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griffeyfreak4
03-17-2008, 11:30 PM
Seriously, my brother is going through the whole process right now, and it's a joke.

My brother applied to a bunch of colleges, and he's a pretty damn good student. He's got a 4.65 GPA on a 4.0 scale, 1540 of 1600 on his SAT's, 34 on his ACT's, he's been on varsity cross country since he was a sophomore, he won team MVP this year, and he's also a 3-year varsity track athlete who owns the school record for the sophomore mile. All the colleges he applied to (Rhodes, Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame), he might not get any money from any of them. Same thing with my oldest brother. He had a 4.73 GPA out of 4.0, 1420 SAT and 34 ACT, and was a 3 sport varsity athlete (football, basketball, track) and he started in all of them. The money he received was minimal at best.

However, my family and I have researched the kind of kids who do receive this money (we've asked people online, made phone calls, ect.) and most of them have the same academic stats, if not worse, but they are not athletes. The kids who receive the money(and I'm talking scholarship money not financial aid) are the one's who are supposedly "active participants in their communities." These kids have the occasional community service, but also have summer internships and work jobs through the course of the year. The admissions counselors seem to be very impressed by their abilities to work 15-20 hours a week and still maintain great academics.

I would like to take this time to say that this is bullcrap. As a high school student, I know what influences kids and what doesn't. The kids who are working jobs, earning money, and doing community service are helping the community, but slightly. I'm not against community service, it's great, and I try to do as much as possible, but it's not always feasible to have loads and loads of it on an application. As a student, I barely even know the kids who are involved in these activities, and I know a lot of people. I don't really associate myself with a group of kids, I drift around and talk to everyone. The kids that have a major impact on the school and THEREFORE THE COMMUNITY are the varsity athletes. You may not like it, but it is true. My brother was a positive role model throughout high school, he never drank nor smoked, and still doesn't in college, and he influenced grammar school kids who tell me they want to be like my brother. THE ATHLETES ARE THE ONES WHO PUT 25-30 HOURS IN A WEEK, STILL MAINTAIN GREAT GRADES, AND IMPACT THEIR SCHOOLS, BUT THEY DON'T GET ANY MONEY!!! Seriously, my brothers and I all are dedicated athletes that put in 25-30 hours a week, but because we can't do as much community service due to our dedication, we won't get as much money.

Sorry, I needed to protest that injustice.

For the record, I know that most athletes are block headed fools, but I'm talking about the great student athletes that are deserving of money.

EDIT: Woops the title is supposed to read "College Admissions is a joke." The fact that I made it "are" is really embarassing and probably eliminates any chance of me being taken seriously.

Cedric
03-18-2008, 01:45 AM
First time I have ever heard someone say athletes are getting a raw deal. I'd say that there needs to be a balance considering athletes usually get all the money. These schools want a well rounded student base and that isn't always there from athletes.

Roy Tucker
03-18-2008, 08:20 AM
Your brothers sound like fine young men and I'm sure they'll be huge success in whatever they do.

There was a very interesting series of articles about athletic scholarships last week in the NY Times. They aren't as plentiful as everyone thinks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/sports/10scholarships.html.

*BaseClogger*
03-18-2008, 09:33 AM
How do you get over a 4.0 GPA? :dunno:

Why do athletes deserve special treatment--they chose to play sports? :dunno:

dfs
03-18-2008, 09:34 AM
I agree that your brothers sound like fine young men.


However, my family and I have researched the kind of kids who do receive this money (we've asked people online, made phone calls, ect.) and most of them have the same academic stats, if not worse, but they are not athletes.

Are you seriously suggesting that there is no scholarship money available for athletes in this country? I mean...I'm sorry that your brother's have chosen the wrong sports to look for school money with, athletic scholarship money for boys tends to go to the two major revenue producers, but that is the way things are.

Now you can turn around and say..."but they're great kids with great grades" and at that point you've taken away their athletic accomplishments and they're in the same pool with everybody else. The folks giving out that money DO have an incentive to focus on non-athletic skills. (Precisely because there is so much money being given to the Football/Basketball guys) Non athletic skills often means things like community service and volunteer work.

Again, your brothers sound like great kids. Welcome to the real world. FWIW kids with grades like that DO get reduced tuition rates at state schools in Ohio.

Redlegs23
03-18-2008, 09:40 AM
How do you get over a 4.0 GPA? :dunno:

Why do athletes deserve special treatment--they chose to play sports? :dunno:

That's what I was wondering. If it's on a 4.0 scale then 4.0 means all A's right?

