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BS Class of 2018 Thread

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Replies to: BS Class of 2018 Thread

  • twinsmamatwinsmama Registered User Posts: 1,482 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    Hi @booklady123! I've been cramming over the past few weeks, because the kids wanted me to have some college knowledge to discuss over spring break. Here's what has been helpful so far, with the caveat that I don't know enough to be sure whether the sources are accurate. Nevertheless, they're what we've got.

    A quick overview of financial matters: The College Solution (I forget the author)

    Websites for actual important stats (and rankings more useful than USNWR):

    Centerforcollegeaffordability.org
    Nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator

    A cool book: Cool Colleges by Donald Asher

    Many big, fat, slightly out-of-date college guides

    I think visits, even superficial drive-throughs, are helpful, although my husband doesn't get why visits should matter. However, we drove through the campus of one highly-regarded LAC on our way home yesterday, and the kids and I, shallow people that we are, all rejected it on sight. The architecture depressed us. But, like you, I don't know that we can visit faraway schools due to the expense.

    A big question in my mind, given that so many of the finest LACs are small institutions in small towns, is whether that is too much more of the same for students who have been at boarding schools in small towns. However, I really don't think it would be to my children's benefit to sit in large college lecture halls after years of discussing and thinking and writing in small classes.
  • vegas1vegas1 Registered User Posts: 403 Member
    Fellow P18 here. This will be our third heading to college. We found visits to be helpful to narrow down the type of school our kids would best fit in. Large vs small, urban vs suburban/ rural, liberal arts vs engineering, public vs private etc.. @twinsmsna we did many drivebys and got valuable information from those. We certainly did not visit all of the schools the kids applied to. My oldest is attending a college we didn't visit until he after he was accepted.

    Mine did not want their college environment to be anything like their boarding school ( sleepy New England town) One is at an engineering school in the west and the other is a private university in New Orleans.

    Fit is vitally important as we all know. Our son struggled his first term to adjust to large lecture hall formats and has expressed how unprepared he was for the differences. He did adjust - just took a semester.
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,594 Senior Member
    A big question in my mind, given that so many of the finest LACs are small institutions in small towns, is whether that is too much more of the same for students who have been at boarding schools in small towns.

    Choaties refer to Wesleyan as "Choate North." We drove over there on one of our visits, but ChoatieKid refused to get out of the car. He wasn't interested in LACs, and he didn't to be spotted by former classmates. He said, "Wesleyan is just four more years of Choate." We left him in the car and enjoyed a stroll anyway.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 18,924 Senior Member
    "A big question in my mind, given that so many of the finest LACs are small institutions in small towns, is whether that is too much more of the same for students who have been at boarding schools in small towns. However, I really don't think it would be to my children's benefit to sit in large college lecture halls after years of discussing and thinking and writing in small classes."

    @twinsmama I guess it depends on the individual. Both my kids went form BS to LAC. They wanted to continue with small classes. Most first year classes were in the 20-30 student range which was still 2-3 times what they had in BS. One thing they did want, though, was a less preppy environment which they both got as well as a less isolated location. One is 15 minutes outside a major city and one is within walking distance of downtown in a city. Neither of my kids would learn best in a big lecture hall. (Who does??)
  • jdeweyjdewey Registered User Posts: 333 Member
    I am utterly clueless and will lurk here (not ready to get feet wet, waving/watching from shore)
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,191 Senior Member
    We've got a bunch of college visits scheduled for 7D2's Spring Break this month. Still very much in the "big vs. small, urban vs. suburban vs. rural, city vs. smaller town" phase of things right now. Such a different short list than her older sister had, even at this very preliminary stage.
  • freshlookfreshlook Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    So you all have sophomores? I am not on the ball. Is this akin to starting the process for boarding school in 6th grade? What are the advantages to starting the process this year? I am asking seriously. I would not even have thought to think about this yet. I don't want to do a disservice to my kid but do they know what they want yet? Is their GPA a real GPA yet? For those of you who have older kids, does their opinion about what the want change drastically from sophomore year to senior year? Thanks in advance and I'm glad I found this class of 18 thread.
  • MA2012MA2012 Registered User Posts: 1,172 Senior Member
    We are doing the same as SevenDad but with a junior (class 2017). That is the suggestion from his college counselor so don't feel you are behind if you haven't visited schools in 10th grade. Boarding school gives them some feel for parts of college.
  • cameo43cameo43 Registered User Posts: 1,446 Senior Member
    I have a junior and we started visiting schools last summer... Will see a handful during spring break.
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,594 Senior Member
    For those of you who have older kids, does their opinion about what they want change drastically from sophomore year to senior year?

    Let's see... Right up until the start of junior year, ChoatieKid was hell bent on film school at USC. He's now at a service academy. Yeah, some do change their minds.
  • girlgeekmomgirlgeekmom Registered User Posts: 513 Member
    GG on the other hand, is steadfast in her pursuit of music and languages - it really does depend on the kid. And, like many on these boards, she is anxiously awaiting decisions. She remembers March 10 fondly, "at least it was once and done."
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,594 Senior Member
    The best of luck to GG, @girlgeekmom. Fingers crossed for her. :)
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,191 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    @freshlook: For 7D1, I don't think that much changed between her soph and senior year of HS...at least with regard to what she wanted to study (science) and what sorts of schools she was targeting. In fact, I could argue that she was headed that way since....second grade? :-P

    7D2 has different interests than her older sister...I'd say at least two (non-science) paths seem interesting to her at this point.
  • chemmchimneychemmchimney Registered User Posts: 668 Member
    We looked at about 8-10 LACs spring and summer before Junior year - and dd ruled them all out (every tour was packed with prep school kids too, not sure why) Started over summer before senior year and was able to (just) see the 10 schools on her final list (all urban or in big towns with small average class size so you can have both) and then based on early acceptances & deferrals, dd added about 4-5 RD schools that we were unable to visit. The take away is everything changes! Our CC did highly encourage visiting as interest is tracked especially at LACS. Schools that don't track interest were pretty up front about stating this on their websites.
  • twinsmamatwinsmama Registered User Posts: 1,482 Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    We just got back from a trip to Boston. We did a drive-by (or walk-through) of several New England schools. I think we all found it edifying, although my husband, who stayed home, still doesn't get why it could be important to see a place where you might live for four years. @chemmchimney , I would be interested to see your daughter's final list. I don't think small towns are going to work for my kids.
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