Dealing with a slacker.

<p>Dear College Confidential members, </p>

<p>I have one son. He has graduated high school and is heading to a very lowly ranked school in the US. The US news website stated that it was a Tier 3 [College Category:
Universities-Master's (Midwest)]
. </p>

<p>My son is very smart (I know this is very common for a parent to state this). The problem I face with him is that he is just a bit more interested in girls/parties/computer. </p>

<p>Now, after he has graduated from his high school. He has finally taken an initiative to work harder. He wants to become a doctor. </p>

<p>I have a business of my own and I want my son to have a quality education. Yet due to my lack of confidence in him earlier (and I want him to prove himself, so that I have the confidence in him to spend my hard earned money on his education), I told him to accept the offer from the university (Although he had gotten an offer from a Big ten school). Now, his visa has arrived and he will be attending the university. </p>

<p>His High school is as follows (overall Grade) :-
[He attends a ISC curriculum school where even passing exams for students who study is difficult, But all he did was study a night before the exams]
Grade 9 - B
Grade 10 - B+
Grade 11 - C-
Grade 12 - C+ </p>

<p>His SAT's were another disappointment for me (I spent a lot of money on some Princeton review coaching and yet the result was very bad) :- </p>

<p>Total Score - 1530 [Math- 680]</p>

<p>He has been accepted to the university for Mechanical engineering. </p>

<p>I had a few specific questions in mind :- </p>

<p>1) Is there a possibility that he could work hard (and I have made him a deal , that unless he does not get a 3.5+ GPA, I will stop paying the fees and get him in to the family business. Which I might add has worked on him) and transfer in to any of the following schools :-
i)Columbia University
iii)University of California - Berkley
iv)University of Wisconsin - Madison
v)University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

<p>If so, then what should he be working at in order to transfer in to at least 3-4 schools in the mentioned list ?. </p>

<p>2) The reason he choose Mechanical engineering is because he wanted to earlier specialize in automobiles and it would serve as a great backup if he would not get into medical school (I read that very few people get in to medical school, especially international students). But after recent research, I found that Biomedical engineering has many courses which overlap with the Pre-med ones and he would have lesser work to do. </p>

<p>What would be the job prospects as a Biomedical engineer for him ?. Also please post an opinion on whether he should stick with Mechanical engineering or shift to BME and take Pre-med courses. </p>

<p>Final Note - As a Parent I want the best for my son. I have always wanted my son to be a topper or do well in school, although I have tried my level best in providing him with the best of the facilities and I want to just give him one more chance to prove himself and make me proud. When I hear people telling me "Oh, my Son/Daughter is in Northwestern", It makes me feel where I went wrong in raising my son. Is there a possibility for him to get in to a much better university ?. </p>

<p>Thank you, and also please help me out !</p>

<p>The general consensus in the engineering forums is that BME is a bad major at this point in time. Maybe bad isn't the right word, its not as good as other traditional engineering majors like MechE, EE, ChemE. If your son majors in one of those three he will have a better chance in of getting a job out of undergrad and will likely be better paid. If he really wants to go into biotech he can get a masters in BioE having majored in another traditional major with relatively little trouble (not that its easy, but the fact that hes making a transition from one area to another isn't a big deal apparently). </p>

<p>My personal experience seems to agree with what is being said in the engineering forum. I started as a BioE and am now seriously considering transfering to ChemE for a variety of reasons, I haven't completely made up my mind but it is a serious consideration.</p>

<p>You need to stop defining your worth and your son's worth on the caliber of the school he goes to.</p>

<p>Also, there are many, many excellent colleges in the US. You seem to have focused on a handful (and I am an alum of one of the ones you mentioned). Why just those? What is so special about those that you are so invested in them?</p>

<p>And what makes you think that you can "make" someone get a 3.5? What about simply accepting him if he tries his best?</p>

<p>You do realize, long-term, nobody gets all too excited about college rankings. Many people have done perfectly well going to an unknown school with not too stellar grades.<br>
Getting into any health care program is not easy. As someone who has been there, good grades are more important than the school.
He should make the choice of what school/major. Mechanical Engineering is not an easy program. The average GPA of engineers is lower than the average GPA of most schools. BioE, at my school, had the reputation of being the hardest of the engineering majors.
International students have almost no chance of being accepted into U.S. medical schools. Also, there will be some major financial issues. The common student financial aid requires that you are a U.S. citizen/permanent resident.</p>

