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I Just Had to Vent

OneMoreKidOneMoreKid 63 replies9 threads Junior Member
edited December 2019 in Parents Forum
Our son's a freshman at a not-"elite" school and said on a recent visit that he can't imagine himself anywhere else. Near perfect SAT, ACT and all 5's on all AP Exams. Ran a successful and legitimate international charity and an all-state musician. Not to mention a ridiculously nice kid who said, after being rejected from all Ivy Leagues applied to, that he's glad that underprivileged kids get some of these amazing opportunities (when all of the "adults" in the room were saying, "...").
So, a year out and looking back, I see A LOT of kids and their parents in a mad scramble to out-college-counselor each other, weird secretive behavior and a lot of disrespect to parents (who will be FOOTING THE BILL).
The reality check, in many cases, is pending, but it's a shame that so many parents have completely lost control.
It's unfortunate that you're causing your kids to miss out on some remarkably amazing world-class experiences even if they're not the high & mighty elite schools.
Someone last year, too, said to be careful for what you wish for - you might just get it (and then what).
edited December 2019
36 replies
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Replies to: I Just Had to Vent

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3551 replies11 threads Senior Member
    I agree with some of what OP writes, but the “odd secretive behavior” might just be what GCs and parents recommend.
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  • OneMoreKidOneMoreKid 63 replies9 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    The comments above are all correct, but encouraged me to figure out why I made the original post in the first place. I think it's because if you're surrounded by this and feel out of control there's a definite chance that it's not you and that things will work out. They almost always do. And, of course, the Admissions process always comes up and I'm not so sure that part of the decision-making process doesn't have a lot to do with trying to make sure that the student body isn't weighted too heavily on entitled students with no gratitude.
    edited December 2019
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  • SarripSarrip 437 replies21 threads Member
    While we applied to 'elite' schools for D20 we are more concerned about fit and being debt free. S09 went to an "elite' school which was not the perfect fit. D20 is going to college to get an education, not for prestige, reputation or debt, however I do want her to be happy there. She wanted to apply ED which I declined because I wanted to see all offers in hand prior to making a decision. Perhaps I am guilty of the 'secretive' behavior, (when it is actually just being low key) because I don't buy in to the competitive, stressful, let's see who we are up against process that some subscribe to. S09 actually was not able to enjoy his process fully because of those who wanted to know "how he got in and they didn't". D20 has decided to not reveal her intended applications, not to reveal results except to those closest to her and ultimately just reveal her decision. I'm trying to respect her decision in the process but have leaked a few things out here on CC but I guess no one really knows who she is in real life anyway :wink:
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  • j2sosoj2soso 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Parents need to understand that it is not about them - it is about their children.
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  • Johnny523Johnny523 218 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I know someone who was really excited his son made NMF because he was thinking his son could parlay this into going to a school that gives full rides for NM scholars. Instead, the kid got into Harvard.. They are at an income level where they don't qualify for much need-based aid, but they did a reasonable job of saving so it's not too much of a stretch for them to pay. But the dad was really counting on not having to pay much for college so he's not thrilled about the financial aspect. But he is thrilled his son is going to Harvard, and his son is really enjoying it.

    My wife and I are a bit disappointed our D21 isn't aiming higher. She has a 3.95 UW and 1350, but her top choice right now is Northern Arizona. Other schools on her list are Utah, Utah State, Montana State, Oregon State, and Idaho. We know that she needs to go where she is comfortable, but she keeps saying she doesn't want to go to a school with a bunch of really smart people where she'll be the dumb one. We have no illusions that she would get into a T20 or anything, but we don't want her to sell herself short.

    But we also know in the end it's really not going to matter. College is what you make of it and she can get a good education and have a great experience at any of these schools.
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  • guy05260405guy05260405 26 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My sister is a professor at Yale and the students she interacts with daily want to be spoon fed, are competitive with no limit and are very disrespectful. I sat in on one of her lectures and some students came in an hour late to a 90 minute lecture. The students stayed after and when my sister went to use the bathroom, these students went through her files and computer to find answers to their p-sets.

    Now I'm not saying all of Yale or Ivy Leagues are bad, but from what I have heard and experienced I have not heard good things and the greedy competitive nature of these schools might not be right for someone.

    The best thing about going to a "not so elite" school with good stats is that you will probably get a lot more attention. It's better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. Getting the attention you need from professors/faculty, can really help develop the student.

