Overcoming personal parental bias for alma mater

<p>My D will be applying to the college I attended but is considering ED at another (more reachy) school-- she has visited both schools and is not in love with either one but believes she could be fairly happy at either place. The ED school appears to offer some courses more closely in line with her interests. Intellectually , I can accept this strategy, but emotionally I feel regret about the possibility that she may not attend my college--I guess I still would like having that close contact with a place where I was happy and project my feelings onto my D--who is not very decisive at this stage. BTW, I applied to the same two colleges, and was accepted at both.</p>

<p>Have any of you had a similar experience? I know what the "right" answer to this dilemma is but would appreciate some emotional support to feel OK about this.</p>

<p>Quick first response: if your D is 'not very decisive at this stage', should she really be applying ED anywhere? As to parental bias for alma mater - I have a feeling I will be facing a similar situation in September. I am hoping D will apply EA to my and H's alma mater though at this point she hasn't really indicated strong feelings about any of the colleges she's looked at. I suspect I am going to end up arguing that there may be a slight advantage for a legacy applying EA so why not use it? If she voiced tremendous antipathy to my alma mater though I would drop my PR camapaign at once.</p>

<p>samuck, the reason for ED is that this school will be somewhat of a reach. So without ED, it may not be an option at all. She hasn't firmly decided yet but doesn't want to close off an option. She's the type who will probably feel OK about her choice once other choices are no longer there. I don't think she will endlessly regret the road not taken, but still wants to decide herself not to take it, instead of having it eliminated for her. Does that make sense?</p>

<p>My parents pushed and pushed me to apply to Middlebury (double alma mater). I looked at it, but didn't really see myself there.
I visited Kenyon with both my parents, and they liked it okay, but as soon as they heard it described as "the Middlebury of the midwest" they began to love it, and I ended up applying ED with their best wishes.
My advice is to recognize that your alma mater may not be best for your D, but to look for similarities among the schools, and pride yourself that she has developed excellent taste and a strong will :).</p>

<p>kc-lady, it would be easier if her will were strong and if her taste were more well-defined. If she said "I know X is the place for me" I'd be behind her 100%. The temptation to "push" is stronger in the face of indecisiveness.</p>


<p>Your daughter still has some months to think about it, but unless she develops a stronger attachment to a particular college--whether it's the reachy college or your alma mater or some place that hasn't occurred to her yet--I agree with Samuck that perhaps she shouldn't apply ED at all. Be careful what you wish for, etc: Let's say she applies ED to the reach school and gets in, but then, prestige notwithstanding, she wishes she didn't have to go there? </p>

<p>As for the wish to see your daughter attend your alma mater, I sympathize: My daughter did end up at my old school, but I wouldn't have expected it at this time during her junior year; she barely even wanted to visit it. I resolved not to pressure her or talk about the school very much--and then blew it entirely when we finally visited late in July and I got tears in my eyes when the tour took us to the dining hall where I'd met my husband. Fortunately, the tour guide was charming enough to convince her this might be a good place for her even if it would please her mother. Honestly, though, if she hadn't fallen in love with the school herself, I think it would have been fine for her to go somewhere else. While it's true I'm a bit more familiar with her physical surroundings than parents who didn't attend the college, it's still a big separation and a lot has changed since my day; also, while she's similar to me in a few ways, she's very different in others.</p>

<p>Funny, but my wife and I felt like he would OF COURSE fall in love with the place where he had so many legacy connections (his mother graduated from there, his uncle graduated from there, his grandfather retired from a long-time position from there, and I formerly worked there). We visited several times, but there was just no interest. We showed him where my wife and I met, and where we were when I asked for a first date (and she said no). How hum.... Just NOTHING really clicked.</p>

<p>In hindsight, I'm very glad for where he did end up deciding on, but still, I know what you mean about maintaining connections....</p>

<p>My S toured my alma mater and it was on his list to apply to... until he received his EA decision at another school. He rather sheepishly asked me if it would be OK to not apply to my school, since he couldn't really see himself choosing go there over his EA school... and we hadn't paid the application fee yet (although he <em>had</em> had an interview by then). So of course I said he could can the application, although I had a slight catch in my throat when answering. </p>

<p>Younger S thinks he will apply to my alma mater in two yeasr, but he's nuts, there's no way he'll ever get in there with his grades. I'm HOPING he finds somewhere else that twirls his socks so I don't have to talk him out of wasting an application fee. So neither of my kids will attend my school (nor my H's school either).</p>

<p>I think it is time to leave both schools alone and move on to others, both for her sake and yours. This precise thing wasn't an issue for us, because we would not have allowed (paid) for our daughter to attend our joint alma mater.
We did though visit a college in a city where we had spent some of the happiest years of our early married life - pre-kids - I know our reminiscing made the kids angry, I think it probably help turn DD off the school. After all, who wants to go to school in a town where, everytime your parents come to visit, they don't want to see the neat stuff you have found, they are off talking about what has changed over the last 20 years.</p>

<p>Anyway,she has established she likes both schools, it is time to concentrate on other, similar colleges, and let her chew on her top choices.</p>

<p>As discussed on the Carolyn's ED thread - DD had 4 schools that were very close in her estimation, no one way in the front. But, after a few weeks of thought, she could rank them, based on what she had learned was important to her.</p>

<p>I'm being sneaky about the whole process. My alma mater has rolling decisions and would be a good fit for S. I've talked it up and interested him in applying early in the fall. He'll have a good long while to "fall in love" before April when he'll have complete acceptances/rejections. </p>

