How hard is it to get into college?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:14 pm

BTW, a weighted GPA of 4.25 will get you no where close to Ivy and Top 10 schools, nowhere even with perfect SAT scores.
Sorry, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes holistic admissions truly is holistic, not just a smoke screen to disguise discrimination. I don’t know my son’s GPA precisely, but he had enough B’s to ding it. As unhooked as the driven snow. Accepted to a highly selective school.
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:19 pm

Tell your daughter that many colleges don’t look at first year HS grades when they calculate GPA, and that even those that do like an upward trajectory. Don’t tell her that if you think she would feel pressured to improve her grades, which frankly are fine.

She will do fine; nice choice of major, although she will probably change her mind a few times.
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:20 pm

Is it easy? No. But there are many, many colleges that accept students at all levels.

My son was not a Straight-A student. I think his final GPA was around 3.7 unweighted. Colleges told us that the GPA is far less important anymore because they know that massive grade inflation is happening at schools. They looked for heavy course loads and test scores being the main selection criteria, then grades, THEN extra curriculars. Many of them also said that extra curriculars have far less importance because they also see people doing curricular inflation. How can you possibly be engaged in anything when you have 14 clubs/sports/volunteer groups on your application? You can't. They said that having one or two that they are deeply engaged in is far more than having 10+.

Back to my son. He had a 3.7 which was not even in the top 25% of his class. But, he scored a 33 on his ACT and took a heavy load of honors and 5-6 AP courses. He had a job and played one varsity/club sport year round. Very little other extracurricular work. Some volunteer work, but not much.

He had 11 valedictorians in his class. 9 of them are going to the same college he's going to.

He was admitted to state flagship U which happens to be a Top 10 Engineering school. She'll be fine.
Last edited by Bacchus01 on Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Tell your daughter that many colleges don’t look at first year HS grades when they calculate GPA, and that even those that do like an upward trajectory.
My oldest son is a college freshman. I have never heard that before.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by MrBobcat » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:22 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:35 am
MrBobcat wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:11 am
I always emphasized to my kids the goal of education wasn't to get perfect grades (so don't stress over it), it was to learn. I had disdain (possibly too strong a word) for their peers who chose electives that were easy A's so as to not jeopardize their 4.0. I told them I'd be much happier if they got a C in an advanced class (if they learned something) than an A in a basic easy class.
I wish it were this simple though. My DH and I have both been behind the scenes of college and professional school admissions. Getting a single C in college can keep you out of even a lower ranked program when seeking a competitive professional degree. In the 80’s, this was not the case. I know, I had one!

So, was the learning in that interesting advanced class with detailing an entire career? I am having this discussion right now with some family members who have not seen it from the inside. Note that I am not suggesting filling a schedule with a ton of the easiest classes just because. But, I do think you should be thoughtful about the potential impact on GPA when you chose a class schedule.
I was talking HS not necessarily college classes. What they chose once they went to university was on them. That being said a C in an advanced subject in HS is not going to derail college admission let alone an entire career. Now might it at an "elite" institution, sure, but getting into such a place is not most people's goals.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by MotoTrojan » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:23 pm

Internship in HS is tough but extra curricular activities, clubs, or hobbies help in some areas, say an engineering student building a go-kart in their garage.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by MrBobcat » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:28 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:20 pm
Is it easy? No. But there are many, many colleges that accept students at all levels.

My son was not a Straight-A student. I think his final GPA was around 3.7 unweighted. Colleges told us that the GPA is far less important anymore because they know that massive grade inflation is happening at schools. They looked for heavy course loads and test scores being the main selection criteria, then grades, THEN extra curriculars. Many of them also said that extra curriculars have far less importance because they also see people doing curricular inflation. How can you possibly be engaged in anything when you have 14 clubs/sports/volunteer groups on your application? You can't. They said that having one or two that they are deeply engaged in is far more than having 10+.

Back to my son. He had a 3.7 which was not even in the top 25% of his class. But, he scored a 33 on his ACT and took a heavy load of honors and 5-6 AP courses. He had a job and played one varsity/club sport year round. Very little other extracurricular work. Some volunteer work, but not much.

He was admitted to state flagship U which happens to be a Top 10 Engineering school. She'll be fine.
Exactly.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:33 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Tell your daughter that many colleges don’t look at first year HS grades when they calculate GPA, and that even those that do like an upward trajectory.
My oldest son is a college freshman. I have never heard that before.
I had heard that, but as I looked for a citation, couldn’t find it. I’ve adjusted my post. Sorry for the confusion.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by sd323232 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:44 pm

Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:11 am
FireProof wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:16 am
Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:55 am


I am not worried about test scores. She took the PSAT and did well enough for aid if she was a junior (but it doesn't count because she did that as a freshman). I think her grades are great (even if she doesn't or others say anything less than all A's is substandard). Like I said, she pretty much has all As in honors and AP classes, just one B so far in honors biology (she may end up with one more B this year too if her grades stay consistent the rest of this year... so we are talking 15 As and 2 Bs by the end of her sophomore year). I think that's great considering these aren't base classes. Her weighted GPA will be something like a 4.24.
Sounds like a humble-brag from either her or you, then. Nothing here indicates that she wouldn't be competitive at all schools, including Harvard and Stanford, depending on the rest of her application - nobody I knew at my high school got 100% As, but plenty went to top 5 schools.
Sorry, I didn't mean it to sound like bragging, it was more of me being defensive. I think I've been put on edge a little with people telling me my daughter will be a "failure" for not being an all A student and I am failing her for not encouraging and pushing her harder (and this is carrying over from the other forum, not here). I kind of over reacted to a comment I misread in this thread. I won't even point it out because I feel silly now.

