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High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Old Sep 29th 2009, 6:33 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Guiding a teenager toward college

Originally Posted by another bloody yank View Post
Without putting words in Elvira's mouth, what she is trying to tell you is...



http://www.goarmy.com/#/?marquee=off...hannel=careers



Don't think we haven't considered that either lol. Actually son has expressed an interest in the forces, but he's talking about going back to the UK to enlist there. Not sure if there is a residency requirement for joining the British forces though.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 6:34 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by Englishtart View Post
The thing I worry about is the extra curricular stuff, he isn't 'into' sports, so he isn't in any team sports, he did a magazine club in his last year, but hasn't joined anything this year (except rotc) Is his lack of eca's going to be a big sticking point for college applications?
Oh blimey, we are well and truly buggered then, he doesn't do any of those either. The army is looking more and more appealing
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 6:37 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by jumping doris View Post
Everything everyone else has said.

My eldest only did two years of high school here (she arrived on these shores as a junior). Not an easy transition and she only took one honors class in French.
Her GPA wasn't brilliant because all the classes were so different and she isn't a great academic.

She looked at small state colleges and, for reasons mostly to do with GC status or lack of it, she chose a state college here in PA.

They accepted her partly because they struggle to compete with the big PA schools but she took to it like a duck to water and made the deans list in her first year.

My middle one has done 4 years of high school and has just started college. We have GC's now and that opened up her choices.
We were advised to apply to every school she liked the look of regardless of wether we expected her to get in.

Most schools waive the application fee if you apply on line or while you are visiting the college. We didn't visit all the ones she applied to and that didn't seem to make a difference to getting accepted.

Some of the private schools were so expensive it made my eyes water but we filled in our FAFSA and sat back and waited for financial aid offers from the colleges she had been accepted at.

The private schools all made very generous offers, the state schools didn't.
So don't let the cost of a private school put you off, just apply.

We are paying less for the middle one at a private Tier 1 university than we are for the eldest at a small state one.

Our guidance counsellor wasn't very helpful but he did say..."don't panic, there is a college for everyone".

Start early, keep good records, watch the college's own time line and take it one step at a time.
I am sooooo glad we don't have to do it again for four years!
Thank you, that is really encouraging. The cousellor did say not to panic, but I thought she was just trying to be nice, rather than saying "you're screwed"
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
We are also at sea as he has expressed a desire to go back to England and I need to research that angle. First things first, the practice SAT.
That is also something our son has touched on too. He would need to really put some work in for that to happen, and then you've got the international student rates issue.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 7:34 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Can't really help, but one thing that might be a consideration when choosing a place....that list that came out last week ranking colleges by safety is a bag of shite.

According to that, Mass had something like 6 in the top 10 as unsafest colleges, all because all but one was within a couple miles of Boston Common, and all crimes in the radius gets counted against the school and the common gets a lot of petty crime and there's China Town etc.

Only Fitchburg warranted being on the listing having had a couple of murders recently.

http://www.utexas.edu/world/univ/state/

That's a handy site though as it lists nearly every college by state and their websites.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by jumping doris View Post

Most schools waive the application fee if you apply on line or while you are visiting the college. We didn't visit all the ones she applied to and that didn't seem to make a difference to getting accepted.
Also don't be afraid to ask the school to waive it, a lot of them do waive the fee is you just ask, also if you accept an offer it's often refunded.

As for finances, if your eligible for financial aid, a lot of private schools come in at similar rates because you don't have to off set any grants/scholarships you might receive against the amount of financial aid you get which you would with a state school. Still not cheap, but probably not as bad as initially thought to be.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Guiding a teenager toward college

Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Don't think we haven't considered that either lol. Actually son has expressed an interest in the forces, but he's talking about going back to the UK to enlist there. Not sure if there is a residency requirement for joining the British forces though.
If your a Brit Citizen, then no there isn't.

