October SAT Scores Are In!

Arthur’s SAT scores from October 6th posted today and I am happy to report an improvement in his overall score.  He actually improved significantly in all three areas (critical reading, math and writing).  He upped his critical reading score by 40 points, math by 30 points and writing by 50 points.  Although I am pleased; I would certainly like to see a much higher aggregate score.  Nonetheless, these results are definitely good enough for him to attend any college of his choice (his grade point average is really high, according to his latest progress report card).  Colleges look at grade point averages, SAT and/or ACT scores and primarily base their decisions on these factors.

I don’t want to reveal Arthur’s aggregate SAT scores here (he has friends and teachers who read my blog and I don’t want embarrass him).  Besides, he may be telling all of his friends that he scored 2400 points (combined test results from all three 800-point sections), which is a perfect score. I can tell you he did not get a perfect score.

The next SAT exam is scheduled for November 1, 2012.  It’s too late to register for the November 1st exam (registration deadline was October 22, 2012).  However, another is slated for December 1, 2012 – it’s important to register your high school junior or senior prior to November 1, 2012 to avoid late registration fees.  The registration fee is $50.00 and if you’ve already registered and would like to change the testing location you must submit an additional fee of $25.00.  Register today at College Board {dot} com.

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Waiting for SAT Scores to Post

My son’s SAT scores from October 6th will be available in three days and I am anxiously awaiting the results.  I hope he scored higher than the first time, but he’s still eligible to apply for any college of his choice.  Whether he will be accepted will depend on several other factors.  His grade point average is well over 3.0; so I know he should be OK.  I will keep you posted on whether he improved in a few days.  If you have high school kids, then tell me how they are doing on their PSAT and SAT scores.  Are they having to retake these tests to improve their overall scores?

My son’s high school offered a Saturday SAT workshop, which ran for three or four Saturdays and the cost was only $100 dollars total.  I think it really helps the kids to study together in small groups.  They were able to ask questions on areas in which they encountered difficulties while taking the SAT and many of their questions were answered at the workshop.  So, check with your son or daughter’s high school to see if these sorts of workshops are offered.

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How to Choose the Best College for Your Son or Daughter

Should selecting the appropriate college be the student’s choice, parent’s choice or both? I feel overwhelmed right now, because my son will be applying for college admission this November 2012. I want a school that’s affordable, safe and well-respected. Is that too much to ask? Maybe not. My son Arthur currently has about a 3.3 grade point average and he is hoping after completion of his senior year; to increase his grade point average to about a 3.7. With that being said, he can probably apply to and get accepted into several different colleges or universities.

My number one concern is cost. I did manage to save a small amount for his college tuition and housing expenses, but what he has in savings will probably only cover the first two years of college. So, he will have to get a part-time job to finish his junior and senior years of college. A job is OK, because it will prepare him for the real world. A job builds character and prepares these college kids for what life will be like once they are actually working in corporate America. I suggested he apply for an on-campus job, possibly in the bookstore or student union. This way he will not have to travel too far from his apartment or dorm room to get to work. In the long run, this will save time, money and worries.

Selecting a public or private college or university is my next concern. He can attend a public state funded university for about $20,600 annually which includes tuition, room and board. State college enrollment on average is about 31,000 students. On the other hand, a private school would cost approximately $38,000 annually in tuition costs alone. Room and Board would be an additional $15,000. A private school, such as Princeton University has an enrollment of approximately 7,800 total students. However, in order to attend a private college, Arthur would have to obtain student loans, grants and/or scholarships to help cover his expenses.

A private college would allow him smaller classes and greater ability to communicate with his professors. On the other hand, a larger university would create a larger lecture room environment and possibly a feeling of alienation between my son and his college professors. I truly would like for him to attend a state funded college, simply because the costs are affordable. I just wish the class sizes were smaller. I also feel smaller class sizes equate to a safer environment.

In order to be sure you are sending your son or daughter off to a safe college, you must check the local college crime statistics. Of the top 25 most crime-rattled colleges, Harvard ranked number 25, with only 1 murder, 92 robberies, 87 aggravated assaults, 357 burglaries and 93 car thefts from 2008 through 2010. University of Alabama at Huntsville was ranked number 1 with 3 murders, 4 robberies, 10 aggravated assaults, 80 burglaries and 8 car thefts from 2008 through 2010.

How do you know a school is well-respected? I’ve based this upon the number of working graduates. If a school is not as well-respected, then I would assume the graduates are not getting hired in large numbers. For example, if a graduate from Harvard and Cal State University – Bakersfield were competing for the same job; the Harvard grad would more than likely get hired for the job before the graduate from Cal State University – Bakersfield. This is simply my opinion and my opinion alone. This means that Harvard is a much more respected and highly reputable college than that of Cal State University – Bakersfield. So it is important to research graduate students who are gainfully employed from a particular university or college. If the grads are having a difficult time finding work, then that is a signal (in my opinion) the college is not as highly respected as say an Ivy League school.

College Resources:

Find The Best Colleges – utilize this resource to compare colleges and universities. It gives you a snapshot of costs, size, acceptance rate and smart ranking.

US College Search – assists college-bound students and their parents in selecting a college that meets their particular needs. Anyone can search by Degree/Program or location.

Any College – this site is a great resource, as it contains college videos and additional resources for high school students, parents and counselors. Students can search by religious affiliations, degree programs offered, location, sports programs and/or school type.

Fast Web – great website for searching for scholarships, financial aid resources and career planning.

College Recruiter – premiere information source for college students, grads and recent graduates who are seeking employment, continuing education and business opportunities.

College Board – college search, college planning, career development. Start here for PSAT, SAT and CLEP testing needs.

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