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How to Advise My Girl?

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Replies to: How to Advise My Girl?

  • stacystacy 1079 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    Smith gives a fair amount of academic support, since they've made a real effort to cater to students with different levels of academic preparation. There's no core requirements, so she won't have to take math (though I would recommend it! there's a quantitative help session, lots of different levels, and friendly profs...I HATED math in high school, took one stats class at Smith, and decided to minor in it). The theater program at Smith isn't as developed as some of the schools mentioned, but there are plenty of ways to get involved, both on campus, at the other 4 colleges in the local consortium, and in the community. There's a great community music center, too.

    Also, my brother sounds a lot like your daughter--some learning challenges but rarely accepts accomodations, an interest in music and theater. He would have loved to go to Smith (oh well!) but has been really happy at Hobart and William Smith. It's pretty rural, but maybe worth a look.

    Other schools in the general region (don't know much about these): Connecticut College, Trinity, Wesleyan, Sarah Lawrence, SUNY Geneseo, Vassar, Mt. Holyoke.
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  • MommaJMommaJ 5572 replies188 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,760 Senior Member
    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. It's a bit overwhelming when total strangers wrack their brains to help! It's interesting that most of you targeted the learning disability issue as a primary consideration, while I was pondering how to identify reaches and matches when a kid has a lower GPA/higher score situation. Still a bit at sea on that one.

    Many of the schools mentioned are on my radar screen, some were new and I will definitely look into them--Drew, Goucher, Franklin & Marshall, Muhlenberg. Rutgers has a negative rep in this area that I think is hard to overcome. UConn Honors would certainly be financial nirvana for us (we are in CT), but it is in the ultimate boondocks and I'd have to drag her there and tie her down. Wheaton is a pretty nowhere-ish, too--getting to Providence or Boston is a trek, but it's a candidate. As for an all-girls school like Smith and Mt. Holyoke, I know there is the impact of the Consortium, but it would be an impossible sell--she's not boy crazy, just one of those girls who has always had boys as friends and would be totally weirded out by an an all-female environment (me, too, to be honest). Some that were mentioned seem unlikely in light of her GPA--Wesleyan, Vassar (older son, who was better-credentialed, is still smarting from that ED rejection, and they need boys!); even if she could be admitted, as colormehappy wisely noted, a less competitive environment would be likely be better for her. Otterbein is in Ohio, out of range.

    We visited Skidmore, mainly to show her what a "LAC adjacent to nice town" would be like. She was impressed--downtown Saratoga Springs is so delightful and so so walkable from campus that it makes the location seem less remote than it is. However, she got a strong preppy vibe from Skidmore that put her off a bit. I thought there was a clear preppy contingent, but a pretty wide mix of types. I also like the availability of business and education studies there as a way to add some practical elements to the LAC experience. I believe she'll apply.

    We have three non-LAC's on the list, all of which of course have big-class, big-institution negatives. Northeastern, which she loved upon visiting (we were doing the "urban, with campus" vs. BU "urban, no campus" demo), and whose co-op plan might be good for someone like her who has no great love of the classroom and is always is looking for the next new experience; American, which we have not visited yet, but which is enjoying some kind of popularity blip at her school; and Brandeis, which is an LAC-ish university and has an attractive proximity to Boston and a legacy boost. The first two would be comfortable for her competition-wise, I think.

    As for her theater/music leanings, it seems every school has at least one or more acapella groups and opportunity for non-majors to participate in some type of second-tier theater activity, so it's not a primary driver.

    I'm well on my way to developing an uber-list for her consideration upon her return from camp. Many thanks again!
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  • marnikmarnik 118 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    Just finished my laundry, so here I am. My daughter will be starting Skidmore in the fall. Like your daughter, she has absolutely no idea what she wants to major in, which was part of the draw of a LAC. She recently finished registering for classes, and was very pleased with the offerings, and happy that she got into all of her first choices. She is very devoted to her music, though on her own terms. She plays just for the love of it, and from our visits to Skidmore, there seems to be a lot of that going on. We got more of a 'free-spirit' feeling as opposed to preppy, though the town itself seemed to me to lean toward preppy. But my free-spirit daughter felt right at home.
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  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions 12571 replies759 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,330 Senior Member
    What do you all think of Lesley College? The Boston location is a plus.
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  • corrangedcorranged 6602 replies82 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I PM'd you, but for other people reading this thread, I suggested looking into McGill (reach), Hofstra, and Emerson.
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  • caruthcaruth 127 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Take a serious look at McDaniel College outside of Baltimore. It is a small, liberal arts school, beautiful campus, very nurturing and supportive environment with a theater program. Probably a safety for her GPA and scores, and has alot of merit money to give for her level academically. Having an ADHD daughter myself with ongoing anxiety disorder and some OCD, I feel these issues should be primary in finding the right "fit" for her. A small, nurturing school will help bring out the best she can be...good luck, and try to relax a bit.
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  • mominvamominva 3008 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,043 Senior Member
    How about Wagner on Staten Island?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28262 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 28,318 Senior Member
    The reason I honed in on the LD aspect of your daughter's profile is because college is such a stressful change for so many kids, that having a supportive environment is very important. That your daughter is eligible for support services from those colleges that have them could be beneficial to her. It can be a brutal time for kids whose emotional, behavioral, mood issues need help. Academically, there is a wide spread on that list with some excellent, selective schools there that offer support services.

