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How can I convince my parents to let me dorm?

kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
I'm a rising senior looking into college and my dream school is far away from me and requires students to live their first 2 years in dorms anyways. Even if I don't get into my dream school I am still applying to schools far away and would like dorming to be part of my college experience. However, my parents who are typical deshi's, do not want their daughter to dorm. Money is not a problem for us. I would even pay for my dorms but I do not want my parents to be against me. How can I convince them?
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Replies to: How can I convince my parents to let me dorm?

  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2181 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Is it living in actual dorms the issue or is it living away from home?
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  • mikemacmikemac 10642 replies154 threads Senior Member
    edited August 6
    It may be difficult if not impossible. Are your parents on board with your dream school and the others you want to apply to? Or is it just something you've decided you're going to do? It's entirely possible they may end up only allowing you to attend an area college and live at home.

    Hopefully it has just been a general discussion so far. If you've actually told them you're going to live in the dorms and they've said no then it becomes a lot more difficult because they'd need to reverse their decision and people are reluctant to do that once they've committed to something.

    What you are in is a serious negotiation. There are books on negotiation you can read; one I recommend is "Getting More" by Stuart Diamond. There are no magic phrases that will change their mind, so looking for "ways to convince them" is unlikely to ever work. What you're going to need to do is understand their concerns and worries, and then explore options *together*. People are almost never "convinced" of something, but if they can be persuaded to look at the situation and options they may make up their own mind in a way that satifies you too. The book outlines steps you can use, although there is no guarantee you will succeed.
    edited August 6
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8175 replies87 threads Senior Member
    You have to figure out what is most important to you and what is attainable.

    Single sex schools and schools that have single sex dorms are both good places to start. Both will have communities of students who are at those schools for *exactly* that reason.

    You won't lose anything by being at Wellesley, Smith, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Scripps, Mt Holyoke, Agnes Scott, Meredith, or Simmons. Vassar and Notre Dame are mixed gender, but have all-women dorms (and at ND, strict rules about boys) (I am sure that there are others).
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30942 replies199 threads Senior Member
    Where do your parents WANT you to go to college? Start with that.

    Is the hard cold truth that they are only interested in you living at home and commuting to school? If so, are the commuting-distance places where you are guaranteed acceptance or at least likely to be accepted?

    Are your parents OK with you living in your own apartment by yourself or with a carefully selected roommate? Could it be that the DORM is the bad thing, not the living away from home?

    What is your "dream school" and what about it makes it that dreamy for you?

    What have your parents told you about how they expect you to pay for your education? Have you sat down with them and run the Net Price Calculators at the website of the dream school and several others?

    What are your stats and what state do you live in? We might be able to help you find a place that is far enough from your parents to make you happy where you would have enough automatic merit aid so as to make any of their objections moot.
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  • kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Well, i live in nyc and my dream school is an ivy league. I have a good shot in getting in; my grades are great, so are my ecs and essays. My parents are low income so I should get a lot of aid. However, my parents always tell me why do I need to go to school out of state since nyc is an amazing place to go to school to. I see what they mean but I lived here my whole life it would be nice to dorm somewhere else.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 84597 replies752 threads Senior Member
    Does this mean that your dream Ivy League school is not Columbia, and that your parents want you to live at home and commute to college, regardless of cost or other factors relating to college choice?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8175 replies87 threads Senior Member
    I have a good shot in getting in

    ....not wanting to be too much of a cold shower, but w/o a hook (or being at the upper end of your class in a feeder school) great grades, ECs & essays just make you a qualified applicant...

    What is *most* important to you? not being in NYC? living in a dorm?

    What is *most* important to your parents? you being home? you not living with boys?

    Do they want you to go to college?
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  • kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
    I have a good shot in getting in

    ....not wanting to be too much of a cold shower, but w/o a hook (or being at the upper end of your class in a feeder school) great grades, ECs & essays just make you a qualified applicant...

    One of the commenters asked if I had a shot of getting in and I said yes I do JUST based on stats. I know that's not a guarantee but my stats do line up with the college I like.

    Money is not a factor they just don't want me to dorm because they do not believe in kids leaving their parents for school. They worry about safety but it's not to say every college dorm is dangerous... commuting to school in NYC which I do now is probably even more dangerous.

    And no I'm not interested in Columbia, I'd like to go to UPenn. And yes my parent's dream is for me to go to college.

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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10166 replies393 threads Senior Member
    My parents are low income so I should get a lot of aid.

    This isn't true at most colleges. Only a few colleges meet need (most leave a large gap for families to cover), so affordability has to be your priority. Have you run the Net Price Calculator for the schools you're interested in?

    Low income NYS residents can get a TAP grant, but it's only good in NYS. The maximum TAP is ~$6k. Students can also borrow ~$5500/year. Find a couple of financial safeties then look for reaches that will be affordable for your family.
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  • kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
    My parents are low income so I should get a lot of aid.

