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Common versus uncommon parental restrictions on college choices

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Replies to: Common versus uncommon parental restrictions on college choices

  • sseamomsseamom Registered User Posts: 4,905 Senior Member
    My husband was very concerned about our D's interest only in schools in the deep south, as his parents moved north to escape the discrimination and racism and he had promised his mother that he would not ever move back there. We took an "early college tour/vacation" there this past summer to see for ourselves what it was really like and were pleasantly surprised. Mind you, we stuck to major cities save for one overnight stop but we were treated well everywhere else and will not forbid our D from going to any of the schools on her list when the time comes. My parents' only rule was that I had to go someplace with guaranteed freshman housing, which was easy since the school at the top of my list offered exactly that.
  • laticheverlatichever Registered User Posts: 1,522 Senior Member
    Or to the acknowledged academic rival school of the parents' alma mater

    Lord Jeff ban by the house Eph.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 4,581 Senior Member
    I didn't explicitly tell my kids they couldn't apply to anywhere, but I did want them relatively close to a major airport. I did not want travel to be a major hassle. They also had spending limits.
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 8,821 Senior Member
    Major airport (direct flight) was important to me. I don't that mattered to my son, but he seemed adverse to apply to out of the way places, e.g. RIT or Cornell.
  • Andr01dAndr01d Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    My mother didn't (and still doesn't) want me to be looking at "famous" colleges, other than UCs and possibly CalTech and Harvey Mudd. I don't think it's because of cost, since it was never brought up with anything else. I don't think it's completely because I'll almost definitely not get in, since I think I have some chance (homeschooler, dual enrollment (4.0 GPA), 5 APs / post APs sophomore year (this year)--AP Physics C, AP Lit, AP CS, APUSH, Differential Equations/Multivariable)

    She said top colleges not better just because they are famous (which is true to some degree), and I'll have enough college credit to skip to junior year if I attend a UC. She also said the teaching quality isn't better, and doesn't like focus many of the students there had about looking at name only.

    I think she likes CalTech and Harvey Mudd because they're smaller and UCs because I can skip to higher level, and therefore smaller classes. Being able to interact with teachers is something I've become used to, and something she really wants me to be able to do. Also, for engineering the college doesn't matter as much for employment.

    I agree and think they are valid points, but I also want to look more into MIT and possibly Columbia and Stanford as extreme reaches. Hopefully we'll figure something out in the next two years--I'm really glad I started researching early!
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,697 Senior Member
    No restrictions really imposed but discussed and agreed (though I am pretty persuasive). for ShawSon, he had some health issues and I suggested no more than a 5 hour drive so we could pick him up in a day if we needed to. I discouraged colleges with unforgiving distribution requirements, given his dyslexia. He applied to two but was rejected at both. He refused to visit as he said, "Why should I fall in love with schools with a 10% chance of admitting me?" (now that would be 5%). Got into lots of schools and then we had to do triage before scheduling visits.

    ShawD was terribly anxious about the competitiveness of college admissions and only applied in Canada (she's dual). I had taken her to visit some US colleges that I was sure she'd get into and would might like the culture but she liked knowing that she was going to be admitted. No geographical restrictions though we preferred NE or East Coast. Then she transferred back home after asking us if was OK to switch from biology to nursing given her interest in dealing with people.

    If either had wanted to major in basket-weaving, I would have had an issue. But, both chose majors that they loved and had some marketable value.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    Our restrictions: Every school on the list has to be one S would love to attend. No schools with a preponderance of stupid people, or where stupidity is the dominant cultural force.
  • BeeDAreBeeDAre Registered User Posts: 1,165 Senior Member
    My requirements for D:
    She must be more than 2 hours (drive) away from home. (If she is closer, I know she will rely on us too much and want to come home more often.. I enjoy her company immensely, but she needs to learn to be on her own, without our help, or bailing her out of minor jams.)
    She must be within 1 hour of a major airport, or Amtrak station.
    She must live in the dorms freshman and sophomore year, and have a roommate (She's always had her own room, and her older sister is 13 years older than her, so she's never even had to share the house with a sibling... I think it's essential she learn to have a roommate.)
    She is vegan, so the cafeteria must have vegan dining options - and the dorms must have a kitchen if she wants to make her own food occasionally.

    Her own requirement is that the campus be urban, or suburban; that she be able to study abroad (I think most schools have this option), and that it offer Spanish as a major, as she is leaning that way.

