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Author Topic: Daughter is a senior in high school now.  (Read 5843 times)

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LadyDyani

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Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« on: August 18, 2015, 03:36:13 PM »
How do I help my daughter start applying for colleges? I didn't go to college, I have no idea how this works. When should she start? When should she apply for scholarships? How does she decide which college? Any of my knowledge about college is taken from movies, I'm assuming I can't get Rodney Dangerfield to have NASA do her homework.

She's a senior in high school, 3.85 GPA, taking classes in Digital Design and Interactive Media. She wants to work on CGI movies.
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AngelicGamer

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 03:39:42 PM »
If she wants to go to college, I would suggest that she speak with her guidance councilor about schools.  Or a simple Google search might help as well.  She might want to be more self taught or try to find an apprenticeship. 

Maybe a talk with your daughter about what she wants to do would be the best first step. 



ladyknight1

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 03:43:42 PM »
The graphic design and digital media field is fast growing and may be challenging to get into. Has she taken the SAT/ACT? Did she do well? That will matter for scholarships and college admission. She should research which universities and colleges offer her program and what they are looking for. She should write an admissions essay and have a resume ready to accompany her application. She will also need to supply her high school transcript to the prospective school along with any AP/CLEP test transcripts as the case may be. There will be an application fee at most schools.

She should start applying for scholarships soon for next year, she and you should complete the FAFSA (if you are in the US) early in the spring, as soon as you can, you will need to update it after you file your taxes. The FAFSA tells the school how much your daughter is eligible for in grants, and is required for Pell grants and subsidized loans. If she will attend in-state, you will need to provide residency information and proof to the school.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
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zainabzks

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 03:44:07 PM »
COngratulations to you and your daughter! :)

Here are a few suggestions:

Counselors at school should help her. They'll help her navigate through the process.
Look at schools that offer her major.
She will need to take the SATs and AP tests.
Colleges have deadlines. Once she knows which colleges she wants to apply to, she can look at their websites and get direction from them.

Good luck! :)



TracyXJ

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 03:51:21 PM »
  • Start by having her talk to the student counselor at her high school.  This is what they are trained for.  They can give you advice on what scholarships are available, what colleges would be most appropriate for the degree program she wants, etc. 
    Start making a calendar of dates that things are due - like scholarship applications, college applications, etc.  Don't want to lose out on something because you didn't get it done on time.
    Go ahead and fill out the FAFSA (if you're in the US).  This gets her ready for government student loans and can get her work/study programs or some scholarships.  She'll need all of your income info, so dig up a copy of your last tax return.  And I think she has to fill this out yearly, so be ready for that.  Its available online, just make sure you have the right site. 

Also, you need to decide what help, if any, you are willing/able to give.  If its money, a car, help with boarding, know what your budget is.  And get an idea of what it will cost to pay back student loans if she needs them.  This might then lead to her needing to go to a local college and living at home while she takes some of the basic classes (social studies, math, etc) that can transfer (make sure the college she actually wants to attend accepts credit transfers from local college) and then she might not need to be at a more expensive college as long to get her degree.  Just be careful with that - my parents wanted me to do that and thankfully I didn't because it would have still taken me 4 years at more expensive college because of how the classes in my degree stack on each other. 

I have no idea on the actual applications, I got a letter from my first choice college before I ever applied saying I was pre-accepted and offering a little bit of money.

miredrose326

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 03:55:58 PM »
My son started applying to colleges in August of last year (his senior year). Some of the grants that the schools give out are done on a first come, first served basis.

Scholarships, I started making lists of what he could apply for, when the scholarship application period opened, when the due date was and what we needed for them.

As for how she decides which college, that's what college visits and tours are for if you can do them, otherwise I would take online tours, do research online. See what other people say about the schools she's looking at. My son was convinced he was going to Michigan State, from the time he was in first grade he was going to MSU. There was no question, he was a spartan. Then we visited Ferris State, and he fell in love. We both knew he was going to go to school there before we left campus that day. It was an instant feeling of home and comfort. He moved into his dorm in 10 days and he has never been more excited.

glacio

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 04:35:31 PM »
I graduated high school about 10 years ago, so hopefully my advice isn't too out-of-date. I used the college board college search to find schools (I think the new version is this https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search). I was able to see what options were out there and I am very much a researcher so it allowed me to find all of these places I had never heard of. Also, check deadlines now for the big schools. My state systems had deadlines in Sept or Oct, so she may need to act very quickly.

