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Old 2018-07-05, 03:36   #45
jvang
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Pretty sure I should just stick to local universities; I did a bit of research and the general consensus is that applying to higher-ranked schools becomes more of a lottery once you reach the point where everyone is equal in qualification (perfect GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, etc.). Being a bit sub-par in any single category is pretty bad, and I'm lacking in both extracurriculars and GPA. So I'll focus my application to local/public colleges. A good friend of mine will be applying to the University of Arkansas too, and if we both get in we'll likely room together, which is more good than bad. He's a much more motivated guy than I am, so I'm sure some of it will overflow to me...

Unfortunately UArk is very large and its campus life shenanigans are crazy. Just on-campus housing is a nightmare; there's about 20 different residence halls and each is unique and geared towards certain students. And food is insane too; there's all sorts of meal passes and spending money privileges and recharges and all sorts of overly complicated mechanisms to get money for food

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Old 2018-07-05, 04:28   #46
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The University of Southern California, which I believe is rather selective (18% acceptance rate), has a special engineering college, the Viterbi School of Engineering. From what I can tell it has an internationally recognized curriculum, so I might throw an application their way if I lean towards engineering. Nice facilities too
I can tell you a few things that I know about this school. I know some alumni (various degrees) and some folks that have/do work there. There are a lot of folks going there getting substantial scholarships. (It is said that the average student there pays less money than the average student at UCLA). It is a strong school for engineering, film, music, and all sorts of other things.

I can talk to some of the folks that I know if you are serious about it. It is close to down town Los Angeles and on one of the metro lines. That one runs to walking distance from the beach (the end of Route 66). It is next the stadium that the football games are at. It is easy to get to the airport from there.

If you want to chat about it, I am lead to believe that someone on your block has my top sekret code number.
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Old 2018-07-05, 04:41   #47
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the general consensus is that applying to higher-ranked schools becomes more of a lottery once you reach the point where everyone is equal in qualification (perfect GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, etc.). Being a bit sub-par in any single category is pretty bad,
These schools are looking to gather a diverse and interesting student body. Being from Arkansas probably gives you a leg up for geographic diversity. A good essay can boost the "interesting" score. So yes, it's a lottery, but the deck is not stacked as badly as most "non-perfect" students think.
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Old 2018-07-08, 15:40   #48
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New development: I’m probably going to college for free. We have a special scholarship here in Arkansas that pays for tuition, room, and food for 4 years at any public university in Arkansas as long as you are the child or spouse of a MIA/KIA service member or a 100% disabled veteran. So I don’t have much of a reason to go off and pay a bunch of money when college here will be free.

Basically all that’s left to do is to figure out my major (a double major sounds good though), do some paperwork, and fill out applications. Looking at double majoring between some STEM fields, but I still haven’t figured out what to study...
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Old 2018-07-08, 18:08   #49
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New development: I’m probably going to college for free. We have a special scholarship here in Arkansas that pays for tuition, room, and food for 4 years at any public university in Arkansas as long as you are the child or spouse of a MIA/KIA service member or a 100% disabled veteran. So I don’t have much of a reason to go off and pay a bunch of money when college here will be free.

Basically all that’s left to do is to figure out my major (a double major sounds good though), do some paperwork, and fill out applications. Looking at double majoring between some STEM fields, but I still haven’t figured out what to study...
I thought you got to chose your major(s) a while after starting in the usa?
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Old 2018-07-08, 18:33   #50
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I thought you got to chose your major(s) a while after starting in the usa?
Sometimes, but it’s good to have an idea of what you want to do before starting in case your college starts you on courses specific to your degree.

New new development: My mom wants to move to Oklahoma for a job promotion, which will mess with scholarships. As long as we can find a way to do the free college stuff then I’m ok with us moving, but otherwise we gotta stick around which screws over her job. I read a while back about some yellow ribbon post-9/11 bill that would help us out with that sort of thing but it was kinda vague. Anyone know about that or something similar that would help someone who’s recently moved?
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Old 2018-07-08, 19:19   #51
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Sometimes, but it’s good to have an idea of what you want to do before starting in case your college starts you on courses specific to your degree.
For freshman year, just choosing STEM is enough; you'll take calculus/physics/chemistry/English for most any STEM major during your frosh year.

Once those courses are complete, you'll be expected to choose engineering or science; though many schools admit students to the Engineering school or the science-major school from the outset, you can switch from one side to the other without too much trouble during your first year or two. If a school restricts enrolled students from changing into Engineering majors, that's a reason to apply into Engineering; it's not unusual for switching out of Engineering to be easier than switching in.

In highly-related fields, you can change your mind during your 3rd year; I switched from Physics to Math at the end of my 3rd year at a public university (University of California).
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Old 2018-07-09, 05:09   #52
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My mom wants to move to Oklahoma for a job promotion, which will mess with scholarships.
Do you have friends or family that you can stay with until the scholarship kicks in? If you can keep your personal residence in Arkansas will that qualify? Does a living vet have to stay in the state? Having the HS senior stay someplace other than "home" is common. I know people that have moved in with relatives (aunt and uncle) so that they can establish residency to get the "locals" price for tuition.
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Old 2018-07-09, 13:18   #53
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New new development: My mom wants to move to Oklahoma for a job promotion, which will mess with scholarships. As long as we can find a way to do the free college stuff then I’m ok with us moving, but otherwise we gotta stick around which screws over her job.
This seems to open up possibilities: maybe you can go to a school in Oklahoma, or maybe you can stay with someone in Arkansas and go to school there.
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Old 2018-07-09, 21:56   #54
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This seems to open up possibilities: maybe you can go to a school in Oklahoma, or maybe you can stay with someone in Arkansas and go to school there.
Fewer possibilities, since I'd have to be a resident of Oklahoma for a year or so to get in-state tuition costs, which reduce tuition by a factor of 2-3.

Basically in order to keep the scholarship we have to stick around in Arkansas. It renews each year so I'm not sure if my parents have to stick around afterwards. In any case, it's only valid for Arkansas residents; the federal government has a special program that would let me go to any school (public or private) for free, or something close to that. But my mom used up most of our allotted benefits from that for her bachelor's.

Oh well I still get free college

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Old 2018-07-11, 02:45   #55
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Figured I'd check out deadlines and start dates for college applications and the FAFSA. Gotta wait until October 1st for the FAFSA, but the UArk admissions open in less than a week.

99% sure that I'll stick to colleges in Arkansas. I don't think going out-of-state for a chance (however big or small/unlikely) at being accepted is worth the tradeoff of over $100k-200k of loan debt. Not that applying out-of-state excludes in-state options (unless I were to do a legally-binding early decision/action application which would be complicated), but any college out-of-state that I would be confident in being accepted to is not worth $100k in my opinion, and writing a bunch of difficult, abstract essays for really good universities is too much work

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