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Crimson Wife

Stanford Class of 2017 Acceptance Rate: 5.7%, Lowest Ever

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Every time I read your posts about college and the fierce competition for jobs where you live, I want to conduct a workshop for folks who live in a bubble entitled How to Help Your Kids Move Inland and Have the Life Few Can Afford in California. :tongue_smilie: There are many options, good options, outside of overpriced, overpopulated-with-the-overqualified markets.

 

Not all of California is costly, it really depends on zip code :)

OP is probably a worrier by nature and her husband lost his job and luckily found another one. It does makes one more panicky. Her oldest is ten which was why my comment was that it would be a global village by the time and look beyond the ivy leagues.

 

Which brings me to a new question: is there a cap on international students at exclusive schools? In the Harvard data it certainly looks like there was either a diminished number of applicants in that time period OR someone decided that there were too many international students, and reduced numbers of admitted international students. I doubt this would be published but it could still exist.

 

Further I should have been clearer that what I would like to see is the number on applications. My point is that rising application numbers is more driven by US students applying to more and more and more schools in response to marketing by those schools. Without knowing numbers of international applications, its hard to know if the rise in applications is due to international students or US students.

 

For private universities like Stanford, there is no actual cap. For UCB (Berkeley) there was protest when the number of international students go up because of California's budget problems. Full paying international students were good business. Schools are marketing to international student but the rise is more likely due to the unlimited choice when applying for US students. The international applicants would affect the competition for entry rather than increase significantly the number of applicants. That was why I link the data in case anyone wants to crunch their own numbers, there are much more data in the links like breakdown by faculty and by country of origin.

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Every time I read your posts about college and the fierce competition for jobs where you live, I want to conduct a workshop for folks who live in a bubble entitled How to Help Your Kids Move Inland and Have the Life Few Can Afford in California. :tongue_smilie: There are many options, good options, outside of overpriced, overpopulated-with-the-overqualified markets.

 

REALLY... this post and Arcadia's follow up are both rather disrespectful. CW is not being neurotic but realistic. I can confirm that in CS, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others only recruit from the top ~50 programs. If you go to Podunk State there is NO way to get hired by these companies based on your college degree. The same is undoubtably true in finance, art, graphic design, and various other fields.

 

That doesn't mean you have to go to expensive private schools. In CS, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan, UVA, various UCs, and others will be just as good. However, where you go to school definitely influences the jobs you can get right out of school.

 

Our family moved from the West Coast to MN for quality of life reasons. So, I get your point about the benefits of fly-over country. However, if your kids want to be at the top of their fields they are going to be geographically constrained. Programming on the West Coast, Finance in NYC, Film in LA, etc etc. If thats not your goal fine but lets not insult people who have different goals.

 

-chris

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REALLY... this post and Arcadia's follow up are both rather disrespectful. CW is not being neurotic but realistic. I can confirm that in CS, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others only recruit from the top ~50 programs. If you go to Podunk State there is NO way to get hired by these companies based on your college degree. The same is undoubtably true in finance, art, graphic design, and various other fields.

 

That doesn't mean you have to go to expensive private schools. In CS, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan, UVA, various UCs, and others will be just as good. However, where you go to school definitely influences the jobs you can get right out of school.

 

Our family moved from the West Coast to MN for quality of life reasons. So, I get your point about the benefits of fly-over country. However, if your kids want to be at the top of their fields they are going to be geographically constrained. Programming on the West Coast, Finance in NYC, Film in LA, etc etc. If thats not your goal fine but lets not insult people who have different goals.

 

-chris

Your post intrigues me because it seems to suggest that there are singular paths for particular goals. Yet over and over again we are hearing that high tech companies are not as impressed with degrees as they are with products ("Get a Thiel grant and create your app, young man.") Or we hear that undergrad is less important than grad or professional school. Or we hear that it really doesn't matter who you are but whom you know.

 

It is true that podunk U will not have the recruiters or the alumni base of the Ivies or almost Ivies. Nonetheless I will argue that finding the fit and finding the mentor is a better way to go.

 

My friend who is a tenured faculty member at Cal Tech earned his PhD at a public Midwestern uni. He was at a cocktail party when some brazen snob asked him why he had not attended such and such Ivy. Because his mentor was in the Midwest. Because his college had the better program. Because grad students in his program were moving on to top college positions.

 

I don't have a crystal ball so I can't say where the jobs of the next decade will be. In the meantime, my kid is getting a great education at a lesser known LAC. He has more faculty time and attention than he would have at a large university. That works for us.

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For private universities like Stanford, there is no actual cap. For UCB (Berkeley) there was protest when the number of international students go up because of California's budget problems. Full paying international students were good business. Schools are marketing to international student but the rise is more likely due to the unlimited choice when applying for US students. The international applicants would affect the competition for entry rather than increase significantly the number of applicants. That was why I link the data in case anyone wants to crunch their own numbers, there are much more data in the links like breakdown by faculty and by country of origin.

 

I disagree. While I do think there is no cap in writing and it is probably somewhat flexible, I also believe there is solid evidence that private universities limit themselves in terms of making up their incoming classes (see for instance The Price of Admission.)

 

There are many reasons for this, but part of it is that unlike a straight forward sale of an item that would be good business, a school depends on a complex network to get both students and funds and there will be a limit to how many international students a school will admit because of this. Harvard and Stanford absolutely do not want to become known as a school with mostly foreign students (and probably mostly is way too high). The don't want to become know as this for good business reasons of attracting ongoing donations and US students.

 

Further, if you go look at mission statements you may even find some interest in training US minds or even local minds. My dad worked at a med school with a private LAC and they had a specific mandate in their mission to train doctors for the state the school was located in. I suspect you will find similar mandates at other private schools.

