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Senior 2021- How is the college search? Let's Chat!


BusyMom5
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I can't be the only one feeling like we are behind because we haven't been able to visit!  I know some of you are having issues with tests!  (Thankfully DD did some early, but I'm wondering if we should try again- or rather try to try again bc she has a 31 and scholarships jump up at a 32).  

I have been reading threads on this board for years, but Covid is making it impossible to do the things suggested- sit in a few classes,  see dorm rooms, tour the specific college area you are interested in, the honors college if interested.  I know what we should be doing- we just can't!   

DD just found out she's a NMSF, so she's adding colleges to the list that offer good scholarships.   We really need to travel to a few of these!  I'm trying to figure logistics and if its even safe to go!  

How is your kid handling it?  Mine has been so excited,  but really feels like she's flying blind bc she has never been on a campus when its in session.   We are watching lots of YT video tours,  dorm tours, tips, etc about each school.  

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What does your daughter want to major in? What is important to her in a college? Has she seen any place?

My dd#2 is only applying locally & she toured there  (plus she's taking one on campus class this semester). She's waiting to apply until she has her ACT score. So, it is just waiting & dealing with day-to-day stuff.

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We are in a similar boat in wishing we could get out to visit some colleges.  I pushed the ACT retest in the fall so I am thankful my daughter is done with that, but we didn’t manage to tour any out of state schools.  It looks like the confirming score isn’t going to be required for finalist so I think your best scholarships are going to be tied to national merit.  I probably would check on schools you really want, but I probably wouldn’t try to retake the ACT under the current circumstances.  It sounds like a hassle of huge proportions.

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My senior ds did a couple tours last fall. He wants to attend our state flagship. He has never done an official tour there but has spent many weeks there at 4-H camps and attended other events there since he was a little kid. It’s a natural choice for him and I think it will work well for him. 
 

The top automatic scholarship requires a 34 ACT. He missed it by a point in July but he’s not taking it again. I think he would have made it if he took it in April when he was prepared but at this time I feel like the moment for him has passed and we’ll chalk it up to another casualty of stupid COVID. 
 

He is ready to apply but is waiting on a possible honor/accomplishment that could develop for him in the next month that he would like on his application and hopefully increase his chances of a competitive scholarship. As soon as he gets some closure on that he will have his application in and move on to the scholarship application. I made him apply to four schools just because but the other three were quick and easy applications. He has two of those three back as acceptances but he isn’t really considering them. I learned with my older boys that situations can change over the course of senior year and that is why I required him to apply to four. 
 

I am grateful he knows what he wants and he should get in and get a decent scholarship. I don’t need more stress this year! I feel for those of you facing a more uncertain process during this mess 🙁

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I am grateful that this is my third go around at the college application process and that DS toured a number of colleges when his sisters where going through this process. We also planned college visits in March and April which did not happen. This summer we visited a couple of schools within driving distance. Those were hard visits because campuses were empty, cafeterias weren't serving, classes weren't happening, and we were not allowed access to buildings which we would have normally seen the insides of.

DS is forging ahead. He has signed up for a 4th time for the SAT; we shall see if he gets to take it this time. He is writing a new Comman Ap essay as experiences this summer supersede those shared in the previous essay. There are a couple more essays to write and he needs to start making interview appointments.

I noticed yesterday that his top school is offering in person tours again so we may try to visit it in late fall. Other than that visit, we are going to wait until acceptances come in and see if visits are possible at those schools still on the table. I don't want to even think about the possibility of having to decide on a college without one last visit. I commend those that were able to do so last spring.

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On 9/4/2020 at 9:00 PM, RootAnn said:

What does your daughter want to major in? What is important to her in a college? Has she seen any place?

My dd#2 is only applying locally & she toured there  (plus she's taking one on campus class this semester). She's waiting to apply until she has her ACT score. So, it is just waiting & dealing with day-to-day stuff.

 

She is thinking business- accounting,  finance,  data analytics.   Or maybe Computer science with CyberSecurity.  Or maybe Biology- bc she's always enjoyed it but cannot find a job in the face thinks she would enjoy.  Lots of ideas!  If she could tour some programs,  she would get a much better idea.   

