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Author Topic: Daughter is a senior in high school now.  (Read 5858 times)

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magician5

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 10:02:05 PM »
Should be plenty of guidance, both individual and general, from her school's counseling office. More info from specific schools she's interested in.
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figee

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2015, 10:07:00 PM »
As an academic.

Don't let your daughter close herself off in terms of what she 'wants' to do.  I would strongly advise against getting too specialised too soon, so I like artk2002's advice about going to a more 'general' school with a great specialisation.  This gives some flexibility if your daughter decides that she's not actually all that into CGI and would far prefer to be working on quantum physics.  Also, given the size of the loans and debts for people coming out of college in the US, I'd also suggest trying to get hold of employment and placement statistics of graduates in their chosen field for each school, levels of drop-outs and transfers and for the department or field specifically. 

TracyXJ

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2015, 07:57:53 AM »
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.

Please be careful about the bolded!  It is not true for all majors.  I don't know about graphic design and media, but I'm in engineering.  And I had to to take 2 pre-engineering classes (one each semester) freshman year.  Without those, I couldn't enroll in any engineering courses.  So if I went to a school that didn't offer the equivalent of those 2 classes and then transfered to my school of choice, I would pretty much have to restart as a freshman, only now I wouldn't have those basic math, english, etc to fill my schedule with.  I'd pretty much add another year onto my schooling.

athersgeo

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2015, 08:27:02 AM »
Another question to ask (and it's a bit of a radical one) is: Is college actually the right career path for what she wants to do?

It is worth looking at job postings for entry level jobs in her field and see what qualifications they actually want before you consign yourself to four years of further education and student loans - I know that when I was 17/18 and looking into further education the field I wanted to get into (which was not dissimilar to your daughter's field) didn't have any degree requirements and I'd have done far, far better to have taken an internship*/apprenticeship role directly out of school rather than going to university and doing an only tangentially related course, racking up a student loan bill, debt and ultimately dropping out because I failed my second year because (in addition to not really being the right course) I wasn't mentally ready to do higher education!



*Note: the sort of job I'm talking about is a paid one, not the standard sort of college internship that seems to be prevalent these days where the internee is used as free labour

EllenS

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2015, 08:47:27 AM »
My DH has a degree in computer animation, and he says that if she aspires to a career in Hollywood, the most important thing to look for is a school where a large percentage of the art/film faculty are actively employed in the film industry. Their bios and IMDB should tell you.

Any school, anywhere, can buy software and teach technique.  The film industry is all about networking.

PennyandPleased

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2015, 09:30:54 AM »
My High School Guidance Counsilor was HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do NOT just rely on them!!!! Obviously they might be great BUT I highly suggest getting outside advice as well.

My Parents approached a family acquintence who had 3 kids, all a bit older than me who had gone on to 4 year colleges. They set up a time and sat down with them and had a long conversation about applying to colleges and what they needed to know to help me get into school and prepare for college. They were amazing.

Tour campuses of as many schools as you can. Even just driving to the campus and walking around on your own. Talk to students you may know that go there, etc.

You will be fine. My parents were freaking out when I was applying to Undergrad. It worked out great and I loved undergrad. And I just finished my Masters. Everything will work out.  :)


Roodabega

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2015, 10:06:19 AM »
Recommendations from teachers are valuable.  Plan on doing visits to a number of colleges and universities.  In my experience most high schools will give seniors at least a couple of excused absences for campus visits.  If you're in the US, fastweb.com is a good place to search for scholarship information.  Also ask for recommendations from H.S. advisors and if you've narrowed it down to a few schools look at their financial aid site for their recommendations for scholarships and scholarship search sites.  Your child should start applying for scholarships now.  It's surprising that a lot of scholarships have a fall deadline (this year) for use in the next academic year.

A trick we learned was don't neglect the end of the list for available scholarships.  Maybe even start there.  My child got a scholarship from an obscure trade group because they had only a few entries.

Check the preferred universities calendar.   Most of them will have campus visit days where you can get a guided tour.  Have to sign up for it.  And visit dorm rooms if possible if on-campus housing is anticipated.

If you've narrowed in on a university and think your child will be on-campus, get the housing request in as early as possible.  You have a much better chance of getting into your desired pick rather than get dumped into whatever dorm has room.  * ETA*  Our experience is that the schools that both of our children attended started taking housing requests WAY earlier than we expected.  Like in the fall this year for housing next year.

You don't have to panic about things, but you will find that you need to do things a lot earlier than you might expect to have to do them.

*ETA2*  Just remembered.  If the school your daughter will attend requires significant travel to get there and you will plan to get a hotel room, start thinking about a reservation in January.  Especially if it's a college town rather than a big city with a college in it.   Rooms close to campus for move-in week, move-out week, and any special school events fill up really, really early.  We found that out the hard way for our first.    Rooms in Houghton for Michigan Technological University started filling up in January and were mostly filled by May for fall move-in.   We had to get a room 30 miles from campus when we started looking in June.

Basically you have to be a good planner.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 10:39:48 AM by Roodabega »

cheyne

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2015, 01:56:47 PM »
State colleges, community colleges and vo-tech schools usually have much lower costs for the same classes.  Just make sure that the school is accredited and the credits will transfer to a university system.

Do the FAFSA form but do not be surprised if you do not qualify for any grants, the income threshold is extremely low for "free" money.  If at all possible, fund as much of the cost as you can now, do NOT take out any loans that aren't absolutely necessary.  We do not even bother with the FAFSA as we do not qualify for any assistance, we just tighten our belts and write a check.  If you can squeeze your budget or have college savings accounts, the leg-up for your DD in not having to take out loans is tremendous. 