I am just trying to say my daughter might not be a super student with straight A's and perfect test scores who is getting a full ride to Harvard or something, but she does get high grades in challenging (weighted) classes and she seems to do really well on standardized tests.
OP, it sounds like you worry more about how you are gonna viewed by other people if your daughter doesn't do well, doesnt get all straight As, doesn't go to college. You are putting alot of unnecessary burden on your kid. Support you daughter whatever she decides to do.

What if she decided not to go to college? Are you even gonna let your kid decided her own future or you already decided her future for her?

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Watty
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Watty » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:51 pm

One of the best things I heard when I was helping my son through the college selection process was the quote, "It is not about picking the best college, it is about picking the college that is the best fit for your kid." so try to keep that in mind.

Her high high school should have counselors that are familiar with the college admission process and know what her prospects of being admitted to various colleges would be. You might want to schedule an appointment with the counselor to help your daughter feel more at ease with her prospects that she will be able to get into a good college even if it is not her first choice.

With state colleges this can vary a lot and some state flagship universities can be hard to get into but there are usually several tiers of colleges below the state flagship like large regional state universities and smaller state colleges.

My state(Georgia) uses lottery money to pay for student tuition so if you have a "B" average you automatically get a scholarship at Georgia colleges as long as you keep the "B" average, that means that a lot of students stay in-state which makes the colleges more competitive to get into.

Just for comparison my son had a bit of a teenage boy attitude problem and did not apply himself in high school. He graduated high school with a GPA that was around 3.2(?) He had decent but not spectacular SAT and ACT test scores. In my state that was good enough for near automatic admission to any of the large regional state universities but it would have been "iffy" but possible if he wanted to go to one of the flagship universities, but he did not want to go to one of those.

My son fit in well at the regional university he went to and graduated and is doing well in his career now.

One thing to check on with any university is to see what the graduation rate is, which can be surprisingly low and even below 50%. The regional state university that my son went to does not have a high graduation rate which hurts its reputation but the students that do graduate actually get a good education.

We knew this before he went there and I showed my son the statistics to try to motivate him to not party too much. During his freshman year when he returned from Christmas break there were a number of students that did not return for the second semester and that was a real eye opener to help him keep focused on his classes.

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Calico
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Calico » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:08 pm

delete (double post)
Last edited by Calico on Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Calico » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:08 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:44 pm


OP, it sounds like you worry more about how you are gonna viewed by other people if your daughter doesn't do well, doesnt get all straight As, doesn't go to college. You are putting alot of unnecessary burden on your kid. Support you daughter whatever she decides to do.

What if she decided not to go to college? Are you even gonna let your kid decided her own future or you already decided her future for her?
I think maybe you misread my post or I wasn't very clear. I don't care what other people think of me at all. She is the one who is stressed out about grades and "not being able to get into college." The whole point was I was trying to tell her it's okay, she's doing great and doesn't need perfect grades. But then others started chiming in saying I was giving bad advice, my daughter wasn't going to make it without a 4.5 GPA, etc, etc.

That was the other forum.

So then I posted here as a reality check because all of that just didn't sound right to me. Only "perfect kids" get to go to college? Can't be.

As far as not going to college, I'd be okay with that. I don't think she'd be okay with that though because everything she wants to do requires a degree. Personally, I would like her to go to college locally so she can live at home and we can save some money (the room and board end of things looks like $1000 a month roughly). She has her eyes set on colleges on the other side of the state.
[/quote]

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:19 pm

Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:39 am
I am really not sure if this is the right place to put this but if you think of colleges as selling and education, I suppose this works.

On another forum I belong to I mentioned something about trying to help my daughter be more realistic about grades and help her deal with the stress. She's stressed that she's currently not getting straight A's... but her grades are pretty much all A's and B's and last year, her freshman year, she got all A's. This year she has AP classes so things are harder. Weighted, even with the B's she's on track to have over a 4.0 GPA even if she "just" maintains her current grades. I want her to do the best she can, but I don't want her to burn out either.

Anyway, that topic slowly changed as people chimed in saying she was right and should be stressed that one needs all A's to get admitted to college. To me that seemed off to me because that's not what I see around me. Most of the people responding seemed to be from California (or at least they kept talking about how hard it is to get into UCLA or UC Berkley and Stanford). But that's not my state and it's off my radar and my daughter's radar. Perhaps there it's a different world so to speak.

I know the kids of other parents who are not "straight A students" and they all went off to college. They were good students, but not perfect. That was just three kids though, not a huge sample. In my daughter's band, at the last concert of the year, they called out all the senior names and what college they were going to. Again, all were going to college. I don't think they were all "straight A students" although I really don't know that for sure. I look at acceptance rates in my state/schools my daughter is interested in and they vary from 30% to 80% with most not having a perfect 4.0 GPA as the average GPA to get in.