 

You can take a look at Harvard's mission statement which still includes a reference to "youth of this country"

http://www.harvard.e...ssion-statement Stanford's statement is broader, but the phrase "promote the public welfare." They do say this is for humanity, http://exploredegrees.stanford.edu/stanfordsmission/#text but since the phraseology is all from US documents, I can't feeling there is some US bias here as well.

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I don't have a crystal ball so I can't say where the jobs of the next decade will be. In the meantime, my kid is getting a great education at a lesser known LAC. He has more faculty time and attention than he would have at a large university. That works for us.

 

I can't get the smileys to work for some reason - so just pretend you see me cheering this part :)

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REALLY... this post and Arcadia's follow up are both rather disrespectful. CW is not being neurotic but realistic. I can confirm that in CS, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others only recruit from the top ~50 programs. If you go to Podunk State there is NO way to get hired by these companies based on your college degree. The same is undoubtably true in finance, art, graphic design, and various other fields.

 

That doesn't mean you have to go to expensive private schools. In CS, Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan, UVA, various UCs, and others will be just as good. However, where you go to school definitely influences the jobs you can get right out of school.

 

Our family moved from the West Coast to MN for quality of life reasons. So, I get your point about the benefits of fly-over country. However, if your kids want to be at the top of their fields they are going to be geographically constrained. Programming on the West Coast, Finance in NYC, Film in LA, etc etc. If thats not your goal fine but lets not insult people who have different goals.

 

-chris

 

My tongue-in-cheek comment was based as much on CW's past posts as it was on her concerns in this thread. It has always seemed to me that she maintains a very black and white pov about school and employment. If I recall correctly, one fairly recent post was about how everyone she knew who had an Ivy education was very successful (perfectly logical, sure) but that everyone who didn't was unsuccessful and struggling. What I am saying (and what others tried to tell her at the time) was that this is not true across the country. This is not true as a general rule, this idea that a degree that is not from an elite school will doom a person to the lower class and unemployment. In most places around the country, other things still matter as much, if not more--the interview, experience, work ethic, recommendations, etc. Yes, some fields are geographically constrained. However, many more are not.

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REALLY... this post and Arcadia's follow up are both rather disrespectful. CW is not being neurotic but realistic.

 

Since when does saying that someone having a tendency to worry imply being neurotic. I am puzzled why my follow up was disrespectful when I was actually being empathetic to the OP. My hubby was unemployed at one time, he was given a chance for an interview for his current job because of unsolicited recommendation from his mentor. So technically he got his foot in by indirect networking.

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My tongue-in-cheek comment was based as much on CW's past posts as it was on her concerns in this thread. It has always seemed to me that she maintains a very black and white pov about school and employment.

 

I assumed it was meant tongue-in-cheek :) My reply was purely that people's "bad" experience tend to affect their point of view and while I don't know OP personally I do understand why she would worry. My dad who is a retired teacher has a much more extreme point of view regarding schools, grades and employment and my oldest is only eight :( Hubby's favourite job is geographically constrained. He loves R&D in the private sector.

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Every time I read your posts about college and the fierce competition for jobs where you live, I want to conduct a workshop for folks who live in a bubble entitled How to Help Your Kids Move Inland and Have the Life Few Can Afford in California. :tongue_smilie: There are many options, good options, outside of overpriced, overpopulated-with-the-overqualified markets.

 

OTOH, I keep reading stories about little towns in the Midwest that are dying because there aren't jobs available for the young people so they wind up leaving. :( A cheap cost of living is nice, but if there aren't decent-paying jobs available, then I don't see how that is any better a situation than here.

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OTOH, I keep reading stories about little towns in the Midwest that are dying because there aren't jobs available for the young people so they wind up leaving. :( A cheap cost of living is nice, but if there aren't decent-paying jobs available, then I don't see how that is any better a situation than here.

 

Yes, what I read about some places is terribly sad. I have friends from Michigan who worry that they won't be able to retire in their home state. There is black and white everywhere though. I just think there is tons more grey than either black or white. :)

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I can confirm that in CS, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others only recruit from the top ~50 programs. If you go to Podunk State there is NO way to get hired by these companies based on your college degree. The same is undoubtably true in finance, art, graphic design, and various other fields.

 

Then please explain to me why CS graduates from my oldest's school (a SMALL, private Christian college not generally ranked in the top anything) get starting salaries in the mid 5 and at least once in the low 6 digits - often with multiple offers to choose from?

 

There's also a HUGE difference between saying Top 50 and Ivy equivalent or bust. The companies you list may only recruit at Top 50, but I bet if you look at actual employees, they will take a talented person from anywhere. Some may not even require a degree for CS - just good experience and ability.

 

I can name kids from my high school who currently work in finance, art, graphic design and various other fields with decent salaries - yet didn't go to Top 50 schools. They don't always stay in the local area either.

 

To anyone looking, if in doubt about where graduates from School X can go - ask where recent graduates have gone. School A is not equal to School B, but if both School A and School B get graduates where you want to be, either can work. Then fit can come into play.

 

It is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE that you NEED a great tippy top school name for undergrad to get a great job - not for most fields anyway. Investment banking in NYC tends to be the only exception I hear of (and investment banking elsewhere is not as picky). Some professions do prefer top names for grad school, but kids from many schools get into top grad schools - right alongside those students from top name undergrads.

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Your post intrigues me because it seems to suggest that there are singular paths for particular goals.

It is true that podunk U will not have the recruiters or the alumni base of the Ivies or almost Ivies. Nonetheless I will argue that finding the fit and finding the mentor is a better way to go.

