Any advice on gap years?

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Lisafuller
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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:14 pm

Swn4 wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 3:53 pm
For US schools, you get advanced credit for A levels too.


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Pretty sure this is only the case for more clear cut subjects like math and Econ, other more specialized subjects like KI (which my daughter took) wouldn’t transfer as easily.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:15 pm

malcontent wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 6:07 pm
Swn4 wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 3:53 pm
For US schools, you get advanced credit for A levels too.
True. My daughter is in the IP stream and just started JC taking PEMC (Physics, Econ, Math, Chem). She will get college credit for all of those at virtually any US university. She wants to try for a UC school, so JC is required.

I was surprised that she got an official secondary school graduation document even though she is in IP… with that, she could have gone directly to university in the US, not to the top 10-20, but with her grades, she’d have many great options starting below the top 20.

I expect consideration of SAT scores will come back in the next year or two, otherwise the college board wouldn’t be investing in this new computer based testing system.
Agree on the SAT, they’ve been test-optional for years now, don’t see them keeping up with it.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:15 pm

I am not sure if it still happens after COVID. But certainly before then.

https://blog.collegevine.com/an-introdu ... -programs/


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:15 pm

malcontent wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 7:36 pm
NYY1 wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 6:45 pm
OK, wow. I didn't realize it was automatic at many schools. One I follow, only AP and IB are listed as automatic.
While there are no consistent rules or policies, if a class doesn’t automatically transfer over — you can always raise the issue and get a course considered for credit. As long as it can be established that the course is reasonably equivalent to a course offered by the school, they will do their best to ensure you get the credit you deserve. Sometimes that is as easy as providing details like the course outline.

Given the thousands of higher education institutions in the US, the frequency of transfers between these schools and the lack of standardization among classes… this is an extremely common function, and they have smart folks who can make these determinations, in some case, on the spot.
So she could use her 4H2 subjects for credit?

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:16 pm

NYY1 wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 6:45 pm
OK, wow. I didn't realize it was automatic at many schools. One I follow, only AP and IB are listed as automatic.
Perhaps reaching out to the schools directly would do something?

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:22 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Swn4 wrote:
Mon, 21 Mar 2022 8:19 pm
Lisafuller wrote:My daughter is fielding college offers right now but hasn’t really gotten into any of her top choices. My guess is due to her transcript- despite being from RI and taking the hardest courses offered her grades were pretty average, nothing amazing while the schools she applied to are mostly ivies/very selective liberal arts colleges. She’s asked me for advice on whether to take a gap year but frankly I’m pretty stumped. She’s been up to a lot of good since she’s graduated- taken up 3 pretty good jobs including a really nice internship, assuming she keeps this up during her gap year will her chances of acceptance go up? Or would it be better to enroll at one of her lower tier colleges for a year and transfer? She’s not too keen one the latter and frankly I don’t love the idea of spending $60K on an experience she’s not very invested in. If anyone has any thoughts or advice I’d greatly appreciate it.
I’ve been interviewing Year 1 students at NUS for the past few years and the men are much clearer in what they want to do at university compared to women because of the 2 years of NS.
However, the acceptance rates for the very selective US schools is dismally low these days and even students with stellar grades don’t get admitted to every school they apply to. It is very much like a lucky draw amongst the pool of very qualified students. It will not be easy to stand out even with a Gap Year.
In all honesty, the quality of the undergraduate education at the top 20-50 US schools will probably not differ too much academically. I’d recommend choosing a school that fits your personality & interests rather than looking at its # rank.
A friend’s daughter did not get in for Freshman year but instead got offered a guaranteed sophomore spot* at Cornell provided she maintained a certain Freshman year GPA elsewhere. Much to her Cornell Alum parents’ chagrin, she refused to transfer to Cornell because she loved her Marching band experience at Syracuse University so much.
So your daughter might find her tribe during her Freshman year elsewhere and decide that she does not want to transfer after all!

*The university some times does this to account for movements out after Freshman year.


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Wow! My daughter is actually incredibly keen on Syracuse, she got in a couple days ago and has been seriously considering attending. I’ve never heard of an ivy offering sophomore admission though… is that common?
Syracuse is a great choice - not cheap though! A big plus during the winter are the underground tunnels connecting the dorms to the cafeteria.