Part of me wonders if this is all just hype or people looking at only the most selective schools. Or like I said, if this is more of a West Coast phenomena. My daughter wants to major in applied math, not exactly something that one needs to go to a prestigious university for (like someone who wants to go into politics might need for connections). She's talking about wanting to be a financial analyst, data scientist, even an actuary (I explained to her what one was and she thought it sounded interesting). She just likes crunching numbers.

Like I said, it seems like hype to me, but I am aware I could be totally wrong. I don't want to steer my daughter wrong by telling her not to worry so much, just to do her best. But it's been a long time since I've been in college and I really don't know the stories behind most of the kids I know who went to college. For those of you with kids who recently went to college or are going soon, what is your experience like with college admissions really like?

By the way, the reason I am asking here is because I think I will get a more balanced answered. Not to put down other forums, but this whole forum just seems to be a bit more thoughtful than other forums.
"I don't want to steer my daughter wrong by telling her not to worry so much, just to do her best." That's exactly what I would say, and maybe try to review and see why she is getting the lower grades when she gets them.

As far as just going to college is concerned, I wouldn't think that she'd have any issue getting into your local state university (assuming you're not from California and talking Berkeley!). But one thing you might want to think about - if the Bs that she's getting are in her dream major, that might be a hindrance.

That said, there is a smart kid in DS's high school class who didn't really do as good with grades as DS thought he ought to have - he ended up getting admitted into one of the defense academies and the last I heard about him, he is doing pretty good there.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:20 pm

Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:08 pm
[...]As far as not going to college, I'd be okay with that. I don't think she'd be okay with that though because everything she wants to do requires a degree. Personally, I would like her to go to college locally so she can live at home and we can save some money (the room and board end of things looks like $1000 a month roughly). She has her eyes set on colleges on the other side of the state.
Just curious - may I ask which state?

retiredjg
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by retiredjg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:33 pm

Didn't read all the replies, so this may have already been suggested.

Your daughter's guidance counselor can likely give you very specific answers to your questions.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:37 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:20 pm
[...]
He had 11 valedictorians in his class. 9 of them are going to the same college he's going to.
[...]
How do you have 11 valedictorians in one high school class? In the beginning I thought you meant 11 high school valedictorians in his freshman college class, but the next sentence kaiboshes that thought process.

PS: I agree with the rest of your post of course :-)

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:44 pm

They had 48 valedictorians; 1/4 of the class. I seem to remember a school in OR with more than 50.

https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2017/05/ ... 314662001/
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by ncbill » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:08 pm

As other posters note, there's an undergrad program for everyone out there.

Oldest spent their first year at a selective school...then re-applied and moved onto an even more selective service academy.

Youngest wanted a particular major and so went with the school that offered that major, but more importantly cost the least via a ROTC scholarship (campus-based, not national)

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Elysium » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:42 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:14 pm
BTW, a weighted GPA of 4.25 will get you no where close to Ivy and Top 10 schools, nowhere even with perfect SAT scores.
Sorry, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes holistic admissions truly is holistic, not just a smoke screen to disguise discrimination. I don’t know my son’s GPA precisely, but he had enough B’s to ding it. As unhooked as the driven snow. Accepted to a highly selective school.
This is why I qualified it in the next sentence by saying demographics may have played a part. Most of my son's peer group that are high achieving kids also tend to be Asian, and we know almost no one who gets into Ivy and other elite schools with 4.5 GPA, most of them go to really great schools, but short of finding cure for Cancer none of them are going to Harvard.

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Calico
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Calico » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:45 pm

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:20 pm
Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:08 pm
[...]As far as not going to college, I'd be okay with that. I don't think she'd be okay with that though because everything she wants to do requires a degree. Personally, I would like her to go to college locally so she can live at home and we can save some money (the room and board end of things looks like $1000 a month roughly). She has her eyes set on colleges on the other side of the state.
Just curious - may I ask which state?
Virginia. I live at the very top of the state, she is thinking about a lot of schools in the Norfolk area, mainly William and Mary (very bottom of the state). Although UVA is kind of in the middle now that I looked at a map (I'm not from Virginia myself). None of those are commutable.

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Calico
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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Calico » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:50 pm

Just wanted to say thanks for the perspective. I have enough to worry about as it is. I thought I was taking crazy pills reading that other forum. It wasn't much help. I guess it's just the demographics. HeretoLearn hit it on the head earlier in this thread when saying, "the average person posting is not the average HS student (or parent of usually)." I think I literally stepped into lion's den of highly competitive parents with highly competitive kids.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Calico » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:54 pm

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:19 pm
Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:39 am
I am really not sure if this is the right place to put this but if you think of colleges as selling and education, I suppose this works.

On another forum I belong to I mentioned something about trying to help my daughter be more realistic about grades and help her deal with the stress. She's stressed that she's currently not getting straight A's... but her grades are pretty much all A's and B's and last year, her freshman year, she got all A's. This year she has AP classes so things are harder. Weighted, even with the B's she's on track to have over a 4.0 GPA even if she "just" maintains her current grades. I want her to do the best she can, but I don't want her to burn out either.

