My kid is enrolling in college this year. So I decided to pen a letter to Admissions.

The one copied is for St. Johns, but I also sent the same to Hofstra, Adelphi, and Rutgers. We’ll see if they respond!

Names changed to protect the unknown. Formatting is as it appears on original email.
I did attach an image… the graphic on page 19 of the Imperial College Report… which does not display below.

I think the questions are all valid, but I’m not sure if a parent sending the letter in is the correct course of action. Admittedly, I went through the old Ontario system which went up to grade 13 so I was 19 when I started university, but shouldn’t this have come from your daughter?

Perhaps. Who knows? Given that there is a $20,000/year expense coming directly from me, I’m fine asking these questions as it is, in fact, my money going to these schools.

Given the uniqueness of the situation, the only difference is this letter would’ve been signed by Sophia - she’s a smart kid, but she’s still 18 and not really understanding of the impact all this is having.

I’m curious how fine your daughter is with you asking these questions. I know that if I were in her shoes, I’d be cringing hard.

That’s is kinda… odd?

I mean, she approved the letter, so I don’t even know why she would be “cringing hard”. Do your kids ‘cringe’ when you discuss finances and long-term decisions with them? Did you?

A typical HS senior, Sophia is worried about Prom being cancelled. A typical Dad, I’m worried about her not having a dorm come November. Check out page 19 of the link to see what the projected COVID-19-based ICU utilization rate will be for the US. Note the fall-winter spike?

Discussion is not what I find cringy.

It’s sending a letter to schools on her behalf that I find cringy.

You could have at least ghost written it for her and let her sign it to create the illusion that she doesn’t have a Helicopter Dad hovering over her.

I don’t know how things go in your workplace - mine (a university, although not any of the ones you named) is scrambling to figure out what Spring Quarter 2020 looks like, given that we’ve never done online-only instruction before.

Expecting us to have a plan for conditions in Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 is fine, but unrealistic.

It’s possible you’ll get an answer, however, if you do get an honest answer, it will probably be unsatisfying.
How’s your own workplace planning for Winter 2021?

duplicate post removed in the edit

This was my point exactly.

When do you have to make decisions about the school by?

This thing is developing so quickly, I very much doubt anyone can give you an even vaguely accurate answer now about what they’re going to be doing in November. So who gives you the best answer now … won’t even help you in your planning!

I think you should take things day by day John. I know the instinct is to control and fix, but this is not the time for it. Try to let things go for a bit. We are all in shock on some level. So just take a pause for yourself.

Agreed. JohnT, do you really think they’ve formulated answers to this yet? Every college probably has hundreds if not thousands of other parents demanding the same info.

Have you checked their websites for updates? Maybe they’re posting updates as they occur.

I don’t think it’s cringey for a parent to Contact college administration on behalf of a prospective first-year student. That kid is still in high school at this moment and so is a kid, not a full adult. That kid’s not going to go to Princeton or any other top school without the financial and other commitments and support of es parents.

I can answer what a large University will do for leftover time on dining cards and dorm payments, nothing. A big fat ‘Zero’.
My daughter’s (she’s home doing her work online for now) scholarship will stay intact as long as she finishes this semester and doesn’t flunk out.
You should look into online classes for her until you’re ready to send her off or the crisis subsides.
Good luck.

I work at one of those schools. We’re working as hard as we can just to make sure that, come Monday, when our classes resume, all online, everything goes as smoothly as possible. (It won’t.) You’re asking reasonable questions, but we may not yet have answers. Things are changing quickly—the governor just announced today that he’s ordering most businesses to close as of Sunday evening. Nobody knows how long this is going to last. As for us, we’re starting to move our summer courses online, and we just don’t know what’s going to happen in the Fall. Everything now depends on the course of the pandemic.
Contrary to Beck’s experience, I know that we’re refunding students for the time this spring semester when they won’t be in the dorms. I haven’t heard what we’re doing for the meal plans but I’m assuming something similar. It’s going to cost us a ton.
As for whether you should be asking these questions or your daughter should, these days nobody will be surprised to see these questions coming from the parent. Parents are much more involved at this level than they used to be, and we’ve just come to expect it.

I would have re-written the letter just to ask whether your daughter can defer admission until the spring semester, or a full year. You can add a sentence at the end about the current circumstances. I guarantee you that they’ll understand why you’re asking.

What wevets and Topologist said. Nobody knows what to expect months from now; we have much more immediate concerns.

John T, I’m sure the admissions offices will get many queries from parents, all of which will probably get answered with a generic note along the lines of , “At ____ U., student health is our primary concern, and we are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure the health and safety of our student body. We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments and take actions accordingly. Please consult the university website at ________. edu for the most up-to-date and accurate information on ___U.'s response to this public health crisis.”

This would be a good time to start making the transition from you being the responsible parent to your daughter being responsible for herself. When she does go off to college, you will be very limited as to what you can do on her behalf, no matter how much you’re paying for her education.

Oh, poop. I was hoping you meant the St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.

That was one of the campuses we visited with our son. By the time we finished the tour, I was ready to enroll and earn a second BA.

Please don’t. That’s a huge wall of text explaining things to them they already know and asking them questions they can’t possibly answer now.

Just ask about gap year and a delayed start. You don’t have to rationalize why. They know why. This is like explaining to the waiter, in grueling detail, why you don’t like sweet potato fries, and why you should be allowed to substitute the mixed veggies. To the degree that he needs to know, he already does; you explaining doesn’t change his opinion. Just ask.