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When parents and student do not agree on the college

undecided2014undecided2014 285 replies126 threads Member
We have a situation where our student wants one school, I want a different one, and my husband is sort of on the fence but does agree the other one is probably a better choice. I have very strong concrete reasons. 1) son has special needs. He likes to think these do not make a difference, but they do. All advice we have received says he should go to college closer to home so he can come home. The college he likes is far away. 2) son is extremely smart. He learns everything the first time around and he having to repeat anything. His school if choice is a small liberal arts school where the top end of the range for SAT scores is below his own SAT score. The college of my preference is a larger university with a graduate school and an honors program. He loved it when he first visited. He has been admitted to the honors program. 3) the main thing he loves about the small school he visited was getting to play video games all night with the host who had him for an overnight. He has already been telling his brother how he is going to be doing this for the next four years (you probably guess he has ASD now). 4) the small school is in a rural area that does not even have Uber. I am concerned about how we will handle the transportation for breaks and such. 5) he did not notice this because he rarely looked up from his phone during the visit, but the people working at the school and the other students were rude and dismissive. He does not pick up on how people behave. However, I suspect he will eventually realize that they are rude and dismissive and become frustrated and leave school. I also think he will outgrow the academics at the school quickly.

We are going to try to take him to another visit at the closer school in the next couple weeks in hopes of changing his mind. But he is pretty set on this other school. I really think this is a big mistake. I have already put three children through college so this is not an issue where I am just scared for my baby to go off to college. I do wish we could go back in time and have him apply to colleges that are similar, but maybe a better fit academically. And where the people are nicer. I have never seen a college where the staff and other students were so rude and dismissive.
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Replies to: When parents and student do not agree on the college

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5453 replies25 threads Senior Member
    If you feel you can share the school's that might be helpful. With ASD your talking Autism spectrum correct?

    Normally I would say if all is equal let the kid decide but this doesn't seem like the case.

    Is there another school that he likes that is small like that. Maybe he likes small schools also? Could be less intimidating?

    FYI my son took his gaming console to school for Netflix, games and such. We were concerned but he uses it to chill. He's in a stressful at times, major. This year as a Junior he told me he barely uses it

    But as you know the supportive services are key. Does he realize this fact? Also was this a safety? Why did he even look at it and stay over if it was not academically correct for him?

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  • undecided2014undecided2014 285 replies126 threads Member
    edited February 9
    I was fine with the college far away when I thought it was a good college. When we visited it, I did not like it, but felt it was something he could try, if distance were not an issue. We know people whose children go there. But once we visited, the people were very rude. I can go in to details if you like. I would be fine with a college way further away even, if the college was good and he liked it. But the fact that it is far away is a factor when added with the others leads me to think just no.
    edited February 9
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  • TS0104TS0104 1123 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Hi OP, no advice, just sympathy. That's bad luck that on his overnight, that was his experience. Have you talked about whether you are letting him take his gaming console or gaming computer to school? Would that change his opinion?

    Can you go to admitted students day for both this spring, and not let him use his phone during the tour and sessions? (I say that understandingly, not sarcastically).

    Have you talked with him about coming home in specifics, as in exactly how/when he would come home from the far away school, for example, only coming home for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring Break, and that is all?
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  • undecided2014undecided2014 285 replies126 threads Member
    It was not just one incident of rudeness. When we first arrived on campus, we was chilly out, in the 30's (F). We had a small child with us. We found an administration building and my husband went in first. I came in after and went to the first office which had a window. It was the registrars office. We had just arrived and I was still excited to be there. I told her, nicely with a smile and all, that we had just arrived from out of state and were there for an admissions event and were supposed to be in a certain building (naming the building). Did she have a map or anything? And she didn't say anything to me but sighed deeply and clicked on her computer and printed off a gray scale map that was very hard to read. I nicely said, not angry at all, I was still quite excited about coming for the visit, that I wish there was a "you are here" mark on the map, I don't even know the name of the building we are in. She rolled her eyes and had sat back down at her desk. I told her we needed to find X building. She looked down at her desk. So then I asked her if she had a bathroom I could use. No one else was there, there was no line for the desk. She told me my husband had already asked. I said I guess I could just find him then. And then I asked if he went, and I pointed in the direction I thought I saw him go. And then I asked if the women's restrooms were that way too. She was clearly angry that I was bothering her and told me yes. I went that way. And after finding the bathroom, I came back out and had to go outside to find the name of the building so we could find it on the map. We seemed to be on the opposite end of the campus and the gray scale map was fuzzy and hard to read. We did find our way to the building with the admissions office. As we walked across campus, we saw no one out. It was cold out so that is likely why. But it was around 5pm on a Friday, where did everyone go? We get to the building with the admissions office and walk in. My husband decided to walk back to get the car so he would be parked closer to where we needed to be. I was at the admissions office with a small child and my high school senior. As soon as we walked in, two older women were walking out and and told us we needed to leave because they are closed. I told them we were here for an admissions event that starts at 6pm. They simply repeated themselves that we need to leave, they are locking the doors. I pointed out I had a very small child with me and it was very cold, and we are supposed to be here within an hour. They told us go somewhere else and one of them said there are places near by we could get to, like restaurants, but we could not be here. Okay, I told her I did not have the car but my husband went to get it. She told me it was not her problem and then she got in her car and left. I waited a little bit and my husband got there. But this was just the first hour of our visit there. I could tell more about the rest of the visit, but this is the general just of it.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5453 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Geez. Seems like the workers there are rude..... Did you ever get to speak with professors, counselors or staff people? Was the experience any better?

