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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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College Application Q

Just curious if anyone has any advice.

College applicant sends in his application (UIC, fall 2006) and then waits for a decision. He is a good student (not great), excels in his areas of interest, not so good in areas he doesn't have any interest in.

Other applicants have already received acceptance letters. Since he hasn't heard anything, I assume he is on the bubble. I called the admissions office to check the status of the application and was told that according to the application they are not required to make a decsion until March-June 2006, however, "sought-after" students may receive a decsion prior to that timeline.

My question is this:

Is there anything I can do now (after the application has been sent) to help the chances for approval of a marginal kid ? Short of donating large sums of money (that I don't have)!!! Or is it just sit back and wait and hope there is not a huge population of really smart people applying this year.

I just hate the thought of waiting until June and then getting denied!!! He has been accepted at other schools (so he has a backup plan), but this is really where he wants to go.

Suggestions ???

- continue to pester the admissions office ?
- find alumni to write reference letters ?
- send inquiries by mail (with $$$ included)
- ???

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 11:11 AM
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If the student isn't a sought after student, then they stay on the bubble until the positions are all filled with as many sought after students as the can be found.

The reference letters from alumni would help when it comes down to selection of the less sought after students, but it will not put him ahead of a sought after student, therefore the acceptance period will not shorten.

It sounds like you already have the back up plan in place, so, without good grades, or high scores, you play the waiting game. If you have other back-ups to look at, get those going as well.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 11:18 AM
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Don't send $$. It won't help (well, it SHOULDN'T, but this is Chicago). The school is looking to make sure the most people that start at the school finish. One of the biggest things colleges track is % of freshman that actually graduate. That is a result of quality of students, teaching, and life in general at the school. My school's listed % was 25% (ouch), but that was mainly due to social life (lack thereof) instead of the tough curriculum that the admissions office said it was. That being said, I got in because my home state was 2000 miles away and colleges LOVE saying they have people from 47, 49, states.

I suggest following up with additional reference letters (boss, teachers) and next semester's report card as back up. Just putting the effort into showing your son wants to go there may be enough to get him in.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 11:35 AM
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start applying to other schools.............

cover your bases, make sure you have a plan b if you dont already there are plenty of choices, or look into a school that focuses soley on what you are good at or into. you keep working on options and not worry about this choice only.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 11:48 AM
 
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try to set up a meeting where your son would meet with the head of admissions to talk for about 30 min or so. This is merely to show the admissions board that he is serious and it would also give him the chance to specifically address the areas of concern the board may have.

i had a similar situation when i was going to school at U of Iowa. I didnt have strong grades when i applied to the business school after having completed my pre-req courses. I was denied to the business school. i requested a meeting with the admissions. spoke to them about the lack of interest in the pre-req classes that meant nothing to me or my major but that a noticable difference would happen when i was attending classes i cared about.

i got in on probation to the business school. My gpa never dipped below 3.3 for the next 2 year. I recommended this to other people i know and it has worked for them so give it a try.

money does nothing to sway a school admissions unless there is a lot of it. I much rather get in on merit and persuation. answer the questions they have about your sons interest and motivation. it will work. it will show that you arent sitting back with your fingers crossed either.

good luck. and have your son prepare for the questions they will ask.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll pass them along and see what motivates him. I'm trying not to be the overly pushy parent, but sometimes 17-18 year olds need a kick in the ass to understand that it's the extra effort that makes the difference. The rest is up to him - he is the one who has to want it.

Thanks again.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 12:40 PM
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UIC is a cluster fuck for trying to get in. I am surprised they haven't lost the app at least twice. I am an alumni of there and know first hand since my transcripts were lost many a time as well as my actual application being lost once. I will try to not offend anyone but "saught after" students are not necassarly smart kids. UIC is a state school which means it has to meet diversity requirements, thanks Liberal government, there for they fill the "fill in ethnic group" requirments first and after that id there is room left in the program then they accept the non saught afters. Did he apply directly to a specific school? Engineering? Business?

