For Parents On "unrealistic college expectations"

A good read for parents. Discusses unrealistic college expections and how to overcome them.

Even if a student has a first SAT that leaves her WAY below a likely admission to the elite college she's pining for, if she has the right attitude, her continued work towards SAT greatness makes sense.

1) Falling a little short of a really huge goal leaves you...hugely improved!  So you didn't make that 500 point improvement.  You got 80% of the way.  Here 80% is not "B minus"; it's FOUR HUNDRED SAT POINTS.

2) Falling a little short might keep you from your top choice college, but WORKING towards a top choice college just opened up oodles of other colleges whose doors were previously closed to you.

3) She MIGHT become one of those rare 500+ point improvers.  Ivy Bound has at least six former students in that category.  Diligence could propel her to that elite echelon.

4) If mediocre grades as a freshman and sophomore preclude admission to a top tier college, a big SAT score will likely yield admission to a lower tier college WITH MERIT MONEY.  Merit-based scholarships typically have SAT score as a one of the top factor, if not THE top factor.  We know of students going to very good Universities who are giddy that they are at a good college and will come out with NO debt.  (Their parents are usually more giddy). The Merit money available via grades and SAT Scores (not PSAT) is $5,000 to $25,000 PER YEAR, renewable for four years. 

To the extent a diligent student is hurt when a "denial letter" arrives, she can take solace that there would be worse hurt had her "next" choices also denied her and she's heading instead to her "backup" college.

To the extent a student is hurt when the top choice college denies him, the hurt is mollified by knowing "I did everything I could".  The hurt is likely magnified when the student chose not to go "full throttle" and thereby reduced the chance of acceptance.

Finally, the hurt of having to attend your "second choice" college almost always evaporates when you begin Freshman Orientation week at your new college.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

