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Parent and Child Disagree on College List

SchoolNewsSchoolNews 30 replies11 threads Junior Member
edited September 12 in Parents Forum
Other than for financial reasons, have you forbidden/told your child you will not pay for certain schools? Some issues in our family include 1. size, student with LD interested in large university that parents believe would be a mistake, 2. location - school too far away (you want your student within a driveable distance, especially in the age of COVID, dangerous location - both in terms of natural disasters and crime, located in a state where COVID is not taken seriously), 3. religious affiliation - parents don't want student at a religiously affiliated school, especially if religion courses are required. Student agnostic and willing to overlook that issue. Any suggestions?
edited September 12
50 replies
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Replies to: Parent and Child Disagree on College List

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10871 replies136 threads Senior Member
    No we did not forbid any schools.

    That said we weren’t dealing with a LD or covid when D applied to schools.

    IMO those are legitimate concerns and you should have conversations. Some big schools do have great supports but your student would need to do the research as it’s so highly variable.

    About religiously affiliated schools, D went to a catholic private prep HS. We are not catholic. She had to take 4 years of theology. She got an AMAZING education and the theology courses helped her become a fabulous debater - she stays calm, states facts, and asked the hard questions. The theology teachers all loved her because she was engaged and kept them on their toes. She’s in touch with two of them still. Long way of saying not to discount a religiously affiliated college.
    PS. School didn’t change her own beliefs at all.

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  • LindagafLindagaf 11305 replies603 threads Super Moderator
    edited September 12
    Of course. I told both of my kids of some schools which were not under consideration. For instance, I wasn’t willing to pay for a school I felt wasn't academically up to scratch, or schools in a few locations. So from the start, they knew some schools were off limits.

    Before your child makes a list, be upfront and state what is not acceptable. Give sound reasons why. But are you are sure you’re being reasonable?

    A state with natural disasters? I’m struggling to think of a state guaranteed to be free of natural disasters. Ohio maybe? A long brutal winter is probably worse than the unlikely chance of a big earthquake. As far as religion, there are so many colleges affiliated with religions that you are going to really limit a kid’s choice by saying no to that. There is a big difference between a school that might require a couple of broadly-based classes on religion, and a hard-core Bible college. There are plenty of non-religious kids at schools like Notre Dame and BC. If your child doesn’t care about that, why should you?

    How close to home is close enough for you? Does a 10 hour round trip seem reasonable for a “day’s drive from home” requirement? Crime? One, most students stay on campus and campus crime is almost always pretty low, overall. Colleges have their own campus security. Two, there are a lot of very reputable colleges that might be near neighborhoods that could be considered not great. Do some research and try to discern how dangerous that neighborhood really is.

    I’m getting a sense that you are projecting some of your fears onto your child. If you are prepared to let your child move away and become an adult, then you also need to give your child a bit of reasonable freedom to make sound decisions for himself.
    edited September 12
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  • SchoolNewsSchoolNews 30 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thinking about wildfires in CA, hurricanes in Houston and New Orleans. Also concerned about student living in states that don't acknowledge the importance of masks and crowd control. Those seem much more worrisome than a blizzard in Chicago.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 1138 replies9 threads Senior Member
    My S22 floated the idea of going to college in Hawaii- the answer was a strong no.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 4677 replies40 threads Senior Member
    I think your assumptions are faulty. There is plenty of mask usage in Texas and North Carolina, and plenty of people not using masks in NJ, where I just spent 2 weeks. Schools like Rice, Vanderbilt and Duke have reopened successfully; at least one SUNY school has not. Maybe your student is better informed than you are.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 11305 replies603 threads Super Moderator
    Then say no to locations you aren’t comfortable with. Bear in mind, there are plenty of other things that can harm a student, unfortunately, and drinking comes chiefly to mind. That’s pretty universal at all colleges.

    The Covid issue would concern me far more than a hurricane. However, is that going to be as much a concern by the time your child goes to college? Don’t underestimate a blizzard, by the way. They can be pretty disastrous, especially when flights come into play.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11912 replies161 threads Senior Member
    OP asked for "any suggestions" ?

    Yes. Consider treating your student as a young adult.

    I agree with the last paragraph in post #2 by @Lindagaf .
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3866 replies25 threads Senior Member
    @SchoolNews As you're paying you can set whatever limits you choose. However, assuming that you don't want to be at loggerheads with your kid all year, maybe some compromise is in order? If it were me, strong LD support would be at the top of the list of non-negotiables, but that can be found at schools in all shapes and sizes.

    The other issues seem like ones where flexibility might be possible. If you live in an area with many schools within a 6 hour radius, restricting colleges to driving distance seems very reasonable. If you live in a more remote area, expanding the search to allow for nonstop flights might be in order. Religious affiliation? My atheist kid considered some church-affiliated colleges but not those that required mandatory daily chapel. Etc.