Maybe they've changed it and started giving out A+'s since I got out of high school, which wasn't that long ago. I think it's dumb if that's how it is.

dabvu2498
03-18-2008, 09:41 AM
That's what I was wondering. If it's on a 4.0 scale then 4.0 means all A's right?

Maybe they've changed it and started giving out A+'s since I got out of high school, which wasn't that long ago. I think it's dumb if that's how it is.

Extra credit for college prep or AP classes would be my guess.

*BaseClogger*
03-18-2008, 09:58 AM
Extra credit for college prep or AP classes would be my guess.

why? You are already getting college credit for them...

dabvu2498
03-18-2008, 10:01 AM
why? You are already getting college credit for them...

Oh... I agree... :dunno:

And actually, I believe you actually have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests to actually get college credit for AP classes.

SunDeck
03-18-2008, 10:06 AM
Unfortunately, the entire college admissions process for the "top tier schools" is a crock. Those schools are competing tooth and nail to land a specific kind of kid and maybe you and your brother just aren't the kind of kids they want. And there is nothing wrong with that, so screw 'em. Unfortunately, parents, counselors, and the media have bought into the idea that kids need to get into those schools in order to get a good education.

Believe me, that's a bunch of bull- 90% of the time it doesn't matter a lick where a kid went to school. What matters is what they have done with the education available to them.

School is going to cost you and your parents money. You are going to incur debt and you will spend the first ten years of your career paying it off. That may seem like an awful thing, but in reality it is not. You are among an advantaged group already- those who are well off academically and who have a chance to attend a four year institution of their choosing. You are already doing well, relatively speaking. You are going to find a school, you will do well there, you will graduate and it will prepare you well for your professional life.

My advice (and this comes from having worked in a university system) is to find a school that is a match for you. Find a school where you can continue your athletic career, whether it gets you money or not. Find a school that seems like a place that wants you, where you would like to spend four years, a place where you think you will grow and change and learn well. It may cost more than you and your parents would like, but you will manage. Once you get there, think about it as an investment; maximize your future value and earning potential by soaking up the entire college experience, academically and socially.

It's a crock and it's frustrating, but the reality is that a lot of colleges are fighting over enrollment now like they haven't in the past. You'll be fine, but you also have my sympathies.

RichRed
03-18-2008, 10:11 AM
That's what I was wondering. If it's on a 4.0 scale then 4.0 means all A's right?

Maybe they've changed it and started giving out A+'s since I got out of high school, which wasn't that long ago. I think it's dumb if that's how it is.

In Va. Beach, you get 4.5 points (on a 4-point scale) for an A in an AP class, 3.5 points for a B, etc. My guess is that's similar to what's going on here.

Roy Tucker
03-18-2008, 10:12 AM
At our HS (Mason HS), if you get a B or above in honors or AP classes, there is .03 added to your GPA.

The valedictorian of my son's class had a 5.25 GPA. That was pretty much a perfect storm. He took every honors and AP class possible and aced them all.

GPAs over 4.0 are relatively routine. To get in the top 10% of my sons class (490+ kids), you needed at least a 4.25.

Boston Red
03-18-2008, 10:12 AM
Most high schools have weighted GPAs, so you get a 5 for an A in an honors class and perhaps a 6 for an A in an AP course. This is to make class rankings make a bit more sense.

pahster
03-18-2008, 10:14 AM
Weighted classes are on 5.0 scales, so lots of kids can have GPAs over 4.0.

One thing you've got to realize is that most schools don't care about weighted GPAs; they only look at unweighted. I'm not sure that really makes much of a difference in this case, it's just something you should understand. Also, do not underestimate the importance of writing samples/admissions essays.

The University of Missouri (which is where I completed my undergraduate education) has a number of automatic scholarships. Score X on the ACT/SAT, have a GPA greater than or equal to Y, and be ranked in the Zth percentile of your high school class and you automatically get a four year scholarship. Perhaps the schools you are talking about don't have a system like this.

Last, don't for a second think you are being forced to bear the financial burden of your education; you aren't. Even if you (or whoever) receives no scholarship, grant, or need based aid money, your education is still heavily subsidized by the federal and state government, even at private schools.

bucksfan2
03-18-2008, 10:21 AM
Weighted classes are on 5.0 scales, so lots of kids can have GPAs over 4.0.