Also the army still offers really good bursaries with least time served, a weekend a month, plus a couple weeks in the summer and the around 3 years of service after graduation.

The RAF also offer okay money but they want around 6 years of service. The navy doesn't really offer bursaries.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

We had no clue about getting the kids off to Uni here (or high school or elementary school for that matter), we have learned as we go with the oldest. He's in Uni here now.
He really didn't do much in Junior year, he (and we) went to the college prep nights at the school and that was it, he never did extra curricular activities, he was working a part time job at Longs so he could keep his car on the road.
We were told, take the SAT's as soon as possible in Senior year and repeat if necessary as any taken after Christmas wern't even looked at.
Then apply for every scholarship and grant going at school, he was helped there by the careers councilor who did a fairly good job.
Then apply wherever he wanted to go, and wait for the financial letters to come, he was lucky and got into both places he applied (Stanislaus and UOP) he chose UOP and is on year 4 now.
Oh yeah once he decided he liked UOP (about september) we went for the day at the school, did the breakfast with the Dean thing and the tours and visits tot eh dorms etc. That really got him excited about going.
Then he did the weekend at the Uni with all the others who had been accepted to get a feel for it, still loved it. Hell I'd have moved in there if I could the place is gorgeous. and I even liked the food.

Last edited by Mummy in the foothills; Sep 29th 2009 at 8:20 pm.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 8:45 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
We had no clue about getting the kids off to Uni here (or high school or elementary school for that matter), we have learned as we go with the oldest. He's in Uni here now.
He really didn't do much in Junior year, he (and we) went to the college prep nights at the school and that was it, he never did extra curricular activities, he was working a part time job at Longs so he could keep his car on the road.
We were told, take the SAT's as soon as possible in Senior year and repeat if necessary as any taken after Christmas wern't even looked at.
Then apply for every scholarship and grant going at school, he was helped there by the careers councilor who did a fairly good job.
Then apply wherever he wanted to go, and wait for the financial letters to come, he was lucky and got into both places he applied (Stanislaus and UOP) he chose UOP and is on year 4 now.
Oh yeah once he decided he liked UOP (about september) we went for the day at the school, did the breakfast with the Dean thing and the tours and visits tot eh dorms etc. That really got him excited about going.
Then he did the weekend at the Uni with all the others who had been accepted to get a feel for it, still loved it. Hell I'd have moved in there if I could the place is gorgeous. and I even liked the food.
What is UOP?
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by another bloody yank View Post
What is UOP?
University of the Pacific?
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 9:58 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
However, the quality of teaching at CCs can vary a great deal, so it's important to do a bit of research to find out who the good and bad eggs are. Having said that, some of the teaching was actually superior to some classes at academic colleges, where undergraduates or often taught by Teaching Assistants of varying quality.
Interesting point, the CC at college info night pointed out that their teaching is by professors not teaching assistants.
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
That is also something our son has touched on too. He would need to really put some work in for that to happen, and then you've got the international student rates issue.
Yeah we've now officially given up on ever having any money

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
We had no clue about getting the kids off to Uni here (or high school or elementary school for that matter), we have learned as we go with the oldest. He's in Uni here now.
That's somewhat reassuring
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 10:20 pm
  #42  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Hi,

One of the things you should emphasize to your son at this stage is 'keep your options open'. Don't be discouraged by cost or academics or whatever at this stage--try to get as many alternatives possible for the next few years as you can. UK uni, CC in the US, a 'directional state school', the big state school, or a private school. Shoot for quite a range and sort out the details when you have choices.

While you've said your son won't qualify for the big state school that he likes, it's more than likely your state has 'directional' schools, i.e. Northern Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Florida Southern, etc. (called directional due the geographic references in the name if not obvious). Many of these schools are feeder schools for the big state schools, with people doing a year or two at these schools to 'catch up' on their academics and then transferring over to the big University of Illinois, or U of Florida, etc.

