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Is it common for high achieving students mostly go to state flagships?

Jarjarbinks23Jarjarbinks23 680 replies89 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 769 Member
edited November 2014 in Parents Forum
FOR EXAMPLE, is it common for a student with great academics (like 10 APs and straight A's) to prefer his/her state flagship school instead of an Ivy League or similar schools of that caliber?
edited November 2014
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Replies to: Is it common for high achieving students mostly go to state flagships?

  • bluebayoubluebayou 26529 replies172 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,701 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    those are two different questions. The answer to your question in the title is yes, bcos most high achieving students cannot get into the Ivies and that caliber college (since there ain't no room).

    Whether they "prefer" the state flagship is immaterial if the opportunity for an Ivy does not exist. I "prefer" to drive a Lambo, but that ain't happening. :smile:

    edited November 2014
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  • mamabear1234mamabear1234 3479 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,524 Senior Member
    Fairly common around here. State flagship is Penn State which has a good academic reputation and honors college.
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  • seal16seal16 802 replies140 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 942 Member
    Here as well. UCs are very popular.
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,641 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    So much of this depends on what region of the country the student is in. My last college roommate is directly related to an extremely wealthy man, meaning that she could have afforded any school in the country. She was also the one of the top students in her hs class and had excellent scores across the board. BUT she wanted to stay close to home, and chose the University of Oklahoma because that's "where the smart kids go".

    Many top students are like her, particularly in states where few, if any, top privates exist.
    edited November 2014
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76108 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,771 Senior Member
    As a practical matter, there are far more spaces in the state flagships than there are in super-selective colleges.
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  • Jarjarbinks23Jarjarbinks23 680 replies89 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 769 Member
    @mamabear1234 do honors colleges provide employment perks and/or networking benefits? I've never understood how they benefit the students
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  • Jea828Jea828 256 replies28 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Definitely true in my state (Texas). Most top students choose UT-Austin, TAMU, or other state schools that offered them significant merit money.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    This depends on what your definition of high achievement is and what state or high school attended.

    At the public magnet HS I attended, the highest achieving students didn't typically flock to state/local public flagship/4-year campuses. It was and from what I still am hearing from younger alums/recent graduates, Ivy/elite college/university or bust. Especially considering for the mostly working/lower-middle class students, the private elite colleges are often better academic and financial deals given their generous levels of FA and/or need & merit based scholarships.

    While the institution of CUNY Macaulay Honors has started to change this, the high competitiveness of entering the program plus its stringent academic requirements for staying in* is such that its appeal only goes so far.

    For the most part, the state/local public colleges are still mainly considered options for those in the middle to bottom of a given graduating class or those who blew off their college* app process so badly they ended up being rejected from all other places.

    * One can only enter as a matriculating freshman and one can be dropped from the program if he/she fails one of the required Macaulay City seminars or fails to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA after 3 semesters or 3.3 cumulative GPA in the first 3 semesters. Once one is dropped, he/she cannot get back into Macaulay Honors.

    ** Like a well-off UES classmate with respectable stats who assumed his college applications "would take care of themselves" and ended up having no other options but to attend a CUNY as a regular student until he got his act together and transferred to a top 20 university.
    edited November 2014
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  • megpmommegpmom 3093 replies21 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    In Texas, yes. Most of the high achievers in my kids' classes went to UT-Austin, UT-Dallas or TAMU. Second tier (not top 10%) went to Texas Tech or UNT. Very few went to private universities and even fewer went out of state.
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  • kiddiekiddie 3259 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,468 Senior Member
    In NJ many top students go to Rutgers, attend the honors college, and get great scholarships. My daughter has one pre-med friend who took this route. I know another who did this and graduated in 3 years (using his AP credits) and is now in a masters program in chem engineering. The year before my daughter, the valedictorian went to Rutgers (the sal went to Princeton!) - I think she is pre-med also.
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  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek 4467 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,522 Senior Member
    It has been the case for almost everyone we have known in every state we have lived in. (we move a lot and of our 4 high school grads, they graduated in 3 different states.) Most kids we have known do not even think beyond their state borders. Where we live now, it is unusual for kids to think beyond the local regional university. Last yr, our ds was the only teen we knew who applied to other schools.
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16613 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,679 Senior Member
    Also pretty much true in Michigan.
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  • FallGirlFallGirl 7978 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,005 Senior Member
    I live in VA, so lots of high achieving students attend UVA (W & M and VTech as well). Many of the students I know who did are those who would not qualify for need based FA and so the state schools are better financially. In addition, a lot of students prefer a school close to home/where their friends attend.
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  • mommyrocksmommyrocks 1204 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,218 Senior Member
    Same in Georgia. Top students wind up at Georgia Tech primarily, University of Georgia secondarily. Quite a few of these top students apply to and gain admission to the prestigious private universities around the country including Ivies, but in the end they "go where the money is," as one recent graduate advised my teen daughter. They accept scholarships to state universities, and never look back. In Georgia, just about anyone with a B average in high school gets a full tuition scholarship by law, so a student has to have some very good incentives to leave the state.
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  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself 1518 replies28 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    In my experience, depends on parental income and savings, and whether the student is just pretty good or outstanding.

    Outstanding student with poor parents might get admitted to top private and be able to go for next to nothing.
    Outstanding student with rich parents (say more than $100k a year) ... well they might get admitted to the top private but whether they can go depends on whether the parents can afford to pay. If not, to the state uni.

    Pretty good students are more likely to get admitted to the state uni, unless there's some corruption or other factor at work (legacy, development admit, other hook, guy applying to a college with a major sex imbalance, etc.)
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