    It's been reported that the college you attend does not impact the opportunities you have after. Simple examples are hygienists- some will attend a private college and get their BS while others will attend a community college and get their BA. In the end, they both get the same job.
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  • Johnny523Johnny523 218 replies10 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    The best thing about going to a "not so elite" school with good stats is that you will probably get a lot more attention. It's better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. Getting the attention you need from professors/faculty, can really help develop the student.

    I'm a big believer in this. Of course there are times when people need to push themselves and jump in the big pond, but many times they would have been better served in the smaller one.

    @1Benice I agree, they need to find their own path.
    edited December 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29926 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I think it’s wonderful that your son loves his school and is thriving! That’s exactly what we want for our children. I’m really happy for him and for you.
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  • havenoideahavenoidea 281 replies15 threads Junior Member
    I don’t think OP was bashing the schools (caveat, I was just told in another thread that my opinions don’t matter - so maybe take this with a grain of salt). I think here on CC, and in life, some parents get too caught up in the prestige of schools because they feel where their child goes reflects either positively or negatively on them. The whole “we” applied to x and such is indicative of how intertwined some parents are. Then, there’s also this fear (I’ve been guilty of this) that if they don’t go to that top school, they won’t get a good job, won’t be successful, etc. But, it’s really all about what a student does him/her self that determines their future. Can connections help? Sure, but they can come from everywhere. And, then the person has to perform. And hundreds of colleges will prepare you for this. Isn’t the best college the one where you ended up and that you love? (S is attending a college no one here (including us) had heard of before and can’t imagine being anywhere else). I think that is what OP was getting at.
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  • Johnny523Johnny523 218 replies10 threads Junior Member
    compmom wrote: »
    Anyone applying to college should consider whether they want a small class with a professor in the room, or a large lecture with sections run by grad student TA's (or sometimes a small class that still has sections with TA's, which might be the best).

    Schools like Harvard and Yale have amazing financial aid. Amazing professors, resources and peers. But yes, everyone there is very smart and/or talented and that is also a consideration, if a young person tends toward self-doubt.

    I agree there is no reason to bash a school. But to the general question of why Harvard or Yale, if it's because of the small classes with professors as opposed to TAs, good financial aid, and great resources and peers, there are plenty of schools that can provide that.

    What they have that other schools can't match is the prestige. The backlash, such as it is, is because so many people (applicants and parents) have bought into the idea that the top rated schools provide an experience that is so much better than every other school, and if you are a high-achieving student you are a failure if you don't go to one.

    These schools aren't getting so many applicants because they actually offer an and experience that is so much better than everywhere else, it's because students are being told that they are so much better. Then come April there will be a bunch of posts from students and parents who are devastated they didn't get into any of their top 12 choices and have to go to a match or safety school, and some who didn't bother to apply to a real safety so have no acceptance anywhere.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5830 replies86 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Two restaurants. Same basic food and service.

    One has a line out the door and everyone says how great it is. The the other restaurant has open seats.

    If you’ve never been to either we just love to go wait in that line for some reason.

    And since most of us couldn’t have possibly been to any of the schools simultaneously or in the recent past, there’s no way to really know for sure. We probably couldn’t really tell anyone the difference.

    It’s just a thing. Not the end of the world but it’s mostly an illusion created by us and self fulfilling.

    Now if the service or food isn’t as good. That’s a different story. However among great restaurants it really is very subjective. It’s the same with schools cars towns houses etc.
    edited December 2019
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  • jzducoljzducol 777 replies14 threads Member
    I think lots of parents here still have the notion of school prestige from their own HS days when most kids didn't go to a faraway college that would require a plane ride, and east coast kids typically didn't consider Stanford and west coast kids thought U of Penn was just a state public school. Nowadays, with all kids have smartphones and internet and even their travelling being offered by schools, college brands and their prestige have some new meaning. Some recent economic study indicated that 80% of the college value comes from the signal its degree carries---being its brand, image and rigor etc, only 20% from the content it taught.
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 537 replies11 threads Member
    jzducol wrote: »
    Some recent economic study indicated that 80% of the college value comes from the signal its degree carries---being its brand, image and rigor etc, only 20% from the content it taught.

    Source? Because I suspect that the PERCEIVED value of a college comes from its brand, not the content of the learning. Makes sense as few bother to investigate the differences between the learnings at college a vs. b. But the actual impact of a college degree is surely not driven 80% by its brand. I know of many studies which would refute that.
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