    That there is a discrepancy between your D's gpa and her test scores is an indication that something is making it difficult for her to work to her potential. Her ld issues are certainly on that list as the culprit. At college, you often get kids who are very capable of doing the work. It is not the difficulty of the work that most causes issues, but the lack of study skills, focus, organization, motivation that comes into play. Your daughters issues touch on all of those factors, and that will be the area where she will need some extra help.

    That said, my son had a similar discrepancy between grades and SATs. We made sure that he had schools on his list where he was in the upper 25% or more in his test scores since we knew is grades could be an issue if he were applying at schools where most of the kids had test scores in his range. Where his test scores stood out, I felt there might be some forgiveness for the grades whereas if they did not, there would be no reason for a school to accept him over the many other kids with higher grades and the same range of test scores. He did not have any hook to throw into the mix, so we had to make the higher test scores a "hook" of sorts since colleges do want to raise their test score ranges.
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  • MommaJMommaJ 5572 replies188 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,760 Senior Member
    Oh yes, I didn't mean to suggest we were not taking all her issues into account--they have been the primary focus of raising this child from day one, and of course continue to impact every part of her life. It took three tries to find the right overnight camp--I just hope finding the right college will be less arduous! The small, nurturing LAC concept sounds right at first blush, but then I ask myself, what happens four years later? There are no small and nurturing careers and adult lifestyles. Perhaps college should be the time to begin to find ways to cope on one's own--not to say I want to throw her into a shark-infested competitive pool, but I'm also leery of bubblewrapping her. Right now her 504 plan includes the right to just leave the classroom and take refuge with her guidance counselor (the woman is a gift from heaven) when she needs to decompress for a bit. This kind of thing won't be available at college or later life, so, at some point, she has to learn other, more internalized coping mechanisms.

    Let me add that my experience with my older child has made me less, not more comfortable with this process. He got into his dream school ED, hated it, lost heart and did poorly, and was able to transfer only to a lesser school where floated through aimlessly. So I want to help daughter make a better choice than he did; I was a very blase "do whatever you like, dear" mom then; between his experience and her complications, now I'm much more anxious. It is SO helpful to be able to thrash this out with your support and encouragement!
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  • cmmimgcmmimg 6 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I know this sort of thing isn't always looked upone highly, but I wonder if simply a different environment like college will itself help your daughter. A close friend of mine was diagnosed with many learning problems, etc. at a younger age, but once the learning styles changed and he could be more self-directed he thrived. Anyway, I must say, your daughter sounds so much more interesting than most of these "perfect" applicants. I wouldn't stress too much about the GPA/SAT difference...if anything it adds color and intrique (potential). Just don't go for the top. Other than that, if she finds a school, or a few, that she is passionate about and can convey the fit in admissions essays, etc. then she should do well even if the stats don't match perfectly. Stay with less competitive schools that talk about balance...that there are other things to college than classes or your resume. I'm not familiar enough with the East coast schools, but a SLAC definitely seems like an ideal fit. I'd be a little afraid of getting too lost in a big U.
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  • stacystacy 1079 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    this is off the main topic a little bit, but I would argue that there are small, nurturing careers and adult lifestyles. There are jobs with more flexible schedules, that involve working in quiet environments, with relatively few people, etc. It's possible to live in a small town (or a city that provides for relative anonymity, if that's preferable) or close to supportive family members or whatever. I wonder if there are career/life coaches that specialize in working with people with LDs (there must be--otherwise it's a great niche for someone to fill!) I know it's not your priority now, but I bet it's possible for the future.

    Also, one thing to look at is a school where a lot of students stay in the area after graduation--even if it's a place far from where you live now. Your D will have 4 years to get used to the place and would have a ready-made support network when she graduates. It was hard for me to graduate and see my friends scatter--I think in that regard my sister had it easier because so many of her classmates stayed in the same city with her.
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  • bartlebybartleby 1162 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,222 Senior Member
    I've heard great things about Northeastern in Boston from people who are similar to your daughter. You should check it out. (They also have a very good program for people with "learning differences.")
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  • 2boysima2boysima 1737 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,794 Senior Member
    Another vote for looking at Conn College. Also...Union in Schnectady, Clark in Worcester. What about UVM (you would need to check out their support services)
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