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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

  • twogirlstwogirls 7185 replies7 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    Emory isn’t urban. It is close to Atlanta but the actual school is in a pretty, nearby suburb. There isn’t a nice town like there is at NU (at least I don’t remember seeing one). I would have her take a look at Lafayette.
    edited July 18
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4905 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @makemesmart yes yes. Thanks.
    I don’t want to turn this into a thread for school suggestions but of course I will take what anyone’s got. lol. Looking for advice on what’s important to an undecided student when looking at schools. I know a lot of kids are undecided so looking for advice. I want her to be somewhat assertive about figuring out her major and getting experience and I want to make sure she’s at a school that has strong advising and career placement for non-stem majors.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4905 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    Thanks @twogirls I thought Emory was near medical centers and that feeling might be more urban. I guess when I say urban I’m even considering Madison’s campus urban. It’s not NYU but, to her, still too crowded and busy. Lots of cars. She wants a campus like most LACs we’ve seen where you can walk to class and, for the most part, not have to be near busy streets.
    edited July 18
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33430 replies363 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For undecided, she starts with the subjects she does like in hs, that might be fallbacks. As she looks through the course catalog and info for other depts, she may make some connections in her thinking and interests. Then she can dig more, via google or other resources.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1378 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Now I understand. That makes sense. Have you looked at Rhodes?
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4905 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Eeyore123 that’s so interesting because Rhodes hasn’t come up much. I’ll read about it.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22640 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think she'd be happy in a school of about 10,000 students. Unfortunately a lot of those are Catholic schools and she's ruled those out. Some of the smaller state schools are 10-15k students like UVM or Nebraska, .

    U of Denver has nice school spirit (hockey, lacrosse, skiing, gymnastics), a very strong political science/international relations program, an urban campus.

    Out west, schools like Lewis and Clark, Willamette are in cities. Not much on campus but lots in the area.

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  • eb23282eb23282 515 replies16 threadsRegistered User Member
    Gettysburg has a huge alumni network and everyone I know that's attended has 1. loved it, and 2. been very successful in their various careers.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4905 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @twoinanddone I’ve tried to get her interested in Oklahoma. I see what you’re saying. And isn’t it interesting that so many schools around 10,000 kids are Catholic? Why is that? She asked about Santa Clara the other day. I don’t know what the Jesuit vibe is like there.
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  • momofzagmomofzag 640 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited July 18
    Elon is an interesting suggestion. My niece from Pacific NW just visited and really liked it. Their various requirements for graduation with options for service and internships seem interesting. My kids are/were non STEM and non business majors at Bucknell and Lafayette. We love both colleges overall. Don’t know yet about job placement for Laf in terms of personal experience but Bucknell grads seem to get jobs whether or not they were business and engineering majors.
    Bucknell size at 3500 and mix of students in terms of majors (though not significant racial and SES diversity) appealed as did walkability to surpringly vibrant town with enough to do to get away from campus. Bucknell non business majors can also take classes in the business school. I would look for schools that have lots of alumni shadowing opportunities, strong career services, college funding for internships and other career oriented programs. My d got several college grants to help cover summer opportunities and also travel to a conference.
    I would also dig into the colleges career outcomes reports and see what the poly sci and psych and history majors end up doing after graduation. I also wonder whether your D would consider one of the women’s colleges smith or Mt Holyoke in Ma or one of consortium schools near philly. Perhaps Haverford or Bryan Mawr.
    For context my Bucknell student also liked/applied to Williams;; Middlebury, Hamilton, connecticut college, Denison, and Wesleyan (bit of outlier for vibe but strong arts). If she likes Denison it might be a great option. It’s classic LAC campus with small town but good access to Columbus. We also liked College of Wooster.
    edited July 18
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4905 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ok so I don’t see Elon as having a strong alumni group like Bowdoin does. That’s part of my question. I’m wondering if kids with non-STEM degrees do better coming from colleges with a supportive and successful alumni base who really help the kids.

    Yes, we could consider a Midd or Amherst but she’s not an athlete and isn’t an “intellectual” kid like S19 (who applied to both of those). She wants a traditional experience. Likes the idea of sororities. So if you cross reference what she likes (all of the above but with small classes and a feeling of camaraderie on campus), it’s hard. Some of these things come mostly with big schools and then some with LACs. She will have to prioritize at some point.

    Bucknell is an interesting idea. Probably hard to get there from Chicago like a lot of the NESCAC schools also are. As you can all probably see, that’s why the list is what it is at this point. Davidson? Pretty close to what she wants and direct flight on SW. Wake? A little more of what she wants probably but harder to get there. Colgate? I think that’s a really good fit but cold. And of course she’ll have to continue to do well at school junior and senior year.

    I just think career services for a non-STEM student is so important. STEM kids are in demand and there are multiple obvious paths. Non-STEM kids may have to pull out the stops a little more and lean on having contacts in order to find opportunities - whether those are through the school, from a college friend’s family, or from an alum.
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  • rickle1rickle1 1864 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    @homerdog You are honing in on some great schools. I think I saw someone mention Lehigh upstream. Also an excellent option as well as BC.

