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Matryoshka

Tier-2 Universities

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As a follow up to what I've been saying, here's a site showing average starting and mid-career salaries for oodles of majors.  Some wages are lower than others, of course, but when one loves the job they are doing and isn't just working for money, it makes a difference.  I don't see a single average coming out < 30K per year to start and all increase a bit for mid-career.

 

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-Degrees_that_Pay_you_Back-sort.html

 

The key is getting a job, and the more competitive the specialized field, the more it matters where you go to get a job (even for networking purposes).

 

Getting back to the OP... is this particular college good?  Well, what do grads in those majors do when they graduate?  Are they accepted into respectable grad schools, working in their field, or asking if you want fries with that?  There's your answer.

 

IMO, charts like these are very difficult to interpret. This chart is for people "with only a bachelor's degree." Some fields you really *need* an advanced degree. On the other hand, some fields don't actually pay that much more even if you do have an advanced degree.

 

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I'll disagree that it's sad. I'd like to see all professions earning a respectable living wage. This includes academic jobs, prof jobs, trade jobs, and even "high school degree only" jobs.

 

The difference lies in the niche that fits our kids.

 

I fully agree with you that kids need to look at all aspects of careers to determine which niche truly fits them - money is only a part of that. I'd hate for my guys to be trudging along in a job they hate even if it pays really well. I'd much rather they earn less and enjoy what they are doing.

We'll have to disagree. My kids have managed to achieve academic and career goals debt-free and with minimal to no cost to us personally. There are kids and their families taking on significant debt believing that they need to attend school Z bc that is the only path to a high paying career. They cannot see the future, nor are they even clear about the path bc they "know" the answer they have been told. I do think that is sad.

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We'll have to disagree. My kids have managed to achieve academic and career goals debt-free and with minimal to no cost to us personally. There are kids and their families taking on significant debt believing that they need to attend school Z bc that is the only path to a high paying career. They cannot see the future, nor are they even clear about the path bc they "know" the answer they have been told. I do think that is sad.

 

??? I don't disagree with this.  The part I thought you were referring to as "sad" was that a 2 year degree could have an equivalent or higher salary than a 4 year degree.

 

I've never been in favor of taking out mega debt for any degree from any college, but for some degrees, some debt is definitely worth it - pending the student, their family, and what niche they are after.  It beats spending 4 years getting a degree employers scoff at and then complaining how no one with that degree can do anything afterward.  Others with a similar degree (but different school) are doing just fine.

 

It definitely takes homework and hours put into research to find "best" options for a particular student when one factors in everything.  Kudos to the OP for considering many options instead of blindly following any single path.

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??? I don't disagree with this. The part I thought you were referring to as "sad" was that a 2 year degree could have an equivalent or higher salary than a 4 year degree.

 

I've never been in favor of taking out mega debt for any degree from any college, but for some degrees, some debt is definitely worth it - pending the student, their family, and what niche they are after. It beats spending 4 years getting a degree employers scoff at and then complaining how no one with that degree can do anything afterward. Others with a similar degree (but different school) are doing just fine.

 

It definitely takes homework and hours put into research to find "best" options for a particular student when one factors in everything. Kudos to the OP for considering many options instead of blindly following any single path.

This thread was started bc of doubting the wisdom of attending a lower ranked school debt-free vs a top school with debt.

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IMO, charts like these are very difficult to interpret. This chart is for people "with only a bachelor's degree." Some fields you really *need* an advanced degree. On the other hand, some fields don't actually pay that much more even if you do have an advanced degree.

 

 

All more to be looked at, but I posted the chart in response to someone who said certain degrees were only netting their owners $1300 per month.  That's not really an overall degree issue as much as another problem - perhaps the degree not coming from a respected enough school in that field to net a job with a bachelor's degree or a decent position in grad school.  It could also reflect work ethic or people skills of the owner too, of course.

 

I know people IRL who have degrees coming from colleges where that particular degree is not thought well of.  Then they wonder why jobs aren't out there.  Then they say there are no jobs for those with their degrees...  

 

The more competitive a field is, the more where the degree comes from matters.

