's a legitimate thing for a prospective parent to consider.  Some things to think about - 

  • Only around 69% of students nation-wide go on to college.
  • For a surprising number of states, the percent is in the fifties or even the mid-forties.
  • Within states, it also varies.  Many students don't have access to magnet schools or other public "choice" options; they have only one public option for high school.

So for a family whose local public high school has a 50% college rate, investing in a private school with a ~100% college rate might be a very good choice.  It is not just about ensuring that one's student is well-situated, academics-wise, for college applications.   It's also about surrounding the student with classmates/friends (and their families) who have similar goals.  Community matters - are the student's friends going to spend their time getting into trouble, or helping each other with their AP Stats homework?  

 

Of course, some parents choose to get similar results by spending their money on a house in a "good" public school district.  I've seen similar houses on opposite sides of a school district line have selling prices that differ by as much as 500K.  Other parents choose to live in a lower-cost area where the public schools aren't as good, leaving their money liquid so they can pay private school tuition.  There are pros and cons to each approach, and all kinds of local factors, financial considerations, and student-specific concerns, can come into play.

 

Obviously, a prospective parent needs to dig deeper than a one-sentence claim before choosing a school, whether it be college (as we've been discussing in this thread) or high school.  Most of the private high schools I've looked at mention not only their college acceptance rate, but the specific schools their students have been admitted to, and which schools they've chosen to attend.  Just as with choosing a college, the more you look, and the more information you gather, the easier it is to read between the lines and see differences between schools.

 

Tl;dr - The private college prep schools I'm familiar with, which claim 100% college rates, do so legitimately.  Their students attend college at a dramatically higher percentage than public school students in many of the local areas they serve, and the group of colleges they attend are significantly more selective than those attended by the public school students.  It's not a guarantee, and parents are wise to look closely at any school before enrolling their student; in addition "fit" matters.  But don't assume all private "college prep" schools are fudging the numbers.  

And some parents choose to spend their money on a house in a "good" school district, vs. other parents who choose to live in a lower-cost area where the public schools aren't as good, leaving their money liquid so they can pay private school tuition.

 

We're deep in the decision to send one of my kids to private school for 8th grade/high school. Our local high school has an 80% graduation rate, but only 64% go to college within 16 months. Of that 64%, over 50% need remediation. We toured a local Christian school this past weekend, and I was appalled that they were touting a 23 average on the ACT. $8000 a year for an average of 23. Then, I looked further at the local public schools, and yeah, 23 is killing it in this area. They listed the schools their students go to, and they were all average universities, although apparently, there was one student who attended Harvard Law - DH whispered "Which one on this list doesn't belong?" (Note: my child will be an excellent school student; DH and I may not be great school parents!)

 

There is no public choice here; high school is one of the two public high schools in the district. Honestly, we're looking at the next town over for private school, because our town's 3 private schools all end at grade 8. And we're zoned for the worse public school, and they claim there is no room in the other so attending the better school isn't an option for us. I kind of feel stuck as this one private school is my sole option for a) not being in the car hours a day, b) receiving a scholarship, and c) not settling for a sub-par education. 

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Heh ... yeah, 23 is not very impressive, but it really isn't horrible either. For what it's worth, at the local high school the average act is 17 (and less than 20% even take that) and <5% score as proficient in the state test for algebra. 

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The way they weed out for the top academic charters here is by placing students according to skill level instead of grade level.

 

So for kids who start there in 7th (it's 7-12), they start Latin and Pre-A.  If your kid can't do Pre-A by 7th, they'll take him, but the class offered at 7th is Pre-A and he's going to be behind.  If you want your kids to transfer in for HS, which a fiar number do, if your kid isn't in Geo for 9th (or above) they can take a lower class, but it will be with 7th or 8th graders.  If they haven't had 1-2 years of Latin at that point they'll also be taking Latin with 7th or 8th graders.  

 

I figure it's fair enough as the purpose of the school(s) is basically an accel-track classical education, so if you want to send your kid there he should be prepared for an accel-track classical education, but while it's technically a lottery, in reality they don't exactly take all comers.

 

These charters do generally have the highest ACT scores in the state among public schools.

 

That sounds quite sensible to me.  