For applications, I got manila folders for every school that I wanted to apply to and used a sharpie to write out all of their requirements and deadlines and then thumb tacked them to my bedroom wall. When I finished a piece I'd print it out and put it in the folder so that everything was organized and I couldn't forget about it.

Most importantly, she should not worry too much about where she goes. I went to my dream small private school and am honestly regretting it a bit because of the loans I'm still paying off. My grad school was at a large state school, that I probably would have done just as well at for undergrad with a much smaller bill. Basically schools are much more similar than you would think they would be and it's much more about making the most of wherever you are.

jpcher

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 04:46:24 PM »
I agree with talking to the HS counselor. We received quite a wealth of information from a list of schools to how to apply for grants, etc., etc., etc. I went with DD#1 for her first appt. (she asked me to) and there were questions that I had that DD#1 didn't even think of, so you might want to consider this. All other appts. (and she can stop in and chat with counselor any time she has questions) were attended by just DD#1.

As far as what school? Look into the state schools where you live. Tuition is usually cheaper for in-state residents. There's absolutely nothing wrong with attending a lower cost school for the gen-ed requirements, then transferring elsewhere. Just be sure that the credits are transferrable.


For applications, I got manila folders for every school that I wanted to apply to and used a sharpie to write out all of their requirements and deadlines and then thumb tacked them to my bedroom wall. When I finished a piece I'd print it out and put it in the folder so that everything was organized and I couldn't forget about it.

I think this is a great organization method! ;D

Hmmmmm

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 04:53:16 PM »
Hopefully as an entering senior she has already taken her SAT and ACT entrance exams. If not, get her signed up for the next one NOW. I know the next SAT testing date is in Oct and registration ends at the end of this month.
https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-us-dates

Most colleges are already accepting applications for next Fall 2016 entrance and many require applications to be submitted by mid December with her high school transcript and for her SAT or ACT scores.

The Collegeboard site has lots of other useful information like planning for college and lists of universities that you can search on based on location or prefered major. You'll be able to get info on acceptance rates, costs, size, deadlines for submitting applications. Find out if her school as a college night where different universities send reps and you get to walk around and visit. At my kid's HS some universities visited their campus to recruit.  Have her start developing a short list of universities she is interested in. If she hasn't met with her counselor, she should.

Once she short lists, she can contact the schools to schedule campus visits. Some have specific days where they'll have pre-planned events for perspective students and their families. Others will allow you to schedule a tour of campus on any day.


As others have said, start filling out the FAFSA. It will give you an idea of what type of financial aid she can get in grants and loans.

Jocelyn

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 05:00:32 PM »
High school counselors can advise her on what are good colleges for her major. Be very skeptical of Internet ads...I have seen ads that imply that schools have majors that they do NOT 'well, it's just as good as that other major'. She can contact potential employers and ask them what degrees and trainings they want future employees to have.
Really, you are just choosing a freshman year school. She will be taking English, math, history...things that will apply to most majors, and will transfer to other schools (most likely), so if you choose wrong, it's always fix-able. Go visit a few schools. My campus has Saturdays between now and the end of the school year for HS students to come and see the campus, talk to the departments they're interested in, and get a better idea about the school. It helps to visit schools that aren't high on her list, it will help her learn more about how to choose. I learned SO much going with my older sisters on their campus visits- I learned what colleges were like, how they differed, and what I didn't want. For example, if she wants to live on campus (or is required to), seeing various dorms is important. Is sharing a community bath down the hall an acceptable option, or does she think it would be horrible? What about the dining hall? In her dorm, across campus? Seeing the options at my sisters' schools helped me to find what was the very best living option for me. Getting to meet faculty in her particular major is a good idea. It's possible to set up a visit with faculty if you come to campus another day, and unless the answer is something like the department is hosting a special event that day, it's a bad sign if the department can't get someone to visit with a potential student. If they're so disinterested in a new student that no one will free up time to talk, it's something to consider whether they'll be the right people to nurture her talent. Keep in mind that we are overhead, and you are profit. :) Try to set up a visit with students in the department, too. If they have a student ambassador, yes, she probably knows her bread and butter depends upon being positive, but she'll still give you some good clues about the school, and if you can talk to students in general, you may get some fine information about how it 'feels' to be a student there.

AvidReader

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 05:45:58 PM »
Part of the process is for Mom and Dad to have a serious look at their own finances and make the determination of how much you can put on the table for your DD's education.  The FAFSA will help with that.   My experience is dated in that DS graduated from high school in 2004, but I remember that DH and I prepared the FAFSA in about January of that year.  It is based on the numbers in your federal tax return (if you are in the US) for the same year, so you have to get a jump on your tax prep. 

Mom and Dad, seriously look at in-state public colleges and universities if you do not want to burden your DD or yourselves with a mountain of debt.  If finances are limited, consider having DD attend the local community college and living at home for the first two years.  Many states have a guaranteed admission program to a number of in-state universities if the student completes a certain program of coursework at the community college.  The courses taken during the first two of a four year college/university education tend towards general education with the final two years focused on the major course of study.

By all means, check the websites for the colleges and universities and see when they have tours for potential students.  Our DS was hesitant about the whole idea of college and we very early on started doing college visits with him so he could see what a college campus was like.  According to him, some were too big, others were too urban, then he visited one and it clicked.  I knew it when he said, "Oh, Mom, I could go here."   

And by all means, DD needs to be working with one of the high school's guidance counselors in order to identify both academic programs and any and all scholarships that may be available.  That's what they are there for. 

Congrats on her commendable GPA and ambitious goals.

artk2002

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 06:18:58 PM »
Having gone through this each of the last two years, I've got a few things to contribute.  ;D  Sorry, these are going to be a bit random.

First, do talk to the guidance counselors at school. We actually had a family meeting with one for my eldest. It would have been great had she been competent, but sadly, she wasn't. So of course, she was my younger son's counselor, too. A competent one will listen to your daughter, and you, and will recommend schools that would be a good fit.

She should also talk to her teachers about where they went to school and what they liked (and didn't like about it.) Zack, my younger son, is an artist and we started out looking at art schools. He was accepted to three of them but ended up choosing a public, liberal arts university. That was based in part on some strong teacher recommendations. When you're an undergraduate, things can change a lot. If you've committed to an art school, you're kinda stuck. That said, many of the art schools have excellent graphic arts departments. We looked at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Those specialist schools tend to be much more pricey (like $40k/yr) than a public liberal arts school, which is partly why Z went with UCLA (and why I was sweating bullets for a while!) Which has an excellent art department, not to mention the theater, film and television department. (I strongly suggest looking at UCLA!) Even if you choose an art school, choose one that offers a full BA program; the "extra" stuff like English, history and math really can help a lot. All of the art schools we looked at had that (because Z's mom and I insisted on it!)

If you're in the western US, there's an organization called the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Under that program a student who lives in one of the western states can go to a university in another state for in-state tuition. We live in California and Grant is going to the University of Nevada at Reno for the price of a Nevada resident.

Plan on touring schools. (Honestly, you should have started that this Summer and even last Spring.) Plan on some road trips during Winter break. You can even take tours after most acceptances have been mailed -- most schools have a May 1 deadline for responding so there's usually a window of a month or so. We toured UCLA after Z was accepted. It was the tour that really convinced him that that was where he wanted to be. Some things that really impressed us about the art department at UCLA were the fact that the faculty are all working artists. There's also a very low student to faculty ratio so lots of opportunity for interaction. There are outside opportunities -- LA has some great art galleries and museums and there are internship and other opportunities all of the time.

Don't be afraid of doing the community college thing to get some general ed requirements out of the way for the first couple of years. That's a reasonable way to keep costs down. One downside is that many community colleges are over-subscribed and it may be difficult to get the classes you want. Do some research.

