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Visiting Colleges & Unis Around PHL/EWR/JFK

Visiting Colleges & Unis Around PHL/EWR/JFK

Old Aug 7, 18, 4:08 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead View Post
I hope that you seldom, if ever, green-light the admission of applicants with such parents.
Let's just say they've made my reports much quicker to prepare.

The faculty at your institution should be routinely treating you to lunch as a tangible thanks for rejecting the snowflakes with the helicopter parents whenever reasonably practical, or even as standard operating procedure.
Not sure they know! But I like your thinking. My response is to ask the parent how often her parents contacted her professors to dispute grades.

Last edited by Analise; Aug 8, 18 at 6:40 am
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Old Aug 7, 18, 8:05 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Not sure they know! But I like your thinking. My response is to ask the parent often her parents contacted her professors to dispute grades.
Your response is excellent. Apples of gold in settings of silver, no question.

Regarding those proffies, gambling is most unwise, but I would wager heavily that they do not know. It is unfortunate. Ever get any of them to come down to the trenches to meet & greet prospective students and helicopter parents? I've heard a few stories regarding the entitled attitudes displayed at "college night-" type events. Most discouraging.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 6:44 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead View Post
Your response is excellent. Apples of gold in settings of silver, no question.
Thanks!

Ever get any of them to come down to the trenches to meet & greet prospective students and helicopter parents? I've heard a few stories regarding the entitled attitudes displayed at "college night-" type events. Most discouraging.
Not in my experience. One or two have gone to accepted student gatherings.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 1:48 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Unfortunately that one student is not alone. This reeks of a college counselor who is probably assigned hundreds of seniors who clearly can't give each student the individual guidance needed to make a smart roster of schools from which to apply. This happens nearly everywhere including at top public schools across the country.
In the counselor's defense, she advised against that tactic

Originally Posted by cestmoi123 View Post
This is key. Spreadsheets are great, but a college counselor with a lot of experience and good relationships with admissions directors who knows your child is a hugely valuable resource, both for how to apply, and how to form a realistic strategy for where to apply.
I disagree, those 3 books, the early visits, and the spreadsheets were helpful in starting the conversation with the counselor.

Originally Posted by cestmoi123 View Post
BTW, love the userid! And yes, we are having fun.
I love it as well, but I first thought that an OP with an id like that would be from Baltimore. Makes you want to say "Hon".

Last edited by AMflier; Aug 13, 18 at 10:03 pm
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Old Aug 31, 18, 3:47 pm
  #50  
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Since the last time I posted in the thread, we sat down with our school counselor to talk college possibilities and we're firming up our travel plans. My son has been reading
Colleges That Change Lives Colleges That Change Lives
which was suggested by a respondent in the thread, but it is hard to say if it has influenced his plans much. He included Ursinus College in his spreadsheet after reading about it in that book, and we might include it, but the admission rate and SAT range were a little off-putting, to be direct.

We're still waiting for test scores. He just took the SAT that was recycled, so who knows if the scores will be invalidated. Regardless, the counselor-- very seasoned, long tenure at this high school where my son is in the IB program-- believes that he has a reasonable shot at the campuses we're looking at. So we're for sure planning to visit U Penn, Drexel, Princeton, and Cornell, and probably Lehigh on the way to Cornell. We're on the fence regarding USMA or USNA.

If you were redeeming miles to fly from LAX to either PHL or EWR, would you prefer AA or AS? We're looking for business class availability.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 4:56 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
guv1976’s advice is good. I’d add to that the following:

If you want to spend time in NY or Philly, do it at the beginning or end of the trip, to minimize the hassle of dealing with a rental car around the city—parking it, driving it in/out of town, etc. Also be aware that renting cars at airports is always more expensive than renting them from city locations. So you might want to fly into PHL, spend your time there car-free (very easy to do, since Penn is right in town and easily accessible by public transit/Uber/taxi), then rent a car to drive to Princeton and West Point. If you can find a rental office for your car company at a Metro North train station between West Point and NY, maybe drop it there to spare yourself the bother of driving into Manhattan.

Taking the train between Philly/NY and Princeton is certainly possible but be aware that the main train station on the NJ Transit line from PHL is Princeton Junction, not in Princeton itself—from there, you have to get a cab or the “Dinky” train to the Princeton station. Given that and the slow speed of the SEPTA/NJT connection, if it were me, I’d just drive.
During a business trip, I made a swing from NYC to Princeton University by train. I did not think changing at Princeton Junction was a big deal. It was actually kind of fun to pretend I was on the Hogwarts Express. And the architecture at Princeton allowed me to continue believing that the train really did take me to Hogwarts. Beautiful gothic campus.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 8:07 am
  #52  
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Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead View Post
We're still waiting for test scores. He just took the SAT that was recycled, so who knows if the scores will be invalidated.
Don't count on it. The College Board announced only those caught cheating will have their scores invalidated.