<p>What's the "best" major is the one he is interested in, of course.</p>

<p>I would know how to evaluate those qualifications if he were American, but because he's Indian, it's not so obvious. Was his schooling in English? </p>

<p>The schools you mention are very hard to get into as transfers. He would need both top grades <em>and</em> some other achievement, probably. </p>

<p>Could he get a bachelor's degree in the US, then return to India (I'm assuming you're Indian based on your name) for med school?</p>

<p>If you are going to hold him to a minimum GPA, at least drop it to a 3.0. Please remember that the first year of college can be tough for even the best of students. My oldest son will be attending a Tier 3 and I will be celebrating if he gets a 2.0 his first semester. </p>

<p>Your son will find a way to achieve success, but he will have to take his own path.</p>

<p>I go to UMich - Ann Arbor Engineering. I imagine someone in a Michigan University (if that tier 3 Midwestern university is Western Michigan or Michigan Tech for instance) with a 3.5 has a pretty decent shot of getting in as a junior transfer. I don't know about other OOS universities. I imagine he'd probably have a good shot at University of Wisconsin too, and another you might want to check out would be Purdue. I don't really know about the rest, they're not Midwestern colleges. </p>

<p>For what it's worth, anything engineering isn't a very good major for going into Med school. GPAs in Engineering are lower than in Arts and Sciences. On the other hand though, if he doesn't get into med school, he has something to fall back on. If he really wants to pursue Engineering and Med school, I'd recommend ChemE, as that better falls in line with premed requirements.</p>

<p>His SAT was a disappointment for you. For you. </p>

<p>Just think how disappointing it must be for him knowing that he will never be good enough to please you.</p>

<p>Oh well, as long as you can get him into some arbitrary group of schools so you don't have to be shamed in front of the neighbors.</p>

<p>Qwerty, does Michigan take many transfers from in-state privates, or are most of the transfers coming from publics? I know that in California, the UCs take many transfers, but most are from California community colleges (and I don't think a 3.5 would be good enough for Berkeley, though I'm not positive about that).</p>

<p>IndianDad, is the college a public college or a private one?</p>

<p>"Qwerty, does Michigan take many transfers from in-state privates, or are most of the transfers coming from publics?"</p>

<p>Definitely most transfers are coming from publics, however I attribute that to the fact that almost everyone who wants to transfer from an instate university goes to a public to start with. Michigan has few major private schools, and I think most of the kids that go there wanted to go to a private school. I don't know if it's any easier or harder to get in from a private school.</p>

<p>Jeese damn, obsessed with rank much?</p>

<p>Who gives a flying hoot if the school is in the top ten or not, it only matters if HE (not you) likes and will ENJOY the school.</p>

<p>Oh, please. This OP has "troll bait" written all over it. Don't feed the trolls, folks.</p>

<p>Firstly, Thank you for all the help and suggestions. </p>

<p>S has decided to stick with Mechanical engineering. </p>

<p>Also, I know it is a bit selfish of me to send my son to a top school and I should be feeling very good about myself when I see my son change the topic when his friends talk about all the great professors and opportunities that their respective universities have. All I want is that my son would get the best possivle education from a very good institution. </p>

<p>@Cardinal Fang - Yes, his schooling was in English. Also, The university is a public. </p>

<p>@Kajon- Yes, I know 3.5 may be a long shot. But if I give him a goal of 3.5, he might end up getting a GPA in the range of 3.0-3.5. I want him to aim higher. I know my son and if I tell him to get a 3.0 all he would do is work hard enough to get a 3.0. </p>

<p>@Pizzagirl - I know that all this just might seem selfish. But this kid is a slacker. He has the potential to get in to a top school, yet he chooses not to work hard enough to get in and today he regrets it. </p>

<p>@icedragon - I am not obsessed with rankings, I just want him to attend a better institution. Which mainly has a well qualified group of professors, a good infrastructure and a good job placement network. Also, by this do youy mean every kid applying to the HYPMS is a person obsessed with rankings (even they know that they may or may not get in ?) </p>

<p>@geek_mom - Ma'am, I am sorry to disappoint you but I am not a troll. I am a parent with a genuine problem and I seek help from all you people, who have some knowledge on how to guide your children to a good career. </p>