    I would PREFER she attend a small LAC where she can get some merit aid, but it's not absolutely required, if she finds a school otherwise that she loves, and we think would be a good fit for her.
    Because of her studying style (slower), and the fact that she tends to be an introvert, I'd rather she not attend a big state school with more than 10,000 students. She's not good at advocating for herself, and I don't want her falling through the cracks if she needs help.
  • TV4casterTV4caster Registered User Posts: 1,525 Senior Member
    Purely cost related restrictions. We could afford most anything if we really wanted to sacrifice, but to me that is a waste when we might need the money in retirement.

    I love the comments about arch-rival schools. I'm Penn State, and it hurts a bit that 2 of my D's favorites right now are Pitt and Alabama. I still remember proudly wearing "Shitt on Pitt" buttons and being despondent when Alabama beat us for the national championship by stopping us at the goal line on 4 straight plays at the end of the game.
  • SansSerifSansSerif Registered User Posts: 814 Member
    @TV4caster - I still have a Shitt on Pitt button at home. lol
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 5,363 Senior Member
    I did want them relatively close to a major airport

    I already posted no OSU (Go Blue!), but this one is important to us, too. We're in our fourth year of dealing with travel logistics with DS at a boarding school across the country from where we live. No airline flies nonstop between here and the airport nearest his school, so travel for him is always an all-day affair with connections and layovers and time zone changes. We didn't think it would be a big deal, but it has been a real hassle and one both we and he would like to avoid for college. The only upside is that he now has status on a couple of airlines but even that doesn't mean much these days.
  • BayAreaFRPBayAreaFRP Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    edited November 2014
    We have two HS juniors (twins). Me and wife have been working through this process for a while already with them, and this summer we laid out the rules of the game, to speak of.

    Both are bright students well within top 3% of their class, and have been getting excellent scores on the tests they've already taken. Yet, we think it is important for us, and ultimately beneficial for them, to have a structured process we will work through, together, as a family, staying clear from the whole dream-school and "I was born to go there" narratives. We are parents, more experienced than them, and we have no shame in getting heavily involved in one of the most decisions our kids will ever take, especially considering how much biased information is out there, and even more as we will foot a significant part of the bill.

    Finances
    We, parents, have a hard cap on what what we can contribute, a maximum combined amount we will spend on both as a family. We are turning 60 and will not compromise retirement funds at this point (2008 market crash scared us a lot). We've saved and were blessed with some moderate windfalls, and have a budget for their undegraduate education we absolutely won't go over. This is a comfortable budget that can cover realistic net costs of any top college (we triple checked many net price calculators together with them, already).

    Each kid might spend up to half of this cap with college basic costs (tuition, fees, room and board) and a reasonable budget for other personal expenses (everything except health care insurance/co-pays and costs of staying with us during summer - we'd never charge them 'home rent'). Anything left over will be invested and given to them after graduation or for approved meaningful activities like study abroad.


    Application and choice of college
    They must apply to UC system, to a campus where they are going to be competitive at least through the statewide path (for top 9% state students).

    We will let them apply on regular decision for any college they want to, and we want a minimum of 4 applications each for colleges where they are competitive applicants (above average scores than freshman class) and would be happy to attend. They must do extensive research on colleges they apply to, we are preparing a list of information for each college they need to find, and show us. Our goal is to minimize the glowing effects of visits or neat prospective videos with a dose of reality.

    In principle, they cannot apply on early decision. They must convince us very strongly if they want to, and we will have a very high bar to let the do it, and only if they are applying to a top national college on their fields of interest.

    After they have a list of colleges that accepted them, they will fill a spreadsheet with all financial details of their offers, plus details on freshman class profile (scores etc). Together, we will compare the financial combined offers with the evaluation they did on colleges. They will ultimately decide, but they must discuss their options with us and hear our feedback.


    Major selection
    We are talking already extensively with them about how major/major selection works. Before committing to a specific college, they must have a list of possible majors they are interested in (both already have reasonably defined areas of interest). We will discuss that list together. They are free to double-major, add minors, but we must talk together before significant change of major. Our message is that they can always study interesting things without necessarily having to major on it.

    If the financial allocation fits it, we will encourage, but not require, double majoring, if it takes a 5th year.


    Accountability
    As long as we are paying for their education, they will send us a copy of their transcript every semester. They are both responsible, yet I think knowing we will take a peek on their grades will give that extra background incentive to perform and, especially, not to slack or wait to ask for help on very unlikely situations they might find themselves into.
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