This particular student from the LA Times article has a bigger problem than his SAT scores especially if he goes on interviews.

On Saturday, Huzail Hassan was one of the thousands of anxious students across the United States who took the SAT, the college entrance exam that’s been a dreaded rite of passage for millions of American high school students since 1926.

“As soon as I walked out, I was feeling like I didn’t do my best,” Hassan said Sunday.


The 16-year-old junior at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga said he spent more than 200 hours studying for the exam. He was also taking classes at a local community college.

“I didn’t really have a break,” he said. “I just really wanted to do good on the SAT.”
Perhaps he should have parceled some of the 200 hours on mastering elementary school grammar? Perhaps he should have asked for anonymity?

We're on the fence regarding USMA or USNA.
This caught my eye. FYI — If your son is considering either of these two academies, he might want to secure the nominations he needs for the application as soon as possible. Some legislators might only nominate one candidate from his/her district.
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Last edited by Analise; Sep 2, 18 at 8:16 am
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Old Sep 2, 18, 9:35 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Don't count on it. The College Board announced only those caught cheating will have their scores invalidated.
At the location where he took the test there were a pair of "limo buses" that arrived carrying Chinese students from mainland China, who had come over just to take the test, so when the story emerged-- many of his friends were also testing-- of course they were discussing it with considerable energy. (At least one of them had spoken with a few of the students who came in on the busses, which is how they learned where they had come from.) We made him an offer regarding his scores on the test; I'm more concerned about having to pay up than I am regarding the invalidation of the scores.

Originally Posted by Analise View Post
This particular student from the LA Times article has a bigger problem than his SAT scores especially if he goes on interviews. Perhaps he should have parceled some of the 200 hours on mastering elementary school grammar? Perhaps he should have asked for anonymity?
I find it hard to imagine the struggling LA Times can afford to pay reporters to stand in front of a testing center to interview students as they exit. They must have gotten him on Twitter or Reddit or some equivalent. (Rancho Cucamonga is a bit of a drive from downtown LA.) His school doesn't rank very well in comparison to many around here, but at least he took the SAT. In some of the high schools around here, a good number of the kids don't even bother.

Originally Posted by Analise View Post
This caught my eye. FYI If your son is considering either of these two academies, he might want to secure the nominations he needs for the application as soon as possible. Some legislators might only nominate one candidate from his/her district.
After watching some YouTube videos of Plebe/Cadet life, I think he has concluded that sort of thing is not for him. If we go, it is purely to see/experience the campus. Military life is not for everyone, but a couple of my friends told me that USMA is really pretty interesting just to visit. When I was younger I read some books by William Manchester, including "American Caesar," and I often thought that if I get out that way, why not have a look?
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Old Oct 23, 18, 1:38 pm
  #54  
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We really appreciate the advice and contributions of everyone on this thread.

Our plans are firming up... flights are booked, and now we're considering the on-ground portion. We're flying in to Boston on a redeye from LAX on a Sunday morning. Six days later, we fly out of PHL on another redeye. As an added bonus we were able to get MileSAAver deals for both flights, and instead of the ~220K AA miles I expected to spend, they will set me back only 90K miles.

We're wondering about a few things. The general idea is to get from Boston to Philadelphia, but never having been in the area, I saw no harm in asking what anyone in the thread thinks of our tentative plans. We're renting a car in BOS and dropping it at PHL, so we're mobile.

We're looking for a stable base in the Philadelphia area for 3 nights, give or take, at the end of our week. I have a good number of IHG, Hyatt, and Hilton points, so I am looking to use some, and I was thinking suburbia (maybe King of Prussia) vs. downtown or closer to the airport. Those of you who are familiar with the area, is there a better choice? My son is a swimmer, he eats a good amount, so free parking and free hotel breakfasts are OK with me.

We're still waiting for PSAT scores-- no idea how much they might influence our plans-- but at this point we are thinking to visit Rensselaer, Cornell, Lehigh, Princeton, U Penn, and one or two others as the schedule permits. We have SAT scores and his mathematics scores, in particular, are very good, but we've not sent them anywhere yet. From what other parents who've been down this road tell me, the flow of mailers will probably increase once the PSAT scores are released.