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We're deep in the decision to send one of my kids to private school for 8th grade/high school. Our local high school has an 80% graduation rate, but only 64% go to college within 16 months. Of that 64%, over 50% need remediation. We toured a local Christian school this past weekend, and I was appalled that they were touting a 23 average on the ACT. $8000 a year for an average of 23. Then, I looked further at the local public schools, and yeah, 23 is killing it in this area. 

 

Stats like these (and actually, the nation-wide stats) are part of what convinced me I actually *could* homeschool high school. In our case, private wasn't an option, and with the public stats being what they were, I figured I couldn't do worse and had a good possibility of doing better.

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As you find yourself with questions, ask.  You'll likely get a variety of answers and perhaps links to specific threads to help out.  The variety seems overwhelming, but it mainly gives you options because there is no single right answer to almost any question.  You'll start getting a sense what seems to work for your kids - what path is most likely to be right for them - as you go along.  There's no limit to the number of questions asked.  ;)

 

 

There are so MANY aspects to the Guidance Counseling, it's enought to make anyone's head explode! Look at all the different things parents have to figure out:

- research curriculum / AP / dual enrollment

- college prep (required credits, ACT/SAT tests)

- transcripts & record keeping

- career exploration

- extracurriculars, internships, and opportunities in support of credits or college/career prep

- college search and application process

- financial aid and scholarships

 

 

 

I believe 8FillTheHeart of these boards is working on a book about the college search/financial aid fit aspect of the guidance counseling. :) She has self-published Homeschooling at the Helm (guide to designing your own curriculum to fit the child) and Treasured Conversations (a gentle LA dictation / grammar / writing program for grades 3-4). Her website is Treasured Conversations.

 

The FinAid website is overwhelming, but has a lot of good financial aid info.

 

Lee Binz and her website The Home Scholar, and book, Setting the Record Straight, are helpful for the transcripts and record keeping aspect.

 

And Dicentra (science) and Quark (math) have created pinned threads at the top of the high school board with overviews of tons of the high school Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and Math programs in one place, to make it a bit easier for comparing curricula.

 

Other than that, I find it easiest to just keep plugging away at reading current and past threads on the high school and college boards here at WTM forum. So much good stuff, but it requires "sifting". I've tried to help a bit by linking helpful threads in grouped topics in the two big pinned threads at the top of the high school board -- "Starting High School" (timetable and planning high school, plus all of the tests), and "Transcripts, Credits..." (high school record keeping and college topics, including financial aid, plus links to threads on career exploration and alternatives to 4-year college).

 

 

Thank you for the support and information/links.  I really appreciate it.   I'm already way behind with planning for my junior, but I'm determined to do better for my freshman. 

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Heh ... yeah, 23 is not very impressive, but it really isn't horrible either. For what it's worth, at the local high school the average act is 17 (and less than 20% even take that) and <5% score as proficient in the state test for algebra. 

 

Last time I looked (a couple years back) 23 was the average ACT for the statistically average school where I work too.  Most students take the SAT.  Our average for that is right around 1000.  Ok, I just looked that one up.  Math score was 519 and verbal was 487 for the last scores I saw listed on a credible site.

 

Stats like these (and actually, the nation-wide stats) are part of what convinced me I actually *could* homeschool high school. In our case, private wasn't an option, and with the public stats being what they were, I figured I couldn't do worse and had a good possibility of doing better.

 

Ditto.  No regrets.  The lad who scored the lowest of my three was the lad who chose ps for high school.  He's just as intelligent as my oldest, but scores differed and I chalk it up to different choices in curricula as neither would purposely do much prep for the test. He still beat our school's average by a few points and I give a bit of credit to homeschooling him for grades 5-8.  He went into high school with his peers thinking he was an academic genius, but the bar is set pretty "average" once he was there.

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There is no public choice here; high school is one of the two public high schools in the district. Honestly, we're looking at the next town over for private school, because our town's 3 private schools all end at grade 8. And we're zoned for the worse public school, and they claim there is no room in the other so attending the better school isn't an option for us. I kind of feel stuck as this one private school is my sole option for a) not being in the car hours a day, b) receiving a scholarship, and c) not settling for a sub-par education. 

 

What people do here in this situation is take the courses, then self study to a higher level and take that exam.  For ex, if the school just offers bio, they'll get  a prep book and a college textbook, self study and learn the material for the SAT Subject Test and/or the AP exam.  Or they will take an online class at the level they need during the summer or school year.