 

<snip>

 

My friend who is a tenured faculty member at Cal Tech earned his PhD at a public Midwestern uni. He was at a cocktail party when some brazen snob asked him why he had not attended such and such Ivy. Because his mentor was in the Midwest. Because his college had the better program. Because grad students in his program were moving on to top college positions.

 

I don't have a crystal ball so I can't say where the jobs of the next decade will be. In the meantime, my kid is getting a great education at a lesser known LAC. He has more faculty time and attention than he would have at a large university. That works for us.

 

I think we are agreeing more than you think... My post clearly lists quality public options that are as good as Ivy type schools. Fit is always important. My wife turned down Princeton to go to Wake Forest in exchange for better mentoring, the ability to double major in Bio and Philosophy and go abroad etc etc. She still went to a top 10 md/phd program and a top 5 residency and has had faculty job offers at the Ivies. My point isn't that there is ONE path... My point is that college choices constrain your likely career trajectory. In NC for instance, there may be little difference between Duke and UNC but your options will be different if you go to UNCG or ECU. If your goals are to be at the top of your field then a better school will help. If you want to a family practice doc then undergrad and med school at ECU may be your best choice... if you want to be a PhD or a specialist Duke or UNC are probably better.

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OTOH, I keep reading stories about little towns in the Midwest that are dying because there aren't jobs available for the young people so they wind up leaving. :( A cheap cost of living is nice, but if there aren't decent-paying jobs available, then I don't see how that is any better a situation than here.

 

Not everywhere outside of the big main cities is dying. You do have to do your homework carefully before any relocation, but there are still several gems out there with lower COL and good job opps. The jobs may not pay the same amount. They don't have to. With the low COL your costs are also much lower (esp housing). That also works out nicely with FAFSA. ;)

 

Hubby once wanted to move to a higher COL area in MD. He was lured by the high salary fresh out of college, but after we were married. When he was out there interviewing for the job, I took a look at housing, etc, in anticpation of a move. WOW! In the end, we'd had had significantly LESS take home pay due to the COL. I'm really glad that, even though we were young, we had enough sense to look at the costs before just being lured by a high salary.

 

Many of us in the lower COL areas really wonder why anyone chooses to live in high COL areas. ;) I'm glad many do (it keeps our costs lower), but it's definitely a different mindset. Perhaps in CA you can give credit to the weather, but that's not true in NYC, NOVA, Boston, etc. Many like the hustle and bustle of the cities (what we call crowds and congestion). If so, enjoy! But there's definitely a significant portion who prefer less crowds/traffic/whatever and there are jobs in these places too. Some may be dying - esp in higher tax areas - but not everywhere.

 

There are even congestion areas with lower COL. We lived in one of those for 5 years in FL. It was nice, but I really prefer less crowds. For those who like more people/amenities/whatever, there are still decent cities out there as options. One need not stick with high priced areas unless one chooses to do so. And even then, I really doubt one needs an Ivy level education or equivalent to succeed.

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My point is that college choices constrain your likely career trajectory.

 

And my point was that tunnel vision will constrain you, period. I am not being contrary. I am simply saying that it is beneficial (not to mention calming) to keep an open mind and expand horizons. Allowing for alternate definitions of good schools and what constitutes success is part of that.

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If you want to a family practice doc then undergrad and med school at ECU may be your best choice... if you want to be a PhD or a specialist Duke or UNC are probably better.

 

 

Actually, for medical purposes - any undergrad can work and the most common advice from BTDT (recently) people is to go to whichever option is less expensive for you and do well (unless your family is wealthy enough to afford either without straining itself). Which school ends up less expensive can vary based upon stats (ACT/SAT/FAFSA/Scholarships, etc). Where you'd likely want to make the distinction would be for med school itself.

 

You do NOT want a ton of debt, then try to add med school.

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My only point in this thread is that there are a variety of colleges based on your ultimate goals. Elite colleges are optimized towards elite goals. Can you reach these outcomes other ways? Certainly, I don't have degree and have managed people with advanced degrees from elite colleges. Is an elite degree the fastest way to these positions? Certainly, otherwise you need atypical experiences in undergrad or excellent work experience. As Creekland says there are other paths to these goals. But, college serves to educate and credential kids. If possible, why wouldn't you allow your kids to skip a step in this process. If you aren't aiming to be the top of your field then by all means look at a wider array of schools but don't disparage people with other goals.

 

-chris

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My only point in this thread is that there are a variety of colleges based on your ultimate goals. Elite colleges are optimized towards elite goals. Can you reach these outcomes other ways? Certainly, chris

 

 

I agree with the part I quoted - which is what most of us have been trying to say.

 

I actually disagree that elite colleges (as defined by Top 20 rankings by a magazine) are the fastest way to those opportunities. They are "a" way, but definitely not the only nor always the best way esp for undergrad.

 

Elite places for grad school is different.

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I agree with the part I quoted - which is what most of us have been trying to say.

 

I actually disagree that elite colleges (as defined by Top 20 rankings by a magazine) are the fastest way to those opportunities. They are "a" way, but definitely not the only nor always the best way esp for undergrad.

 

Elite places for grad school is different.

 

Look, as with Jane, we are not disagreeing... I have family with Phd's in the humanities... They have TENURE at good schools but are moving to a LAC because they love to teach... They both did undergrad at small LACs. There are lots paths to elite success. There are even more paths to personal satisfaction... My only point is that there are benefits to going to elite schools... I am not deprecating other schools... If you want to be an accountant go anywhere that has a program. My point is that elite schools have REAL BENEFITS. Parents should consider whether those benefits apply to *THEIR* kids. There are many paths to success but, as someone *without* a degree who has hired and managed Ivy caliber graduates, I appreciate the more direct path that elite programs enable. If a financially stable life and proximity to family is paramount then base your decisions on that. If you want your kids to fly then choose elite schools. Both paths are valid...