Our flight home is on a Saturday evening, so we expect to have Saturday morning/afternoon to do something in/around Philadelphia, and we're open to any ideas/suggestions.
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Old Oct 23, 18, 1:43 pm
  #55  
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What will the drop off fee be for the rental car? Also, why fly into BOS when you aren't visiting any colleges near Boston? For this group of schools, I'd stay south and west of NYC.
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Old Oct 23, 18, 2:31 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What will the drop off fee be for the rental car? Also, why fly into BOS when you aren't visiting any colleges near Boston? For this group of schools, I'd stay south and west of NYC.
Car was booked through Costco Travel; fees are not broken down, but fees and taxes are around $150. If you have a better idea, I can cancel and rebook.

Regarding Boston, we talked about seeing the USS Constitution and, time permitting, the Springfield Armory Museum. So when I saw the MileSAAver redeye in first, I thought "why not?" We're coming in early on a Sunday morning.
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Old Oct 23, 18, 2:34 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead View Post
Car was booked through Costco Travel; fees are not broken down, but fees and taxes are around $150. If you have a better idea, I can cancel and rebook.

Regarding Boston, we talked about seeing the USS Constitution and, time permitting, the Springfield Armory Museum. So when I saw the MileSAAver redeye in first, I thought "why not?" We're coming in early on a Sunday morning.
That seems very reasonable for the car.

BTW, it's a nice set of colleges.
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Old Oct 23, 18, 3:16 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
That seems very reasonable for the car.

BTW, it's a nice set of colleges.
Hertz wanted around $1000 for the same rental I can get from Costco for less than $500.

We arrived at this list of colleges in part because of all the advice and ideas we got from this thread. We're very grateful. To be direct, I probably would not have considered Cornell or Lehigh without the input we received here.

Regarding southwest of NYC, do you have a favored location (or locations) in mind?
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Old Oct 23, 18, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead View Post
We really appreciate the advice and contributions of everyone on this thread.

Our plans are firming up... flights are booked, and now we're considering the on-ground portion. We're flying in to Boston on a redeye from LAX on a Sunday morning. Six days later, we fly out of PHL on another redeye. As an added bonus we were able to get MileSAAver deals for both flights, and instead of the ~220K AA miles I expected to spend, they will set me back only 90K miles.

We're wondering about a few things. The general idea is to get from Boston to Philadelphia, but never having been in the area, I saw no harm in asking what anyone in the thread thinks of our tentative plans. We're renting a car in BOS and dropping it at PHL, so we're mobile.

We're looking for a stable base in the Philadelphia area for 3 nights, give or take, at the end of our week. I have a good number of IHG, Hyatt, and Hilton points, so I am looking to use some, and I was thinking suburbia (maybe King of Prussia) vs. downtown or closer to the airport. Those of you who are familiar with the area, is there a better choice? My son is a swimmer, he eats a good amount, so free parking and free hotel breakfasts are OK with me.

We're still waiting for PSAT scores-- no idea how much they might influence our plans-- but at this point we are thinking to visit Rensselaer, Cornell, Lehigh, Princeton, U Penn, and one or two others as the schedule permits. We have SAT scores and his mathematics scores, in particular, are very good, but we've not sent them anywhere yet. From what other parents who've been down this road tell me, the flow of mailers will probably increase once the PSAT scores are released.

Our flight home is on a Saturday evening, so we expect to have Saturday morning/afternoon to do something in/around Philadelphia, and we're open to any ideas/suggestions.
Wow, this thread has really taken many turns! As to the Philadelphia Hotel, I would consider staying in the city, not in the suburbs, to have more access to sightseeing, etc.
Philadelphia is a great walking city. There is a Hilton on the Penn Campus which is decent, and staying there would allow you to really feel the campus, eat at the many food trucks, etc. It is walking distance to the Amtrak Station, as well, if you have ditched the car by then.

One of our children went to Princeton in Engineering - she picked it over MIT - because of the ability to have a well rounded college experience. The program is small and
excellent but, of course, many would not make the same decision. Another of our children went to Penn...seeing one small college on our tour (in this case, Swarthmore)
took small schools totally out of the running, so I agree with the advice above about seeing smaller schools.

This process is fraught for many reasons, but there are an endless number of fantastic colleges out there, so have fun doing this. It is true quality time with
your children.
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Old Oct 23, 18, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Mickidon View Post
[...] seeing one small college on our tour (in this case, Swarthmore)
took small schools totally out of the running, so I agree with the advice above about seeing smaller schools.
[...] It is true quality time with your children.
We have a couple smaller schools that are also being considered. In a short time he (my son) will spend a few days at Letourneau, and his take on that experience will help finalize our plans. His plans have evolved, and I'm sure that evolution will get a rapid increase after these trips.
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