I grew up on the East Coast and went to college in New England. My husband and I ended up taking jobs in a rural landlocked city. I never thought we would stay and raise kids here but economically it made sense and it was a very family friendly place. We have travelled with out kids and they know life outside of the area.
Most students go to the state colleges and the outcomes are low to no debt and good jobs so my child’s high school had almost no information on any school outside the state. Most teachers and staff have not heard of most of the colleges my child applied to. My child was accepted into 11 colleges and waitlisted at 6. We have no way to go and visit any of the colleges.
Of course my child’s top 2 schools she was waitlisted. This year I have no hope for the waitlist. So now we are trying to look at the pros and cons of the 7 she was admitted to that gave great financial aid packages.
My child seems a bit hung up on name recognition or just wanting to go to a college someone has heard of where we are from. I think she feels like she worked so hard to be #1 in her class, travel to compete and win awards, get a high ACT/SAT score and spent 100’s of hours doing volunteer work that almost no one knew about since it was one of those thankless behind the scenes jobs. I feel like she wants to to say my hard work paid off and I am going somewhere great. Every other top student at the school I know, accepted a full scholarship to the state university months ago.
I do not know if I am doing this the right way, but I have told her to focus on how the college will help her to get to career goals and where she would feel the most comfortable living and studying for 4 years.
Her goals are to go to med school or do research and become fluent in a second language. Neuroscience seems to be a top choice for a major because in high school her top 3 subjects she enjoyed and did very well in were Biology, Stats and Psychology. She would like a flexible neuroscience program that would let her choose her interest. Her second choice would be a double major in a Biology field and Stats. She would like to be able to keep playing her musical instrument but most likely not take any music classes so more of an activity and not competetive or part of a degree.
My child has the dream of her roommate being her BFF. She is wanting so badly to finally find people who are passionate about what they are studying and have simliar interests. While many of her high shcool classmates wanted good grades, very few wanted to sit and discuss a book or had academic interests outside of school. She is looking for a more collaborative them competetive enviroment. My child is not looking for a party school.
She is looking for a school that expectations for classes are clear and being able to get an A with hard work is possible. Grade deflation worries her. She is used to most of her classes or friends being boys because boys were more likely to take AP or STEM classes. Her high school not small , pre-COVID it had over 2500 students and class sizes were large. Our city is not small, it is just very landlocked.
The colleges that she is considering are Amherst, Columbia, Hamilton, Smith, Vassar, and Wellsely. One of these schools really wants her to attend , she had gotten an early letter from them so she likes that she is really wanted by this school but it is might not be the best match?
My concern as a parent (which my chid does not share) is how she will be thought of as coming from a rural area (since our area would be labelled conservative , my child is not conservative politically but some of the aspects of life in this area, like no drinking, smoking, drugs, dating and working very hard at school, work or your talents are part of who she is).
My child’s main concern a good education without super high stress or competetive enviroment and being able to get into med school or graduate school.
I have found no alumni in our area that went to any of the schools she is considering. All interviews my child got were from alumni living hundreds of miles away.