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Parent/Student with completely opposite reactions to a college after a visit

Struggling1Struggling1 2 replies1 threads New Member
I have been on many college visits with my HS senior and we have had similiar views regarding the schools until the last one we visiited. Any of the other schools that we have toured I would be happy to have my child attend but this particular school I didn't like at all and I had an uncomfortable feeling about it. My child loved the school and somehow it has moved into the number 1 spot. Of course, we are still waiting on acceptances and scholarship information from this school and others but I am struggling with this school. The other factor is that at this school they would be able to play their sport and at the other schools that wouldn't be an option. I think that this has clouded the opinion of the school. I don't necessarilly think the school is bad, I just don't think it's a good fit. I'm not sure what to do because ultimately it's their choice but this is also the most expensive school depending on scholorship award. Has anyone been in a similiar situation and how was it handled or any advice you can offer.
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Replies to: Parent/Student with completely opposite reactions to a college after a visit

  • thumper1thumper1 76106 replies3356 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @Struggling1

    Why don’t you like this school?

    Please remember one very important thing. Your kid is going to college, not you. The student needs to feel that the school is a good fit. Sure, give your opinion if you must. But understand that this might actually BE the best fit as far as your student is concerned.

    Did you give you student a college annual budget? Do they know that you won’t pay over a certain amount annually? I’m sort of unclear about this from your post.

    If this school comes in within budget, how would you say NO to your kid selecting this school?

    edited December 2019
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 199 replies6 threads Junior Member
    First thought: how will your student feel if they had an injury over the summer or on the first day that made playing the sport impossible? If the school isn’t a favorite without the sport, it shouldn’t be a favorite because of it.

    Other thoughts: most schools have intramural or club sports available so it’s not like there won’t be an opportunity do the sport at all; of you have a feeling that something specific about the school would not benefit your kid, be honest and up front about it because it might be something your student hasn’t considered; if you feel your financial contribution is better spent somewhere else, make a case for it - after you have all of the financial results.
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  • CTCapeCTCape 101 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My DS20 is starting to get EA responses back, and we've been very upfront with him from the start that while it will ultimately be his decision, which schools he will be deciding from will be based upon cost. So it will be a "managed" choice in the end. The way we've explained it is that if he were to get in everywhere he applied, we will inevitably take some off the table if he doesn't get enough merit and he can choose from the rest. Since you're saying this school is the most expensive, perhaps prohibitive cost is your way out in this scenario? On the other hand, taking the time to do the pro/con list on all the schools he applied to might lead him to see it differently?
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5793 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Please let us know the school. It’s so much easier to allay your fears or give you info to share that supports your view, without denigrating any school since most are wonderful in their own way.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79732 replies714 threads Senior Member
    Others can help you better if you specify why you think the school is not a good fit, and whether you have given the student the price limit beforehand.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7482 replies7 threads Senior Member
    What don’t you like about the school? Did you set financial boundaries ahead of time?

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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 248 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I had to bite my tongue a lot during the application process. In fact there was one school that my daughter didn't get into that, while I was disappointed for her, I was also somewhat relieved because culturally I didn't think it was a good fit for her. And I didn't think her reasons for liking that school were the best. While she wouldn't admit it, I think the name recognition and prestige had her a little blinded. But, I really wanted her to make up her mind based on where she felt was the best fit for her. We ended up waiting until all the decisions were in and helped her make a pro and con list. But we tried hard not to steer her in any one direction. We had LOTS and LOTS of talks about why she felt the way she did about different aspects of each school and tried to see things from her perspective.

    The fact that your child can continue to play their sport may be a big draw for them. This ended up being a struggle for my child as well. And her final 2 choices ended up being one where she could continue on and one where she couldn't. She chose the one where she couldn't. She is OK with her decision, but definitely misses it and feel she's given up a big part of her identity.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9063 replies110 threads Senior Member
    One way to get a perspective on any college or university is to look at its overlap schools.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5793 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @Publisher is 100 percent correct. Look at the fact book for your school under student profiles. I will give you a lot of data and a list of schools to consider if you like the one you are researching.

    Also there is a Fiske guide thread with a lot of schools being discussed broadly.
    edited December 2019
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5864 replies1 threads Senior Member
    If a school is affordable and academically reasonable, then I think that as parents we just get to bite our tongue and say nothing.

    We did have a case where younger daughter tagged along on older daughter's university tour, and the two of them ended up with wildly different opinions on the school. Older daughter was not impressed. Younger daughter is now getting a great education at the same school.