One thing you've got to realize is that most schools don't care about weighted GPAs; they only look at unweighted. I'm not sure that really makes much of a difference in this case, it's just something you should understand. Also, do not underestimate the importance of writing samples/admissions essays.

The University of Missouri (which is where I completed my undergraduate education) has a number of automatic scholarships. Score X on the ACT/SAT, have a GPA greater than or equal to Y, and be ranked in the Zth percentile of your high school class and you automatically get a four year scholarship. Perhaps the schools you are talking about don't have a system like this.

Last, don't for a second think you are being forced to bear the financial burden of your education; you aren't. Even if you (or whoever) receives no scholarship, grant, or need based aid money, your education is still heavily subsidized by the federal and state government, even at private schools.

I think they look at percentile more than actual GPA. I think getting a GPA over 4.0 doesn't make any sense. It just isn't possible to get anything over 100%.

pahster
03-18-2008, 10:25 AM
Believe me, that's a bunch of bull- 90% of the time it doesn't matter a lick where a kid went to school. What matters is what they have done with the education available to them.


Yes and no. It really depends on what one wants to do, although I would think that for the vast majority of straight out of college entry level jobs, it doesn't really matter. You can get a good education at nearly any school.

Grad school confounds things, especially for PhD programs. If you want to go into academia, then your undergraduate institution matters a lot. This is one reason why it's important for kids to go to the best school they get into; don't pick the University of Miami over Yale no matter how much cooler you think Miami is than New Haven.

For example, had I gone to Washington University rather than the University of Missouri, I likely would have gotten into some slightly better PhD programs (I actually did fairly well despite going to a much lesser school. I figure I got a little lucky and benefited from having an incredibly well connected and well known adviser who happens to study the same topics I want to research).

pahster
03-18-2008, 10:26 AM
I think they look at percentile more than actual GPA. I think getting a GPA over 4.0 doesn't make any sense. It just isn't possible to get anything over 100%.

That's why they look at unweighted rather than weighted GPA. But yeah, they also look at class rank.

SunDeck
03-18-2008, 10:39 AM
Yes and no. It really depends on what one wants to do, although I would think that for the vast majority of straight out of college entry level jobs, it doesn't really matter. You can get a good education at nearly any school.

Grad school confounds things, especially for PhD programs. If you want to go into academia, then your undergraduate institution matters a lot. This is one reason why it's important for kids to go to the best school they get into; don't pick the University of Miami over Yale no matter how much cooler you think Miami is than New Haven.

For example, had I gone to Washington University rather than the University of Missouri, I likely would have gotten into some slightly better PhD programs (I actually did fairly well despite going to a much lesser school. I figure I got a little lucky and benefited from having an incredibly well connected and well known adviser who happens to study the same topics I want to research).

Sure, grad school confounds things. However, the percentage of kids who go directly from undergrad to grad school is low, and beyond that the number of kids who actually plan on a graduate degree while choosing an undergrad program is infinitesimally small. Moreover, if a kid waits a few years to go to grad school, then the source of the undergrad degree becomes less and less relevant (ie, MPA programs love to admit people with professional experience and you can get an extremely good MBA from places like XU that might actually market more to professionals than to students.) Anyway, I'm not sure exactly how to integrate the fact that grad school matters into the equation for a huge percentage of kids, so I just left that off.

But yeah- it matters if you plan on going on. I agree with that completely. I think it is stupid, but it matters.

Boston Red
03-18-2008, 10:49 AM
This is one reason why it's important for kids to go to the best school they get into


Don't believe the hype on this one. At least not totally. I work at a law firm with a bunch of wicked smaht Hahvad kids who are grossly, and ridiculously in debt. Me, I went to Xavier and UNC Law, took their scholarship money and am debt free (from a student loan perspective). I'd actually be much worse off if I'd have gone to Yale and Harvard.

klw
03-18-2008, 10:55 AM
I hate to pimp my alma mater, Davidson College but it has recently instituted a policy in which in has gotten rid of student loans. If you need money you get grants/ work study but everyone comes out of school debt free and admissions remains need blind.

http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x22786.xml


Davidson’s New Financial Aid Policy Eliminates Student Loan Debt


March 19, 2007





In an effort to make a Davidson education affordable for all students, the Board of Trustees has approved a new policy that will eliminate loans from financial aid packages. Beginning in August, Davidson students will have their demonstrated financial need funded entirely through grants and student employment, and can graduate debt-free.

Check out the ongoing Davidson blog on the choice to free college students from debt, and post your responses.

