Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links
DITD Logo

Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship
  • Davidson Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    1 registered (1 invisible), 0 Guests and 247 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    Anujjindal, GuppyPix, Anand, RGJack, slmw
    10769 Registered Users
    July
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    12 13 14 15 16 17 18
    19 20 21 22 23 24 25
    26 27 28 29 30 31
    Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
    Topic Options
    #246284 - 11/06/19 06:04 AM College admissions notes
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    My eldest son is in 12th grade and is applying to colleges in the U.S. In this thread I will mention things I did not know before. Other parents are invited to share their experiences.

    * Some schools have regular decision deadlines that are earlier than Jan 1. For example, Dec 1 for University of California (all schools) and Nov 15 for University of Washington.

    * Most schools we are applying to use the Common App, but not all. University of California has their own "common" application for all schools.

    * 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.

    * Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers interviews but only to students who have already visited campus, since they have found that interviews with students who have not visited are unproductive. We would have visited over the summer had we known that.

    * Harvard asks what online courses you have completed (for example at EdX or Coursera)

    * Harvard asks where the applicant has lived since birth.

    * Harvard allows you to submit AMC and AIME scores at a web site once they have received your application. Those are the only contest scores for which have they have such a site.

    * 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.

    * Our high school uses Naviance, which stores transcripts and recommendation letters. The high school does not charge a fee to use Naviance to send data to a school. How many applications you submit depends on how many essays you are willing to write and application fees you are willing to pay.

    * 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.


    Top
    #246286 - 11/06/19 08:00 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 681
    Loc: controlled chaos
    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)

    Top
    #247027 - 04/08/20 09:52 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1526
    I appreciate the notes and wondered if there is a follow up after the whole process. DD is in 10th grade and a 12th grader in her school, going to Columbia, is offering consulting to younger kids to help them plan out, which subject tests, essay strategies etc. Anyone use this kind of help?

    Top
    #247030 - 04/10/20 02:05 PM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 241
    That is kind of the senior to help out, but it's good to first find out somehow if the knowledgeable person is the senior, or actually her parents. Also importantly, is the senior hooked in some way that made admission easier for him or her in a way that doesn't apply to your child.

    As I wrote in another thread, the single most useful book I read re college admissions is Cal Newport's How to be a High School Superstar. We used that book's script with great success.

    Re essays, take a look at Johns Hopkins "Essays that worked". One of my favorite ones is "Breaking into cars"

    Top
    #247037 - 04/12/20 05:25 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    navillus Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/26/20
    Posts: 2
    Thanks for these tips! Regarding the EdX and Coursera classes - did the application distinguish between taking the classes for an official certificate ($49 I think), or just self-study (free)? My son likes the EdX classes, but usually the topics he wants are archived - so he can watch the video lectures and work on problem sets, but there isn't a teacher available and there are no due dates (and certificates are not even offered). Although it would be nice to have the certificates, it also might steer him toward choosing topics just because they offer a certificate - and not because they are the most interesting to him. Just wondering if the college app makes that distinction.

    Also noticed that Caltech, MIT, and Harvey Mudd have recently dropped SAT subject test requirements for 2021 applicants and beyond. They aren't even optional - the schools won't look at them.

    Top
    #247049 - 04/17/20 10:08 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1526
    Thanks Mithawk. Hooks not an issue for the senior. DD has more hooks. I was hoping Bostonian would follow up with thoughts on the other side: did his son change his mind on first choices after all was said and done. Know a girl, 2 years ago, got into Harvard EA, then Stanford and MIT and chose MIT.

    With the online classes right now, DD's chem teacher has found these digital labs. Not the same as physically do them, but you have to go through the steps. A freshman at Georgetown, physics, told me that he watches his prof do the experiment and then writes it up. I find that strange if ther is so much online.

    They say that schools will probably still be online in the fall.

    Top
    #247055 - 04/19/20 06:34 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 241
    Bostonian's last post was on 12/30/19. I also hopes he (she?) comes back and gives us an update re the son's final decision.

    Harvard has another interesting set of questions on their application, in addition to what Bostonian wrote. It asks for intended major, which is common, and then asks three questions about *how certain* the applicant is about the intended major, career, and listed activities.

    The Harvard lawsuit revealed a couple of things about this. First, that students with specified majors were more likely to be admitted than those that came in "undecided". Second, that as people would expect, that Harvard has soft quotas for each intended major. For regular decision, stating a desire to join an under-subscribed program (e.g. Classics), coupled with a demonstrated background in that can help admission chances.

    Top
    #247056 - 04/19/20 07:14 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1526
    I would think that it is necessary for any school to have an idea of intended majors. They have to fill classrooms for a huge selection of courses. You cannot have 80% CS majors in any school. Even MIT or Caltech. A few years ago, there was some girl, Toronto, regular high school, but seriously into architecture. Went to programs on architecture during her summers. Really into it. She got into Harvard. Why I was interested in her profile. Showing passion and interest in your major seems to be a big factor for these top schools. I know a top student, did the science olympiads, top team in competitive state. Did some leadership program that many do. Thought he would get into MIT, Harvard (even had legacy at Princeton where he got waitlisted). Didn't get into any of his top ten and took a year and reapplied and got into a good school the second year, but not in his top ten. He was shocked. But it makes you wonder how many are in the core group of top scores, science olympiad, standard leadership programs that it makes you generic not unique. That is why I am so curious about everyone's experience. It is so competitive.

    Top
    #247057 - 04/19/20 10:25 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 241
    Showing passion, interest, and recognized achievements is what we have seen make the difference for the top schools.

    For example, one year every student who had applied to Columbia and subsequently made Regeneron Finalist received a likely letter from Columbia.

    Likewise, it's rare for a USAMO qualifier not to get into a top school. We had a USAMO qualifier in our school this year that didn't do well (so far), but he was known as the "obnoxious kid", so that's no surprise. In previous years, the USAMO qualifiers ended up at Harvard, MIT, and CalTech.

    Now there are plenty of kids who get into the top schools without those qualifications, but the qualifications make the decision pretty easy, barring something disqualifying about the application.

    Top
    #247058 - 04/20/20 04:02 AM Re: College admissions notes [Re: Bostonian]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1526
    I question recognized achievements. I know someone who got into Harvard. Said he started a business. Said he started a business club. Since I was on the parent board at the time, I know he wanted to start the business club but it didn't start. But on paper it looked good enough to get into Harvard. And he didn't start the business. I looked it up. He used someone's URL.

    Top
    Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping?
    by indigo
    6 minutes 16 seconds ago
    Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out?
    by indigo
    Today at 05:55 PM
    one proposed instructional response to covid
    by aeh
    07/05/20 06:21 PM
    Middle school math
    by Eagle Mum
    07/05/20 04:56 PM
    Juneteenth - Independence Day
    by indigo
    07/04/20 07:22 PM
    Davidson Institute Twitter