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:26 pm

Swn4 wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:22 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Swn4 wrote:
Mon, 21 Mar 2022 8:19 pm

I’ve been interviewing Year 1 students at NUS for the past few years and the men are much clearer in what they want to do at university compared to women because of the 2 years of NS.
However, the acceptance rates for the very selective US schools is dismally low these days and even students with stellar grades don’t get admitted to every school they apply to. It is very much like a lucky draw amongst the pool of very qualified students. It will not be easy to stand out even with a Gap Year.
In all honesty, the quality of the undergraduate education at the top 20-50 US schools will probably not differ too much academically. I’d recommend choosing a school that fits your personality & interests rather than looking at its # rank.
A friend’s daughter did not get in for Freshman year but instead got offered a guaranteed sophomore spot* at Cornell provided she maintained a certain Freshman year GPA elsewhere. Much to her Cornell Alum parents’ chagrin, she refused to transfer to Cornell because she loved her Marching band experience at Syracuse University so much.
So your daughter might find her tribe during her Freshman year elsewhere and decide that she does not want to transfer after all!

*The university some times does this to account for movements out after Freshman year.


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Wow! My daughter is actually incredibly keen on Syracuse, she got in a couple days ago and has been seriously considering attending. I’ve never heard of an ivy offering sophomore admission though… is that common?
Syracuse is a great choice - not cheap though! A big plus during the winter are the underground tunnels connecting the dorms to the cafeteria.


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I’m relieved to hear that, and yes it is pretty pricey!

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Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:29 pm

On your question about transferring in Sophomore (or even Junior) year, it is not common but it is possible.
If you do consider that route - look very carefully into whether the school offers guaranteed on-campus housing for transfer students. It will not be easy to find off campus housing since you will only find out late in the Spring and most upper classmen will already have signed leases in the fall or early spring.


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 12:22 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:02 pm
True. We had a long talk yesterday about her plans - she gave me a pretty comprehensive plan and I do feel pretty good about having her go through with it. Now she’s just wondering if she would have a better chance getting into one of her top choices as a transfer after doing a year in another college or doing her own thing for a year.
It depends what her top choices are, the better the school, the harder it is to transfer. Even schools in the top 20-25 generally require an almost a perfect GPA at a community college to get consideration. You can reach out to the target school to find out more specifics.

The most important thing, what is her major is going to be? Let’s say it’s business for example, the top 10 undergrad business programs in the US include prestigious schools like Pennsylvania, Berkeley, MIT, Michigan… but surprise surprise… Indiana University also makes the top 10 with their top notch business program, beating out many prestigious institutions, but WAY easier to get into.

If she doesn’t know what she wants to major in, then it could make sense to delay or take community college courses and transfer once she has a better idea of her major - since that is a key factor in deciding where to go.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 7:37 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:11 pm
Do you think, then, that her odds are better as a transfer applicant than a gap year applicant?
I don't really know what the answer here is, as it probably depends a lot on the specific schools involved and how Year 1 goes (which can't be known for sure, although I would think your kid will do very well in U.S. system).

FWIW, here's where I'd come out:
a) Do gap year if happy with gap year and think the plan will further one's development. Try the admissions again and hope one can improve but don't spend the year solely (or mainly) on hopes of the admissions.

b) My personal opinion is that if your child is reasonably happy with Syracuse (many congrats!), I would take that offer and go from there. The transfer option is still open or she may find out that Syracuse is great for another 3 years. I think we all hope for certain schools (or more generally that our kids are always doing well and have the best options available to them at any point in time), but it is also clear to me that any school itself only means so much (at every level of education). So on balance I think it is better to keep learning and developing further wherever you can and work hard for the next goal, whatever it is (transfer, internships, jobs, etc). For better or worse, we don't always get what we want and we can't let any one thing become bigger than it is.

All that being said, I do realize this is a lot easier to type out and I may feel differently a few years from now.

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:16 pm
Perhaps reaching out to the schools directly would do something?
Yeah, I haven't looked at it that much yet. I looked at a few more schools briefly and more do take Singapore A Levels, so I think the other comment that generally speaking you will get credit is true. The one school I was looking at seems to be relatively stringent on what they give out for IB as well.

