Jump to content


Gwen in VA

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Gwen in VA

  1. Good luck! While some schools are more of a party school than others, I think "party school" describes almost all colleges. When you get a bunch of people in their late teens and early twenties together, most of them party. The key isn't for your kid to attend a non-party school. The key is for your kid to find other like-minded students and spend his/her hang-out time with them! Help your student find a school where he likes the program and gen eds, his planned major, the support provided by profs, and the various types of EC's available, and he will thrive.
  2. Does the medication in question need to be treated with care? If it freezes, will that be a issue? Do be aware that if you mail it, it may freeze during transport.
  3. We went with the school of thought that says send everything possible. The more (different, unique) info the school has, the more likely it is to feel confident that your student is worth pouring money into. BTW, we heard nothing but positives during interviews, etc., about the abundance of material we provided. If the school is willing to look at the material, I see no downside to your sending it. At a Christmas party several years ago I ended up having a long conversation with an admissions person from an elite college. (Long story why, but that's for another day.) I steered the conversation towards homeschoolers but didn't own up to the fact that I was part of that contingent. FWIW she said that the college would love to accept more homeschoolers but generally speaking they don't provide enough information for the college to feel really comfortable accepting them. After all, a college is not only concerned about academic fit but also social and activities fit. That conversation has hugely influenced my attitude towards sending material into colleges!
  4. I know nothing about it, but do remember with music -- it's ALL about the teacher. Everything else is secondary.
  5. W&L meets 100% of need and is VERY generous with support for research, summer internships, etc. Often the private schools are more generous than the public ones. What about some of the smaller private schools? Roanoke, Marymount, Bridgewater, and Mary Baldwin may all be worth a look, and there are heaps of others.
  6. My kids did the math for their personal needs and bought the one with the lowest cost per meal for approximately the number of meals they wanted. For my older ones, that meant the meal plan that basically allowed them lunch plus occasional dinners on campus. (They had access to a kitchen.) My youngest lives off campus, so she does the plan that gives her approximately six meal on campus per week. She usually takes those meals in the form of lunch. Her campus is unusual in that it allows her to bring her own personal food (bagged lunch) into the dining hall, so if she is feeling social but is out of meals she can still eat with others.
  7. I had a kid receive a merit aid offer from a school (Hillsdale) that required not only accepting the merit aid but the college by sometime in January. Needless to say, he didn't attend that college! He also received a full-ride from U Pitt. He received the offer in late March but had only ten days to reply -- his deadline was April 1. My guess is that he was a first-choice recipient and that when he refused they went and offered it to the next person down the line. All of our other merit aid offers needed to be accepted by May 1, the usual deadline. Merit aid is essentially a gift from the college, so they can do what they like!
  8. There's no "one-size-fits-all" answer. Have your kid visit the campuses. Have your kids spend time on the campus. Have your kid interview (if possible). Have your kid do an overnight visit (if possible). Have your kid do some SERIOUS poking around on the website of the majors he wants to pursue. Have your kid poke around the website -- they really do give some feel for the college. This is a decision that depends on the student and what he/she is looking for in a school. Period. Sometimes a private school is worth the money. And sometimes due to generous financial or merit aid a private school costs less that a public school. And sometimes a public school is better -- even when it costs more money! (Our dd is attending an OOS public, but for her it is hands-down worth the extra $$$!) Encourage your kid to develop a real "feel" for each school. Only have him apply to schools that he can actually imagine wanting to attend. And we discouraged our kids from having a top choice until all the financial data was in......
  9. Just be aware that kids grow up a LOT during those college years. What seems like a great workable idea when a kid is 17 may be a emotional trap by the time a kid is 21 or 22. * Would you feel okay if you movedto be where she is but she ended up moving out to live with friends her junior or senior year? * What happens if she wants to transfer? * What happens if she drops out? I just think that moving so she can live at home puts a lot of pressure on her to stay the course in school (even if it's not necessariy the "right" thing for her) and it may prevent her from developing those wings. LIiing at home is great, but normally students do have the option to move out eventually. If you move to be with her, she may not feel she has the option to move out, and this may cause resentment down the road.....
  10. And ultimately as parents we end up making decisions that we'd rather not make..... Our #3 dropped out of college. Ultimately we are glad he did -- he is in a good place career-wise and certainly doesn't need the diploma to persuade the world that he is worthy, but it was a tough road for a bit. What are we willing to pay for as parents? We paid for other miscellaneous expenses for our kids while they were in college -- are we willing to pay for miscellaneous expenses for the drop-out? (No! -- but we understand why others might!) And what about our child with a serious medical condition -- we have told her that as long as we have breath in our bodies, if she can't afford the medication and supplies she needs to live, she should call us. Period. Is that fair to the others? Parenting isn't for sissies -- and sometimes we require the wisdom of Solomon to decide who gets what financial benefits and what is "fair". (BTW, our kid with health issues got a cell phone at age 12 and none of the others did, but we pointed out that dd2 would gladly exchange the cell phone (which she had for medical reasons) for a healthy pancreas. The other kids didn't complain about her having the cell phone after that comment!) Parenting requires love and wisdom and ultimately all we can do is our best. Most of the time our kids understand, and sometimes they don't!