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This thread was started bc of doubting the wisdom of attending a lower ranked school debt-free vs a top school with debt.

 

Yes, there is GOOD REASON to doubt that wisdom.  See my previous post.

 

There are also good success stories where it can work out very well.  

 

The OP is in the position of figuring out if this school is a gem or an anvil.  To figure that out, see what recent grads from that school with that major are doing...

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The more competitive a field is, the more where the degree comes from matters.

That is a sweeping generalization. All fields? What about work experience...undergrad research, internships, coops? National awards? GPA? References?

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Quite frankly, as a philosophy major, I wouldn't take out a single penny of debt or sell a single ounce of equity for a degree in anthropology, philosophy, philology, or the like. So I'd go for what you can pay cash.

 

I just interviewed 5 candidates with degrees in the social / historical sciences / anthro / women's studies / psych (master's to PhD levels). The average salary among them, and they were quite amazing people, was, and I am not making this up, $1,300/month.

 

I could go on. Seriously. How many anthropologists were hired last year in the United States and Canada?

 

I think it's fine if she studies it. But I think the source of the degree is far less important than the subject studied. I do think anthropology is important! It's just not really a living-wage degree for most people.

 

That's ONE thousand, THREE hundred dollars a month. Average 10 years of experience. True, salaries aren't all that low but some of them truly, truly suck. It's actually insulting. And these were the top five out of about 75 candidates. All went to flagship or well-known private schools.

 

Well, this kid is not going to be a doctor (well, she did want to be a forensic pathologist at one point, but the stress of med school would just do her in).  Same for lawyer.  She is not a STEM kid.  She says she doesn't care about a big salary.  Her other big career ambition was to be a ballet dancer, but her body had other ideas.

 

So, I'm thinking, let her do what she wants, but NO DEBT.  Then at least she has the piece of paper, and can go on to grad school, or at least if she ends up in a low-wage job she only has to support her current needs . Or she could end up in a totally different career (both my brother and SIL were Anthro majors - he's now a hs BIology teacher; she worked at a museum doing educational programs, took time off for kids, and is now working for the Guidance dept. at db's high school.  When we went to the CC to sign up for DE and she said she was interested in Anthro - well, guess what the DE counselor's major was...)

 

 

I think it would be a huge long-shot for her to end up an archaeologist digging in Egypt or discovering the next Titanic-type shipwreck, both things she's said she'd like to do.  But you know, I'm a killjoy if I say that out loud (like when I said a number of years back when she first brought up underwater archaeology - to get a job in that field you'll have to wait till one opens up when someone falls off Bob Ballard's boat and drowns...  she still throws that back in my face!)  This spring she found the guy who run's our state's Underwater Archaeology program (who knew such a thing existed!) and asked him for an internship.  He said they usually only take college/grad students, but she should take his class this summer - that's the class at the State U she's taking next week.  At least she'll get a chance to see if she likes field work!

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That is a sweeping generalization. All fields? What about work experience...undergrad research, internships, coops?

 

You know what?  Believe what you want.  

 

Your son is going to a very respectable school for free.  He found quite the gem.  He also could have gone to some schools locally to me for free and still gotten his Physics/Math degree. They do not have all that his top school (and Honors College to boot) offer.  Do you seriously think a degree from one of those would equal his?  Do you seriously think graduates from these schools are going to have similar opportunities or have a similar education? Undergrad research?  That doesn't happen everywhere...  I know a couple with Physics degrees who have had to choose other occupations due to not finding jobs and not getting accepted into grad school.  I know this with Engineers too.

 

Your guy should have plenty of doors open to him BECAUSE of the school he's chosen and its reputation.

 

Not everyone can get such a gem for free.  Your guy had higher stats (and more) than the OP.  

 

To me, what I see all around me is quite obvious, but perhaps that's due to seeing oodles of students each year.

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This spring she found the guy who run's our state's Underwater Archaeology program (who knew such a thing existed!) and asked him for an internship.  He said they usually only take college/grad students, but she should take his class this summer - that's the class at the State U she's taking next week.  At least she'll get a chance to see if she likes field work!