“We believe this new policy is the necessary response to the financial situation facing many applicants and their families,” said President Robert F. Vagt, “and we know it is consistent with a core value of the college. A Davidson education should be affordable for all students, regardless of means. With the support of the college family, we are confident this bold initiative will make a significant difference for our students, our institution, and our community.”

Davidson is the first national liberal arts college, and only one of a couple of institutions of higher education nationwide, to eliminate student loan debt. Students across the country currently borrow $53.8 billion per year to cover college costs.

Davidson will maintain its commitment to practicing need-blind admissions, meaning the family’s ability to pay for a Davidson education has no bearing on whether or not the student is admitted. But loans will no longer be included in a student’s financial aid package. Of course, families may still choose to take out education loans as part of their personal financing decision.

“The trustees are deeply committed to this new policy, and it will be funded entirely with new monies,” said John F. McCartney, chair of Davidson’s Board of Trustees. He said the trustees have identified and committed the immediate funding to initiate the policy, and have formally committed to a strategy for raising funds to permanently endow it. He also noted that tuition increases will be applied solely to improve the educational and residential experience of Davidson students, and will not fund financial aid.

Affordability has long been a concern at Davidson, and financial assistance has been a high priority. The college’s last two comprehensive campaigns raised more than $130 million in student financial assistance. Gifts from alumni, parents, and friends have created not only hundreds of new scholarship endowments, but have made it possible for the college to make steady reductions in the loan portion of the aid package.

Last spring the college was able to cap loans at $3,000 per year. Prior to that, loans could total as much as $19,000 during a student’s four-year enrollment at Davidson.

The trustees have been concerned about the situation for some time. Christopher J. Gruber, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, led a study revealing that many students needing financial aid never apply to Davidson because of the “sticker shock” of its tuition cost. “We know that efforts to increase diversity on Davidson’s campus have been thwarted by financial realities facing families across the nation,” Gruber said. “And we know that these students often graduate with a burden of debt that limits their choices in career and post-graduate education."

McCartney added, “The economic barrier is the hardest to overcome – it intensifies any other challenge a student faces when making a college choice.”

Beverly S. Hance, past chair of the trustee admission and financial aid committee—and parent of two Davidson alumnae—said the admission study was the focus of a recent Board of Trustees retreat. “The board discussed things such as financial challenges, who comes to Davidson, who is Davidson, what has the college been, and what role will it play in the future,” she said. “For Davidson to remain the institution we think it is, we decided we needed to be more proactive.”

The policy is anticipated to cost $3.5 million annually, depending on the percentage of students in future classes with financial need. Currently, 33 percent of Davidson students receive need-based financial aid, but Gruber expects that elimination of loans will increase that number to about 40 percent. Under these forecasts, $70 million will need to be raised to endow the policy permanently.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
###

pahster
03-18-2008, 11:04 AM
Don't believe the hype on this one. At least not totally. I work at a law firm with a bunch of wicked smaht Hahvad kids who are grossly, and ridiculously in debt. Me, I went to Xavier and UNC Law, took their scholarship money and am debt free (from a student loan perspective). I'd actually be much worse off if I'd have gone to Yale and Harvard.

I wasn't talking about law school, I was talking about academia. I honestly don't know anything about law (or med) school. Two kids with similar application packages, one from Xavier and one from Harvard; the kid from Harvard will, in all likelihood, get into better PhD programs than the kid from Xavier. The better your graduate institution is, the more likely you are to get a tenure track job. Fair or not, that's how it works.

Boston Red
03-18-2008, 11:07 AM
I understand. That's why I qualified my response.

Everyone gives the same advice about law school, BTW. Simply not totally true there. Top 20% at UNC has better prospects in Boston even than bottom half or third of the class at Harvard (obviously if you're top 20% at Harvard you're in better shape).

Highlifeman21
03-18-2008, 11:19 AM
Seriously, my brother is going through the whole process right now, and it's a joke.

My brother applied to a bunch of colleges, and he's a pretty damn good student. He's got a 4.65 GPA on a 4.0 scale, 1540 of 1600 on his SAT's, 34 on his ACT's, he's been on varsity cross country since he was a sophomore, he won team MVP this year, and he's also a 3-year varsity track athlete who owns the school record for the sophomore mile. All the colleges he applied to (Rhodes, Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame), he might not get any money from any of them. Same thing with my oldest brother. He had a 4.73 GPA out of 4.0, 1420 SAT and 34 ACT, and was a 3 sport varsity athlete (football, basketball, track) and he started in all of them. The money he received was minimal at best.

