My daughter and I visited the OU Athens Campus last week. We were impressed with what we saw, but because of the research we've both done are nervous about the heavy drinking rep. OU has (especially Halloween). My daughter is not a partier. We are seriously considering this school because of the excellant merit scholarship she would be getting. We know that every college has partiers, but is she going to have an easy time finding friends who aren't into the party scene. She will be coming knowing no one.
That was my worry as well, but my son graduated in 2009 and could not have found a better place to go to school. You know, I don't know if drinking at OU is worse than at most colleges around the country. The nice thing about OU is that the campus has so many students that she should have no problem finding people like herself. But one major thing can help in that respect: I strongly, strongly urge her to consider getting housing in an honors dorm (which she will qualify for if she either is in HTC or gets one of the merit (Gateway) scholarships). It seems that the initial set of friends come from the dorm environment, and then, secondly, from the department, and then finally, from the outside activities (clubs).
How strong are her stats? Would she qualify for application into the HTC? That provides a very strong group of friends.
I would also urge that she participate in any pre-college activities and orientations. Friends come from there as well.
You don't have to be a party person to enjoy what OU has to offer.
And, she might find Halloween to be fun to see - as an observer.
Momof2...we just got back from orientation at OU and I can tell you that they are making a big push to crack down on drinking. It was emphasized throughout the 1 1/2 day orientation from the faculty to the staff to the student advisors. They've really cracked down on Halloween, especially (they bring in lots of extra security, change all the locks, limit students to one guest who must be registered and have a wrist tag, etc.). Over and over again, they stressed that students will be prosecuted if caught with alcohol (even an empty can or bottle) or even appearing intoxicated.
As the mother of two 2010 college grads from two other schools, I can honestly say I've never heard this much discussion about the perils of drinking and consequences for those who are caught. I also can tell you that students can find alcohol anywhere they want. There will be those who will go to college simply to party (my son did and he ended up in community college and eventually transferring to a small school back home -- finally graduating after six years). Others will learn to balance studies and fun (like my daughter who graduated with honors in four years). My youngest is now heading to OU in the fall. I'm confident that she is going there fully informed of the rules and the consequences.
The important thing is to be involved, make good friends and have good study habits. My daughter is excited to be part of a learning community, which is a small group of students from her major, and to have a peer mentor from her college. She's also interested in getting involved in activities, including club sports. Starting college with these connections will help her to focus on the more positive aspects of college.
FYI, my daughter's only hesitation about OU is its reputation as a party school (she hates when people tell her that!). Hopefully, this reputation will change with OU's efforts. I think digmedia is right (and that's the message we got this week at orientation) -- you don't have to party to enjoy what OU has to offer.
Thank you for these responses. This has made me feel better about it. digmedia - she is eligible for the merit scholarships - she has a 32 act and a 3.75 gpa, currently. I think since she's taking 4 AP classes this next year that her gpa might go up because of the weight? That is basically why this school is high on her list - they want to give her money
The HTC seemed really like a great thing. I did have one concern with that, too, now that you mention it. Since it's one on one with a professor, what if she doesn't like her professor?
HTC is crazy-selective to get into, and I think they are looking for kids with high stats (see the website for info) who are crazy-passionate about their prospective major. The statistics (from 4 years ago) are: 280 people applied (all, supposedly, academically qualified). 180 were selected for interviews, and acceptances went out to about 80. Of those 80, approximately 60 attend. So that's a 29% acceptance rate (but of those accepted, a 75% "yield").
How great the HTC is depends on the student. You certainly cannot hide or fall between the cracks, but the tutorials may not be for everyone. If you go back in this forum (and you *can* go back more that what you might be seeing - you can change you profile to show more posts) you will find some people NOT happy with the HTC. But our experience was great. The student certainly has to be motivated, independent, and in many ways driven in his/her passion for the major.
But, even if not an HTCer, she can still take advantage of the honors dorms, which will have HTC and non-HTC people in them, but provide a great pool of friends-to-be.
I looked at the scholarships and your D's stats. Looks like her final tuition and fees bill per year would be about $3000 (based on this year's scholarships and costs). Where else would you find an excellent college for $3000 a year for an out-of-state student? The R&B costs really add up, but you'll have that no matter where you go.
Thanks for the compliment on my son. He graduated in 2009 and started his own business doing visual effects for the film industry. The first film he worked on won an award at this year's Cannes Film Festival and that, plus word-of-mouth, has sent a lot more business his way.
Anyway, keep us informed about what her decision is. Good luck.
momof2...based on your daughter's stats, absolutely apply to the HTC..she has a chance.
although my son decided to not enter the HTC program, and go to another school instead, we were nonetheless extremely impressed and it was a difficult decision to turn down. I think the HTC program, on its own, would translate into a top 60 school by US News.
My son will be a sophomore at OU this fall. We are also out-of-state and he recieved a substantial Gateway scholarship, which has been so helpful.
My son is very social, but does not consider himself a "partier". The street fests got old for him quickly. He tends to hang out with friends in their room, play pick up or intramural sports, do outdoor stuff (hiking, swimming) rather than go to Court St or big frat parties and fests on the weekend. Most of the wild partying happens OFF-CAMPUS at frats, bars, house parties and fests. OU does enforce its alcohol and substance policy on campus.
You can request quiet housing or substance-free housing. There is a scholarship dorm (DS was not interested) , and Honors housing for students in HTC. Anyone can find their niche at OU! My son lived in one of the front-four on South (considered "party" dorms) and he loved being there. He made alot of good friends this year!
Donkey Coffee is a great music venue where many non-drinkers hang out. The Athena theater on Court St shows indie films and hosts the Athens Film Festival in the spring. (free films for students!) Football and basketball games are fun and they are very cheap for students. There are great concerts and lectures on campus, all free or reduced-price.
One thing I would suggest to your daughter is to go on Facebook, and search for Ohio University Class of 2011, or whatever class she's in. There is usually an extensive "Looking for a roommate" thread on that board where people can "meet" via FB and choose their own roommate. This worked beautifully for my son, who knew no one before he met his roommate.
My son had faculty teaching 80% of his classes this year, which is unheard of for an undecided Freshman in a public University in the state we live in. As you know the campus is incredibly beautiful, and feels much more like a private school than a public. We live in New England, and in my family's opinion, OU is at least as lovely as Holy Cross, Harvard, Wesleyan, Williams, Connecticut College and Quinnapiac.
Good luck with the process! I know your daughter will find many like minded classmates at OU!