Spend some time as a family talking about what's right for you all. Just remember that she gets the final word -- she's the one who's got to live the life! Local? Out of town? Commute? Live in the dorms? What kind of extra-curriculars are available? One of G's disappointments about Reno is that he likes to play hockey, but the nearest rink is in Tahoe and he doesn't have a car.

Above all, stay far, far away from the for-profit universities. If you've been following the news, you should know that many are barely better than scams which can leave you miles deep in debt with no job prospects. If someone "guarantees" employment after graduation, take that with a really big grain of salt.

You can apply for some scholarships and grants now, but you're going to have to do the FAFSA in February. Do your taxes early next year 'cause you're going to need that info.

Contrary to what someone said above, not all schools are accepting Fall 2016 applications yet. I know that the UC and Cal State systems won't accept them for a couple of months yet. Make yourself a calendar of both the earliest and latest you can apply to each school.

If she wants to major in some form of art, she's going to need to put together a portfolio. She should work with her teachers now to do that. If she has CGI animations, those should be part of it. Zack actually has a web site that had some of his portfolio. I'd post it but some of the images are not safe for work or small children. PM me if you're interested. His electronic portfolio was submitted to each school by uploading pictures and videos.

As Jocelyn says, this isn't a life-long commitment. You can change. We're looking into having Grant transfer next year because he's feeling very isolated in Reno and the program isn't as good as he thought it was. We're giving it this year to see how things improve. He's in engineering and a lot of the freshman classes are designed to weed out people and he was frustrated by having to work on teams with people who decided that well, maybe engineering wasn't for them.

Echoing others: She must take the SAT and/or ACT soon! Those scores are absolutely necessary for applying. Which one to take depends somewhat on the entrance requirements where she applies. Some schools will accept either, while others want one or the other. Be prepared to take it more than once.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

ladyknight1

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 06:51:20 PM »
POD Art. Watch out for both for-profit universities and institutions that aren't regionally accredited. You might be surprised that some major technical and creative schools aren't. Their credits/degree won't transfer to another school except in rare circumstances.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 07:18:19 PM »
Have your daughter think about what she is looking for in a college/university.  Does she want big/boisterous/known for parties, or does she want small/quiet/dry?  I couldn't handle the thought of being an undergrad at one of the large universities, that might boast an enrollment of 30,000 people or more.  The very idea scared the heck out of me!  I ended up looking at small private colleges (I think the largest had an enrollment of 7500 undergrads).  The college I ended up going to had a total enrollment of 2500 undergrads.  Much better for me!  There are lots of different ways to find colleges - I went to college fairs for specific religious faiths, and college fairs for specific majors, etc.  Take home whatever information you can get, and then look up more!

School tours are wonderful things to do - I went on four, I think.  Try and eat in the cafeteria while there; the food decided me against one school right away!  Otherwise, talk to professors in the areas your daughter is interested in, talk to students, talk to the admin staff.  You can learn a lot by asking general questions.  Also, the drive/flight out to the school will tell you how hard it'll be for your daughter to get home for breaks, or for the summer.  The college I went to ended up being a 12 hour drive or a 4 hour drive plus a two hour flight away from my parents.  I never even thought about it when making my decision, but my mom visibly cringed any time road trips come up in the conversation for the four years I was there!

artk2002

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 07:23:46 PM »
Have your daughter think about what she is looking for in a college/university.  Does she want big/boisterous/known for parties, or does she want small/quiet/dry?  I couldn't handle the thought of being an undergrad at one of the large universities, that might boast an enrollment of 30,000 people or more.  The very idea scared the heck out of me!  I ended up looking at small private colleges (I think the largest had an enrollment of 7500 undergrads).  The college I ended up going to had a total enrollment of 2500 undergrads.  Much better for me!  There are lots of different ways to find colleges - I went to college fairs for specific religious faiths, and college fairs for specific majors, etc.  Take home whatever information you can get, and then look up more!

This is good advice, but don't ignore the big schools just because of a number. UCLA has something like 30,000 undergraduates, but there are only 250 in the art department. Once you start working on a major, you're going to spend most of your time within the department.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.