    I'll weigh in a bit on Wake Forest as I have a rising junior S attending (and he loves it). Academically, Wake is very strong and very challenging. Basically runs like a traditional LAC but has an outstanding business school should she move in that direction. Regardless, majors aren't chosen until 2nd semester sophomore yr. There is a pretty deep core or "divisional" requirement that essentially takes two years to complete. Wake believes in educating the whole person and feels the divisionals are a way to expose the student to many topics. Lots of kids (many, many) realize new interests and end up minoring and/or double majoring. S developed an interest in Politics and International Affairs thanks to a great professor during freshman yr. He added that as a minor to his finance major.

    Although larger than a classic LAC (4900 UG), it has all the trappings: small classes, very approachable / helpful professors, UG focus, residential focus. From S' experience, professors make themselves available well beyond office hours. If your kid shows an interest, the prof will show an interest in her.

    Something that sets it apart from most schools, I feel, is although it's small, it has a big feel because of D1 sports (ACC - which is a big deal). It is also quite social. So a much bigger school feel from a school spirit perspective combined with the intimacy of an outstanding LAC.

    Big focus on study abroad. More than 50% take a semester abroad. S will be in Barcelona this fall.

    Something to also consider is strength of Career Services and alumni. They are both quite strong at Wake. I would describe the alumni as fierce. Career Services does a great job helping prepare ALL majors for life after UG (professional or grad school). They actually start during freshmen orientation with a required session and offer classes (for credit) to help students identify their goals, strengths and help them build a recruiting plan. It's pretty awesome for those that partake.
    edited July 18
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4191 replies47 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    W&L has a really strong alumni network and career services. It’s a bit smaller than what your D is looking for but worth a look. The other 2 very strong alum networks at schools with the vibe she is looking for are Colgate and College of the Holy Cross. But HC is Jesuit, and you said she’s not interested in that. Colgate is not warm but definitely check that one out.
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  • ivycoverivycover 135 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    homerdog wrote: »
    @twoinanddone I’ve tried to get her interested in Oklahoma. .
    . . . .

    30K enrollment. Beautiful campus (for a prairie state) and campus corner/Main St. are not unlike Madison (minus the tundra). Owen Field has that Camp Randall vibe X2. Norman is 100K, OKC 1.5M. If she attends she'll have as many friends in Dallas as OKC. Does she drive? This is a must.

    They'd like to be a stem school but they aren't quite there yet. Alumni are strong south and west. Downside is that the top management is currently in a bit of disarray after a purge. And that counseling/career support network that you are seeking may not be as fully developed as you require. Don't know about your kid but Chicagoans generally flourish there.

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  • tkoparenttkoparent 166 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You might look at Trinity University in San Antonio. It's a beautiful school about 15 minutes away from downtown San Antonio and less than an hour outside Austin. They have a very large endowment and have put it to good use. The buildings are modern, so it's got a different feel from the Northeastern schools, but both of my kids loved the campus. Because of the proximity to the city, Trinity has a lot of interesting internship opportunities and a strong career center. Our son ultimately picked Denison (he's starting in the fall, so we have no real experience with the school yet) but he still talks about the library at Trinity. We were focusing on LACs near cities or large towns, and there really aren't that many. Denison is about 25 minutes outside Columbus. We looked at Davidson, which is also beautiful, but it's farther outside the city (and a D1 school, which our son decided he didn't want). We also considered Occidental, which is accessible to Los Angeles although a bit outside (the Claremont school are way outside, more than an hour). I hoped my son would look at Rhodes, in Memphis, but other people scared him off the idea of a Southern school.
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  • ivycoverivycover 135 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 19
    tkoparent wrote: »
    You might look at Trinity University in San Antonio. . . . . .

    Great call.

    While, I generally loathe all things Texan - if you are willing to embrace the culture shock and to look as far a field as OU - go ahead and cross the river. TX has a jillion schools and their nominally religious affiliated ones are some of their best.

    While not on target for your needs, some of the parallels drawn between Austin and Madison are also interesting. Alumni? Aggies are second only to the academies for loyalty.


    Speaking of libraries. Having visited a few hundred campuses, many of them in the east and including some of the ivys, academies, etc. I've got to compare a little bit of architecture and the striking buildings and interiors are incredible. Not so much in the Midwest or particularly OK due to its relatively young age. Bizzell Library is an exception.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Bizzell+library&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT2a3Vi8HjAhWSGs0KHa4DB4cQ_AUIBigB&biw=480&bih=750#

    edited July 19
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  • NovaMom93NovaMom93 110 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @homerdog I haven’t t read every reply...but has she considered women’s colleges? My D seriously looked at Smith in Northampton. Open curriculum, lovely town, and the career outcomes of these women are ridiculously impressive. She ended up choosing a more STEM-heavy school, but I think it could fit the bill for an undecided student.
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  • NovaMom93NovaMom93 110 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^^wanted to add that I believe that every undergrad gets a funded internship, career services are excellent, and the “dorms” are houses - great big houses that are spacious and homey.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33430 replies363 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I saw Rhodes a few months ago, godson went there. It has a small college feel and is only about 2000 kids.

    My kiddo liked to see the libraries, too. But she was loking for the number of students actually using them.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22640 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some of Smith's housing is in houses but there are dorms. The dorms having living rooms and dining rooms but they are dorms.

    I didn't like Northampton at all and don't think it is anything like Madison. I did, however, like Amherst (which makes no sense I know).
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