Class of 2009 to Be Largest Graduating High School Class in American History - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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Class of 2009 to Be Largest Graduating High School Class in American History

The graduation rate (and, thus, college application rate) is to peak with this year's high school graduating class, before falling again. It is to be the largest in the history of the United States.

Students ante up for a pivotal quest | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/06/2008

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Besides the usual crushing stress and difficult decisions, competition this year for the best colleges will likely be tougher than ever.

More seniors are expected to graduate than in the official peak year, 1977. Nearly half the 3.3 million are aiming for four-year colleges.

Also, students are applying to more colleges than ever before. In 1990, just 9 percent of students applied to seven or more schools. In 2006, 18 percent did.

And paying for college may prove especially onerous as families are rocked by the nation's financial turmoil, threatening their jobs, their savings, and their ability to land loans.

The cost of a four-year college education, including tuition, room and board, and fees, ranges from around $55,000 at West Chester University (assuming costs don't rise) to $185,000 at the University of Pennsylvania.


Even before those bills, while students are still in high school, some families spend thousands on consultants, tutors and SAT courses.

...

Colleges are purchasing more names of prospective students from organizations such as the College Board. The board sold 81 million names this year, up from 64.6 million in 2001.

The schools are stepping up their recruitment to prepare for a drop in student population over the next decade, as the number of echo baby boomers, whose births peaked around 1990, falls off.

And they are constantly seeking to boost the quality and diversity of their freshman classes and become increasingly selective, a plus in college ranking systems.


Penn, for example, last spring admitted fewer than one in five applicants, down from nearly one in three a decade ago.

The College Board charges colleges 32 cents per name for information that can be diced by geography, test scores, class rank, career interests and other measures. About 75 percent of SAT test takers agree to allow the board to share their names, said Mike Matthews, director of its Student Search Service.

"We have heard increasingly over time that institutions that used to have a strictly regional focus are adopting much broader recruiting areas," said David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, an organization of admissions professionals.

Locally, some colleges said they had boosted their mailings and e-mails. The University of Delaware mailed to more than 240,000 students this year, up 50 percent from five years ago.
This is my high school graduation class. And this worries me more than anything in my life right now.

My reason for posting this is just to hear what people think should be done, hear what people think can be done, etc. I'm legitimately interested in hearing how this could turn out, because this is an issue that directly effects myself and the other people in the class of 2009.

You can feel free to ask me questions about the situation as it relates to me personally, too, since I'm one of the few high schoolers to post in FYM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:40 PM   #2
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i just can't believe you were born in the 1990s.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #3
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I suppose I should keep an eye on this thread as well, as I will be part of the graduating class of 2009 myself. One thing I'm not entirely sure of is whether or not I'll be one of the 1.65 million to apply for a 4-year college, especially not right off the bat. Times are hard.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:40 PM   #4
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Well, as it seems to be the American way to go through education directly without taking a break, you will probably end up applying with lots and lots of people. High competition generally means applications will first get sorted out by the simplest criteria: Application in bad condition or any mistakes, out. GPA or ACT score not above whatever numerus clausus they decided on, out. Graduating from a high school with not a great reputation, out.
After that, there is the fine tuning. So it would be best to graduate with excellent grades and put much effort into making an outstanding application, but appropriate to the college and the field you want to go into.
If you could afford and were willing to, you could of course do something that will give an additional boost to your CV, like volunteering, spending time abroad or trying to get a really nice, non-typical-part-time-student-job internship.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
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If you could afford and were willing to, you could of course do something that will give an additional boost to your CV, like volunteering, spending time abroad or trying to get a really nice, non-typical-part-time-student-job internship.
I taught English in China (not after high school, after university, mind you). But I met many 18-19-year-olds while there who decided to work and travel right after high school. So if this interests you, not just China but elsewhere in Asia, don't hesitate to ask me.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:08 PM   #6
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After having been in school for thirteen years (Germany now dropped one year when you aim for the highest degree possible, so now it's only twelve years) it was a great idea to take a break from education and doing something else for a year. So I did some work and travel in Australia, after having worked for a couple of months between graduation and the trip. That, of course, also helped my language skills a bit.
It gives you another perspective and I think you can see a difference in the people that have done something else, like work and travel, and those who went to college right after.
Now being in dorms with some 18, 19 year old freshmen here in the US, I would say for some of those "kids" it would be a great experience, and a great boost in their development, if they went out for a while and experienced some of the challenges of life. They are no adults at all.
Unfortunately, those who do something outside their education career before entering into college tend to be the more matured.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:28 PM   #7
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We had a situation in Ontario in '03 called the Double Cohort. That year and prior, our high schools went up to grade 13, with a grade 13 graduation diploma being the requirement for those wishing to attend university. People entering the work force or attending community colleges could graduate after grade 12. Now, all Ontario high school students graduate after grade 12, there is no grade 13 anymore (although they can opt to spend an extra semester or year in high school, if they choose). That resulted in potentially double the number of students entering university that year. Most universities in Canada, through government and private sector financing, were able to add more enrollment spaces. Some programs increased their admission standards, but many remained the same. There was a real housing crunch for university students that year. Some schools added student housing, some made single rooms into doubles, many encouraged students to live off campus and set up incentive programs to encourage them to do so. I remember hearing about one school in particular that offered first year students who lived off campus a free laptop.

