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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 8:09 pm

malcontent wrote:
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.
But then again, “not that great” is incredibly subjective, and scores that were not that great by local standards, when adjusted to American standards must still have been quite something.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 27 Mar 2022 8:12 pm

NYY1 wrote:
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.
Yup, she took a pure humanities combination - History, Literature, KI, and Econ (although I would hardly consider Econ a humanities subject). Normally not allowed but the school made an exception after having her sit some tests to make sure she could handle such a rigorous combination.

As far as law school is concerned, it’s a pretty distant goal right now (since law is an advanced degree in the US), she’s just keeping it in mind as she selects her undergrad major so she can at least study something relevant.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Thu, 31 Mar 2022 6:18 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.
Worth reading.

https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/w ... ns-cycles/

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 31 Mar 2022 6:24 pm

NYY1 wrote:
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 6:18 pm
NYY1 wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:42 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 3:18 pm


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.
Worth reading.

https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/w ... ns-cycles/
I do think this is a good thing for most applicants, will likely make them think twice before applying so only sincere applicants are considered.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Thu, 31 Mar 2022 8:23 pm

I agree! After the Common Application form started, number of applications went way up as it had become a lot easier to apply to many schools than before. Same thing with the no SAT requirement for the past few years.


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Swn4 » Tue, 05 Apr 2022 11:01 am

Some of the Ivies announced their acceptance rates.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltni ... -2026/amp/


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by BBCDoc » Sat, 09 Apr 2022 3:50 pm

I took a gap you after my second year at Uni. By that time, I had some sense of what I wanted to do, as well as some idea to enrich my experience above my peers.

It was actually an industrial placement - ‘Sandwich year’ in the UK. My Uni wasn’t really receptive to it, but 2 years after I did it, they started to offer it.

It was fun, I built a very nice network and made some interesting lifelong friends.

Of course, very different to traveling around the world and experiencing cultures…this I do as part of my day job. Must be one of the best jobs in the world ever - I choose where to go, speak to extremely smart people, set up studies and see the fruits of such benefiting patients….sorry, I digress


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Myasis Dragon » Tue, 12 Apr 2022 2:52 am

I dropped out of college after one semester... a completely unprepared boy. It was the beginning of the information technology revolution... called "data processing" back then. After a couple of stints in constructions, pumping gas, and other manual labor jobs, I go a job as a computer operator and that began a career that spanned 30 years, a career that led from being a programmer to managing a 30 person IBM application programming department, to running my own GIS/demographics business for many years.

I always knew I was bright enough to get a degree and being non-degreed in the professional world has drawbacks, so at the age of 43 I went back to school and at age 47 graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.

So... my "gap year" lasted 25 years... I don't recommend it. My daughter took a year off after two in college. It made quite a difference. She realized that being a non-degreed female meant poor career opportunities, and whereas she had mediocre grades her first two years, when she went back she was a straight A student.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 15 Apr 2022 10:43 am

Edit:
A Florida teen who applied to some of the nation's top universities, including Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins, said he got accepted into all 27 schools on his list.


I guess people are free to apply to as many schools as they want (their time and money). But this also clogs up the system and makes it harder to review applications (and in the end you can only accept one).

Will never happen but if there was a common application system and students were limited to say 10 choices, it would make people pick i) a couple dream schools, ii) many where you have a reasonable chance (relative to the overall acceptance rate), and iii) a couple of backups. Schools would also spend less time evaluating whether the student will "actually accept" there since they'd have fewer lottery tickets outstanding. Even among bucket i), you would filter out which schools students really want vs. just applying to all the elite hoping to land (at least) one admissions ticket.

I'm sure there are some cons to such a system as well...

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/flori ... b584a3c2b2

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by malcontent » Fri, 15 Apr 2022 9:57 pm

I think both students and parents attach too much significance to school brands. I know plenty of senior execs at my employer (a Fortune 100) who didn’t go to a brand name school — made absolutely no difference.
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 » Fri, 15 Apr 2022 11:58 pm

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 15 Apr 2022 9:57 pm
I think both students and parents attach too much significance to school brands. I know plenty of senior execs at my employer (a Fortune 100) who didn’t go to a brand name school — made absolutely no difference.
Success in a job is usually some combination of a) good at a particular skill/area, b) passionate about it, and c) people skills (as you progress). Very few jobs reward knowledge, or perhaps simply output, that produces 8-10 A1s across various subjects.

That being said, recruiting to certain jobs/industries is still quite concentrated in a particular rung of schools (if you are targeting these areas). Still, 10-20 years later the distribution of who's doing well may look a lot different.

Real world success is also tied to risk taking and dealing with ambiguity, and these traits are not always measured within academics.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by BBCDoc » Sat, 16 Apr 2022 10:13 am

malcontent wrote:I think both students and parents attach too much significance to school brands. I know plenty of senior execs at my employer (a Fortune 100) who didn’t go to a brand name school — made absolutely no difference.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a good section on this (David vs Goliath?).

Choose to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond.

The former tends to give as good if not more opportunities to excel and work with top tier people.

The latter sets one up for failure with far more frequency and higher risk of dropout.


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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by NYY1 » Sat, 16 Apr 2022 10:32 am

BBCDoc wrote:
Sat, 16 Apr 2022 10:13 am
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a good section on this (David vs Goliath?).

Choose to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond.

The former tends to give as good if not more opportunities to excel and work with top tier people.

The latter sets one up for failure with far more frequency and higher risk of dropout.


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Part of the issue is that going in, nearly everyone thinks they will be "above average."

For the latter, I think much of it is one's mindset. There are kids in "top" schools that are "average" or below average within that specific cohort, but they are still doing well (relative to the total population) and enjoying themselves. At the same time, there are kids that are top 10% or top 25% in these same environments but they are miserable because they can never "catch up" to some of the other kids there.

I do believe that what one does with whatever opportunities they have is more important than just being at school/uni A vs. school/uni B.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 17 Apr 2022 11:36 pm

Swn4 wrote:
Thu, 31 Mar 2022 8:23 pm
I agree! After the Common Application form started, number of applications went way up as it had become a lot easier to apply to many schools than before. Same thing with the no SAT requirement for the past few years.


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Exactly, with apps being easier than ever, each school gets a ton of insincere applicants just trying their luck, which is unfortunate for those with a genuine interest in the school as they face greater competition.

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Re: Any advice on gap years?

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 17 Apr 2022 11:38 pm

Swn4 wrote:
Tue, 05 Apr 2022 11:01 am
Some of the Ivies announced their acceptance rates.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltni ... -2026/amp/


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It’s absolutely crazy, most of the ivies now have acceptance rates under 5%.

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