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Convincing our son to go to the state flagship

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Replies to: Convincing our son to go to the state flagship

  • cypresspatcypresspat 328 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Undercrackers Well, that is good to know (that internship support would be helpful). I know that internships are key nowadays, but my two older ones didn’t do any at all. I have no clue if the engineering students can have their pick of the litter or if they have to beg for non paying options in Fargo (sorry for the ND residents here). But it made his eyebrow raise, for sure.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22949 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If he decides against Chem E (even though that might mean admitting the parents were right!) would he stray far from STEM? My daughter picked a STEM school but we knew that if she changed majors it would be to another STEM subject like math or chemistry. No way would she wander over to the history department or theater or something that required a lot of reading of -gasp - novels. If tOSU doesn't have a strong Chinese department, would it matter? It might at a small LAC, but most flagships have a critical mass to offer just about everything.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1428 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I applaud you think that he may change majors and that he should be prepared for that possibility. However, I think you are way underselling tOSU in the other subjects. What subject is is likely to switch to that tOSU isn't "solid" in? Fashion Design? Even if he went to a more engineering focused big school (Texas A&M, Purdue), I wouldn't be worried if he switch majors. One of the advantages of going to a school like tOSU is that no matter what major you actually graduate with, you will be OK.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1428 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @austinmshauri like the OP said, just because you can, doesn't mean you want to. We are in a similar place. If my DS picks the school that he will likely get a full ride, I will save $200k over what I am willing to pay. I can use that money for a lot of other things. One of the things I can do with that money is make his choice difficult.
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  • CardinalBobcatCardinalBobcat 157 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus -- thank you for posting links to those two threads. What an eye-opener. OP, definitely don't be that parent.
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 328 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @CardinalBobcat Yup, you pretty much summed it up. He has researched these schools to death. But he is still 17, and thinks we are idiots, like every other 17 year old. We know nothing.

    We have definitely voiced our preferences on things like distance (not thrilled with California). But that’s about all we’ve said. He is more than aware of the roll of the dice any school but our flagship is. He plays hockey and he lived the agony of a couple of high stats kids on his team last year as they shared their constant unhappy news in the locker room all through March. But he has not found a single ‘match’ that fits his criteria for his major. And he has checked out every single program in the country. ALL of them. Only a handful beat or match OSU (and one could argue none of them do). As we mentioned school after school, he would say ‘why would I go there over OSU?’ And he’s right.

    The only ones which he can make an argument that are ‘better than’ tOSU happen to all be lottery schools. Will I be secretly happy when he gets rejected from Cornell? Maybe....not sure.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1428 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I should have been more precise with my statement. We are able to spend $300k, we are willing to spend $200k, I would like to spend less. Therefore, my DS can look at schools that have a reasonable chance of having a net price <= 200k (no H,P,Y,...). The schools are breaking down into 3 price points. For the schools that end out around 200k, my DS would be required to contribute 10k/year from loans/work/savings. For the 100k range (state Flagship) my DS would come out with no loans. For the very low COA schools (U of Alabama) I am will to fund some additional activities (e.g. unpaid internship). He isn't allowed to apply to schools that are in the 300k range. This includes schools that have some merit but it is extremely competitive (Duke, Vandy, etc).
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 328 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Eeyore123 Yup, mine will likely pay only $3k a year in tuition. A COA of less than $20k sounds dirt cheap, doesn’t it? You bet I can think of lots of great things to do with $200k. And my s20 can, too. But he is in play for a top school, so, he’s going to gamble with house money, because he has OSU in the bag and he very well may decide to go to OSU either way. We know several kids who chose OSU over a t20 school. Come year’s end, maybe his head will be in that magical place, too.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1428 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 19
    @cypresspat our flagship is also tOSU. My DS has said to me many times why should he apply anyplace else. I have to keep pushing him to at least look so that he has some choices at the end. Who knows, he could get a big scholarship at some school that it is more likely to be in the 200k range(e.g. USC). I am also making him look at Alabama because for him (likely NMSF) it would even be cheaper than tOSU.
    edited July 19
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 328 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Eeyore123 His older brother is an alum of tOSU and has a bunch of frat brothers who were engineering majors. They’ve been pretty instrumental in shaping his choice of major and assuring him that the rigor of the program will kick his $$s plenty. He went to a local presentation by the southern school you mentioned. Cost, for him, would be next to nothing. The dean of the college he would be applying to happened to be there. My son asked for more details on subspecialties of faculty in his major. The dean told him he shouldn’t be worrying about such things at this point. Wrong answer. Next.
    For me, the cost differential between $0 and $10k a year is irrelevant. There are several places where he could go for free. Not a good enough reason to choose a school for him. Or me. His time is valuable, too.
    He just has a VERY narrow margin of what he is looking for. Just darn lucky that our flagship has it. Maybe 20 other schools do, too. And I also want him to have choices. We are lucky in that the $ doesn’t have to limit his choice. But it should influence his choice. If school costs next to nothing, that leaves a lot of $ for other things which might enhance his four years. I want him to be PSYCHED to go to the college he chooses. Note that he is extremely aware of how absurdly lucky he is. Half of his friends would lose an arm to go to OSU and many more have no way of paying for OSU. Which is one of the reasons he has been oh, so careful about this decision. He already won, because he gets to go to college and walk out debt feee. Not many kids are in that position and he thanks his lucky stars every day.