With a 3.85 GPA your DD has a good chance of scholarships if she also does well with the ACT or SAT.  My DD won a full academic scholarship on a 30 ACT score and a 3.8 GPA. 

Good Luck and have fun with the process.  I know that DH and I enjoyed the campus tours, as neither of us went to college.

learningtofly

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2015, 02:48:59 PM »
Our college counselor was horrible!  Missed meetings, couldn't remember our names, and since his previous school had worked with a very specialized population he couldn't adapt to a general population school.

My parents hired an independent counselor.  The bulk of her advice:

1) keep a notebook for college tours.  Jot down what you like, what you didn't like, what your requirements are, and what your questions are for the admissions people.  I either had one on one interviews or group tours.  Best way to get info.  You may visit several colleges in one trip and this is a good way to keep them from getting mixed up and enrolling at the wrong school.

2) Once you have your applications, line up your recommendations early and get them the forms early.  It's not just the essay.  Every kid in her class is going to need recommendations and the teachers can get overwhelmed.  Get them the requests early. 

As I said, our counselor was awful.  However, he did have my transcripts and all recommendations were handed over to him.  So I made sure I was super organized (I love the manila envelope idea) and then walked in with all of the documents he needed to send out to each college. 

When your daughter starts getting acceptances, look into the visits offered by each school.  And apply to any and all scholarships.  I wish I had.  Any and all money helps.

artk2002

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2015, 03:26:57 PM »
Our college counselor was horrible!  Missed meetings, couldn't remember our names, and since his previous school had worked with a very specialized population he couldn't adapt to a general population school.

My parents hired an independent counselor.  The bulk of her advice:

1) keep a notebook for college tours.  Jot down what you like, what you didn't like, what your requirements are, and what your questions are for the admissions people.  I either had one on one interviews or group tours.  Best way to get info.  You may visit several colleges in one trip and this is a good way to keep them from getting mixed up and enrolling at the wrong school.

2) Once you have your applications, line up your recommendations early and get them the forms early.  It's not just the essay.  Every kid in her class is going to need recommendations and the teachers can get overwhelmed.  Get them the requests early. 

As I said, our counselor was awful.  However, he did have my transcripts and all recommendations were handed over to him.  So I made sure I was super organized (I love the manila envelope idea) and then walked in with all of the documents he needed to send out to each college. 

When your daughter starts getting acceptances, look into the visits offered by each school.  And apply to any and all scholarships.  I wish I had.  Any and all money helps.

Private counselors were popular at the boys' school, as was SAT tutoring. But these were people willing to spend $20-25K to get their kid into an Ivy. Not something I'd recommend for mere mortals. I'm sure that OP can find people and classes for much less if the in-school ones prove to be, ahem, weak.

Good point about talking to teachers about letters. Grant missed out on one good recommendation because he approached the teacher too late and she had too many to do already. The way the school worked it is that you asked the teacher for the recommendation and they turned it into the counselors. The counselors then forwarded copies to all of the schools -- that way you didn't have to get the applications in first. The school uses a service called Naviance to manage all of that.
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.

LadyDyani

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2015, 08:31:17 AM »
Sorry for asking a question then disappearing for weeks. We're opening a new location at work and I've spent the past few weeks working overtime and running cat6 cable in the ceilings!

Thank you everyone for all of the information! My daughter and I went through all of the posts last night and she has a large list of to-do's and questions for her counselor.

We're definitely going to use a calendar, as well as the manila envelope idea!

Thank you!
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SheltieMom

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2015, 11:38:50 AM »
Someone mentioned upthread making sure you use the right FAFSA site, and I want to emphasize it. It is a government site, and the URL is fafsa.gov. There are many spoof sites that look really good, but will charge a fee. FAFSA is free for anyone in the US.
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Kimberami

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2015, 11:46:03 AM »
Keep your eye out for college fairs at your DD's high school or local community colleges.  That's how I found the school that I really wanted to attend.
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bopper

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2015, 01:04:22 PM »
She is a little behind...ideally you start coming up with college ideas Junior year and visit then or over the summer.

A tremendous resource is CollegeConfidential.com...they have a "Supermatch" tool where you can put in where/what major/big/small school/etc and get some ideas for colleges. Go to the Parents subforum and ask your question.

Then she should try to visit some nearby schools...your Big State U and a smaller college for her to see what she likes.

Does your HS have "Naviance"?  It is a tool for applying to colleges and has great info about which colleges students from their HS go to, and what GPA/SAT they have.


I assume she has taken the SAT or ACT? If not, do that ASAP.

Also, figure out how much you can afford.  Use that info when selecting colleges.

lilfox

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Re: Daughter is a senior in high school now.
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2015, 01:17:38 PM »
Re: guidance counselors.  Advise your DD to listen well but keep a certain amount of skepticism if the counselor pushes one way or another.

In my case, I went in a bit unfocused about what I wanted in a college environment, and my GC decided not to just listen to me talk things out. Instead she pushed one college that she had coincidentally just visited, and thought that should be a done deal.  She also tried to discourage me from applying to some more challenging schools even though I was well within the SAT and GPA range to be considered.  Though I may have been unfocused, I sure wasn't going to take that advice - I didn't apply to her chosen school (I did do a campus tour later when we were in the area and would have hated the environment), and I did apply to the challenging ones and got in.

The counselor should listen and offer objective advice, not push an agenda.  If a reality check is needed, that's fine, but to this day I don't know why she didn't want me to waste my time applying to schools that I was qualified for just because they had tough reputations.

And I'll also back the suggestion to go to a well rounded school.  I had always wanted to be a certain type of engineer but I received that advice myself and ended up selecting a college that didn't have that exact specialty. Instead it had strong programs in related fields and I stumbled onto my "true calling" which might not have been possible at a hard core engineering school.