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    #249345 - 11/12/21 05:15 PM College application strategy
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1682
    As per Bostonian's post a couple of years ago, I wanted to write a short memoir of our college app experience. Which includes anecdotal stuff of others.

    DD does attend a private academic feeder. A school that Stanford, Harvard etc know and accept students each year from the class of 115.

    I was helped by a comment Bostonian made about coursera courses. When covid hit and DD's summer diving and research programs got cancelled, she covered with oceanography and marine science at coursera, which helped in the interview when talking about why she wanted Harvard and opportunities for research.

    I am going to mention a student we know, because she was interviewed for her process in Toronto Life. Celine Ho. (google search and you can read it) She did not submit her SAT, did not come from any academic high school, no large number of APs, not extraordinary student. But killer essay (DD said). She did a broad spread in the RD and got into UCLA, Princeton, even Caltech. That last one astounds me. This is not a mathy, science kid. DD took ballet with her for years. But in RD, when they say, write your way in, she did.

    And on stats. Harvard class of 2016, it was almost 1 in 3 getting in early. Last year, with over 10K applications and deferreds and only 750 getting in early, it was probably less than 4% chance for a non-legacy, non-athlete, non first time college to get in early. They didn't break down compared to Class of 2024, when about 950 got in early, about 250 were athletes, 330 were legacy. But first time college has risen to 14% of the class now. And Crimson survey said that still 10% of admits were athletes.

    Strategically, if you have that killer essay, doing a broad spread in RD can work I told DD to tell her friends to do that since about 20 in the class are applying to U of Penn.

    It helps if your guidance counsellor is super supportive, which in our case is true. Makes sure everything is in.

    And when DD was planning her recommendation letters, she went to a new teacher, who she had for AP chem last year but many kids had already asked her, so she asked her AP Physics teacher, who she had for science back in 8th grade, maybe 9th. And he is never asked, was happy to do it, and the GC said it was an amazing recommendation letter. So kids should look for that teacher who may be overlooked by the other kids for that letter. They could end up with a killer letter like DD got.

    And, I got on all the free email and newsletters from those expensive college consultants. You get a lot of free info from those emails. I totally recommend doing that early. I played the consultant for DD. When she was in 9th grade I asked, what do you want to do? She decided on deep ocean marine science with robotics. I said, OK, you can change your mind, but not before you get into college. She still hasn't. But if you hire those consultants, they will plan the student's life with extracurriculars, research etc. Once you know what they want, it is easy to plan and look for summer opportunities. There are free tech challenges, competitions. The Coursera courses. So from the free emails, you can too can become a college consultant for your kid. And also, after I framed some of the stuff, DD became adept at finding her own opportunities. In fact, the best parts of her ECs were things she found and developed into amazing leadership and initiative programs.

    So that is my two cents to help those parents with kids coming into high school and have high aspirations for the long term. And for those that want to do the wide spread in RD application.

    #249350 - 11/13/21 07:16 PM Re: College application strategy [Re: Wren]
    aquinas Offline

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2496
    Has your DD received her decisions? Where is she applying? Best of luck!
    What is to give light must endure burning.

    #249353 - 11/14/21 04:08 AM Re: College application strategy [Re: aquinas]
    Eagle Mum Offline

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 125
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Has your DD received her decisions? Where is she applying? Best of luck!

    Do keep us posted on any good news.

    #249367 - 11/15/21 02:26 PM Re: College application strategy [Re: Wren]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1682
    No decisions until mid Dec. She is applying single choice early action.

    #249369 - 11/16/21 09:31 AM Re: College application strategy [Re: Wren]
    mithawk Offline

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 268

    Good luck to your daughter.

    As a parent who has successfully gone through elite college admissions twice, the most useful advice I can give you right now is for her to get every other application fully ready before she hears back from Harvard. If she gets good news in December, she won't care about how much time she "wasted" on other apps.

    But if not, it is far better to have completed or nearly completed apps when her mood is good rather than try to complete them all in two weeks when she is anxious.

    I do disagree with one part of your advice though, and that is regarding the teacher recommendations. Generally colleges like to see recommendations from junior year teachers as that is the most current, and usually the most advanced classes. In her case, AP Physics is an advanced class, but most of the time the 9th grade class will not be.

    Edited by mithawk (11/16/21 09:32 AM)

    #249370 - 11/16/21 01:59 PM Re: College application strategy [Re: Wren]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1682
    Thanks. In her case, it was a teacher she had in a junior grade and now has again. In the case of her English teacher, she had him in 8th, 10th and now for AP English Lit. So in both cases, the teacher knew her before and currently.

    I know that isn't always available. But it was one of my hints. Not to go to the one that 10 other kids have asked.

    As backup, she can go to any CDN university and any program. It is all about marks here for 6 12th grade level classes. If your average is over 95%, you have your choice of anything.


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