<p>On the other hand, my husband's alma mater would be all wrong for S, so he isn't considering it. It would be such a mis-match that just thinking of it results in laughter. We've even developed comedy routines involving imagining S at my husband's school.</p>

<p>To be truthful, though, I'll support my S wherever he decides to go as long as it is within our budget. Although my alma mater would be a good fit, I suspect it would not be the best fit. Only S - and the admissions people - can decide that.</p>


<p>I concur with the others that ED should be reserved for a really strong #1 preference. Keep looking to see if she falls in love somewhere.</p>

<p>fwiw: I've heard that many schools only provide legacy tips to kids who apply ED. Thus, if she applies RD to your alma mater, it might not give her the plus factor.</p>


<p>I agree with bluebayou. ED / ED2 strategy really only works when they are schools that you would be thrilled to attend. Furthermore, if they are very reachy, the ED may not help that much.</p>

<p>Funny, I was kind of the opposite of many here. I never even considered my alma mater for my first son when we were listing college possibilities. Then sometime near the end of his junior year, we were looking at college stats and suddenly realized that said school had everything S was looking for. We visited it while on a family camping trip that summer, and it immediately became his first choice. He is now a senior there and loves it.</p>

<p>Second son also applied to alma mater, but it was more to see if he could get in, than because he really wanted to go there. We both knew it did not really have the programs he was looking for. Neither of us really cared when he was waitlisted. I will miss the trips to my alma mater to take S to college, but I just want S2 to find a school that is right for him. Now if he can just make up his mind before May 1!!!</p>

<p>If you guys want your kids to give your alma mater a fair consideration, send them on a visit to the school WITHOUT YOU!</p>

<p>Parental units walking around, pointing out all the places that have memories from the stone age for them isn't likely to appeal much to kids looking for their own college experiences. In fact, it is likely to be a turn off.</p>

<p>We sent D to visit the old alma mater with a carload of her high school friends. Big cross-state roadtrip. I guess they actually did go because she and a friend ended up applying.</p>

<p>My opinion: You've provided the information and the encouragement, put in the good word for your alma mater. Now your kid can consider that particular piece of information, and along with all other relevant information, come up with a list of schools to apply to.</p>

<p>For years, I had this notion that one my children might attend my alma mater. But when push came to shove, it's environment was very different from what my oldest child wanted for herself. She rejected the place out of hand, for sound reasons. When I contemplated lobbying further, I had to confront the fact that, in retrospect, there were some deficiencies in my educational experience there that I would really not want repeated for this child.</p>

<p>With my second child, it is apparent that my alma mater is not the best place to pursue one of her main areas of interest. Strike two. The place would otherwise be better for her than for #1 but I'm not pushing any more. What if she went there and hated it? She'd probably blame me for pushing it on her.</p>

<p>When I think about it, the whole idea of legacies is a bit odd to me. Absent the parent connection, what are the odds that the place that I found was best for me, x years ago and given my own particular interests and issues, happens to be the best place for my child, who is a completely different person with differrent interests and personality? Given all the schools out there,and having gone through this process once now, I think the odds are low.</p>

<p>pyew - I think it's v dicey to go ED in the scenario you describe of not in love with either, could be fairly happy.</p>

<p>A lot can happen after those ED apps go in - colleges visit D's school, friends talk about schools, Guidance has meetings talking about schools, schools send marketing materials. If she has committed to one she is "fairly" happy about, she may regret it.</p>

<p>That is a dilemma.....there's a family here who constantly talk about both of their boys going to their alma mater and I think they need to cool it...too much pressure.....and H assumes that of course our kids will go to his IVy....(I've also told him to cool it).....your situation is a bit different, though.</p>

<p>We live overseas. What my D feels strongly about is going to a US college --prefers an LAC atmosphere. She also insists on Mid-Atlantic or Northeast location. Beyond that, she is convinced that she will not "fall in love" with any school at first (or second) sight. "I'm not that type," she says. She has a probable safety that she feels OK about. That's why I think ED is worth a shot at a school that she thinks is acceptable and that has a good reputation and good offerings in her field. If it doesn't work out, there are other acceptables on her list.</p>

<p>Both of my parents went to the same ivy and love it so much they dragged us there at least once a year, had all kinds of school reminders all over the house and even official school chairs in my dad's office! We went to reunions, vacationed with their college friends, had people come to the house for interviews. I can name you every restaurant in the town!</p>

<p>In the end, my sister and I had totally different reactions. She didn't even apply this year (and was a strong candidate) and I'm pretty sure it will be my ED schol next year.</p>

<p>Our oldest S did go to our alma mater, ended up hating it and transferring after the first year. We didn't pressure him, in fact, I was shocked when he did apply. It has rolling admissions and once accepted in September, he never looked back or applied anywhere else. In hindsight, he now agrees with us he applied there for all the wrong reasons: ie: had the nationally known CS program he wanted (but realized after there he wanted IT, not writing code,etc), was somewhat easy for him to get into (so he didn't have to deal with college apps the rest of the year) and it was far away (at a time in his life that he thought he wanted to "remake" himself). It was a hard pill for me to swallow at first knowing he hated the place, but all in all, it was the right decision for him, and that's what counted. When S2 came along it wasn't even on the radar for many reasons, such as too far away and way too big. Life was easier that way.</p>