Hello. I started poking around on this site a few months ago and found it very informative. I was amazed how many people were able to give other posters knowledgeable advice about what many schools, so my daughter has as asked me to post on here what she’s looking for in a school – just in case any of you might be familiar with schools that may fit her bill. We’re obviously doing our own investigation too, but are hoping to tap into this site’s vast experience – and then be able to pass along our experiences once her journey over the next year is complete. So please fire away with any ideas this sparks, and thanks in advance for all your help!
Stats: Our HS Class of 21 DD has a 4.0 GPA, 34 ACT, and NMSQ that should put her as a Semi-finalist here in Iowa. She’s involved with athletics, but likely will not compete in college – and definitely not at a D1 level. Based on her academics, we’ll definitely be considering colleges that give good merit scholarships, because I anticipate financial aid calculators will think we can afford to contribute more than we think we can contribute.
What she says she’s looking for in a college:
A school with lots of things to do, including many activities besides “partying”.
A distinct campus.
Not a largely commuter school, she prefers one where many kids live on (or at least near) campus.
She started her search focusing on small schools with smaller class sizes, but she worries about smaller schools having fewer activities & programs, so a smaller community (like an honors college) within a larger school may be OK too.
The surrounding community:
Close to outdoor activities like hiking (maybe kayaking). But being close to a bigger city with things to do too, would be nice.
Somewhere with decent weather (doesn’t rain all year) would be nice too – she doesn’t really mind winter, though. If not a Christian college, then a college with student church groups in town.
Ideally within a day’s drive (8-9 hours) of eastern Iowa, but not necessarily (so please give your faraway ideas too)
Her academic interests:
She likes chemistry and math, and assumes she’ll like physics when she takes it her senior year.
She’s never taken an engineering class, so she’s not sure if that’s something I like – I’ve told her not to worry about that because I’m not really sure high school intro-to-engineering classes are really indicative of what college engineering majors do or what actual engineers do.
She loves to be outside and would hope for a career that uses chemistry, science, or math to find solutions to environmental problems. She’s interested in sustainability in farming, energy, and buildings.
I realize there probably aren’t too many schools that check all these boxes, but if you happen to be familiar with any that match some of her list, that’s cool. Thanks again, everyone!