    I agree with other comments that we would be able to give more useful comments if we knew what school we were talking about.
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  • maya54maya54 2321 replies95 threads Senior Member
    It’s very difficult to answer the question unless you say why you don’t think the school is a good fit.
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  • Struggling1Struggling1 2 replies1 threads New Member
    The school is Rose Hulman. I was not impressed. We had not visited a small school before and I really didn't like much about it. The people were all very nice and I'm sure students are getting a good education but I just didn't see much else offered. It was a very small and dreary looking campus, maybe twice the size of our HS, and I saw a handful of female students and the rest were all males. All nice students from what we experienced, but I just didn't see much diverisity or many activites or opportunities offered. There was not much on campus and students would definitely need a car because nothing is within walking distance. Due to these factors, It did not seem to be worth the price. When we did the net price calculator, it does not include merit awards, so we will have to wait and see what is offered but we were told by a school official that Rose Hulman has the highest student loan totals in Indiana, but the lowest default rate. I haven't been able to verify these statistics but will look further into it. My child does have a price limit, but they are hopeful with the merit aid it will bring the cost down to meet that goal, but I am not hopeful after the conversation with the school official. The town of Terra Haute also seemed to be lacking as well. I think the idea of being able to continue the sport in college is making this school a top choice, even though I have explained that there is no guarantee of playing time and have also discussed the possibility of injury and not being able to particpiapte if that happens.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27015 replies175 threads Senior Member
    RH is outstanding for engineering, and if they offer some merit money to make it affordable to your family, s/he could pick a whole lot worse.

    But yes, it definitely has few females (25% of total), but if your kid doesn't care, why do you?
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  • Struggling1Struggling1 2 replies1 threads New Member
    @bluebayou Like I said, I’m sure it’s a wonderful school but just not why I expected or liked. Also, I am often concerned about things my child doesn’t seem to care about or notice because I have much more life experience than them. If it ends up being affordable and is still their 1st choice down the line, I will not prevent them from attending but I want them to consider all aspects when choosing a college, including how difficult it is to repay student loans.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79732 replies714 threads Senior Member
    How much student loans are you referring to?
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  • DCCAWAMIIAILDCCAWAMIIAIL 164 replies3 threads Junior Member
    My daughter wouldn't even consider RH - too white, too male and too Midwestern! She ended up at Rice.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27015 replies175 threads Senior Member
    ^^no question, loans should be minimized, but to me, your concern is still unfounded. 1) The kid hasn't been accepted yet. 2) you have no way of knowing how much money they will offer, if any. What if they offer a full ride? Will your 'concerns' then dissipate?

    My point is that we as parents have a right and duty to set a budget for college affordability. Just let your kid know that you cannot afford sticker, and taking out private loans is not an option; there is nothing to 'consider'. Then see how it plays out in March.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5793 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Op. I totally understand your concern. We want college to be both a great educational experience, financially responsible but also a wonderful time of growth and memories.

    RH is an excellent school and great for engineering.

    However some of the more traditional aspects of the experience are quite different. I.e. sports, women’s activities and a diverse friend group Representing diverse majors as well as the other factors.

    RH to me is a technical institute of high standing but different from a traditional lac or university.

    It wouldn’t be a problem if she loves it and is admitted, at all. I just get what you’re saying 100 percent.

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  • thumper1thumper1 76106 replies3356 threads Senior Member


    If your child is definite about engineering, RH is an excellent school. The caveat I would weigh in on is that IF the student changes his or her mind, and wants to major in the humanities, that student will be transferring to do so most likely.

    Agree with others...don’t jump the gun. Wait for acceptances. Then, if you are really concerned about the choices, have your kid visit their top three choices again. Sometimes the lens of an accepted student is different from an applicant.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1629 replies25 threads Senior Member
    RH is certainly quite different from most schools that are discussed more frequently - in a group with Olin, Kettering, Cooper Union, maybe Milwaukee Engineering. Not widely known, not a “brand name” to the general public. I know they flooded me with marketing back when I was in HS but it never interested me.

    But after getting a degree/working in engineering, it’s certainly known in the field - the #1 USN ranking for non-PhD programs isn’t an accident.

    So concerns about the quality, opportunities, etc., shouldn’t be an issue IMO.

    Culture, fit, etc., are certainly very important, and it’s hard for anyone who hasn’t attended to say a lot about it. If one of my kids really liked a school that I didn’t, I’d be sure to have a conversation about my concerns and make the kid hear/understand/discuss the concerns and our different viewpoints. But at the end of the day, I think I would leave it up to the student, barring serious safety concerns. Kids also have to learn to make decision and, over from mistakes. (Though this would have pretty significant financial impacts - make sure the kid knows what you will/won’t contribute in the event of transfer, additional years, etc.).
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