 

A GREAT source!  Assuming she likes what she's doing, have her ask HIM about schools in general and the school you are specifically considering.

 

He ought to know if it's a good free gem or not.  None of us are likely to know with something that specific.

 

If she doesn't like it and changes paths... then your research will be into something else.  ;)

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A GREAT source!  Assuming she likes what she's doing, have her ask HIM about schools in general and the school you are specifically considering.

 

He ought to know if it's a good free gem or not.  None of us are likely to know with something that specific.

 

If she doesn't like it and changes paths... then your research will be into something else.   ;)

 

Yes, I'm hoping he'll be able to tell her if this school would be worth it.

 

Way back before they started high school, I made them look through the Teenage Liberation Handbook, and one thing it went on about is how you don't have to take a regular Chemistry course in high school, you just find a Chemist to mentor you.  It's been a running joke in our family about how we just have to "find a Chemist".  I feel like maybe she's found a "Chemist"!  At the every least, you're right, he can hopefully talk to her about where the good programs are, and what the field is like to actually work in.

 

 

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You know what? Believe what you want.

 

Your son is going to a very respectable school for free. He found quite the gem. He also could have gone to some schools locally to me for free and still gotten his Physics/Math degree. They do not have all that his top school (and Honors College to boot) offer. Do you seriously think a degree from one of those would equal his? Do you seriously think graduates from these schools are going to have similar opportunities or have a similar education? Undergrad research? That doesn't happen everywhere... I know a couple with Physics degrees who have had to choose other occupations due to not finding jobs and not getting accepted into grad school. I know this with Engineers too.

 

Your guy should have plenty of doors open to him BECAUSE of the school he's chosen and its reputation.

 

Not everyone can get such a gem for free. Your guy had higher stats (and more) than the OP.

 

To me, what I see all around me is quite obvious, but perhaps that's due to seeing oodles of students each year.

I was actually posting my thoughts in terms of my oldest bc I know his outcome. My youngest ds's future is still in the future. Oldest ds's stats were completely on par with the OP. But, see, I don't think those stats mean anything. His test scores didn't define his abilities or anything about who he is. They simply reflected how he did on a 3 hr test. He is every bit as talented as his younger brother. (ETA: I certainly didn't think he was incapable of high levels of success bc his test scores more avg and weren't in the upper 90th percentiles or bc he didn't attend a top school. His level of achievement is NOT a surprise. He is innovative, deliberate, and hard-working. Those character traits exceed test scores and school name every where. And YES, I absolutely do believe that.)

 

Fwiw, if younger ds hadn't gotten into the honors program and the scholarship $$, he would have chosen the local university. The research the professors were recruiting him for would have made choose that option. He now says he believes he could have made the local option work for him. (He is encouraging his younger sister in this direction.)

 

Our dd is meeting with the foreign lang dept At the local RNP university next week to see if they can do for her what the physics dept offered ds. (Independent study.) She is already beyond what they offer in French and will be significantly advanced for their Russian program since she is only a jr. Will It doom her future to attend someplace like that over someplace like Middlebury? It is really irrelevant bc Middlebury isn't an option. Debt- free and making a name for themselves based on where they land is the option they have. So far, they have done pretty well for themselves.

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Local and bad are not synonyms.

 

Tier 2 and bad are not synonyms.

 

Free and good are not synonyms.  (Think of that "free" couch that's been out on the curb for a week or two.  ;)  )

 

Ivy/Top Whatever and good are not synonyms.

 

Some debt and bad are not synonyms.

 

 

Mega debt and bad are pretty close to synonyms.

 

Watch out for that last one.  Do homework on all the others.

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You know what? Believe what you want.

 

Your son is going to a very respectable school for free. He found quite the gem. He also could have gone to some schools locally to me for free and still gotten his Physics/Math degree. They do not have all that his top school (and Honors College to boot) offer. Do you seriously think a degree from one of those would equal his? Do you seriously think graduates from these schools are going to have similar opportunities or have a similar education? Undergrad research? That doesn't happen everywhere... I know a couple with Physics degrees who have had to choose other occupations due to not finding jobs and not getting accepted into grad school. I know this with Engineers too.

