What about state schools?

<p>Just curious ... how good are your state schools? Is University of ____ fill in your state good enough for your kid if he doesn't get in your first choice private or ivy?</p>

<p>My kid would prefer to go to school in New England, but the alternative is fantastic. UT Austin is a terrific school. In fact, it's rated higher academically than almost all of the schools that he has ranked higher on his list. </p>

<p>I also want to say that my neice goes to a state school and while it's not on the lists of great state schools that I've seen, she participates in the Honors college and we are so impressed with the quality of her professors and the classes she's taking. Between the various scholarships she was offered (tuition, room and board, books), she will graduate with no debt and has been able to use the money she makes at her job aside for grad school. Can you tell I am a very proud Aunt?</p>

<p>In my opinion, it pays to dig a little deeper when trying to decide to apply to a state school or not. You might wind up pleasantly suprised with what you find.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, this question is difficult to answer, and should be a bit more nuanced.</p>

<p>For example, the experience of an honors college member at some state U will be very different from others not in the honors college, because of the benefits offered. But in a different state, that may not be the case.</p>

<p>The answer will also vary depending on field of study (i.e. major).</p>

<p>It will also vary depending on the kid. </p>

<p>Worse is that the answer depends on "how good compared to what?". If the benchmark is Stanford, you'd get a different answer than if the benchmark were Illinois Wesleyan, to use two examples.</p>

<p>And, frankly, in this economic climate for a lot of families it is all about the money. Happykid is NOT one of those 6 AP, 2000 SAT candidates that so many schools throw money at. Wherever she ends up, we will most likely have to pay full-freight minus FAFSA-type need-based aid. In her case, it is one of our state schools (cheaper than our FAFSA EFC) or waiting until she's 24 and on her own per FAFSA.</p>

<p>Whether or not the state schools are "good" enough is a question we don't even have the luxury of considering.</p>

<p>University of Virginia can be a blessing and a curse - probably the best state school next to Cal (and maybe UMich or UNC) so it's certainly "good enough" for anybody who gets in, but it takes away the option of having your state flagship as a backup, as it isn't a safety school for anybody. Thankfully, VA has Virginia Tech and JMU as in-state public schools that compare with many state's flagship universities, and a plethora of other public schools so that any HS student that wants to go to college can probably find a state school that he's well suited for.</p>

<p>happymom, state schools were the only choice for our kids too. Luckily, in our state (NC), there are a lot of good choices (not just UNC-CH).</p>

<p>newmassdad -- Just out of curiosity, what made you pull the name "Illinois Wesleyan" out of your hat? Do you feel that's an overrated school, or what?</p>

<p>UMCP has certainly turned out to be a great choice for our kid. Great Honors program, very demanding including a two year keystone project in the humanities, prestigious financial support etc. etc.</p>

<p>As suggested above, look into these options very carefully. You may be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and he loves it.</p>

<p>PackMom, I'm confused... On another thread, you posted:

OP, S1 had stats similiar to your S's. In addition he had a tuition scholarship that could be used any school in the country where he could get admitted. So he had a huge choice. Where did he apply? He applied to three state schools within 3 hours of home. Same ones that tons of other kids from our h.s. go to. Did not see any point in traipsing all over the country when he was perfectly happy in his own "


<p>Couldn't your S have used his scholarship at OOS/private schools?</p>

<p>prestige wise many of the State Unis outrank my kid's favorite private but there is one to which she is applying that doesn't. It will be a good place for her because it is small, has a rep for great professor/student relationships, emphasizes hand-on learning and she picked it because it is a place where she can be happy. Truly, the safety she can love.</p>

<p>UCLA and UCSD were 'good enough' for my kids regardless of Ivies. Although I strongly suggested they apply to the ivies, they didn't want to so they didn't. They both were also accepted to Berkeley but preferred their respective universities instead. </p>

<p>I think there are plenty of state schools that are 'good enough' for almost all students whether they applied to or were accepted to an ivy or not.</p>

<p>Only two state schools in my state, only one of which has any kind of academic reputation. And it's a bad fit for me on several important levels--size and academics--but what can I do? I'll be applying regardless. (I will also have other financial safeties, even if on the surface they appear inferior to UDel.)</p>

<p>If you live in a state with more than one viable choice, count yourself lucky.</p>

<p>It's not all about the college or university you attend, but what you do while you are there.</p>

<p>Hmmmm...U of Mn Twin Cities is good enough, Morris is good enough but don't think I'd like to have mine at the others.</p>

<p>UMich is pretty good, I hear. :) However, it isn't exactly inexpensive, even instate. My daughter actually goes to a school that has a sticker price more than twice the price of UMich, is better for her (smaller), and is less expensive for us. </p>

<p>So, yes, our state flagship is a good alternative. It just isn't always better or cheaper.</p>

<p>question_quest, We always told our kids that we had a state u. college budget. Yes, I said in the post you quoted that S1 could have gone to other schools but as I said, he didn't want to.<br>
He was never interested in a private sch. (not many with NROTC anyway) and saw no reason to go to another state's public u. S's scholarship is NROTC. The majority of host schools for NROTC are state schools. One of the three schools S applied to was an oos public. In the end our state u. offered him two merit scholarships in addition to his ROTC which came out to be far and away the best option. And the most important thing is that he is where he wanted to be all along, doing great and will graduate in May with money in the bank..all his choice.</p>

<p>Nothing wrong with state flagships. Just realize that your student will have to earn respect through performance, and won't get "the benefit of the doubt" as say a Duke grad might. (Up here it's a Yale or Harvard grad, but same-same.)</p>

<p>Our flagship state school, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, is a great school. Right now it's D's first choice, above any privates. However, getting in is difficult and we're not sure if it'll be an option for her yet (she still has a couple years to go). Based on Naviance, the average accepted GPA from D's high school is 4.76 (on a 5 scale) and the average accepted ACT is 29. That includes data from several years back when it was easier to get in - I'd bet the numbers from the last couple years are higher. Not as tough as Virginia, Michigan, or some of the UCs, but not a walk in the park for a plain old above average kid, either. I think we'd consider privates and state schools in other states before another IL state school.</p>

<p>Rutgers is a fine school but we have a lot of spoiled kids here;). So they and their parents will spend more to go to a lesser school as long as it's across the Delaware or the Hudson.</p>

<p>Actually that seems finally to be changing. I imagine Rutgers will be swamped this year with apps. TCNJ has become the de facto #2 in the state...a good school and very selective, probably more so than RU.</p>

<p>Wisconsin (UW-Madison) is sufficiently highly ranked that many private schools are not worth applying to for academics' sake. Some neighboring states are also in the same situation, and then OOS tuition plays a role. Distance from home is also a factor- people in the northeast corridor are not traveling very far for multitudes of private schools of nationwide reputation. I'm not even considering the second tier students who go to one of the many other state U's. Even with no budget considerations, or academic ones (knowing even top students' chances are not high at the most elite schools) most students look closer to home here in the Midwest, where public schools have very good reputations.</p>