I applied to one college.
I did not visit multiple institutions. I took the SAT once. We didn't even have the ACT that I can recall or any other test that required a number 2 pencil and an interruption of much needed Saturday morning teenager's sleep.
Maybe I wrote an essay. If I did, it wasn't a big deal. It was one. Perhaps my dad proofed it. But that was about all.
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These days I truly think it would be less work to be confirmed to the Supreme Court than to get into an institution of higher learning.
Over the years, many dandy tools have been created to help you figure out which college might be a good fit. You can go to a web site and look at a scattergram showing you little colored dots on a graph that tell you the average high school GPA of those who applied to get into each college. The green dots got in, the red ones did not and the blue ones got in but went somewhere else.
It was one of these web sites that unveiled that the average GPA for the University of North Carolina is 4.58.
So to be clear, you can have straight A's, a 4.0 average, and you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT get into one of our state's largest institutions of higher learning. Unless, of course, you play football.
I have encouraged DJ to join the city league. Certainly she could be a kicker. She says that's ridiculous, that shoulder pads are out.
My standards are not that high for DJ's college choice. There are two criteria: She has to get accepted and I have to be able to pay for it.
Thus far in our quest for the right secondary educational fit,we have:
Taken the SAT twice
Taken one prep course for the SAT
Taken the ACT twice
Visited 11 institutions
Completed the common app (which most colleges don't take)
Had 17 arguments
And she has written six essays which I have proofed. There are many more to go.
Why is there a common application if more than half of the schools she is applying to refuse to accept it?
At NC State, which does not accept the common app, you have to enter your top ten extracurricular activities and explain them in 25 characters or less. For UNC, you have up to 150 characters to share the same exact information. Errrr.
Although DJ has done the lions share of the work, at times we will sit together, two computers open, trying to enter info onto one application by interpolating info from another application. Working to add or pair down the 62 characters to 22 characters because some bozo decided not to use the common app.
At times we get a little punchy, and I'll start answering questions like this:
Question: Discuss any obstacle and/or hardships you have encountered and how you dealt with them.
Our Answer: I was a breech baby. I remember it like it was yesterday. My toes were above my ears and the umbilical cord was wrapped around my chest. I tried to turn but I simply could not. I could hear the doctor going nuts! I pressed on the lining of my mother's uterus and bravely shimmied down the birth canal. It was the most difficult day of my life.
There are some schools that really want DJ to attend. I am not familiar with Mercer, but I feel like we have a special relationship. They email me daily. Right now they are, one by one, sending me the top 15 reasons to attend their school. We're on number 6. I can't wait to see what 5 will be.
I do fear that DJ might decide to go to a school for the wrong reasons. A few weeks ago we toured the University of South Carolina. When we got back into the car after walking around the campus for an hour and half I asked, "What did you like the most?"
She said, "The tour guide was HOT!"
All of this work, and she may make her choice based on Biff's biceps. Heck, the local community college has hot guys. Think we'll go there next week.