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Any advice on gap years?

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Lisafuller
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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:07 pm

Swn4 wrote:
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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That’s a great tip, unfortunately my girl is terrible at math (didn’t even take it at A levels, took KI instead) so I doubt she’ll want to take any math/math related classes in college. Part of the reason why she’s more interested in schools with a relatively open curriculum rather than a core curriculum with a lot of focus on gen-ed.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:09 pm

Swn4 wrote:
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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That’s a good point, although perhaps she’ll be able to find a group of kids looking for a roommate? Honestly I don’t want her to make any decision with housing at the center of her choice. I’m sure it will work itself out, more concerned about actually getting in.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:14 pm

malcontent wrote:
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.
She’s pretty set on either poli sci, psych or government (to become a lawyer, following in her father’s footsteps). She’s got her heart set on Dartmouth for now, and frankly I think it would be a great fit. Just don’t think she’ll get in this year judging from the way the cycles been going. Not sure if Dartmouth prefers transfer or gap year students though, would be great if anyone could give any advice.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:16 pm

NYY1 wrote:
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.
If the question is location, I think syracuse is a pretty good choice. Its in NY, but not NYC so she can get to the city if she needs but otherwise it’s quieter and more conducive.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:18 pm

NYY1 wrote:
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.
I’m just interested to see if more colleges follow suit. At this moment it seems like a number of colleges are considering removing standardized tests as a requirement altogether (after all of they’ve gone without them for years they must not need them that badly).

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:27 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
malcontent wrote:
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.
She’s pretty set on either poli sci, psych or government (to become a lawyer, following in her father’s footsteps). She’s got her heart set on Dartmouth for now, and frankly I think it would be a great fit. Just don’t think she’ll get in this year judging from the way the cycles been going. Not sure if Dartmouth prefers transfer or gap year students though, would be great if anyone could give any advice.
If it is Dartmouth, transferring in looks tough especially now.

https://www.campusreel.org/how-to-trans ... quirements


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:28 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:04 pm
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.
Interesting and good insights. The second order effect / unintended consequences bearing its head. Not saying deferrals were a bad policy (schools or students) but it just created an issue further down the line. Hope you guys can manage through it.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:42 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:18 pm
NYY1 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 9:17 am
Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 26 Mar 2022 11:15 pm


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.
I’m just interested to see if more colleges follow suit. At this moment it seems like a number of colleges are considering removing standardized tests as a requirement altogether (after all of they’ve gone without them for years they must not need them that badly).
I feel like there will be more that do the same. Maybe not the majority but a few years from now I'd guess that it (no standardized test required) won't be rare either.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 4:41 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:04 pm
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.
That makes a lot of sense and matches up with two cases I know personally.

I have a nephew who is applying this year and despite having great results, was rejected by schools in the top 20-35, only accepted by schools in the top 35-60 range.

Two years ago my colleague was surprised her son got accepted at Berkeley even through his results were not that great. He got advanced standing and his first year at Berkeley was all remote — he was able to do it from Singapore.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 5:39 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:14 pm
She’s pretty set on either poli sci, psych or government (to become a lawyer, following in her father’s footsteps). She’s got her heart set on Dartmouth for now, and frankly I think it would be a great fit. Just don’t think she’ll get in this year judging from the way the cycles been going. Not sure if Dartmouth prefers transfer or gap year students though, would be great if anyone could give any advice.
Keep the faith until you hear either way. Maybe if took non-standard subject combination the average grades will be easier to overcome. I think part of the game here is having some way to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Given your comments on math, did she take triple humanities in upper sec and then three humanities for the H2s (besides Knowledge and Inquiry)? There will definitely be some who did these and did very well but probably fewer than the fairly standard triple science and then PCME / BCME combis all of you are aware of.

One other thought, if she is trying to go to Law School, not sure how much the undegrad matters? Or is is still grades (anywhere), LSAT, and other intangibles that get you in? Just not sure if you want to try and work backward from the next point as it relates to gap year/try again, take whatever comes up and stick with it, or try to transfer, etc.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 5:56 pm

malcontent wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 4:41 pm
That makes a lot of sense and matches up with two cases I know personally.

I have a nephew who is applying this year and despite having great results, was rejected by schools in the top 20-35, only accepted by schools in the top 35-60 range.

Two years ago my colleague was surprised her son got accepted at Berkeley even through his results were not that great. He got advanced standing and his first year at Berkeley was all remote — he was able to do it from Singapore.
There's a lot of luck in all of this, regardless of exactly where the results/portfolio stand. From the outside we'll never have all the numbers, but there are likely a lot of demographic figures at play, both within the university as a whole and within specific programmes. For better or worse, I'd guess it is likely that many places are only going to take in so many people that are the "same," so if you are on the right or wrong side of an imbalance, it can swing things for or against you. At the end of the day, they also need to admit enough people that can pay the full sticker price as well.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 8:03 pm

Swn4 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:27 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
malcontent wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 12:22 am


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.
She’s pretty set on either poli sci, psych or government (to become a lawyer, following in her father’s footsteps). She’s got her heart set on Dartmouth for now, and frankly I think it would be a great fit. Just don’t think she’ll get in this year judging from the way the cycles been going. Not sure if Dartmouth prefers transfer or gap year students though, would be great if anyone could give any advice.
If it is Dartmouth, transferring in looks tough especially now.

https://www.campusreel.org/how-to-trans ... quirements


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Would you say, then, that she’d have an easier time taking a gap year, beefing up her portfolio than entering as a transfer?

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 8:04 pm

NYY1 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 5:56 pm
malcontent wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 4:41 pm
That makes a lot of sense and matches up with two cases I know personally.

I have a nephew who is applying this year and despite having great results, was rejected by schools in the top 20-35, only accepted by schools in the top 35-60 range.

Two years ago my colleague was surprised her son got accepted at Berkeley even through his results were not that great. He got advanced standing and his first year at Berkeley was all remote — he was able to do it from Singapore.
There's a lot of luck in all of this, regardless of exactly where the results/portfolio stand. From the outside we'll never have all the numbers, but there are likely a lot of demographic figures at play, both within the university as a whole and within specific programmes. For better or worse, I'd guess it is likely that many places are only going to take in so many people that are the "same," so if you are on the right or wrong side of an imbalance, it can swing things for or against you. At the end of the day, they also need to admit enough people that can pay the full sticker price as well.
You’re spot on. The college admissions game is shrouded in secrecy, the best we can do is guess. And with most schools increasing their focus on diversity, chances are the more unique you are the less your common stats matter.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 8:06 pm

NYY1 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:28 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:04 pm
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.
Interesting and good insights. The second order effect / unintended consequences bearing its head. Not saying deferrals were a bad policy (schools or students) but it just created an issue further down the line. Hope you guys can manage through it.
Yup. Wish the schools could have had greater foresight and been more reserved in the past admissions cycles.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 8:07 pm

NYY1 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:42 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:18 pm
NYY1 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 9:17 am

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.
I’m just interested to see if more colleges follow suit. At this moment it seems like a number of colleges are considering removing standardized tests as a requirement altogether (after all of they’ve gone without them for years they must not need them that badly).
I feel like there will be more that do the same. Maybe not the majority but a few years from now I'd guess that it (no standardized test required) won't be rare either.
I agree, perhaps the change won’t happen fast enough to impact my daughter (at any rate, her scores were competitive) but maybe in the next 5 or so years.

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