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College List - No Passion from Student

SchoolNewsSchoolNews 30 replies11 threads Junior Member
edited September 12 in Parents Forum
Anyone else with a rising senior with no passion around developing a college list? Has listened to 45 virtual info sessions - he thinks they all sound the same. Completed many virtual tours, nothing rises to the top. Only able to visit a couple schools pre-pandemic and none he still likes. Not able to complete an ACT/SAT due to darn COVID. I don't know how to help him develop a list. Anything work for your kid?
edited September 12
55 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: College List - No Passion from Student

  • SchoolNewsSchoolNews 30 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Sorry my kid is a rising senior, so class of 2025. Newbie here, forgive me.
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  • MWolfMWolf 3004 replies14 threads Senior Member
    What does he want from a college? Have him feed those into a college search website, and see what pops up.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2191 replies25 threads Senior Member
    I think after 45 virtual info sessions I would have trouble forming an option. I would start with big groups and try to eliminate instead of choosing. Can he eliminate small, medium or large schools? How about rial, suburban or urban?
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  • Luckyjade2024Luckyjade2024 848 replies13 threads Member
    What does he want to study? how are is grades? is he involved in his HS? what region? weather? campus size? sports? arts etc...what are his interests? Is there a city he loves?

    come up with some reaches, publics, and targets based off how you would answer a few questions.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7930 replies39 threads Senior Member
    So they all seem the same since essentially they are. But after doing 25 what made him do more???

    Hate to spoil it for you but most of the walking tours are the same also.

    So.. Depending on where you live take him out to lunch at a college near you. Walk around. The idea is to visit a small, medium then large university if you can. At each, walk around yourself. You don't even have to do a walking tour just check it out. My son hated the walking tour because for engineering they "All" stopped at the chemistry building and pointed to their 3D printer. They all looked the same so I get that.

    Once he shows interest in one of them or two. See if he will contact a professor or department to get more information. At this point he doesn't know enough to care since their all the same....

    What I did with my kids I sat and went through 1 or 2 school websites together. Kinda showed them how to navigate them since the amount of information can be overwhelming. Talk to his school counselor with and without him. Get a sense on what schools you should focus on. See what's important to your son. For mine it was a great school for engineering with sports. There will be something but you might need to pry it out of him. Trust me, as they get older and mature this stops.. Lol..
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 84677 replies752 threads Senior Member
    Perhaps instead of (virtual) tours, which try to sell the "campus life" aspect of the college, why not start with the basics?

    * If you have any financial constraints, do the financial planning to be able to put some actual numbers down before he makes an application list.
    * Does he know what he wants to study, or a general area of subjects, or is very undecided? The answer could lead to sorting colleges based on known academic strengths, or (for undecided students) colleges that are reasonably good in the range of possible academic interests and where those various majors are not so "full" that declaring or changing major is difficult (however, some majors inherently require starting the prerequisites early to avoid delaying graduation).
    * How strong are his college application credentials (e.g. high school record, test scores if any, extracurriculars, etc.)?
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  • CamasiteCamasite 245 replies10 threads Junior Member
    My first daughter was like that. We lived in TX at the time. University of Arkansas was the first to offer her admission. She had friends going there, took the admission offer, and tossed the rest of the applications in the garbage.

    Turned out very much for the best. Freshman year was a bit rough. Her sorority put her on probation for mediocre grades, lots of tears. Then she started to get it together, get involved, and graduated her senior year with straight As and honors.

    Don't worry about it. Find a good comprehensive state school that fits his profile (not too easy or out of reach) and it will all work out or he can transfer.
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  • ArtsyKidDadArtsyKidDad 199 replies19 threads Junior Member
    @SchoolNews
    Another posibility, and please do not take any offense, it's not meant as a derogatory statement at all: maybe it's you son's reaction to too much involvement on your part?
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  • SchoolNewsSchoolNews 30 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, all. He wants to study engineering. He has strong grades, rigorous course load, and should score 1550-1600 on SAT based upon practice tests, but unable to take the tests to date due to pandemic. Extra-curriculars are light. In an ideal world he would like a mid sized college/university, there are not many mid-sized schools with engineering, and the ones that exist are very selective and unlikely given light extra curriculars. He does not want to be smack in middle of big city, but does not want rural either. So many engineering programs at huge universities, and I just don't see him in that setting. We can make private work. Don't love our flagship public and very worried that budget at our public is going to be slashed.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10870 replies136 threads Senior Member
    Honors colleges can make large universities much cozier. Mine is a junior in honors at Purdue and has had an amazing experience.
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  • MWolfMWolf 3004 replies14 threads Senior Member
    SchoolNews wrote: »
    Thanks, all. He wants to study engineering. He has strong grades, rigorous course load, and should score 1550-1600 on SAT based upon practice tests, but unable to take the tests to date due to pandemic. Extra-curriculars are light. In an ideal world he would like a mid sized college/university, there are not many mid-sized schools with engineering, and the ones that exist are very selective and unlikely given light extra curriculars. He does not want to be smack in middle of big city, but does not want rural either. So many engineering programs at huge universities, and I just don't see him in that setting. We can make private work. Don't love our flagship public and very worried that budget at our public is going to be slashed.

    What is your budget? Colorado School of Mines, some of the Cal Polys, Rochester. For smaller ones perhaps Rose-Hulman or Embry-Riddle. All of these state that extracurricular activities are "considered" for admissions, as opposed to "important", as they are for most private and many public colleges.
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  • SchoolNewsSchoolNews 30 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Are honors colleges open to out-of-state students? Do you apply directly to an honors college, or are you automatically considered based upon your application? thank you
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3866 replies25 threads Senior Member
    @schoolnews For honors colleges or programs it depends - typically an invitation is stats driven but now always. Sometimes a separate application is required. But I agree, honors programs/colleges can shrink a large school and help academically focused students to find like-minded classmates.

    For selective but not too selective schools, maybe look at WPI, RPI or Rochester. There is some merit-based aid at Rochester, not sure about the other two. If he wants to aim a bit higher, how about Case Western? Demonstrated interest is important there (apply nonbinding EA for best consideration).

    Drexel and Northeastern might be too urban for him but they both offer engineering, good coop programs, and also offer merit scholarships.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10870 replies136 threads Senior Member
    Yes, most honors colleges are open to out of state applicants. Yes, they usually require a separate application but not always. IMO they are worth the work.
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  • Ran the DadRan the Dad 36 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Wow....I literally just posted a similar post because I am in the same predicament. Thanks for posting.
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  • Darcy123Darcy123 533 replies7 threads Member
    How are you defining mid sized - there are tons in the 5k-10k size range? Some that come to mind that aren't extremely selective:
    Case Western, RPI, WPI, Stevens, Rose-Hullman, Rochester

    You can also look at the smaller flagships - some are actually extremely affordable:
    University of Utah, University of Maine, University of Wyoming.
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