 

-chris

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No one here is arguing that elite schools don't confer enormous benefits. No one is disparaging those who aim high. Most of us are here precisely because we aim high. But when your oldest is 10 (and mine is too), it is also good to be reminded to take a deep breath and realize that it isn't going to be Harvard vs homelessness. :tongue_smilie:

 

If a child graduates high school with grades, test scores, and accolades worthy of even bothering to submit an application to an Ivy, that child is well prepared to excel in life regardless of Ivy attendance. Will the Ivy name on a diploma help? Of course! No one is denying that.

 

Does it occur to you that we might actually be trying to make CW feel better? More hopeful? ;)

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Many of us in the lower COL areas really wonder why anyone chooses to live in high COL areas. ;) I'm glad many do (it keeps our costs lower), but it's definitely a different mindset. Perhaps in CA you can give credit to the weather, but that's not true in NYC, NOVA, Boston, etc. Many like the hustle and bustle of the cities (what we call crowds and congestion). If so, enjoy! But there's definitely a significant portion who prefer less crowds/traffic/whatever and there are jobs in these places too. Some may be dying - esp in higher tax areas - but not everywhere.

 

There are even congestion areas with lower COL. We lived in one of those for 5 years in FL. It was nice, but I really prefer less crowds. For those who like more people/amenities/whatever, there are still decent cities out there as options. One need not stick with high priced areas unless one chooses to do so. And even then, I really doubt one needs an Ivy level education or equivalent to succeed.

 

Nothing to contribute to the college acceptance rate info in this thread as I'm still only learning about all of this but the first sentence in bold stood out to me and I wanted to respond from my POV and experience.

 

DH's job is quite specialized. We don't have a lot of choice on where to live. We dislike crowds and the city life so we made a conscious decision to move many, many miles from where the hustle and bustle is. COL is only slightly lower though. The downside: DH has a long commute to work (working from home is an available option but it does not give him the thrill of being right where the action is), so he leaves very early and comes home very late. Not much quality of life from a parenting point of view but I think some of that is balanced by the fact that he really enjoys the challenge of his job and would wilt (and make my life h*ll lol) without the challenge.

 

What's interesting is that he only has an honors bachelors in applied physics from an unheard of, overseas university but is currently interviewing candidates with PhDs (ETA: a few with degrees from Ivies) for positions below him. So I do agree, from our experience at least, about the second sentence in bold. :)

 

Interesting conversation!

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:scared: :scared: :scared:

 

 

 

http://www.stanfordd...rks-record-low/

 

I shudder to think what it will take to get into a good school by the time my kids are high school seniors.

 

It will probably take many of the same things it has always taken: hard work, a good mind, stellar test scores, ambition and motivation, extracurricular activities that demonstrate focus and commitment, a singular talent/skill, and a good interview.

 

I know that having your children attend an Ivy is a priority for you. Your children will be ahead of many in that they have a parent who has attended one and knows the drill, right? Because it is critical to you, I am confident that you will stay on top of what needs to be done in order to advance your children towards that goal.

 

:grouphug:

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No one here is arguing that elite schools don't confer enormous benefits. No one is disparaging those who aim high. Most of us are here precisely because we aim high. But when your oldest is 10 (and mine is too), it is also good to be reminded to take a deep breath and realize that it isn't going to be Harvard vs homelessness. :tongue_smilie:

 

If a child graduates high school with grades, test scores, and accolades worthy of even bothering to submit an application to an Ivy, that child is well prepared to excel in life regardless of Ivy attendance. Will the Ivy name on a diploma help? Of course! No one is denying that.

 

Does it occur to you that we might actually be trying to make CW feel better? More hopeful? ;)

 

Actually, there have been a couple of studies out that have shown that Ivy caliber kids (via stats, etc) do just as well without the Ivy education as with it. It's the kid that makes their own success at a high level, not the college (for undergrad). There's nothing WRONG with going to an Ivy if that is your heart's desire and you make it in, but there really doesn't appear to be any better success by doing so when apples are compared to apples (same ability kid to same ability kid). The only exception is for investment banking in NYC.

 

Someone can beat me to the studies or I'll see if I have time to look them up at home tonight and add a link.

 

Nothing to contribute to the college acceptance rate info in this thread as I'm still only learning about all of this but the first sentence in bold stood out to me and I wanted to respond from my POV and experience.

 

DH's job is quite specialized. We don't have a lot of choice on where to live. We dislike crowds and the city life so we made a conscious decision to move many, many miles from where the hustle and bustle is. COL is only slightly lower though. The downside: DH has a long commute to work (working from home is an available option but it does not give him the thrill of being right where the action is), so he leaves very early and comes home very late. Not much quality of life from a parenting point of view but I think some of that is balanced by the fact that he really enjoys the challenge of his job and would wilt (and make my life h*ll lol) without the challenge.

 

What's interesting is that he only has an honors bachelors in applied physics from an unheard of, overseas university but is currently interviewing candidates with PhDs (ETA: a few with degrees from Ivies) for positions below him. So I do agree, from our experience at least, about the second sentence in bold. :)

 

Interesting conversation!

 

We actually have a fair number of people who choose to live in our area and commute long distances to specialized jobs. It'd be a tough decision for me to make as there are certainly trade offs. We're fortunate that hubby could work practically anywhere (as can I), but I know that's not true for everyone.

