List is getting bigger, not smaller. Need help!

<p>My kid's list is getting bigger, not smaller. I could spend the next two years doing college visits every weekend at this rate. </p>

<p>The criteria we're working with is definitely a nonurban school over 10,000 students (preferably more) which will cost $21,000 or less after grants - no loans. We're in PA, but she would like to go to college anywhere in the country that isn't flat. The school should have stores within walking distance since she would flat-line if unable to get Chinese food, pizza, drugstore stuff or be able to do a little clothes shopping when stressed. It should have a nursing major, but a wide variety of other majors if she can't make it in nursing. I'm hoping for a good 4-year graduation rate. Ideally a good ratio of girls-guys and not a school where everyone goes home on weekends. My preference would be a school within 6 hours of Western PA.</p>

<p>The tricky part is that despite good grades, I don't think she can handle competitive academics. She'll be in the top 1/3 of a Newsweek top 100 high school, GPA 3.5-3.6, and her sophomore PSATs were in the top 73% of Jrs (going to be a Junior). However, this is also a kid who stays up all night to write a two page essay. She works hard, but slows down when under pressure -- one of the reasons that I think she needs backup majors if she can't handle the nursing program). We've been to Marshall, Pitt, Ohio U, Penn State and Kent State already, and she won't eliminate any of them. </p>

<p>Any schools she should definitely look at or definitely remove from the list? Thanks for the help.</p>

<p>"The school should have stores within walking distance since she would flat-line if unable to get Chinese food, pizza, drugstore stuff or be able to do a little clothes shopping when stressed."</p>

<p>LOL! I hope you aren't the mother. If so, I'd hate to hear dad's side of the story. hehe!</p>

<p>I think you are a little too harsh on your daughter. She sounds like a typical 17 year old. Perhaps a little tentative, but who isn't at that age. She will develop a great deal over the course of her college career. </p>

<p>A school I would add to her list is the University of Vermont. It is non-urban, but located in a gorgeous college town. They have a solid Nursing program. The school is large but not unmanageable.</p>

<p>Alexandre -- University of Vermont doesn't meet the financial threshold. It is one of the most expensive public universities in the nation for out-of-state students and is not particularly generous with scholarships. On the other hand, Pitt certainly doesn't qualify as "non-urban." </p>

<p>Has she considered Miami University (OH)?</p>

definitely a nonurban school over 10,000 students . . . The school should have stores within walking distance.


Sorry, these two requirements tend to be mutually exclusive, both because of location and size of school. These should help you eliminate schools, though - for example, Penn State would be out if she really wants shopping, as would Bucknell, Ithaca and other non-urban schools that immediately come to mind. Pitt's nursing program is definitely intense - I know a sophomore there who's clinical work is about 30 hours/week, in addition to classes. And that schedule is common; the clinical work is required.</p>

<p>Look into University of New Hampshire, this seems to meet your daughter's requirements - over 10,000 students, stores/restaurants within walking distance, excellent nursing program. Costs should be within your range. My daughter is an out-of-state Freshman and our costs were only about $4,000 for the year after grants and scholarships. Let me know if you would like additional info.</p>

<p>Towson University in Maryland. Their nursing program is notorious for being one of the best in Maryland, it's in a fairly suburban area, and is close to shopping.</p>

<p>It's not a school fit for me, but I have many friends who have applied to (and plan on matriculating) there. They said the application process was simple, they give nice financial aid, and they're genuinely excited about being a Towson Tiger! :)</p>

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<p>Not sure this school fits a lot of your criteria, but it is definately worth a serious look. Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. It is an all women's private, catholic, liberal arts school with an excellent nursing program. It is 1600 women, but it is literally right across the street from Notre Dame, with 11,000 students, so it really doesn't feel small. South Bend is nothing special, but St. Mary's is a great school that really offers the best of both worlds - all the benefits of a small school, with all the benefits of a larger school, which is right across the street. It is very empowering for women to be together is this type of environment, and St. Mary's is a very tight knit, nurturing community with strong professors who really care about their students. They have strong study abroad programs, it is a beautiful campus (as is Notre Dame) and you can take classes (1 per semester, not in your major) at ND as well as study in the library there, eat in the cafeteria there, etc. Your social life is over at ND for parties and dances, and of course football and basketball games. And, you would be surprised at the amount of Academic Scholarships that are awarded at these private schools based solely on academic record. Check it out! I graduated from there many years ago, and was just back this summer for my reunion. What a great place, it never ceases to impress me. Wish my daughters would go there!</p>