I know this offers nothing in the way of advice or encouragement, it just sort of shows a similar situation. What I'd try to keep in mind if I were you is that a situation like the one you're facing is far more likely to affect those who would have been on the borderline of acceptance, anyway. Although it must seem stressful and overwhelming, I honestly can't see you having anything to worry about.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:30 PM   #8
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i feel old.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
i just can't believe you were born in the 1990s.


I seem to remember an article that runs every year highlighting all the stuff the graduating class is not familiar with. I remember being really angry about the list when I graduated, but I bet I'd be agreeing with it now.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by phillyfan26 View Post
The graduation rate (and, thus, college application rate) is to peak with this year's high school graduating class, before falling again. It is to be the largest in the history of the United States.

Maybe you can stay back a year and graduate in 2010.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:08 PM   #11
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What about us college kids graduating in 09...


Ahhhhhhhh the real world is coming!
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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Ahhhhhhhh the real world is coming!
Yeah, uh ...... good luck with that.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:17 PM   #13
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^^

Tell me about it. I'm currently uninsured while I'm working two part time jobs. I'm supposed to get a full time job but I don't know how well that search is going to go once I graduate in December. I should have hurried along like my other friends and graduated in the Spring of '07.

Then again I might have been laid off...
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:57 AM   #14
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Enjoy paying for social security benefits you'll never see.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:02 AM   #15
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honestly indy.. with the sig. that would be like if there was the internet back in the 50's someone having a "protect our schools - vote no to negros" sig.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:36 PM   #16
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honestly indy.. with the sig. that would be like if there was the internet back in the 50's someone having a "protect our schools - vote no to negros" sig.
Or rooting for the cops during Chicago '68.

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Old 10-16-2008, 11:01 PM   #17
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In Downturn, Families Strain to Pay Tuition

By JONATHAN D. GLATER
New York Times, October 16



In difficult dinner-table conversations, college students and their parents are revisiting how to pay tuition as personal finances weaken and lenders get tough.

Diana and Ronnie Jacobs, of Salem, Ind., thought their family had a workable plan for college for her twin sons, using a combination of savings, income, scholarship aid and a relatively modest amount of borrowing. Then her husband lost his job at Colgate-Palmolive. “It just seems like it’s really hard, because it is,” Ms. Jacobs, an information technology specialist, said of her financial situation. “I have two kids in college and I want to say ‘come home,’ but at the same time I want to provide them with a good education.” The Jacobs family may be a harbinger of what is to come. Ms. Jacobs pressed the schools’ financial offices for several thousand dollars more for each son’s final year of college, and each son increased his borrowing to the maximum amount through the federal loan program. So they at least will be able to finish at their respective colleges.

With the unemployment rate rising and a recession mentality gripping the country, financial aid administrators say they expect many more calls like the one from Ms. Jacobs. More families are applying for federal aid, and a recent survey found that an increasing portion of families expected to need student loans. College administrators worry that as fresh cracks appear in family finances, they will not have enough aid money to go around, given that their own endowment returns are disappointing, states are making cutbacks and fund-raising will become more difficult. “We are looking ahead and trying to be prepared for what might be coming,” said Jon Riester, associate dean of financial assistance at Hanover College, a private institution with about 1000 undergraduates, including Justin Keeton, one of Ms. Jacobs’s sons. “We’re looking internally at our own budgets to see what we may be able to do in terms of providing additional assistance to students under various situations.”

The concern is widespread, even though college officials say it’s too soon to quantify how many students will face a shortfall. Even at wealthy institutions, financial aid administrators have begun weighing contingency plans. “Part of the conversation that’s going on now in many institutions is, do we want to put a dollar figure on how much we are willing to extend ourselves,” said L. Katharine Harrington, dean of admission and financial aid at the University of Southern California. Ms. Harrington said she opposed setting a limit on aid, but added that the university’s pockets were not bottomless. “If we start seeing massive layoffs,” she added, “we may be in for a real bumpy ride.”