However, my family and I have researched the kind of kids who do receive this money (we've asked people online, made phone calls, ect.) and most of them have the same academic stats, if not worse, but they are not athletes. The kids who receive the money(and I'm talking scholarship money not financial aid) are the one's who are supposedly "active participants in their communities." These kids have the occasional community service, but also have summer internships and work jobs through the course of the year. The admissions counselors seem to be very impressed by their abilities to work 15-20 hours a week and still maintain great academics.

I would like to take this time to say that this is bullcrap. As a high school student, I know what influences kids and what doesn't. The kids who are working jobs, earning money, and doing community service are helping the community, but slightly. I'm not against community service, it's great, and I try to do as much as possible, but it's not always feasible to have loads and loads of it on an application. As a student, I barely even know the kids who are involved in these activities, and I know a lot of people. I don't really associate myself with a group of kids, I drift around and talk to everyone. The kids that have a major impact on the school and THEREFORE THE COMMUNITY are the varsity athletes. You may not like it, but it is true. My brother was a positive role model throughout high school, he never drank nor smoked, and still doesn't in college, and he influenced grammar school kids who tell me they want to be like my brother. THE ATHLETES ARE THE ONES WHO PUT 25-30 HOURS IN A WEEK, STILL MAINTAIN GREAT GRADES, AND IMPACT THEIR SCHOOLS, BUT THEY DON'T GET ANY MONEY!!! Seriously, my brothers and I all are dedicated athletes that put in 25-30 hours a week, but because we can't do as much community service due to our dedication, we won't get as much money.

Sorry, I needed to protest that injustice.

For the record, I know that most athletes are block headed fools, but I'm talking about the great student athletes that are deserving of money.

EDIT: Woops the title is supposed to read "College Admissions is a joke." The fact that I made it "are" is really embarassing and probably eliminates any chance of me being taken seriously.

Your brothers were offered no academic scholarships from any of the schools that accepted them?

Highlifeman21
03-18-2008, 11:26 AM
Oh... I agree... :dunno:

And actually, I believe you actually have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests to actually get college credit for AP classes.

In regards to AP classes, you do have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests in order to receive college credit. The minimum score varies from school to school.

Back in my day, the tests were graded on a 1-5 scale. 1 means you correctly put your name on the test, and that's about it. 5 means that absolutely owned the material, bent it over, and made it your... well, you get the idea. The people that handle the AP tests don't hand out too many 5s. The majority of students fall into the 2-4 category. Some schools, depending on the subject of the test, will actually give credit for earning a 2. Most however, require 3 and above. Most Ivy League schools require 4s or 5s. Again, it varies by the school, and varies on the subject of the test.

dabvu2498
03-18-2008, 11:45 AM
Yeah. One of my college roomies had 6 or 7 5's on AP tests. He was smart. PhD in chemstry from Harvard now. Scary smart.

SunDeck
03-18-2008, 11:56 AM
I hate to pimp my alma mater, Davidson College but it has recently instituted a policy in which in has gotten rid of student loans. If you need money you get grants/ work study but everyone comes out of school debt free and admissions remains need blind.

http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x22786.xml

###

Nothing wrong with Davidson- I'd send my kids there in a heartbeat.

SunDeck
03-18-2008, 11:58 AM
I wasn't talking about law school, I was talking about academia. I honestly don't know anything about law (or med) school. Two kids with similar application packages, one from Xavier and one from Harvard; the kid from Harvard will, in all likelihood, get into better PhD programs than the kid from Xavier. The better your graduate institution is, the more likely you are to get a tenure track job. Fair or not, that's how it works.

Just like a PhD candidate- forgets there is a world out there. ;)

pahster
03-18-2008, 12:01 PM
Just like a PhD candidate- forgets there is a world out there. ;)

...world? :D

*BaseClogger*
03-18-2008, 12:24 PM
Oh... I agree... :dunno:

And actually, I believe you actually have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests to actually get college credit for AP classes.

correct--AP tests are scored from 1 to 5, with some schools giving college credit for 3,4, and 5, while more prestigious schools only give credit for 4 or 5...

*BaseClogger*
03-18-2008, 04:03 PM
EDIT: Woops the title is supposed to read "College Admissions is a joke." The fact that I made it "are" is really embarassing and probably eliminates any chance of me being taken seriously.

haha... you could have spelled "Economucs" :lol:

Dom Heffner
03-18-2008, 06:22 PM
However, my family and I have researched the kind of kids who do receive this money (we've asked people online, made phone calls, ect.) and most of them have the same academic stats, if not worse, but they are not athletes.