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Last time I looked (a couple years back) 23 was the average ACT for the statistically average school where I work too. Most students take the SAT. Our average for that is right around 1000. Ok, I just looked that one up. Math score was 519 and verbal was 487 for the last scores I saw listed on a credible site.

 

 

Ditto. No regrets. The lad who scored the lowest of my three was the lad who chose ps for high school. He's just as intelligent as my oldest, but scores differed and I chalk it up to different choices in curricula as neither would purposely do much prep for the test. He still beat our school's average by a few points and I give a bit of credit to homeschooling him for grades 5-8. He went into high school with his peers thinking he was an academic genius, but the bar is set pretty "average" once he was there.

The average ACT in the area we’re moving to is 28. I was motivated to look it up just because 23 seemed so low. At 28, I’m confident there will be plenty of challenge available. At 23, not so much.

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The average ACT in the area we’re moving to is 28. I was motivated to look it up just because 23 seemed so low. At 28, I’m confident there will be plenty of challenge available. At 23, not so much.

 

 

Our district's average SAT score is 815. Our previous district 1006. The highest in WNY (out of about 80 districts) is 1109, but that district had only 35 test takers in 2016 (and is a place I'd never even heard of). There are a couple of other districts that are just over 1100 with more students. Our current district has an IB program, AP courses, DE at various local colleges, etc, whereas our previous district, despite being a decent size, had fewer such options, iirc. So, average score doesn't necessarily mean all that much, if you're talking about a big district. Though I'm sure there are districts with more options still. 

Edited by luuknam

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Our district's average SAT score is 815. Our previous district 1006. The highest in WNY (out of about 80 districts) is 1109, but that district had only 35 test takers in 2016 (and is a place I'd never even heard of). There are a couple of other districts that are just over 1100 with more students. Our current district has an IB program, AP courses, DE at various local colleges, etc, whereas our previous district, despite being a decent size, had fewer such options, iirc. So, average score doesn't necessarily mean all that much, if you're talking about a big district. Though I'm sure there are districts with more options still.

Actually, I looked more closely. It was 27/28 for the two high school zones we’re considering. I agree, depends on population size of the test takers. These are big suburban high schools tho w/90%+ college-going rates.

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Actually, I looked more closely. It was 27/28 for the two high school zones we’re considering. I agree, depends on population size of the test takers. These are big suburban high schools tho w/90%+ college-going rates.

 

 

Yes, I just meant that our (urban) district, despite having an average SAT score of 815, also has an honors high school with an IB program, and that the scores for that high school are probably very, very different from the district average. I'd hope. We aren't zoned for any particular schools within the district. 

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Our district's average SAT score is 815. Our previous district 1006. The highest in WNY (out of about 80 districts) is 1109, but that district had only 35 test takers in 2016 (and is a place I'd never even heard of). There are a couple of other districts that are just over 1100 with more students. Our current district has an IB program, AP courses, DE at various local colleges, etc, whereas our previous district, despite being a decent size, had fewer such options, iirc. So, average score doesn't necessarily mean all that much, if you're talking about a big district. Though I'm sure there are districts with more options still. 

 

Our avg SAT is 990 for reading plus math.  Not surprising, as everyone who could move did when the AP/IB/honors courses were removed during the recent recession. Still , one third of test takers are in the honors/accel program (AP English, AP SS) and only half of all students take the SAT. comparing to similar districts in the county, similar size, similar fraction taking SAT we are about 90 points higher than the Title 1s; we are 90 points lower than the rich where there are beaucop honors/accel.  The smaller title ones have us beat.   Content matters, zip code matters, opportunity to advance matters.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Our local public, free high school has 98% of kids going on to college, that's 92% to a 4-year, 6% to a 2-year.  1% military, 1% employment.  I'm actually surprised that the % going to a 2-year has gone down by half in the past three years (used to be 12% going to a 2-year; the 1% each to military/employment has been exactly the same for years).  With the way college costs have been going, I'd have thought the trend would be in the other direction.  But yeah, getting in somewhere is not the issue - although our school does regularly send kids to Ivies, MIT and Stanford, that's only about the top 1-2% of the class (5-10 kids/year).  The rest go elsewhere; the greatest percentage at any one place - surprise! - go to one of the UMass campuses.  And yes, still a bunch to CC.