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I wanted to comment on the low col/vs high col choice too . Basically when starting out, being in a low col area comes with low salary - one has to evaluate carefully to see if one will get ahead by staying. I moved to a high col area from an ultra low area because, while I took home less the first year after moving, there were opportunities for advancement that didn't exist in the low col area. Two years later I was ahead. I could also continue my education and get to professional meetings which the low col co wouldn't pay for.

 

The other disadvantages of some low COL areas are the lack of appropriate schooling for one's children and the poor medical care. Sometimes the choice is commute from the nearest big city, where your children are in the Area Country Day School, or stay rural and homeschool/distance learn. Trouble is, those options are all with a big city sticker price rather than a price that matches the salary of anyone below plant manager level in the low COL area.

 

Easiest way to get ahead that I've seen, if you aren't a legacy, is to work for a Cali or NYC company, and be their representative at some parts plant in the midwest while continuing to earn your high city wages in the local low col economy. Move back when your kids are bigger, unless they want to play football.

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Plus, the name of the college will only get you so far. Mommy, Daddy, and your alumni buddies won't help you keep the job and succeed. I would prefer a quality education with less cost over an expensive name that charges $$$$$$$ because of their name. If you really want a job then intern whenever you can.

As for DH, he chooses the resumes. No HR person weeds them out. He knows what he wants and he deals with them directly.

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It will probably take many of the same things it has always taken: hard work, a good mind, stellar test scores, ambition and motivation, extracurricular activities that demonstrate focus and commitment, a singular talent/skill, and a good interview.

 

I know that having your children attend an Ivy is a priority for you. Your children will be ahead of many in that they have a parent who has attended one and knows the drill, right? Because it is critical to you, I am confident that you will stay on top of what needs to be done in order to advance your children towards that goal.

 

:grouphug:

 

 

I was going to "Like" this post as there is a lot of truth in it (esp the first paragraph). The only issue that keeps nagging at me is one that wonders if there is such a "Ivy or Bust" feeling that the student(s) then feel their life is worthless if they aren't in that < 10%. What then? It happens and the end results aren't usually anything any of us would want.

 

I see parents at school who insist their offspring aren't going to college at all since college is a waste of money and only good for teaching drinking (seriously, I've heard that exact argument). What happens when junior WANTS to go to college (for other reasons)? It's not pretty. Junior is very torn inside. I suspect it's not much different when the whole life revolves around trying to create that special resume and it doesn't garner success. It's probably even worse if, on the inside, the student didn't even want the same goal, but was afraid to mention it.

 

I'm 100% in favor of a great education and great experiences to go along with it. I just hate to see the "(insert goal here) or bust" feeling from a parent as the offspring often aren't of the same mindset. I'd rather a direction be led by the student based upon their desires with mom/dad/guardians trying their best to provide for that path whether or not it's what "we'd" want if it had been us.

 

I'm ok with each of my boy's paths - all to different colleges. I rejoice with each in their successes and am glad my two older boys have found their perfect fit. I'm hoping youngest will do the same by this time next year. Until HE picks (and gets accepted with decent finances), he's free to change his mind a million times and I'll support him - changing anything I need to in order to help him succeed. I have not created a path for any of them. We've tried to provide an education and learning experiences for all of them. Those will stay with them for their whole lives - regardless of where life takes them.

 

No regrets here.

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I was going to "Like" this post as there is a lot of truth in it (esp the first paragraph). The only issue that keeps nagging at me is one that wonders if there is such a "Ivy or Bust" feeling that the student(s) then feel their life is worthless if they aren't in that < 10%. What then? It happens and the end results aren't usually anything any of us would want.

 

I see parents at school who insist their offspring aren't going to college at all since college is a waste of money and only good for teaching drinking (seriously, I've heard that exact argument). What happens when junior WANTS to go to college (for other reasons)? It's not pretty. Junior is very torn inside. I suspect it's not much different when the whole life revolves around trying to create that special resume and it doesn't garner success. It's probably even worse if, on the inside, the student didn't even want the same goal, but was afraid to mention it.

 

I'm 100% in favor of a great education and great experiences to go along with it. I just hate to see the "(insert goal here) or bust" feeling from a parent as the offspring often aren't of the same mindset. I'd rather a direction be led by the student based upon their desires with mom/dad/guardians trying their best to provide for that path whether or not it's what "we'd" want if it had been us.

 

I'm ok with each of my boy's paths - all to different colleges. I rejoice with each in their successes and am glad my two older boys have found their perfect fit. I'm hoping youngest will do the same by this time next year. Until HE picks (and gets accepted with decent finances), he's free to change his mind a million times and I'll support him - changing anything I need to in order to help him succeed. I have not created a path for any of them. We've tried to provide an education and learning experiences for all of them. Those will stay with them for their whole lives - regardless of where life takes them.

 

No regrets here.

 

 

Creekland, my post was specifically for Crimson Wife. I know that this is important to her and believe that she will do what she needs to do to help her children towards that goal if that is what her children decide on in the end. I wanted to encourage her that all is not lost just because the field has become more competitive.

 

My own feelings are much more complicated with regards to my own children and education in the U.S. in general. I am older than CW with oddly perverse children who insist very much on following their own path regardless of the fact that their mother worships at the altar of higher education. :tongue_smilie: Until my dd was 14, I dreamed that she would go to an Ivy. She seemed so "golden" - grades, looks, amazing Stanford scores, and winning college savings bonds for art contests, reading contests, and an essay contest for D.A.R.E. She came late to swimming, but earned a spot on the elite team for an outstanding work ethic. Never at that time could I have pictured years lost to the black hole of depression, nor could I have pictured the young woman that has emerged on the other side of that darkness.

