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Old 10-04-2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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How did your child pick their college?

Did it just feel right? Are they happy with their choice?

The first campus we visited had 55,000 students and my daughter loved it. I assumed that meant she would like a bigger place. The next place only had 1,100 students. She loved it, too. As a matter of fact, we have yet to visit a place that she hasn't loved. She did eliminate two schools because she didn't like their program for her major but other than that, she loved them all. I hope she picks one that she ends up loving.

Last edited by LisaR; 10-04-2012 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
Did it just feel right? Are they happy with their choice?

The first campus we visited had 55,000 students and my daughter loved it. I assumed that meant she would like a bigger place. The next place only had 1,100 students. She loved it, too. As a matter of fact, we have yet to visit a place that she hasn't loved. She did eliminate two schools because she didn't like their program for her major but other than that, she loved them all. I hope she ends up picking one that she ends up loving.
DS is 18 and in his 1st semester of college.

The whole time DS was growing up, I thought he'd pick the in state school 4 hours away whose sports teams he followed. He just seemed like he and that school would click. He and DH went to visit the school and he enjoyed his visit, but the school was spread out--as in need a bike to make it across campus (and now there's a bus). The enrollment is about 25,000.

He applied to at least 7 schools and accepted to 6 and waitlisted to 1.

He wound up choosing the in state school that is 1 hour away from home because they offered him a full ride 4 year scholarship. Other schools offered him 2/3s of expenses in scholarships, but he would still need loans to complete the financials. The enrollment is about 15,000.

We told him go to the 4 year school that would allow you to graduate with your undergrad without debt. It seems that it doesn't matter as much which school you get your 4 year from as much as where you get your advanced degrees from.

He LOVES his school and everything about it and appreciates that it is a much smaller campus than the one we always thought he would attend. He's getting As and thinks he'll wind up going to med school. For that he wants to go to LSU or Vanderbilt--the school that waitlisted him.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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My daughter really liked 3 out of the 6. She waited until the financial aid came through. She made pro/con lists and added the factor of how much in loans she would have at the end of her degree.

She chose the least expensive with the same degree as others. The University is not as prestigious as some of the others but she feels her ability to find a good position will be very good.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
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I made my kds visit at least one small, one medium and one large school to see which one they felt most comfortable with.

My daughter was positive she wanted U of Illinois all through high school. Once she visited it, she totally changed her mind. She ended up going to the smallest school that we visited. She loved it there and did very well all 4 years. She is now getting her masters degree in London.

With my son, he knew all along he wanted a small or medium size school. The main reason was because of sports. He wanted a school where he could participate in track and cross country. He was afraid that wouldn't happen with a big 10 school. He narrowed it down to schools with good engineering programs, and picked the one just right for him. He is currently a sophomore and is very happy with his choice.

I guess they just weighed all the options and decided what felt right for them. I do have to say, they both got partial scholarships and that did factor quite heavily into their decisions.

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Visited a handful of Universities in Florida. They choose the one's they liked best.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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My DS applied to one school. I told him he really needed to visit it before he made-up his mind, but he was convinced that was the school he wanted to attend. He applied and was accepted and I still made him visit it and he did change his major after the visit. He is now a Senior and has been happy with the choice he made. He has visited other schools and has no regrets.

DD has no idea. She has already visited 2 for overnight visits and will visit another one this weekend. She is still a Jr, so she has time to decide.

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #7
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DD knew where she wanted to go to college since 2nd grade. It is all I heard for 10 years. I thought it would change but it did not. She's a month in and somehow it has lived up to the expectations she had. She seems so happy. (Small, private school--about 1100 kids)

One of my nephews wanted to go to University of South Carolina. It was his dream school and lots of his buddies were going there (he lives in SC). His parents had him look around because my sister really thought he'd do better at a smaller school.

what he did was visit AND spent the night in several smaller schools in SC and then at USC (?) and he found, through staying in the dorm, that he really liked the smaller schools and ended up going to Presbyterian. He was so happy there.

I thinking spending the night is a good idea. Attend some classes too.