 

I can't find that info for our local high school, but I did find that 73% of the student body participates in AP classes of some sort.  My son was part of the 27% who did not!  :lol:   He took several honors classes, but no AP.

 

It also ranks around the top 250 by US News and World report in national high schools in the country.

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OK, I'm going to give another perspective on this.  If I had worried about what I could afford before I went forward with the entire college degree thing, I would have gone no where and would have been working at the local grocery mart.  I knew my parents couldn't afford squat, knew my financial aid wouldn't cover the total cost of attendance at college, but pushed forward anyway because I operated under the bull-headed assumption that where there is a will, there's a way.  I figured I wouldn't get to college if I didn't at least take the first step and put one foot in front of the other, so I may as well get on with it.  I figured I could deal with challenges as they arose, and if I got stopped dead in my tracks, I was no worse off for it.  My parents didn't say anything except "we can't afford it", but I persisted.  So I plugged away, pushing back at challenges (all financial) as they arose, and got my degree.  That bull-headed method can work, even if it looks impossible at the start.

I had dinner with some friends last night that I had not seen in a very long time. They had taken their daughter to visit Furman at some point in the past and "had no idea" what the cost was before they learned it in the information session on campus. At *that* point they told dd it wasn't workable. This AFTER a 13 hour drive, paying for gas, meals, and a hotel stay. All of that time, effort, and money could have been saved by a Google search. They won't qualify for need-based aid. I don't know all her academic stats, but I do know she has one D on her transcript, so I have to assume merit aid is rather unlikely. She may get to play volleyball somewhere, so that is an unknown, and I know NOTHING about availability of athletic scholarships at different levels of schools.

I just don't get it.

Judgey rant over.

ETA: They also had no awareness that dd could only borrow so much money without their co-signing.

 

Edited by reefgazer
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There are so MANY aspects to the Guidance Counseling, it's enought to make anyone's head explode! Look at all the different things parents have to figure out:

- research curriculum / AP / dual enrollment

- college prep (required credits, ACT/SAT tests)

- transcripts & record keeping

- career exploration

- extracurriculars, internships, and opportunities in support of credits or college/career prep

- college search and application process

- financial aid and scholarships

 

 

 

 

I believe 8FillTheHeart of these boards is working on a book about the college search/financial aid fit aspect of the guidance counseling. :) She has self-published Homeschooling at the Helm (guide to designing your own curriculum to fit the child) and Treasured Conversations (a gentle LA dictation / grammar / writing program for grades 3-4). Her website is Treasured Conversations.

 

The FinAid website is overwhelming, but has a lot of good financial aid info.

 

Lee Binz and her website The Home Scholar, and book, Setting the Record Straight, are helpful for the transcripts and record keeping aspect.

 

And Dicentra (science) and Quark (math) have created pinned threads at the top of the high school board with overviews of tons of the high school Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and Math programs in one place, to make it a bit easier for comparing curricula.

 

Other than that, I find it easiest to just keep plugging away at reading current and past threads on the high school and college boards here at WTM forum. So much good stuff, but it requires "sifting". I've tried to help a bit by linking helpful threads in grouped topics in the two big pinned threads at the top of the high school board -- "Starting High School" (timetable and planning high school, plus all of the tests), and "Transcripts, Credits..." (high school record keeping and college topics, including financial aid, plus links to threads on career exploration and alternatives to 4-year college).

 

While all these resources are fantastic, I just want to point out that Lori D's "starting high school" and "transcripts/credits" posts and lists are a pretty good syllabus for tackling all the topics.

 

I'm pretty sure that's what I did - just went item by item, as I could find time. I would check other references, Google search the topic here, gingerly wade into college confidential (and back out slowly, every time)...and then check my understanding against the info posted on college websites. Then go back for another topic.

 

I'm not a pro at all of this. We never did AP or DE, and lots of other stuff frequently discussed did not apply to my boys. But I don't need to be a pro. So far, mostly going on info found on these forums, we learned enough that 100% of my homeschool's graduates were accepted to multiple universities with full merit tuition!

 

WTM level education plus WTM Hive Mind high school and college wisdom = a pretty good shot at capping the homeschool experience with some college acceptance letters. I didn't even get to go to college, myself, but my kids can go.