 

I will always cheer for a fellow boardie that is aiming for an Ivy, or a military academy or Olympic swimming. Whatever! But in my heart, I will also wish that they are able to hold lightly to those goals. Pursue them by all mean, but don't tie who you are or who your children are all up in a knot over that goal. Jobs can disappear. Spouses can die or leave. Children can suffer from depression, addiction, or abuse. The greatest challenge in educating our children is not how we market them to big name school, but how we teach them to respond to life when it is less than perfect or even downright awful.

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I just hate to see the "(insert goal here) or bust" feeling from a parent as the offspring often aren't of the same mindset.

 

I agree completely. I would extend this line of thinking even if the kids are of the same mindset, or even if it's their idea from the start. While aiming for an Ivy is a great goal, I also want my kids to understand from the start that it is possible to do everything right and still not get in. And if they don't, it's not the end of the world. It's OK to be disappointed and have a good cry or rant, but they need to know they are not doomed! And they need to hear the "not doomed" message repeatedly and well before the envelopes start rolling in.

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I agree completely. I would even extend this line of thinking even if the kids are of the same mindset, or even if it's their idea from the start. While aiming for an Ivy is a great goal, I also want my kids to understand from the start that it is possible to do everything right and still not get in. And if they don't, it's not the end of the world. It's OK to be disappointed and have a good cry or rant, but they need to know they are not doomed! And they need to hear the "not doomed" message repeatedly and well before the envelopes start rolling in.

 

 

What I have seen over the last few years is that sometimes what happens after a "no" is far more "interesting than what happens after "yes." KWIM?

 

I have been thinking about this thread all afternoon. The most highly paid person in our personal circle (estimating half a million per year) has an accounting degree from our state university. He's darn good at what he does. We watched people with much better "paperwork" lose their jobs during the downturn. While I don't disagree with the advantages of an Ivy, brains and extremem competency still amount to something.

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What I have seen over the last few years is that sometimes what happens after a "no" is far more "interesting than what happens after "yes." KWIM?

 

I have been thinking about this thread all afternoon. The most highly paid person in our personal circle (estimating half a million per year) has an accounting degree from our state university. He's darn good at what he does. We watched people with much better "paperwork" lose their jobs during the downturn. While I don't disagree with the advantages of an Ivy, brains and extremem competency still amount to something.

 

Your post was so nice I liked it twice. :lol:

 

I agree. Once you get to the interview, and then once you get the job, I think it is all you. Better to be impressive than look impressive. Being both is great, of course, but being impressive is a bigger help for keeping a job.

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Pursue them by all mean, but don't tie who you are or who your children are all up in a knot over that goal. Jobs can disappear. Spouses can die or leave. Children can suffer from depression, addiction, or abuse. The greatest challenge in educating our children is not how we market them to big name school, but how we teach them to respond to life when it is less than perfect or even downright awful.

 

:iagree: my dad tied his self worth to our academic success and now to the grandkids success. It is really sad. A friend is suffering from bi-polar after going to a top tier university and good paying jobs. Two schoolmates committed suicide from academic burnout in their hostel.

My cousins are very resilient and have bounce back from setbacks with grace. I hope my kids would be as resilient as them.

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I agree completely. I would extend this line of thinking even if the kids are of the same mindset, or even if it's their idea from the start. While aiming for an Ivy is a great goal, I also want my kids to understand from the start that it is possible to do everything right and still not get in. And if they don't, it's not the end of the world. It's OK to be disappointed and have a good cry or rant, but they need to know they are not doomed! And they need to hear the "not doomed" message repeatedly and well before the envelopes start rolling in.

 

 

I agree completely. The approach dh and I have always taken is to give our kids an education that won't close any doors for them. What they choose to do with that when the time comes to apply to college is up to them. We also look at lots of schools and make sure they have great choices they'd be happy at if they are like the vast majority and don't get into the reach school.

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I will always cheer for a fellow boardie that is aiming for an Ivy, or a military academy or Olympic swimming. Whatever! But in my heart, I will also wish that they are able to hold lightly to those goals. Pursue them by all mean, but don't tie who you are or who your children are all up in a knot over that goal. Jobs can disappear. Spouses can die or leave. Children can suffer from depression, addiction, or abuse. The greatest challenge in educating our children is not how we market them to big name school, but how we teach them to respond to life when it is less than perfect or even downright awful.

 

Like swimmermom3, my family is now "far off my road map", as my sister so aptly put it. Very far. At this point, I just go to bed every night grateful that we aren't farther off my old road map. My new road map now consists of "be alive", with extra joy for "able to talk to us" and "trying not to do anything that will hurt anybody else". And yet, I sympathize with CW, the more so having grown up in an area with plenty of people, some family even, who consider ivy and the like the ordinary choice. We also aimed high, but more to keep doors open. Too many close by themselves without us closing any on purpose. It is difficult to balance what is right education-wise for one's children with the hoop-jumping required by colleges so they can compare one student to the next. We chose to err on the side of right education-wise because we were so far off the roadmap anyway, but I kept a VERY close eye on what I thought would be the minimum requirements for good colleges. It turned out that right education-wise produces students who "fit" at colleges picked for "fit". Surprise surpise lol. But it gets trickier if "fit" for your particular student is at the very, very top where there just aren't that many seats and you are competing with the whole world. People looking at that sort of "fit", like CW, are pretty worried. When I was applying to college, if your parents were ivy graduates, unless you messed up somewhere, you would too, if that was what you wanted. Now, that isn't necessarily the case and many people are looking at driving off that road map for the first time in generations. Not fun. It isn't a matter of not knowing that one can be successful with an education from a different college, perhaps even more successful. Obviously one can. It is a matter of road map.

