Regional Stereotypes Involving College Selection

<p>This is a variation of Momsdream's most interesting thread in which she stated some of sons classmates were eliminating colleges in Red States from their application pool. A while back there was also a thread in which some expressed fear of having children in a 'Liberal' University. A frisky debate ensued.
All I can say is, I am fearful of having my child go to college in New England. I also suspect that some fine Southern colleges are fearful of having too many Yankees attend their universities.Does anyone let regional stereotypes affect their selection process? Any opinions? Thank you.
Now I must go buy a wedding cake.</p>

<p>My answer is NO. </p>

<p>I never got into the thread on the colleges in red/blue states either. I don't think whether or not a particular state had a majority of voters (not even all voters) vote a certain way in the election affects attending an actual college. I think the people you mix with at college are mostly the kids at the college. </p>

<p>As far as your question, I do not see how anyone can generalize about an entire region's worth of colleges. The colleges in New England are quite varied. Many are some of the finest in the country. Each has its own flavor. Certainly to rule out an entire region is an extreme of the thread of ruling out certain voting trends in certain states (not the colleges themselves). </p>

<p>Most student campuses have diverse student bodies. I think one criteria you could have in selecting a PARTICULAR college (not state or region) is exploring the make up of the student body. If you prefer diversity, look into that. If you prefer a certain type of student body (religious, conservative, liberal, accepting of gays, etc) then see the climate at that school and if it feels like a good fit. Explore schools themselves, not states and regions as far as seeing if you would fit in. </p>

<p>If you like diversity on campus, in my opinion, often the most selective schools tend to really value diversity when building a student body. My child wanted that and I would say that just about every school on her list (they were selective colleges) truly had a wide range of student backgrounds and colors and even cultures. </p>


<p>The answers is No for my S, as well. He is casting a wide net in his search. Moreover, the states aren't really totally red or blue when you look at botes by county. Even in Texas, which was a strong red at a state total, there were/are pockets or solid blue in some counties, such as Houston. You might be surprised to learn that Berkeley, (which is typically considered a liberal school in a blue state), has a large Republican student's club. Indeed, I think, it's one of the largest clubs on campus. </p>

<p>As soozievt noted, each region has a plethora of campuse styles, regardless of their state color.</p>

<p>I think most of us here in the Midwest are pretty open-minded and believe that there are many good colleges everywhere and that our students should look around and choose the best colleges for them ... which, of course, are all in the Midwest.</p>

<p>For mine, the stereotypes were for the most part true - she wanted a LAC and pretty much ruled out the midwest (except for Earlham, for other reasons - we are Quakers, and we know lots of folks there) because she wanted access to major cultural centers, and Macalester was too cold. </p>

<p>There are stereotypes locally which are different than the national ones. Univ. of Puget Sound is not popular where I live - it is thought to be much too expensive and, generally speaking, of lesser quality compared with Pacific Lutheran University (they are about 10 miles apart). But nationally, lots of folks check out U.P.S. and many fewer PLU.</p>

<p>My "stereotype" is that Duke has a majority made up of northerners. (Figure this one out: my step-nephew, a double legacy at Penn - and they contribute, a tennis player with 1500 SATs, mother a college professor, got rejected at Penn both ED and RD and goes to Duke - I have a suspicion that he told his guidance counselor that he really didn't want to go to Penn but was afraid to tell his parents.)</p>

<p>My #2 and #3 have not wanted to go to school in the south. Part of it is weather related but part of it is probably some prejudice on their part. I do sometimes sense on this board that some people tend to discount any school that isn't in the NE or California. Kind of like the rest of the country doesn't exist.</p>

<p>I'm generalising here......but I think that along the New York/Boston corridor, people look down there noses at southern schools.....having grown up there (north) and schooled there as well that's what I've found to be the case.....People just say"the South.....not serious....frats....parties, suntans,, not academic"....I've heard parents say flat out that their kids would never apply to any school south of DC.....regardless of its standing.....Conversely, now that I live in the Southeast I rarely hear of anyone (except Northerners) talk of ever sending their kids "up north"....It's almost as if they're afraid of what their kids will encounter there..... not sure.....there's some homophobia that I sense......but I think the intensity puts them off as well......</p>

<p>Maybe it's just common to have regional preferences. I know when helping my daughter and now my son with college search I thought of how easy it would be to get to a college and really avoided the Boston area for that reason. The distance isn't bad, just the congested busy roads between here and there. I'm always cold and love it when we vacation in North Carolina so investigated colleges there. It's also generally cheaper in the South and that's another positive. My daughter did visits to both Susquehanna (central Pa) and Elon in NC and found both to be very similar but Elon was much less expensive and that's where she decided to apply. Warmer and less expensive, sounds good to me. If only my kids would listen to me. Son is just talking about programs, they could be in North Dakota if they had what he thinks he wants. Daughter is out of state majoring in Elementary Ed. go figure.</p>


<p>Geographic Distribution of First-Year Students at Duke (Class of 2008)</p>

<p>North Carolina NC 15%
Northeast CT, NH, VT, NY, ME, RI, MA 15%
Mid-Atlantic PA, NJ, MD, DE, VA, WV, DC 20%
Southeast KY, TN, AL, MS, GA, FL, AR, LA, OK, SC, TX 23%
Midwest OH, MI, IL, IN, WI, MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NE, KS 11%
West and Pacific WA, ID, MT, OR, WY, CA, NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM, AK, HI 9%
International 35 different countries 8% </p>

