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Bayouboy

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My son is a junior and he is pretty bright. He's scored a 26 on his ACT (last year) and he makes straight A's. I was wondering if any of you have advice for me about college scholarships. Things can change, but he will likely stay in state (Louisiana). Is there a website or websites that centrally located opportunities? Some advocate appliying for as many as possible. That's fine & dandy, but my kid won't write 100 essays!

I have not "googled" anything yet. I wanted to get real life experiences from you all....I'm sure some here have navigated these waters before.

From taking to friends, LSU is the least likely to provide any help. Someone I know that scored a 30 on his ACT received very little from the university, while other colleges in the state offered full rides. I'm the type of parent that will heavily influence him to take the full ride route, especially if I have skins in the game (my money). Any advice would be appreciated!
 

Oye

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And then, if we go to socialized medicine, well then, just forget it. He will be working for peanuts.
The average doctor in Louisiana makes around 200k/year acc to self-reporting salary info at glassdoor. In Ontario, the average 'family doctor' makes about 275k/year according to most reports.

A couple of years ago, the province's Health Minister said that the "average doctor salary" in Ontario was $360,000.

Obviously, the taxes are higher and standard of living is higher, especially in/around Toronto and some other metro areas. But there are a lot of medium and smaller places where the standard of living is much lower.

Regardless, this is hardly "peanuts." And the field is very, very competitive to get into medical programs. I work with a lot of students from a very high-achieving school each year who go through the application processes for medical school programs in Canada, the UK, and the US. It's incredibly, incredibly competitive. The application process is arduous, the pressure is high, and I've seen extremely talented kids with superlative scores not get into one program after another. In Canada and the UK, students are not in the least dismayed by becoming a doctor in a socialized system.

I woudn't discourage any kid from considering a medical career based on that particular fear or concern.
 

Oye

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I know I am triple posting, but it seems that there is interest beyond the OP's specific situation, so I wanted to add something.

First, for the OP, I would second earlier recommendations for your son to try the ACT more times. Taking a class or going through a test-prep course might also worth it. Raising the score a couple of points could make a difference and he's still got time to take it another time or two.

For others - schools are moving away from using standardized test scores as the primary measure or weighing it so heavily. Some schools are doing away with them entirely - some really good schools, like University of Chicago, Wesleyan, Sarah Lawrence, George Washington - I've had students apply to these schools recently and you can find them, and others, on the list here for example: https://blog.prepscholar.com/the-complete-guide-to-sat-optional-colleges

so, what does that mean? It means that schools are looking for more 'diverse' candidates - and that's not just religious, ethnicity, gender, etc.

That means interesting life experiences, hobbies, initiatives. Things that make a student stand out from another student. Things that will diversify their student body more than the conventional demographics we think of when we hear the word 'diversity.'

They are also looking at soft skills and traits that indicate a student will be successful at their university and beyond. Are there particular life experiences or traits that suggest resilience? Flexibility? Empathy? And so on.

Also, any time you are asked to write an essay or answer a question, the school is trying to gauge something about 'you' - they are not looking for a stock answer. They are looking for authentic and sincere. And admissions officers can be quite keen on picking up a student who comes across as stiff and perfunctory and box-checking as opposed to someone who might be more raw, whose writing might be less refined, and so on - they are looking for you, as an individual, to come across in these things.

Students and parents will ask/consult outside counselors to help with their essays, but that always comes with a risk - the more someone aside from a student contributes to a written response, the less it sounds like them and the more it becomes a conglomeration of the thoughts of others. A discussion with a counsellor recently highlighted this specific thing, and emphasized to me that the student's work be as much his/her own as possible.

Applying to universities - at least in terms of acceptance - is a changing landscape. And the rules that applied to parents of kids applying decades ago are not the same as those applying to their/your/our kids.
 

Krodwhodat

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Join the air national guard in Louisiana and they pay for up to 5 years of college tuition and he can do something that will help him learn as he goes like a medic or something
 

dtc

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No advice on scholarships other than what is already being provided. On ACT though, it's beneficial if he can take a course geared towards ACT prep. My daughter's high school offered one and she took it and ended up with a 31. I also recommend taking it as many times and as soon as you can since colleges take the highest score. So, even if his score drops from one to the next it doesn't hurt him. It also builds experience, time management & confidence taking the test. Individual scholarships are great, but your biggest splash will be if he can get that score into the 30's unless he can get an athletics scholarship.
This is what I was going to say, as well.

Have him take a prep class to bring the score up. If he can get into the 30s with a high GPA it will open up a ton of opportunity that 26 will not.
 

dtc

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How did/does he like the university of the south? Had some famiky that went there and loved it.

Sewanee is one of the go to schools in my area and I have a dozen or more friends who went. I've never heard anything negative from any of them and many of them are now sending their kids there.
 

Goatman Saint

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My daughter said the high school usually has the websites and such to help out the search. However, once they decide on a school and get accepted, go tot he financial aid office and ask about scholarships from there. A lot of alumni will have smaller scholarships that are basically unknown to anyone outside of the school. My daughter gets about 3500 a year from alumni scholarships doing exactly that.
 

LuvNOLA

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The average doctor in Louisiana makes around 200k/year acc to self-reporting salary info at glassdoor. In Ontario, the average 'family doctor' makes about 275k/year according to most reports.

A couple of years ago, the province's Health Minister said that the "average doctor salary" in Ontario was $360,000.

