Parents overestimating alumni's power

<p>Recently I sent in materials to several schools for transfer admissions but before the application deadlines were up I go accepted into my first choice. I was ecstatic and I talked to both my parents about it. I told them that was where I really wanted to go and my dead said not to worry about the other schools, so I didn't and the deadlines went by.</p>

<p>Now my mom is saying how irresponsible I was for not applying to other schools, especially Rice University. You see my parents know an alumni at Rice who makes substantial donations to the school and he said he would put in good word for me if I were to apply (this was back in december). My parents heard that and took that as me automatically being in. </p>

<p>Now my mom wants me to still apply to Rice even though the deadline was almost a month ago! She's thinking that because she knows this alumni he can pull strings to push through my late application, AND get me into the school, AND get me scholarship money.</p>

<p>I think my parents are seriously overestimating this man's power. I just don't feel like I'm Rice caliber and I honestly like my first choice, even though its lower ranked, better.</p>

<p>How do I get my parents to see the error in their way of thinking? Oh and we're not american so I don't think they really understand the U.S. college system well either.</p>

<p>I could really use a parents advice on how to respectfully tell them that they're wrong and I don't want to apply. And I also have a hard time approaching my parents with anything, especially telling them they're wrong about something.</p>

<p>*also posted in college admissions section</p>

<p>I'm not a parent...but I am a college graduate.</p>

<p>You should go to school where you want to go to school. You will be living at the school for 4 years, putting in a ton of effort into your classes, and it is your decision.</p>

<p>If you end up going to a school you don't want to, chances are much higher that you won't enjoy it and will transfer or drop out before completing your degree.</p>

<p>After you graduate, very few people will care whether you graduate from Rice or the school you got accepted at. All they will care about (for the most part) is that you have a degree.</p>

<p>I am bothered that your parents are so intent on pulling strings and I wouldn't want to go to a school knowing that I probably got in because of strings. For me it would be the same as the guilt I would feel about getting an A on test that I cheated on. Earning a spot tastes a lot better.</p>

<p>Please tell your mom that these kinds of recommendations from influential alumni virtually never help an application. They can even hurt it.</p>

<p>The only kind of supplemental recs that are useful are those provided by someone who has information about you that no one else can provide, someone who can provide specific examples of your accomplishments and/or leadership. An alum -- even an influential alum -- can't improve your chances of admissions by simply by putting in a good word for you, i.e., attesting to your general intelligence, good character, strong work ethic, etc. The letter would likely be ignored. Worse, it could be perceived as an effort to peddle influence. </p>

<p>Congrats on being accepted to transfer to a school you love!</p>

<p>Nope-- even if a buillding has been named after them, there is no guarantee that their "putting in a good word for you" will do a lick of good. It very often doesnt work for legacies - it is less likley to work for a "friend of the family" -- even if they are the McMurtrys or someone with a new res college named after them.</p>

<p>Thanks for all your input, you all reaffirmed what I had already been thinking but what I'm still too scared to tell my mom about.</p>

<p>Oh and when my mom found out that I hadn't submitted the app she got really angry about it. She started talking about how I wouldn't like my top choice, because of weather and economic situation, yadda, yadda. And she said money is a big factor even though both of my parents agreed to pay for school before I even started the application process.</p>

<p>How do I respectfully tell her that I think trying to curry favor for Rice is ridiculous and won't have any effect. And also get her to respect me for my choice in school's even though it is lower ranked (but its still a 1st tier school!)</p>

<p>I know of several cases where a large donor went to bat for a friends kid. In every case, a) the kid was already on the waitlist and b) the donor spoke to the kid directly and was very, very sure that if the kid were accepted, he would go. </p>

<p>Given that you are ambivalent and (more importantly) didn't even apply when you had the chance, I doubt that the large donor would go to bat for you anyway.</p>

<p>Do you personally know this large donor? Perhaps you could approach him and have him explain to your parents that there's nothing he can do.</p>

<p>^^Yes I know him, he is a sponsor of my father's athletic club (my dad's a coach and I'm one of his athletes). And I've met with him a few times, but I don't feel comfortable approaching him about the subject. He's very proud of his alma mater and I don't know how to answer the inevitable "Well why don't you want to go/ Why didn't you apply"</p>