<p>My son actually wanted to go to school outside of New England and the Northeast. Go figure.</p>

<p>So the overwhelming majority is from outside the southeast. Guess I pegged it right. (Weird, I really wouldn't have known.)</p>

<p>Backhandgrip: Why are you fearful of your son going to a New England school?</p>

<p>All of this is very interesting to someone who is old and has been out of the country for 20 years and grew up in California....<br>
Backhandgrip - could you explain exactly why you are fearful of your kids going to school in New England? (And who is getting married?)
Soozievt - Any advice for those of us who can't visit a campus to check out the flavour? How accurate would a website be for that kind of assessment? Livejournal scares me.
drusba - I agree that I haven't seen much about midwestern schools since I've been here; can you tell me about any with women's swimming and chemical engineering? (always keeping an open mind, of course)
mini - cold might be ok but rain is not and D would LOVE more sun; wish she had residence status in California, but she doesn't. Weather plays a big part in choices.
dke - Tell me about the "intensity" please, what exactly does that mean? Does it mean competitive? The suntan bit sounds ok, but is the rest true as well?
As I explained on another thread, as the American in the house, I am expected to know about all this and I don't! What is the weather like in Pennsylvania? Indiana?
iowa? Does it impact campus life? I'm still reeling from the realization that there is smoking in some dorms....</p>

<p>We never thought of schools in terms of red/blue states, but it turns out all of the schools that S is applying to are in blue states (Mass./Conn/Ill./DC/CA/NY), which matches up with his political leanings. He wanted nothing to do with So. Cal., which is where we live, but that was due to weather (he wants to experience some!). Basically he drew a line from about Santa Barbara all the way across the country to DC and said "nothing south." I think it's more than just weather though, it's a seriousness of ideas or something, that he felt the cold-weather universities foster. Coming from Southern California (both H and I went to college at beach universities), I do think there is something to be said about the "fun/sun/parties" reputation that our universities have... I think this carries over to Florida schools and some southern schools, too. But again, I don't know that it's political... mostly a factor of weather and the types of people who are maybe more influenced by being able to go to the beach in November to work on their tan while they read Shakespeare.</p>

I'm curious what your fear factor is about N.E. schools. We're a pretty conservative group in my family, but our daughter never considered going to non-northeastern schools, and I was fine with that. Some of this was weather....she hates heat and humidity, likes winter, loves winter sports. She was also attracted to the old-fashioned N.E. style campus, steeped in early American tradition. </p>

<p>From my standpoint, I felt she would be happiest in a place where politics were more in the background, so Williams worked well for her. Wesleyan would not have so well, I suspect, and the amazingly PC Dartmouth administration would have made that a less perfect fit, as well. But there was never any question about her wanting N.E. for her college experience.</p>

<p>As to your second point (speculating that southern schools may fear having too many northeasterners), I haven't seen anything that would lead me to that conclusion. However, many top southern schools are highly-selective public--UVA, W&M, UNC-ChH, UTexas--for out of staters. I think this just reflects the primary obligation they have to serve home-state students.</p>

<p>Mini, only 35% of students at Duke are from the Northeast and/ or Mid-Atlantic States !</p>

<p>kathiep - warmer and less expensive sounds good to me too!</p>

<p>"Mini, only 35% of students at Duke are from the Northeast and/ or Mid-Atlantic States "</p>

<p>But 62% outside the Southeast. (all those "free" states - LOL!)</p>

<p>Well, right now, my daughter's current list of possibilities includes schools in Maryland, Oregon, California, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. So, no, I don't think she has ANY regional stereotypes. She's just more interested in finding schools that fit her very individualized requirements...where ever they may be.</p>

<p>D's take on this, actually two takes. </p>

<p>1) I want to go to a school where being from Texas is cool.</p>

<p>2) I plan on returning to Texas for med school and I don't want to live my whole life in the same place.</p>

<p>A statistic D realized early would be very important to her was the % of out-of-state students and/or out of region students . Her theory was that her fellow travelers would be more invested in the campus, and that they would bring diversity of thought and perspective. Why go to school 2000 miles from home if everyone there is from a 200 mile radius? D set the bar so far at 50% out of state ,wants 70%+.</p>

<p>A second point I'd like to make, this one mine, is that when folks are talking about the finest schools they are talking about schools with substantially out of state , out of region, and international national student bodies. That kind of goes along with being a national school. I think most of these select schools would be select national reputation schools wherever they were located. Among private schools those percentages of out of state out of region and international students really seem to track with other admissions criteria. As they go up, so does selectivity, gpa, sat. Now , all things being equal, D wants four seasons instead of our two. Drought and flashflood. (We're now in our delightful flashflood season . The overflowing culverts and drainage ditches are so beautiful this time of year. I almost forgot to mention OUR fall colors, all yellow and orange and red . All the the colors of the clothes high in the trees by the river . Floodstage high. )</p>


<p>Beware NE schools. They have only 2 seasons and maybe one half: fall, endless winter, and spring that goes by so fast you don't see the flowers bloom before it's time to go home.</p>