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    #162275 - 07/16/13 10:01 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    The reason that I think this conversation is a valid one here (as it is not in most online communities) is that we are all the parents of the kinds of kids who are inherently "Ivy League Material" in some way by virtue of their HG-ness.

    If you start from a position where that is not the case, then there are only two real reactions to this kind of question (meaning, "How do I make my first-grader Harvard material and insure his/her eventual admission?").

    1. TigerParenting. These are the parents that never even question whether the goal is reasonable or achievable, nevermind worth doing. They figure that it's merely a matter of figuring out HOW to make it so, and doing whatever is required to see it through.

    2. You're insane. Your child is a little kid, and you've got a screw loose to be worried about college planning other than to be saving as much $$ as you can.


    I think that this community being what it is, there is a legitimate middle ground that involves neither 1 nor 2, but it is predicated on the fact that any child of a poster here is probably legitimately destined to be competitive at a range of Elite colleges, pretty much regardless of what we as parents do in the interim.

    With that said, understand that my remarks have much more to do with questioning the assumptions in response 1 than they do with judging people who opt for a goal-oriented approach. I also question the possible worth of looking more than 4-5 years away in attempting to out-play one's fellow parents at this game. Unless you have limitless resources and the ethical sensibilities of a sociopath, outplaying that particular field probably can't actually be done. Please see Tiger Mother for details. While she was writing tongue-in-cheek, um-- she was still actually DOING all of those nutty things to?/with? her kids. I couldn't bear to prune and snip and mash on my DD's character and interests to the degree necessary. I'm not a human Bonsai master, basically, and I do think that is largely what it takes to go the conventional, low-risk route to a guaranteed Ivy admission.

    I also think that choosing your child's college is probably not entirely wise, and even less so when they are not yet in middle school. There is no college which is "perfect" for every student in every field of study, and much of the data needed isn't available until a child is 2-5 years from matriculation.

    I don't think that it's a crazy question for parents of young PG kids to be thinking about, though. smile



    _________________________
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    #162278 - 07/16/13 10:34 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    The reason that I think this conversation is a valid one here (as it is not in most online communities) is that we are all the parents of the kinds of kids who are inherently "Ivy League Material" in some way by virtue of their HG-ness.


    Which is why I fully intend on continuing my and my wife's family tradition of getting into the Ivy League and then telling them that the only way we attend is if they agree to pay full freight like the other colleges.

    If they can't pay, then they don't deserve our children's attendance.

    Sorry, but them's the breaks.

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    #162280 - 07/16/13 10:40 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I'm with you, Jon.

    On the other hand, my DH is not. He's old school-- "you get in, and we'll handle the money-- wherever you can get in and want to go, we'll find a way."

    That's so thirty years ago, frankly... wink

    _________________________
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    #162282 - 07/16/13 10:44 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I'm with you, Jon.

    On the other hand, my DH is not. He's old school-- "you get in, and we'll handle the money-- wherever you can get in and want to go, we'll find a way."

    That's so thirty years ago, frankly... wink


    It's *undergrad*.

    That's like high school these days.

    You don't *pay money* for undergrad.

    In fact, your goal in *undergrad* is to get a 3.8 so you can go to dental school or get a Ph.D. or whatnot.

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    #162285 - 07/16/13 10:53 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Look, the Tiger Children are all hammering at the Ivy League where they all get to compete with each other in some sort of insane perfectionistic Adderall arms race to nervous breakdown land.

    Put your child where they aren't.

    Use the Ivy League *admittance* (ideally more than one, the lesser Ivies might work best for this) to get *more* money out of the university that's already offering you lots of $$$.

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    #162289 - 07/16/13 11:03 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Jon, you can do that if you want to... but they will not adjust their financial aid based on what you WANT to pay. There are plenty of kids on the waitlist who will take the spot if you don't pay. I would suggest you not have your kids waste their time on Ivy applications if the net price calculator does not show what you consider to be a reasonable price for them. The NPCs have changed the game somewhat in the past few years. Now you can have a better sense of what the cost is going to be ahead of time. College apps (and the financial aid process) are a LOT of work. I would not waste mine or my kid's time on applications to colleges you know they can't afford to attend. It isn't worth it to say "My kid got into...." if you know you can't pay the bill.

    Now... I do have that attitude toward schools that are not as strong, but still don't give merit aid. Franklin & Marshall, for example, might have made a fine safety school for my science oriented D2. But they do not give merit aid. Sorry, a lower ranked school that won't reduce their price for a high stats kid isn't even getting an applications. And (sorry, HK) -- Reed is on that list as well for us. My D was on the high end of their stats and "their kind of kid" in a lot of ways. But they didn't offer enough that we wanted to make it worth paying full freight if their FA was poor (which their calculator indicated it would be). But top colleges can find students who will pay and/or borrow to attend. If you don't want what they are selling at that price, then go find other options.

