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Old 02-24-2011, 02:01 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Jeafl View Post
I would love some input on Carnegie Mellon, Purdue, Marquette, University of Iowa and Valparaiso. My son is currently trying to decide between these. He got accepted at all of them, but is still waiting on the financial packages from a couple of them before making his final decision.
Carnegie Mellon has tended to low-ball financial aid, but they're also willing to negotiate if you get a better package from a similar school.



Some stats all prospective students should look at include the retention rate, 4 year graduation rate, and 5 year graduation rate. Ask current students if they can get the classes they need to graduate or if they get shut out. Ask about academic teaching loads for faculty. Do all of them teach? Are UG classes being taught by grad students?
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:01 PM   #47
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Davidson is that school that paid for all their students to go to the NCAA basketball tournament, right?

I just looked Davidson up on CollegeBoards-it says that they have replaced student loans with grants so all of their students graduate debt free-that's probably why they get so many applications.
That is the school. The trustees paid (not the school) to have any student who wanted to travel by bus to Detroit to watch Davidson in the Elite Eight.

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Yes, no loans at Davidson. It's a very special school for the right kid. Everyone lives on campus four years, they use Myers Brigg to match roommates and virtually all live together four years. Needless to say, they have virtually no students leaving early either. With two kids finished/through college, it's the single most impressive visit we've ever had. It has to be right for the kid, though, as it's sometimes listed as the school with the heaviest workload in the country, something they were very sensitive about.
It has a great history and reputation, and it has a nice little alumni hook-up that is very helpful in internships, jobs, etc. It has a homey feel. The president of the college personally calls an alumni if his/her child is either not accepted or is put on the waiting list. We got the call when DD was placed on the waiting list. They made some suggestions to improve her chances, but she decided to pull her application and go elsewhere. The workload is quite heavy, and there is much grade deflation. When DH was applying to law school, he was told they actually factor Davidson's grades a little differently than most schools because an "A" from Davidson is harder to get than from most other schools.

momtotravel: While it isn't as busy as Chapel Hill, the weekends are filled with activities. it is amazing the number of concerts, speakers, etc that a school that size attracts. It is very easy for students to attend games, whereas at UNC, the student population has to do ticket lotteries.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:09 PM   #48
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Our twins are sophomores too. We are going to do some college visits this summer mainly because of their schedule. With marching band in the fall that really limits how much time we have for visits and going anywhere in the winter can by iffy .
Don't overlook Spring Break. It's ideal because colleges are in session, which may be better than summer.
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I looked at the rates for some schools I'm familiar with. I'm intrigued by Western Carolina's 39% acceptance rate, UNC Charlotte's 71% acceptance rate and Davidson's 29% acceptance rate. UNC Charlotte is a decent middle-of-the-road state university. Western is a favorite safety school for kids who messed around in high school. Davidson is small and extremely, extremely selective and one of the hardest schools to get into in the country.
I had no idea Western's acceptance rate was so low. I do think of it as the school for seniors who suddenly realize, "Oh, crap! They look at your grades?" Its reputation: It's for the kids who couldn't get into Appalachain State University (a school whose popularity is growing by leaps and bounds since they became "known" in the football world a few years ago). I'd personally rank Western a tad below East Carolina in academic rigour; I wouldn't push my children towards either Western or Easy-East, but if they got a full scholarship, we'd consider it. Also, both Western and Eastern are located in remote areas, which are less popular with many students.

I agree with your assessment that UNC-Charlotte is a decent, middle-of-the-road school. Its greatest strengths are that it's well-located by all the interstates, making it very attractive to commuting students in several directions, which is also one of the reasons it has so many non-traditional students; also, it is a large university that is strong in essentially everything, making it a good choice for the student who may want to change majors down the road (without changing schools). It's one of the schools to watch; although it lacks the prestige of some of the other UNC schools, its reputation is growing.

Davidson . . . I've never quite understood why people are so enthralled with the place. But, yes, it has a good reputation.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:12 PM   #49
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re: Largest universities.

Technically, the largest by far is the University of Phoenix Online, but since they are virtual they really don't count for this discussion.

Ohio State has the largest single-campus enrollment: just under 52K

University of Minnesota is actually 6th. The rest of the top 10 (after Ohio State) are: Miami-Dade College, Arizona State, U. Minnesota Twin Cities, UT Austin, Central Florida, Michigan State, and Texas A&M.