The credit crisis has made it harder for students and their parents to borrow, even as their needs grow and their savings accounts dwindle. In plenty of cases, students who had been borrowing on their own have had to ask parents—and in some cases, other relatives and friends—to help cover tuition or to cosign loans, both aid officials and lenders say.

Officials at most four-year colleges say that they have not seen rampant problems so far, because students have found alternatives. The financing for the fall semester was mostly in place many months ago, before the severity of the credit crisis and the economic downturn became apparent.

Others wonder privately whether there will a rebellion by parents about paying so much for education if the country’s economic distress is prolonged. A survey of nearly 3000 parents by Fidelity Investments released earlier this month found that 62% of parents planned to use student loans to help finance expenses, up from 53% last year.

Ms. Jacobs said that with a family income of more than $100,000 a year, they had been counting on some loans to help pay for college for her 21-year-old sons, Justin and Jacob Keeton. Tuition, room and board add up to just over $32,000 at Hanover College in Hanover, Ind., which Justin attends, and nearly $29,500 at Franklin College, in Franklin, Ind., which Jacob attends.

Then, in December, Colgate-Palmolive closed its Jeffersonville plant, where her husband worked. “I said, ‘This year the loans are going to have to be in your name, I’m not going to be able to pick up as much as I have before,’ ” Ms. Jacobs recalled. “They said they would be willing to put the student loans in their names and continue on. We all came to that consensus, but I hate it because I hate for them to come out of school with $20,000 in student loans,” Ms. Jacobs added. “To me that is so much money.” She also called the two colleges, and each contributed about $3000 more in aid, she said.

Financial aid administrators have been scrambling in a rapidly changing market, as many companies have decided that student loans are just not profitable enough. Many student loan providers, citing reduced profit margins and greater difficulty selling loans, have stopped making federally guaranteed loans, private loans or both.

Federal loans account for about three-quarters of student borrowing, and the government has assured that money will flow uninterrupted by agreeing to buy those loans, even if fewer companies are in the business. Federal loan volume is likely to grow this year; the number of applications for federal aid so far this year has risen to 13.5 million, up nearly 10% from 12.3 million a year earlier. Private lending, which helps families plug the gap between federal aid and the total cost of attendance, has been the fastest-growing segment over the last decade but has been undergoing rapid changes. Some of the biggest lenders, like Sallie Mae, have tightened their credit standards and raised their interest rates yet again in recent weeks. “The current financial markets provide no other choice,” Sallie Mae wrote to colleges last week. “When conditions improve, we hope to relax our underwriting criteria and serve more students.”

Tim Ranzetta, the founder of Student Lending Analytics, posted the lender’s letter on his blog, where he called it “extremely bad news for students.” Michaela Rice, now a sophomore at Plymouth State University, is one of the students who had to redesign her borrowing after she learned in the spring that a student loan she had taken out with her father as cosigner would evaporate because the lender was getting out of that business. A financial aid specialist at Plymouth State, which has about 4300 undergraduates in Plymouth, N.H., suggested the family switch to federal parent loans. That led Ms. Rice to ask her mother, who is divorced from her father, to take on $17,000 in debt. The new loan, called a Parent Plus loan, has a more flexible repayment options and a fixed 8.5% interest rate. But it also puts her mother at risk if Ms. Rice does not earn enough as a teacher to cover repayments.

“We haven’t really sat down and talked about how am I going to pay for it,” said Ms. Rice, 19. “My senior year we’ll probably sit down.” The subject touched on other sensitive issues—in this case, the question of how Ms. Rice’s biological father might continue to help pay for her college education and what her stepfather’s role should be. Ms. Rice’s mother, Judy Krahulec, remarried to an American Airlines pilot who already had children of his own, and she did not want to saddle him with debt for children who were not his. She and Ms. Rice hesitated over the parent loan.“If I sign papers, who am I really indebting? My husband,” Ms. Krahulec said. “That’s who I’m indebting. It’s not my loan, it’s his.”

“It would be in my mom’s name,” said Ms. Rice, who said she would repay her mother, “but it’s my stepdad’s money if anything went wrong.” Still, she was lucky, because not all students’ parents qualify for Plus loans. To satisfy companies that make private loans, more students have had to find cosigners.