Anyway, that topic slowly changed as people chimed in saying she was right and should be stressed that one needs all A's to get admitted to college. To me that seemed off to me because that's not what I see around me. Most of the people responding seemed to be from California (or at least they kept talking about how hard it is to get into UCLA or UC Berkley and Stanford). But that's not my state and it's off my radar and my daughter's radar. Perhaps there it's a different world so to speak.

I know the kids of other parents who are not "straight A students" and they all went off to college. They were good students, but not perfect. That was just three kids though, not a huge sample. In my daughter's band, at the last concert of the year, they called out all the senior names and what college they were going to. Again, all were going to college. I don't think they were all "straight A students" although I really don't know that for sure. I look at acceptance rates in my state/schools my daughter is interested in and they vary from 30% to 80% with most not having a perfect 4.0 GPA as the average GPA to get in.

Part of me wonders if this is all just hype or people looking at only the most selective schools. Or like I said, if this is more of a West Coast phenomena. My daughter wants to major in applied math, not exactly something that one needs to go to a prestigious university for (like someone who wants to go into politics might need for connections). She's talking about wanting to be a financial analyst, data scientist, even an actuary (I explained to her what one was and she thought it sounded interesting). She just likes crunching numbers.

Like I said, it seems like hype to me, but I am aware I could be totally wrong. I don't want to steer my daughter wrong by telling her not to worry so much, just to do her best. But it's been a long time since I've been in college and I really don't know the stories behind most of the kids I know who went to college. For those of you with kids who recently went to college or are going soon, what is your experience like with college admissions really like?

By the way, the reason I am asking here is because I think I will get a more balanced answered. Not to put down other forums, but this whole forum just seems to be a bit more thoughtful than other forums.
"I don't want to steer my daughter wrong by telling her not to worry so much, just to do her best." That's exactly what I would say, and maybe try to review and see why she is getting the lower grades when she gets them.

As far as just going to college is concerned, I wouldn't think that she'd have any issue getting into your local state university (assuming you're not from California and talking Berkeley!). But one thing you might want to think about - if the Bs that she's getting are in her dream major, that might be a hindrance.

That said, there is a smart kid in DS's high school class who didn't really do as good with grades as DS thought he ought to have - he ended up getting admitted into one of the defense academies and the last I heard about him, he is doing pretty good there.
Our state university is considered a public Ivy and is very hard to get into to. But it's really not the best fit for my daughter anyway (at least in my opinion, she has her sights on it. But she doesn't have the information I have). That said there are a LOT of other state schools in Virginia, most pretty good. So we have a lot of options.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:56 pm

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:37 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:20 pm
[...]
He had 11 valedictorians in his class. 9 of them are going to the same college he's going to.
[...]
How do you have 11 valedictorians in one high school class? In the beginning I thought you meant 11 high school valedictorians in his freshman college class, but the next sentence kaiboshes that thought process.

PS: I agree with the rest of your post of course :-)
There is no weighted grading. You had 11 kids with a 4.0 and full credit loads. The prior class had 17.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:44 pm

Honestly I wouldn't worry about college that much. The school you go to isn't as important as how you use your time there for most large state institutions. Once you start putting the cardinal directions into the names of the school then there might be less recruiting from large companies and the name wont carry much distinction.

I had a B+ average in high school and college. I went to a well known state school and work with MIT grads who sit next to South East random state university grads.

In my company, continuing education after starting work seems to be necessary for moving up in management ranks.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by ram » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:19 pm

Have her sit for an ACT test and you will have a realistic idea of where she can go based on the scores. It would be reasonable to assume that scores will improve as she advances to jr/ sr year.

My son gave the ACT test in the 7th grade and his score was better than the average of the middle 50% students (25th to 75th percentile) attending the in state premier public university. ( The score was a requirement for attending a summer science camp)

Most colleges publish the 25th to 75th %ile ACT/ SAT scores of the accepted students.
Ram

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Re: How hard is it really to get into college?

Post by finite_difference » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:32 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:48 am
OP,

1) It is not hard to get into college if you are not selective about where to go.

2) It is harder to graduate from college when many students drop out of college and never graduated.

3) It is even harder to find a job after you graduated.

4) Staying employed for a long period is even harder.

In summary, it is a marathon. Getting into a college is least of all the challenges.
I think it depends on the individual which of 1-4 is harder. For me, middle school and high school were socially stressful and mostly depressing. Part of it was my outlook on life. It’s tough to be a teenager. College required more work on the academics but was much more interesting and less stressful overall.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by multiham » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:50 pm

Just went through this last year. My son is a good student who did not fully apply himself. He graduated with a 3.75 and scored 1370 SAT and 31 ACT
4 years of sports, part time job, and very limited volunteering.

He had no problem getting into schools that were strictly numbers schools - Think Penn State, University of South Carolina, etc. He did get rejected from a couple of schools that were more holistic in their review process. We are talking about very good schools, but not super selective. Think University of Georgia and University of Florida

Many schools recalculate your students GPA's based on their own criteria. University of Georgia only looked at your grades in certain subjects.

All the schools he applied to (5) looked at all grades going back to 9th grade. It seems that the bigger the school and applicant pool, the more they follow a formula to allow them to get through all the applications.

He felt no stress during this process. My wife and I also treated him like an adult and allowed him to make his own decisions, meet the deadlines, and to take ownership. We were always there for help and also explained what we could afford.

Will be going through this again in another year. Its actually fun to make some college visits with your daughter or son. It really showed me how ready my son was to be independent and that he was capable of making hard decisions.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by JBTX » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm

multiham wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:50 pm
Just went through this last year. My son is a good student who did not fully apply himself. He graduated with a 3.75 and scored 1370 SAT and 31 ACT
4 years of sports, part time job, and very limited volunteering.

He had no problem getting into schools that were strictly numbers schools - Think Penn State, University of South Carolina, etc. He did get rejected from a couple of schools that were more holistic in their review process. We are talking about very good schools, but not super selective. Think University of Georgia and University of Florida

Many schools recalculate your students GPA's based on their own criteria. University of Georgia only looked at your grades in certain subjects.

All the schools he applied to (5) looked at all grades going back to 9th grade. It seems that the bigger the school and applicant pool, the more they follow a formula to allow them to get through all the applications.

He felt no stress during this process. My wife and I also treated him like an adult and allowed him to make his own decisions, meet the deadlines, and to take ownership. We were always there for help and also explained what we could afford.

Will be going through this again in another year. Its actually fun to make some college visits with your daughter or son. It really showed me how ready my son was to be independent and that he was capable of making hard decisions.
University of Florida has become very selective, especially if you are out of state.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by AerialWombat » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:26 pm

Considering the fact that it’s quite straightforward for a high school student to earn a legit BS from any number of state universities entirely online, before even graduating high school, I would say “don’t worry about it”. She will be fine.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by leeks » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:31 pm

I hope you regularly tell your daughter that you are proud of her and encourage her to pursue her strengths and interests in all facets of life, not just academic. She should do the best she can do in school while pursuing balance in life. She should just be herself, put in the level of school effort that satisfies herself (while still allowing her to sleep, and exercise, and socialize, and have hobbies, and hang out with her family). Whatever college that ultimately qualifies her for will be the right one. Any that she might not get into weren't right for her.

If she remains keen on math, perhaps she can find some math-related after-school or summer activities. Or possibly a community-college math class if she exhausts the math options at her high school. While extra math exposure will certainly give her a competitive edge in college/career, the reason she should do it is because she is actually interested in it.

Any kind of part-time job at least in summers - even if an ideal internship isn't found - is good experience for life.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:34 pm

JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm
multiham wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:50 pm
Just went through this last year. My son is a good student who did not fully apply himself. He graduated with a 3.75 and scored 1370 SAT and 31 ACT
4 years of sports, part time job, and very limited volunteering.

He had no problem getting into schools that were strictly numbers schools - Think Penn State, University of South Carolina, etc. He did get rejected from a couple of schools that were more holistic in their review process. We are talking about very good schools, but not super selective. Think University of Georgia and University of Florida

Many schools recalculate your students GPA's based on their own criteria. University of Georgia only looked at your grades in certain subjects.

All the schools he applied to (5) looked at all grades going back to 9th grade. It seems that the bigger the school and applicant pool, the more they follow a formula to allow them to get through all the applications.

He felt no stress during this process. My wife and I also treated him like an adult and allowed him to make his own decisions, meet the deadlines, and to take ownership. We were always there for help and also explained what we could afford.

Will be going through this again in another year. Its actually fun to make some college visits with your daughter or son. It really showed me how ready my son was to be independent and that he was capable of making hard decisions.
University of Florida has become very selective, especially if you are out of state.
Wow! Are you sure? I recently recall reading a post on a different website that UF offers full ride to National Merit Scholars (my understanding was that meant the semi finalists not just those finally selected). Maybe I read wrong or the poster was misinformed or this has changed very recently!

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Re: How hard is it really to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:44 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:48 am
OP,

1) It is not hard to get into college if you are not selective about where to go.

2) It is harder to graduate from college when many students drop out of college and never graduated.

3) It is even harder to find a job after you graduated.

4) Staying employed for a long period is even harder.

In summary, it is a marathon. Getting into a college is least of all the challenges.
I think it depends on the individual which of 1-4 is harder. For me, middle school and high school were socially stressful and mostly depressing. Part of it was my outlook on life. It’s tough to be a teenager. College required more work on the academics but was much more interesting and less stressful overall.
That makes perfect sense. How many "contact hours" does a middle/high schooler have per week? About six hours (and that is undercounting I think) per day times five. That's about 30 hours per week. One would assume that an equivalent amount of time is required off school for the kid to keep abreast of the subject matter. Then there are co-curriculars and extra-curriculars to take care of. Where is the spare time for a kid to be a kid?

Undergrad - on the other hand - obviously is much more fun. I just looked at college freshman's (DS) schedule. Eighteen "contact hours" per week. I would think that 30 more hours should cover it as far as understanding the material is concerned. Throw in minimal parental supervision, choice of food, unlimited contact with peers - it doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to see why college could be looked upon as much more fun.

PS: Obviously, you can always make it even more fun or less fun - depending on your choice of classes. We've learned that there are kids who are in college more for the "experience" ;-) This speaks to Klangfool's item #2.