(US Dept. of Education, Digest of Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d...s/dt08_236.asp)
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #50
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We are from CA where getting in a state school right now, even the smaller cal states is super hard. The average GPA at some of our UCs is about 4.0. I knew this going in and didn't waste alot of time or money applying all over. My son was realistic and ended up going with what was his saftey but also his 1st choice and that was Az State in Tempe. It is number 5 on the list of top recruited colleges in the country, has only proffesors teaching the classes not TA's, has good weather, is semi affordable, has good weather and is a 4.5 hour drive from home. We were impressed with how friendly, helpful and willing the school was to a first timer. We are used to CA where the attitude of our crap doesn't stink is prevalent from top to bottom of all the schools. The town of tempe was both welcoming yet happening and fun. No huge ragin parties going on but enough fun to keep you busy. Lots of intramural sports and oppurtunities to join clubs and socialize. Nice campus, modern but still interesting. All in all a good fit for my son. I highly reccomend checking it out. Also I have heard at least where we live it is easier to get in to an out of state school then it is in state and you may recieve more aid that way.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:26 PM   #51
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Anyone know Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, particularly their fine arts program? We were there last weekend, and DS did an audition for musical theatre. We really liked the campus and the program. They said they have a "realistic" minimum of 22 ACT and 2.5 GPA. They addressed the out of state tuition thing, suggesting students could stay down through the first summer and get in-state tuition. Anything not to like (presuming he gets accepted -- he's been accepted to the university but the musical theatre program is considered highly selective)? I'd like to know if anyone has any experience, good or bad.
I cannot comment on Western's fine arts program, or their general reputation as an educational facility. The only WMU students I know were unfocused heavy drinkers, but I don't think that should be seen as a reflection on the school as a whole. However, I can comment on the idea that your out of state student could 'stay down through the first summer and get in-state tuition'. It has been my experience that it is very difficult to get recognized for in-state tuition in Michigan. I know a number of people who had a very hard time getting recognized. This includes a life-long MI resident who spent a summer abroad and had to jump through many hoops upon her return to prove that she was, in fact, an in-state student. I'm not saying it would be impossible to do this, only that I would question the possibility very closely.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:30 PM   #52
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Great thread! I posted a while back about Savannah College of Art and Design and got lots of great feedback.

My son is UBER shy and doesn't want to go to a HUGE college like I did. He would do better in a smaller college but wants SCAD simply because of what it offers.

Since he is a junior we're taking the time to visit schools in the area every weekend or so. He's down on UGA or Georgia State simply because EVERYONE in his school is going there. Glad to see he'll finally get away from kids he's been with since kindergarten!
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #53
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DD12 only knows Eastern Carolina as the school with the school colors' jello shots. (something posted on DD18's facebook by her friend who attends there).
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:33 PM   #54
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I just purchased this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Profiles-Ameri...8579584&sr=8-8

I'm sure they have them for many areas.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:34 PM   #55
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UGH...We are right there with all of you. My dd is going to visit a friends older sister at Rutgers next week (dd wants to go into nursing, and the friends sister is rooming with a nursing student)
And then she also is gong to go with another friend of ours who just graduated from Seton Hall and has nursing friends there.

Until this she has shown no interest in visiting schools. (dd is a junior) I am hoping that this will give her the spark to start looking!!

Last edited by kacaju; 02-24-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:39 PM   #56
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I'm curious as to what criteria you're using to help pick the right college for your kids?

Location?

Tuition?

Size?

Reputation?

Major?

How difficult or how easy it is to get into?

Everyone's criteria is so different so the "right" college is quite personal.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:40 PM   #57
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I just purchased this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Profiles-Ameri...8579584&sr=8-8

I'm sure they have them for many areas.
http://www.amazon.com/Profiles-Ameri...8580005&sr=1-1

This one doesn't seem to be limited to area of the country. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:49 PM   #58
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DD12 only knows Eastern Carolina as the school with the school colors' jello shots. (something posted on DD18's facebook by her friend who attends there).
Seven kids from my NJ public high school went to East Carolina. I couldn't figure out why. Then someone let me know it ranked highly on Playboy's list of top party schools. It was a lightbulb moment on several levels.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:03 PM   #59
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I can't speak to thers criteria for schools but I can speak to ours.

Acceptance, cost, location, fellow student and teachers attitudes and beliefs (we were looking for a more conservative approach, not religous though) acedemic programs and somewhere that offered alot of diversions. My sons main requirements were that he boarded and that it wasn't religous. He also wanted somewhere he could get a solid education while still enjoying the whole experience. We were a little leery of ASU as we had heard it might be a huge party school. Well this mom went looking for a party but it didn't have that vibe to it at all. We liked the surrounding area and the easy flight back home. I don't want my son to have a car at college. I hope all the aid and loans work out that, is my biggest concern now.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:14 PM   #60
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I can't speak to thers criteria for schools but I can speak to ours.

Acceptance, cost, location, fellow student and teachers attitudes and beliefs (we were looking for a more conservative approach, not religous though) acedemic programs and somewhere that offered alot of diversions. My sons main requirements were that he boarded and that it wasn't religous. He also wanted somewhere he could get a solid education while still enjoying the whole experience. We were a little leery of ASU as we had heard it might be a huge party school. Well this mom went looking for a party but it didn't have that vibe to it at all. We liked the surrounding area and the easy flight back home. I don't want my son to have a car at college. I hope all the aid and loans work out that, is my biggest concern now.
Wow, HOW I left out cost I'll never know! I added "tuition".

Can I ask why you don't want him to have a car at college? Mine will probably NEED one.
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