As someone else said, don't be discouraged by the $50k cost of some private school. They often really bend over backwards to come up with scholarships and other grants, often covering the full tuition or enough of the costs to make it the same price as the state school with 'in state' tuition rates.

Maybe Army service might be a good thing. A bit of a gap year, gaining a little discipline and direction perhaps, and experiencing things that he'll never see again. If he has a green card he can enlist in the US military (and qualify for early citizenship as well). I also think there are some benefits for education after college if you spend some time in the service. In fact, he could enlist in the Guard or Reserves at 17, due his basic over the Summer and then go back to finish his senior year. Would given him a 'year's credit' of service before he even finished school. Not sure if the UK military has post-service educational assistance, maybe someone else knows on that.

Anyway, have him make an appointment with the school college counsellor, or maybe you can get an appointment as well and have them walk you through some of the processes.

And get out to Barnes and Noble and buy a practice SAT book pretty much immediately.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 10:48 pm
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Post Re: Guiding a teenager toward college

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post

Have you considered Community College for the first 2 years, and then transfer to a proper college? A lot of colleges have an established path for accepting transfers from CCs.

CC is also a lot cheaper/
We had a nightmare when our son was in his senior year (2007) as our visas had maxed out (he was on an L2) and we were in the limbo of Adjustment of Status ie. he was legally here but the visa had expired in his passport, but physically had no Green Card.

We were getting nowhere with the college admissions offices; procedures for foreign students have greatly tightened up after Sept 11th and it was obvious that they didn't want to deal with a kid going through AOS and were even suggesting that he should go to the US Embassy in London and get a student visa!!!

In the end he chose to go to Community College and did really well there, going onto something similar to the Dean's list (CC's don't have Deans) as they asked no such questions about his immigration status! Ironically just a few weeks after he started there our GC's arrived. Elvira is correct in that it's much cheaper than paying uni fees. Also I think our son matured a bit and had a better idea of what he wanted to do whilst at CC, I don't think he was ready to leave home after seeing the cramped rooms that he would have to share at some of the campuses he visited lol!

He is now at a State university here in NJ; we are quite pleased about it as it is also much cheaper than the out-of-state fees. As far as we are concerned, it's not like he's a country hick with limited life experience and lived in the same place all his life, being an expat he's been exposed to different cultures (lived in Singapore from the ages of 6-12 and of course spending many Summers in England) so there seems to be no need to go to uni hundreds of miles away really.

Although my son left High School two years ago, I've been very surprised at how many of his old friends have disliked the colleges they tried so hard to get into and have switched to other colleges and universities! I remember looking at those college guides (Kaplan?) and they show the statistics of how many students actually complete their 4 years at the same institution....it's quite surprising to see the percentages of how few manage to do so and have transferred out to other unis.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 11:10 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: Guiding a teenager toward college

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
.........I don't think he was ready to leave home after seeing the cramped rooms that he would have to share at some of the campuses he visited lol!

Although my son left High School two years ago, I've been very surprised at how many of his old friends have disliked the colleges they tried so hard to get into and have switched to other colleges and universities! I remember looking at those college guides (Kaplan?) and they show the statistics of how many students actually complete their 4 years at the same institution....it's quite surprising to see the percentages of how few manage to do so and have transferred out to other unis.
This is uncanny! 2 out of 3 of my sons ended up switching colleges - even though they were at top-ranking colleges. (Both of them ended up doing a stint at Community College whilst looking for a college that suited them better).)

And in both instances, the cramped rooms they shared (one of them with a meth addict ) were instrumental in them dropping out.

# 3 son decided to attend the local college and stay home
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Old Sep 30th 2009, 1:06 am
  #45  
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Default Re: High School Junior + College = Head Spinning

Our boys are a few years away from college, but I've been doing a bit of snooping around and wondered if this book would be helpful to you?

Everything Parents & Students Need to Know About the Road to College

I've also heard that there are software programmes available with exhaustive scholarship lists, but I don't know where to look for that.
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