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High school graduates college acceptances

Original post made by PA mom, Old Palo Alto, on Jun 12, 2008

Any statistics of which colleges and universities Paly/Gunn graduates have been accepted to this year?

Comments (17)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

go to paly.net, get to the homepage of the Paly voice (a wonderful informative resource!), there should be a U.S. map, you can click on that, it shows where 2008 grads are going (actually, in addition, some are off the U.S. map, going overseas to college, several will be serving in the Israeli military, etc.)


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Posted by parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm

to be more specific:
For Paly info, easiest is to go to voice.paly.net
actually, they appear to have both the old 2007 map/college info "oh the places they'll go.." on the bottom right of the page as well as the current 2008 info if you scroll down the page, more centered.
These are not acceptances, rather where students decided to accept and will attend


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Actually, these are where the students say they are going. Sometimes, the students are, shall we say, a little enthusiastic with the truth. This is by no means a certified accurate account, more an enthusiastic survey. No one has to prove to anyone where they say they are heading and this is from the students themselves. I don't think there is any way any official information can be sourced.


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Posted by UCB Mom
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 12, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I'd like to know the profile of graduates who got accepted into Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley. What was their SAT, GPA and extra curriculum activities, just to get an idea what these schools are looking for these days...


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 12, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I think the college center at paly keeps stats on all the profiles of who got in where.


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Posted by the only sane one here
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm

yes, UCB Mom and the rest of you, make sure to get that info and make sure your kids know exactly what they have to do to please you. cause god forbid you have to go face your neighbors or coworkers and admit your kid didn't get into those schools. so yeah, get that research and... on second thought don't look it up, cause those ivy schools reject thousands of valedictorians and of "perfect kids" - so what the heck can anyone do anyway? or check this idea - let your kids follow their own path. let them look up the info themselves if they care. and if they don't want to take honors classes just for the challenge and if they struggle with sat scores, then maybe those schools aren't for them even if it was good for you. and maybe they'll grow up to LOVE you that much more for your ability to live in this community and resist the temptation to get caught up in this craziness. and while you're at it, look up how many happy successful people went to just regular old good colleges instead of the elitist few. i mean, have you ever heard of an adult who looks back and says if only i'd gone to a better college??? if only my parents hadpushed me a bit harder??? and did you know that kids w/ good grades at jr. college can finish up a BA at top UC/CSU schools?


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Posted by Paly/SJSU grad
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jun 15, 2008 at 11:17 am

To "the only sane one here", regarding your last lines,

There ARE people out there who wish they'd went to better colleges. I am one. I graduated from Paly in the 80s and with family issues, did not focus on academics and went to Foothills CC, then to San Jose State. I don't feel inferior to others because I know that if I had tried just a little more, I could have gone to a UC school. SJSU was so easy that I didn't study much there either and just wanted to get a degree (of course, there are difficult majors there, but mine was advertising/marketing).

My point is that I didn't fit in with the other students at Foothills and SJSU. They were not like the intellectual students at Paly that I grew up with. Nor did they have the extra income to do more things as we had at Paly. Had I gone to a more challenging school such as a UC, I would have enjoyed it more because the people would have been more like me. Yes, this post may sound like a snobby Palo Altan, which I am not. Before you jump to that conclusion, let me ask you, would you attend a mostly-black, mostly-Mormon, or mostly-girls college if you were not African-American, Mormon, or female? Not likely, because it would not be a good fit for you either, rather than because you are a snob.


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Posted by Boris
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Jun 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Paly/SJSU grad nailed it.
Of course it is important not to overdo it, but why lower the bar for yourself or your kids? San Jose State is the type of school ANYONE can get in. There are smart and hardworking kids there by all means, but the majority unfortunately is very different from UC or Ivy Leage types of students. So many of them never travelled abroad, never went to a symphony or opera, simply did not have the same exposure to literature, art, music, intellectual and political debates, as studens who go to top tier universities. Hence their world view is more limited compared to that of those who had such exposure. It is like understanding abstract or conceptual art - it is hard to understand and appreciate "Black Square" if you never studied art history, visited world class museums or if you have parents who never heard of Malevich. The point here is not to promote elitism, but to recognize a simple fact that everyone needs stimulating environment for further development and schools like San Jose State might not be stimulating enough for some.


