097: Q&A – Low-Achieving 8th Graders, PSAT Scores & College Email Bombs

29 Feb

Low Achieving 8th Graders, PSAT Scores & College Email BombsThanks to the recent release of the PSAT scores, we have a number of questions related to how to interpret those scores and deal with the resulting email deluge.

On today’s episode, Megan tackles these three questions:

1. Should My Son Take a PSAT Class to Try to Win a National Merit Scholarship? I am currently receiving your vocabulary lists and just watched the 19 minute video regarding PSAT results. I need to ask you a question about what I should do for my son. He took the PSAT in October as a sophomore and got amazing following results. I am wondering if I should put him in your summer PSAT class. While his results are amazing, especially to his dad and me, neither of us college educated, we are not in a financial situation to pay for the college that he deserves. Would it be worth our money, and his time, to take the PSAT class in order to raise his scores for NM scholarships? Or would an ACT class, this is the test of his preference, be the way to go? ~ Leslie

2. How Can I Convince My 8th Grader to Take College Prep Seriously? Would it help an 8th grader who has not stepped it up academically yet, to talk to a college consultant to hear more about why he should care about grades? ~ Jason

3. Can I Trust Colleges Who are “Email Bombing” My Son? I have a sophomore in a public Florida high school who took the PSAT for the first time. The results were released, and we are being “email bombed” (his words) like crazy from schools all over the U.S. Do these universities really care about my son? Are they just hoping to raise their application rates so they look more selective?After his first AP exam in 9th grade, we received a few pitches from selective schools (Vanderbilt, U Chicago) etc. Vanderbilt has sent me follow up post cards to “not count them out because of cost.” Unless these schools give us substantial gift aid/merit aid, there’s no way we can afford it even if he gets admitted. How can a parent start to narrow down all of these schools early in the process? My son has no idea where he might want to go. He ignores the emails (which may be a good thing). Just not sure what I should be doing with all of these postcards. ~ Anonymous Mom