CA college trip summary

<p>I'll try to keep this brief. DD visited 6 CA colleges. I'll list them in order of her preference (best to worst)...with just a few comments. These are OUR perceptions...not meant to be the gospel! Thanks to Carolyn for all her help....</p>

<ol>
<li><p>University of San Diego- Nice location, good programs, terrific facilities. VERY small music program....need to research that a bit more. Nice dorms. DD felt she would be happy there. Plus we have relatives in San Diego.</p></li>
<li><p>Santa Clara University- Beautiful campus, nice location, many choices of majors, great facililties. Don't show dorm rooms. Have Residential Learning which was appealing to DD. Admit stats were a little higher than we thought. DD has the GPA, class rank, EC's and recommendations. The SATS will likely be in the middle of the range (taking in May). Seems more like a match, but she liked it a lot.</p></li>
<li><p>Chapman University- Nice location in suburban Orange County. Very nice campus. Lots of new building and improvements. Great dorms. The most friendly students we met. Seems like a fine arts school with a liberal arts curriculum. May be too artsy...but DD liked it and she will look into some of the other majors to see their substance.</p></li>
<li><p>Pepperdine University- Gorgeous campus, great academic programs. Too much of a religious flavor for DD, and too isolated from anything but the beach in Malibu.</p></li>
<li><p>Claremont McKenna- Pretty, but DD hated the place. She felt it was too snooty. Tour guide was a freshman who gushed about the place a little too much. Seemed like a serious and outstanding school for the right kids...not my kid.</p></li>
<li><p>Stanford University- Just went to see the pretty campus. It's like walking through a beautiful park. Even IF DD had the credentials to be accepted, she felt it was too big. DD and DH loved the carillon bells in Hoover Tower.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>50/50....not bad!!</p>

<p>Thumper, glad you had a successful trip and it was great to meet you in real time --- I personally would love to get your daughter out here, but then, I'm biased. :)</p>

<p>Wondering if anyone has additional information on Chapman. . .</p>

<p>Only one anecdotal piece of info on Chapmen. D's friend is OOS frosh there, with merit scholarship. Likes the school and is in their excellent dance program. She has told my D that the campus empties out on weekends (lots of Cali kids). Her freshman liberal arts courses have not been challenging. She has gotten off-campus part-time jobs because she said she needed something to do with her time.</p>

<p>Reid, I have a bit -- it's a school that is trying hard to boost their reputation both in state and nationally (they apparently have been added to the new edition of the Princeton Review this year). Particular strengths in theater (musical theater too!), film (great film school for kids that can't get into USC), and art. They have a strong pre-health sciences program as well.</p>

<p>They are very generous with merit money to kids with SATs above 1200. They are particularly interested in recruiting out of state students and trying to build their national reputation. In California, or at least here in San Diego, most people know of Chapman mainly because of their well-advertised adult evening programs which are offered at different locations throughout the state. That does seem to be changing, however.</p>

<p>A friend's daughter applied to Chapman and was treated very, very well by both the admissions office, financial aid office, and by the department she was interested in (biology). She was accepted by UCLA, UCDavis, and UCSD but after visiting Chapman several times became convinced that the small school atmosphere was what she wanted. She ultimately decided to go to the U of Redlands because they offered her a full ride, but she and her mother both felt that she could have been very happy at Chapman. As I recall, she had SATs in the low 1300's and a perfect 4.0 GPA. She felt that she could be challenged at Chapman.</p>

<p>Actually, after hearing Thumper's and my friend's descriptions of Chapman, I'm hoping to get my daughter to visit.</p>

<p>Thanks all. . .I have heard good things about film and art there and was wondering how the core offerings (bio, english, history, etc) would compare to other small Cali privates.</p>

<p>reidm, are there any specific questions you'd like answered about Chapman University? I have some strong connections there. Chapman is not an academic powerhouse like UCLA or USC, its strength lies in its personalized teaching/learning environment. Teachers get to know their students (and vice versa) very well. Chapman has an AACSB accredited busines school (undergrad and MBA), an ABA accredited law school, a highly regarded physical therapy program, and as was previously mentioned very good Film & TV and music programs. Their science programs are good with many students in a premed track (don't have any data on how well they fare in med school admissions). Half the students are commuters and the other hald live in the student residential units. Weekends do tend to be quiet. The university is located in old town Orange, and though the campus is small, the university has been expanding its land holdings by acquiring adjacent property. Construction of a new film studio will begin in summer.</p>

