The waiting is over!

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
The waiting is over!
35
Fri, 03-29-2013 - 5:07pm

This was college admissions letters week, and am I ever glad it is over! 

The final count:  accepted at both safety schools, rejected from both Ivy League schools, waitlisted at one stretch, admitted to one stretch, and admitted to all four "fit" schools.  She got a full scholarship to one safety, a surprise merit scholarship to one "fit," and admission to the honors program and guaranteed housing for 4 years at another "fit."  Her #1 choice was the LAST to notify her, so it's been a nail-biter of a week!  She'll be going to New York University in the fall.

Ash and anyone else waiting to hear - how are your kids feeling now?

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 11:47am

We spent last night with DD and a couple of her friends going to dinner & a concert.  A big part of the discussion was the lack of acceptances to top universities among the top students in their graduating class.  MIT continued its 10-year trend of not accepting anyone from our school (a couple of years ago they rejected one of our students who had won a major international science competition and had corresponding test scores).  The only Ivy that accepted *any* of our students this year was Cornell. There is another public school near us that despite being a top, affluent district has never had a student accepted to Princeton.  The competition is ridiculous.

In fact, the whole business of getting into college is kind of ridiculous.  I have a special concern over students who don't even know that they *can* apply to private colleges or have any idea of the options that are out there.  We have friends whose kids are super-smart but the parents think it's good enough for them to just go to the local college, when they should be trying for top science universities (they're *that* smart).  DS hates that almost everyone at his LAC is from an affluent white or Asian family (his urban Catholic HS was much more diverse socially and economically).  Maybe someday when I'm not working so hard to send my kids to college under the current system, that will be a cause I work on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 4:26pm

The terms are all pretty loosely defined, and they are relative to the stats of the individual. A school that lets in fewer than 50% of applicants might be a safety for one kid, but a match for another. There are, however, schools that are reaches for everyone, no matter how good their grades and scores, because of the number of applicants and the low acceptance rates. These would be schools like the eight Ivies, Stanford, NYU, U of Chicago, the top liberal arts schools, etc.

And there are financial safeties, too, schools where the applicant is likely to get in and to receive the aid he/she needs to pay for it. If you get in and can't afford to go, it's not really a safety.

Avatar for melissamc
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Registered: 03-22-2007
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 1:36pm
Congratulations to your daughter!!!

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Registered: 09-13-1999
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 11:53am

I think she will like all her schools and the hardest part will be making the choice.   All three are beautiful schools in beautiful settings and all three will offer great peers and a personalized feel.  If she hasn't already sat in on classes, she should do so and she should choose classes that are of specific interest to her, not just what's offered on the list she gets on the admitted students' day.   If she can contact professors in advance to ask about sitting in on a smaller class, like a creative writing seminar, that would be ideal.

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Registered: 09-13-1999
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 11:39am

How exciting for your son!  That's fantastic! 

Yes, exactly, the downside to these wonderful LACs is that they feel very small by the end of the four years.  There are ways to deal with that but it's important to be conscious of their limitations going in.  Many kids go abroad.  At BMC, those who are involved in "bi-co" activities spend a lot of their time at different campuses.  I think the newspaper is jointly run between Haverford and Bryn Mawr and orchestra and religious activities are as well.  My dd has worked in Philadelphia and takes classes at Haverford and she still talks about the small size of the school and the sense that everyone knows everyone else's business.

As for life after college, my dd has a job offer in hand.  She really isn't sure what she wants to do at this point and has worked to date in nonprofits.  She thinks she'd like to have some experience working in business before making a final decision where to pursue graduate work or whether to pursue nonprofit work.   I've been impressed here too that she's been able to go to her favorite professors for guidance both on specific job advice and for more general ideas on a future path.

I'm also kind of tickled that both older girls have been really resourceful in directing my high school-aged girl to explore different pursuits.   Oldest dd works for a national blog so her skills tend to lie in searching out not so obvious offerings and she sends these to dd's inbox.  Middle dd's skills reflect 4 years of working closely with professors: she comes up with ways to network and directs youngest dd to people in the community who can support her plans.  Neither one of them was so on top of things when they were still in high school!

