Tuition exchange and the college search/strong writing schools

<p>This is my first post here - my mom found this website and pointed it out to me as a place where I might be able to get some information. </p>

<p>To begin, I'm a junior in high school, a fairly decent honors student, 21st in my class (my academic average is a 95.7, we have a class of overachievers), a 1330 on the SAT (planning to take the new version in June). I'm beginning the college search, and already I'm finding that I'm much more limited than my peers because, due to my mom working at Syracuse University, my parents really want me to attend a school on the tuition exchange list. They haven't necessarily saved money for me to go to college, and are instead relying on the schools I apply to having reciprocal agreements with SU.</p>

<p>I want to go to college for writing, possibly to become a college professor or journalist. I've accomplished a lot with writing during my high school years - I was accepted to a prestigious statewide summer program, I've attended many writing workshops, I placed in a local poetry contest, I'm the editor of the literary magazine and on the staff of the school newspaper. I don't necessarily want to major in writing because I feel that it would be limiting, and I'm interested in liberal arts colleges. </p>

<p>I live in Syracuse, and am very connected to SU because my mother works there, I will soon be working there (in VPA, doing filing and stuff) and I'm always on campus for voice lessons/etc. So far in the college search, SU has been the most promising due to Newhouse and the option of a dual major that would allow me to study journalism there along with the basic liberal arts degree. However, I've encountered a lot of disapproval from my peers when mentioning SU, as people around here tend to equate it with a community college due to it being local. This isn't to say that I honestly care what my peers think, but I'm worried that by the time I ultimately make my college choice, the idea of staying so close to home will terrify me. This pressure is added to by my boyfriend (who I'm incredibly devoted and attached to, while being realistic about college and the high school relationship) looking at incredibly top-notch colleges. The peer pressure of the college search is mounting, in other words.</p>

<p>So my questions are - have any of you gone through the college search process while bound by the tuition exchange list? Did you find yourself a bit freaked out? And also, do you have any recommendations for a liberal arts school that is strong in writing and journalism, close to NY state, and also on the tuition exchange list?</p>

<p>Thanks for any help you guys might have.</p>

<p>I teach at a college and have had colleagues just go through this process with their kids. My own S is still a Freshman, but I'm investigating the TE process very carefully, and yes, I'm freaked out because it's both an incredible benefit but also is a possible "compromise" for a student who will likely have a very strong academic profile. As you know from the list, the schools on the list are not known for being as academically challenging as some of the others that your boyfriend and other peers may be exploring. Nonetheless, there do seem to be some fine schools on the list. Among the ones that might suit your criteria beyond Syracuse - Skidmore, Emerson, Simmons, Fairfield, Connecticut College, Wheaton, Bard, George Washington come to mind; Smith is also on the list, but don't know if single sex appeals to you. </p>

<p>Finally, a caution that I just posted on the parents' thread - I have a colleague whose daughter was just denied TE from a number of schools including some of those listed above. Just because you are eligible for TE from Syracuse, doesn't mean you'll get it at the places you apply. It seems worthwhile to ask at each school what their process is for awarding TE.</p>

<p>Actually, once you get the answers at each - it would be great if you could post them since how the TE process works at the various receiving schools since it seems to be widely variable. Good luck!</p>

<p>Okay, I won't tell you to forget your boyfriend in this equation because you won't pay any attention to that advice. <grin> But I will tell you to ignore your local peers because you already know that you should.</grin></p>

<p>Anyway. . .you shouldn't even try to pick out a single college right now. You should be reviewing your interests (as you are) and putting together a list of several schools that you believe would be good options for you. </p>

<p>For your interests and situation, Syracuse should be on your list. Newhouse is a top-notch school for journalism and communications and the English department is very solid. </p>

<p>However, Syracuse is not a liberal arts college (LAC). You will find few LACs that offer journalism majors, but many where there are plenty of opportunities to write and to study writing. SCOUR that TE list for LACs that interest you. I took a quick look and would encourage you to investigate Connecticut College, Bard, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Skidmore, Bucknell and Beloit. You might also look at Marlboro College but it is very small and very different from just about every other school in the country. Not a bad choice for a budding writer however.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>