<p>Penn State University Park sounds like a perfect fit. Chedva obviously doesn't know what he/she is talking about because there are a lot of stores in state college. It is the quintessential college town and the campus is beautiful. Definitely take a vist to the schools and that will clear up a lot of things.</p>

<p>Towson will probably not come in under 21,000. The only way that I see this happening is if she were to land some merit awards. I know several OOS applicants who did not get a dime in grants with similar stats.</p>

<p>Thank you all. We'll definitely take a look at New Hampshire. She wants to look at U-Maine too, even though its smaller.</p>

<p>St. Mary's wouldn't meet her guy-girls criteria. (I'm also afraid to start looking at smaller schools near big schools, since the list would then grow even larger.) She has rejected Miami of Ohio based on their web site (too Greek and preppy). U of Vermont had the potential to be her #1 choice, but the scholarships they list on-line wouldn't make much of a dent in the out of state cost.</p>

<p>She's happy with the shopping in the boutiques adjoining Penn State. The last time she visited her brother who is a student there, she was thrilled to find a pink garden gnome to add to the garbage collection (I meant collectables...) in her room. She'll apply to PSU as one of the finalist schools, but I think it will be a stretch school for her. </p>

<p>Having lived in NYC, I view Pitt as small-city although my D views it as urban. Since Pitt is local it doesn't seem scary to her, so it's still on the list. </p>

<p>Towson is also on her list, but I'll see if she'll consider dropping it based on cost. I might be able to avoid a trip to Maryland!</p>

<p>Miami U. With some aid it would be doable. Not that another school is needed.</p>

<p>Maybe get rid of OU, Marshall, Kent State. There are other schools that match her criteria. But, they are probably already on the list. You will be doing a lot of traveling during the search. It'll get easier.</p>

<p>Why is she narrowing down her list based on the ability to shop?</p>

<p>It will be hard to stay under $21K unless she attends a public school in your state. If you are eligible for need-based aid, they almost always expect you to take a loan and often work study. It does not sound as if she will get much merit aid. Most merit awards top out at 10K. So this sounds like a tall order to me. She may need to compromise on some of the requirements. Penn State (or a branch campus) does sound like the best bet to me.</p>

<p>Halie -- She views this as essential to her quality of life at college. Especially if she doesn't live close enough to run home every time she needs something, having a few stores nearby will make life easier. We've seen too many college bookstores and schools with only one or two stores, to realize that their prices go up in direct proportion to the competition. Some schools have shuttles to malls or Wal-Mart. Although that's better than nothing, it's not like being able to walk over to a CVS or Walgreens between classes to pick up a birthday card for Mom... </p>

<p>While having clothing and "collectable" stores doesn't seem important to me, I do understand her desire to have a drug store, pizza store and Chinese restaurant.</p>

<p>OneMom - We were surprised at the offers of grants that we received from schools for her siblings, even though we didn't qualify for need-based aid (this may change for her, since her Dad has a terminal illness, and will be in a Nursing Home during her college years). One of our kids received offers from OSU, Ohio U and several other schools that matched PSU or that reduced their cost to their in-state rate, and another kid with much lower stats also received money from a few schools. One kid got merit aid of $15K from one of his schools, and $12K from two others -- with a 32 ACT and 3.65 GPA. He chose an honors program at SUNY Buffalo at half PSU's cost, with a pharmacy guarantee. His cost-saving plus being a RA are going to be applied to the pharmacy tuition, so that he will actually be able to graduate with a PharmD without loans.</p>

<p>Since PSU is one of the most expensive schools in the country for in-state residents, paying an in-state rate elsewhere would be a bargain for us.</p>

<p>I am sorry to hear about her dad. Since the aid situation does sound good, maybe you should look at U Mass Amherst. Villa Julie outside Baltimore has nursing and gives good aid, but I am not sure whether shopping is a walk away. I would say that it is less competitive. Case Western also has a nursing program and gives aid. Catholic University may work. There is a metro stop on campus that will take you to any type of shopping you desire. There are a few takeout food places walking distance. Catholic U is also more nurturing and less competitive than most places.</p>

<p>East Tennessee State University has 11,000 students from over 20 states and 50 foreign countries. It has an Honors College and Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health as well as a Medical College and an adjoining V.A. Medical Center. Out-of-state tuition and the best double occupancy room and the largest meal plan totals $19,707 this year. OBW, I don't see any Newsweek Top 100 schools in Western PA, perhaps Top 1000?</p>