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choosing between the Florida schools

etherdomeetherdome Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
My son is a rising senior in HS. I don't know his State-adjusted GPA, but his HS GPA is 4.2. His SAT score is 1290 and he is waiting to find out how he did the last time he took it. He doesn't really know what he wants to do, but he is definitely a more Liberal Arts guy than a math/science guy. He has some interest in a career in Film, but he could just as easily end up in Law.

From his stats, I suspect that he might get accepted into UF, UM and possibly the Honors program at FSU. I say this because he is a national hispanic scholar candidate and because he writes very well.

I am aware of the magazine rankings, but I do not put much stock into their methodology. I know that UF has a longer and more distinguished history in the sciences, but my son is looking for a superior Liberal Arts education. If my son were interested in science or math, he would be applying to my alma mater, Georgia Tech. He will be applying to schools outside of Florida, but I would prefer to discuss the in-State schools in this thread.

Knowing what you know about my son, would you recommend the Honors program at FSU or regular admission to either UM or UF? He has visited Eckerd College, but dismissed it quickly. He prefers a larger school with more on-campus activity.

Let's try to keep the 'Noles v. 'Canes v. Gators out of this. I don't care about sports teams. I don't care about networks and connections. I don't care about school pride. All I care about is developing my teenaged son into a well-educated, thinking man. He will likely continue his education in graduate school or film school and will get his chance to develop his contacts there.

Which Florida program will likely provide my son with the best education? I will post this thread on all three University boards, so let's try to keep the **** to a minimum.

Thank you, in advance. It is not an easy process.
Post edited by etherdome on

Replies to: choosing between the Florida schools

  • js911js911 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    I think I can offer you some objective advice: my brother attended FSU (English/physics), my cousin attends UF (business), and I attended UM (comp. science) as an undergrad. I was accepted to all of three when I applied, so I can also tell you what I found appealing about each. It would be best if you have an opportunity to visit each, though.
    I am aware of the magazine rankings, but I do not put much stock into their methodology. All I care about is developing my teenaged son into a well-educated, thinking man.

    This is a great start. I'm not sure why you would force your son to go to GTech for science or math, however.
    Would you recommend the Honors program at FSU or regular admission to either UM or UF?

    I wouldn't put too much thought into an honors program. If your son is offered the opportunity that's fine, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. Having it on the resume might help when going after an extremely competitive internship, but I can't think of any other use. It might also give your son more initial exposure to faculty, but it's not a necessity.
    He prefers a larger school with more on-campus activity.

    In terms of size, UF and FSU are significantly larger than UM. That's not to say UM is small, but if your son is really set on a huge school it may not be the place for him. All three schools have very active campuses, although Miami's tends to be pretty quiet during the summer months. You and your son should consider taking a tour of each campus during the school year to experience this.

    Many people choose UM for its smaller class sizes and faculty to student ratio. One perk is that you don't have to worry about class registration: my brother told me there were students in his program at FSU who couldn't get into workshops necessary for graduation; when I wanted to register, I walked into my adviser's office (often without appointment) and took care of it in 5 minutes. If you're looking for research opportunities or letters of recommendation for grad school it's much easier when professors actually know you.
    He will likely continue his education in graduate school or film school and will get his chance to develop his contacts there.

    I had a roommate who studied film at UM and did not enjoy it. I'm not too familiar with the School of Communication at UM, but he had issues with his peers and some of the faculty. This is merely anecdotal, however, so I can't give you an accurate assessment of the situation. As far as graduate school is concerned, the school you attend is of lesser importance than what your son does with his time. Internships, research experience, and good connections with faculty are available at all three universities.
    he is definitely a more Liberal Arts guy than a math/science guy

    FSU has strong liberal arts programs, especially creative writing if I remember correctly. Many film majors choose to double major in creative writing, so this could be a good option for your son.
  • etherdomeetherdome Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    js911,

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate your candor and depth of knowledge on this subject.

    My preference for GT was not meant to be an insult. I have great memories of GT and I have been able to put that school's reputation to good use. This is not to say that UM, UF or FSU could not provide similar benefits. I am a first generation American and it would be nice to leave a college legacy in the family. Chalk it up to an old man's desire.

    From your summary, it sounds like FSU might be the best fit. However, we will certainly visit all three schools. I want him to feel that he is making the right choice.
  • js911js911 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    My preference for GT was not meant to be an insult

    Don't worry, it wasn't taken as such!

    I agree FSU sounds like a good match. I also forgot to mention it is far less expensive; I had 75% tuition paid for through a merit scholarship at UM and I believe it was close to FSU's full tuition without aid. I probably would not have chosen UM if this was not the case.

    Good luck to your son!
  • BaghDADBaghDAD Registered User Posts: 354 Member
    etherdome,

    JS911 brought up excellent points. The chance for substantial merit aid at UM like JS and my S got is something to look at.

    One parent caveat. Just make sure he leads the way in this endeavor. We all want the best for our children but this is a great time to let them grow. Yes, we try to guide them to where they can be successful and prosperous, but sometimes it is best to be patient and let them discover these things themselves. Not just feeling, but knowing is key (and sometimes the knowing might not be until college Senior year). Not an easy process as you said. I also think that you get what you pay for and looking at $, while important, really drives some bad decisions.

    Finally, as you said, visit them all and take your time. As a UM prof said to my son when we told him we were visiting UF after UM (also accepted OOS at UF with a full ride NROTC or AFROTC scholarship) "No matter where you go, YOU will do great things"
  • etherdomeetherdome Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    Thanks BaghDad. Wise words.
This discussion has been closed.