paul d. November 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM
The SAT is marketed as a predictor of success in a freshman college program. However, the only statistical correlation that has ever been drawn to the SAT is socio-economic status at the time of taking the test. Colleges use it because it is also a highly accurate predictor of ability to pay. That about sums it up.
Will Wilkin November 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
No, colleges do not use the SAT as an accurate predictor of ability to pay, they use it because it really does measure literacy and numeracy, the primary academic skills required for higher education. I would love to see the research or anecdotal evidence for your economic interpretation of college use of SAT scores. Ability to pay is measured by financial aid applications.
Steven DeVaux November 10, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I beg to differ. It's an ability to borrow for which return on investment is under 3% for the last five years if you read Barrons.
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 12:23 AM
@Will. Sorry, that is just naive. They very much use a variety of indicators to predict ability to pay. The SAT is one of them. Sorry the college admissions process is not so moral as you might hope for. Someone has to pay for all those scholarships.... athletic or otherwise.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 06:25 AM
'Colleges use it because it is also a highly accurate predictor of ability to pay. ' I think this is fantasy. Most all good schools are need blind. But more importantly, they require a FAFSA and financial affadavit. If they want to understand if you can pay--they look at the financial affadavit. Not some esoteric interpretation of SAT. The school asks "will you need financial assistance--and the applicant says "No" -then they conclude he has an ability to pay.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Someone has to pay for all those scholarships.... athletic or otherwise. Paul, tution at Harvard is 38,500 a year. How much does it cost Harvard to educate each student? (i.e how much profit per student?) Who pays for the scholorships? Not students via tuition That comes from the endowment. (or in state schools from endowment and state subsidy). Nearly all good schools are need blind for US students. Your theory that SAT's are predictors of ability to pay--also is easily controverted. Ivy league schools only offer need based scholorships. No athletic or merit . Harvard provides financial aid to over 81% of it's students average aid of 35k (tuition 38.5k) MIT 88% and 32.5k average. (not ivy --but top notch) Fairfield University--not the equal of harvard--64% financial aid , average of 23k. So the school with high Sat's needed to give out more money to more students?
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Sorry Joyce- wrong. The admissions office admits a group of students. Then those students are evaluated by the financial aid office and offered packages (which are blind). The admissions office is fully aware of ability to pay and the need to have paying students. On Harvard.... their endowment is large enough to never charge tuition to anyone. If the market earned 4% a year, they would make money every year, educate every student enrolled, and be able to continue with a decent sized continuous capitol improvement plan without spending a dime of principal. So why do they charge tuition at all, let alone a very steep one? Guess. Chasing me Luca?
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Sorry ed (pauld) You are completely wrong. Not only does it exist--but in certain types of programs, it is required by Congress. The admissions committee is not aware nor are they allowed to consider whether the student can afford. Interesting in your thinking about the size of harvard (and harvard endowment is special case) and if they need to charge. (This is exactly the type of thinking that CALPERS in california had in its pensions. the now struggling pension fund But you didnt tell me how much it costs to educate a harvard student....how much per student are they making if they collect the 38,500 a year.
Will Wilkin November 12, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Again Paul D, "I would love to see the research or anecdotal evidence for your economic interpretation of college use of SAT scores." Further, if Harvard doesn't need to charge anything, then why do THEY look at SAT scores. And why are you talking about morality in this thread or lecturing me about scholarships?
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Not allowed? Right. Naive. Go on believing it if you wish to be ignorant of reality. Round numbers: Harvard's endowment is approx 30B. 4% per year is approx 1.3B. 27K students (grad and undergrad)= 48K per student. Current tuition is approx 38.5K or about 10K less. Why do taxpayers fund students to go to Harvard? It is a scam. Not too many universities in Harvard's league as far as endowment. You dragged it in as an example. I just show the light on your dimness.
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 02:29 PM
If you think the SAT is not another way to rig the system in favor of the wealthy and well connected - think. If you imagine an admissions officer is going to admit it and make themselves look greedy.... well, that's not going to happen. The college admissions game is a rigged game at top tier, private universities and colleges. Always has been, always will be. They give the illusion of merit based admissions to support their not-for-profit status when it comes to dodging taxes. It is an economic decision. Cheaper and gets better credibility for a college to pay tuition for a select minority than pay the taxes they should owe. It is a constant public image battle they fight. Sometimes they cross the line, but for the most part they know how to tread this game carefully.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
paul ive asked twice now a 3rd time how much does it cost harvard to educate a student? how much profit per student does the university make. I happen to know--but its not something you can google, and then pretend to 'know.' so give it a shot-instead of calling me naive, and dodging question