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 12:46 PM
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Have the child take some early college courses, if possible, to show he/she can handle the course work. If that's the school the child is determined to attend have them take the same courses at another local school until admission is granted.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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He is trying to get into their architecture program. And what you said about UIC is pretty much true of all schools - I doubt they are any worse than most - at least when I called I was able to speak to a human. So that was at least a positive.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 12:51 PM
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They told you some good advice here, just make sure he has a back up ready, don't go "All in" on this school, only to find out he was not accepted.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Taborn
Have the child take some early college courses, if possible, to show he/she can handle the course work. If that's the school the child is determined to attend have them take the same courses at another local school until admission is granted.
Taking some courses at a local community college isn't a bad idea. Living at home lowers the stress involved with going to college and gives him time to try to get into that school. A big plus is it should be less expensive.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
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Taking some courses at a local community college isn't a bad idea. Living at home lowers the stress involved with going to college and gives him time to try to get into that school. A big plus is it should be less expensive.

-Chris


When doing this, you have to make sure that UIC will accept all the credits and courses earned first from the community college before taking them. Many colleges have become very picky on what credits they will accept. Nothing worse than paying for Community college, and then going to UIC to do it all over again. You end up paying more and staying longer.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:10 PM
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UIC architecture is one of the harder schools at UIC to get into. If you would have applied to the LA school and then once he has done some work at UIC they are more likely to transfer you into the other college. Perhaps he can change his application type.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MM Racing
UIC architecture is one of the harder schools at UIC to get into.
And it's one of the best. So I know that it is hard to get into. The problem is that his overall GPA or his ACT score doesn't acurately reflect his talent in Architecture. So he is playing the waiting game.


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Perhaps he can change his application type.
That's actually something I never thought of. Maybe if in the end he does get denied (and he still REALLY wants to go there), he could reapply for something else with the hopes of possibly changing majors down the line.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcc_rr
Just curious if anyone has any advice.

College applicant sends in his application (UIC, fall 2006) and then waits for a decision. He is a good student (not great), excels in his areas of interest, not so good in areas he doesn't have any interest in.
Sounds like me out of highschool. Grade point average isn't that great? If he can't get in and he's dead set on going there, he should go to a community college for a year. They take transfers with a decent grade point average before they'll take kids straight out of hs with the same average. Most state schools have a policy where they take every transfer with a 3.0gpa.

Money wise...I think that it's probably safer to go to a community college for a year. Let him figure out if he really likes it, and will actually go to class. I had way too many friends that went out of state to big name universities, failed out, and ended up at Harper.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcc_rr
And it's one of the best. So I know that it is hard to get into. The problem is that his overall GPA or his ACT score doesn't acurately reflect his talent in Architecture. So he is playing the waiting game.




That's actually something I never thought of. Maybe if in the end he does get denied (and he still REALLY wants to go there), he could reapply for something else with the hopes of possibly changing majors down the line.

They may actually offer him this option automatically if they deny him acceptance in the School of Architechture.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcc_rr
And it's one of the best. So I know that it is hard to get into. The problem is that his overall GPA or his ACT score doesn't acurately reflect his talent in Architecture. So he is playing the waiting game.




That's actually something I never thought of. Maybe if in the end he does get denied (and he still REALLY wants to go there), he could reapply for something else with the hopes of possibly changing majors down the line.
That's a good idea too, some of the programs are limited admission and nearly impossible to get into. Have him declare a major in whatever subjects he did well with in hs and he'll have a much better chance getting in.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-01-2005, 01:58 AM
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I go to UIC and I didn't get my acceptance letter until I had already enrolled for classes at JJC and had given up hope on going to UIC.

I would not send any $$$ into the school.

I had a crappy GPA(3.7 out of 5.0) and low ACT Score (23), but had a few semesters of college under my belt from when I was in the service and they took me in.

Just to let you know, that your son/daughter is going ot be screwed for classes his/her first semester here. Since they are registering late all the classes will be filled up and they will have to take BS classes. Since I was late I think I had: Polish, Calculus for Business, Chem100, and English 161. But tell them not to worry. I just took enough hours to enroll as a full time student and during the first two weeks I was able to drop calc and polish and grab up Psch 100 and Anth 100.

If you need me to show you around campus or whatnot let me know.

If your son/daughter does not get into UIC I would also suggest the comm. college route. (You save a LOT of money this way as a parent.)

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