We have walked on. 2 state school campuses when they were not in session.   I called this summer to ask if we could just walk the campus to get an overall feel of the size, location, etc.  They said okay, wear masks.   We noticed a few other families doing the same thing. Lol!  Shes applied to both, already heard back from one.   I looked today, and one is offering a short tour, so we may to go soon.... but is it safe?  That's the question!  

Good luck to your DD, its great she has a school picked out!  

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I'm having trouble with the quote feature but I just quoted BusyMom5 to say that is what my ds is interested in too. My oldest just graduated from college in accounting and he had an easy time finding a good job and this ds loves analytics so he is planning on accounting/data analytics. Our state flagship has a good program and is only an hour away so it just makes sense.

My dh is actually in data analytics though it wasn't a degree back in the day. So it is kind of becoming our family thing.

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Ds is a swimmer and wants to swim D3 in college, so that has impacted his search. He’s looking at small liberal arts schools with swimming that are strong in Math/Science. He has a list of about 12 places he’s still interested in and where he’s been talking to the coaches. We visited two colleges in early August. We’ve done virtual visits at others and because of the swimming angle he’s been able to get more of a feel for some places- either through talking to coaches or virtual sessions with the team (and other applicants). He’s also had a couple of places set up calls for him with swimming math majors, which is nice. So our search has ben a little different. 

He emphatically does not want to go anywhere in state and many of the places are fairly far away. Several are in states with mandatory quarantines so we can’t visit. So the plan right now is to just apply and then to see where he gets in and what the financial packages are. We’ve been very open with him about which places we anticipate will not be financially doable. Hopefully, that will narrow it down to a few and then we can visit in the spring, after he is accepted. I know it’s highly likely there won’t even be classes going on then and the campuses will be closed...but it’s the best we can do at this point. 

He has enough good scores from the SAT and ACT that he doesn’t have to take it again, so we’re ok there. He’s signed up to take the SAT in October, but I don’t know if that will happen. The last time he took it was in 9th grade so he’d like to do it one more time and hopefully score higher to help with some potential scholarships. 

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13 hours ago, Alice said:

Ds is a swimmer and wants to swim D3 in college, so that has impacted his search. He’s looking at small liberal arts schools with swimming that are strong in Math/Science. He has a list of about 12 places he’s still interested in and where he’s been talking to the coaches. We visited two colleges in early August. We’ve done virtual visits at others and because of the swimming angle he’s been able to get more of a feel for some places- either through talking to coaches or virtual sessions with the team (and other applicants). He’s also had a couple of places set up calls for him with swimming math majors, which is nice. So our search has ben a little different. 

He emphatically does not want to go anywhere in state and many of the places are fairly far away. Several are in states with mandatory quarantines so we can’t visit. So the plan right now is to just apply and then to see where he gets in and what the financial packages are. We’ve been very open with him about which places we anticipate will not be financially doable. Hopefully, that will narrow it down to a few and then we can visit in the spring, after he is accepted. I know it’s highly likely there won’t even be classes going on then and the campuses will be closed...but it’s the best we can do at this point. 

He has enough good scores from the SAT and ACT that he doesn’t have to take it again, so we’re ok there. He’s signed up to take the SAT in October, but I don’t know if that will happen. The last time he took it was in 9th grade so he’d like to do it one more time and hopefully score higher to help with some potential scholarships. 

 

This sounds much harder than my situation, so you have my sympathies!  I cannot imagine how recruiting for sports will go this year- many kids won't even get a season!   It sounds like swimming may be able to have a season?  Hopefully!  

 

 

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Weird. DD has visited her current top choice and a couple of the other schools on her list, either officially or by doing events there enough to know the campus well, the folks in the departments, etc. She’s done most of her applications already (boredom, mostly). Her ACT is from 8th grade-great for a middle schooler, pretty good for a senior, so she may not bother to take it again unless it is likely to make a big difference in scholarships. i wish we could visit some of the other schools on her list-so far, she has been accepted to three, none of which she has actually visited, but has not yet been accepted to any school she’s visited.

 

She has also put in applications at all the schools that are close enough that living at home and commuting is an option...just in case she doesn’t feel safe living in a dorm next fall. Which is kind of frustrating, since she was accepted for the local state U two years ago....

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Dd is enlisting as a Navy IT, but she needs to do a couple of apps as a back up in case she gets hurt and can't ship out. Luckily, she's attended a camp at one and a preview day for juniors last February at the other (just before Covid shut everything down.) 