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OK, I'm going to give another perspective on this. If I had worried about what I could afford before I went forward with the entire college degree thing, I would have gone no where and would have been working at the local grocery mart. I knew my parents couldn't afford squat, knew my financial aid wouldn't cover the total cost of attendance at college, but pushed forward anyway because I operated under the bull-headed assumption that where there is a will, there's a way. I figured I wouldn't get to college if I didn't at least take the first step and put one foot in front of the other, so I may as well get on with it. I figured I could deal with challenges as they arose, and if I got stopped dead in my tracks, I was no worse off for it. My parents didn't say anything except "we can't afford it", but I persisted. So I plugged away, pushing back at challenges (all financial) as they arose, and got my degree. That bull-headed method can work, even if it looks impossible at the start.

I really disagree with this in today's world of college costs. Living at home and attending the local CC or perhaps a low cost local U? Maybe. But not much else is going to be paid for by an 18 yr old with federal student loans. It takes parental cooperation to fill out FAFSA at minimum for most students. It takes planning and applying fall semester for most.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I really disagree with this in today's world of college costs. Living at home and attending the local CC or perhaps a low cost local U? Maybe. But not much else is going to be paid for by an 18 yr old with federal student loans. It takes parental cooperation to fill our FAFSA at minimum for most students. It takes planning and applying fall semester for most.

 

Unfortunately, I know far too many who can't go to college due to finances.  They get jobs and work only to find those jobs just pay the bills without much left over to save.  Among this group there are too many who end up in bad places.  I wish it were different - that it only took willpower - but most places want cash and it's tougher to get loans now.  Without a parent's assistance (at least in filling out the Fafsa), college (or trade schools) is out of reach for too many.

 

Fortunately, most parents are willing to do what they can - even just to help with forms if they can't afford anything more - but there are some who seem to doom their kids.  (This talking solely about kids who want to and are capable of going to college - not meaning those who have other interests and plans, etc.)

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OK, I'm going to give another perspective on this.  If I had worried about what I could afford before I went forward with the entire college degree thing, I would have gone no where and would have been working at the local grocery mart.  I knew my parents couldn't afford squat, knew my financial aid wouldn't cover the total cost of attendance at college, but pushed forward anyway because I operated under the bull-headed assumption that where there is a will, there's a way.  I figured I wouldn't get to college if I didn't at least take the first step and put one foot in front of the other, so I may as well get on with it.  I figured I could deal with challenges as they arose, and if I got stopped dead in my tracks, I was no worse off for it.  My parents didn't say anything except "we can't afford it", but I persisted.  So I plugged away, pushing back at challenges (all financial) as they arose, and got my degree.  That bull-headed method can work, even if it looks impossible at the start.

I don't understand how this is "another perspective" on the story in the OP, though. Spending a lot of time and money to visit an expensive private school that is not even remotely affordable for a student who will not qualify for either merit or financial aid, and whose parents cannot afford full pay, simply because no one bothered to spend even 30 seconds googling "Furman COA," really doesn't seem to have any upside to me.

 

I'm glad things worked out well for you, but I'm guessing you probably weren't applying to $65K/yr schools where you knew you wouldn't qualify for any merit or financial aid. These days, students who take a "just apply and figure out the finances later" approach are likely to either end up being seriously disappointed they can't attend many (or any) of the schools they're accepted to, or end up saddled with huge loans they may never be able to repay — and sometimes even without a degree to show for it. They may also miss out on schools they could have afforded, if only they'd done the research. For most Americans, a college education is the second largest "purchase" they will ever make, next to a house, and yet many people seem to go into it with little understanding of the true cost and the financial risks involved.

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Oh, my parents cooperated in any way they could and filled out the FAFSA, and I got max financial aid; they just couldn't fork out any cash for me, for anything.  So I got max financial aid from Pell, max financial aid from NYS (I stayed in-state for that reason), merit aid from my university, scraped together 2 additional scholarships, and was the beneficiary of a few relatives boosting me up here and there, and so I was able to make it.  But there is no way I would have tried if I had looked at just numbers.  I still maintain that long and difficult journeys begin with a single step, and you must keep putting one foot in front of the other and try to overcome your obstacles.  Ii can be done; I have several students in recent years who have done it.

