Applying for College

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2006
Applying for College
13
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 1:05pm

Hi there,


My DD will be

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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 2:56pm

The U ds17 wanted to get into has 'rolling admissions' so he enrolled as soon as was permitted, which was like the first week in August; he didn't hear til the 2nd week in October but that wasn't too bad. He didn't do much as far as school extracurriculars (swam 2 years) but got Eagle and had been lifeguarding over a year, so I guess that helped; he got a SMALL merit based scholarship just for his GPA and activities.

From what I've heard and read about, it's better to stick to a few activities (school, church, community - not sure it matters) a long time than just fill the resume with loads of shorter duration stuff. And just having a great GPA and no other activities won't cut it any more either (at least per a PhD friend who helps at Wash U here in STL for admissions requirements); Us seem to want well rounded kids.

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 3:12pm

Since different colleges have different deadlines for applications, I think it would be better to check out the websites of wherever your DD is thinking about going to get an idea. I am remembering that it's more toward Dec or Jan, but for state schools a lot of times it's even later.

As far as scholarships, there are some that are based on financial need and some that are based on merit. When you fill out the FAFSA you'll find out how much your "expected family contribution" will be (and it's probably going to be more than you think you can afford." The Pell grants & Stafford loans are all based on need. Now I remember that my DD applied to a small private school where tuition was $24,000 and before we even did the FAFSA she was told she could get $12,000 in a grant from the school--this was just based on academics. She didn't end up going there--she went to a state school. Most of the fin. aid she gets is really based on need--she gets $500 a semester from being in the "Commonwealth College", which is the honors program and $1700/yr from getting a high score on the state required test that all high school kids take.

There is also a website called Fastweb.com that lists a huge number of scholarships that you can apply for. A lot of them require essays and there are also many specific scholarships that are given based on where you live, what company you work for or what you are majoring in. You should check w/ your or your DH's work places or unions, or orgs. that you belong to to see if they have any. I know our town gives out scholarships every year (maybe $1000), our local hospital gives out one to people studying nursing (my DD is in nursing school) and her univ. itself has specific scholarships for nursing students, so they probably have ones for kids in other majors. You really have to look around.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 3:15pm

When do you start applying for colleges

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 10:00pm

Make sure you post this on Parents of College STudents too.

I would go to the library and get a good "applying to college" book. I'm sure there are a few, hit up Barnes & Noble, sit down with a few of the books and see if there's one that helps you make it seem less confusing.

I'd have DD assemble a list of schools off college board.com or princeton review, or if your school has naviance. Once she has a large list, narrow, narrow, narrow to about 10 schools. Then go through each school's website and jot down the requirements of each. Check their deadlines, requirements for applying etc. The common application, which is accepted by many schools make this all so much easier because you fill out one application. But not all accept it. As for when to apply, I liked getting them in and done in the fall, but each school has it's deadlines. Also, let your guidance office help you. Have a check list of dates and what needs to be done, that really helps.

As for scholarships, you really need to check with your guidance office on that, and also online. And see if there are any workshops at your local high school this fall on financial aid and scholarships.

Also, getting a mom/dad who's already done this that will help you with this is always a good idea. They can mentor you and show you some tricks they learned.

As for

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 9:20am

Have her think about what colleges she might want to go to, what she might want to major in, and then check out the school websites for the dates that applications will first be accepted. Generally it's best to get the application to the school earlier rather than later. My DD knew where she wanted to go to school, and also knew that they had a waiting list to get into the nursing program, so she had her application in the mail so that it would arrive on the first date that they were accepting applications for that program. She still ended up on the waiting list, but only spent two semesters on it, which she used to get all of her general ed requirements in and will start nursing core courses in a few weeks. As opposed to a few of her friends who waited a couple of months to apply who won't be able to start their nursing core courses until next fall.

As for scholarships, our high school guidance office has a wealth of information about scholarships and is a great place to start. Be really careful about online "scholarship" offers - anything that you have to pay to apply for is really suspicious according to our guidance office.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2006
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 11:21am

Thanks for your input

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 3:05pm

One of the sites I really liked was cappex.com - you can look at their chart of who has gotten in (GPA and ACT/SAT score) - I always get rid of the who's applying one as that's not meaningful, but the others (accepted, accepted not attending, etc.) give you a good idea of the range of students who make it in. For instance, the U ds is going to attend says their avg ACT is 26 and GPA is 3.7; well, he wasn't anywhere near the GPA so for a while we were worried. When you look at Cappex, you see that they get in at 18 ACT and 2.5 GPA for that U. We breathed a sigh of relief and he got in, no problem.

Sue

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 3:23pm

Well, my kids now ADDult kids were ADD teens, and they managed to work, volunteer, be heavily involved in their extracurriculars, AND make decent grades. Your student doesn't have to be the first in her class to get into college, but the grade or ACT "deficit" needs to be made up by proof of hard work, dedication, and PASSION. Both my kids began playing in the band in 4th grade, and continued thruout HS. Both did concert band and competitive (travel) marching band. Dd#1 was also in pit, jazz and a community band; dd#2 was in dance. Both volunteered regularly. D#1 was a peer mediator, and in Y.E.S. and Snowball thruout HS. DD#2 was involved in the animal shelter and the zoo. Their extras and their volunteer work reflected and expanded on their interests. DD#1 was in interested in music & art, and enjoyed working with kids. Besides all the band activities, she also was in AP art classes, and got 5's on her portfolio's/AP exams. She was offered scholarships based on her AP exams, and even tho "on paper" she did not have the GPA or the ACT required for the schools she applied to, she WAS accepted. She was told her portfolio, her essays, and her letters of recommendation turned the tide.

DD#2 was interested in Zoology until Sr year of HS, when she found out during A & P she could NOT cut up anything that had been living-even to save it's life! But until that point, she was all about it. When she was 10!! she began investigating Zoology, and began to correspond with various zoological organizations. One woman in particular, the president of one of the societies, mentored her for years, and gave my dd a letter of recommendation to the college SHE had attended. DD also had other letters of recommendation. Altho dd#2's GPA was also less than perfect, she was accepted. SHE applied at the end of Jr year, as soon as the ACT results were in, and was accepted before Sr year began! She ended up going in another direction altogether, BUT the fact remains she got into BOTH schools she applied to.

Both kids letters of recommendation were from people who knew THEM--people they worked with, volunteered with, mentors from school--and the letters were NOT generic form letters. They were from people who KNEW my kids, and who could testify to their work ethic, determination and passion for their interests. And I believe THAT made the biggest difference.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2005
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 3:25pm
my next door neighbors daugher just graduated from high school. she started checking into colleges in january. i think thats a perfect time i think.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sun, 08-08-2010 - 5:37pm
Both my boys knew where they wanted to go (or so they thought - oldest ds transferred after 2 year and younger ds wasn't quite ready to to away). They applied in the summer before their senior year and both had been accepted by October or so. Older ds was very involved, great grades - probably could have gotten into many other schools right off the bat. Younger ds had mediocre grades at best, wasn't involved in much but still got accepted to the state U he applied to PLUS got a small merit scholarship. Neither one applied for other scholarships (although like you I did a bunch of research on them). If money is an issue then I'd definitely have your dd (not you) apply for scholarships. Tell her that you will pay x amount toward school and she'll have to come up with the rest, either through scholarships or working. We probably made it too easy for the boys financially but hind sight's 20/20!


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