    HK, I do think Berkeley still offers a world class education even with CA's financial issues. I probably wouldn't encourage my kid to go to any other California state system college, but they start from a very high place. Also, in our state the legislature stopped some of the slide in funding this year. They froze tuition in-state for the next two years, and started putting some money back into the university system that had been stripped out during the recession. It may be that more states will do that in the next several years. The slide we have seen as a result of the recession may not be permanent.

    The thing about the "next 30 years" is that you are all looking at shorter horizen -- 10 years or so until the OP's first kid hits college. We all thought 10 years ago that it also couldn't go on this way (college couldn't POSSIBLY cost $60K/year by the time our kids attend). Guess what? The trajectory did not change. You have to also assume it will not change for you. Start saving -- a strategy that includes savings, some merit aid (don't aim for the top schools, but go to 2nd tier if this is important to you and your kid doesn't like your state schools), paying some from current income, and making your kids at least own their spending money and book expenses can work (tell 'em now, they can start saving grandparent birthday checks for college -- no kidding, my kids did). And possibly some small loans. If the trajectory does change and it ends up cheaper (or your kid gets that golden ring of a top 3 college acceptance with a cheap price), celebrate with a trip to Maui or some extra into your retirement account.

    Jon, just read your previous post. Ivy league admittance won't do a thing for your FA at another college. Now if you have a better FA offer from a comparable or better college, SOME schools will review your FA with that in hand (we did it last year, so I know). But some colleges won't budge (example: Swarthmore) no matter what other offers are on the table. But I think Ivy League acceptance means nothing in the FA negotiations with other schools.


    Edited by intparent (07/16/13 12:30 PM)

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    #162291 - 07/16/13 11:19 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Yeah, I'm actually in agreement-- with all of that.

    If it's the RIGHT school, then that has to include financial considerations. It just has to. That's not to say that we'll get to name our price, though. LOL. I wish.

    Reed isn't seriously on my list, either-- but it's a relatively local "fit" (the only one within 600 miles of us that isn't a "safety"), let's just say, and an admission there can be used-- as Jon notes--

    to leverage additional merit $ from public/less prestigious schools that still have good-to-very-good programs in my DD's interest areas.

    Places like UW, Linfield, Gonzaga and Cal Poly, basically. It's possible that this is a regional thing. There are fewer "top" students vying for merit aid at places where population is sparser. We do know several people who have been able to leverage prestigious admissions this way within the past four to seven years, though, so it's a real effect.

    Also-- at an increasing majority of college campuses, the notion that it couldn't keep going like that has proven to be true. It hasn't, in spite of gut-churning annual tuition increases. 72% of college courses are now being taught by non-tenured/non-tenure-track faculty. Adjuncts, post docs, and fixed-term faculty. It's the money. The other problem is that courses are full, thereby increasing time-to-degree. Even Berkeley isn't quite what it used to be there, which is why we've opted to bag that entire system in spite of the loyalty that we naturally feel. Five years ago, I'd have felt differently, but it really does feel too fragile to continue-- and we're hearing that from insiders (faculty and admin) within the most prestigious UC campuses-- they are advising their OWN kids to look elsewhere, basically. That has shifted just within the past 24 months or so. It's a disturbing change.

    Our state has frozen tuition increases temporarily, too. But everyone knows that is merely a band-aid. The student loan bubble is fraying around the edges, and I don't think that anyone knows for sure where those particular ripples are going to wind up.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162292 - 07/16/13 11:29 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Can I just goggle in admiration at this feat of verbal navigation for a moment? Let us appreciate:

    Originally Posted By: Jon. Of course!


    Tiger Children are all hammering at the Ivy League where they all get to compete with each other in some sort of insane perfectionistic Adderall arms race to nervous breakdown land.


    You just won the Science Olympiad, Jimmy! What are you going to do now??

    :cue cheesy grin at the camera, and a big thumbs up from Jimmy:

    I'm going to Nervous Breakdown Land!


    grin
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162293 - 07/16/13 11:35 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Jon, you can do that if you want to... but they will not adjust their financial aid based on what you WANT to pay. There are plenty of kids on the waitlist who will take the spot if you don't pay. ... It isn't worth it to say "My kid got into...." if you know you can't pay the bill.


    That's not the point of the exercise.

    You show your child that you are the one who is trying to dictate the terms, not the university.

    They could make it free, but they choose not to make it free. So, your demand is not fundamentally irrational. It is within *their power* to act, but it is *their choice* not to.

    They are then free to decline your demand. But it was your demand, not theirs.

    This is a very useful tool to develop in terms of negotiation because creating a frame that defines the transaction is particularly useful in life.

    It's a learning exercise.

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    #162294 - 07/16/13 11:41 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    The Tiger Cub http://tigersophia.blogspot.in/2013/07/cultural-faux-pas-and-fourth-of-july.html , who is attending Harvard, is spending the summer in India working at a gifted school for rural youth. I read her blog and have noticed any signs of a nervous breakdown (and one would not wish that for anyone). My colleagues and I have good jobs and stable families and are graduates of Ivies or flagship state schools like Berkeley or Michigan. Pretending that most Ivy league grads (or their parents) are miserable or sociopathic sounds like sour grapes to me.

    _________________________
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