 

Nan

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:iagree: my dad tied his self worth to our academic success and now to the grandkids success. It is really sad.

 

We are going to have this isue with my f-i-l. He's already unhappy that ds doesn't want to become a doctor! And, I know he won't be happy unless ds goes to a school that everyone has heard of!

 

For some, the appeal of "image" is hard to escape regardless of the form.

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Crimson Wife I think that your original post expressed exactly how a lot of us feel about the current state of college admissions. Some might substitute Stanford for other college names, but I think that no matter where you/your student may be considering, the truth is that it's a lot more competitive than it was when we were in high school. I don't know where it will be when your children are looking, but hopefully it will change as the number of high school graduates drops. Not advocating for lower graduation rates, :tongue_smilie: but the number of students should be dropping in the near future.

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I will always cheer for a fellow boardie that is aiming for an Ivy, or a military academy or Olympic swimming. Whatever! But in my heart, I will also wish that they are able to hold lightly to those goals. Pursue them by all mean, but don't tie who you are or who your children are all up in a knot over that goal. Jobs can disappear. Spouses can die or leave. Children can suffer from depression, addiction, or abuse. The greatest challenge in educating our children is not how we market them to big name school, but how we teach them to respond to life when it is less than perfect or even downright awful.

 

 

 

Students can also do "all the right things" in high school (stellar test scores, grades, ECs etc.) and just plain old NOT get accepted. If Ivy acceptance has been their singular goal for the previous 8 years, I can only image the feelings of frustration they'd experience.

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Many of us in the lower COL areas really wonder why anyone chooses to live in high COL areas. ;) I'm glad many do (it keeps our costs lower), but it's definitely a different mindset. Perhaps in CA you can give credit to the weather, but that's not true in NYC, NOVA, Boston, etc.

 

We've been trying for years to get out of the Bay Area but most of the jobs in my DH's industry are either here or Manhattan (which if anything probably has an even higher COL).

 

He has had plenty of colleagues who did not graduate from an Ivy caliber school BUT those people were nepotism hires. If Daddy is CEO of a big client, then the normal recruiting restrictions don't apply. Chalk it up to another example of life not being fair.

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Crimson Wife I think that your original post expressed exactly how a lot of us feel about the current state of college admissions. Some might substitute Stanford for other college names, but I think that no matter where you/your student may be considering, the truth is that it's a lot more competitive than it was when we were in high school.

 

 

I do agree. It is a bit mind boggling actually. My younger son is aware of Stanford as a potential college due to the number of computer science classes offered by Stanford Profs on Coursera. Other son has been watching MIT online classes for a long time.....sigh. DH and I have graduate degrees from state schools and are doing just fine. We have not advocated top schools at all. Darn you online classes!! I am joking here--the kids have gained so much from online content.

 

 

 

We've been trying for years to get out of the Bay Area but most of the jobs in my DH's industry are either here or Manhattan (which if anything probably has an even higher COL).

 

He has had plenty of colleagues who did not graduate from an Ivy caliber school BUT those people were nepotism hires. If Daddy is CEO of a big client, then the normal recruiting restrictions don't apply. Chalk it up to another example of life not being fair.

 

 

I sincerely wish you all the best. We left a high COL area over three years ago and DH took a big pay cut. Only after moving did I fully realize how stressed out we were there.

 

This brings up an interesting idea though. Go to a top school and become a leader in your field and you effectively exclude yourself from a large job base. You then have to stay in the higher COL area to maintain your job. Even for my husband with a Ph.D. from a public U, his area of expertise is so specific, there are only so many places where he can work. We have moved away from family in order for him to pursue his career. I would be happy if my kids went to the local U and stayed on in the area, but I doubt they will do that. :(

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This brings up an interesting idea though. Go to a top school and become a leader in your field and you effectively exclude yourself from a large job base. You then have to stay in the higher COL area to maintain your job. Even for my husband with a Ph.D. from a public U, his area of expertise is so specific, there are only so many places where he can work. We have moved away from family in order for him to pursue his career. I would be happy if my kids went to the local U and stayed on in the area, but I doubt they will do that. :(

 

 

Conventional wisdom in my family says beware where you have your family vacations, not beware where you send your children to college. : )

 

We would have moved to a low COL area after graduating, but we couldn't find jobs. Since we were living with my parents when we were job hunting, we wound up with jobs near my parents, in a high COL area. By the time my husband (I was home with children by then) was offered a job in a low COL area, we had a nice family clan situation with various inlaws and my family. It solved many of the problems of living in a high COL area. We realized that our standard of living was going to be much lower away from the family, despite the lower COL. We had children in the public school and weren't sure moving to a place with a worse school was a good idea. My husband's job opportunities were much more interesting where we were. In the end, we opted to stay put. We have had the opportunity a number of times since and have continued to stay put. At this point, lol, it is looking like I and my sisters and our husbands are all pretty committed to being retired in the same place eventually, which might or might not be here, but I suspect the same problems will occur - our children will have technical jobs and be unable to move to a remote spot. I'm beginning to be resigned to extended traveling instead of living other places. This sounds whiny but it isn't meant to be. My husband has his choice of interesting jobs here and we have this great clan and all is well. Except that not all the elders are actually in the clan and it is proving to be a challenge to care for them from afar. Making us more than ever happy with our situation.

 

The place we wanted to move to was the place we had vacationed as children. Ditto with my sisters and their husbands. Ditto with friends. Some live in the Rockies now, due to ski vacations as a child lol.

 

My husband works with people who have grad degrees and had to stay (or wanted to stay, don't know which) near their schools, in an extremely high COL area, so perhaps your idea also applies.

