While I have been reading College Confidential for over a year, this is my first post. So, after visiting many colleges this year, my HS senior daughter seems to have a top choice: Case Western Reserve University.
We visited Duke, Vanderbilt, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, William & Mary, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and several others.
My daughter was most impressed with the friendly, cooperative atmosphere at CWRU. Perhaps because of the D-III sports (?), the campus environment seemed to be much more focused on research/scholarship, community service and student activities, and career preparation than any of the other schools we visited. However, she has several HS friends that are surprised she is not considering Ivy league schools. She also gets a lot of mail from the Ivies, especially since receiving the National Hispanic Recognition Scholar award from The College Board.
I have told her that I think “fit”, a place she feels comfortable is what is most important. She wants to double major in a science or engineering and music. On our visit she spoke with a faculty member in the music department, and she liked that there are many music majors who also are double majoring in a science/engineering. She also wants to do study abroad and be involved in service, perhaps doing some Peace Corps work after graduation. She has read about the CWRU annual Antarctica trip and thinks that is extremely cool. She also loved the new “Thinkbox” innovation facility --engineering lab on steroids-- under construction. (http://thinkbox.case.edu/) She also lights up with the thought of being involved in research with a faculty member, especially something related to NASA. She probably would join the Marching Band and participate in a other music groups. On our first visit, she really seemed at home at CWRU.
We have decided to attend an upcoming Open House next Monday, to give the school one more “fit” test. I must say we are already very impressed with the options for this upcoming event- including that she is sit in on any of 100+ classes, as well as many, many information sessions on the various programs and activities offered at CWRU. None of the other open house materials we have seen from other schools have been so comprehensive. In addition, the staff and faculty we have encountered at CWRU are wonderful.
Have any other parent’s encountered this same type of peer pressure to go to the “highest rated” or name recognition program? We are from the DC area, and live about 6 hours drive away from Cleveland, so perhaps CWRU is just more well known in its region? I am just amazed by the school, and I can clearly see why my daughter has it as her first choice. But, if they is any hesitation in my mind it comes when I talk to friends who seem to have always heard of Duke and Vanderbilt, but not always CWRU.
When we looked up the average cost of attendance and salary information on the government’s new college scorecard we were also very impressed with Case Western’s numbers ( https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/school/?201645-Case-Western-Reserve-University). The list of CWRU alumni is equally impressive.
My daughter’s basic stats:
GPA 4.0/4.0 (U) (4.4 W)
ACT Composite 33
AP’s - Has 7 completed already; and she is taking 5 senior year, including Calc BC. (This fall, she was awarded AP Scholar with distinction, with average score of 4+)
Many EC’s- Especially Music and Science (English, Math, Music honor societies, NHS, National Merit Commendation, National Hispanic Recognition Scholar, Habitat officer, many music awards)
My daughter has already applied EA (and we debated a little bit about applying ED). Anyway, as we prepare for our second trip to visit CWRU, any thoughts about judging fit would be greatly appreciated. Or if you can speak to the name recognition of the school, that would be helpful too.