PPS: I definitely agree about its (life in general not just studies) being a marathon.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:50 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:56 pm
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:37 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:20 pm
[...]
He had 11 valedictorians in his class. 9 of them are going to the same college he's going to.
[...]
How do you have 11 valedictorians in one high school class? In the beginning I thought you meant 11 high school valedictorians in his freshman college class, but the next sentence kaiboshes that thought process.

PS: I agree with the rest of your post of course :-)
There is no weighted grading. You had 11 kids with a 4.0 and full credit loads. The prior class had 17.
Hmmm! What is a "full credit load"? Surely there ought to be a way (weigh?) to separate the one valedictorian? Naming 11 valedictorians is like giving a trophy to all soccer teams that didn't concede a goal without considering who had the best strength of schedule ... or some such.

How many kids were in the graduating class? Just to compare - there were 11 kids in DS's graduating high school class (of over 800 kids) with unweighted 4.0s. Though close, DS was not one of them.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Random Musings » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:55 pm

With respect to grade inflation, it's no wonder why kids today are so stressed. With so many A's being tossed around, certain students start feeling like failures when they see a B on their report card. It's like you have to be perfect, and once one gets in the real world you quickly find out that no one is perfect or knows everything. Also, it can give other students the false sense of security that they do know everything but they really don't.

Major fail by our educational system.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:00 pm

Calico wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:51 am
She hasn't done much for numbers 3 or 4 Klang. Currently, no one will even hire her for an after school job and she's even limited on volunteering due to her age. But things should open up more for her when she turns 16 and can drive.

I never thought of an internship in high school. I always associated that with college (I did one in college and it really helped me get my first job more than my degree or my school). I will have her look into that maybe next year.
Please don't! You'll end up scaring or scarring her. Let her enjoy high school and go at her own pace. Not that he needs to be propped up as a role model, but DS didn't even consider doing an internship. In fact, I first heard of those for high school only from my buddies in the uber competitive school districts and states (think Bay Area, specifically Cupertino!). That is a very slippery slope. Money/spending is not the only avenue where the thought of keeping up with the Joneses might ruin your happiness!

PS: Needless to say, if kid (such as Klangfool's) is self-motivated and wants to do that, it wouldn't be prudent to come in the way either! Rather, encourage the kid as much as you can.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:01 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Tell your daughter that many colleges don’t look at first year HS grades when they calculate GPA, and that even those that do like an upward trajectory.
My oldest son is a college freshman. I have never heard that before.
I've heard about the "upward trajectory" though my information is hearsay, not from any college's admission department spokesperson.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by JBTX » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:02 pm

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:34 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm
multiham wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:50 pm
Just went through this last year. My son is a good student who did not fully apply himself. He graduated with a 3.75 and scored 1370 SAT and 31 ACT
4 years of sports, part time job, and very limited volunteering.

He had no problem getting into schools that were strictly numbers schools - Think Penn State, University of South Carolina, etc. He did get rejected from a couple of schools that were more holistic in their review process. We are talking about very good schools, but not super selective. Think University of Georgia and University of Florida

Many schools recalculate your students GPA's based on their own criteria. University of Georgia only looked at your grades in certain subjects.

All the schools he applied to (5) looked at all grades going back to 9th grade. It seems that the bigger the school and applicant pool, the more they follow a formula to allow them to get through all the applications.

He felt no stress during this process. My wife and I also treated him like an adult and allowed him to make his own decisions, meet the deadlines, and to take ownership. We were always there for help and also explained what we could afford.

Will be going through this again in another year. Its actually fun to make some college visits with your daughter or son. It really showed me how ready my son was to be independent and that he was capable of making hard decisions.
University of Florida has become very selective, especially if you are out of state.
Wow! Are you sure? I recently recall reading a post on a different website that UF offers full ride to National Merit Scholars (my understanding was that meant the semi finalists not just those finally selected). Maybe I read wrong or the poster was misinformed or this has changed very recently!
Perhaps if you are a merit scholar. I don't have exact information. I've just generally heard it is much more selective than it used to be and know of somebody who couldn't get in there but could get into some other public schools.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:07 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:44 pm
They had 48 valedictorians; 1/4 of the class. I seem to remember a school in OR with more than 50.

https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2017/05/ ... 314662001/
Article behind a paywall ... though I did get the gist.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:13 pm

JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:02 pm
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:34 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm
[...]
University of Florida has become very selective, especially if you are out of state.
Wow! Are you sure? I recently recall reading a post on a different website that UF offers full ride to National Merit Scholars (my understanding was that meant the semi finalists not just those finally selected). Maybe I read wrong or the poster was misinformed or this has changed very recently!
Perhaps if you are a merit scholar. I don't have exact information. I've just generally heard it is much more selective than it used to be and know of somebody who couldn't get in there but could get into some other public schools.
Oh ok!

I didn't mean to detract from UF. It is pretty selective; however, I just hadn't heard of any extra selectiveness recently.

That said, I do have one anecdotal (and hearsay) data point: my buddy, whose son also is a college freshman this year,was telling me that some kid(s) from his son's (private elite preppy) school got admission to Yale but not to UF. Assuming it is true, the only reason I could think of was that most kids in the class applied to UF - it being the state school - and surely UF couldn't admit every applicant from one school (diversity and all that, I would guess).

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Point » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:27 pm

With her grades she will be accepted at most colleges.

