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    #165372 - 08/24/13 01:56 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: aquinas]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Originally Posted By: aquinas

    I am going to tread lightly here so as not to offend or over generalize, but I know that the math standards at my undergraduate economics program allowed graduate level material to be taught in 3rd and 4th years. Several of the professors had previously taught at Harvard and Princeton, and they used their PhD material because we had been required to study calculus and linear algebra. Given that my class had incoming students from a wide array of high school backgrounds, I'd hazard a guess that this was fairly representative for the province.


    Countries differ very widely in their patterns of specialisation and in what the "courses" are. The US is pretty generalist, England pretty specialist, Scotland and from the sound of it Canada somewhere in between.

    In the English system a typical pattern for foreign language learning is to learn one language from age 11 to 16, perhaps with a couple of years of a second thrown in, but to continue after 16 only if it's a particular interest. However, wanting more foreign language teaching than that is one of the commonest reasons for choosing a private school. DS has had French since 4, Latin since 8, both compulsory, and could have had a couple of other languages as clubs if he'd chosen to. That's pretty typical of the sector. That said, the French teaching seems very slow - he could order a sandwich (or a beer ;-> ) but not a whole lot more so far. That also seems pretty typical :-(
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    #165374 - 08/24/13 04:49 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1612
    Loc: Australia
    It sounds like the Australian system is more like the Canadian. Yr 11 & 12 for me was : English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math 1, Math 2 (the biology was dropped in yr 12 when you may have only 5). We were required to have at least one humanities and one math/science so you could instead have studied: English, French, German, History, Biology (just making that up).

    Math was not broken down into parts (algebra, geomoetry, etc), just "Math", but was streamed into easier and harder classes (I think they called the easier stream "business" math when I was at school, and meant by that shop keeping type math). You could do math 1 stand alone, but math 2 required you do math 1, although they were delivered simultaneously.

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    #165381 - 08/24/13 06:45 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: MumOfThree]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    I was an IB diploma student-- a dabbler!-- so my final year included economics, calculus, biology, statistics, French, music, and English. If I could have taken every course, I would have. What I really needed was a Time-Turner.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #165416 - 08/25/13 07:12 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: CFK]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: CFK
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


    Just got off the phone with a prospective college program-- to find out what I could re: the selectivity and how my DD's age and educational history would be viewed by the admissions committee. This because they evidently rejected one of my DD's good friends last year-- who graduated among the top 5 in the class, with honors, and had volunteer service, etc.

    Admissions to the program in the previous 3 yr has gone from 70% to 50% to 30%. Which isn't good, by any means. :-/

    Still, the person was cordial and professional, and encouraging re: my daughter's chances of admission to the program should she apply.

    I also got some whiff of "maturity concerns," but well-disguised. I suppose that I asked for that, in a way-- but I seriously wanted to know. I gently pointed out that a 15yo applicant who has EC's that look "like other students' accomplishments" has likely had to be FAR more determined and creative in order to make that happen. Which is when she revealed her bias...

    As in, yes, they may be ready for the academic work... but there are studies that show... (Yes, I'm well aware. I'm also well aware that if you've met ONE highly gifted teen, you've met ONE highly gifted teen, tyvm, something which seems to have escaped this person.)


    They do not accept letters of recommendation, this program. The institution which houses it is otherwise not an appropriate academic setting for DD, so it's this or not attend this particular institution.

    I'm going to talk with someone whose older child (also PG and early college) was accepted into the program-- then again, that was several years ago, before the selectivity was so extreme. The OTHER flagship in-state has an even lower acceptance rate into its honors college-- just ~15% last year, and also falling.


    So much for a cheaper and less high-pressure alternative. eek


    Here's my completely unsolicited opinion:

    Do not mention your daughter's age when talking to college admissions people. I'm not sure I would even mention that your daughter attends virtual school. Your daughter is graduating with a high school diploma from an accredited provider. She is competing on even ground with other applicants. You are not hiding anything, all of her personal information will be readily available to anyone who reads her apps, but it shouldn't be something you spotlight.

