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Crowd-sourcing a final decision?


Replies to: Crowd-sourcing a final decision?

  • ThomasTrigThomasTrig Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Did you ask your son where he wants to go? You just might find your answer there ;)
  • LurkerDad2LurkerDad2 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    @Magnetron - he'd likely walk into Nova with about 40 credits from AP. 30-33 at the others (including ND) except for Brown which would be maybe 2 or 3 classes. Nova was discouraging the double major a bit saying to focus instead on the required pre-health classes if he ultimately wants that option. Funny..I had a doctor tell me that a CS degree would be more interesting to a med school than Bio because so many applicants are Bio majors, but CS is a different take and could be weaved into a story about the computerization of medicine, surgery, etc. But his guidance was ultimately for him to study what he likes and do well and be involved on campus for his med school applications if he goes that route.

  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 4,288 Senior Member
    @LurkerDad, ND is changing its policy on AP credits so you should double-check that if it's an important consideration.
  • LurkerDad2LurkerDad2 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    @ThomasTrig - yes, and the "not sure..I think I'd be happy at any of those schools" answer surfaces...but he's also a data-driven kind of kid and I think is waiting until after the Case visit this week to start to discern this all.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,686 Senior Member
    If he lives on campus nearby it is a wholly different exoerience and could just see you guys in major breaks. Since he's interested in grad/Med school, I'd encourage saving the money for that. If he's a big fish in small pond, he can get great research opportunities and get to know profs for great recommendations too!
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,802 Senior Member
    "If he lives on campus nearby it is a wholly different experience..."

    A very good point. Living on campus puts a student into an entirely different world. Even if the campus is only 5 miles from the parents home it is still an adventure. Part of the undergraduate experience IMHO is the experience of the student living a bit on his or her own and starting to separate from the parents.
  • traveler98traveler98 Registered User Posts: 871 Member
    @LurkerDad2, there are many viable career paths that include both natural science and CS; my son is interested in biotechnology (specifically bioinformatics) and there is a lot of opportunity for students who like coding as well as chem and bio. He is planning to major in CS and possibly minor in biology or biochemistry, and look for applicable research in biotechnology. His first love is coding so he's aware that he may end up doing something unrelated to biotechnology (game design, cybersecurity, etc), but he wants the option available. During his college visits he's met CS professors from different schools who have been able to list multiple ongoing CS research projects that have a natural science component. One even talked about research that combines cybersecurity with biotechnology.

    If I were in your situation, all else being equal I'd go with Villanova. If my S truly had no strong preference among the acceptances and all were affordable and were a fit academically and socially, I'd encourage him to go with the full ride.

    Good luck!
  • LurkerDad2LurkerDad2 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    @traveler98 - yes...your son sounds similar in that regard to mine, and I know he's seeking out those profs that are doing research that combines those fields. Where is your son looking?
  • traveler98traveler98 Registered User Posts: 871 Member
    edited April 12
    @LurkerDad2, he's interested in UT Dallas, U Tulsa, WPI, MIT, and UT Austin. At the moment UT Dallas is his top choice because he's likely NMF and they have a wonderful honors program with almost a full ride automatic for NMF. U Tulsa was the school with the cybersecurity/biotechnology intersection research, which sounded very cool. We're in Texas, and the allure of auto admit (UT and UTD) is strong.
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 8,161 Senior Member
    edited April 12
    Also I would look at the curriculums for the school...Brown is known for having an unstructured curriculum..I personally would not do well in that. At Case Western, my major (Electrical Engineering) had a template for all 4 years and I just substituted in electives.

    If he is not suuuuuuper into Brown or ND, I would choose from the others because of cost.

    If he wants to be pre-med and do CS, he doesn't need to double major in Bio, but just take the pre-requisite classes (bio, chem, physics, org chem, etc)
  • shortnukeshortnuke Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Any plans to study abroad (for a semester or full year)? If so, I'd look at the programs to see if one of the schools stands out. Most schools have exchange programs where you pay your home school's tuition and where all scholarships and other aid apply. If Nova and ND for example offer exchanges with the same universities, you'd end up paying ND tuition to go abroad to the same school that would have been close to free if he had gone to Nova.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 5,935 Senior Member
    Congrats to your son on these fine options. You should be proud.

    Honestly, I would tell my son that this is the first of many really big decisions in his life, and he will learn something important about himself in making it. Assure him that he's going to make a lot of mistakes in life (I never seem to run out), so he should make his best decision, and if it turns out wrong, that will be one for his lifetime list of mistakes, and it will be OK anyway.

    I would play a little devil's advocate for each school, but I wouldn't come even close to undue influence. He's doing his due diligence and in the end he has to ask himself

    "Which school will best help me become the person I want to be?"

  • Snowball CitySnowball City Registered User Posts: 1,452 Senior Member
    If he is a pretty independent kind of person, I would recommend going to the one that is the farthest away from home. We have a large country and it is good to get to know other areas and other local issues.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,634 Senior Member
    Excellent options. First let me agree with @jonri that if grad school == PhD program, then if the kid is really good and gets into a very good program, financial aid in the form of fellowships and assistantships would cover 100% of need. That's also what I told my kids: if you don't get full funding, don't take the PhD option.

    As I look at this, there's a fairly large difference among the colleges in GENERAL name recognition, but these are all very credible colleges. If you can find a way to get the kid through all of these colleges with the combination of financial aid, your college savings plan, and your current income flow, then don't let the decision be guided by cost considerations. You may have to pay more out of pocket, but if your son gets through college without debt (for him or for you), then go with the college that most appeals to him. If that appeal is location and atmosphere as much as the academic programs, then so be it (again, assuming you have neutralized the cost as I mentioned above). With our kids, we had about 35-40% of the costs "in the bank," and covered the rest through our current income. Both graduated without debt.

    I like all of these colleges for different reasons, but for my kids it would have been UR, Brown, and ND -- over Nova and CWRU. But deciding factors might have been their desire to live in cities (for my son, "major league city" [as in professional sports]; for my daughter "real city" [as in urban landscape and culture], and so NOVA wouldn't have been out of consideration.
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