U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 01-07-2008, 06:36 AM
3,031 posts, read 8,149,508 times
Reputation: 830


I thought I'd start this thread because I couldn't find anything like it anywhere else on the forum. My apologies if I missed it.

My oldest is in 11th grade. I'm finding the school guidance office to be of very little help. We're just in the beginning stages. He's taken PSATs; we know he qualifies for National Merit Scholarship. I'm curious: Any good books, seminars, etc., on how to narrow down choice of colleges. Good info on the web or in print about sources of scholarships, grants, loans?

Process? Visit schools first? Visit schools applied to? Etc?

Anything and everything would be appreciated!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 01-07-2008, 09:15 AM
Location: I'm not sure, TX
186 posts, read 770,856 times
Reputation: 49
He needs to take the SAT and if he wants the ACT so that he has those scores ready when he starts applying. He should probably do that as soon as possible so that you could take advantage of the early application deadlines that some schools have. Also ask him if his school does a college fair, that's where I started my selection process. If he already has a few places in mind call them and find out what sort of previews they allow applicants.

I went to TCU and they had Monday at TCU where hundreds of juniors and seniors would descend upon campus and take a tour of the campus and hear speakers talk about the application and financial aid process. They also did the same thing on Saturdays. During the summer before my senior year our summer vacation was traveling to visit other colleges also. We called them ahead of time and took advantage of their tours too. I only visited schools that I was interested in applying at.

As for scholarships start looking for info on the web and at libraries. Ask relatives or neighbors about any scholarships their companies offer. I know where I live our electric company awards scholarships to customers but if you don't know about that you'll miss out.

Good luck!!

I thought of something else, he needs to start thinking what he'd like to major in. If he has an idea that will help him narrow down school choices. That could also benefit in financial aid, grants or scholarships. If he knows what he's focusing on he could specifically look for money from companies in those fields.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 10:19 AM
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
8,323 posts, read 13,143,178 times
Reputation: 4865
PFW said it right, he needs to take the SAT. The SAT is a lot different than the Pre-SAT.

In order to narrow down some colleges, what profession is he looking towards? That would be the best way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 12:24 PM
3,031 posts, read 8,149,508 times
Reputation: 830
He's taking the ACT next month and the SAT in March.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 12:35 PM
160 posts, read 687,744 times
Reputation: 64
Does he know what he would want to go to school for?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 01:28 PM
3,031 posts, read 8,149,508 times
Reputation: 830
Yes, he seems to lean towards science, technology/applied sciences. He's not that interested in liberal arts/english, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 03:39 PM
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,118,164 times
Reputation: 851
As you mentioned, taking the SAT and ACT's are the first step (make sure he preps and that he allows enough time if he needs to retake it to up his score).
I would start doing college visits this semester and summer. He needs to think about what he wants. How far away does he want to go? Does he want a big or small school? Big or small town? What does the college "have" to have? What doesn't he want? Once he starts with this criteria, you can narrow it down. (there are a million books about colleges/rankings, etc). Starting to visit early can also help him realize where he might want to go. BTW, I visited schools before I applied, not after.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 06:40 PM
3,031 posts, read 8,149,508 times
Reputation: 830
Thanks everyone. It appears that we are taking some of the right steps: ACT and SAT dates are set. He has already given lots of thought (with my "prodding") to the type of school he would like to attend. I had him make a chart: large/small; urban/suburban/rural; area(s) of the country. And so on.

We live in MA. He wants to attend college outside of New England (experience something new). He's interested in several schools in the mid-Atlantic and then two schools on the West Coast, one of which is the school his father attended.

So I guess we've started down this path. What makes me nervous is thinking about how I'm going to unturn every stone that might lead to money: grant, aid, loan, scholarship, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-07-2008, 07:21 PM
Location: Camberville
11,394 posts, read 15,991,510 times
Reputation: 18031
NChomesomeday: If you need any help, let me know. One of the good things about being a Type A high school student meant that I know quite a bit about every top 100 universities and most top 50 LACs. It's kind of become a hobby of mine to help all of my friends and now my brother's friends with college options!

If you or anyone else on here needs someone to bounce college ideas off of or to get a college student's subjective opinion of the "vibes" of different schools (socially and academically), feel free to ask me! I'm most familiar with Massachusetts and southern schools, but I applied to colleges all over the country and have visited over 40 colleges over the years, so I'm familiar with quite a few.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-08-2008, 02:24 AM
20,793 posts, read 52,354,094 times
Reputation: 10471
Have him make a list of his top 5 choices and go visit the campus of each school. Have him get a feel for each and chances are he will be able to narrow it down quite a bit by doing that. If he doesn't have a list yet, just visit a few in your area even though he doesn't want to go there, so he can get some ideas of what he likes and what he doesn't like.

The VAST majority of college students change their major at LEAST once so selecting a school solely on a major isn't the best idea.

They haven't released the National Merit finalists yet so how do you know he qualified for that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top