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This is how you and your child select the right college

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Replies to: This is how you and your child select the right college

  • MiddleburyDad2MiddleburyDad2 Registered User Posts: 718 Member
    "I see your point, @MiddleburyDad2. So then, where does a place like U Toronto fall on this spectrum? Massive public university, broken up into several residential colleges. ALL first year students have the opportunity to take six credit hours (1 FCE by their scale) of seminar classes. The goal is to help students transition to college life, and establish meaningful relationships with at least one full professor."

    Sounds like a large university trying to mimic the experience of a small residential college. Which is great! It sounds like a large public university trying to bring the "honors college" experience to everybody. That is even better.

    Sounds like a good place to go to school.
  • UWfromCAUWfromCA Registered User Posts: 1,072 Senior Member
    Re #60: Both Williams and Washington's "typical honors college" have an enrolled freshmen ACT range of 31-34.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,494 Senior Member
    I think honors colleges differ at each university. At some schools, the honors kids do indeed have their own dorm and go to class together. At Wisconsin, it's very different. No dorm. And many ways to do "honors". You can be honors in your major and eventually have smaller classes. Or you can do their Letters & Science honors program which sounds like a Great Books program separate from your major. As far as I can tell, you don't get any preferential treatment for signing up for classes either. Seems like someone shopping for an honors program has to look at each school individually to access what it means.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,373 Senior Member
    Seems like someone shopping for an honors program has to look at each school individually to access what it means.

    Definitely. There are a lot of different honors experiences, some would be better fits for certain kids than others.
  • MiddleburyDad2MiddleburyDad2 Registered User Posts: 718 Member
    Exactly, which is why you it makes more sense to compare them to upper-end LACs. As compared to, say, Linfield College, a fine but much less selective college, the hypothetical strong student in her example may well be better off at the honors college.

    FWIW, two of my kids were admitted to the UW honors college (one applied and withdrew after her ED result). Of the two, one strongly considered it. For the other, it was a back-up plan.

    At UW, it sounds like the honors college is a bit roped off from the rest of the university. The way it was explained to us, the honors kids have access to anything at the university, but the rest of the university generally doesn't have access to Honors College "stuff".
  • UWfromCAUWfromCA Registered User Posts: 1,072 Senior Member
  • MiddleburyDad2MiddleburyDad2 Registered User Posts: 718 Member
    edited February 7
    @ThankYouforHelp , great post. I don't think, in this thread, that you're going to be offered much thanks for this particular instance of help. :)

    Post edited by skieurope on
  • schoolviewschoolview Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    Those considering and comparing public university Honors programs might find this website helpful.
    http://publicuniversityhonors.com/
  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    Honors programs at the best public schools are easily comparable to the top LACs. I was admitted to UT Austin Plan II Honors and hold it to a very high regard. The average grad has a LSAT of a 166- higher than Harvard (165) or the top LACs (164 at Pomona, Swarthmore). The testing profile is equal or higher to the best LACs. The experience they provide is top notch and if it comes down to costs I'd absolutely advocate paying in-state for an honors program over full price at an Ivy/top LAC.

    There were only two people from my class admitted to Pomona. I went to Pomona primarily because I wanted an out of state experience, and the other did Plan II honors instead primarily because of finances (turning down others as well like Columbia, Swarthmore, Vanderbilt). We were all surprised at first, but she said she really thought Plan II honors was the best deal for the money. She did very well- graduated Phi Beta Kappa and got into many top 20 medical schools- so choosing the "less" prestigious option didn't hurt her at all. More importantly, she had a very robust and meaningful experience she wouldn't trade for anything else.
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,180 Senior Member
    It also depends on the major, the school and the kid. One of mine is in a very small major in a largish university. His major would not be offered at a LAC. He has been doing research in a real lab in his field since freshman year. He has some large classes, but mostly things like chemistry where it really doesn't matter to him if there are 25 kids or 250, he just has to slog through and learn the material.

    Some kids love being in a class with 10 other students and discussing some fine point in great detail. Others do not. Some kids find knowing every student in their class year a wonderful thing, but others find it suffocating to never meet anyone new or never be able to re-invent themselves.

    I went to a medium-sized university and had classes of over 100 kids (chem, calc, even bio 101) but also high school sized classes and small seminars. I don't think there was much of a down side to the mix of large and small classes. Also had a wide range of people to meet, a wide range of activities, and no trouble getting the classes needed to graduate on time. I know several kids at small LACs who needed an extra semester because a required course is only offered every other year. And kids at very big schools who could not get into required classes because there was just too much demand.
  • MiddleburyDad2MiddleburyDad2 Registered User Posts: 718 Member
    "I know several kids at small LACs who needed an extra semester because a required course is only offered every other year."

    I know a multiple of several who needed an extra year at a large public university because they couldn't get into a required and/or desired course. The first examples and anecdotes of course crunch problems that I ever became aware of originated at the large public flagship university.

    Just as many think the large class size issue is over-played at large flagship, I also tend to think that the course selection issue at LACs is a bit exaggerated. If I had to pick one, I'd trade the LAC experience for a few more courses in the catalog any day of the week.

    Frankly, if LACs do nothing else, they try and get you graduated on time. They do this because it's one defense against their extreme costs (they market themselves as "on time" places to go to school), because they're ranked on their ability to do so, and because they are managing a manageable population. I can't tell you how many times my kids at Midd and Pomona were badgered by their counselors about getting on track. It's almost an obsession at good LACs. They don't want you hanging around around four years. It hurts their rep and their rank.

    If I were choosing solely on the basis of 4 years and out, w/o question the LAC would be my choice.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,292 Senior Member
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,494 Senior Member
    @jym626 I bought that book and it's so confusing!! It's really unorganized and a hot mess.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,292 Senior Member
    I thought the article was helpful. Perhaps the book isn't as helpful.
This discussion has been closed.