Obviously, the taxes are higher and standard of living is higher, especially in/around Toronto and some other metro areas. But there are a lot of medium and smaller places where the standard of living is much lower.

Regardless, this is hardly "peanuts." And the field is very, very competitive to get into medical programs. I work with a lot of students from a very high-achieving school each year who go through the application processes for medical school programs in Canada, the UK, and the US. It's incredibly, incredibly competitive. The application process is arduous, the pressure is high, and I've seen extremely talented kids with superlative scores not get into one program after another. In Canada and the UK, students are not in the least dismayed by becoming a doctor in a socialized system.

I woudn't discourage any kid from considering a medical career based on that particular fear or concern.
Wow........lots of good info, & thanks for taking the time to post.

The last time I was in Toronto for a convention, I was impressed. The city was spotless clean & there was not one homeless person to be found anywhere on the streets. When I mentioned it, the locals said, “that is why our taxes are sky high.” They also mentioned that because of socialized medicine, their MD’s were only making around 100K/year. Obviously, things must have changed.
 
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Bayouboy

Bayouboy

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Well, the good news is my son scored a 30 the last time around (June) so that should help some....the bad news is I had to give him my truck a year early (lost a bet fair in square :D). We still haven't really got in gear with scholarships to date though. Time to get moving, right?

He's leaning toward going to LSU, but I think it has everything to do with social scene rather than academics. Lots of moving parts right now. Should be an interesting year.....and football is about to kick off. If I had to guess, this year will be a blur......
 

Dago

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just don’t blow tops like i did dropping out after 2 weeks because i was bored.
I blew a full ride to LSU back in 1993

had to get in the real world for awhile and then went to SLU on my own dime
 

mikaloyd

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I dont know what the situation is for Junior Colleges is in Louisiana but two years of JC then transferring to a four year school is the most frugal option here, Especially if the student is not quite sure which direction to take in education yet. It can save you tens of thousands of dollars while the student gets prerequisites out of the way.
 

JimEverett

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Loved it. . They did so much. Weeks in the Smokies, travel abroad, etc.

He was a math major. Now at Xavier for grad school and since he will be an educator in NO public school system, he gets full ride for grad school tuition along with a $6000/yr bonus for each year he remains in the NOPS system.

I would jut love to hear my oldest wants to attend university OUTSIDE La.
This might be better in a PM, but I am curious if there was a religious component to his education - a necessary religious component?
And - is the school very conservative?
 

SAINTSFAN

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Do your homework. Many scholarships are very political. When my daughter was visiting schools about a decade ago, the colleges were very open about wanting diversity. Vanderbilt openly said in their presentations that a white female would have a very difficult time getting a full scholarship. Although my daughter was a National Merit Finalist, ACT of 33 and GPA of 4.7, she did not receive any scholarship from Vandy. Same with Duke (who gives many, if not most, of their scholarships to those from out of the country). Natonal Merit is a huge plus though so those with children who have not yet taken PSAT, I would strongly suggest having them take a prep course. I think Alabama currently gives a full ride to NM students and many (Texas A&M and Auburn are 2 that I know of off hand) give significant scholarships for NM Finalists.
 

Grandadmiral

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Surprised I never saw this. Let me put my old financial aid director cap on...

Your kids needed to create profiles on both FastWeb.com and scholarships.com.

FastWeb is the granddaddy and largest of scholarship databases. In the past, it was the database the state's financial aid office used to send to kids. It got me through my last two years of undergrad at UNO with $15,000 in grants and fellowships.

Scholarships.com is run by Sallie Mae and is probably the closest competitor to FastWeb in terms of size, last I checked.

Any student attending an HBCU (independent of race) has access to the database of the UNCF. They have awards that won't be found anywhere else.

All of these sites will send out notifications of awards that match profiles.
 

MLU

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To elaborate, I told him that we planned on helping with college costs providing we have input into his location. I'm not looking to tell him what to go into or where to go, but if I'm gonna pony up my money, he will take full ride to La Tech over a partial something at LSU. If he wants LSU badly enough, he can make that call and subsequently pay for the excess himself. I also would rather him stay in-state due to TOPS (but that funding varies). There are a lot of things that have not been discussed or decided at this point.....but I do know that time is ticking here. It's time to get into gear. Seeing his school councilor is good advice.

My parents paid for my college costs when I grew up. I lived at home, so that helped keep costs down. It was a true blessing to come out with a degree and no student debt. I will try my best to provide that blessing to my two kids. Unfortunately, college costs have soared since I went back in the 90's. I will do what I can. Which is why I'm enquiring about scholarships.....the more he can garner "for free", the less I have to pay. My son his the only chance for a bunch of freebies as my younger daughter is not as blessed acedemically.
How far away is RPCC?

My daughter ran track in HS and again in JUCO. She took honors classes, received free books and the tuition was paid for from track. Because of the honors classes she received additional scholarship and between honors classes and track, she ended up getting everything paid for, plus a check for a few hundred every semester. She's transferring 62 crrdits to a 4 year school to finish up in Kinesiology with zero debt. The only help I gave her was gas money to school (25 miles each way) and room, board, etc. She is currently taking a gap year and one class while she works part time as a teller and saves every penny. She almost has enough to cover her last two years of tuition. The goal here is to finish up debt free before she gets to grad school.

Most JUCOs will collaborate with in-state schools to ensure all credits transfer within a program that lines up with the 4-year school. If this is possible, I'd start there.
 

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