We have one in college and a senior this year. So, I wanted to throw in some other things we learned on kid #1.

Originally Posted By: Bostonian

* Some schools admit directly into a major, and if your child is applying for computer science or engineering, it is much harder to get in, and the admissions rate is much lower than the overall admissions rate.

At some schools it is possible to apply to a less competitive major and then transfer into CS/Eng once they are at the school. I know a couple people whose kids did this at Cal within the last few years. On the other hand, during a Q&A with the admissions office, Carnegie-Mellon indicated that it was almost impossible to transfer into CS if you had been admitted to a different college.

Originally Posted By: Bostonian

* Most but not all schools allow you to self-report SAT and ACT scores. No school I know of requires more than 2 SAT subject tests. Some engineering schools want to see the SAT math subject test. You can take enough subject tests to be able to report 2 very good scores.

If a student includes their high school code when they take the ACT/SAT, our school district adds the scores to their official transcript. I have been told that this practice is more common now because it eliminates another fee/barrier for students. I don't remember if this also included the SAT subject tests.

Originally Posted By: Bostonian

* Even if your child will not qualify for need-based aid, you will likely need to fill a FAFSA so that they are considered for merit aid. On the FAFSA, income information can be taken electronically from your tax return, but asset information must be provided manually.

At least one school also wanted the CSS Profile completed for merit based aid. The CSS Profile is cumbersome and asks for every gory detail of your finances.

Vanderbilt had a separate merit based scholarship deadline of 12/1 even though the regular decision application date was 1/1. I seem to recall that another school had a similar schedule but I can't remember which one now. It pays to check on the school's website to see if there are separate dates for merit based aid.

For anyone whose student is a National Merit finalist, you have to notify colleges that student is a finalist. We didn't find out that our daughter was a finalist until after she had submitted all of her applications. So, it was another thing to do after she thought she was "done." Two of the schools where she was admitted offered university-sponsored NM scholarships that came with additional money.

Finally, at one of these schools, my daughter initally did not get a merit based aid offer. She was devastated and confuesd. With a lot of parental encouragement, she contacted her admissions officer who encouraged her to write an appeal. It turned out that the NM finalist box hadn't been checked on the scholarship committee paperwork. They came back with a substantial merit-based offer and she is now at that university. Put this one in the "it never hurts to ask" column.

Edited by knute974 (11/06/19 08:01 AM)