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Our first go around with college applications and our oldest son - all new to us.

He's applying to about 15 of them. The amount of essays required is ridiculous - it's like a second job.

#1 on his list is Georgia Tech - have not heard back from them yet. Was accepted to Drexel and a few others.

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13 minutes ago, =Smackdown= said:

Our first go around with college applications and our oldest son - all new to us.

He's applying to about 15 of them. The amount of essays required is ridiculous - it's like a second job.

#1 on his list is Georgia Tech - have not heard back from them yet. Was accepted to Drexel and a few others.

Did he do Early Action 2 for GT?

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17 minutes ago, =Smackdown= said:

Our first go around with college applications and our oldest son - all new to us.

He's applying to about 15 of them. The amount of essays required is ridiculous - it's like a second job.

#1 on his list is Georgia Tech - have not heard back from them yet. Was accepted to Drexel and a few others.

Georgia Tech was the first school we heard back from. I think they had the earliest deadline. This was four years ago. Man, that time flew by. 

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2 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Engineering?  Our good friend’s (brilliant) daughter is an engineering major at Penn State and absolutely loves it. 

Yep - engineering.

GT is his first choice. Not sure where Penn St ranks on his list. Applied to Stevens as well and a bunch in CA.

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44 minutes ago, =Smackdown= said:

Yep - engineering.

GT is his first choice. Not sure where Penn St ranks on his list. Applied to Stevens as well and a bunch in CA.

GT is incredible.  My son (mech. eng.) was waitlisted there.  Ended up at USC.  Which California schools are in the running, if you don't mind me asking?

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Son #2, my youngest, is starting to get his acceptance letters.  He's more studious than his older siblings so he has applied to a slightly higher caliber of schools (Marquette, St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota).  He's heard back from the two private schools already.  It's a little disheartening to see an acceptance letter, along with scholarship grants higher than I've ever paid for a car, yet the total cost out of pocket is still ~$30k.

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33 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

GT is incredible.  My son (mech. eng.) was waitlisted there.  Ended up at USC.  Which California schools are in the running, if you don't mind me asking?

Don't mind at all . . .

 

UC Berkeley

UC San Diego

UCLA

 

are his 3 CA choices - haven't heard back from any yet.

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Daughter applied to four schools, and within the last week she was accepted to three of them!  She was accepted to Tennessee yesterday, which was her top choice!  Very excited for her.  She's also been accepted to Michigan State and Eastern KY.  She's planning on studying Criminology/Forensics, and all three were schools she found had really good programs.  UT and EKU have a relationship with FBI, with UT having access to the "Body Farm" - which has her very excited.  

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:blackdot: Have a HS junior that is about to begin this process. I've heard scuttle that schools are desperate for students, even prior to COVID, as more students balk at the potential debt required due to high tuition costs and go right to the workforce, so schools have been willing to "negotiate" tuition cost and/or "find" discounts and other school-backed grants to entice enrollment. Anyone found that to be true?

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17 hours ago, =Smackdown= said:

Don't mind at all . . .

 

UC Berkeley

UC San Diego

UCLA

 

are his 3 CA choices - haven't heard back from any yet.

My kid has also applied for the engineering programs at all four of these schools (including Georgia Tech).  His first choice is Berkeley but I don't think he'll get in. 

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2 hours ago, The Noid said:

:blackdot: Have a HS junior that is about to begin this process. I've heard scuttle that schools are desperate for students, even prior to COVID, as more students balk at the potential debt required due to high tuition costs and go right to the workforce, so schools have been willing to "negotiate" tuition cost and/or "find" discounts and other school-backed grants to entice enrollment. Anyone found that to be true?

It really depends on the school. I recently read a very well-researched and written book called "Who Gets In and Why" by the former higher ed reporter at the Wall Street Journal

He broadly breaks schools down into "buyers" and "sellers." The highly selective schools are sellers. No matter what, there will be more people eager to attend those schools than spaces available. They have huge endowments. They won't be offering discounts. And then there are buyers. This is the vast majority of schools, but not the big "prestigious" names. They need to generate $X amount of revenue every year or they are in trouble. So they are definitely looking to lure kids away from competitors, often by giving significant discounts, labeled as scholarships. 

Here's an essay adapted from the book:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-strategy-high-school-seniors-and-their-parents-should-adopt-with-college-applications-2020-10-06

 

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2 hours ago, Peak said:

Daughter applied to four schools, and within the last week she was accepted to three of them!  She was accepted to Tennessee yesterday, which was her top choice!  Very excited for her.  She's also been accepted to Michigan State and Eastern KY.  She's planning on studying Criminology/Forensics, and all three were schools she found had really good programs.  UT and EKU have a relationship with FBI, with UT having access to the "Body Farm" - which has her very excited.  

So awesome!  Congrats to your daughter. 

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2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

My kid has also applied for the engineering programs at all four of these schools (including Georgia Tech).  His first choice is Berkeley but I don't think he'll get in. 

Fingers crossed for UCLA so we can hang out in SoCal!

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My daughter and I did our first official tour today, at St. Mary's here in California.  It was just us and a current junior guide, all outside without going into the buildings at all.  A bummer not to be able to see the rooms, student union, etc, but still great to have a student take us around and show us the campus.  It helped that the guide was a member of the spirit team and a dance minor, both things my daughter is interested in.

While St. Mary's is one of her current top 3, she said she was actually pleasantly surprised with how much she liked it based on today.  

Of course the total cost of attendance there is $70K per year.  It's a safety school for her (77% acceptance rate, so a buyer????), fingers crossed on acceptance with a healthy aid package.

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12 minutes ago, SFBayDuck said:

My daughter and I did our first official tour today, at St. Mary's here in California.  It was just us and a current junior guide, all outside without going into the buildings at all.  A bummer not to be able to see the rooms, student union, etc, but still great to have a student take us around and show us the campus.  It helped that the guide was a member of the spirit team and a dance minor, both things my daughter is interested in.

While St. Mary's is one of her current top 3, she said she was actually pleasantly surprised with how much she liked it based on today.  

Of course the total cost of attendance there is $70K per year.  It's a safety school for her (77% acceptance rate, so a buyer????), fingers crossed on acceptance with a healthy aid package.

I did a couple soccer camps there in HS, a couple years ago. Beautiful campus (moraga's a nice spot) and close enough to home. I remember the facilities being nicer than other spots I'd seen. dorm was nice, gym, student center and cafeteria too. And close to home!

Good luck, gb!

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15 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

I did a couple soccer camps there in HS, a couple years ago. Beautiful campus (moraga's a nice spot) and close enough to home. I remember the facilities being nicer than other spots I'd seen. dorm was nice, gym, student center and cafeteria too. And close to home!

Good luck, gb!

Yeah, really small, self-contained campus kind of tucked into an open space in the Bay Area.  Lafayette is the closest town, which is only 10 minutes or so away.  Otherwise it's a BART ride to The City, and it's only an hour from home (or three hours, depending on traffic).  The facilities are nice, I've been to basketball and baseball games there.

I'm still really hoping for acceptance into Davis, I think a bigger (but not too big) school would be good for her.  And in-state tuition would be good for me!  But the hope is to have some good options and find the best fit for her personally, educationally, and financially.

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12 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

My daughter and I did our first official tour today, at St. Mary's here in California.  It was just us and a current junior guide, all outside without going into the buildings at all.  A bummer not to be able to see the rooms, student union, etc, but still great to have a student take us around and show us the campus.  It helped that the guide was a member of the spirit team and a dance minor, both things my daughter is interested in.

While St. Mary's is one of her current top 3, she said she was actually pleasantly surprised with how much she liked it based on today.  

Of course the total cost of attendance there is $70K per year.  It's a safety school for her (77% acceptance rate, so a buyer????), fingers crossed on acceptance with a healthy aid package.

I thought this was going in a different direction... :kicksrock:

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Hey! In at U of Vermont and Tulane

First choices are looking like George Washington U or Boston U tho it’s hard to tell since we never really got to visit

But it’s nice to have a couple decent options and it means he doesn’t have to finish and submit apps to a couple safety schools (including my alma mater LOL) 

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9 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Hey! In at U of Vermont and Tulane

First choices are looking like George Washington U or Boston U tho it’s hard to tell since we never really got to visit

But it’s nice to have a couple decent options and it means he doesn’t have to finish and submit apps to a couple safety schools (including my alma mater LOL) 

Great/fun schools - congrats!

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16 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Hey! In at U of Vermont and Tulane

First choices are looking like George Washington U or Boston U tho it’s hard to tell since we never really got to visit

But it’s nice to have a couple decent options and it means he doesn’t have to finish and submit apps to a couple safety schools (including my alma mater LOL) 

Congrats! Will his liver survive 4 years at Tulane?

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May as well throw my story in.

Daughter is looking for vet school.  So far she is accepted to Mississippi State, Mizzou, and Kansas State.  Still waiting for Purdue, Maryland and St. Georges.

She still needs to apply to the early Vet programs and that will make the final decisions.  Miss St, KSU and Mizzou have given scholarships to keep the out of state tuition down to in-state levels.

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Well, this is all kind of exciting.  My son got an acceptance from Case Western Reserve University tonight!  A little cherry on top...he is a recipient of their Michelson-Morley STEM Scholarship good for $27k per year!  Now, unfortunately, Case rings the register around $72k according to College Hunch.  He is pretty pumped, not because he really wants to go to Case, but he is getting more and more hopeful that he can get in to his top choice with news like this.  

 

Question...It has probably been covered elsewhere in this thread, but is there any wiggle room to leverage one college against another?  Would college X be inclined to put together a better financial package if we were in a position to tell them we could could go to college Y for $10k less per year?  I am talking about similar tier colleges, not trying to leverage an Ivy leaguer with your State U.

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1 minute ago, Galileo said:

Well, this is all kind of exciting.  My son got an acceptance from Case Western Reserve University tonight!  A little cherry on top...he is a recipient of their Michelson-Morley STEM Scholarship good for $27k per year!  Now, unfortunately, Case rings the register around $72k according to College Hunch.  He is pretty pumped, not because he really wants to go to Case, but he is getting more and more hopeful that he can get in to his top choice with news like this.  

 

Question...It has probably been covered elsewhere in this thread, but is there any wiggle room to leverage one college against another?  Would college X be inclined to put together a better financial package if we were in a position to tell them we could could go to college Y for $10k less per year?  I am talking about similar tier colleges, not trying to leverage an Ivy leaguer with your State U.

Way to go Case Western!  All right G Tech - time to step up and grab this kid!!

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7 minutes ago, Galileo said:

Well, this is all kind of exciting.  My son got an acceptance from Case Western Reserve University tonight!  A little cherry on top...he is a recipient of their Michelson-Morley STEM Scholarship good for $27k per year!  Now, unfortunately, Case rings the register around $72k according to College Hunch.  He is pretty pumped, not because he really wants to go to Case, but he is getting more and more hopeful that he can get in to his top choice with news like this.  

 

Question...It has probably been covered elsewhere in this thread, but is there any wiggle room to leverage one college against another?  Would college X be inclined to put together a better financial package if we were in a position to tell them we could could go to college Y for $10k less per year?  I am talking about similar tier colleges, not trying to leverage an Ivy leaguer with your State U.

300K for a bachelor's degree seems like a lot.

Note to self:  Become a college professor.  They make bank!

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I am not offering this as advice, because I imagine many might disagree with what my son did, but I’ll offer it up for consideration by those who have NOT applied Early Decision.

My son applied to 10 schools but had a clear cut number one, and that school did not offer Early Decision.  It was the last school he heard from (on March 26).  The school had been forthright about when decisions would be released so he understood the timing.  Several weeks before the decisions were due he sent an email to the regional admissions contact for the school.  In that email, he reaffirmed his interest in attending and stated definitively that if he were to be accepted, he would accept.  We have no idea whether it made a difference, but he did ultimately receive an acceptance several weeks later.

I have no idea what the conventional wisdom is on this approach, but I can say that we had engaged a consultant to assist us during the process and she was supportive of the move for my son (I do not know whether she is universally or only selectively in favor of this approach).

But in the end, it was my son’s decision and whatever the outcome, he felt like he didn’t want to leave anything on the table.  Again, I’m not recommending anyone else do this, but it may be worth thinking about at least.

 

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28 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

I am not offering this as advice, because I imagine many might disagree with what my son did, but I’ll offer it up for consideration by those who have NOT applied Early Decision.

My son applied to 10 schools but had a clear cut number one, and that school did not offer Early Decision.  It was the last school he heard from (on March 26).  The school had been forthright about when decisions would be released so he understood the timing.  Several weeks before the decisions were due he sent an email to the regional admissions contact for the school.  In that email, he reaffirmed his interest in attending and stated definitively that if he were to be accepted, he would accept.  We have no idea whether it made a difference, but he did ultimately receive an acceptance several weeks later.

I have no idea what the conventional wisdom is on this approach, but I can say that we had engaged a consultant to assist us during the process and she was supportive of the move for my son (I do not know whether she is universally or only selectively in favor of this approach).

But in the end, it was my son’s decision and whatever the outcome, he felt like he didn’t want to leave anything on the table.  Again, I’m not recommending anyone else do this, but it may be worth thinking about at least.

 

Don’t think there’s any downside to sending an email like that. My daughter sent what I would describe as a passionate plea to the school she attends now, a few days after she was waitlisted. She was accepted two weeks later. Not sure if that was the difference but clearly didn’t hurt. 

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1 minute ago, Nigel said:

Don’t think there’s any downside to sending an email like that. My daughter sent what I would describe as a passionate plea to the school she attends now, a few days after she was waitlisted. She was accepted two weeks later. Not sure if that was the difference but clearly didn’t hurt. 

Yeah, if a student gets waitlisted from a school he or she really wants to attend, I think sending a follow-up letter is generally recommended. Awesome for your daughter!

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11 hours ago, Galileo said:

Question...It has probably been covered elsewhere in this thread, but is there any wiggle room to leverage one college against another?  Would college X be inclined to put together a better financial package if we were in a position to tell them we could could go to college Y for $10k less per year?  I am talking about similar tier colleges, not trying to leverage an Ivy leaguer with your State U.

Absolutely. My oldest got an extra $5k/yr by doing this thanks to advice from @The_Man My younger will be doing the same once she makes her decision. Should be part of the standard operating procedure, IMO. Worst thing that can happen is they say no. There is literally zero downside to asking.

Rather than just asking though, make sure to tell them about the other offers your child received, emphasize some things your kid has done above and beyond what was on their original app (job/volunteer experience, keeping grades up, etc) and let them know that this school is their top choice and they will accept if they get additional merit scholarship.

Good luck!
 

 

 

Edited by E-Z Glider
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Curious when colleges typically send out financial aid packages to incoming students.  Is there a time frame for these, like Feb/March?  My daughter is starting to look at scholarships, but we haven't heard from any of the schools yet on what they might offer her.  She has only received acceptance letters from her schools, nothing else.

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2 hours ago, E-Z Glider said:

Absolutely. My oldest got an extra $5k/yr by doing this thanks to advice from @The_Man My younger will be doing the same once she makes her decision. Should be part of the standard operating procedure, IMO. Worst thing that can happen is they say no. There is literally zero downside to asking.

Virtually everything in life is negotiable.

As you noted - there is no downside here, only upside.

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About time for my annual PSA: SOME schools do not deduct private scholarship money from the scholarship money that they will offer you. My daughter received a lot of aid from her school. We applied for some private scholarships, a few of which she got, but I didn't go all out applying for more because I assumed her school would deduct any money we brought in from the money they were already giving us. I was absolutely wrong on that as her school added the private scholarship $ on top of the aid it was already giving us. It was a bittersweet surprise for me. Again, this is some schools, though probably not the majority. Check your school's policy. 

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1 hour ago, Peak said:

Curious when colleges typically send out financial aid packages to incoming students.  Is there a time frame for these, like Feb/March?  My daughter is starting to look at scholarships, but we haven't heard from any of the schools yet on what they might offer her.  She has only received acceptance letters from her schools, nothing else.

Daughter received financial aid/scholarship before she received an acceptance letter from Miss St or Missouri.  The other came just after.  

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My sophomore son and I just finished up a quick road trip to visit a few colleges.  Neither of us had left the immediate Baltimore area for what has felt like eons, and I felt (rightly or wrongly) that empty college campuses were likely as safe as the local grocery store.  Son would have definitely preferred to head north, but those States are mainly shut down to visitors, so drove south instead.  Campuses were great, but the best part was actually getting hours in a car or walking around to hear his thoughts on high school, college, career aspirations, and politics.  I can't tell you how many times I brought up facts, observations, and stories from this thread - such an invaluable resource and those of us starting the process now owe a huge debt of gratitude.  I'll definitely try to pay it forward by posting about my kid's experiences over the next couple of years.

Just a few quick blurbs:

Georgetown:  Based on his interests and goals alone, Georgetown would be a top choice.  His opinion of the campus went down somewhat after seeing some other schools on the trip though - obviously smaller, buildings felt crowded together, and dorms are just far enough away from the main drags of M Street or Wisconsin Ave to be annoying.  Will definitely go back when school is in session to see how he feels about the preppy and hyper-driven vibe.  Also, it's one of the hardest admits of the places we visited, although at least one or two kids from his HS end up there every year so there does seem to be a little bit of a pipeline.

UVA:  Son seemed to like the feel of a bigger campus but wasn't crazy about the location - Charlottesville felt super isolated to him.  Even without kids on campus, you could still feel the Greek presence, and once we looked up the meaning of certain graffiti sprayed everywhere, he got more turned off.  The whole "secret society" thing was pretty baffling.  I didn't mention to him that I always had a thing against UVA and stereotyped it as ridiculously snobby and way too LAX bro-ish, even though my GB @Ramsay Hunt Experience is an alum and he's certainly no LAX bro.  At least there were a few restaurants, bars, and shops directly across from campus, and downtown Charlottesville seemed pretty nice.

Duke:  holy cow, West Campus is absolutely gorgeous.  And the area around the student center and dining halls made me want to go back to college.  On the other hand, the campus itself felt kind of isolated from the town.  A girl from his HS golf team goes there and was raving about it to him, but luckily he realizes that even among all of these highly competitive schools, Duke is the longest of long-shots for him.

UNC:  Definitely my kid's overall favorite from the trip.  The campus itself was pretty and open and felt just the right size to him, and he absolutely loved having everything on Franklin Street directly across from the school.  UNC also is one of eight schools that offer the State Department Russian Language Flagship program so that was a huge plus in its favor.  On the other hand, admission from in-state is tough enough, but out-of-state seems like a total crapshoot.

 

We are definitely planning a few more of these trips as things hopefully open up toward late spring and summer.  Even with no students on campus, I think at least he can get a feel of city vs college town, big campus vs small, etc, so even if all of these schools end up being reaches, we can focus in on less selective schools with similar characteristics.  Next up is likely the midwest, with Michigan (where his Mom and both maternal grandparents attended) plus Wisconsin and Indiana (which also have State Dept Russian programs).  Then, once we are allowed to head northeast, he wants to see Tufts, BC, Cornell, and Middlebury.  If he thinks Charlottesville was isolated, can't wait to see what he thinks of the latter two.

Edited by scorchy
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1 hour ago, scorchy said:

UVA:  Son seemed to like the feel of a bigger campus but wasn't crazy about the location - Charlottesville felt super isolated to him.  Even without kids on campus, you could still feel the Greek presence, and once we looked up the meaning of certain graffiti sprayed everywhere, he got more turned off.  The whole "secret society" thing was pretty baffling.  I didn't mention to him that I always had a thing against UVA and stereotyped it as ridiculously snobby and way too LAX bro-ish, even though my GB @Ramsay Hunt Experience is an alum and he's certainly no LAX bro.  At least there were a few restaurants, bars, and shops directly across from campus, and downtown Charlottesville seemed pretty nice.

I only went to law school there, man. I tried to avoid the undergrad scene (which is easy because the law school isn’t on the main campus, Er sorry, grounds).

. I will say that my first weekend there I was walking to the big 1L initiation parties. We were doing some 80s sketch, so I was dressed as Hulk Hogan and one of my section-mates was dressed as Prince. Some Frat bro in a Jeep called us ######s as we crossed the street. So I think I got a bit of the experience. 

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3 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

I only went to law school there, man. I tried to avoid the undergrad scene (which is easy because the law school isn’t on the main campus, Er sorry, grounds).

. I will say that my first weekend there I was walking to the big 1L initiation parties. We were doing some 80s sketch, so I was dressed as Hulk Hogan and one of my section-mates was dressed as Prince. Some Frat bro in a Jeep called us ######s as we crossed the street. So I think I got a bit of the experience. 

Yikes. Now imagine if you had dressed as Adorable Adrian Adonis.

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4 hours ago, scorchy said:

My sophomore son and I just finished up a quick road trip to visit a few colleges.  Neither of us had left the immediate Baltimore area for what has felt like eons, and I felt (rightly or wrongly) that empty college campuses were likely as safe as the local grocery store.  Son would have definitely preferred to head north, but those States are mainly shut down to visitors, so drove south instead.  Campuses were great, but the best part was actually getting hours in a car or walking around to hear his thoughts on high school, college, career aspirations, and politics.  I can't tell you how many times I brought up facts, observations, and stories from this thread - such an invaluable resource and those of us starting the process now owe a huge debt of gratitude.  I'll definitely try to pay it forward by posting about my kid's experiences over the next couple of years.

Just a few quick blurbs:

Georgetown:  Based on his interests and goals alone, Georgetown would be a top choice.  His opinion of the campus went down somewhat after seeing some other schools on the trip though - obviously smaller, buildings felt crowded together, and dorms are just far enough away from the main drags of M Street or Wisconsin Ave to be annoying.  Will definitely go back when school is in session to see how he feels about the preppy and hyper-driven vibe.  Also, it's one of the hardest admits of the places we visited, although at least one or two kids from his HS end up there every year so there does seem to be a little bit of a pipeline.

UVA:  Son seemed to like the feel of a bigger campus but wasn't crazy about the location - Charlottesville felt super isolated to him.  Even without kids on campus, you could still feel the Greek presence, and once we looked up the meaning of certain graffiti sprayed everywhere, he got more turned off.  The whole "secret society" thing was pretty baffling.  I didn't mention to him that I always had a thing against UVA and stereotyped it as ridiculously snobby and way too LAX bro-ish, even though my GB @Ramsay Hunt Experience is an alum and he's certainly no LAX bro.  At least there were a few restaurants, bars, and shops directly across from campus, and downtown Charlottesville seemed pretty nice.

Duke:  holy cow, West Campus is absolutely gorgeous.  And the area around the student center and dining halls made me want to go back to college.  On the other hand, the campus itself felt kind of isolated from the town.  A girl from his HS golf team goes there and was raving about it to him, but luckily he realizes that even among all of these highly competitive schools, Duke is the longest of long-shots for him.

UNC:  Definitely my kid's overall favorite from the trip.  The campus itself was pretty and open and felt just the right size to him, and he absolutely loved having everything on Franklin Street directly across from the school.  UNC also is one of eight schools that offer the State Department Russian Language Flagship program so that was a huge plus in its favor.  On the other hand, admission from in-state is tough enough, but out-of-state seems like a total crapshoot.

 

We are definitely planning a few more of these trips as things hopefully open up toward late spring and summer.  Even with no students on campus, I think at least he can get a feel of city vs college town, big campus vs small, etc, so even if all of these schools end up being reaches, we can focus in on less selective schools with similar characteristics.  Next up is likely the midwest, with Michigan (where his Mom and both maternal grandparents attended) plus Wisconsin and Indiana (which also have State Dept Russian programs).  Then, once we are allowed to head northeast, he wants to see Tufts, BC, Cornell, and Middlebury.  If he thinks Charlottesville was isolated, can't wait to see what he thinks of the latter two.

I think you’re doing it exactly right. Seeing a variety of campus settings in different parts of the country, and spending quality time together to boot. I really enjoyed that time with my son and miss it. 

P.S. As a high schooler, my son spent time at UVA on a school trip. He did not care for the vibe at all.

Edited by bigbottom
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1 hour ago, bigbottom said:

P.S. As a high schooler, my son spent time at UVA on a school trip. He did not care for the vibe at all.

If only he had seen Scooby/RHE in red wrestling trunks and a yellow Hulkamania shirt...

At dinner in Charlottesville, I was telling the kid about some of your posts in this thread and he said, "Can you just use his real name please?  If you keep saying bigbottom, I'm afraid people might get the wrong idea."

Edited by scorchy
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