Dude wants all the girls and the money. Come on now, that's not fair.

Brutus_the_Red
03-19-2008, 12:47 PM
In regards to AP classes, you do have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests in order to receive college credit. The minimum score varies from school to school.

Back in my day, the tests were graded on a 1-5 scale. 1 means you correctly put your name on the test, and that's about it. 5 means that absolutely owned the material, bent it over, and made it your... well, you get the idea. The people that handle the AP tests don't hand out too many 5s. The majority of students fall into the 2-4 category. Some schools, depending on the subject of the test, will actually give credit for earning a 2. Most however, require 3 and above. Most Ivy League schools require 4s or 5s. Again, it varies by the school, and varies on the subject of the test.

i was a 2002 graduate of a small farm town on the western fringe of dayton. i took all the AP courses offered and none of them offered a weighted grade, but they did offer college credit and the tests were graded on the 1-5 scale like you mentioned (myself being the first and only person in the history of my school to score a 5 on the AP Gov't section.)

but on another note, the road to receiving scholarships at most major universities is extremely difficult. i personally was a 4.30 gpa, valedictorian, national honor society, spanish honor society, class vice president who got a 32 on his ACT, attended Buckeye Boys State and placed in the State Science Fair....

I got a decent haul in local scholarships. $3000 a year, renewable.
I had a free ride offer to Wright State
I had about a 90% ride offer to U.D.
Ohio State offered me nothing. Not a cent in free money.

I, of course, had to attend Ohio State (where i paid for everything, finished undergrad summa, and still was not accepted into med school, but that's a whole separate can of worms), but I also learned my junior year after my dad got the genealogy bug, that my grandmother's parents were full-blooded Chickasaw Indian, and i'm 1/16th native american. if i had relayed this tOSU when applying, i probably would have gone for free.

but alas, tis life.

the only thing i can tell you is you are likely to find more money at smaller and more local colleges. they tend to respect the local high schools more and offer a lot to keep the brightest local heads, well, local.

*BaseClogger*
03-19-2008, 10:51 PM
i was a 2002 graduate of a small farm town on the western fringe of dayton. i took all the AP courses offered and none of them offered a weighted grade, but they did offer college credit and the tests were graded on the 1-5 scale like you mentioned (myself being the first and only person in the history of my school to score a 5 on the AP Gov't section.)

I was one of three people at my HS to get a 5 on the AP Gov't exam last year...

15fan
03-19-2008, 11:04 PM
Title of the thread is "College Admissions are a joke."

But the rant is against Financial Aid.

Those are two very different (although related) checkpoints in an institution of higher education.

If you are angry about the way that the butcher is treating you at the meat counter, don't rail against the assistant manager of the produce section.

And in all seriousness - if someone's GPA is closer to a 5 than it is a 4, I really have to wonder about the quality of the programs at that school. Sounds like some mega-grade inflation to me.

M2
03-20-2008, 10:48 AM
I had a free ride offer to Wright State
I had about a 90% ride offer to U.D.
Ohio State offered me nothing. Not a cent in free money.

From what I gather, that's a fairly common occurence. There's a lot of solid schools out there trying to throw money at good students who just won't take it.

I turned down a free ride at U. Miami (Fla.) based on the notion that I'd blow the scholarship after one hell of a year at the beach. What I didn't know was that Miami was the tip of an iceberg. Had I really gone through that boatload of pamphlets I received from colleges what I'd have discovered is many good, but not quite "name" institutions were willing to do whatever it took to woo me.

Eilte state schools in larger states - Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania - have no trouble attracting top students. They have large populations to draw from and when you add in well-regarded academic programs and attractive in-state tuition prices, they're swimming in students with top grades and test scores. High profile athletic programs also mean that they receive a lot of interest from out of state as well.

Meanwhile, smaller population states like Vermont and New Mexico face brain drain situations. The top students in the state tend to leave and there isn't a large pool of top tier applicants from outside the state trying to get in. As a result, UVM and UNM are far more aggressive when it comes to academic scholarships.

Second tier state schools do the same. Brutus mentioned Wright State. I've heard Ferris State in Michigan is a pretty aggressive school when it comes to giving money to students with high class ranks and test scores. In New England schools like UMass-Lowell and UMaine-Farmington (both good schools, especially the latter) bend over backwards trying to find money for quality students. James Madison University (VA), where I went to grad school, was throwing money around like candy back when I was there.