    Another strategy is to tell your child that they would have to argue the case for colleges you might object to. Have them do the research to show that the pros strongly outweigh the cons or that a given concern might be more hypothetical than real. Finally, allowing for one or two student (and parent) picks on the list can ease tensions. Good luck!
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 2265 replies21 threads Senior Member
    SchoolNews wrote: »
    Thinking about wildfires in CA, hurricanes in Houston and New Orleans. Also concerned about student living in states that don't acknowledge the importance of masks and crowd control. Those seem much more worrisome than a blizzard in Chicago.

    The examples of wildfires and hurricanes seem like panicking about nothing. Have any students ever been injured (let alone killed) by wildfires or hurricanes in the last two decades as a result of attending college in another state?

    And if the COVID crisis isn’t over by August 2021 then we all have a lot more to worry about than college choices.

    Of your three types of concerns, only the first one seems valid, and even then, simply ruling out large universities appears overly prescriptive.
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1815 replies77 threads Senior Member
    I think you should decide on rules and have honest conversations with your child about your concerns.

    I think Covid and LD are the most things important factors. Driving distance is important. Research how a school’s disability office supports their students.

    My S is attending a smaller public school that houses 95 % of students in single bedrooms within a suite. Gives me greater sense of safety. Housing should be on your list of things to consider.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11912 replies161 threads Senior Member
    On another thread, OP shared that her son is a prospective engineering major.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6816 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Your child is launching into adulthood and greater independence, so maybe you can use this as an opportunity to start to re-set your relationship.

    Can you each talk (not debate) about why you have the preferences you do and how you feel about them? And really listen to each other? This isn't about winning an argument, it's about caring about each other and finding a solution.

    Realistically, you have veto power in the form of refusing to pay but what is that going to do for your relationship? If your kid wants to go further away because they feel you are too controlling, refusing that option proves them right. But if they want to be sure that they have some distance an D independence, you could provide that at a school on the next block by agreeing not to visit, etc.! Maybe the social environment at their high school has spooked them about smaller schools. Maybe they are getting misinformation from friends.

    This is hard, for sure. And it could be that your child has zlso not fully thought through this, so in having a thoughtful, calm, and honest talk about this, you might even advance your own position. Your feelings are valid. So are his.

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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 446 replies10 threads Member
    My advice is to not put the cart before the horse. Debating acceptances is a lot different than debating where to apply. Perhaps allow your child to have a “student’s choice” in exchange for a “parents’ choice” but set the expectation about attendance being determined by something like price or the Covid situation in the spring. The important thing to keep in mind is your student has to buy in to the choice. You may be able to say where you are willing to send a check but you won’t be there to make them get out of bed every day, attend classes, study, or make an effort to learn.
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31641 replies376 threads Senior Member
    We had no restrictions on where our kids applied to college.

    My kids do not have LD though. I think with an LD kid, I would not have restrictions, per se, but would ask that the student (possibly with parental help) research fully the support services available and make sure each school on the list provides for what this student's needs in this area would be.
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  • happy1happy1 24440 replies2460 threads Super Moderator
    I think the trick is to be upfront with the kids about your limitations/restrictions (no matter what they are) from the very start of the process. We told both kids that if they wanted to go to a college they had to fly to (which would add both cost and hassle) that they would have to explain to us why that particular school was better than the many colleges that were drive-able. Both went to undergrad within driving distance but S did get into and attend a top four grad program in his field that was 12 hours away -- it was by far his best option so we had no problem sending him.
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  • Darcy123Darcy123 533 replies7 threads Member
    We really just had discussions with our kids. My S21 is undecided on major for example, so we've had discussions around which schools are more flexible. He still has at least one pretty unflexible one on his list, so we discussed strategies around entering the most competitive major as it would be easier to switch out and if there's a risk of an extra summer/term to finish if he changes his mind. The theme being, ultimately he needs to understand the trade-offs and make an informed decision, but it's his journey, not ours.

    There's a running theme in all your threads that a New England LAC is what you want for your son. Considering he's interested in engineering, I think you need to be careful about what restrictions you're making that are in his best interests and which are trying to force his hand.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 2265 replies21 threads Senior Member
    happy1 wrote: »
    S did get into and attend a top four grad program in his field that was 12 hours away -- it was by far his best option so we had no problem sending him.

    I’ve never even considered that I would be “sending” my kid to grad school, as opposed to them making their own life choices when they are 22...
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 25282 replies20 threads Senior Member
    I can't tell from your opening post if he is just making a list or he is ready to apply. If it is just a list, make it long and then cut the ones that are unrealistic when you sit down to do the applications. What does it hurt to put a religious school 2000 miles away on the list?

    You might learn that ReligiousFarAway school is really a perfect fit or son may offer extra support or have a professor son really meshes with. Son may learn that ReallyCloseSchool is a better fit for him.
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