Kiara S. Holiday, a sophomore this year at High Point University in High Point, N.C., learned just weeks before classes were to start that her mother had not qualified for a Plus loan. “It threw me for a loop,” said Ms. Holiday, who is 19. “Person after person, they just denied, like my mother, my aunts.” Ms. Holiday said she investigated the options. But even taking advantage of larger maximum federal Stafford loan amounts available to students whose parents are denied Plus loans, she did not have enough to cover about $31,000 in tuition, room and board at High Point. So she called her great-grandmother, an octogenarian in Boston. Ms. Holiday, who wants to go to medical school and become an immunologist in a laboratory, said that despite the poor economy, she was not worried about being able to pay her debts after graduation. “I’m pretty sure something will work out for me,” Ms. Holiday said.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:10 AM   #18
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After having been in school for thirteen years (Germany now dropped one year when you aim for the highest degree possible, so now it's only twelve years) it was a great idea to take a break from education and doing something else for a year. So I did some work and travel in Australia, after having worked for a couple of months between graduation and the trip. That, of course, also helped my language skills a bit.
It gives you another perspective and I think you can see a difference in the people that have done something else, like work and travel, and those who went to college right after.
Now being in dorms with some 18, 19 year old freshmen here in the US, I would say for some of those "kids" it would be a great experience, and a great boost in their development, if they went out for a while and experienced some of the challenges of life. They are no adults at all.
Unfortunately, those who do something outside their education career before entering into college tend to be the more matured.
Ok, I see the point that spending a year abroad could be very helpful for your personal development but however I'm a bit insecure about this work and travel thing. You 'waste' one year, cause you don't have a modest job. I don't think you will have advantages when applying for a job after college. I mean your competitors went to college right after highschool, while you're were working on a farm in Australia etc...
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:20 PM   #19
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I'm not wasting anything. I'm making a great experience in my life. I'm doing what I always wanted to do, visiting Australia.
And by planning my life, I'm not going after what might look great on my CV or what employers want to see. First and foremost I do what I see is best for myself. My life is not a career laid out and not planned in a way to please everyone else.
Fruit picking certainly is the main employer for work and travellers. However, under the Working Holiday Maker visa you can do whatever job you want. Many do waiting in the cities, for example. I've met some Irish girls and the one was working for a firm in Brisbane in the accounting department as she was a trained accountant. Others were car mechanics and hence worked for a car mechanic (and the owner put out a sign "German car mechanics" ). In Melbourne, I worked indirectly for World Vision, going from door to door in the suburbs asking people if they would be willing to support a child.
My language skills have certainly greatly improved while being there, making my studies in English much easier.

But the real point is, employers do very much value things like work and travel and many do see that as an advantage over someone who goes directly from school into college into a career. They see that you are willing to throw your self into another country and another culture (Australia of course is not as much another culture as is China or Kenya, but still there is considerable differences) and try to make a living there. They see you are open for challenges and new experiences. They value it as a great "soft skill".
I do not agree, from all what I have heard, that employers prefer those who have gone directly into college over those who have done something out of the ordinary. To the contrary, it is mostly encouraged to do things that give you a new perspective, a new experience and challenge you to make something not as "sheltered" as the usual educational career. Hence, the advantage is rather with those who were working on the farm in Australia instead of going to college right after high school.
Of course, other employers, on the other hand, might rather think the other way, but most of them do not.

And the most important aspect I think, don't spend your life doing what you think might be best for your CV, do what you see is best for yourself. When I planned my work and travel trip I've met many people in their late 20s and older saying, "Oh wow, I always wanted to do that but then I entered into an apprenticeship/college/career and now I cannot do that anymore."
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:32 AM   #20
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But the real point is, employers do very much value things like work and travel and many do see that as an advantage over someone who goes directly from school into college into a career. They see that you are willing to throw your self into another country and another culture (Australia of course is not as much another culture as is China or Kenya, but still there is considerable differences) and try to make a living there. They see you are open for challenges and new experiences. They value it as a great "soft skill".
I do not agree, from all what I have heard, that employers prefer those who have gone directly into college over those who have done something out of the ordinary. To the contrary, it is mostly encouraged to do things that give you a new perspective, a new experience and challenge you to make something not as "sheltered" as the usual educational career. Hence, the advantage is rather with those who were working on the farm in Australia instead of going to college right after high school.
Of course, other employers, on the other hand, might rather think the other way, but most of them do not.
I once got a job as a receptionist in a hotel because I was already in college and the other girl didn't get it cause she just came back from Australia and she wasn't sure what she was going to do next.... I think it depends on the job you're applying for.
But sure, it would be very nice if it's true what you're saying.
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