The military enlistment process is very strict about Covid safety. You have to wear a mask at the recruiting office, you have to have a temperature check and screening to do your physical and job selection and most of the Delayed Entry Program meetings have been online. Recruits are quarantined for the first two weeks of boot camp and then again at their A school. 

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We had planned to register for the ACT/SAT this past summer, so ds hasn't taken either one yet. I think we're going to try and register for winter dates. He's a more nervous, slow test taker, so we're are hoping for a decent enough score to get the lowest level merit scholarship at the school.  He wants to go to our alma mater, which is also dd's as well. It will be cool if we could all four graduate from there. It's Lee University in Tennessee. 

We are scheduled for a preview day in October, but he's been on campus many times. He was there for dd's visits before she went. He went on a tour there with a friend last fall. I don't think he's been inside all the guy dorms, though. 

 

 

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We did a lot of college searching last year, toured around 8 schools. With the lockdown, what has helped is watching youtube videos from students. Freshman move-in, a day in the life of a {Enter School Name} student, etc. You'll find some people post regularly, and so you get to see things that go on, issues students have, and stuff like that.

As for testing, My daughter took the SAT in December of last year and got scores lower than what she wanted. So she tested in August and is also scheduled for September and October (Sept. and Oct. test dates are only one week apart, so what were we thinking? It'll all work out. We're so far behind schedule though. We planned to have all testing out of the way no later than June (This includes subject tests as some of the schools my daughter is interested in require them for Homeschoolers if not all their applicants). And then over the summer she was supposed to focus on essays.

Now we are not done with testing, we will not get subject tests in at all (luckily the schools are being lenient on the subject tests), and her essay is not written yet. Well, she's written five different essays, but she hates them all. LOL She's signed up for an essay thing this month--every Saturday for 4 or 5 weeks. Anyway, the last two classes are on SAT days, so she has to see if the guy can change the time of the class on those two days because we're sure she won't be the only one taking the SAT on those days.

This has been the only stress in my life for weeks, and it doesn't seem to be going away. We wanted all her applications in by October 1st, now we're hoping for October 15th...Hoping...

Angie

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We have a college tour scheduled for Monday!  DD has been on an emotional roller coaster trying to decide how far away is too far away and how big is too big.   This school is 3 hours away,  medium size (25k), she's already accepted,  and hoping to get a good scholarship.  We are hoping to hear more about the honors college, hoping to see the business school, and just get a better idea of the layout in and around campus.  This is her current top choice- well, for today.   

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DS is more into it than I am. I am sick of virtual visits and disgruntled that so far half of his intended schools have declared that auditions will be online/recorded. I want him to take a gap year, but he's forging ahead. He says if he isn't satisfied with the outcome, he'll take a gap year and go through it all again next year. I say, why are we doing this TWICE??

He has signed up for a couple ACTs since he hasn't yet gotten to take the darn thing.

One school has offered an in-person visit where they will pick us up in the parking lot and drive us around on a little cart through the campus. But, he can't go in any of the buildings and can't talk to any advisor in person. As a music major - why bother?? Seeing the inside of the music building and the practice rooms, etc is pretty darn important (and most schools leave out the music department ENTIRELY in their "virtual visits" unless it's a conservatory).

We've already visited all the close schools he's interested in (pre-COVID, so still quite a while ago) and had planned to spend last semester & early fall semester visiting the far-away schools and having private lessons with potential professors. Now - nothing.

Just. Yuck. I am so over it. I'm irritated that all 3 of my kids are at the perfect life stages where this pandemic has screwed them over in one way or another. Kid 1 was a college senior when it started. Kid 2 is a college freshman now. Kid 3 is a high school senior. Just. GO AWAY COVID.

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Sigh.  We drastically changed college planning for my one and only child.  In addition to Covid, we lost 2/3 of our family income, with no end to that situation in sight due to the pandemic.

Before everything went off the rails, she was considering several different colleges and also a possibility of setting college plans aside (temporarily or permanently) to pursue music as a freelancer.  The latter was taken off the table when the live music industry collapsed.  Even if Covid went away tomorrow, there are too many hungry musicians out there to compete with.  And frankly, the political climate makes us all too nervous about her moving alone to an urban center, which was a key part of that plan.