  11. I have appreciated my parents' view of college expenses over the years -- Early 1950's -- My father (class of '55) paid for ALL his own expenses -- tuition plus other expenses at a private college. He lived at home, but he covered all his own expenses by working at a radio station. He was a talented guy so he earned significantly more than the minimum wage, but his earnings fully funded his tuition + fees at a PRIVATE college. Late 1970's through early 1980's -- My brother and I had our education (at two of the most expensive colleges in the country at the time) fully funded by my parents. Tuition plus room and board was the equivalent of approximately half a public school teacher's salary. (My mother was a public school teacher at the time, and while salaries vary widely across the country, her salary was over twice the tuition plus room and board cost of two of the most expensive colleges in the country.) My parents fully funded our education because my mother's public school salary (minus taxes, etc.) more than covered ALL our college expenses. My parents lived on my dad's salary and used my mother's salary to pay for our college. (My brother and I are spaced such that only one of us was in college at a time.) Circa 2010 -- the public school teacher salaries listed in our local newspaper are approximately 2/3 of my kids' tuition plus room and board at a (expensive) private college. In other words, in the years around 2010 a public school teacher who contributed 100% of pre-tax income to funding a kid's private college education would not be able to actually fully fund it. My husband and I would have needed to save literally one million dollars to fully fund sending our kids to top private schools. (Right now that number is even higher!) (BTW, thankfully our kids received outrageously generous merit aid and one of our kids attended a tuition-free school. We have paid "very little" for our four kids' education -- and even that "very little" has more digits than I want to think about!) If you are in the fortunate position of having enough money to be able to contribute towards your kids' college expenses, please consider this timeline. My father fully funded his education through work. My education was easily fully funded by one public school teacher's post-tax salary -- no savings were involved. And right now one public school teacher's salary would not remotely cover private school tuition room and board (for the more expensive private colleges). (My parents still do not grasp how the finances have changed and are still appalled that one of our kids turned down U. Chicago for financial reasons!)
  12. I think kids' attitude towards money is "caught" from their parents. If you have worked hard and have been frugal, your kids will think this approach is normal. Kids who have been given stuff -- cars, insurance paid for, tuition covered by merit aid and/or parental monies, camps, expensive opportunities -- don't necessarily assume that they are entitled to having the parents pick up the tab. They may feel grateful for the lack of loans and the many opportunities they have had, especially when they talk with others who are saddled with horrific debt and unsupportive parents. My kids are far more frugal than we are -- which I have yet to understand but am very grateful for! YMMV obviously, but paying for things doesn't necessarily produce entitled kids!
  13. Yes, colleges can give whatever aid they want to whomever they want. My kids have received several merit scholarships that were either for more than we thought they would be or for scholarships that weren't listed on the website. Also, my kids have received stacked scholarships -- two scholarships for half-tuition translates to one full-tuition scholarship! (Many schools do not stack their scholarships, but some do!)
  14. There are tuition-free schools. My favorite one is the Webb Institute, which is a tiny school with one major -- Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering. For the record, it is the top naval architecture program in the country. For the right student, Webb is a great school at a great price. (100% of grads have jobs, and the average salary of grads is in the $80K range.....) There are several other tuition-free schools. They tend to be quite unique, but for the right student they are a fantastic option!
  15. We played the scholarship game fairly hard. The kids did apply to in-state schools as backups, but they NEEDED merit aid to attend the schools they wanted to go to. #1 -- Never ever assume that anything (except if they are based exclusively on scores) is likely. Dd1 received a full-tuition scholarship from a school that is almost identical to a school that didn't even accept her. We're still wondering about that -- but the whole admissions / merit aid thing depends very heavily on the individual reader. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..... #2 -- Cast your net wide. Apply to a wide variety of schools. Sometimes college admissions people "see" things about our kids that we don't, so they put them in baskets and boxes that we wouldn't. If the kid applies only to schools that put him in Box X, that limits his options. #3 -- Instead of worrying about what will look good, try to help your kid develop into as interesting a person as you can. Many people assured me that my future engineer should do Lego Robotics and skip all this weird kite stuff he did, but the colleges he applied to seemed pretty impressed by the kite stuff, the paid-for trip to India, the national awards, etc. Seriously, people told me even AFTER acceptances that he would have done better if he had just stuck within the box and done the more normal stuff. SERIOUSLY? Help your kid become as wild and wooly and out-of-the-box as he wants to! Unusual sticks out in a world of soccer teams, national honor societies, and high school choirs. (I am not saying anything negative about those activities -- merely that they are "normal") #4 -- Do remember that you cannot control the college application process, but you can strongly influence your child's education. Give your child a great education, help him develop his interests and passions, and know that you have helped grow a great person. Let the college stuff take care of itself!