<p>Thank you all for the help. I look forward to any more suggestions.</p>

<p>Also, he is heading to Eastern Michigan University</p>

<p>If your son wants to be a doctor, then majoring in MechE is fine. He just has to make sure he includes the pre-med classes, some of which are already required of MechE majors. He may have to take a summer class if he can't fit it all in.</p>

<p>It doesnt' matter where he goes to undergrad. As long as he gets a high GPA and a high MCAT, he can go to med school.</p>

<p>As for the GPA req't.....I would be upfront with him. I'd tell him, if you want to get accepted to med school, then a strong GPA is almost a req't. He won't get in with a 3.0 and a low MCAT. Show him the chart about MCAT and GPA admittances rates, so HE CAN make the decision as to whether he will reach those goals or not. </p>

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<p>Once he sees the cold, hard facts, then he will realize that you're not just trying to control him, this is what he has to do to go to med school.</p>

<p>You need a more realistic Plan B (He'll have to work in the family business? Sounds like a recipe for more family strife). Maybe your Plan B needs to sound less like a punishment and more like a set of realistic alternatives to going to college right now, when he's clearly demonstrated that he isn't ready. His grades have gotten worse, not better, over the past 4 years which suggests that although he hates shaming you (and probably wants to get out of the house), he isn't particularly motivated. If someone says he wants to be a doctor, I'd ask him to prove it by working for a year in a hospital or doctor's office, by getting his certification as an emergency med tech, or otherwise proving he has some basis in reality for picking such a very very difficult goal (other than getting his dad off his back).</p>

<p>Your son has to find the motivation within himself to work at his education. If he lacks that motivation, then he's either immature, in which case he should take a year off to work and grow up some, or his life goals are different than yours and you need to help him figure out what that means. Many people go to college who really don't belong there, but their parents had no idea what else to do with them. Don't be one of those parents. </p>

<p>A second observations: Don't threaten to stop paying for college if he gets less than a 3.5 if you don't plan to follow through. It makes your look manipulative. And focusing on such a narrow list of acceptable schools makes you look more worried about your own ego than his future. I'm sure you are a parent who is worried about his son's future, but the college system here is nothing like the system in India. The top 100 schools have excellent professors, infrastructure and job placement networks. Possibly even the top 200, depending on the field he's concentrating in. If he is motivated, his grades, future test scores (GRE, MCAT, whatever) and his recommendations will be much more important than the name of the school.</p>

<p>I agree

<p>That is a core point. The top 100 or even 200 schools are all FINE. Really, people graduate from those schools and live productive, happy, middle to upper class lives. You appear to have a lot invested in name brand schools. We all do to some extent, but you seem to have picked a dozen out of thin air. Not only are those schools probably unattainable at this point, but you are under the impression that opportunities only come at those or similar schools. Thus isn't India. There are opportunities everywhere if you look for them. </p>

<p>To that end, sending an unmotivated kid to a top school -- even if he could get in -- doesn't create success. You still have to put in the work. In the US, no one cares where the kid went after the first day in the job. </p>

<p>It's difficult for me to tell whether this is truly "unmotivated slacker genius" or "average performing kid who can't measure up to dad's dreams of prestige.". What if this is all your son is truly capable of? And he's never going to be brilliant? Will you support him anyway, or will you always be disappointed?</p>

<p>You need to lay off the "what other people think" immediately. Where other people send their kids is irrelevant. He's your son. Love and support him, not some dream you have of bragging that he went to Columbia (etc).</p>

<p><a href="I%20read%20that%20very%20few%20people%20get%20in%20to%20medical%20school,%20especially%20international%20students">I</a>.*</p>

<p>Ok...I have no idea what the rules are for int'l students and med schools, but I would imagine that if you have the stats and the money, there will be a med school that will accept an int'l.</p>

<p>As for everyone's only hard to get into med school if you don't have the high GPA (and high in orgo courses), the right courses, a high MCAT, and you don't apply to enough med schools (appropriate to your stats) and include some lower ranked ones, too. </p>

<p>In recent years, I have only known one applicant to get denied to all med schools. My niece. She had good GPA, but only an ok MCAT. And, she stubbornly only applied to 3 schools...none of them were likely with her stats.</p>

<p>Still pretty tough to get into med school, at least allopathic med school. If I read this right, less than 50% overall acceptance rate. </p>

<p>Table</a> 24: MCAT and GPA Grid for Applicants and Acceptees to U.S. Medical Schools, 2005-2007 (aggregated) - FACTS - AAMC</p>