My DS is currently a National Merit Semi-Finalist and applied to Alabama because of its very generous scholarship. Has anyone heard anything about an event for accepted National Merit Scholars? We did get emails today about accepted student events that are scheduled to happen in person, but I have not seen anything for NM. He would be an Engineering major.
My son is also a NMSF that would be in engineering (computer science). He will be my third and last child going to Bama. I have not heard of any events and I have been following Alabama on the parent pages and College Confidential for over 6 years. What are you interested in or concerned about? My 2 previous Bama students went to Camp 1831 and Honors Outdoor Action before starting their Freshman year. My daughter who is a Junior met a lot of NMFs at Honors Outdoor Action and is still friends with several. The ones I have met love it at Alabama.
@docndonna Thanks for your reply! I have the same concerns I have seen others express in threads on College Confidential about rigor and fit. We are from California, so Alabama would be quite a change. My son has always said he wanted to go to the best school with the best educational opportunities, so he would be flexible with everything else. The finances definitely matter. His career plans include grad school, so a full-ride undergrad is quite attractive. Mainly I was just wanting to make sure that he could get the most out of any visit we can schedule.
In that case, your course of action is pretty easy. Have him apply for the Honors College if he has not done so already, then arrange a tour through the Honors College. He should make requests for what he would like to see. They can also probably have him meet with a NMF. My oldest boy went to Alabama for 4 years and was able to get a B.S. and a Masters in Computer Science in that time. He owes nothing and is making a great living doing what he likes. With the NMF your son should be able to get an undergraduate degree and a Masters in 4-5 years depending on AP and other credits he is bringing in. I would have him CLEP test for foreign language and that should wipe out the Humanities requirements. Oh and best part, he will have very minimum debt to pay. As to rigor and fit that is all very indivually based. My oldest joined the coed engineering fraternity and that helped him find a fit. The Camp 1831 and Honors Action also help establish a community as does the Honors classes and activities. The engineering degrees are all accredited and there are lots of alumni and connections and he should be able to find a job depending on his major, e.g. Computer Science kids find jobs faster than Chem E’s is what I have observed. Good luck! It is a great school and they really support the kids and try to make them successful.
I agree with docndonna - definitely have your son apply to the Honor’s College. In addition, I’d have him look at the special programs the Honor’s College offers (you can find them here: Programs – honors.ua.edu | The University of Alabama ). I am particularly biased towards the Randall’s Research Scholar’s Program since my daughter (junior, computer engineering major) is in it and has found it to be a very valuable experience. It’s a great opportunity for students to get involved in research early on as well develop other professional skills. Are you in contact with an area recruiter? They can also help set up a tour. Our tour included meeting with a professor from our kid’s intended major.
For what it’s worth, I have two currently at Alabama, both in engineering. Son (electrical engineering) will graduate this year; daughter (as mentioned above) has one year left. Both have found the courses challenging, but have also found amazing opportunities at Bama outside of their classes. In my daughter’s case, it’s primarily been through RRSP, which she absolutely loves. It’s helped her find supportive professors and interesting research to work on. And she loves the camaraderie of the group. My son also got involved with research, although in his case he approached one of his professors and asked if he had research opportunities available (son did not apply to RRSP as he didn’t think he was that interested in research back when he applied to colleges). He’s been a paid research assistant for the last year and a half, and his research (and connection with his professor) helped him land a summer internship at a well known company. He had an amazing experience at his internship, and they extended a job offer to him. Meanwhile his professor also asked him to stay at Bama for his master’s degree, and offered full tuition plus a stipend. Ds was able to negotiate with both the company & his professor so that he’ll be able to continue to intern at the company while he earns his master’s degree at Bama.