    If you sons stats are higher then their avg, does he like being the big fish in a small pond, per se?

    You have all the control. If you really can't see spending the money for him to go there then have a family discussion and remove it from the list but... We went to a college twice. Each time it was like a completely different experience. But I wouldn't suggest it incase he likes it even more the next time.. Lol..
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 104 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I would talk to your son and ask him would he like his choice of college if he never spoke/saw/played with his host again as it is likely the host may not be at that college next year or for long after as circumstances change.

    I understand you didnt feel the workers were overly helpful. As for weather, where I live, 30's might not necessarily be considered "really cold" (in fact some school kids wear shorts to school with that temp). So they may not have understood the affect the temps did have on you as you werent local. They did seem to match your son to an overnight host pretty well so maybe the higher ups making the real decisions arent so horrible.

    Is there a more middle ground third option available that might fit the student best and give you peace of mind as well?
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  • undecided2014undecided2014 285 replies126 threads Member
    He got a full-ride offer to go there. But we will end up paying the cost to transport him. We are willing to pay the extra cost to go to the closer school which we think is a better school. The experiences did not get better. He did a spend the night and his host pretty much played video games all night, which son was fine with as son got to play too, then slept in and never got son to food service for breakfast. There were a few staff members who were nice, but most, including the student workers, were rude and dismissive. They seemed put out that we were even there. And it was a special invitation thing for those who received scholarships. I would have expected them to be nice to anyone visiting campus, but I feel that if this is how they treat students on a scholarship invitation weekend, that the rest can only be worse.
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  • undecided2014undecided2014 285 replies126 threads Member
    We did the sleep over because he was offered a full-ride and we had positive reviews from a few people. We figured the distance would be a pain. It was only once we drove it that we realized it would be a huge pain. But if we had liked the school, it would have been worth the drive. Now all I can think is once he gets in to it, he will hate it and be begging to come home. And we won't be able to bring him home on the weekend to relieve the pressure.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 617 replies1 threads Member
    I hope you can get your husband to back you up and support saying no to full ride. Your H might be willing to let son try full ride and transfer back if it weren't to work out.
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2989 replies161 threads Senior Member
    1. If you’re worried he’ll spend all his time playing video games, he can do that at any college.
    2. Some distance between college and home can be beneficial. He will be more likely to integrate into campus social life, if he only comes home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break. Some distance can push him to develop some adult life skills. He won’t be coming home on weekends with laundry or expecting you to solve every minor problem.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1984 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Which school will better support his ASD? That is really the first consideration.

    As far as people being rude at the small school, it could be that you happened to run into a few bad apples. Although they were having an admissions event I try not to visit schools on the weekends. I feel you just don't get the true vibe of the school. 30F is cold but for people who live in the north, it's normal especially if there isn't any wind. It's just another day.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12816 replies29 threads Senior Member
    The biggest potential concern (if you're not going to be paying for anything than transportation) is him ruining his undergrad GPA. That won't matter for many cases but could for stuff like grad school admissions.

    The other stuff, like rudeness, etc., are potential learning experiences.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 804 replies9 threads Member
    I understand your concerns. And I definitely see why you think the honors program at the public university is the better choice. Gaming he can do anywhere and making that his top consideration for selecting a college shows that he needs your guidance.
    I also suggest you and your H make a united front if possible and talk to your son.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1205 replies21 threads Senior Member
    I’m just curious and this is just a side question, but were they expecting parents/siblings at this event? Many overnight type events and honors events my D has been invited to are for students only. Just wondering if they were put off (right or wrong) by your presence?
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5453 replies25 threads Senior Member
    I am sorta conflicted on this one. The parents evidently thought high enough about this program to first apply to it then second have their son do an overnight. Regardless of free ride. If it wasn't in consideration then applying wouldn't make sense. The son was willing and mature enough to do the overnight. My son didn't want to do this but my daughter did

    The rudeness doesn't bother me as much as long as the administration, professors, learning specialist etc seemed caring. If not, then there's a problem.

    You can game on your phone and computer. My son doesn't use his gaming console that much but joined and runs a online baseball league with random people on the internet on his computer . They asked him to be the general manager and since then they have won 3 world series in a row...... Can my son use it for his resume how he manages strangers..? Lol.... This is just a stress reliever for him. Funny thing is last year he had this serious desire to read novels. Like anything he could get his hands on.... Maybe they mentioned something in his classes.. Lol..

    Also at most universities they have parent weekend schedule at about the 6 week mark. This is a researched time to have it. It's when the kids need to have that connection with home. At my kids parents welcome weekend they spoke about it whether a big ten university or a small lac.. Same message...

    Also maybe reach out to an advisor with a question. and see how they respond to you. At my kids schools they are pretty quick to respond. They seemed caring when I had a concern.. This was several years ago when or before they even started.

    I also don't have an ASD kid. Not sure how much that plays into any of this or if it does at all?



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