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Should parents encourage students to apply to colleges (locations) that suit the parents' values?


Replies to: Should parents encourage students to apply to colleges (locations) that suit the parents' values?

  • UndercrackersUndercrackers Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    We are in CA. D attended a local public HS. We as a family tend to lean conservative (mostly fiscal) but are liberal about many other issues. D applied to a wide variety of schools - large liberal public universities, small Catholic private, etc. We never guided her one way or the other - she has a good sense of herself and what she would be comfortable with. Wound up at UC Berkeley, because 1) it's an excellent school, 2) top ranked for her major, 3) only an hour a way, 4) cheaper than a private, and 5) a great urban college type of environment. Some of the instances of "hippie" make my H's eyes roll, but he has a lot of respect for the institution and sees the value of what it has offered her so far.

    Would we have been concerned had she wanted to attend a very conservative school? Probably, but then we were never faced with that possibility.
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 1,068 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus , I meant simply that there was a pro-confederate rally, then there were a couple of protests against that (including a bended knee protest at one game) and then everyone went on with their business. The point being that location must matter a bit to have a pro-confederate rally in the first place, but that there are also enough people around with the opposite view on the matter. Which goes to the point that someone made earlier that not everyone in a conservative state will be conservative (and of course not everyone in a blue state will be liberal).
  • natty1988natty1988 Registered User Posts: 235 Junior Member
    Should parents? Sure, if they want. Depends on the family, the kid, and the finances....
  • SCTwinsMomSCTwinsMom Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    It is a very small and publicly-funded charter school, which is why this viewpoint shocked us.
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 2,575 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    In your case, what about a college near you that has students coming from all over. For example, Clemson and Univ of South Carolina are getting many students from the mid Atlantic and Northeast. Surely, there will be students who are liberal and less religious at these schools. It's a matter of finding them. I would avoid smallish schools that aren't geographically diverse. Also, schools in NC such as Elon get students from the Northeast so there's more of a mix of politics. Then again there are southerners who are atheist Democrats and Northerners who are Evangelical Republicans. The goal is to find a school with a wide mix of people.

    In our case our daughter is going to a school where I believe many of the students are conservative and religious. We have had talks about how she will meet people with different beliefs, but that doesn't mean they aren't great people. It's going to be an adjustment, and she will probably have to keep her views to herself initially until she gets the lay of the land.
  • SCTwinsMomSCTwinsMom Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Good points, all of these. My children already know how to be a philosophical minority among their peers, but it's challenging for them. I'd love for them to go somewhere that is very different from what they've grown up knowing. While all of these comments about Clemson and Univ of South Carolina are true regarding students from other parts of the country and liberal faculty, the fact is the cultures of those schools are not that much different from what my kids already know and experience. We have friends whose kids go there, so I have good idea about this. But it's very encouraging to hear all of your experiences and comments and it does provide me with some assurance that all will be well -- no matter how it turns out. At this point, economically, it might well be an SC school. We'll just have to see what happens with applications and scholarships, etc.
  • EarlVanDornEarlVanDorn Registered User Posts: 1,275 Senior Member
    This question is one more commonly posed by "conservatives," but there are studies which show that the only real influence parents have on their children is through the selection of their peer group. So I would say parents should at least make the effort to encourage their children to attend a school where the students in general are in accordance to their own beliefs.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,476 Senior Member
    "Encourage" is the word that is important here. I absolutely feel that parents should encourage their children to do what they(the parents) believe is best for them (the children). We do that all the time. It's parenting. The question, IMO, is not the "encourage" part. It's how far and hard to you go beyond "encourage" is the question I would ask.

    I've known kids who HAD to go to state schools, local schools, religious schools, LACs, alma maters of a parent, etc, etc. SOmetimes the reasons were valid. I know of kids who HAD to go to certain schools do to financial issues. I remember one sweet young woman from one of my kids' classes, who was told it was the local college or nothing because she got a full tuition scholarship there, could commute and the family was having financial difficulties so that it really was the only choice that was affordable. She was very upset, as she was given a lot more choices at the beginning of her college app process, but things had changed by the time the acceptances came rolling in. Years later, she is doing very well, and though it was not her choice to commute to college, and a Catholic one, as well, it was not the end of the world by any measure. She found a lot of great people there, many she knew from school to her surprise, and got a good education without incurring debt or causing additional stress to her parents financially.

    I'm of the school that it isn't a great idea to push kids into things that they do not want, when the stakes are not that high.. The financial situation is an area where I do believe that if parents feel they should not pay more than X amount, that's the way it should go. Parents' prerogative and the benefits outweigh the alternatives.

    But to force a kid to go to this particular school or other, force a major, force military, force non military, force religion? I don't agree. But it's done. Strictly speaking, you can't force anything, but you can place enough pressure to get a kid to do other than what s/he wants. It's just not the way I wanted to do things, not my way of parenting, and I don't advocate. JMO, here.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,552 Senior Member
    edited March 18
    There is absolutely no way I would pay for a very conservative religious school - and by that I mean Liberty University of BYU even. So yes, that would be forcing my own liberal secular values on my children. But they absorbed those values, and that wouldn't have happened.

    I encouraged my kids to go to school far from home. I think living in very much a different part of the country from where you grew up is educational in itself. But had they chosen schools closer to home, that would have been fine, too - and would have saved me a small fortune in air fares...
  • natty1988natty1988 Registered User Posts: 235 Junior Member
    The only restrictions we imposed were financial. Our kids could go anywhere in the country as long as the financials worked out...if not, they couldn't apply
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,622 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    My objective in helping and advising/guiding my kids -- in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, jobs and grad school and beyond -- has been to prepare them for successful, satisfying productive lives. They will have to define success and satisfaction.

    In one case, ShawD wanted to get away from home (and especially ShawWife) and found the stress of holistic admissions at her high-end private New England HS a bit much, so I helped her apply to schools in Canada (which don't have holistic admissions). I thought she didn't choose the best school for her, but let her choose. When she decided a week into school that she wanted to go into nursing instead of biology, I had her shadow some nurses and helped complete her application to transfer (this was a major project, it turns out) at the end of the first semester. She applied a school 1 hour away from us. When she was admitted to a 5 year BSN/MSN program, I weighed in that I was supportive, but that she would probably think it was a good idea to take time off after the BSN and that my only request was that she not do that because she didn't love school and would find it hard to go back. She followed my advice and tells me she is very glad she did. She has lived near us for two years post-graduation and loves her work. However, she is going to move to the West Coast with her BF.

    Given our S's health problems (he had surgery during his gap year), we limited his college apps to schools in a 5 hour driving range (in a fast car). At the end, I pushed for an LAC instead of an Ivy, but let him choose. When he applied to grad school, he wanted to attend an Ivy where he had several friends and I pushed him to attend a school on the West Coast that was an order of magnitude better for what he wanted to do than anyplace else. I got him to talk to some folks, who it turns out generally confirmed my instinct. A month after school had started, he told me, "Dad, I understand why you wanted me to go here. You were so right." He now lives on the other coast and is having extraordinary success and I think satisfaction.
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