  16. My youngest is in her senior year as a music major at an arts school. This means there are few extra-curriculars and almost all campus life is centered around your major. (BTW, I can't say enough good about the school, but it is a different type of college experience!) She lives off-campus and has a job off campus as a church organist, so her "real" life is relatively separate from campus. This semester all her classes are in her major, so basically she is doing a bit of homework and practicing a LOT! In her spare time she participates in a few community (non-college) activities. At this point most of her friends in the area are NOT college students, which is different and neat! She is trying to figure out her plans for life after graduation. Thankfully she has many people who have offered to mentor/advise her, so she is having lots of email exchanges and dinners with mentors as she tries to narrow her options.
  17. :grouphug: to all of you dropping kids off. It's hard. And somehow year after year it does get a bit easier. You get more confident that they really can handle it and you get a bit more used to there being less noise and less mess at home. And sometimes it still hurts. I only have one still in college, and I still sometimes just wonder where the time went and what happened to the 24-7 party that used to be at my house before they all left. And then wonders happen. A kid buys a house. A kid gets married. A kid successfully navigates grad school and launches a career. And sometimes you still miss them, but you are happy that they are off doing what they should do. Life goes on -- and sometimes you wander into an empty kid bedroom and remember the toys and the fun of years gone by. And you sniff. And then you remember that they are supposed to go off and you really don't want it any other way. :grouphug: Launching kids is hard.
  18. My STEM kids talk about graphing calculators as the things high schools require their students to buy that have no connection to college. None of them was ever allowed a graphing calculator in college. In fact, many classes were "calculator-free". If graphing or programming was required they used MatLab or something related. YMMV
  19. My brother went abroad for two months after college. He had almost no money, so he lived on air his senior year (literally, he ate one meal per day for several weeks before graduation after the dorms stopped serving food......) My parents gave him the plane tickets as a graduation present, and he hosteled around Europe and had a great time for next to nothing. (He skipped the museums except for the free ones and focused mostly on hiking. He bought a Eurail pass that provided transportation, and he lived on cheese and baguettes!) It can be done, but it requires plane tickets and a lot of self-discipline.
  20. Spp why does she want to go to college? There are a number of paths that do NOT require a 4-year degree, and not having any debt is a good thing. If she wants to go into engineering or law, she should definitely work towards a Bachelor's, but if she has no specific plan, maybe she should take a year or two and work and try to figure out her plan!
  21. I think it is a local thing. At my college in New England, all professors were called Professor So-and-so. At my kids' college in Virginia, all professors were called Dr. So-and-so, unless they didn't have a Ph.D.. In that case, they were referred to as Professor So-and-So. (They had two who were in the process of finishing up their Ph.D.'s). Most professors tell their students at the beginning of the year what they want to be called. If a person has a Ph.D., either Prof or Dr. is totally appropriate, but there seems to be some regional variation on which is preferred!
  22. Have you checked out the tuition for the NC schools? Dd is attending UNCSA as a music major, and we are paying less in tuition as an out-of-state student than we did for the year when she attended William & Mary as an in-state student! Seriously, out-of-state tuition for NC schools is quite reasonable.
  23. The Webb internships are all paid. Some definitely pay more than others, but all are paid. (Not surprisingly, interning in Maine building wooden boats pays significantly less than interning in Newport News working at a company that builds boats for the Navy!) Ds knew students who interned in Europe and Australia; some did their "on the boat" internship ferrying supplies to seriously remote islands in the Pacific. Pretty cool!
  24. And don't forget the tuition-free colleges. Ds2 went to Webb -- an amazing college for naval architecture. All students get exciting internships every January (winterterm), and 100% of graduates have jobs by mid-summer. (The only reason the date is that late is that occasionally one has an "epiphany" in late spring and changes plans!) My son's wife has been to both Antarctica and Hawaii on various Winterterm internships!!! For a student interested in mechanical engineering, ocean engineering, or naval architecture, it's hard to beat the hands-on education, and the price is definitely unbeatable! :D And hey, how colleges have provided the setting for the one of the film versions of The Great Gatsby? (The college is located on an estate on the Gold Coast of Long Island, right on the Sound!)
  25. At W&L my kids knew several students who "fulfilled" the SAT-2 requirement by using AP's and CC classes. In other words, W&L is much more flexible than the admissions material indicates. However, someone who works in admissions there (I met her anonymously at a Christmas party -- long story) says that while they would love to accept more homeschoolers, the problem with many homeschoolers is that they just don't submit enough "outside verification" for W&L to be sure that they will succeed once accepted. (Her words, not mine. Don't shoot the messenger!)
  • Create New...