 

I really disagree with this in today's world of college costs. Living at home and attending the local CC or perhaps a low cost local U? Maybe. But not much else is going to be paid for by an 18 yr old with federal student loans. It takes parental cooperation to fill out FAFSA at minimum for most students. It takes planning and applying fall semester for most.

 

Edited by reefgazer
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I hear you on the idea that such a statistic can be meaningless, depending on how it is measured.  BUT - assuming the stat isn't totally bogus (e.g. everyone is getting admitted to cc and not even going), it's a legitimate thing for a prospective parent to consider.  Some things to think about - 

  • Only around 69% of students nation-wide go on to college.
  • For a surprising number of states, the percent is in the fifties or even the mid-forties.
  • Within states, it also varies.  Many students don't have access to magnet schools or other public "choice" options; they have only one public option for high school.

So for a family whose local public high school has a 50% college rate, investing in a private school with a ~100% college rate might be a very good choice.  It is not just about ensuring that one's student is well-situated, academics-wise, for college applications.   It's also about surrounding the student with classmates/friends (and their families) who have similar goals.  Community matters - are the student's friends going to spend their time getting into trouble, or helping each other with their AP Stats homework?  

 

While I appreciate many of your points, I think you overlook the #1, overwhelming reason children don't go to college, which is money.

 

Most kids don't even apply, much less try for a scholarship.

 

Affluent kids don't need to worry about this. Public or private, if your parents have cash for college in the US, you will almost certainly get in. You can get in with amazingly little talent as a legacy, if mom and dad pay. We have state colleges with 80% acceptance rates. 80% of Washingtonians do not go to college, but it's not because they aren't in prep school. They don't try because they know there's no point. No money.

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It's a very different perspective than the OP; I am promoting moving forward toward something a student really wants, rather than throwing in the towel before the journey begins.  Visiting that school would tell the student whether the financial effort and battle was worth it.  It was for me, and my visit reinforced that and sustained me when things looked like they were going to collapse out from under me. 

 

In the early 80s, I looked at and applied to 3 schools, 2 of them private.  The one I visited first and eventually attended was comparable in expense then to the $65K school you reference.  In fact, it's estimated per year current undergrad cost is $63,130.  It wouldn't have mattered, though - if I had given up before I began, I would have gotten no where fast.  I had no clue what merit aid they would offer me.  But again, you won't get any, or get anywhere, if you don't try. 

 

My parents were supportive, which meant they filled out aid forms, but could offer no other financial support.  If they had refused to fill out forms, I would have had a much more difficult task on my hands, but it would not have changed my basic mindset of "keep moving toward your goal and do what you need to do to reach it".  I feel sorry for kids who miss opportunity because their parents teach them to throw in the towel and give up so easily.  

I don't understand how this is "another perspective" on the story in the OP, though. Spending a lot of time and money to visit an expensive private school that is not even remotely affordable for a student who will not qualify for either merit or financial aid, and whose parents cannot afford full pay, simply because no one bothered to spend even 30 seconds googling "Furman COA," really doesn't seem to have any upside to me.

I'm glad things worked out well for you, but I'm guessing you probably weren't applying to $65K/yr schools where you knew you wouldn't qualify for any merit or financial aid. These days, students who take a "just apply and figure out the finances later" approach are likely to either end up being seriously disappointed they can't attend many (or any) of the schools they're accepted to, or end up saddled with huge loans they may never be able to repay — and sometimes even without a degree to show for it. They may also miss out on schools they could have afforded, if only they'd done the research. For most Americans, a college education is the second largest "purchase" they will ever make, next to a house, and yet many people seem to go into it with little understanding of the true cost and the financial risks involved.

 

Edited by reefgazer
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While I appreciate many of your points, I think you overlook the #1, overwhelming reason children don't go to college, which is money.

 

Most kids don't even apply, much less try for a scholarship.

 

Affluent kids don't need to worry about this. Public or private, if your parents have cash for college in the US, you will almost certainly get in. You can get in with amazingly little talent as a legacy, if mom and dad pay. We have state colleges with 80% acceptance rates. 80% of Washingtonians do not go to college, but it's not because they aren't in prep school. They don't try because they know there's no point. No money.