My other nephew goes to Furman and I visited there this summer and I fell in love with it! I think if I was choosing I'd have a hard time saying no to Furman!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #8
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my son got excepted in many colleges....he had 2 that were his first picks.....one of my sons first picks did not accept him so he challenged them and they then accepted him. So he was going to go there...but then the one he did not challenge offered him a $20,000 academic scholarship.....

one school was large like 48,000 students(the one he challenged to get back into) and the other one only 5,000 students...he decided to go to the smaller UC college and absolutely loves it...he likes having only like 20 kids in a class and lecture hall of like 120 kids at the most....the professors know them by name and they have a lot of one on one....and he still gets a UC education.

I say it depends on your child...does she want a small school feel or a huge school feel where she will get more lost in the crowd and be a # with her professors......She should visit the schools for sure to get the feeling...

my son went on the "College for me tour" where for a week they drove(his HS) from San diego all the way up to San Francisco and visited all the colleges...He knew right away from that what his picks were going to be....but he really loved the small college feel over the big ones.

take her to some colleges and visit them.....that is the best way for her to make her decision. Even if she does not go to one of those colleges she will get a feel for big and small....
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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My son made a list if schools that are certified in his major, narrowed the list to a six hour drive radius, then we visited every school on the list.
He applied to six of the schools,and was accepted to all with top scholarships- so it was looking like a tough choice to make.
One school offered a weekend visit to all scholars (there were 28 full scholarship recipients) and that visit is what cemented his decision. The time spent in the dorms, the lacrosse game they attended, the broadway show the travelled into the city to see and the one on one meeting with the dept chair all combined to show him the whole picture of life on campus. He has never been happier since going there. He is more involved than he was in high school and his social life is far better than it was living home.
Funny thing is, this school was low on his list, we visited as an afterthought as they are not really known for his major the way the other schools are. After the 1st visit, we thought he wrote it off completely. Yet it is the best decision he has made in his life.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #10

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This book, not too big, has a lot of answers. It's written by a college counselor:


I've gotten it for several friends. He really recommends matching the child to the school.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #11
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Both of my kids "knew" when they did college visits what felt right. Thanks to rolling admissions, both were accepted in October of their senior years. My son did not apply anywhere else. My daughter applied to and was accepted to two other schools (she had been offered a full athletic scholarship at one so she applied). College application fees are expensive, so they did not apply anywhere they were not serious about.

Both met and spoke with professors in their desired majors during college visits, and that factored into their decisions. I told them that it's probably easier to change colleges than high schools if they found that it wasn't working out.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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DD was limited to in state public school since we did the prepaid tuition plan. She narrowed her search of those schools by the major she was interested in. She was only interested in 2 of those choices. We visited both. She fell in love with the first one we went to. The 2nd one was larger and she didn't like it at all due to the size. She's a freshman now and is happy with her choice.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:32 PM   #13
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MY D's always knew which school they wanted to attend (MY school). However, with the second girl we had a lot of options. When my school came through with a full (FULL!) ride we knew we where she was headed. D dreamed of attending school for free. We gave her the opportunity to pick other places, but she was happy with her choice. Keep your options open to maximize your opportunities.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:40 PM   #14
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DD thought she was going to go to a small liberal arts college in central Texas. We visited and were not impressed. The town was tiny, the school was tiny. We are from a large city and she was restless during the three hours that we were there.

We then visited a college in our city, Houston. She was not impressed with that, either.

We went to several information sessions for other colleges and she applied to a couple of those, thinking that they might be a fit.

We finally visited an out of state private college while at Disneyland one year. She absolutely fell in love. The programs, the history of the college, the traditions, the alumni network, the buzz of life in the big city, the energy - thank goodness they accepted her. She absolutely loves it. I think she will come home this summer but then will be gone forever after that.

The good news is that once she gets settled, I won't need to pay for a hotel when I visit Disneyland.

The college just "fit" her and what she was looking to do.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:01 PM   #15
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Mine went to the one that offered her the best scholarship, couldn't so no to the money.
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