Grace has decided on a college...unless she hears back from a school that has her on a waitlist. She also has a message for parents of high school students. Read the full interview below.
Meet the Class is an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their college.
It’s updated monthly from September to May. Each month will feature an interview about both the facts and the feelings of where the student is in the process.
Interviews may be edited lightly for clarity and grammar.
This is the eighth interview with Grace. Grace is a senior in the Houston area. She attends a public magnet high school. Click here to read all her past interviews.
Have you got all your notifications? As of last month, you had been:
accepted to Baylor with a 50% scholarship,
given a C.A.P. opportunity at U.T. Austin,
accepted to A&M through Gateway,
given a full ride to U. of H., and
denied from Trinity.
What news did you hear from Lafayette and Bryn Mawr?
I heard back from both schools last week. I first got my notification from Bryn Mawr, and immediately I knew it was a rejection. I found out through an email that was sent to my spam folder stating that my decision was to be released at 4 ET. That day I was driving to an appointment and I get a call from my mother asking me to not open my email until I got to the orthodontist just to be safe. I got a two sentence rejection from Bryn Mawr, and I wasn't so bothered by it since it wasn't my first choice but my mother was quite upset since she loved Bryn Mawr and their cherry blossoms. The next day I got a notification stating that I'd get my update from Lafayette soon and I literally got out of bed, slipped on some flip-flops and ran to my mailbox to see if I got a small white envelope or a big yellow and red packet. It was only until the next day that I checked the portal and saw that I was waitlisted. My first reaction was "YES! AT LEAST IT ISN'T A NO!", but as I kept reading their FAQ I realized that being on the waitlist wasn't something I could count on when it came to admissions. That entire time of getting decisions was rough, and mostly because getting each "no" letter and once again I was thinking about what happened. Was my essay not eloquent? Did I show not enough interest?
Have you made a decision yet? If so, can you explain your thinking? If not, can you explain what questions you're pondering and what factors you're considering? Are you attempting to get any offers changed, either in terms of acceptance or financial aid packages?
I have made my decision to go to UH! Over the last few weeks, I have been calculating my choices and getting advice from different people to see whether my choices were rational and I wasn't either setting myself short or for failure. My mother and I have gotten in a few heated conversations on A&M vs. UH, and it always ends up me saying the same: we cannot take the risk of going to A&M when I have not received the financial packet yet. My decision deadline for A&M was April 6th and every single day until then my mom kept reminding me that she'd rather have me go to A&M and have her cut down on spending to pay off tuition. What I keep having to tell her is that even though she can cut down on spending and put in more, it'll be unrealistic for her to try to help take on such costs when it is more than what she makes annually. I understand that she wants me to go to a good school that I'll have to leave and exploe who I am, but I am not willing to let her take on something she isn't ready for.
To me, going to UH is definitely not ideal, and I honestly am not excited to start. My sister and I had a conversation after school one day on how eventually wherever you go, it is based on whether you can afford it. Many may make the argument that you are able to get loans, and scholarships are there to help but at the end of the day, these options are not something I am comfortable taking. I made a comment one night after my mother berated me for settling at UH, and I said this, "Although I don't see myself there, I see myself going to medical school." While UH isn't my favorite place in the world (Lafayette you still hold the key), if it can help me get to my end goal for free, I am willing to suck it up for 4 years. The next challenge for me is figuring out whether I dorm. I would like to be close to campus so I can get the experience as well as set myself a solid foundation for school. The only thing is that my financial aid package covers all but room and board. My stipend doesn't even cover a semester of room and board, and it poses a good question for myself: am I willing to stay at home? The answer changes from day to day. With three other females in a single townhome, it does get frustrating to come back from work and just hear attitude and bickering. I am most certainly not innocent of this, I have always wanted to be able to dorm and be independent.
You're almost to the end of applications and decisions! How do you feel?
I think that the entire process was fun, of course, being able to see my peers get into the schools of their choice, as well as see my old middle school friend get into 20 schools, full ride each. I feel pretty happy that I have gotten my decision and that I am not constantly having to tour colleges and being torn on where to go. I honestly wish that I had applied to only Texas schools in the first place to save me from last semesters stress.
What are your last few weeks of high school going to look like? Are things slowing down? Are you feeling stressed about exams or work? How's your life looking right now?
I feel so out of place being in classes now because everything feels so weird. I still don't feel like a senior, I feel like a sophomore just floating through school, hanging out in the library more often and sleeping during lunch. I don't feel stressed at all school-wise. The only stressful thing in my life right now is prom, and whether my dress can get altered in time, and if I can snatch a boutonniere in time for next week. I sleep a lot now, and I feel great honestly. I have had more time to do physical therapy (something I have pushed aside for 5 years because of my schedule), as well as just try out new things. I have gone out more by myself, and it really has given me some space from the past 4 hectic years.
What's something you feel good about right now, either related to school or not?
This may seem so stupid but I am so excited for prom. Until now I was so apathetic thinking that prom was so stupid and that I would skip and go to a concert or something instead, but I cannot wait to slip on a pair of heels and take photos. I have literally planned out everything for both nights [at her prom and another school's prom], the menu, the bowling alley I want to go to after the prom, to even the kind of lipstick I will be sporting.
This is something for the parents who may be reading this: please talk about finances with your children. I think that this part was one thing that my mother and I have never done this year and doing so would have saved both of us stress. Not only will it give your student a good idea of where to look, it'll give you as a parent a head start on helping plan those finances. I know my friend that is also going to UH talked to her parents on their finances, and after that talk, she only applied to UH knowing it'll be the only one she will be able to afford. I think that talking about finances is something very taboo with other families, but my mother has always been transparent about it up until now. I can see her struggle a little bit when I talk about college because while she wants to me to be able to attend all of these top-tier schools, she cannot send me there and I think that is what she is upset about the most when she goes through this process.
Thanks for reading Apply with Sanity! Please share this with people who would like to read it. If you have questions for Grace, leave them in the comments. I'll be interviewing her one last time after May 1. Follow Apply with Sanity on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the monthly newsletter.