Start giving some thought to what her interests are and what she might major in. Recognize that this could change over time. And also that it may take a while to decide on a major.

Community colleges are often better for students because they can be more focused on teaching as opposed to a four year institution. Also, with AP classes under her belt she will have less flexibility as a number of her lower division classes will be completed when she starts, thus she’ll be crunched for time. So, again, a CC could be a good option to complete the lower division courses.

There is no need to stress over it, it will come with time. Our two daughters did well with AP and CC courses which transferred to four years.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by epilnk » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:59 am

It is easy to get into college - all you need to do is apply to the schools that are good fits. The same reach/match/safety strategy I used 40 years ago still works well.

But when everyone has to go to the “top” colleges it becomes a numbers game. Around 4 million students apply to college each year, and there are only about 1500 seats in Harvard’s freshman class. You’re probably not going to Harvard. Your valedictorian probably isn’t going to Harvard. It’s just not big enough.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:36 am

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:50 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:56 pm
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:37 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:20 pm
[...]
He had 11 valedictorians in his class. 9 of them are going to the same college he's going to.
[...]
How do you have 11 valedictorians in one high school class? In the beginning I thought you meant 11 high school valedictorians in his freshman college class, but the next sentence kaiboshes that thought process.

PS: I agree with the rest of your post of course :-)
There is no weighted grading. You had 11 kids with a 4.0 and full credit loads. The prior class had 17.
Hmmm! What is a "full credit load"? Surely there ought to be a way (weigh?) to separate the one valedictorian? Naming 11 valedictorians is like giving a trophy to all soccer teams that didn't concede a goal without considering who had the best strength of schedule ... or some such.

How many kids were in the graduating class? Just to compare - there were 11 kids in DS's graduating high school class (of over 800 kids) with unweighted 4.0s. Though close, DS was not one of them.
What do you mean? A full credit load is taking all classes, no study halls. And unweighted means no weight, so how would you add weight? This is not like a participation trophy at all. They all finished first. Literally first. Like crossing a race line all at the same time. There’s no confusion here. They had about 400 kids in the class.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:37 am

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:01 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Tell your daughter that many colleges don’t look at first year HS grades when they calculate GPA, and that even those that do like an upward trajectory.
My oldest son is a college freshman. I have never heard that before.
I've heard about the "upward trajectory" though my information is hearsay, not from any college's admission department spokesperson.
Do they like an upward trajectory? Sure. Do they throw out your freshman year? No. The upward trajectory is for those kids that are borderline otherwise.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:41 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:36 am
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:50 pm
=...]
Hmmm! What is a "full credit load"? Surely there ought to be a way (weigh?) to separate the one valedictorian? Naming 11 valedictorians is like giving a trophy to all soccer teams that didn't concede a goal without considering who had the best strength of schedule ... or some such.

How many kids were in the graduating class? Just to compare - there were 11 kids in DS's graduating high school class (of over 800 kids) with unweighted 4.0s. Though close, DS was not one of them.
What do you mean? A full credit load is taking all classes, no study halls. And unweighted means no weight, so how would you add weight? This is not like a participation trophy at all. They all finished first. Literally first. Like crossing a race line all at the same time. There’s no confusion here. They had about 400 kids in the class.
I know you meant unweighted - I was doing a play on words that the way to separate them would be to weight their class difficulty.

I don't know what you mean by study hall, but in DS's school, each kid's course load is unique. Some kids have ten APs, others have none; some others might even have twenty. So, a 4.0 for the kid who has ten APs is definitely more taxing than for the kid who has none. If both have 4.0, surely the kid with ten APs should be the valedictorian, however you look at it (if based just the grades).

From what you are saying "taking all classes" I take it that you mean every kid has the same classes in high school. If so, yes, I can see 11 valedictorians. But I didn't think any high school in the USA has that level of uniformity.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:44 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:37 am
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:01 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:19 pm
Tell your daughter that many colleges don’t look at first year HS grades when they calculate GPA, and that even those that do like an upward trajectory.
My oldest son is a college freshman. I have never heard that before.
I've heard about the "upward trajectory" though my information is hearsay, not from any college's admission department spokesperson.
Do they like an upward trajectory? Sure. Do they throw out your freshman year? No. The upward trajectory is for those kids that are borderline otherwise.
OK, so we are on the same page. I threw my response in because TomatoTomahto had struck out his entire sentence in his original post, though only that one part was probably invalid.

That said, TT's response should be a source of encouragement to OP's daughter :-)

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:48 am

epilnk wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:59 am
[...]
You’re probably not going to Harvard. Your valedictorian probably isn’t going to Harvard. It’s just not big enough.
OK, I need to respond to this one for sure :-)

Harvard doesn't look only at valedictorians. So, while you are obviously right that not valedictorians go to Harvard, not all kids admitted by Harvard are valedictorians either. I personally know of three local kids (and I'm sure there are others, even locally as well) who got in this year, and none of them is a valedictorian.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by fasteddie911 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:48 am