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 4:52pm

Lisa, during the applications process, most kids will apply to a few "match" schools, a couple of "stretch" schools, and a couple of "safety" schools.  Match are the ones that are a very good fit with their test scores and GPA, stretch are the ones where they're in the lower 25-50% of those admitted, and safety are the ones where they're clearly likely to be accepted because they're so far above the average test scores and GPA.

There are nuances though, e.g. having to be accepted into a specific program.  Also, some schools may be a match but are so selective you still don't have much of a chance, e.g. the Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, because they only accept 10% or fewer applicants, but 80% or more of the applicants are perfectly qualified.

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 4:36pm

Ashmama, did your DD look at any coed colleges, or all women's?

We were super-involved in the college application & visiting process with both kids, and I don't regret it at all.  We certainly didn't fill out applications or remind them of deadlines, but we did go through the whole selection with them.  One benefit for us was learning more about what they wanted (not to mention how much they didn't know about college!) but the most important thing for us was finding the right fit.  We were able to do it more efficiently with DD having gone through it with DS but I'm really glad we spent so much time immersing ourselves in it.  There were colleges that looked like great fits on paper and even after reading comments about them online (Gettysburg for DS, Middlebury for DD) but were clearly all wrong when we got there.  Each of them loved Vassar on the first visit and not nearly so much after doing a second visit and overnight.  DS was sort of "meh" on Skidmore on his first visit but loved it on his second, and DD almost didn't apply to NYU because the website was so darn hard to navigate but after visiting and then auditioning, it suddenly became #1.

There are so many things to consider, and it's so ridiculously expensive to make a mistake, that I think all the effort is worth it.

I get just as excited over their friends' admissions process too, LOL.  I want all the kids to find the right college for them!

BTW DD has a friend who was going to go to a Bible college to become a pastor and decided at the last minute to go to music school instead.  Even his parents didn't see that one coming.

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 4:24pm

Weedosmom, it sounds like your DD is having an experience at Bryn Mawr similar to what my DS has at Skidmore, where he's a junior.  One of the best things about a school of this size (2700 students) is the access to professors.  For a smart kid who loves learning, this opens up amazing possibilities.  On the first day of this semester, one of his professors asked him if he wanted a job doing research for her, and after she saw some drawings he had done, asked if he'd be interested in illustrating her next book!  He was invited by another professor to do research with her this summer, which he's going to do.

On the downside, at a school that small, you know everyone very fast.  The social aspect is a major reason why DD wanted to go to a larger university.  For someone like her, who can navigate her way around complicated things and find ways to get what she wants, a university with 40,000 students (in one of the largest cities in the world) is a great place to meet a wide variety of people.  DS needed something smaller and more manageable, with less friction involved in getting things done.

Does your DD know what she will do after graduation?

Avatar for cmlisab
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Registered: 09-30-2011
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 1:26pm

Congratulations to both girls!!!!

Is "stretch" a term that means a school that might be a good fit? Actually, I'm not 100% sure what most of those terms mean Embarassed A "safety" school is one that is isn't a top pick but they are almost certain they will get accepted into? 

Lisa 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 12:34pm

Weedosmom, thank you so much for your helpful reply. We know next to nothing about Bryn Mawr--DD picked out the schools she'd apply to without much input from us--so it is really nice to hear from someone whose D had a great experience there. Since Bryn Mawr is the only school DD hasn't visited, we are making arrangements to go with her sometime in the next two weeks. (Right now, she's looking at this whole thing as choosing among "Hogwarts 1, 2, and 3," since all of the schools physically resemble Hogwarts in some way. :))

Mount Holyoke is my alma mater and I loved it there, but Bryn Mawr also gave DD a nice scholarship (and a travel award to come visit), whereas Wellesley would be full pay all the way, so we're kind of hoping she falls in love with one of the scholarship schools! But it has to be her decision since this will be her home for the next four years.

This whole process really has been tough, and I'm kind of annoyed with myself for engaging with it so much. It isn't healthy and I don't think I've done D or myself any good. Poor DS, a sophomore, has already decided he wants no part of it. He wants to be a pastor and has picked out his three schools (all of which are not as selective, so he'll likely get in) and that's that. He may be saner than all of us.

Good luck on your next round and I hope it's not as fraught for you!