    Applying at a younger age than usual is NOT a benefit in college admissions. In fact, she has to be that much stronger in her app to make up for her age. When and if her age comes up, it should be after adcoms have gone over her app and have seen her strengths and qualifications.

    You should also not use words like gifted, IQ, etc. They are really meaningless in the college world. An applicant can either do the work or not and has evidence to prove it. "Potential" to be able to do high level work does not get one admitted. (potential to CONTINUE to do high level work counts, but that is shown in transcripts not IQ tests)

    One of the few instances where you should bring up the age issue is if your daughter is applying to a school that requires that freshman live on campus (there are surprisingly quite a few). Age is a valid issue in dorms. In that case, and especially if your daughter looks much older or can present much more mature than her years, I would arrange a one-on-one meeting with an admissons director to discuss this. At that point hopefully they have already been wowed by her app. They will be able to see with their own eyes then that she is not just another typical 14/15/16 year old as far as maturity goes.

    Like I said, unsolicited, but I hope it helps!


    Yes, that WAS the context in which I brought it up-- that the program has a special housing arrangement, and the larger institution is now a freshman residency one. Honestly-- I was pretty circumspect all in all.

    The biggest cat stayed well inside the bag. wink Didn't need to let that one out once I found out that she wouldn't HAVE to live on campus-- but it's an issue if a child plans to live at home with a parent, off-campus, and the campus otherwise has a residency expectation/requirement. THEN, the age becomes a huge issue, and it's my observation that it can K.O. an applicant unless you explain ahead of time that the student won't be living on-campus.


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    #165419 - 08/25/13 07:17 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: aquinas]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
    And I guess I don't understand why most kids here wouldn't take these courses - I always thought that the typical HS day includes five "core" subjects - Math, English, Social Studies/History, Science w/Lab & Foreign Language. What are the kids taking in place of these core classes?


    Two or three Maths and two or three sciences plus English. Speaking from a Canadian perspective, in some STEM fields, having taken all of the sciences and maths puts you at an advantage for competitive programs, so students are forced to trim out other disciplines quite early. It's unfortunate.


    Yup.

    My DD will graduate with FIVE years of English (two in AP), four of math (one AP), four of social studies/history, two of foreign language, three of science (w/ lab-- at least nominally-- and one AP), and honestly, when you tack on all of the little fluff classes that are "requirements" for graduation, there isn't a lot of room for anything else.



    _________________________
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    #165421 - 08/25/13 07:20 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    We also found out why the friend of my DD's didn't get into the program-- at least we think so.


    Two Some reasons why she probably didn't look quite as strong as some applicants:

    a) junior year grade-slump. (Now, it couldn't have been MUCH of a slump or she'd not have graduated near the top of her class, I think, but probably it was nasty, nasty timing, that-- since she would have applied when those would be the last grades on the transcript. DD won't have that problem, for sure.)

    b) relatively low SAT scores-- DD said that she reported "mid-to-high 600s" Wont' be a problem for DD, anyway.

    c) not-rigorous-enough in STEM on high school transcripts. Again, not a problem that my DD should have.



    Edited by HowlerKarma (08/25/13 07:28 AM)
    Edit Reason: I can, too, count to three. Really.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #165436 - 08/25/13 12:19 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 445
    HK, I realize that your daughter is young, but it might be a plus for her application if she makes the call to the school and asks the questions. You might want to be standing there to hear the conversation, but I think that schools like to see students take the initiative.

    I know it is tough - we had to convince our eldest to call college coaches herself - but I think it pays off. My middle kid (10th grade) now has her travel coach asking her to contact coaches prior to showcase tournaments. She is a lot less outgoing than my eldest, so it will be even tougher for her. However, it has forced her to do some college research and it is good practice for future college interviews.

