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Looking to add matches or safeties to my son's list


Replies to: Looking to add matches or safeties to my son's list

  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,998 Forum Champion
    Northeastern requires courses that cover creative expression, culture, ethical reasoning etc, etc. and he’s not interested. This is a kid who would be happy to take 4 years worth of STEM courses with maybe an Econ class and a possibly a linguistics class. What look like moderate and fairly flexible gen ed classes to most people look unpleasant to him.

    I mean, there are 157 different courses available under the "ethical reasoning" requirement, with only one course needed. Those requirements could amount to less than 2-3 courses. APUSH will satisfy 2/5 remaining learning goals for him. The remaining 3 could be done with many combinations of just two courses. Here's an example of the courses he'd need:

    ECON - Contested Economic Issues (covers two of the remaining three)
    One of 227 courses for "creative expression"

    If 2-3 courses are too much of a core curriculum, that's going to eliminate some other schools already on the list for sure...
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,516 Senior Member
    What about UEdinburgh? Internationally ranked for CS, no gen eds at all, major city, objective criteria for admission. Yes, not near home, but might be worth looking into ;)
    He could also apply for Waterloo CS Co-op. No gen eds and highly recruited.

    What about Case Western? Great urban neighborhood.
    For an urban LAC in an area with lots of tech companies, there's Macalester. Again not in New England though and there may be too many gen eds.
  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer Registered User Posts: 997 Member

    Totally get your explanation, I think? Thank you!

    There have been many efforts in many of the traditional STEM schools to broaden the intellectual horizons of STEM students. The argument goes that a broader perspective leads to better product design, including software. WPI has been working to develop scientists and engineers with a more eclectic perspective. The narrow scope of many STEM students was under frequent criticism from our LA counterparts.

    FYI: The Dean of Admissions at Wesleyan started her admissions career in WPI during the early days of their efforts to design an approach which would broaden student perspectives. It was a two pronged approach. One degree requirement was to customize a personalized experience in the humanities. Another requirement (the IQP) requires research of an interdisciplinary nature where preparatory coursework tends to focus in the Social Sciences. Some fans of these broadening attempts started calling STEM schools "the new LA."

    Your answer has been an eye opener for me!
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,619 Senior Member
    Sure seems like Brown should be on the list. A reach for sure, but being male helps.

    Hamilton has an open curriculum.

    Wake Forest has an open curriculum "program": http://college.wfu.edu/academics/opportunities/open-curriculum/

    Eugene Lang at the New School has an open curriculum and would be a safety I assume.

    Gallatin at NYU also open

    Hampshire (with the benefit of taking courses at Amherst, UMass, Smith and MoHo).

    New College of Florida has no distro reqs
  • AidaAida Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    SUNYs aren't all big. Geneseo is more like a LAC.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,631 Senior Member
    However, Geneseo does not offer computer science.

  • Sally50Sally50 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    How about Lafayette, Villanova, or Stevens ?
  • millie210millie210 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    Lafayette is on the list. We'll take a look at Villanova and Stevens.

    He is very firm in his geographical limitations. Very firm. And they are entirely his. We’d send him anywhere he wanted to go.

    I floated the possibility of relaxing his geographic and/or gen ed standards to be able to add some schools to the list he’d really like, but he definitely doesn’t want to do that.

    I do think he has a good chance both at Rochester EDI and Wesleyan, legacy EDII, so I’m not panicked about this list. But only 1 match does feel odd. But we both agree that we don’t want to add schools to the list just for the sake of adding schools. There’s no point in adding a match he likes less than his safeties, which right now are Lafayette, RPI and McGill.

    I showed him the Fiske description of Hampshire early in the process, figuring he’d find it either really appealing in its quirkiness or just too weird. He found it just too weird.