<p>S applied to Chapman. He applied to the film school. It was very very competative for admission. My son really appreciated how helpful and kind the adcom was. The process went very smooth. He made the first cut and they continued the process with an interview by phone (which was really great for us). It would have been hard to fit a trip in at that time. We weren't sure if that would make a difference (we had heard it would be bad). However he was accepted into The Dodge School of Film with a substantial scholarship and recently an additional $3,000 talent award which brings total to over 3/4 tuition merit award. My S was very interested but felt that it would be to limiting. He wants to double major and there options are a bit limited outside their arts programs. They are not a great liberal arts place but a great place for intensive arts study. S will probably apply for grad film program and hopes to attend then. He just wasn't ready for LA yet (long flights!) I was very impressed with Chapman. They begin film study the day you walk in (cameras are handed out). If you are looking for an alternative to the usual film school (UCLA and USC) it's is a great alternative.
I will say they loved my S stats and that made them that much more helpful (although for the film school itself they more concerned with his film background). It was very personal and trouble free process. It seems like a great place.</p>

<p>Chapman:</p>

<p>1) flim program is also part of Duke's TIP summer program....apply to Duke and pay the Duke fees, but the class is offered at Chapman.</p>

<p>2) New Pres Doti (well, actually, 'new' several years ago), has been agressive in increasing stature of school, by buying grades and test scores (folliwing the USC model), So, yes, merit money is plentiful for kids with scores as Carolyn mentioned.</p>

<p>My daughter has made the decision to attend Chapman this fall. She had good stats and, as mentioned, received a generous merit scholarship. We visited twice and were really pleased with all the people we interacted with. They have put money into several new buildings (library, music, residence) and are working toward endowing many new faculty positions. On one of our visits, I stumbled into an alumni event and chatted with several people who were very complimentary of Pres. Doti.</p>

<p>My d in interested in music and in political science. They have a major in "peace studies" that sounds very cool to me!</p>

<p>Our only reservation was the "emptying out on weekends" issue. My d wil be an out of stater. The people she stayed with in the dorm seemed to think it was not so terrible. If you look on the bright side, she might be able to get a home cooked meal with a Cal. kid's family every now and then!</p>

<p>I know someone on the Music faculty very well. I'm more impressed with him than I could ever gracefully convey socially. If he's typical of Chapman, it's a <em>great</em> school.</p>

<p>I may be biased because my years at Chapman were wonderful but the University does have a great deal to offer in the areas of Music, Film, Theater, Education, Pre-Law (and their Law school is now up and going strong after receiving accrediation) and Political Science. Old Town Orange is very college friendly. The University does empty out but when I was on campus a few weeks ago on a Sunday to pick my D up after a rehearsal (the father of a friend from her HS is the Dean of Admissions and arranged for rehearsal space) there were students all over the quad and in the area of the new library. Chapman's merit aid program is great and I think the University is worth looking into if you want a small school in a great neighborhood with a low teacher-student ratio.
(FYI I work in Orange & got married at the chapel on campus our D declined applying because it is too close to home and too small for her)</p>

<p>WaitingMom-
Since my d will be at Chapman, I will be in Orange from time to time (I'll try not to be there too often!) Maybe you can let me know the good places to eat, shop, where to stay for parents weekend--you know, the essentials!</p>

<p>My D was accepted with VERY generous merit aid -- like 75%, and was thrilled when she visited the campus last summer. SHe went back for an overnight stay and had a terrible experience -- her host flunked a test and cried on the phone with her mother, telling my daughter that she couldn't show her aroud, so she had to find kids to host her -- in the classess she attended she indicated that students did not speak or engage,that in fact they were conversing while the professor was talking, and that when they tried to introduce other kids, here, at the end of the year, it was clear that they did not know each other well, and that most indicated that she would be all alone on weekends. The students she met who were nicest to her live at home and told her that the campus is very depressing on weekends and evenings. </p>

<p>Needless to say, she bailed. Too bad, because the offer was great.</p>