1977. winstonsmith - 1/7/2019 7:09:15 AM
I have two kids applying to college. Any recommendations? My son has it pretty much sorted out but my daughter is all over the place. Her first choice is Pomona in SoCal but she probably wonít get in and itís too expensive. She is interested in occidental in SoCal and Santa Clara in the Bay Area. Also Trinity University in San Antonio. We dont qualify for much need based aid so she needs to get merit aid if she can. Trying to find a nice place with good academics and good aid packages.
1978. Ms. No - 1/7/2019 11:41:10 PM
What does she want to study, and why does she like the schools she likes?
I had no idea what I wanted to study -- not really -- but I knew I didn't want to go to school in SoCal. I took a trip around the state with my mom looking at schools and I chose CSUS because I liked the town. Turned out to be a great choice for me.
What does she want out of the college experience? Is she focused on a career, on pure academics, the step toward independence, college life?
--- speaking of, I have to go teach my class. I'll be back.
1979. Ms. No - 1/8/2019 1:26:20 AM
It helps to know what she wants from college first. When considering finances, if she doesn't have a specialty major in mind, it might be great to find a solid state school for undergrad and then look at private colleges or more prestige for graduate school. If you get a Ph.D. from Stanford, nobody cares where your undergrad was completed.
1980. winstonsmith - 1/8/2019 7:52:16 AM
Right now,she is interested in becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist so she will have to go to grad school. She visited the Claremont colleges and kind of fell in love with the campus there. We live in Portland where it rains a lot and she gets cold so the warmer weather is appealing to her. It is just so expensive to go there. They give tons of need-based aid, which I applaud, but if you are middle to upper middle class, there is little aid. For some of these schools there is now a dumbbell-like curve for the enrollment. Rich students and poor students with little in the middle. I have heard that Trinity in San Antonio gives more aid and the weather would be warm but I donít know what it is like there. I guess we should visit. Honestly, I would like her to go to a state school to save money.
1981. arkymalarky - 1/11/2019 5:35:18 PM
She'd probably like San Antonio. I bet she'd love Austin. I've told it here more than once but Stan's nephew got easily accepted to Yale but couldn't afford to go. So he went to state University. Got 2 engineering degrees spending no money and they paid him every semester. Mose didn't get that much but she got $1,000 a semester after having everything paid for. The private University she wanted to attend called their full scholarship about 1/4 of what they cost.
1982. winstonsmith - 1/14/2019 5:08:13 AM
I would dearly love for her to set her sights on a school that would give her a full ride. I would be happy to have my portion of the tuition waiting for her in a bank account after she graduates to use for grad school or buying a house. She doesnít understand the oppression of debt. She doesnt understand what it will feel like to be 40 and still paying college debt. All the interest. It just makes sick to think about her accumulating over $100k in debt even after we pay our part. Then she will have to pay for grad school on top of that.
1983. arkymalarky - 1/14/2019 7:58:57 AM
Mose didn't either. She does now. She gave up her full free ride after 2 years To change schools for no good reason. It was closer to home so I didn't complain, but it cost her in addition to two graduate school degrees cost her. And I say her cuz that's her burden.
1984. Trillium - 1/17/2019 4:31:16 AM
When my kids were in high school, a coworker (whose son was already in college) gifted me with their copy of Peterson's Guide to Colleges. Your daughter may find Peterson's catalog useful for making a first list, and then narrowing it down by price, location and specialties.
If she doesn't make up her mind immediately, "Gap Year" is a great option. One friend's daughter spent a year in Ireland at a horse farm. She was accepted to a school which has a specialty in music (she's gifted) but is now an experienced veterinarian. Her year in Ireland helped her to choose a professional path.
If she can't make up her mind right away, there's no rush. Community colleges are either free or affordable at in-state tuition, and I've heard good things about the CC in Portland WA from someone who went there (is now a lawyer). CCs are a great place to pick up basic foundation classes that are likely to transfer easily as valuable time/credits. Suggestions: any math class; statistics; chemistry; anatomy & physiology; microbiology; music survey; foreign languages,
Is this the Portland you mean? Convenient locations
Portland Community College
Introduction to Sociology is an easy CLEP credit.
There are online classes available *for free* through Hillsdale College in Michigan. Hillsdale is unlikely to align with your family's political beliefs. However, Hillsdale is an interesting model of affordable educational outreach available anywhere in the world, and your daughter could work on her Mark Twain, Athens and Sparta etc. at no cost.
