right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Why I Chose a Safety over a Reach School (and why you can too!)

kjonenokjoneno 7 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9 New Member
I committed to University of San Diego (47% acceptance) over Georgia Teach (14% acceptance OOS).

Making the decision was one of the hardest things I had to do. I was so conflicted. No one else from my school (620 students class of 2019) got into GT. I was the only one, and somehow that made the decision even harder.

Ultimately, USD gave me 9X as much merit aid, a place in the honors program, and the opportunity to earn an engineering degree within a liberal arts institution.

While GT is one of the best engineering schools in the world, I knew that I wanted to do more than just STEM, and that was going to be harder at a tech school. Not to mention, GT wasn't nearly as pretty of a campus as USD (lol).

At GT, I would be a smaller fish. I would have to fight for internships and other opportunities that at USD, I would just be handed. I would be more valued and noticed at USD, and I know that it was going to be the best place for me to thrive not just as a student, but as a person.

The hardest part is that I felt like I would impress more people if I went to GT. I thought somehow it would better validate my accomplishments in high school and more people would care. What I HAD to do was stop caring about what other people would think of me wherever I went. It had to be a decision for me and only me.

College is more than just an acceptance rate or a more well known name... it's where you belong. Where you feel the most appreciated and where you feel like you can thrive the best. USD is the right school for me. It always was. I just had to ignore the fact that less people will care about me going to USD as opposed to GT, and that's ok because it's not going to hold me back from being successful and being happy.
14 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Why I Chose a Safety over a Reach School (and why you can too!)

  • W84QuakerW84Quaker 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    Bravo!
    · Reply · Share
  • mardongmardong 116 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    Congratulations!
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5524 replies120 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,644 Senior Member
    Good job! People pay LOTS of money for bumper sticker prestige. That money gets to stay in your pocket.
    · Reply · Share
  • Rose2023Rose2023 19 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    Fantastic! So many students are finding themselves in this situation (prestige, acceptance rate, peer perceptions, etc...) so thank you for speaking up!
    Congratulations!!!
    · Reply · Share
  • trackmbe3trackmbe3 737 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 757 Member
    edited April 25
    @kjoneno You show good insight and maturity in your decisionmaking process. Your reasoning makes sense. IMO if you are not wealthy or poor it is difficult to afford top tier private colleges and out-of-state public universities these days without large merit aid. In your case, USD is ranked #41 versus Georgia Instititute of Technology is ranked #35 in the National Universities in the 2019 edition of USNews&World Report. So you are fortunate your safety is a top tier school. Always best to go to the school you can afford and that offers the best fit. After all the hoopla surrounding college decision day dies down and after the seemingly large microscope of interest on Your decision (among peers, guidance counselor, friends and family) subsides, it will be you just living your life, going to college, paying the college bills which likely you will be able to afford without taking on a whole lot of debt, due to “9x” the amount of merit aid you received from USD versus GT. In 6 months or a year from now nobody except you will really care where you decided to go.
    edited April 25
    · Reply · Share
  • gpo613gpo613 290 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 310 Member
    I don't your personal finances but I think you made the right decision. You should go where you want as long as you can truly afford it.

    Worrying about what others think is so not worth it. Plus most of those people you will hardly ever see again.

    As you age you care less and less about what other people think. Eventually you are old person in the gym locker room that walks around naked. That's when you really don't care.
    · Reply · Share
  • SailingMomof2SailingMomof2 30 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    @kjoneno thanks so much for your post. I can relate as a parent - your words voiced my internal voice perfectly. "The hardest part is that I felt like I would impress more people if I went to GT. I thought somehow it would better validate my accomplishments in high school and more people would care. What I HAD to do was stop caring about what other people would think of me wherever I went. It had to be a decision for me and only me. College is more than just an acceptance rate or a more well known name... it's where you belong."

    Thanks for helping me be totally at peace (and even be excited) with my DD's decision. Best of luck to you- lucky school to have you in the mix.
    · Reply · Share
  • Trixy34Trixy34 1166 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,172 Senior Member
    @kjoneno - I'm so happy for you! You made your first big life decision and rocked it! Good for you. Enjoy San Diego!
    · Reply · Share
  • BmacNJBmacNJ 80 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    Congrats to you and your decision!!!

    As Yogi Berra said, when you get to the fork in the road, take it
    · Reply · Share
  • ITBgirlITBgirl 349 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 361 Member
    Good for you, but I know it can be hard, but you have to do what is right for you. My D15 did the same, and loved her Honors College, she too worried about the small fish big pond - she just graduated, loved her 4 years at her school, and is debt free, employed and has 529 money left for grad school.
    · Reply · Share
  • momocarlymomocarly 821 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 828 Member
    Congratulations. We love posts like this. You made a great and mature decision and will do well!

    My son did it a little differently and early on he only applied to safeties. He chose his schools based on the programs that they had, the honors colleges, the study abroad programs, the cost and ease of moving on to vet school when he was done. He didn't look at ratings etc. Once he had his list it turned out they all were rolling admissions and he was just about guaranteed admission to all of them. He had some people ask "Why not XYZ college?" and he would answer with the opportunities he was being given. I turned down MIT for SMU and my husband turned down Rice for SMU due to scholarships offered. We have done fine. Son will be entering vet school in a year and we are very happy with his decision and so is he!
    · Reply · Share
  • GreymeerGreymeer 724 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 733 Member
    USD is around 8% engineering. So yes you will stand out.
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 894 Member
    OP, from your post it feels like your are trying to convince yourself. You’ll be fine, move on.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity