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Best way to find school for undecided student

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Replies to: Best way to find school for undecided student

  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 3935 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    @gardenstategal Your experience isn’t the norm. At least at the LACs under consideration, most are getting graduate degrees, particularly those not majoring in Econ or otherwise going into consulting or banking. Sounds great in theory to say non-STEM majors get great jobs with their bachelors degrees, but the data does not support that. You can look at the links posted in this thread as an example to see that isn’t true.
    edited July 25
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2041 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    At least at the LACs under consideration, most are getting graduate degrees, particularly those not majoring in Econ or otherwise going into consulting or banking.

    What is the source for this claim? Are you talking about those going to grad school directly after undergrad, or at any point in time (still don't think it's most--even including the econ majors who go on to get MBA or law degrees)?

    Davidson recent first destination report says 13%-20% of students go directly to grad school, Bowdoin 15%, Wake 30%, Richmond 28%, Bates 10%....of course there are variances year to year.

    Dickinson is one school where over time they report most grads do get an advanced degree....23% go to grad school directly, 59% at 5 year mark (class of 2012), 66% at 10 year mark (2007) but that was higher than the average, probably because of the great recession. https://www.dickinson.edu/info/20084/institutional_research/194/graduates
    edited July 25
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 3935 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don’t know what data you all are looking at. First off, I’m talking about overall and not just right out of undergrad. The stats show far greater than 50% getting grad degrees. I remember seeing about 80% for Carleton recently. Just take a look at Wake’s report for 2017 history majors, for example. Most not immediately attending grad school will end up there based on the jobs I see listed (excluding the consultants and finance kids, who will still likely end up getting an MBA). @homerdog, you’ve repeatedly used history as a possible major. My point is, be prepared for grad school because the data doesn’t lie. Same goes for English, political science, psychology, etc.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4948 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @itsgettingreal17 I'm talking about percentages of kids taking jobs out of undergrad. And graduate school is on our kids to pay for. They know that. Neither my husband or I needed grad school to work in the business world and we both did great. And that success had nothing to do with where we went to undergrad- just how we performed once on the job. The only advanced degree I see S19 getting is maybe an MBA and he knows he'd have to pay for that. He also knows that would be down the road a bit because MBA programs want work experience. As for D21 , I really can't imagine what advanced degree she would get. She won't be an academic. Maaaaybe she would get a masters in psych or social work at some point. Again, she knows that would be on her dime.
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  • evergreen5evergreen5 1458 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    Maybe it would be better to distinguish (or not!) among types of majors rather than LACs vs universities.

    (Wake is a medium-sized university, not a LAC. When scoping out possibilities for my kids, I find myself drawn to medium-sized universities...)
    edited July 25
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1301 replies46 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    I think everyone's right -- most LAC grads get jobs out of college but most/many go back to school within a few years for grad degree (law, med, MBA, MPP/MPA, MSW, Phd, etc.). So looking at the 70% or whatever who get a job after undergrad is just a slice of the info. I can see why after so many years of school students want a break and want to make sure their grad school path is the right one. I worked 4 years b4 getting my graduate degree..

    My husband would say it's the grad school 'name brand' that counts most, FWIW. @homerdog -- we've also told our kids that they will pay for grad school.
    edited July 25
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  • merc81merc81 10254 replies155 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    For better or worse, I'm not sure that early career salaries can be avoided as a point of consideration when comparing post graduation outcomes from curricularly and geographically similar colleges. For example, the first few NESCAC LACs by this measure (from data in US News) place in the order of Hamilton, Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin. Impressions related to career centers and networking across the NESCACs might need to be superseded by this firmer data, as might also be the case for other sets of comparable colleges.

    @homerdog: I've read most of the thread with respect to your daughter's criteria, and think the University of Richmond should be among her top schools to research further. Its only "miss" appears to be that it's set about six miles from downtown Richmond.
    edited July 25
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1301 replies46 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    Did you say communications is an interest? If so, that's a real strength at Elon and they have great connections in the media industry. We have a friend's D who is starting there this fall as a communications fellow. It provides lots of benefits and a small merit-based scholarship -- here's more info:
    https://www.elon.edu/u/admissions/undergraduate/financial-aid/fellows-programs/communications-fellows/
    edited July 25
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4948 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @AlmostThere2018 Hm. I go back and forth on Elon. The ACT scores are low-ish and it only gets three stars for academics in the Fiske Guide so I'm not sure what that means. Gives me pause. One comment in Fiske also has a student saying that their courses aren't as rigorous as other schools but they make up for it in experimental learning. Also not sure what that means. Need to look at that more..
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1301 replies46 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, I have heard Elon is big on experiential learning -- it's a pretty career-focused small university. If you fly to RDU to visit Wake (other thread!) it'd be directly on your way for a visit. It's a very small town but there's suburban type shopping nearby.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12735 replies235 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Most humanities-major grads I know are launched into careers, not in grad school. I'm sure some do go, but most of the ones I know went right to work.

    That said, some employers will cover a big chunk of grad school costs (D's for instance) so why not take advantage of that benefit. Even if an employer won't cover, it can be worth doing as one works to enhance career opportunities. IMO grad school isn't a bad thing, thoughtfully done it can lead to a higher income and better career. That doesn't mean the person couldn't have a good career prior to that.
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  • pishicacapishicaca 283 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    merc81 wrote: »
    @homerdog: I've read most of the thread with respect to your daughter's criteria, and think the University of Richmond should be among her top schools to research further. Its only "miss" appears to be that it's set about six miles from downtown Richmond.
    @merc81 Are you somehow affiliated with Richmond? I see you recommending it for quite a few different students and circumstances.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22683 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP's daughter sounds like my niece except that niece's high school was small. 100% of the graduates go to 4 year colleges, many to catholic schools because it was a catholic high school and many catholic universities seem to be in that 5000-10,000 size range. Niece was in the top % of her class, wanted a liberal arts experience but at a bigger school than a typical sized LAC. Her picks were BC, Vandy, USC (California), and a few others like that. Refused to apply to her own flagship but did apply to the California ones (although I don't think she ever really wanted a school that big). She also applied to Brown and Duke without a lot of hope of admission. Her BFF also applied to a lot of those schools too. They were very similar in grades and scores, and even shared an office in student government (co-senior class secretaries) Niece was more athletic and the friend is truly an excellent writer, and I know the friend was accepted to more schools than niece, I'm sure it was that extra boost from the essays that got the admissions since their stats were otherwise almost identical. In the end, they both picked USD, were in the honors program. They both were very happy with the size of the school (about 6000), the course choices, Greek life (in different sororities), study abroad (same time, different countries).

    After graduation, niece moved home and worked for the professional sports franchise while the friend went to DC directly to law school. Friend is extremely successful, was very involved in law school, on law review, hired by a big firm, clerked for a federal judge. After a year, niece ended up in DC also, just by chance, and is working in a job that doesn't exactly match her undergrad degree (International studies?) but that she enjoys very much and she's progressing through the ranks. Yes, there is life after college with a non-STEM degree.

    If OP's daughter didn't like Wisconsin (very hard for me to fathom anyone not liking Wisconsin), maybe William and Mary or UVA would be a good public option. Smaller schools, smaller towns. Clemson or U South Carolina honors program?
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  • Trixy34Trixy34 1181 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I've been absent here lately, so just chiming in without having read previous responses. It's not warm, but I would look hard at St. Lawrence. Great school spirit, phenomenal alumni network. A motivated student could absolutely write their own ticket there.
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