Hillsdale Free Online Classes
1985. winstonsmith - 1/17/2019 7:36:28 PM
Thanks Trillium. The gap year might be something to consider if she doesn't get any good offers. We have sent off 16 applications so we shall see over the next few months what offers she gets. She is a really strong student with a 4.0+ GPA, is in student government, wins many statewide debate competitions, does public service, is getting a full IB diploma. There are just too many kids who are similar to her competing for the top schools.
1986. Trillium - 1/18/2019 1:07:15 AM
Winston, she shouldn't have any problem getting accepted with the record you describe. I also would hold out for the full ride, it's almost certainly out there someplace.
Most teens don't understand the burden of debt. We came very close to that disaster. Sometime during her sophomore year, my eldest visited and applied to a more expensive school (closer to her then-boyfriend) for junior and senior year of college. I was aghast. In our discussions she told me she didn't care if she was in debt for the rest of her life. That's a not-quite-20 year old view of the world.
Fortunately for all of us, she stayed the course (and parted with the boyfriend) and managed to graduate without any significant debts besides some study abroad. Our family pitched in to take care of that one -- we had encouraged her to go abroad, and she definitely grew stronger and wiser from the experiences.
The second year of college is a particularly tough one for most college students. At a young age, two years seems like a long time. Four years seems like a century. Many students give up and drop out at that point. That's what almost happened to us, and from what Arky described that happened with her daughter. It's something to watch out for, a sort of burnout from many years of school and changing priorities.
That's why there is a case to be made for getting a two-year degree at a CC (then the credits won't vanish); then possibly taking a break to get work experience and more ideas about what she'd like to make of her adult life. She may apply at age 20 to a school that might not have interested her at age 18, and her major may be different also. One of my kids told me that had she had a botany class earlier in her college path, she would have majored in botany. Too late when you're already a senior and most of your credits are in another area... but you can't know what you don't know already. Life experience and more varied classes can help, but if those classes are terribly expensive, or if class size is huge, it can be burdensome.
With a great record she may get a full scholarship for those two years also, and in any case it would cost less than college credits for the same basic classes that can transfer.
Good luck. Sounds like she'll do well, whatever she decides.
1987. arkymalarky - 1/18/2019 6:47:47 PM
No. My daughter has two master's degrees. She had a full free ride plus $1,000 per semester that she could just spend on clothes or whatever, that she gave up to transfer to another University.
Winston, I feel fot you because you want yoir kids to go where they want but they don't have the money perspective their parents have. Mose was able to get a nice car, which took the edge off of her not going to her first choice private university. With Ivy League schools only offering needs-based scholarships middle class people often get stuck with paying more. Same goes for most private universities in general. That's why it's often best for middle class students to get the best undergraduate deal you can and use your money for the best graduate school with the best deal and the highest job placement that you can find.
I had a top student who went through the same thing and she's very happy now but she was very unhappy not getting to go to her first choice. Exact same situation. Top student could get into any school but the scholarships just aren't where you think they are as a top student. It's not a question of getting in, it's a question of paying for it.
1988. arkymalarky - 1/18/2019 7:07:20 PM
Mose and my son-in-law have more college debt than I'm comfortable with, but his career from his Ph.D is six figure salary and highly competitive recruiting. And Mose is thrilled with her career, so switching out from her original Masters teaching English moving instead to Media specialist with her second Masters worked out well for her. So Despite the fact that I think she was crazy to leave her scholarship to switch universities, they're very comfortable even with their college debt because of the careers they're in. So that's something to think about as well. If you're racking up college debt to get a degree in engineering or nanotech you're going to be able to pay it back without a whole lot of pain. They're still able to get what they want and bought a nice house Etc when they moved to their new jobs
1989. winstonsmith - 1/19/2019 11:24:54 PM
Arky and Trillium, thanks for the advice and stories of your kids experience with college. Having sent all the applications, the die is cast and I feel calmer about it. Leading up to this, we had some big fights trying to get her to see beyond her assumptions about where she would be attending college. She really has worked about as hard as a person can in high school. She is perfectionistic and ends up staying up until 2 or 3 am every night working. She does huge amounts of unnecessary work that the other kids donít do such as memorizing every presentation she gives in every class no matter how long it is. She will sometimes spend 40 hours preparing a debate case and they donít know which side of a debate topic they have to argue until they get to the meet. They have to have cases prepared to argue both sides. This last week she has pulled 3 all nighters preparing for finals. She is a wreck but stayed up all night last night preparing for a debate that lasts all weekend. The debates are often 12 hours each day. So, she says to me, if Iím going to a state university, why have I killed myself over the last 3 and a half years. She does not want to hear that maybe she should not have worked so hard because she is setting herself up for an unhappy, unsustainable way of living that may carry on through college and later work life. My wife and I feel bad that we didnít intervene earlier and, in fact, modeled much of this bad behavior for her. The situation is by no means hopeless. She is a smart girl who is actually very emotionally and socially mature for her age and we have a really close relationship with our kids. They know they can count on us, and each other, for support.
1990. arkymalarky - 1/20/2019 6:13:45 AM
She will do great and she will be happy once she's at University wherever it is. I've seen it so many times as a high school teacher. And I've seen kids who felt similarly that they had been very successful in high school only to not get to the University they thought they had to be in due to the extreme expense. Mose used to tell me when she was a HS senior that if she couldn't go to the school she wanted to attend she would just go to beauty school and forget everything. I don't know why she thought beauty school was something that would scare us the most but that's what she said.
1991. arkymalarky - 1/20/2019 6:20:24 AM
There was a little sitcom called step by step with Suzanne Somers and the guy the Dallas series forget his name. They had an episode that I've told students many times; their daughter-- stepdaughter in their blended family who was the top student in her school and determined to go to Harvard and they had to sit her down and explained that they just couldn't afford it so she was going to have to go to East Wisconsin University which she called Cheese Whiz U. She got schooled on the first day of her comp class when she got a bad grade on her paper and the basic point was that you're going to be in the midst of top talent in a lot of universities that aren't "top tier" because lots of great students don't end up going to those universities.
1992. arkymalarky - 1/20/2019 6:27:33 AM
Do keep us posted on things. One of the things I loved most about teaching high school was watching kids transition from high-school to college and seeing how happy they were. I get to do that little bit in retirement because I've done some things at the local University where some of my kids are.
1993. Trillium - 1/21/2019 1:58:29 AM
The "beauty school" comment is funny to me because I know of two psychology majors who also graduated from cosmetology school (and earn money in salons while students). These women had some interesting stories to tell.
I've been told elsewhere that listening to people talk in therapy situations can be boring, even sleep-inducing.
On the other hand, clients open up to hairdressers working on their hair, and tell the hairdresser the most amazingly intimate aspects of their life and problems during a cosmetic service. People can find relief from the talk therapy while also tending to their appearance.
One of the hairdressers told me that when clients make disclosures that are sad, this beautician makes an effort to turn the client around, so the client won't be facing the mirror while saying disheartening things and absorbing that image of herself. Then, when the cosmetologist senses that the client has "unburdened" and is ready, she turns this client around to face the mirror (usually brightened up and relieved).
There are charities that provide haircuts to indigent people in the community to bolster self-image and improve job participation. Older people at home also remark on how much joy they get from barbering/salon services, and it's something many of patients miss terribly when homebound.
One thing that surprised me most was being told that the drug addiction rate in beauty schools is much higher than I would have expected. There is apparently a high attrition rate due to students being kicked out for shooting up in the restroom etc.
Addiction and lowered ability to concentrate has also led to some cosmetology disasters, burns and mis-cuts etc. This phenomenon would never have occurred to me, although I also recall a medical doctor commenting that a lot of doctors have addiction issues. So why not cosmetologists?
But anyway, a talented hairdresser can earn great money working from home (or dormitory room). People will pay extra for artistic skill in that domain. I remember long ago, a guy who was friend of a friend, who worked from an NYC apartment and took $40-$50 cash from each of his clients for his haircuts -- and that was in the early 80s. Whenever I'd use his services, afterwards random people would always comment on what a great cut it was and how good it looked.. this was better than the response from most salon work I'd invested in. So -- good cosmetology is respectable artwork, just as much as painting, sculpture etc. When kids have an interest in cosmetology, those skills are worth developing -- and don't have to stop their pursuit of other interests.
1994. arkymalarky - 1/21/2019 8:52:43 PM
1995. arkymalarky - 1/21/2019 8:53:00 PM
1996. arkymalarky - 1/21/2019 8:53:14 PM
this seems to be