    Low income NYS residents can get a TAP grant, but it's only good in NYS. The maximum TAP is ~$6k. Students can also borrow ~$5500/year. Find a couple of financial safeties then look for reaches that will be affordable for your family.

    Yes this is true. I do have safetys at CUNYs which are basically free for nyc students. And I was talking about ivys which do give a lot of aid to their low-income students. Most are 100% need based.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10166 replies393 threads Senior Member
    The chances of getting into an Ivy are slim. Are they saying they don't want you to apply to any of them?
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  • kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
    The chances of getting into an Ivy are slim. Are they saying they don't want you to apply to any of them?

    They don't want me to apply because I would have to dorm and they don't want me to dorm. Besides, they always use Columbia as an excuse but Columbia does not offer the major I intend to do and I've explained this many times to them.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 10166 replies393 threads Senior Member
    Why don't they want you to dorm? Do you think they'd consider a women's college? You need your parents to fill out financial aid forms, so even if you had ~$15k/year of your own to pay for room & board and travel, it wouldn't do you any good if they refuse to fill out the forms. What schools are on your list? Just the CUNY schools and the Ivies?
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  • Mom270Mom270 104 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Make sure you investigate what your desired colleges fall plans are. Many colleges, including highly selective and Ivies, are severely limiting the number of students who can live in dorms due to the pandemic. We all hope for a vaccine soon, but it may not happen anytime soon and your ability to live in a dorm in 2021 may be restricted by your college. I think you are underestimating how hard it is to get accepted to an Ivy League school for thousands of kids with top grades and test scores but I wish you luck.
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  • kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Why don't they want you to dorm? Do you think they'd consider a women's college? You need your parents to fill out financial aid forms, so even if you had ~$15k/year of your own to pay for room & board and travel, it wouldn't do you any good if they refuse to fill out the forms. What schools are on your list? Just the CUNY schools and the Ivies?

    They solely do not want me to dorm because of cultural reasons and the whole "what are people going to say". I have one ivy, one CUNY, and the rest are other target schools on the east coast.
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  • kaylani45kaylani45 10 replies1 threads New Member
    edited August 8
    Mom270 wrote: »
    Make sure you investigate what your desired colleges fall plans are. I think you are underestimating how hard it is to get accepted to an Ivy League school for thousands of kids with top grades and test scores but I wish you luck.

    I'm not underestimating how hard it is to get into. I'm not boo boo the fool but I'm also not going into the process doubting everything. Besides, that's not the point. Even if I don't get into my dream school I still want to dorm out of state. I have many target & safety schools on my list. I'm asking for advice on how to convince my stubborn parents to dorm, not your opinion on the schools I'm applying to. But thanks -_-
    edited August 8
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  • Mom270Mom270 104 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited August 8
    Good luck
    edited August 8
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10814 replies134 threads Senior Member
    Do you have any older relatives who have dormed at college? Anyone from your spiritual community that could talk to your parents?

    You could also provide some stats. Most colleges have data that students living on campus do better academically, are more likely to graduate on time, etc....

    You can also talk to them about safety considerations regarding commuting. My D has study session, exams, project meetings, etc... at night very regularly. Do your parents really want you coming home late at night instead of being able to walk five minutes to your dorm?

    I’d play up the safety on campus too - blue light system, free campus police escorts, single gender dorms, etc....

    Good luck!

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  • me29034me29034 2255 replies116 threads Senior Member
    I agree to look for relatives or others in your community that have gone away to college. Your parents must have some friends that have let their kids dorm. Try to see if those people will help you convince your parents.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8175 replies87 threads Senior Member
    Were they raised in a culture where children (especially girls?) live at home until they marry?

    Is there a money element to this? They know that the CUNY's are essentially free, especially if you live at home, but they may not really believe that Penn (and others) could be similarly free (and they might be right).

    Are you the first/only?

    Realistically, you are unlikely to win this argument in one round. Make an interim goal of getting them to agree to do the paperwork to apply to a range of schools, and defer a decision as to which one(s) they are ok with you attending until you have actual choices in hand.

    Use the time between now and then to chip away at the underlying worries:

    => figure out (if you don't know already) who the "people" are that they are worrying about in the ""what are people going to say"? Can you find examples of those / similar people who have allowed kids to go away to college?

    => Normalize the conversation: Do you have friends/classmates who will be going away to college? let your parents be around normal college planning chatter. Are there people they respect who could be part of the conversation? will there be college nights at your high school? college fairs?

    => do the math to show that the schools on your list will be as 'free' as CUNY

    => if gender is part of the concern, include one or more all-women's colleges in your list to apply to- at least for now. I don't know what your feelings are about them, but if the choice was CUNY or an all-women's college, you could get most of what you wanted that way. For example, Bryn Mawr, as part of the Quaker consortium, lets you take classes at UPenn, Haverford & Swarthmore. It is effectively similar to travel you are already doing (take the train), is close enough that they might feel more comfortable with the distance, and is not actually in what they might feel are dubious parts of Philly.
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