Then you've got smaller private schools. My cousin got a free ride offer to West Virginia Wesleyan (which also came with automatic entrance to Duke Med for the program in which she was accepted). My aunt convinced her to turn it down, because my aunt is insane, but the money and a path to one of the best med schools in the country was there for her.

My wife got a lot of money when she attended Simmons, a women's college in Boston.

Students tend to be rigid about where they apply and a lot of high schools do lousy job of informing them about what alternatives are out there. The truth is you can get a good education in a lot of places. It's one of the best things about the United States of America.

As Brutus mentioned above, if you're a really good student there's schools out there that are going to want you. You just have to be willing to cast wider net in some cases.

mlbfan30
03-20-2008, 07:08 PM
Just go to the best school that fits what you plan to study.

I'm at a small private engineering school since I wanted to be a chemical engineer. There's basically no financial aid, and tuition is above 40k a year, but it's one of the best colleges in the country for engineering. I could have had a lot more financial aid from other schools, but they weren't as good. For anyone going to college, the main thing is to research the programs, and not the schools itself. A big school doesn't mean its better, and a well known school doesn't mean its good either. If you are truly going to college because you want to get a good education, then go to the best school regardless of cost. If your an average student who doesn't really care about learning, go to the cheaper place. From my HS experience, there are very very few students who truly care about education.

*BaseClogger*
03-20-2008, 08:22 PM
Just go to the best school that fits what you plan to study.

I'm at a small private engineering school since I wanted to be a chemical engineer. There's basically no financial aid, and tuition is above 40k a year, but it's one of the best colleges in the country for engineering. I could have had a lot more financial aid from other schools, but they weren't as good. For anyone going to college, the main thing is to research the programs, and not the schools itself. A big school doesn't mean its better, and a well known school doesn't mean its good either. If you are truly going to college because you want to get a good education, then go to the best school regardless of cost. If your an average student who doesn't really care about learning, go to the cheaper place. From my HS experience, there are very very few students who truly care about education.

Haha right on with every point :thumbup:

paintmered
03-20-2008, 09:18 PM
i was a 2002 graduate of a small farm town on the western fringe of dayton. i took all the AP courses offered and none of them offered a weighted grade, but they did offer college credit and the tests were graded on the 1-5 scale like you mentioned (myself being the first and only person in the history of my school to score a 5 on the AP Gov't section.)

but on another note, the road to receiving scholarships at most major universities is extremely difficult. i personally was a 4.30 gpa, valedictorian, national honor society, spanish honor society, class vice president who got a 32 on his ACT, attended Buckeye Boys State and placed in the State Science Fair....

I got a decent haul in local scholarships. $3000 a year, renewable.
I had a free ride offer to Wright State
I had about a 90% ride offer to U.D.
Ohio State offered me nothing. Not a cent in free money.

I, of course, had to attend Ohio State (where i paid for everything, finished undergrad summa, and still was not accepted into med school, but that's a whole separate can of worms), but I also learned my junior year after my dad got the genealogy bug, that my grandmother's parents were full-blooded Chickasaw Indian, and i'm 1/16th native american. if i had relayed this tOSU when applying, i probably would have gone for free.

but alas, tis life.

the only thing i can tell you is you are likely to find more money at smaller and more local colleges. they tend to respect the local high schools more and offer a lot to keep the brightest local heads, well, local.

Hmm...we would have been at Boy's State the same year. Which city were you?

M2
03-20-2008, 09:21 PM
If you are truly going to college because you want to get a good education, then go to the best school regardless of cost.

That sounds great, until you actually have to pay for it. If you come from a family with some means, then, sure, follow your bliss. If your family actually has a limit on what it can spend for college (and that's most families), then that's going to influence where you go.

As for the notion of "best school," that's PR, not reality. For instance, the University of Delaware has a great chemical engineering program (swimming in DuPont donations) and it costs a lot less than what you say you're paying. Cooper Union's free.

I went to an expensive school myself and got a great education, but the truth is I could have gotten a great education in a lot of other places.

paintmered
03-20-2008, 09:30 PM
Just go to the best school that fits what you plan to study.

I'm at a small private engineering school since I wanted to be a chemical engineer. There's basically no financial aid, and tuition is above 40k a year, but it's one of the best colleges in the country for engineering. I could have had a lot more financial aid from other schools, but they weren't as good. For anyone going to college, the main thing is to research the programs, and not the schools itself. A big school doesn't mean its better, and a well known school doesn't mean its good either. If you are truly going to college because you want to get a good education, then go to the best school regardless of cost. If your an average student who doesn't really care about learning, go to the cheaper place. From my HS experience, there are very very few students who truly care about education.

As much as chemical engineers are in demand right now, graduating from any ABET accredited program will land you a quality job. Granted, some schools are better than others, but in that field, it doesn't matter where you go for undergrad so much. I've got at least a dozen chemE friends who now work at Dow and P&G who can attest to that.

Agreed on the bigger does not necessarily mean better. Small and private doesn't necessarily mean better either.

I really hope you enjoy paying off student loans. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I graduated debt free (I actually made money going to engineering school thanks to my co-op). I was originally headed to Purdue until a family member (owned his own engineering consulting company) told me to go to UC instead. He holds Purdue in high regard (and with good reason), but he told me I'd get as good of an education at UC, be professionally prepared upon graduation and graduate debt free. Considering I'm working along side Purdue grads now, he was right on all accounts. Had I not taken his advice, I'd be looking at more than 80K in student loans now.

Out of curiosity, which school are you attending? At 40K per year, I hope it's a school like RPI.

mlbfan30
03-20-2008, 11:29 PM
RPI is one of the schools I could have gone to for cheaper.

My school is Rose-Hulman Inst of Tech.

paintmered
03-20-2008, 11:40 PM
RPI is one of the schools I could have gone to for cheaper.

My school is Rose-Hulman Inst of Tech.

There's three Rose-Hulman guys in my office. Good school.

mlbfan30
03-21-2008, 12:48 AM
There's three Rose-Hulman guys in my office. Good school.

Where do you work at?

*BaseClogger*
03-21-2008, 02:52 AM
As for the notion of "best school," that's PR, not reality.

And isn't it that "PR" that influences the employer's opinion?

paintmered
03-21-2008, 06:36 AM
Where do you work at?

Wright-Patt.

paintmered
03-21-2008, 08:02 AM
And isn't it that "PR" that influences the employer's opinion?

For law school, maybe. For engineering, not so much. Since there are so schools out there that do engineering well, job experience, academic performance and well-roundedness are the things that get a college grad hired (in my experience, anyways). A BS in engineering is little more than a piece of paper stating you are capable of learning difficult stuff quickly.

In my job search, I got offers from places located beyond UC's regional reputation/PR. I wouldn't have been given the light of day from them if I didn't have my co-op employer on my resume. I was able to leverage those offers against my current employer's offer. It added up to a 10% bump in starting salary. For these reasons, I'm a huge champion of the co-op model.

15fan
03-21-2008, 08:34 AM
Got my university's quarterly alumni magazine in the mail yesterday.

this article (http://www.wfu.edu/magazine/2008.03/constantandtrue/) seems relevant to the discussion here.

There are stories like this at colleges and universities all over the country.

While I can think of many different things to take from this specific story, it seems to me that the main message is this: Dream big, and if you really want something, then bust your butt to do whatever it takes to achieve it. If you sit back to wait for the world to give you something, you might be waiting a very long time.

Carpe Diem.

M2
03-21-2008, 11:01 AM
And isn't it that "PR" that influences the employer's opinion?

What paintmered said for the most part. I'd add biz school to law school on the list of places where it might matter. Elite schools have connections that will pay off for you. Yet we're talking post grad degrees here.

You could ace your way through a history major at a school which gives puts an attractive package in front of you, nail your GMAT/LSAT and then go for one of those elite biz/law schools without a mountain of debt to overcome.

BTW, I hire people on a regular basis. I pay zero attention to what college a person attended. I'll take note if they've got advanced degrees, but it's not a major influence in hiring someone (in fact we've found a lot of people who've only got an advanced degree aren't particularly adept at working in a deadline-driven environment - that applies to sales, marketing and IT as well as editorial/media staff). Our HR department doesn't score any extra points on your resume if you went to Harvard as opposed to Bridgewater State.

paintmered
03-21-2008, 05:02 PM
You could ace your way through a history major at a school which gives puts an attractive package in front of you, nail your GMAT/LSAT and then go for one of those elite biz/law schools without a mountain of debt to overcome.

Case in point, one of my classmates was accepted into Harvard MBA. He was probably only 10th in my class as well (out of 45).