<p>It appears that your parents disagree on the issue of schools and you're taking the heat for the disagreement. Parents shouldn't put kids into this position but it happens. It sounds like something that they should work out. Does your dad feel that you should do the Rice application too or are things settled in his mind?</p>

He's very proud of his alma mater and I don't know how to answer the inevitable


<p>No matter how proud adults are of their alma mater, people who aren't related to you will be very understanding of your decision not to apply. After all, he was also a high school student who had to pick a school and had several to choose from. He will remember what it was like for him to pick a school and understand that you have to find your own.</p>

<p>By the way, fwiw, Rice doesn't come across as an outstanding school in my part of the country (western United States). While it may be well known in your part of the country, it's not like a Stanford or MIT.</p>

<p>@BCEagle91 you're right about their disagreement. My Dad is happy once I'm happy but my mom is overly concerned with rankings and prestige. My dad initially told me I didn't have to do the app anymore, but I think my mom convinced him otherwise and although she's pushing, he's recommended I should do it.</p>

<p>@bigtrees I'm actually international. And my parents see Rice as a big deal because it's ranked in the USNWR top 20. And top 20 is like their golden number for me to get into a good med school. (Which after reading many articles I don't believe is absolutely necessary)</p>

<p>Punkchique -- you are in just a terrible position here.</p>

<p>Let's say you cave in to the parental pressure and apply a month late to Rice. What will you say when they ask you why you didn't apply on time? You'll have to make something up.</p>

<p>What you are really asking people on this thread is how to deal with you parents. Everyone needs to learn to stand up for themselves. It sounds like you are from a different culture, perhaps one that values respect of parents more than ours does. I know that will make it harder.</p>

<p>Try to explain your position to them with as much clarity as you have done in this thread. When your mom tells you to apply to Rice because she knows someone who will get you in and they'll give you a lot of money you need to just say if they wanted you to apply they should have told you that before the deadline was a month past.</p>

<p>Then don't apply and leave the ball in their court. It's up to them what they are going to do now, but you really shouldn't apply so late to Rice, which you already know.</p>

And she said money is a big factor even though both of my parents agreed to pay for school before I even started the application process.


<p>This could be some part of the problem she has with your current choice. Rice has usually been $10K cheaper than many of the private schools in the East.</p>

<p>Wouldn't Rice just reject any applications sent so late [hoping parents here can answer that question]? If that's the case, then would going through the motions to do the application be a non-confrontational solution?</p>

<p>You never know about the late application. Supposedly Henry Kissinger sent in his Harvard application during the summer after his senior year--being in an immigrant, he had no clue--and he was accepted. YMMV...:)</p>

<p>I believe (though haven't double-checked) that Rice is now about on avg $6k less than the comparable East coast schools (this came from a cc friend who still has a child there).</p>

<p>Henry Kissinger aside, the deadline has passed. End of story. Tell mom you really appreciate her support and understanding and hope she is as excited about your first choice school as you are (and this is from the mom of a Rice grad -- its a wonderful school!)</p>

<p>Thanks for all of your advice, I really appreciate it and its really helpful :) I guess its just time for me to face my mom like an adult and tell her how I really feel. I think I'll write her an email instead of calling her, as I find it easier to speak my mind when I don't have to worry about a snappy and sarcastic comeback :(</p>

<p>And Rice is a great school no doubt about it, but I had already had my mind set on my first choice and when I got my acceptance letter, I got this feeling and I just knew I had to go there :)</p>

<p>thanks again</p>

<p>The deadline passed 100 DAYS AGO. January 2. We're not talking "a little bit tardy." I'm dying to know how the influencial alum will keep a straight face if the parents go through with forcing this application.</p>

<p>^^No I'm a transfer, and the app was due March 15th. But even so, I don't think he would take it well either way >.< But my parents don't grasp this.</p>

<p>This is a part of the email I intend to send to my mom, can I get you guys opinions on it please?</p>

<p>"Mummy, I've been doing quite a bit of research and asking around on some college forums and I do not think that Mr. xxxx's influence will be able to push through a late application. Rice has already began to send out their admittance letters and its just too late, I'm sorry. Plus, I am very certain that I want to attend MSU and I feel that it is a good fit for me."</p>