    His father, on the other hand, is ALL emotion while visiting these schools. He had to work his way through a small SUNY and after we visit any big fancy school, he is convinced that our son MUST GO THERE. He is a total sucker for all of the bells and whistles. My practical son then brings dad right down to earth listing all of the issues with that choice which relate to the actual academic part of the experience. Son remembers the equipment in the chem labs. Dad loves the climbing wall, and the ceiling in the library. This is my life lately.

    My oldest wanted OSU since he was 10. He was particularly excited the year he started because OSU had such a great football recruiting year. My second child picked her college because she liked the trees. So we know how the genes got passed down around here.

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  • KLSDKLSD 260 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You mention lots of research. Has he met with Chem Eng professors at all 3 schools? The major is one of the most broad and at the same time challenging. Does he like the teaching style, lab facilities, research areas, collaboration with other departments (med school, physics dept , nano labs depending on concentration) Region of country where preferred industry is located, companies or grad school where graduates land.

    If he is truly an engineer, he would most likely switch to another eng major, if not as interested in the critical thinking component, chemistry. Both of our engineering students knew what their majors would be including the interdisciplinary minors and/or research. We did give them an unlimited budget for different reasons. Oldest did not have an in state option with equivalent research options, she is now applying for fully funded PHD. Did offer #2 a car and the one semester to finish masters to take the $150k scholarship at a great engineering school. He declined and has grown so much more socially and emotionally than his HS peers.

    It has worked out. They are using every available opportunity at school, live at home for free in summer with paid internships that fund their food, books and all other living expenses during the year. It is stressful for HS senior to make a decision. We required our children to meet with the departments and then compare the schools’ pros and cons. Once they decided on the meets full need, no merit school, I made sure they understood what they need to contribute annually plus anything over 4 years. Yes, paying that much tuition is a long haul and lots can happen in that timeframe, if you are wavering already you may want to say no before applying.
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  • gpo613gpo613 331 replies21 threadsRegistered User Member
    Just tell him to go to OSU and if he doesn't like it then he can figure college out on his own. That is if you really don't want to spend the money.

    At some point in life kids have to figure out they don't always get what they want. If he is really determined he might come up with a plan on his own that works. He might apply to national scholarship program and hit a big one.

    I will say this though at non-elite universities there are kids that go on to do amazing stuff or go on to elite grad schools. I was in a open-house at a solid university(not elite) and one girl was graduating and she turned down Harvard to go to UCB for grad school. Those were solid options.
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  • websensationwebsensation 2106 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 20
    @cypresspat Is it fair to say your kid's choice is between going as an intending engineer major to Cornell as a full pay vs. going to OSU? Our kid was faced with a choice of going as a full pay non-STEM intending major to Stanford (the only tipsy top college he applied to) and as a full pay and CA resident to Berkeley and UCLA vs. paying ZERO to less than $10K cost per year to an out of state Honors College (University of South Carolina and another one). In our decision-making process, I took how I felt out of the equation mainly because I was very much opposed by my wife, but essentially, before our kid got accepted to Stanford, I was ready to persuade my kid and wife that our kid should go to Honors College for almost free rather than attend UCLA/Berkeley, but after he got into Stanford, I left it up to him to choose. Besides, my wife was totally for sending him to Stanford as a full pay, and I was all for avoiding any big argument with my wife over this issue. For me, I could see both pros and cons and would have been fine with either choice. When either choice is pretty good or not bad, I really don't care that much -- I am that type of person. The fact is any choice desired and made by our son was pretty much ok by me.
    However -- and this is the real point I wanted to make -- one thing you should keep in mind about your son attending a RICH college is that there will be more internship opportunities where the RICH college will pay stipends. For example, our kid is interning abroad during this summer in a program which accepts around 20 kids from all across the USA, and almost all of these 20 student interns are from WEALTHY colleges because I am guessing only wealthy colleges were willing to provide $6,000 summer stipends that were needed for these students for airfare, lodgings, foods and spending money etc. Therefore, what I am saying is: I also freaking hate to pay $70K plus per year for college education, but I also think what you are paying for is more than a college education. I absolutely agree with you that your kid will get just as good college engineering education at OSU as at Cornell (I went there). Also, something my kid told me after his freshman year at Stanford stuck with me. He told me "It's easy for me to be motivated because almost all of kids at Stanford are highly motivated kids." When I heard that, I had TWO thoughts. One, I was thinking "That's really great that he's surrounded by so many motivated kids." Two, I was also thinking "Wouldn't he be motivated no matter where he went to college?"
    Anyway, our kid was able to pursue some very interesting ECs during school year on top of his classes; in fact, I would say what impressed me about Stanford, based on what I could tell from my kid's experiences there, was not the classes but the type of ECs in which he was able to participate. For example, he was able to participate in a group marketing research project and make a group presentation in front of top company officers in San Francisco and put together a tech conference between China and USA etc.
    Essentially, I really believe it's not worth the monetary difference between what you learn in classes at Harvard/Stanford/Princeton/Cornell vs. what you learn in classes at University of South Carolina. In fact, I don't think it's more than $15,000 per year worth difference, if I had to put a price on it.
    edited July 20
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