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    #162683 - 07/22/13 08:29 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Quote:
    There are bright pinpricks shining in that dark wasteland, to be sure... but only if your kid is lucky enough to encounter stubborn old goats with tenure who still know that there is a RIGHT way to do higher ed... and then there's the administrator's way...or is nearly 100% autodidactic and not that concerned about interaction with classmates as peers... if unlucky, though, they will be surrounded by the same mediocre and kinda slow classmates and instructional hand-holding that they've spent high school with. WHY BOTHER?


    HK, I think you may be seeing things a bit too darkly IMO (I totally get that this is driven by frustration and I sympathize).

    There's still a big middle ground between a poorly-run college run by bean counting administrators and whatever the top is.

    Also, I fear that you may be giving more credit to the Ivy League than is due to it. A lot of top-tier admits are there because they were prepped. Why should they suddenly transform from being Achievement machines into lifelong learners just because they entered the magical gates of College X?

    You were really excited about a local undergrad college not too long ago. What happened?


    Edited by Val (07/22/13 08:31 AM)
    Edit Reason: OMG! Here we are in Paris and we can't go out due to a crazy heat wave!

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    #162686 - 07/22/13 09:00 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Yes. To be clear, it's not that we're looking at ONLY test-score ranges to pick 'match' institutions for DD. It's a factor, though. Particularly so in second tier private institutions, which presumably draw high in SES, and therefore ought to represent "optimized" standardized test scores for the students. I do know that public colleges often don't.

    Anything that places DD in the 95th (plus) percentile of those ranges has got some red flags to begin with, though.

    What changed? Well, DD's internship experience changed things, as did recent (and brutally frank) conversations with friends who are STEM faculty at a variety of institutions in that lower tier-- some of which were originally on DD's interest lists. They are being told that they need to lower standards to keep retention high... to shut up and do what they are told... and in the end, converted to adjunct teaching and untenured teaching corps anyway.

    The internship. Well, this is pretty high-level in theory-- highly selective (15-25% success rate), and a feeder for the INTEL and Google SciFair competitions.

    DD does love the academic environment, but even she is aware and articulating that it is insufficiently stimulating/rigorous for what she needs as a next step. This is a huge problem out of the blue for us. We never anticipated that one of the state's two flagship Unis would not be suitable for DD in terms of challenge. But it is clear that this is the case. Certainly the other regional school we were thinking about won't be, in light of this. That is in complete agreement with our conversations with friends who are faculty at both institutions, by the way.

    The problem is that we're seeing that SAT scores at some of the other institutions also look to be in the same range, in spite of those places being 'private' and nominally more rigorous/selective. DD is a good 200 points over that in each section of her SAT's, which were probably not that great relative to her capability. I'm not just saying that, either-- she just isn't a super-tester the way that I am.

    Reed is pretty much the only institution in the region which doesn't look like a "low safety" for her. She's not a Reedie, even if we could afford it-- or were willing to pay for it.

    The other problem which is emerging from DD's improving metacognition and self-awareness is that her underlying interests are going to wind up pulling her away from areas where challenge and peer groups would be something like a good fit (math, theoretical physics, etc.). In other words, she's discovering that probably her interest in math has been driven by the fact that this is the sole area in which she has ever been able to learn at a pace/level that feels okay to her.

    I know that there are still schools that are in between the two extremes. I just have no idea how to find those that we don't already know about when all we have to go on are useless ranking systems that pander to the heinous aspects of the failing/failed portions of things. We need a nice independently owned restaurant that takes food seriously-- the trouble is that they get drowned out in the cacophony of advertising from the fast food places, and the hype of the high-prestige ones.

    I'm also working against my DH here, who-- coming from an industry perspective-- sees MIT as vastly superior to Harvey-Mudd because of the branding associated. I don't, but opinions vary locally, let's just say. wink I think he's been hitting the Kool Aid, myself.



    _________________________
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    #162688 - 07/22/13 09:06 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2631
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: Val
    On the other side of the coin, there are as whole lot of parents and students who are mildly fixated to rabidly obsessed with IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS!! for many wrong reasons (status, the Mecca-like quality these places have in some people's imaginations, the (generally incorrect) assumption of future connections, etc).

    For money managers, the future connections are valuable:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/09/business/09fund.html
    Quantifying the Role of School Ties in Investing
    By DAVID LEONHARDT
    New York Times
    June 9, 2007

    A new study circulating through hedge funds and university campuses points to the powerful role that old-school ties play in the world of investing.

    Mutual fund managers invest more money in companies that are run by people with whom they went to college or graduate school than in companies where they have no such connections, the study found. The investments involving school ties, on average, also do significantly better than other investments.

    The authors of the study offer two possible explanations — one benign and one decidedly not. Fund managers may simply know more about their old classmates, including which ones are likely to make good executives. The alternate explanation is that those executives may be passing along inside information to the fund managers.

    The researchers do not take a position about which explanation is more likely.

    “Everything we have is consistent with both explanations,” said Andrea Frazzini, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago and one of the study’s three authors. But he added, “We have no evidence of wrongdoing by any of these fund managers.”


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    #162693 - 07/22/13 09:23 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2631
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma

    I'm also working against my DH here, who-- coming from an industry perspective-- sees MIT as vastly superior to Harvey-Mudd because of the branding associated. I don't, but opinions vary locally, let's just say. wink I think he's been hitting the Kool Aid, myself.

