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Why is it important to have reach/OOS schools on the list?

jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
edited February 8 in Parents Forum
DS is a senior this year, and his application process has gone better than I could have even imagined. Lots of pleasant surprises and thankfulness!

He applied to 1 safety, 5 matches, 2 reaches, and was accepted to all. Dh got a promotion in Dec that makes all but 1 school affordable even if ds doesn’t get the additional merit money we were hoping he’d receive. We’re overjoyed and thankful!

Dd is a freshman and said that when it’s her turn she wants to go OOS. Said she wants to experience life in a new city. And some other fluffy stuff about how she couldn’t put it into words, but she’s talked to others and they understand, lol.

I don’t want to discourage her, but from what I’ve seen, pursuing lots of reaches and OOS schools (that would require competitive scholarships to be affordable) seems like a stressful and often very disappointing process. She doesn’t even know much about any elite/OOS schools and would have to go actively seek out these schools when we have MANY great affordable in state publics and privates where she could likely receive merit money if she ends up with the stats for elites. (We’re in Texas.)

I am also thinking that if she’s at the top of some of these in state schools, she could explore other cities at conferences, summer programs, study abroad, etc.

She’s interested in med school, and I’ve heard undergrad doesn’t matter much for that.

Just trying to figure out how best to guide her. I’d love for her to have the happy, stress-free application process her brother has had, but I don’t want to limit her if there’s something I’m missing.

Is there any reason it would be important to include elite/OOS schools on the list?
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Replies to: Why is it important to have reach/OOS schools on the list?

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,140 Senior Member
    Sit her down and have a realistic talk with her about finances. Pre-Med school is all about getting good grades not where you went to get the good grades.

    If she applies and gets merit /scholarships and it's not a financial burden then sure. Lots of private schools can actually be less expensive then you instate options. Start educating yourself and her on that.
  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    I shared all of that with her.

    As for privates, we have a very high EFC that’s only going to go up with the recent salary increase. We won’t be eligible for need based aid, and we don’t feel it’s wise to pay elite/OOS prices, when we’ll still have 5 more kids to put thru college.

    I did tell her she could pursue competitive merit and be prepared to turn down any offers that don’t match what she could get in state. But from what I’ve seen on here that seems to be a very stressful, disappointing process, and I’m wondering if it’s even worth it.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,439 Senior Member
    You should start with a realistic talk about finances.

    That said, my kids had different reasons for going out of state.

    Older son wanted the best computer program that accepted him. His stats and such were such that reach colleges were his matches, but he couldn't count on them accepting him. His list had six reaches and two safeties. The safeties offered him money, and he got into two of the reaches. He went to the reach he liked better and is in his dream job now across the country. (The university he attended was only half way across the country.)

    Younger son loves to travel and was looking for good international relations programs. He also hates NYC so he didn't want to look in our area. He wanted to see new sights and meet new people. Sometimes if you go to the state school where half your friends are going you end up hanging out with them instead of making new friends. He's very smart, but his stats weren't quite as strong as my older son. In the end he also applied to a lot of reaches and a safety - with similar results. Went to the reach school and got decent grades, was on the Dean's List senior year. He was about 3 hours away in college and in the Navy now.
  • eb23282eb23282 Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    DD wanted out of state because she didn't want to be close to home, or in a college with lots of kids from her high school or high schools in our area. She was accepted at a small private 7 hours way that gave her a merit award that makes the cost only slightly more than what our in-state schools cost. But honestly, I wouldn't want her to go to school in-state, no matter how good they may be, because she does not enjoy this area of the country.
  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer Registered User Posts: 788 Member
    edited February 8
    The process of researching universities has the potential to be a process of self-discovery:
    a, The student needs to think about and to better define their own interests;
    b. The applicant should spend time learning, in some detail, about the prospective universities.

    When students just reach for a famous name off someone's concept of a ranking list or just reach for the local university because they have heard of it, they are skipping what can be an important education.

    At what other point in life do they have the opportunity to look critically at themselves in the context of their future?

    An "activist" applicant creates a learning experience.
  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    @StPaulDad

    Yes, personality plays a role. Ds is very laid back. Dd is a much more ambitious.

    Glad to hear that applying OOS doesn't have to be stressful or disappointing. We have good friends who took their exceptional dd on a tour of elites/OOS, and they were all so excited. In the end she received rejection after rejection. She ended up somehwere instate where she is absolutely thriving, but it was sad to watch the process, and I think that is coloring my perception.

    I hadn’t considered applying to OOS schools that aren’t necessarily elites or reaches because we have so many great schools in Texas, but if dd really just wants to be OOS, that strategy might help with a successful application process in terms of acceptances and affordability.
  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    @retiredfarmer That’s a good point.

    @mathmom How did your sons feel about the multiple rejections? Did they go into the process expecting that outcome?
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,140 Senior Member
    @jazzymomof7... I stopped ready the thread when I came across that you have 5 more kids to get through college .. Yikes...... She will have to go where you say out of need. We have two in college now and really don't know how we would afford another one in college....... I give you a lot of credit. Her options will have to be narrowed by your ability to pay. If you have unlimited funds then this really doesn't matter so much and she should pick a school that she will be comfortable going to for 4 years and will help her reach her goals. As stated forget about ranking etc. Getting a quality affordable education will get you further in life then just a ranking of a school. Taking both kids across the United States visiting schools really opened my eyes to this. I was really shocked just how many great schools of higher education there really are.
  • NickihNickih Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    We are in Texas. The only school that my daughter considered in Texas for film was UT Austin. She would have gotten no merit aid at UT. She has (mostly) decided to go to Depaul. They have a good film school. The University itself was a safety. The COA for us at UT with no merit is about the same as Depaul with merit. So for her degree with similarly ranked film schools the cost for us was virtually the same. UT and A&M with no merit aid are going to cost the same or more as a good OOS with good merit. Louisiana and Arkansas state schools also sometimes give Texas residents in state tuition.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,836 Senior Member
    Imo, you're right and she's 15. Miles to go. At that age, we couldn't "tell" our girls but could set a context. Eg, wanting them to go where they'd thrive, grow, and be ready for the stage post college. In 9th, we took a sort of "Who knows what that'll be?" attitude. Nor did we let.them have fixed ideas. It's too soon, they're just out of middle school.

    I'd take the pressure off her. "Let's explore." Besides, she may or may not have the stats and ECs for wildly chosen "dreams." I'd take the pressure off her.
  • StPaulDadStPaulDad Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    Yeah, six is a lot. We have four, but one is following the trade school path and another is aspiring to a service academy.

    Maybe that's a thing to look at: SAs are all outside of Texas, she will see the world and meet other people, and they do provide good financial aid and a guaranteed job! Maybe not a great fit for continuing directly to med school, but a different path to service and an affordable education. Seriously, even if the shooting thing isn't a good fit look at the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies.
  • washugradwashugrad Registered User Posts: 789 Member
    A couple of things come to mind, some of which other posters have brought up already -

    *Texas is a big state and maybe if you can drill down on what she's looking for more in an OOS experience, you might be able to find it by going to a different part of your own state.

    *As others have said, a lot of private schools that aren't the tippy top ones do offer merit aid to good students. Our oldest is at a small liberal arts college and we are paying just a bit more than we'd pay for UC in state.

    *There are also OOS public schools that offer great merit aid, especially in the south, and especially for National Merit Scholars. Check out Alabama and Florida. I don't know if your DD's scores will be close but maybe that would give her some incentive to study for her PSATs.
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