 

Nan

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Go to a top school and become a leader in your field and you effectively exclude yourself from a large job base. You then have to stay in the higher COL area to maintain your job. Even for my husband with a Ph.D. from a public U, his area of expertise is so specific, there are only so many places where he can work. We have moved away from family in order for him to pursue his career. I would be happy if my kids went to the local U and stayed on in the area, but I doubt they will do that.

 

It really depends on the field, not on the school from which you get the degree. Even with a degree from a not-big-name school, you can end up with a specialized education that greatly limits the number of positions in your fields. We could not even choose the country where we wanted to live, because there are only a handful of jobs for DH's highly specialized expertise.

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It really depends on the field, not on the school from which you get the degree. Even with a degree from a not-big-name school, you can end up with a specialized education that greatly limits the number of positions in your fields. We could not even choose the country where we wanted to live, because there are only a handful of jobs for DH's highly specialized expertise.

 

Same for my husband ... if you need to work at a place such as SLAC, Fermilab, CERN, a tokamak, etc. your choices of, yes, even country are limited, and the workplaces always seem to be in beautiful but high-COL areas ... Also, everyone knows everyone, on these circuits ... :)

 

We sometimes fantasized about moving to a random place, just ... wherever we wanted to go ... but -- not gonna happen. Need to eat! :)

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We sometimes fantasized about moving to a random place, just ... wherever we wanted to go ... but -- not gonna happen. Need to eat! :)

 

That's us too. I really want to live in the UK, in Wales for example, or Manchester. Love the Uni of Machester library! Kiddo and I want to learn the British accent or the Liverpudlian dialect living among the British. Not from watching Dr Who or Downton Abbey. But no can do. :glare:

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While aiming for an Ivy is a great goal, I also want my kids to understand from the start that it is possible to do everything right and still not get in. And if they don't, it's not the end of the world. It's OK to be disappointed and have a good cry or rant, but they need to know they are not doomed! And they need to hear the "not doomed" message repeatedly and well before the envelopes start rolling in.

 

As a child in a family that put far too much value on a "name" education, I learned early on that failure meant not getting into the tippy-top schools. Even though I did get the degree from the "name" college, I have spent much of the past several decades unlearning that poisonous lesson.

 

Our focus with our own kids has (hopefully) been to help them develop into mature adults who have developed their skills and talents. That way, whether or not they get into their dream school, they are interesting and interested people!

 

Students can also do "all the right things" in high school (stellar test scores, grades, ECs etc.) and just plain old NOT get accepted. If Ivy acceptance has been their singular goal for the previous 8 years, I can only image the feelings of frustration they'd experience.

 

One of my children got a full-tuition scholarship from USNWR top-20 LAC school A, which is remarkably similar to school B both in USNWR ranking and in personality. Said child not only didn't get a scholarship from school B but didn't get in at all! How could a student get a full-tuition scholarship to one school and not even get accepted by a remarkably similar school? We laugh about it now -- the admissions process at the top schools where acceptance is ~10% really is a lottery!

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Love the Uni of Machester library! Kiddo and I want to learn the British accent or the Liverpudlian dialect living among the British.

 

I thought it is because of english premier league, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. :laugh:

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How could a student get a full-tuition scholarship to one school and not even get accepted by a remarkably similar school? We laugh about it now -- the admissions process at the top schools where acceptance is ~10% really is a lottery!

 

 

My oldest son knows a boy who was valedictorian of his class at a large local high school. He wasn't accepted at UNC (he's in state) but was offered a full ride Trinity scholarship by Duke. Who knows the logic, or lack thereof, that goes into these decisions?

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We sometimes fantasized about moving to a random place, just ... wherever we wanted to go ... but -- not gonna happen. Need to eat! :)

 

 

This has me counting my blessings. Hubby has always been able to relocate anywhere we want (more or less). There are definitely benefits to having a job that is needed, literally, everywhere. (Civil engineering to anyone who is curious - if there's water, wastewater, or environmental stuff and people, someone designs it.)

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This has me counting my blessings. Hubby has always been able to relocate anywhere we want (more or less). There are definitely benefits to having a job that is needed, literally, everywhere. (Civil engineering to anyone who is curious - if there's water, wastewater, or environmental stuff and people, someone designs it.)

 

 

There are only a few centres for Husband's kind of work: London, New York, Hong Kong.... Other cities might need a few people like him, but the jobs are rare.

 

Calvin was thinking about trying to become a barrister; I think that the idea of living in a big city (or having an enormous commute) put him off.

 

Laura

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A somewhat related article -- You Got In; Now, Please Come.

 

The gist of it -- Thanks in large part to the common app, acceptance rates are lower than ever. But so are yield rates. And many colleges and universities are working hard to boost yield rates.

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A somewhat related article -- You Got In; Now, Please Come.

 

The gist of it -- Thanks in large part to the common app, acceptance rates are lower than ever. But so are yield rates. And many colleges and universities are working hard to boost yield rates.

 

 

Great article! It definitely makes sense that so many schools have upped their ED acceptances, but it makes it tough for those of us who can't use them due to finances. Showing the love definitely should help (but only so much for low acceptance rate schools).

 

Given this data:

 

Four-year colleges spent an average of $2,311 per student on recruiting in 2011, according to 2012 report by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.

 

the idea that many colleges make money off applications is put to rest.

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A somewhat related article -- You Got In; Now, Please Come.

 

The gist of it -- Thanks in large part to the common app, acceptance rates are lower than ever. But so are yield rates. And many colleges and universities are working hard to boost yield rates.

 

I'd expect that, over time, there will be a limit put on common app. applications. Universities can't afford to spend so much time considering all those excess people.

 

Personally, I think that five or six should be enough.

 

Laura

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