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 03:23 PM
paul 'rigged for the wealthy" haha thats why they give 80% financial aid--and it just happens that they go on , in general ,to be more successful in life--all a conspiracy. You mean because colleges in general are devoid of liberals and advocates for the poor and people of color? Wow-- your theory seems to elude politicians who advocate for these demographics, and even community activists. Its amazing that you know, being in Ridgefield Ct --a white enclave--and that you understand the admissions policies and motivations at every institution of higher learning. Congrats. By the way--ill just post a wikipedia page on need blind...and you might want to correct them as well? Wikipedia Need-blind admission is a term in the United States (and increasingly in the rest of the world) denoting a college admission policy in which the admitting institution does not consider an applicant's financial situation when deciding admission. Generally, an increase in students admitted under a need-blind policy and needing financial aid requires the institution to back the policy with an ample endowment or source of funding. Being need-blind is a statutory requirement for institutions to participate in an anti-trust exemption granted by Congress which remains in effect until September 30, 2015.
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I know what need blind is - that is why a university has separate admission and financial aid offices. Do you really believe that the President of a university and his/her admission office does not care if a kid has an ability to pay? News flash - they do. So, since they can't view the FAFSA - they use other statistically reliable methods - like the SAT, like the street address where kids live (yes, they use mapping software as they make up their list of kids to admit - shocking) which happens to have income demographics. Welcome to the 21st century. How do they rig the system? Start with alumni preference - ever hear of it? Next, check out private school admission rates to private universities. Are the schools really that much better? Ummm... no. But their student's parents have shown an ability to pay. Shocking. Speak to a private K-12 school guidance counselor and find out how close the link is between their office and 2nd tier colleges dying for full paying students. Then work your way down from highest income towns - like New Canaan and Darien (where you live). Now go to Stratford - some excellent education there - but their college admissions are nowhere close to Fairfield County when you examine where their HS graduates go. Oh wait, except for students from the Lordship area... shocked? No, not me. Or, Mr Joyce - wikipedia expert.... try to learn more about the investigation into NCAA athletics and the underlying issues of not-for profit status.
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Here is a skim look at the statistics which shows Luca's ignorance. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2012/05/02/poor-students-are-the-real-victims-of-college-discrimination/
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 04:42 PM
interesting that i have to ask 4 times how much does it cost to educate someone at harvard---what is net profit per student if they pay the 38.5? You can say "i dont know". But in your mind would that weaken you? How hard is it for you to say "im wrong' or' i dont know?' A said testimonial to your deep seated insecurities. But not surprising--since your lack of success you attribute , not to issues of merit, but rather you view that 'they system' has worked against you. (tell that to the President of the United States---what did he have working for him? money? race? stable family? ) With respect to stratford --and applications that are turned down--can you give me statistical evidence? Tough argument there champ. With respect to harvard and yale---your theory also falls apart--- how many kids from darien and new canaan would love to go? How many are admitted each year? In Darien maybe 0, 1 or 2? and most of the time owing to their sports resume more than anything else. If it were about money--and ability to pay, then why admit students where 81% need financial aid, and the average package is 35k? Is that a profit based formula? One day , one of your arguments will win....this is not that day. The forbes article is malarkey.... a 1999 statistic where 1200 is the benchmark sat to apply to harvard? If you get 1300 there is a 1% of admittance at most. Applications cost--why waste money applying if you dont have the money?
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 04:54 PM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2012/05/02/poor-students-are-the-real-victims-of-college-discrimination/ paul's nonsense article I'll summarize--for kids who have no chance to gain admission (1200 SAT) more kids who have money apply (application cost 75 dollars ) (although there is a fee waiver application)..... the article brilliantly points out that kids who are wealthier apply more often....and this leads, voila , to discrimination based on socio economic scale. Nope...in order to provide better data, you need to examine the kids that are qualified ( naviance software) for harvard it would be a matrix where the quadrant of + 4.0 GPA and +1450 SAT. Then when you narrow it to there, see who applies and who gains admittance.. Next paul you may need to understand a bit about genetics..... intelligence is widely understood as an inherited trait. Lets not debate if good schools provide better chances at good jobs (after all this is the premise on which to determine discrimination) and then say that people who have good jobs, more often, have gone to good schools, and are alumni and have more money---but have offspring that are more intelligent on balance.
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Mmm... you or Forbes? You or a university professor who has spent his life studying the issue? Mmmm.... not you. Until your reading and writing skills improve to the third grade level, I think I will continue to ignore your dithering. Begin learning what 2nd tier means; next, learn how to capitalize a word; learn how what an apostrophe is and how it functions. And quit hiding your skill level behind the idea that you are "blogging." It is an insult to those who do that as a modern form of journalism. Your constant failure to meet basic writing standards is indicative of your command of English. Enjoy the weather out there.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM
more nonsense from paul Do you really believe that the President of a university and his/her admission office does not care if a kid has an ability to pay? News flash - they do. So, since they can't view the FAFSA - they use other statistically reliable methods - like the SAT, like the street address where kids live (yes, they use mapping software as they make up their list of kids to admit - shocking) 1- paul cites the endowment and then talks about wanting kids to pay. "news flash--they do." So the 81% of kids who they provide aid to--they made 81% mistakes? Wow-you would think that they had smarter people. If i run a movie theater and let 80% in for free , when , 'news flash', i care about people paying--that would mean maybe i dont care as much as you think? 2- mapping software of kids addresses....hahaha yeah admission to universities only started in the last 7 years. Software mapping --what did they do in 1994? Send out admissions officers to snap pix of kids' houses and put in file? Wow--what a conspiracy theory. Its really sad that people like you exist. Everyone is out to get the poor..and give a break to the rich. the problem of course is that you are not able to explain why 81% at harvard and 88% at MIT receive financial aid--when all these schools, according to you, are doing is admitting people based on getting tution....weird...
paul d. November 12, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Ironic that Luca who pretends to be a veteran is spending Veteran's Day spewing his nonsense on a topic he knows nothing about. Laughable but terribly sad for an old lady.
jim laguardia November 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM
wont you people go away please??? get a room or something, your all pretty and the bell of the ball, does that make you happy??
Jimmy Pursey November 12, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Luca's a fake. And the most prolific poster on here. Paul is doing a service. Don't lump the two together.
jim laguardia November 12, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Jimmy, dont feel left out, i am lumping you into it also, i was wishing that after the election cycle we on the Monroe Patch would not be exposed to the other towns looney tunes cast of characters... but alas here you all are still.
Laura Dobosz November 12, 2012 at 07:12 PM
If Luca had the education that he/she/it professes in their profile, surely they would have something better to do than post on the patch all day, every day. "news flash".
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 08:29 PM
paradise Awesome comment. What is your number of posts,that intelligent, educated people that would conform? You disagree with me, because you are a Democrat. And then try desperately to attack me , for some inane reasoning. Ok--so put a number on it. How many posts per day/per week should you have if you are Ivy educated? How many if you are State school educated? And then how many if you only have a high school diploma. Thanks paradise. Ill be interested in your response. I imagine you are saying that certain types of people do things in certain types of ways. I know this is what you have said in the past--but it's interesting, given your initial protest about generalizations.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Jimmy is real. And rarely posts. hmm... (and this guy fashions himself intelligent? )
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 08:36 PM
and paul? what are you? a golf course checker inner? Who cares--what is typical, is to avoid questions you cant answer, about subjects you pretend to know much about. here is paul's shortened view of the world. Waaaa the rich have it too easy---waaaaaa why cant i be rich. I think im smart. My mom told me im smart. waaaaaa. Cry baby with a mediocre life --that resents the way things turned out..... \ The SAT's are for rich kids...hahahaha this despite all the tilted playing fields that endeavor to address socio economic differences and recognitions of cultural separations. Financial aid to provide for those in need, and Supreme Court reinforced quotas that promote diversity. Tons of evidence both academic and anecdotal but paul says "news flash --they dont!!" Awesome research paul..... you get a d- for your paper....intersting theory with a non-existent supporting body. d-. you cant get in to the school of your choice..... and its not because of your income level--its because you are a dolt.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 08:37 PM
You might also--look up the word "ironic" and read what it means. There is nothing ironic in a veteran talking about various subjects on veterans day. Again--you are not too smart--even when you use big words (for you) like irony.
sebastian dangerfield November 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Doug Yes...pauld and ed are same person. Hey doug...when you call me insane .....attack? Or no attack? check out chronology....paul ( ed tyrell) calls people naive, dumb and dim. Let me know doug when i " personally attack paul". And see if you are " sane enuf to notice who attacks who?..... tell me who said something first me or jimmy pursey? Me or paradise green. You imply you are rational. Lets see if you can actually properly attribute attacks. Or if your politics may somehow interfere with sanity. Now, as yet, i havent met a dem who is interested in speaking truthfully But my contrubution to this thread began with a simple disagreement with the concepts of paul. I said financial forms are better wundows into a students ability to pay than a sat score......but if i say something paul d needs to go below the belt... so i await for your observation of first attack. thanks doug
Most Popular Poster November 12, 2012 at 09:38 PM
LOL@jim laguardia. You should see squirmie (Jimmy Pursey) and his antics on the News Times forum. You think he's bad here?


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