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Posted by the only sane one here
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2008 at 1:04 am

dear paly/sjsu grad - you think you would have been happier at another school if you had tried harder, but you don't know for sure what the environment would have been like at those other schools. if you weren't the type to try hard in HS and then you went on to some college where everyone had worked their tails off to get there, would you fit in? i dunno. but you folks who are disagreeing with me are kinda agreeing with me too. . my point was jsut that everyone should find their place - and for some kids that's the big name school, and for some it ain't. i'm not talking about lowering the bar - i'm talking about who sets the bar. sure kids need parental guidance, but digging into the data on ivy league schools isn't guidance. talking to your kids about learning, hard work, ethics, and healthy expectations - that's guidance. if you're not a driven self motivated high schooler, why would you or your parents think, hmmmm, princeton! and if mom and dad have to push the kid to reach those ivy expectations then maybe they're not pushing into the right place. so sjsu grad, whatever you ended up doing in life, hope you did it your way. and on your own terms and whatever came of it, you own it. my point was that it's messed up when parents want to know the data about what happened this year at harvardstanfordyalee etc., and the fact is that there's nothing you can do to guarantee your kid gets in there anyway. everyone needs to find their threshold for present sacrifice for future gain, and the present sacrifice angle is waaaaay overemphasized in this town. and if you have to convince your kid to get them to aim that high then maybe that's too high. if your kid wants to go there and they want the information, that's different. if they have a good reason for wanting to go, even better, but i've met some PA teens who couldn't tell you a single difference among the top name schools - not even locations - but thought they wanted to go there. that pressure is messed up. meanwhile, we should be pointing out that there are manymanymany happy successful professional people who went to other schools. there are many many many paths to take and we focus on the limited few to our own detriment, especially when the parents push. and if any parents here are so proud of what they're doing for their kids online here, why are they frickin' anonymous just to ask a question like, hey, can anyone tell me what it takes to get into harvard these days?


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Posted by the only sane one here
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2008 at 1:17 am

wow - just read this more carefully - takes the prize for irony of the day - Boris writes:

"Hence their world view is more limited compared to that of those who had such exposure. It is like understanding abstract or conceptual art - it is hard to understand and appreciate "Black Square" if you never studied art history, visited world class museums or if you have parents who never heard of Malevich. The point here is not to promote elitism..."

really??? name dropping, but not promoting elitism??? and anyway, who's limited? who decides that? ya know, maybe those elitist world travelers hanging at the museum really need to go to CSU and get to know some people who've had to work for everything they got and got themselves through school while working to help their parents pay the rent or take care of the family. maybe they need to meet some students who've lived a little and scraped by to get themselves back into school. maybe left a few buddies or a limb in iraq. maybe your little elitists who think summer is a verb are the ones who are really in need of some enrichment, cause understanding that painting when you can't even understanding your own community is a crying shame. someday those rich kids will keep fiddlin' while rome burns... the match is already lit, but you can't tell from those hallowed halls


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Posted by Paly/SJSU Grad
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 16, 2008 at 2:32 am

I see nothing wrong with parents wanting to find out what it takes to get accepted into the Ivys and other top notch universities. It doesn't mean they are stressing out their kids. Some parents, including myself, just want to know what it takes to get into these schools and whether their kid can be pushed to attain it or if it would be too much stress for their child and decide against pushing them too hard. Better than just telling the child to do their best and then find out later that they should have just done this or that and they could have been accepted into a top notch college. It's like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey: if the child has something to aim for, it makes it easier for them to understand the outcome. Guidance would be for a parent to say to their child, "It's your choice: if you want to go to this college, get this GPA, do this and that for your best chance. If you want to go to this college, do this and that..." If they are presented with the choices, they can decide their outcome and how hard they want to work. I didn't study much at Paly. Just a couple of points up on my GPA and I would have made it into a UC. But no one told me, so I didn't try.


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Posted by the only sane one here
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2008 at 3:19 pm

okay, sjsu/paly grad, but there's a diff. between making yourself csu/uc elligible and looking into the stats thinking you can solve the admissions game for the super-top schools. you write "Some parents, including myself, just want to know what it takes to get into these schools and whether their kid can be pushed to attain it." well, how about this - perfect grades, lots of ap classes, and perfect test scores will not - i repeat - will not necessarily get you into the "top" schools. maybe we can agree on distinguishing between the kind of push you needed and the unhelpful push that's too often found in p.a. you write about telling your kid "If you want to go to this college, do this and that..." and you argue that "If they are presented with the choices, they can decide their outcome." i'll agree if you're talking about certain schools and certain level of achievement, but it reaches a point where what you said is just not true - you can't follow a formula or recipe to get into a certain school and you can't "decide their outcome" ... but i still maintain that if we focus on education as a college entrance pursuit rather than a knowledge pursuit then we're shortchanging our kids.

p.s. - i don't really think i'm the only sane one here, but there's precious few!


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Posted by Paly/SJSU grad
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 16, 2008 at 10:00 pm

OK, only sane, why don't we just take this outside?

My last comment on this is that sure, there is no guarantee that if a child does all the right things, he/she will be accepted into that university and there is no perfect formula. Although there is a minimum formula and the student can at least try to meet it and the rest is up to the admmissions staff. As everyone says, universities turn away many eligible applicants purely because there is just no more room. You are interpreting "push their kids" in an extreme way, which I agree, some people do. But you can type till you are blue in the face (or fingers) and people are not going to change.

It is more helpful to the student if he/she knows what it takes to get into certain universities and decide if he/she wants to try to be accepted by them. More straightforward than just telling them, "Hey, learn all you can in high school. Learning is fun and you will be an erudite alum, able to reason with the best" and in the senior year have to tell them "It is great that you learned so much but you cannot be accepted into that university because you didn't even fulfill the minimum requirements. While you were taking (insert class), you should have been taking (insert class)."

We can help shape our own destinies.

OK, over and out.




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Posted by the only sane one here
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2008 at 11:55 pm

if anything i wrote sounds like i don't approve of high goals, that's not the case. though my typing may not suggest it, i was a high achiever in high school, degrees from top schools in the state, but not b/c my parents ever got me an sat tutor, told me to take more ap classes or do more volunteer work for my college app. my issues are: 1). who's driving - parents or kids? 2). the worthiness of the goal and the effects of its pursuit.

1. not saying kids have all the info or that we shouldn't give it to them. but parents should be emphasizing more meaningful goals and more meaningful learning -it's not one or the other, it's how you present it. I'm fine with telling kids that if they push themselves and challenge themselves they might get more out of their learning and expand their options. i'm less okay with telling kids that instead of 2 ap classes they need four ap classes because mom and dad want you to an even better college. like i said above, i've known p.a. kids who don't really know a thing about the schools they supposedly want to go to. so who's driving?

2 look back at the post that pulled me into the thread. the question wasn't what it takes to get into college, or whole range of colleges. just the elite few. and the pathetic part is that the answer is kinda obvious - you have to be the best of the best, and even then, likely as not, it won't be good enough for harvardyalestanford. so what's the point of telling a kid that? if they're motivated to work that hard anyway, then fine, go for it. but if parents think they're helping by taking this info and then pressuring smart high achievers to make further sacrifices for an elusive and unpredictable extrinsic reward, they're robbing their children of a chance to seize their own future and learn a more intrinsic and meaningful sense of what education is all about. then suppose it works - off to four more years without mom and dad pushing and you wake up one day and discover it wasn't really your goal anyway (obviously i know that's not the case for everyone but it's a risk i wouldn't take with my own kids - there are more than five or ten good colleges - more than 100 or 200)


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Posted by maybe
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 17, 2008 at 12:08 am

Some people care a lot what car they drive; others could care less. Some parents encourage kids to choose and pursue their own interests; others try hard to select and channel those pursuits. Only Sane, you think you know the best way to raise kids; others would think you are nuts. You think there are 100-200 "good colleges" - others think below the top 10 national reputation falls off so sharply that the value is sharply reduced (even though the price is the same).

My experience is that judging other people's parenting approach is not such a good idea. Kids and situations differ; "good" parents can produe terrible kids, and bad parents great kids. What's good for you may be dead wrong for others. Only Sane, you may think you have the answers, but maybe not for everybody.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 19, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Okay, I just read this thread and had to laugh at Boris' assumptions.

Boris, San Jose State has a strong opera program that feeds directly into Opera San Jose's artist-in-residence program. So, yeah, SJSU has kids who have heard of opera and *sing* it. If you're a wannabe opera singer, SJSU's a better choice than Stanford--seriously--as Stanford gutted its musical performance department several years ago in favor of musicology.

And that to me gets to the difference--SJSU offers a hands-on get-a-job programs. If you're going to college to get a job, SJSU is a good choice. If you're going to college to explore ideas and delve into fascinating bits of arcanum then SJSU's pragmatic approach would bore you. SJSU will train you well, but it won't necessarily expand your mind--if you want that college experience, I'd recommend one of the smaller liberal-arts colleges--why? You're more likely to actually end up in seminars with actual faculty instead of being shunted into large lectures. Thus, I'd pick Amherse, for example, over Harvard. And then if grad school is part of the plan, I *would* pick a top-ranked grad school. Stanford undergrad sounds fun, but at a lot of the large elites, undergrads are kind of herded around for a couple of years.

So I can see where Paly/SJSU is coming from--s/he didn't have the college experience that s/he wanted. And by the token, there are kids at some of those elite schools who'd have been happier at pragmatic San Jose State.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Maybe,

But there isn't a huge difference between the top 10 and the top 100--if you look at it objectively. In other words, the kids do as well in life and have the same odds of getting into good grad schools.

So, it's not simply a case of subjective parental views. And that kind of subjective viewpoint can lead to bad parenting.

What do I mean by bad parenting? I think bad parenting includes beating your kids because you can't control your stress levels. I think it includes forgetting to feed your kids, severely neglecting them. It also can include using them as a narcisstic supply where their academic performance becomes more about validating your parenting and sense of self-esteem than it does about them.

I think we have a job as parents--we need feed, clothe and shelter our kids. That's immediate. We then have to teach them how to make their way in the world, to eventually function as independent adults. Sometimes that means showing them that they can aim high--those ten schools. But sometimes it means finding realistic ways to deal with not achieving the highest goals. Life can be just fine if you don't get into Harvard or win the Nobel--of if you get a B in honors math.

I think parents around here don't always teach realistic coping skills. I also think it's very hard for a lot of people to realize that their alma mater might not let in their kid just because it's so competitive right now.


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