Dd has not been able to take the ACT or SAT.  Every attempt has been cancelled.  She is now scheduled for December....but who knows? This means she may not qualify for any merit aid or at least we won't know if/how much until she could take the test.....which could be never.  And between college tours either being virtual-only or involving risk and expense we are not willing to deal with, all college touring plans got tossed out the window.

That leaves our current plan which is to attend the local university.  It is a fine school and it fits the financial constraints we are dealing with since I am an employee there and get a steep discount for dependents.  It is NOT her first choice but will do, at least to start with.  If our financial and pandemic situation clears up after year 1 or 2, she will likely consider transferring.  It is depressing and my heart breaks for her.  But we all know she is far more privileged than many others so trying to make the best of it.

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Well, UAH posted their automatic scholarships and, as I expected, they are reduced somewhat for my ds at his ACT score.

It's kind of a bad news/good news for my ds. The bad news is that UAH would be more expensive than it would have been this past year for him. The good news for him is that UAH is his second choice and now his first choice isn't any more expensive than UAH. So, it is sad, but probably works out in his mind because he won't get parental pressure to go there to save money. 

I had seen that they were changing the scholarships and I had also seen where they had another year of record enrollment. That combined with Covid budget crunches this isn't surprising. 

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DD really should take the ACT again. One point would make a difference in tiers at several of her schools, and since she last took it as a middle schooler, I think she has a good chance of bringing up math, especially. But i don't know that she could do an ACT right now and not have anxiety tank her scores due just to being in a room with that many people, even spaced out. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, dmmetler said:

DD really should take the ACT again. One point would make a difference in tiers at several of her schools, and since she last took it as a middle schooler, I think she has a good chance of bringing up math, especially. But i don't know that she could do an ACT right now and not have anxiety tank her scores due just to being in a room with that many people, even spaced out. 

 

 

That is very frustrating.

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The changes at UAH might drop it off my son’s list. We both liked it and think it is a great school but the change in price point makes a difference. If it was a second choice and he was going for financial reasons it becomes less attractive. If first choice doesn’t work out he might drop down his list to one of our regional state schools that would be very inexpensive. Before it was his first choice state flagship, UAH a little cheaper, then other state Us that would be much much cheaper.  Now that UAH isn’t cheaper than our flagship for him it loses some of its appeal. (And he loves hockey as a spectator sport and they ended their hockey program...a very small detail but was something unique about the school to him). 
 

He already applied so it is still there as an option but I think it will come down, for ds, to his dream school first choice or another state school for cheap. Either the first choice or the most economical choice (which both make sense for different reasons). It actually isn’t a bad approach, I don’t think. I have seen college lists where students ended up at a school pretty far down their list and still paid a lot. I don’t like that option! 
 

 

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37 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

DD really should take the ACT again. One point would make a difference in tiers at several of her schools, and since she last took it as a middle schooler, I think she has a good chance of bringing up math, especially. But i don't know that she could do an ACT right now and not have anxiety tank her scores due just to being in a room with that many people, even spaced out. 

 

 

We are in the same boat- just looked yesterday at options and it looks like shevwould have to stay masked the entire test.  Shes already in a 1.5 hour class and says that is long enough!  Not sure what to do.

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On 9/11/2020 at 1:29 PM, skimomma said:

Sigh.  We drastically changed college planning for my one and only child.  In addition to Covid, we lost 2/3 of our family income, with no end to that situation in sight due to the pandemic.

Before everything went off the rails, she was considering several different colleges and also a possibility of setting college plans aside (temporarily or permanently) to pursue music as a freelancer.  The latter was taken off the table when the live music industry collapsed.  Even if Covid went away tomorrow, there are too many hungry musicians out there to compete with.  And frankly, the political climate makes us all too nervous about her moving alone to an urban center, which was a key part of that plan.

Dd has not been able to take the ACT or SAT.  Every attempt has been cancelled.  She is now scheduled for December....but who knows? This means she may not qualify for any merit aid or at least we won't know if/how much until she could take the test.....which could be never.  And between college tours either being virtual-only or involving risk and expense we are not willing to deal with, all college touring plans got tossed out the window.

That leaves our current plan which is to attend the local university.  It is a fine school and it fits the financial constraints we are dealing with since I am an employee there and get a steep discount for dependents.  It is NOT her first choice but will do, at least to start with.  If our financial and pandemic situation clears up after year 1 or 2, she will likely consider transferring.  It is depressing and my heart breaks for her.  But we all know she is far more privileged than many others so trying to make the best of it.