I don't know where you got the 80% statistic (in bold) from, but according to this article, 61% of all high school seniors in Washington actually go directly to college after graduating (so that figure doesn't even include students who work for a while and attend later) and the rate even for low-income students is 49%. This report says that 64% of graduates in the class of 2009 were enrolled in college a year later; 31% were enrolled in 4-yr schools and 33% in 2 yr schools; 24% were working part time and going to college and 40% were attending college only (not working).

 

Obviously finances can be a barrier to some kids attending college, but for very low income kids Pell grants would cover the full cost of tuition and books at most CCs (at least in Washington). Of course, that doesn't help if kids don't know what's available, or don't think college is "worth it" — but that refers back to what Justasque said about the importance of peers and community and a good school that encourages everyone to at least apply.

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It's a very different perspective than the OP; I am promoting moving forward toward something a student really wants, rather than throwing in the towel before the journey begins. Visiting that school would tell the student whether the financial effort and battle was worth it. It was for me, and my visit reinforced that and sustained me when things looked like they were going to collapse out from under me.

 

In the early 80s, I looked at and applied to 3 schools, 2 of them private. The one I visited first and eventually attended was comparable in expense then to the $65K school you reference. In fact, it's estimated per year current undergrad cost is $63,130. It wouldn't have mattered, though - if I had given up before I began, I would have gotten no where fast. I had no clue what merit aid they would offer me. But again, you won't get any, or get anywhere, if you don't try.

 

My parents were supportive, which meant they filled out aid forms, but could offer no other financial support. If they had refused to fill out forms, I would have had a much more difficult task on my hands, but it would not have changed my basic mindset of "keep moving toward your goal and do what you need to do to reach it". I feel sorry for kids who miss opportunity because their parents teach them to throw in the towel and give up so easily.

I still don't agree wth you. Applying in 2018 is absolutely nothing like applying in the 1980s. Information is available via websites. It isn't all that difficult to know the FA practices of a school. Not all schools offer merit aid. If they don't and they are a meets need school and your parents make x amt of $$, they will expect your parents to pay y. If your parents won't pay y, it really doesn't matter what goals you have.

 

Kids with low income parents who are Pell eligible might be able to bridge a gap with student loans at generous schools. But that definitely is not true for your typical middle middle class family. Their parents make too much for Pell. The universities expect parents to pay according to their FA formula. It does NOT work out via student application effort. It only works out via parents paying.

 

Your POV is why people say things like FA issues don't really exist when it comes to attending schools like the Ivies bc they are affordable due to generous aid. Only "they are generous with aid" is true. The rest is dependent on parents willing to pay their expected contribution. If their generous aid brings $70,000 in costs down to $30,000 to the parents, how does an 18 yr old come up with $120,000 without the parents paying? Students are eligible for around a total of $28,000 in loans without a cosigner. The $92,000 balance has to come from somewhere.

 

Being educated in FA means the difference between admit-denies and being able to attend. Being admitted is pointless if you can't pay. My kids have had plenty of awesome acceptances where generous schools offered 10s of thousands in aid, but there was no way to move toward the attendance goal bc our pocketbooks can't pay our contribution and we refuse to cosign loans.

 

Only bc we are educated in FA practices and our kids equally apply to schools that do offer paths to our level of affordability can our kids actually attend college anywhere other than commuting from home. If they had taken your approach, more than likely their only options would have been the CC or directional local U unless they had inadvertently applied to a school with very, very large merit awards. (Which considering just how few and far between those are, it is very unlikely.)

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I don't know where you got the 80% statistic (in bold) from, but according to this article, 61% of all high school seniors in Washington actually go directly to college after graduating (so that figure doesn't even include students who work for a while and attend later) and the rate even for low-income students is 49%. This report says that 64% of graduates in the class of 2009 were enrolled in college a year later; 31% were enrolled in 4-yr schools and 33% in 2 yr schools; 24% were working part time and going to college and 40% were attending college only (not working).

 

Obviously finances can be a barrier to some kids attending college, but for very low income kids Pell grants would cover the full cost of tuition and books at most CCs (at least in Washington). Of course, that doesn't help if kids don't know what's available, or don't think college is "worth it" — but that refers back to what Justasque said about the importance of peers and community and a good school that encourages everyone to at least apply.

 

That was very poorly phrased on my part.

 

I should have said "it is not the case that 80% of Washingtonians go to college".

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