    Brown is off the table for the moment. It requires SAT with essay. He’s signed up for the 3/10 test w/o essay, because none of his schools require it. (I know Amherst recommends it and I know that recommends should generally be understood as required.) I don’t know if adding the essay at the last minute is generally an issue, but it would be for him because he gets a typing accommodation that can’t be provided at the testing center he’s signed up for. He’s trying to take a one and done approach to the SAT. Hopefully, he breaks 1500 on 3/10 and he’s done. If not and he decides to retake in the fall, he'll consider doing it with the essay with Brown in mind. I think my son is all that and a bag of chips and any school should be delighted to have him, but we’re approaching this realistically. Average excellent, nothing outstanding or amazing about his EC's. I’d be genuinely shocked if he got into Brown.

    Hamilton is too remote, unless there’s a town or shopping area to walk to.

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,503 Forum Champion
    Villanova likely has a large core curriculum (most Catholic colleges do) so look into that online.
  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls Registered User Posts: 2,262 Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    If he’s the one that wants a large school anyway, I would at least look into them. University at Buffalo might be one to check out as a safety. Between dual enrollment and AP, I’m pretty sure my d would only need to take 2 more general requirement type courses.

    Anyway, I haven’t looked into Bing’s general ed requirements but at Buffalo, they sounded like they had a similar type of flexibility as U of Rochester’s did.
    U Buffalo refers to theirs as pathways. I forget what Rochester called theirs, but students do need to take some other courses besides the ones in their major. I hope your son realizes that.

    ETA: clusters! That’s what they are called at Rochester. Again, it seemed like a very similar concept to Buffalo’s pathways.
  • qow100qow100 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    edited March 2018
    Shocked that UMD isn't on your list for CS. I am really only familiar with the engineering program there, but I've heard its outstanding for CS as well. I would pin it at a Low Reach/Match as I think it is pretty competitive for that individual program but it is definitely a great option that you should consider. It isn't vastly expensive and they give out a good number of small scholarships to help the cost.

    In terms of SUNY schools like Bing and buffalo I don't think they really have the rep you are looking for. It's not a bad school, but its also not really looked at as a top program. Hence why it ends up being so cheap for the vast majority of students in state and out of state. I will say though, the SUNY schools have an unfair stigma surrounding them as being the inferior schools, when in actuality they aren't too bad.
  • qow100qow100 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    edited March 2018
    @MYOS1634 UEdinburgh has a great program and reputation - In the UK. I don't think it is a great option for US students to ever go to another country for college unless it is for a big name school like Oxford or Cambridge. You simply won't make the same connections and have the same opportunities elsewhere. If you want to work in the US, I suggest you go to school there. I know you'd like to believe employers know Edinburgh but the truth is most of them won't even though they are well respected overseas.

    The only reason I heard about it and did some research was because a friend of mine moved here from the UK last year and mentioned it to me.

    My dad has worked in the CS division for his whole life at a pretty major company and has hired many graduates, and when I asked him about Edinburgh he seriously had no idea what I was talking about. Not a good sign to me.
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,990 Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    Hamilton is too remote, unless there’s a town or shopping area to walk to.
    I might not recommend Hamilton to a student who feels they need a city environment, but your son should still know that their college-run shuttle connects the school to nearby suburban amenities and runs hourly:


    The village of Clinton itself is quintessentially charming, is home to popular eateries (https://spoonuniversity.com/place/39-iconic-college-town-food-joints-across-north-america) and is reachable by the same service (5 mins.), or seems easily walkable at ~1.1 miles.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,631 Senior Member
    I forget what Rochester called theirs, but students do need to take some other courses besides the ones in their major. I hope your son realizes that.

    ETA: clusters! That’s what they are called at Rochester.

    Yes, a Rochester student must take at least a cluster in each of humanities, social studies, and science. Obviously, the major covers one area; the other two areas need to be covered by clusters of 12 credits (usually 3 courses) each (total of 24 credits, usually 6 courses). http://www.rochester.edu/college/CCAS/undergraduate/curriculum/clusters.html
  • kalonskalons Registered User Posts: 643 Member
    has your son tried the ACT with the essay? most teenagers, including myself, tend to prefer the ACT and its essay because it's, honestly, much easier. i went in having only looked over a few writing examples in prep books, and i ended up scoring a 10/12 on it. just a little suggestion if he ends up wanting to apply to schools that require the essay portion of either test. :)
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