I just want to send you and your DD a big hug!  FWIW,  it sounds like you are very fortunate to have the fall-back plan to go where you work!  I have a friend who is a faculty member at a private school and encouraged her kids to go there bc tuition was free or close to it (they still paid room and board).  Oldest did all 4 years.  Second went just 1 year and transferred, and the third one got an associates degree then went to Beauty school.  It wasn't the best fit for the last 2, but it didn't hurt them a bit to start out there!  All are now in their upper 20s and early 30s, working jobs they love,  married to great guys, and all have a baby!   They all saved money by going there first.  

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14 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

I just want to send you and your DD a big hug!  FWIW,  it sounds like you are very fortunate to have the fall-back plan to go where you work!  I have a friend who is a faculty member at a private school and encouraged her kids to go there bc tuition was free or close to it (they still paid room and board).  Oldest did all 4 years.  Second went just 1 year and transferred, and the third one got an associates degree then went to Beauty school.  It wasn't the best fit for the last 2, but it didn't hurt them a bit to start out there!  All are now in their upper 20s and early 30s, working jobs they love,  married to great guys, and all have a baby!   They all saved money by going there first.  

Thanks!  I know it will be fine.  It may even be for the best.  The school has the program of study she is interested in, she is familiar with the campus as she has been a DE student there for the last two semesters, she already has several friends there, and she is well-known by many faculty in the program she plans to study.  She has already had offers to consider her for undergraduate research and/or field work and there is a campus job waiting for her as soon as she is a degree-seeking student.  I will not worry as much about all things pandemic with her being right here in town.  And the cost savings cannot be scoffed at.  It is just a bit deflating as she was excited to at least explore the possibility of moving elsewhere and getting her big fish self out of this small pond of a town.  She literally cannot get gas without bumping into someone she/we knows.  She may very well have ended up here anyway but she at least would have liked to do some campus tours and a little dreaming....especially after her music plans tanked.   

We have never been the "sky's the limit, go anywhere you want regardless of cost" kind of parents.  I am really REALLY glad we have been having frank conversations about student loans and the ramifications of over-extending finances....both hers and ours....going back for years.  So she 100% understands that this decision is largely about saving her from crushing debt post-college now that our ability to help her financially has been pretty much eliminated and the lack of testing makes merit aid unpredictable.

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4 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

And he loves hockey as a spectator sport and they ended their hockey program...a very small detail but was something unique about the school to him.

Hockey was saved, at least theoretically, for two more years. Don't know what COVID did to that, though... Lack of on campus housing is still a problem at UAH, though.

I'm glad he's pragmatic & has other good options. There are lots of kids at UAH for the amazing scholarships and the parents seem to complain about fees, (mamdatory 1st yr on campus) housing, and the mandatory meal plan (which is $$ freshmen year but not bad after that). Dude, if your kid is getting 100% tuition paid, tone down the whining about the much smaller stuff!

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19 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

We are in the same boat- just looked yesterday at options and it looks like shevwould have to stay masked the entire test.  Shes already in a 1.5 hour class and says that is long enough!  Not sure what to do.

I had my daughter take practice tests at home with a mask on to get used to it for the entire SAT (not sure how long the ACT test is, as we didn't go that route). Maybe try to find a mask that is more breatheable...It's so frustrating for these kids. 😞

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20 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

I just want to send you and your DD a big hug!  FWIW,  it sounds like you are very fortunate to have the fall-back plan to go where you work!  I have a friend who is a faculty member at a private school and encouraged her kids to go there bc tuition was free or close to it (they still paid room and board).  Oldest did all 4 years.  Second went just 1 year and transferred, and the third one got an associates degree then went to Beauty school.  It wasn't the best fit for the last 2, but it didn't hurt them a bit to start out there!  All are now in their upper 20s and early 30s, working jobs they love,  married to great guys, and all have a baby!   They all saved money by going there first.  

Another thing to look into is whether the college has any exchange programs for students of employees.  They would get the benefits of child of employee discounts with the additional choice of schools.  My cousin’s daughter was able to take advantage of this benefit.

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Well, DS has had an interesting development. He finally scored a second online lesson with his #1 professor at his #1 school. He has to apply to the university and the music school separately and they are both very, very selective. The professor extended this lesson time - by a lot - and asked ds a ton of questions, including why hadn't he applied already to the school? DS explained the ACT situation. The professor asked him what his SAT score had been (DS had taken it at the very beginning of his sophomore year) and where this school was on DSs list (#1!!!).

Then, the prof told him that as long as his official audition goes as well as this lesson did, that the professor has "one string every few years" to pull with academics on the university side. He then encouraged DS to study his backside off for the ACT to bring that score up a few points (which would put him at the low end of this university's general acceptance & we are actually expecting his score to be considerably higher) so that he wouldn't have to use that string - but basically told him he's in as long as he doesn't screw up his audition (which will be recorded, so.... there's no real way to screw THAT up, right?). The professor also has already called DS's current teacher to talk to him about the lesson (there were certain stylistic changes he said he'd like to see and said they might as well start on them now.)

OF course, there's a lot of backstory to this (DS has talked with this professor several times, the prof has heard several recordings, and this professor has spoken to several people who know DS personally and he's been highly recommended to this professor as a prospective student (DS routinely has professors from elsewhere contacting him personally to encourage him to apply). Couple that with the fact that DS is "talented" +++ he practices like a maniac, is reliable, has a reputation for being easy to work with, and has a work ethic you would not believe... I guess this professor decided to just put it all out there in black and white during this crazy COVID year and make it easy for the both of them).

They've scheduled routine online lessons for the foreseeable future since we won't be able to make a trip to the school anytime soon (they aren't allowing non-official students do lessons at this time).

So. I had to eat crow (I've been trying VERY hard to convince DS to do a gap year because I really thought he needed an "in person" lesson and audition with #1 school/prof to charm him, lol. Apparently, he can charm online as well as in person when he wants something badly enough, 😄).

So. Unless something goes haywire, he's just been given the green light to his dream school. 🥳🤯 I hardly know what to do with myself.

(We already know the costs of attendance bc the COA is wage-based, not merit-based).

(also, also - it would be tricky for the prof to back out because of all the mutual people they know - but we are CERTAINLY aware of that possibility and DS will still be applying to a few other schools just in case. And if this all falls through, he'll take that gap year after all and start over.)

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5 hours ago, easypeasy said:

So. Unless something goes haywire, he's just been given the green light to his dream school. 🥳🤯 I hardly know what to do with myself.

 

Congratulations! What a wonderful connection your son has made. That all sounds so exciting, and all in the middle of a pandemic! 

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7 hours ago, easypeasy said:

Well, DS has had an interesting development. He finally scored a second online lesson with his #1 professor at his #1 school. He has to apply to the university and the music school separately and they are both very, very selective. The professor extended this lesson time - by a lot - and asked ds a ton of questions, including why hadn't he applied already to the school? DS explained the ACT situation. The professor asked him what his SAT score had been (DS had taken it at the very beginning of his sophomore year) and where this school was on DSs list (#1!!!).

Then, the prof told him that as long as his official audition goes as well as this lesson did, that the professor has "one string every few years" to pull with academics on the university side. He then encouraged DS to study his backside off for the ACT to bring that score up a few points (which would put him at the low end of this university's general acceptance & we are actually expecting his score to be considerably higher) so that he wouldn't have to use that string - but basically told him he's in as long as he doesn't screw up his audition (which will be recorded, so.... there's no real way to screw THAT up, right?). The professor also has already called DS's current teacher to talk to him about the lesson (there were certain stylistic changes he said he'd like to see and said they might as well start on them now.)

OF course, there's a lot of backstory to this (DS has talked with this professor several times, the prof has heard several recordings, and this professor has spoken to several people who know DS personally and he's been highly recommended to this professor as a prospective student (DS routinely has professors from elsewhere contacting him personally to encourage him to apply). Couple that with the fact that DS is "talented" +++ he practices like a maniac, is reliable, has a reputation for being easy to work with, and has a work ethic you would not believe... I guess this professor decided to just put it all out there in black and white during this crazy COVID year and make it easy for the both of them).

They've scheduled routine online lessons for the foreseeable future since we won't be able to make a trip to the school anytime soon (they aren't allowing non-official students do lessons at this time).

So. I had to eat crow (I've been trying VERY hard to convince DS to do a gap year because I really thought he needed an "in person" lesson and audition with #1 school/prof to charm him, lol. Apparently, he can charm online as well as in person when he wants something badly enough, 😄).

