kitchen table math, the sequel: thick envelope

Friday, December 23, 2011

thick envelope

Just in time for Christmas!

(It's from U Mass, which has put Chris in its Honors college and given him $10K in merit aid (unasked). Have I mentioned Scores are Gold lately?)


TerriW said...

Put that envelope under the tree!

(And yay for thick envelopes!)

FedUpMom said...

Congrats! Those years of hard work by all of you really paid off!

Catherine Johnson said...



He still doesn't know any damn math.

Catherine Johnson said...

here in my district we hear constantly that 'scores don't matter"


Telling parents 'Scores don't matter' is like telling parents 'Your money doesn't matter.'

Which of course is what they think

Catherine Johnson said...

Chris is soooooo happy

Catherine Johnson said...

(we've had a whole recruitment fiasco I'll write about when the tine comes, so this is a major gift just at the psychological level)

happy, happy

Chris says, I'm going to college!

kcab said...

Yay! Congrats to Chris!

Catherine Johnson said...

thank you, kcab!

I'm completely derailed.



Catherine Johnson said...

true story: A board member once asked our erstwhile superintendent whether she read the annual Westchester Magazine "best high schools" feature, which included average SAT scores from every district in the county.

She said No. She didn't read it, she said, because "That section is about selling real estate."

Catherine Johnson said...

Your (Rapidly Declining) Property Value. Not My Problem.

Catherine Johnson said...

Your Ability To Pay For College. Not My Problem.

ChemProf said...


Anonymous said...

Woo hoo!


Catherine Johnson said...

Woo hoo for sure!

We just drank champagne. Chris has some, too - !

Catherine Johnson said...

The great thing is, this is a place that actually suits his personality (I think - haven't visited).

Chris thought the rep who came to his school was great, and we all like the 5-colleges area.

Assuming he gets into NYU (I've mentioned we have tuition there), he'll no doubt go to NYU.

BUT U. Mass just feels like a nice fit for him.

debbie stier said...

YAY CHRIS!!!!! Please tell him CONGRATS from me. I can't wait to tell Ethan.

And I'm with all those comments -- i.e. both of your hard work paid off!

Glen said...

Congratulations to Chris. It wasn't easy for you, but it can't have been easy for him, either. Like so many of our kids now, he had to do a mountain of work to obtain his credentials and then, during rest breaks, he had to do another mountain of work to obtain his education. He should be proud of what he has done.

Cheryl van Tilburg said...

Woo hoo! Congratulations to Chris! I've been watching and cheering from afar....your journey gives me hope!

SteveH said...

Congratulations to Chris!

I just drove past Amherst yesterday to pick up my aunt in Sunderland. I like the area too. My grandparents had a farm on the Connecticut river. I like the way that Mount Holyoke, Mount Tom, and Mount Sugarloaf rise right up out of the Connecticut river valley.

Barry Garelick said...

Yay to Chris! And you!


RMD said...

Congraulations! Your hard work has paid off. Very well done

Catherine Johnson said...

he had to do a mountain of work to obtain his credentials and then, during rest breaks, he had to do another mountain of work to obtain his education

oh my gosh, Glen ALWAYS leaves me laughing!

you've got that right - and, as I say, if I'd known then what I know now, there would have been a WHOLE LOT MORE out-of-school work, too!

Catherine Johnson said...

Susan, Cheryl, RMD - everyone - thank you!

Catherine Johnson said...

btw, everyone should remember this when the time comes...we had no idea schools send you money in the acceptance letter. I guess we didn't really know about Honors colleges, either.

Now that this has happened, Ed wants Chris to apply to Rutgers, whih has one of the best history departments in the country --- but it's too late, according to their website, for Chris to be awarded merit aid.

I don't even know how or why Chris ended up applying to U. Mass. I think he did it on his own, maybe after they gave him a free application.

I'm going to ask him about it.

Catherine Johnson said...

Oh, this is interesting. He says he applied because "I really liked the guy who came to our school" - and because "Dad told me it was a good school."

I didn't even know he'd applied to U. Mass, I don't think.

I've intentionally tuned out ALL out-of-state schools on grounds that I don't want to pay for them. It never occurred to me that an out-of-state school would award a significant tuition deduction.

We were reading up on U. Mass on College Confidential last night. The school seems to be giving huge scholarships to in-state kids. Full tuition, I think.

$10K seems to be the highest amount they give out-of-state kids.

