US presidential scholar

Posted by: cricket3

US presidential scholar - 01/23/20 07:33 AM

Anyone have experience with this? Mainly wondering about the application process- the information sent to DS suggests it takes about 16 hours to fill out the application, and I am wondering if it is worth the effort.

DS was notified that he’s a candidate and invited to apply. I assume it’s based on his standardized test scores. At this point he has major application fatigue and is still quite busy with school and extracurricular stuff- adding an involved application might be a tough sell, especially one with such high selectivity and low chances of being selected. If it’s possible to generally recycle essays and other information from his completed apps, and otherwise not a lot of extra work, it might try and get him to fill it out. Any experience with this? Thanks in advance.
Posted by: polarbear

Re: US presidential scholar - 01/23/20 11:00 AM

Our ds applied for it when he was a hs senior. It's been a few years so I don't remember the details, but I don't recall that it took much extra time and think he was able to use bits and pieces of what he had already put together anyway for college apps and National Merit etc. I think the invitation to apply is based on either PSAT or SAT scores... or maybe NMSF list... and if I remember correctly they only choose 2 students per state? It might be worth asking his hs counselor what the prospects are of actually qualifying for it.

FWIW, two years out of hs, I probably would have encouraged our ds to apply for fewer scholarships, fewer schools, fewer everything. He spent so much of senior year just filling out essay questions and applying for schools etc - I would rather he'd had that time to just go outside and play lol. I have a not-quite-so-highly gifted dd who is a senior in hs this year - she wasn't in the rat race for NMSF and all that, didn't choose to apply to the universities that are so highly selective it turns into somewhat random selection for who out of the perfect SAT scores gets admitted... and she's had such a different experience as a senior! She was accepted to every school she applied for (with one exception she's still waiting to hear from - a state school that doesn't inform anyone until 3/1), didn't have to write an essay for any of them, didn't go through Common App, had time for both grinding homework in challenging academic classes plus a happy high school social life, and ironically... has received scholarship offers that are in the same range NMSF ds received. Just interesting how relatively stress-free her senior year has been compared to ds'.

Best wishes,

polarbear
Posted by: cricket3

Re: US presidential scholar - 01/23/20 11:25 AM

Thanks so much for the input!

I have to agree about the randomness of much of this stuff- and so would DS. He is very aware he is lucky and just happened to have a day where he didn’t make errors, and that this and NMF seem kind of overblown. His perspective is that he just took a test, it is what it is, and he doesn’t think that is much of an achievement (and we tend to agree).

He is pretty done with all the applying, and my opinion might not sway him anyway, so I guess we’ll see. I might suggest he ask the counselor, but our school is one that doesn’t celebrate or announce anything, and even for NMF was sort of discouraging, like “this is a lot of work for us, are you sure you want to pursue it?”. I would ask the counselor myself, but I know from my older kid that the response will likely be “this is something DS should be asking us about himself”- they are pretty hardcore about the kids ‘adulting.’

Thanks, and glad to hear your DD is having a good year. Hopefully the good part is about to start around here!
Best wishes, cricket3
Posted by: aeh

Re: US presidential scholar - 01/23/20 04:31 PM

I have nothing to add on the actual topic!

...but I did want to say, as someone who has had a chance to see a bit of life for a DC on the other side of college applications, that it is possible to have an excellent educational experience and college life at a university that isn't all that highly selective, for a reasonably motivated student who intentionally pursues mentoring opportunities with faculty, and whatever form of social life interests them.

I would agree that, on both sides of the college application process, less is more. The application process can temporarily distort one's life perspective into too miniscule a focus, during a period of time when young people should be balancing future planning with enjoying the waning moments of childhood. (We probably could have done with a little more focus on apps in ours, but the last year of high school was also unquestionably a happy and satisfactory one for DC, and the outcomes have so far been what DC wanted.)
Posted by: cricket3

Re: US presidential scholar - 01/24/20 04:32 AM

Yes, of course. Thanks for the reinforcement; perspective definitely gets assaulted from all sides during this process! I guess I was mainly looking for reassurances- it feels sort of bad for some reason to just blow off an invitation to apply, even though rationally I think it makes the most sense for DS.

And to be clear, he’s not out to attend the most selective place that will have him. He has, so far, weighed a lot of factors and made some good decisions. But being in a hyper-competitive high school environment definitely takes a toll, whether your kid is on board with that culture or not. We are all looking forward to the last semester!
Posted by: knute974

Re: US presidential scholar - 01/24/20 02:08 PM

Our experience was similar to polarbear's. Kid #1 was a NMF, applied to 9 schools, six in the highly selective category, was tapped by her high school to apply for additional scholarships, etc. That coupled with IB made her senior year incredibly stressful. She did not apply for the US Presidential because she was done at that point. Yes, she did get a six figure scholarship to a school that she really wanted but even she now says that she took on way too much.

Kid #2 is now a senior. After watching her sister, she only applied to four schools, none required an essay beyond the one on the common app and none were in the highly selective category. She got into all four schools and received scholarships at all of them. The one school that has tuition comparable to her sister's school gave #2 more money than what her sister got.

If your son is burned out on the college app/scholarship process, I would listen to him and let him take a pass on this one.
Posted by: cricket3

Re: US presidential scholar - 01/24/20 02:20 PM

Thanks, knute, for the sound advice.
And yes, listening to him is what’s important, totally agree. He’s just not very communicative! But I think the answer is pretty clear.
Appreciate the input from everyone.