    Brand name is less correlated than I thought it would be with average salary as measured by PayScale. Here is some salary data in $K for a few schools:

    http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/full-list-of-schools

    school starting_salary mid_career_salary
    Princeton 58 137
    Harvey Mudd 67 135
    MIT 68 118
    Lehigh 57 118
    Harvard 51 111
    Yale 49 105

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    #162694 - 07/22/13 09:24 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Thanks, Bostonian-- I'll definitely have to share that with DH. His assertion is that "nobody outside of a few narrow fields has ever even HEARD of HM."

    I mean, Boston is lovely for cultural reasons, but no question that HM is closer to us and logistically a thousand times easier to visit or to attend.


    “We have no evidence of wrongdoing by any of these fund managers.”



    WOW.

    Well, I guess the date gives this one away. Now I understand how it might have been possible for someone to have meant such a statement in a perfectly serious, non-humorous way. It was before 2008.

    (Sorry-- veering off topic, I know.)

    I'm just thinking that "evidence of wrong-doing" is often clearest in a hindsight, big-picture kind of way.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162695 - 07/22/13 09:24 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    HK, I am not sure if I said this earlier (I think I did), but Harvey Mudd is where my daughter is headed. I personally think the fit is better for her than MIT would be -- with some focus still on the humanities, a little bit smaller school, but plenty of smart kids there. She did run into a couple of students from THINK at accepted student days at Mudd -- they are accepting a pretty bright crew of kids, I think. Another thing she liked about Mudd was the strong presence of women on the faculty and in the student body. She did plenty of "male heavy" activities in high school - Robotics, Quiz Bowl, engineering camp - so she is used to that environment. But she liked the idea of a tech college where about half the population are women. She also really liked a couple of the women physics professors she met there (something one could barely find, as there are so few, at U of Chicago...). She figured Mudd gave her all these things -- strong physics program with a great track record of PhD program acceptance, opportunity to still pursue her humanities interests (particularly visual arts), the benefit of the Claremont consortium for social and other course opportunities, a pool of other smart kids (with the bonus of some humanities-smart kids at Pomona), a Quiz Bowl team and a fencing club, more women in her classes and as professors/mentors, and the opportunity to set fires for fun. smile Do not underestimate the power of the last item...

    She went to accepted student stays at Swarthmore and U of Chicago, and has spent a lot of time at Carleton (we live nearby). And in the end after those visits she decided on Mudd, and she is solid on her decision and is very confident it is right for her. My pocketbook is not as happy -- but we can do it. And it is the right fit for her. You gotta tune out the "prestige" voices (your H needs to do that, I think, but it is very hard for some people). Your D is going to shine ANYPLACE. So do your best to find places that feel good to her so she has a happy and fulfilling four years. It may not be Mudd if she isn't sure about the STEM path. But setting aside that "branding" criteria can really help clear the path.

    I will also say that top colleges are looking for students who aren't all about the branding. I am sure one reason my D had great success in admissions is because that was the last thing on her mind. I think her "Why College X" essays were well considered and devoid of any gushing about the general reputation of College X (except when she compared some of them favorably to THINK). smile


    Edited by intparent (07/22/13 09:27 AM)

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    #162699 - 07/22/13 10:08 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Thanks, Bostonian-- I'll definitely have to share that with DH. His assertion is that "nobody outside of a few narrow fields has ever even HEARD of HM."


    I'm with your DH on this one.

    Granted, my initial emotional response to "Harvey Mudd" is that of a bald middle aged man covered with dirt.

    Granted, a midcareer salary of $135K per year also makes me think "Meh", so my emotional reactions may not represent that of the average person or have any actual connection to reality.

    This is mostly because I came of age during the first $125K associate attorney era and it was all anyone was talking about for a couple of years.

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    #162700 - 07/22/13 10:16 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    intparent, DD's interests are such that she'd probably have a great time finding mentors at Scripps, I think. We also still have friends in the area from DH's childhood down there.

    She also likes the look of Mills. I'm just not so keen on living as a single mom in the East Bay. blush

    We have friends in the Chicago and Twin Cities areas, as well-- having lived in that part of the world. In fact, DD was born not far from Northfield. wink Another very good school there that few people seem to have heard of is Macalester.



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

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    #162706 - 07/22/13 11:56 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2631
    Loc: MA
    There are universities that go all-out to attract talent:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/alabama-football-facility-pictures-2013-7 .
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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    #162707 - 07/22/13 11:59 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    So... one of D's friends from the online Cogito chat forum run by CTY (who happens to be from our city as well, but that is how they initially met) is a PG girl who picked Scripps. She just finished her freshman year. D had coffee with her when we went to Mudd's accepted student days. The gist of their conversation was that while her friend likes Scripps and got good merit money, she feels underchallenged there. She is triple majoring, and making the best of it. But she told D she wishes she had gone to a harder college.

    My D was also accepted at Macalester. She got some decent merit money there, and it is a fine school. Again -- your D is going to be a superstar in the pool there, though. That is the problem with the merit money schools...

    My D1 is not PG, and she took the merit money from her LAC and had a great experience. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, has a good job she loves, and made a lot of friends. But she was not looking for top intellectual company. So while we had some schools like that on D2's list (in case she... changed her mind? More like in case I got hit by a truck and could not pay her tuition -- as I have said to her, if the truck kills me you are all set becaues of life insurance -- but if I just can't work, then you need a financial backup school!). But her heart was never in attending one of those schools...

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