Catherine Johnson said...

Barry, Steve - thank you!

Yes, I drove to the 5-college area a couple of summers ago, when Chris & some of his friends went to a camp there....

jeez, that reminds me of the Random Walkiness of parenting: Chris attended a football camp at Amherst with his friends.

Football camp at Amherst.

That sounds silly.

concernedCTparent said...

You should be BEAMING! Congratulations to Chris!! Wonderful news and just in time for the holidays. Enjoy the celebration.

Catherine Johnson said...

Thank you, Concerned!!

I AM beaming!

We are all happy --- it's just great. And the whole thing is such a lovely surprise. I had just taken for granted that any out-of-state school was out of the question financially. Now he's been accepted by an out-of-state school that is a) a good state school, b) a school he might actually go to, and c) an out-of-state school we can afford.

(I'd forgotten, Ed also gets $5K towards tuition wherever Chris goes, so he's in very good shape to go to U. Mass if that's what he & we decide.)

The whole thing is amazing --- something good happening when (& where) you aren't looking.

Whoever the admissions officer is that they sent here is **really** doing his job. The whole admissions office is doing its job, in fact.

Ed said yesterday he'd had a feeling U. Mass might time the letter for just before Christmas. (Am I repeated myself?) He said that sending it now generates tremendous good will; U. Mass alone took all of Chris's anxiety away. Ed said, "Now he wants to go to U. Mass, and I'm practically ready to send him there."

Catherine Johnson said...

I wonder how closely related the Admissions Office of a college is to the institution as a whole.

When this is over, I'll write a bit about the few admissions presentations we saw.

There is a HUGE difference in the way colleges present themselves. Huge.

SUNY Binghamton does a fantastic job, Chris and I both thought.

The admissions person overseeing the presentation made both of us think Binghamton would be a good place to go to school, and the student tour guide confirmed our impression.

SATVerbalTutor. said...

Congratulations to Chris, Catherine. He must be so unbelievably relieved to have actually gotten into college. Pretty much every kid I've ever worked with, no matter how amazing their stats were, was secretly (or not so secretly) freaking out until that first big envelope arrived.

Btw, I know a ton of people who went to UMass Amherst (incl. the honors program), and I know they had really great experiences there. But for the SUNY schools, yes, Binghamton is supposed to be fantastic, and I've also heard wonderful things about Geneseo (in the middle of nowhere, but great academically). I had an extremely bright GRE student who went there, and she absolutely loved it.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi EM!

Thanks so much - I'm having Ed read now !

Catherine Johnson said...

You're so right about the 'freak out' --- he's been very worried. You're right about the scores/grades, too. There's no possibility that a student with his scores/grades isn't going to get into a college, and yet...he was worried.

He was absolutely thrilled to get that thick envelope.

He's been singing around the house ever since.

Catherine Johnson said...

Good to hear about Geneseo.

Catherine Johnson said...

Chris has actually said, more than once, "I'm going to college."

There was never any doubt ---- and yet, there was.

Anonymous said...

The colleges (or at least the admissions departments) want you to think there is doubt, because then you'll apply to 15 schools instead of 2 or 3, and their statistics look better. In reality, they shovel almost every kid who is breathing into college, including many who don't want to attend and/or aren't prepared enough to attend. Go figure.

VickyS said...

Hey Catherine, I'm just catching up a bit and want you to know how thrilled I am for you and C.!! Being one year ahead, S. and I know how big that day is when the first acceptance comes in. It's true, you really don't know for sure it will happen until it does. Maybe we're sensitive to it because we know a number of kids who didn't get into any of the colleges they applied to. And yeah, I've got to believe scores matter. GPAs can vary heavily from school to school but the scores are standardized.

S is home from his first semester (University of Waterloo in Ontario). Passed all his classes (no easy task). I'm convinced that the work we've collectively done at KTM on the math front (and the English front, too) paid off for him, as it will for C and the other kids coming up through this community.

And sorry for being afk forever--I've missed y'all! I've put my money where my mouth is...still working FT in my regular profession (law) but also teaching Biology and...Advanced Engl Comp at our high school, so not a spare moment. Like you I've had to learn all the new grammar terms--appositive and absolute phrases, comma splices (the scourge!!) and the new MLA citation format. I've even started giving spelling tests, having found their spelling was atrocious. Obviously, though, I haven't learned not to ramble. Happy New Year!