So. Unless something goes haywire, he's just been given the green light to his dream school. 🥳🤯 I hardly know what to do with myself.

(We already know the costs of attendance bc the COA is wage-based, not merit-based).

(also, also - it would be tricky for the prof to back out because of all the mutual people they know - but we are CERTAINLY aware of that possibility and DS will still be applying to a few other schools just in case. And if this all falls through, he'll take that gap year after all and start over.)

That’s awesome!

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Congratulations @easypeasy! It sounds like your DS has found his place!

 

We went on a second tour yesterday and got to tour the business college and had an appt with the honors program.   This school wins over the school from last week according to DD- but I'm wondering how long until she changes her mind or wants to look at other places.  There are so many factors to consider!  This school is much smaller,  and honestly the program shes looking at doesnt have as many bells and whistles- but the teachers seem to really know the students and the honors college seems to be a tight knit family style group.  We know one kid who was in it and really thought it was a great transition. 

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We're doing a tour at One of the local schools Friday, and are going up to Missouri to visit a few schools in October. The local one is really a "well, if I can't live on campus, it might be OK"-she added every reasonably commuting distance school to her common app, but isn't really excited about any of them

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19 hours ago, UmmIbrahim said:

Congratulations! What a wonderful connection your son has made. That all sounds so exciting, and all in the middle of a pandemic! 

It is exciting!! And yet, we've never set foot on the campus! DS is signing up for every virtual tour/discussion they have, lol. He's already done two and said they were the most informative, organized ones he's done, so I'll take that as a good sign. 

Weird to be essentially done without taking one tour to his favorite school and before prescreens are even due. DS has everything under control and I am left literally not knowing what to do!! I'd planned to be needed this last year, but apparently I can get on with the business of my own life! 😂

(my girls had NO idea where they really wanted to go at this point in their journeys. So to have DS have his crap together and for it to actually work out on his favor this early is a totally different experience!)

I should start to take online dance lessons or something!! Looks like I am retired!!

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4 hours ago, easypeasy said:

It is exciting!! And yet, we've never set foot on the campus! DS is signing up for every virtual tour/discussion they have, lol. He's already done two and said they were the most informative, organized ones he's done, so I'll take that as a good sign. 

Weird to be essentially done without taking one tour to his favorite school and before prescreens are even due. DS has everything under control and I am left literally not knowing what to do!! I'd planned to be needed this last year, but apparently I can get on with the business of my own life! 😂

 

My son is currently taking a gap year and has STILL not been to the university he will be attending next year! Hooray for youtube and virtual tours. It was the only way for us to get an idea of things during the pandemic. Enjoy the ease of your last kid! I've got two more to go who are likely to be more difficult than my first 😂

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We did not sign up to take the ACT the one more time for a 32.  It was a hard choice, b/c it means she can't apply for the top scholarship at one of her top schools, but I called 2 councilors at schools near me, and they were doubtful they would even have it in October (last date to get scores by application deadline).  My school said they were not having any tests until December at the earliest, the other is about a 30 minute drive.  He said they were planning and hoping, but had already sent home about 20 kids that day and numbers just keep going up.   ACT can choose to shut a location down, the school may have to go online (they just went to code yellow this week) and shut down testing, or my DD could get quarantined between now and then.  And it's just for a shot at that scholarship.  We decided it wasn't worth prepping.  

 

As of now she's applied and accepted to 3 schools- all are within 3 hours of home, all are money matches with decent automatic merit aid and hopes of additional scholarships!  We have toured 2, trying to get into the 3rd (no openings until mid October).   There are 2-3 other schools that I don't know if we should apply or not.  They aren't at the top of her list, but they do have excellent scholarships- like almost a full ride- but they are further away and larger than she would like (UA, MU) and she says she likes the looks of Oklahoma State- we shall see, she's never been to such flat lands!  The only reason she would pick one of these would be money, and I'm not sure that's a good enough reason to even go look.  They do have good programs, don't get me wrong, but there are so many other things to consider.  I wish there was a way to know how much extra she would get in additional scholarships!  I like that UA had everything covered - tuition for 5 years, dorm for 4, plus $3500 to go toward the food plan.  That's a LOT to give up.  But she isn't that thrilled with being so far away and does not like the bigger school.  I'm not sure if she should even bother applying, or just decide that money isn't a factor and DH and I pay whatever is left at some of these other schools.

