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My 16 year old son, smart but unmotivated. Can he get into an engineering program in Florida?

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Replies to: My 16 year old son, smart but unmotivated. Can he get into an engineering program in Florida?

  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot Registered User Posts: 1,543 Senior Member
    I would be more worried about him getting out of an engineering program with a degree than getting in an engineering program. Engineering students have to take a bunch of (sometimes boring) freshman and sophomore classes before they get to the interesting stuff. If your son can't do that it will be difficult for him to get a degree. Unmotivated and unorganized are not a good fit for engineering. Sorry but it isn't enough to just be smart.

    I think you might have to become involved to teach him what it takes to be organized. Perhaps when he is more organized he will see more success and the success itself will be motivating.
  • HappyNJOOSHappyNJOOS Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    My $.02 is to NOT send him to a school that is a stretch school (unless there is some type of turnaround). I have a freshman D in UF and the rigor is as advertised.

    I also have a son (Junior in HS) and he is not as active as his big sister. To get him a little more interested in the whole effort and testing scores, we sat him down and said college is an investment and we are willing to make it only if the effort from him is there. Effort is not the same as results.

    He said he needed help with SAT studying and we made a deal that we would invest in the raining for him as long as he took it seriously. So far so good.... we will see after March SAT exam results.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,190 Senior Member
    @HappyNJOOS... I have to laugh. My talk with my kids at one point is "I love you but your my investment in your future. You need to produce to make good on my investment". Or something like that. They got the point. If I am spending like $60,000/year (thank goodness not that much due to merit) they can at least put in the effort to succeed. So far.. My investments are paying off handsomely.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    If he like to tinker and such, perhaps look deeper into the curriculum of each school to see if design experiences start early, versus the more traditional ordering of math and natural science first, then engineering science, then engineering design late in the program. Having design experiences earlier may keep him more interested than in a more traditional curriculum order.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,044 Super Moderator
    Also look into Mechanical Engineering. That will bring up a larger set of schools than just Aero. And many Mech E programs have an Aero option.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,190 Senior Member
    How about a co-op based engineering program. I think they have classes like one semester then do a coop the next or something like that. This is one such example :

    https://www.kettering.edu/
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 967 Member
    edited February 4
    I know you said Florida, but there’s a lot of good engineering schools throughout the country that don’t require tippy top stats and offer good merit aid.

    Ohio has a lot of good engineering schools for B or even C students.

    U of Cincinnati - 1st school to ever use Co-ops, top engineering program
    U of Dayton - top engineering program, has a reputation for very happy students, nice merit aid
    U of Akron - top engineering program, easy to get into, low cost

    Other places off of the top of my head:
    Valparaiso - top engineering program, undergraduate focus
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,202 Senior Member
    Clarkson U as well.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,190 Senior Member
    Since she started then Iowa State University. North Carolina State. Michigan State.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,179 Senior Member
    I hope you will evaluate him with his physician or a psychiatrist for ADHD.
  • equationloverequationlover Registered User Posts: 967 Member
    ^^ Oh yes Iowa State U is a low cost for OOS, gives really nice merit, and is super easy to get into. They have a very large, well run and top ranked engineering program. They have the largest career fair for engineers in the country.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,240 Senior Member
    There are plenty of schools in Florida he'd be accepted to, but maybe not UF if his gpa and scores aren't very high. Many good suggestions of Iowa State and other OOS schools, but he'd lose a lot of Florida money.
  • 968Mom968Mom Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    I want to thank everyone who answered; it was a great mix of answers. I was looking at Florida schools because they are affordable for us as in-state schools. We have 4 kids and he's the 3rd. I'm really interested in exploring co-ops and ADHD. I also signed him up for a tour of UF engineering and Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
    Since I wrote this, we started tracking his screen time in school and discovered that he's on his iphone a large majority of the day. We are collecting data at this point before we talk to him about it but honestly at this point, it's practically a miracle that he gets As and Bs because not only does he not study or do homework, he's apparently on his phone a sold 4-5 hours at school.
  • momprof9904momprof9904 Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    edited February 5
    @968Mom My son was diagnosed with adhd late in his junior year in high school. Similar issues with gaming etc, and lacking focus and maturity. The meds and therapy have changed his life for the better. For college, he is staying instate, and doing well at a respected tech school offering a doable program in cs.

    It's not easy to differentiate between adhd and just goofing off. That's why a professional evaluation is critical. We arranged for testing after I read many posts here on CC.
  • taverngirltaverngirl Registered User Posts: 593 Member
    @momprof9904 can you provide some details on what you did as far as therapy and exactly how the meds helped? My son was diagnosed end of sophomore year but has chosen not to medicate. We are supportive but it's hard when he's clearly not doing as well as he could be academically. He is very very smart but it doesn't show on the report card. I don't want to push him to take medication, but it may help to share others' stories with him. Feel free to PM me.
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