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:12 pm
Do you know how one could go about taking the AP exams? Would this even offer her any advantage?
I'm not sure if it would. I thought more about trying to gain credits but if you can get credit for the H2s then there is no need. I guess if she is applying for a specific programme you could try to pass other subjects (not the H2 subjects) that are applicable if she has the knowledge. But I probably wouldn't spend too much time studying/preparing here.

Good luck and hope some more good news arrives soon!

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 9:17 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:15 pm
malcontent wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 6:07 pm
I expect consideration of SAT scores will come back in the next year or two, otherwise the college board wouldn’t be investing in this new computer based testing system.
Agree on the SAT, they’ve been test-optional for years now, don’t see them keeping up with it.
Another option is that the test is redesigned so everyone scores 1600 (OK, maybe not that extreme but if you've been following the NYC High School admissions or Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology admissions the issue will be clear).

Maybe not a surprise but the California State system also whacked the tests the other day (following UC system). Some schools may keep, as they need some form of calibration (no common standard there) but I wouldn't be surprised to see many make optional permanently.

I guess I don't know all of the decision makers/incentives and whether the tests are a money printing machine for those involved.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 9:33 am

malcontent wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 12:22 am
The most important thing, what is her major is going to be? Let’s say it’s business for example, the top 10 undergrad business programs in the US include prestigious schools like Pennsylvania, Berkeley, MIT, Michigan… but surprise surprise… Indiana University also makes the top 10 with their top notch business program, beating out many prestigious institutions, but WAY easier to get into.
I think geographic location is also a consideration here. All things the same, I would try to go to school near where you want to work (internship opportunities in earlier years, networking, etc) if the schools (or specific major progamme) are about the same. The placement stats are a bit of chicken-egg; many will stick regionally when looking for a job vs. trying to move across country. But I think there are regional recruiting biases as you start moving down the list.

Personally, I would also have a bias for a similar school in a larger urban area if I thought the other considerations were about equal, but based on where some schools are located this may be a constraint. Maybe with the online networking it is easier to be anywhere these days (and also easier to move around as a result).

Either way, kids that grew up in Singapore might not really know at this point what some of these other places are like (on day to day basis) or appreciate the differences.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 12:09 pm

This is an idea to consider if she is really dead set on trying to transfer after Freshman year.
Don’t take the advanced credits from A levels and increase the likelihood of getting A+/A for the required math/science courses during Freshman year. This will help her GPA if she wants to try transferring.
BTW, a lot of the US kids will take Calculus I & II despite having taken the AP class in HS. The Singapore kids tend to take the advanced credit and still do fine taking higher level Calc during Freshman year but there are some SG kids who don’t.


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 12:58 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:14 pm
Swn4 wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 3:53 pm
For US schools, you get advanced credit for A levels too.


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Pretty sure this is only the case for more clear cut subjects like math and Econ, other more specialized subjects like KI (which my daughter took) wouldn’t transfer as easily.
KI definitely would be a challenge, I believe.

Lisa, curious — did she submit her final A-level results (when they came out in Feb) for consideration to the schools she applied?
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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:04 pm

malcontent wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 12:58 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:14 pm
Swn4 wrote:
Tue, 22 Mar 2022 3:53 pm
For US schools, you get advanced credit for A levels too.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Pretty sure this is only the case for more clear cut subjects like math and Econ, other more specialized subjects like KI (which my daughter took) wouldn’t transfer as easily.
KI definitely would be a challenge, I believe.

Lisa, curious — did she submit her final A-level results (when they came out in Feb) for consideration to the schools she applied?
Yes, the higher ed office submitted the results on her behalf. She did well for the As so if anything I believe the results would have helped her case. Problem is just that college acceptance rates are at a record low this year, for 2 reasons - the first is just that they are seeing more applicants than ever with the test-optional policy and the second that they need to accommodate all the admits who deferred last year for COVID. My friend is on the board at Purdue and said they (like many schools) over accepted the last 2 years since classes were largely online, so now that they’re moving back to in person school, they’ll need to accommodate the horde of kids coming in and lower their freshman intake accordingly.

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