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That's one reason why we're visiting MU. I figure if DD is OK with the size of the campus, it might be worth it to apply to some of the other schools that have bigger money on the table. Having said that, she's now up to three schools where she will get decent guaranteed merit (pretty much full in-state tuition and a waiver of out of state if she isn't a state resident) and is a good candidate for their full ride scholarships, and she likes the two of the three that she's visited (and the third is likely comparable as far as campus size and composition, so I suspect she would be happy there as well). I really suspect she'll end up at one of the three, unless one of the reach schools comes through with not only an acceptance letter, but a really, really impressive scholarship offer. And since she applied to all of those regular decision, she may have made up her mind before she even hears from them. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just updating because I discussed UAH scholarships unthread. Looks like they have adjusted again. My ds got a letter and he was granted another $2200. I went to the website and they had adjusted the out of state scholarships up a little at his ACT score. I still think he’ll end up at his first choice but if that doesn’t work out this would help a little at UAH. 
 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Bumping- we are still undecided and need to visit more schools!  DD has applied and been accepted to 5 schools,

3 Xxx State University that all seem to be very similar- pros, cons to all, but honestly any of them would be about the same- we visited 2.

1 STEM School that was her top choice for years- they keep adding to her merit money and send email all the time- but DD has almost ruled them out bc the town is very boring and small and it doesn't offer any versatility.   Never got a chance to visit. 

1 out of state big university out of state- this is the one we really need to go visit!  

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In the end, dd just applied to UT Austin. If she can't ship out to the Navy for some reason, this is her back up option.  It's weirdly a reach, match and safety all rolled into one. The absolute worst case scenario would be that dd is CAPed and has to attend another UT campus for a year, get a 3.25 and transfer to Austin (this is highly unlikely unless they filled their class ridiculously early this year with rolling admissions). Dd is a strong candidate for regular admission. The reach would have been the honors programs, but I think she's ruled out applying because she's not planning on attending UT and it just seems like both too much trouble and a bit selfish to compete for a spot she won't take. We should hear by March.

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Halfway through, DD’s done the honors college and scholarship apps for her three top rolling decision choices. She just got her one EA acceptance and hasn’t gotten an award letter, but since they only just announced ED/EA 1, and there is another EA round before regular decision, she has a little more time for competitive there. 
 

Hoping we can visit schools before she has to make a decision.  It’s definitely a weird cycle. 

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Dd#2 has her two acceptances, but only wants to consider one. She's working on a scholarship application for that one, but I'm pondering assigning her the other school's scholarship form so she has an option come spring.

Other school is bigger, has more majors, has better employment outcomes, and is more expensive (double or triple depending on how scholarships turn out). She only wants to go to school #1 because she can continue to live at home. (She could commute to school #2 but it would be an hour drive each way.)

Should I make her fill out scholarship app for school #2?

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

Dd#2 has her two acceptances, but only wants to consider one. She's working on a scholarship application for that one, but I'm pondering assigning her the other school's scholarship form so she has an option come spring.

Other school is bigger, has more majors, has better employment outcomes, and is more expensive (double or triple depending on how scholarships turn out). She only wants to go to school #1 because she can continue to live at home. (She could commute to school #2 but it would be an hour drive each way.)

Should I make her fill out scholarship app for school #2?

I am really not one for making extra work for these kids or for applying to a ton of schools or doing lots of scholarship applications. But, on kid #3 I have decided they need a first choice and a doable backup. Both of my older boys changed their minds after some scholarship deadlines had passed. My oldest had a personal situation develop that really required him to get out of town. My second son just completely changed course in dramatic and unanticipated fashion. I couldn't have really predicted either situation. So I now tell my dc they need a workable backup even if they can't imagine why they would change. I always say "what if a tornado wipes out the college?" but more realistic is a college eliminating a major or something personal changing. The backup can be cc, or a gap year, or whatever but I need us just to have some kind of Plan B. 

I did not make my current senior apply for all the scholarships everywhere he applied but his backup schools are cheaper with automatic aid than his current first choice. Now, if he ends up at one of them, which seems unlikely, I will be annoyed he didn't get everything he could. But it will be doable and is unlikely. 

So, while I don't require lots of extra "just in case" work from my seniors. I do not think you are out of line to require this one. 

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