Certainly seems like you're surrounded by a lot of hype. Not surprising as it seems like that's how the internet goes. My spouse and I went to competitive HS where college was a must. Online college discussions weren't really a thing then but surrounding us were folks gunning for Ivy leagues, elite colleges or just the "best" college they could get into. College application/admission time was pretty stressful and emotional for many. There was certainly pressure to excel and go to a name brand college. The few who didn't go to college were really looked down upon. It's hard to see this looking forward as a teen as college seems like the most important thing in their life (and I guess it is up to that point), but looking back it was all hype. In the end people went every which way after college and generally it all didn't really matter that much. Whether it was a highly selective school or not, it ultimately had a relatively minor impact on their future. BTW, I think applied math is great. My spouse was a math whiz and wished they had considered this major.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by multiham » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:52 am

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:13 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:02 pm
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:34 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm
[...]
University of Florida has become very selective, especially if you are out of state.
Wow! Are you sure? I recently recall reading a post on a different website that UF offers full ride to National Merit Scholars (my understanding was that meant the semi finalists not just those finally selected). Maybe I read wrong or the poster was misinformed or this has changed very recently!
Perhaps if you are a merit scholar. I don't have exact information. I've just generally heard it is much more selective than it used to be and know of somebody who couldn't get in there but could get into some other public schools.
Oh ok!

I didn't mean to detract from UF. It is pretty selective; however, I just hadn't heard of any extra selectiveness recently.

That said, I do have one anecdotal (and hearsay) data point: my buddy, whose son also is a college freshman this year,was telling me that some kid(s) from his son's (private elite preppy) school got admission to Yale but not to UF. Assuming it is true, the only reason I could think of was that most kids in the class applied to UF - it being the state school - and surely UF couldn't admit every applicant from one school (diversity and all that, I would guess).
UF has turned into a "mystery school". It is extremely difficult to figure out what their criteria is for acceptance. Up until 2 years ago, you could almost guarantee yourself admission (including oos) if you had a 1350+ SAT score and good grades. Now you will find that they are really focusing on what makes you different and what can you bring to their school in terms of skills. Some students were accepted with lower test scores and grades, while I know a friend of my son's that was turned down with a 1450+ SAT, great grades, and plenty of activities. You can also read about how they have grown so fast that they are accepting some students into a e-learning only environment for a year or 2 before they can start live classes on campus.

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by randomguy » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am

an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:13 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:02 pm
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:34 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:19 pm
[...]
University of Florida has become very selective, especially if you are out of state.
Wow! Are you sure? I recently recall reading a post on a different website that UF offers full ride to National Merit Scholars (my understanding was that meant the semi finalists not just those finally selected). Maybe I read wrong or the poster was misinformed or this has changed very recently!
Perhaps if you are a merit scholar. I don't have exact information. I've just generally heard it is much more selective than it used to be and know of somebody who couldn't get in there but could get into some other public schools.
Oh ok!

I didn't mean to detract from UF. It is pretty selective; however, I just hadn't heard of any extra selectiveness recently.

That said, I do have one anecdotal (and hearsay) data point: my buddy, whose son also is a college freshman this year,was telling me that some kid(s) from his son's (private elite preppy) school got admission to Yale but not to UF. Assuming it is true, the only reason I could think of was that most kids in the class applied to UF - it being the state school - and surely UF couldn't admit every applicant from one school (diversity and all that, I would guess).
Kid probably sent in a joke application to make sure he wasn't admitted:) The thing with the 2nd tier schools (i.e. the step down from harvard and stanford), is that you can still stand out with excellent academic performance. Get a 4.7 GPA and 1500 SAT, you stand out from most applicants. At MIT, you are one of 4 kids with those same numbers competing for that spot. In the first case you like your odds of getting in. In the 2nd case, you are hoping something else gives you that slight edge to beat out your 3 competitors.

For kicks I googled UF admissions
In 2018, the middle 50% of University of Florida's incoming class had high school GPAs between 4.2 and 4.6, and an average GPA of 4.42. 25% had a GPA above 4.6, and 25% had a GPA below 4.2.
So a 4.0 GPA is really bad these days at a good state school:). Obviously these numbers are a result of using a 5.0 scale.....

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Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Post by an_asker » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:36 pm

randomguy wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:00 am
an_asker wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:13 pm
Kid probably sent in a joke application to make sure he wasn't admitted:) The thing with the 2nd tier schools (i.e. the step down from harvard and stanford), is that you can still stand out with excellent academic performance. Get a 4.7 GPA and 1500 SAT, you stand out from most applicants. At MIT, you are one of 4 kids with those same numbers competing for that spot. In the first case you like your odds of getting in. In the 2nd case, you are hoping something else gives you that slight edge to beat out your 3 competitors.
That doesn't sound to be correct (that the kid sent a joke application) - at least based on the data point supplied by multiham.
For kicks I googled UF admissions
In 2018, the middle 50% of University of Florida's incoming class had high school GPAs between 4.2 and 4.6, and an average GPA of 4.42. 25% had a GPA above 4.6, and 25% had a GPA below 4.2.
So a 4.0 GPA is really bad these days at a good state school:). Obviously these numbers are a result of using a 5.0 scale.....
No. These have got to be weighted GPAs. Except - if I can properly paraphrase what DS told me - UF has its own weighting scheme; in other words, if your high school says that your weighted GPA is 5.0, UF might give you a 4.75 weighted GPA. [note - this statement might be my misunderstanding, so don't go by this]

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