    Also, you had mentioned some schools in other posts. I recall you mentioned RPI. That would be a good school to check out. It is a strong engineering/sciences school and they really want girls. The student body is about 70 percent male. They kept after my eldest well past the application deadline. Of course, they didn't realize that engineering/hard sciences would come in dead last on her list of potential majors, but she enjoyed the attention from RPI and some other engineering schools.

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    #165506 - 08/26/13 08:21 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Yes, and I made two things clear while I was on the phone:

    a) that this friend/classmate NOT getting into the program was leading my DD to think that maybe she shouldn't bother applying (so I wanted to know what their acceptance rate was, and whether or not her age or diploma from a virtual HS could be a problem), and that

    b) I was only the one calling because my DD was at work while their office was open. At work on the same campus, in a research setting.

    It is super important to not look/behave like a helicopter parent. smile

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

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    #165994 - 08/30/13 10:09 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/how_got_nyc_rich_kids_in_college_KQQVjQ2t4AFmy3UaFkvTDK
    Tutor reveals Ivy-admissions madness of rich penthouse parents
    By LACY CRAWFORD
    New York Post
    August 25, 2013

    Lacy Crawford’s first novel, “Early Decision” (William Morrow), out this week, was inspired by the 15 years she spent working as an independent college-admissions counselor to the rich-and-powerful’s sons and daughters in Manhattan, Chicago, Los Angeles and London. For a fee, Crawford would help them with their entry essays and applications to get them the one thing they couldn’t always buy — a spot in an Ivy League school. She shares her stories (with the names and some characteristics changed) with The Post.


    _________________________
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    #166813 - 09/07/13 06:09 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    The Harvard Crimson has a series of articles based on a survey of Harvard freshman. They like Apple products, especially the rich kids:

    Quote:
    Sixty-eight percent of surveyed incoming freshmen said they own a Mac, and 70 percent said they have an iPhone.

    Seventeen percent of respondents said they have Androids. All but nine percent of respondents said they have a smartphone, and only one percent of surveyed freshmen said they are entering Harvard without a cell phone.

    Those from families with a higher income were significantly more likely to report owning a Mac laptop or an iPhone. Ninety-three percent of those whose parents’ total income is over $500,000 a year—the highest income bracket on The Crimson survey—have an iPhone, compared to only 55 percent of those students whose parents together make less than $40,000 a year—the lowest income bracket. Similarly, 91 percent of those in the highest income bracket reported owning Macs, compared to 47 percent of the lowest.


    The article discussing the incidence of cheating has attracted some media attention.

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/9/5/freshman-survey-academics-extracurriculars/
    Freshman Survey Part III: Classes, Clubs, and Concussions
    The Class of 2017's Academic and Extracurricular Lives
    By MADELINE R. CONWAY and CORDELIA F MENDEZ, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS

    Quote:
    After going public a year ago with their investigation into Harvard’s largest cheating scandal in recent memory, administrators went to great lengths to promote a culture of academic integrity in the Harvard community.

    But the results of a Crimson survey of the Class of 2017 conducted last month suggest that some of the newest members of that community are already guilty of academic dishonesty.

    Ten percent of respondents admitted to having cheated on an exam, and 17 percent said they had cheated on a paper or a take-home assignment. An even greater percentage—42 percent—admitted to cheating on a homework assignment or problem set.

    Recruited athletes were even more likely to admit to cheating—20 percent admitted to cheating on an exam, compared to 9 percent of students who were not recruited to play a varsity sport at Harvard. Twenty-six percent of recruited athletes said they had cheated on a paper or take-home assignment, compared to 16 percent of non-recruits.

    Across the board, the incoming freshman class reported higher rates of cheating than did Harvard’s Class of 2013 in a Crimson senior survey conducted last spring. In that survey, 7 percent of graduating seniors said they had cheated on an exam, and 7 percent said they had cheated on a paper or take-home test. Thirty-two percent of graduating seniors said they cheated on a problem set or homework assignment during their undergraduate careers.
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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