 

Your guy should have plenty of doors open to him BECAUSE of the school he's chosen and its reputation.

 

Not everyone can get such a gem for free. Your guy had higher stats (and more) than the OP.

 

To me, what I see all around me is quite obvious, but perhaps that's due to seeing oodles of students each year.

Thank you for saying this. I have a bright kid with a 30 ACT. We run in a crowd with lots of National Merit kids. Those parents keep stressing that my kid needs to go to the cheapest place or free place. But you know what? Nothing is going to be FREE for him. He is in the middle ground with good, not great, stats and relatively modest EFC. So he can possibly go to a regional state U with a 15% graduation rate for $5000 or a well regarded private university with abundant opportunities for not much more. Even if it makes taking on some modest student loans I think the more expensive option is wiser. I think it is possible to be penny wise pound foolish and I am trying to avoid that.

 

Now, if ds had a good free or nearly free option we would be all over that. But most kids really don't have that option. Big debt is not good but not every family that takes on basic student loans is uninformed or just chasing a brand name school.

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Thank you for saying this. I have a bright kid with a 30 ACT. We run in a crowd with lots of National Merit kids. Those parents keep stressing that my kid needs to go to the cheapest place or free place. But you know what? Nothing is going to be FREE for him. He is in the middle ground with good, not great, stats and relatively modest EFC. So he can possibly go to a regional state U with a 15% graduation rate for $5000 or a well regarded private university with abundant opportunities for not much more. Even if it makes taking on some modest student loans I think the more expensive option is wiser. I think it is possible to be penny wise pound foolish and I am trying to avoid that.

 

Now, if ds had a good free or nearly free option we would be all over that. But most kids really don't have that option. Big debt is not good but not every family that takes on basic student loans is uninformed or just chasing a brand name school.

 

One of middle son's friends/peers from his high school years chose to go to a totally free (to him) school.  Both wanted pre-med.  Both will get into med school - I've no doubts at this point.  The school choice didn't matter with that.  

 

However, his peer is admittedly envious at the opportunities my guy has had and wishes he had chosen differently.  The research opportunities are not the same - not even close.  The class depth is not the same nor close.  My guy has a nice enough resume that he might have decent odds of getting into a top med school should he want to try for one (he'll know after he gets his MCAT score).  He's also been told he would be a decent candidate for MSTP if he wants to head that direction.  His peer knows he can try for top med schools, but if they have similar MCATs, his app isn't as in depth with research, etc.  Will it matter?  Who knows.

 

In the end, both lads will be successful at becoming doctors barring anything changing and either are ones I would recommend from knowing both boys and who they are.  His peer will have no undergrad debt.  My guy will have roughly 25K (that we might be able to help him with) AND we've contributed a fair amount (far less than full pay).

 

Neither of us have regrets.  My guy is enjoying his schooling years tremendously.  The experience he's getting is well worth it (to us) even if they end up side by side in med school.

 

In your situation, I'd probably avoid a school with a 15% graduation rate like the plague... 5K would be a bit too much to pay IMO.

 

There are free gems for some kids, but it depends upon the situation and what they are looking for.

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Now he's 18 and he's moved up to Starbucks.  He's a smart kid, and says he's going to do more with his life than serve coffee, but I think it can be hard to switch back to school mode once you're used to working and making money (even if it isn't a ton). 

Actually, this kid may have stumbled onto (or possibly researched?) the best place to work if you're going to study part time online. Starbucks has a deal with ASU's online program and offers tuition discounts for the first 2 years of credits and then pays for the last two years. ASU also launched a program with EdX to offer typical freshman classes for ASU credit. The deal is that you don't have to pay for the class unless you pass and want credit, so you can try it out for just $45 without risking an F on your permanent transcript.

 

Here are the links if you'd like to strew them near this kid, although he might already know all this:

 

https://www.edx.org/gfa

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/05/the-upwardly-mobile-barista/389513/

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Actually, this kid may have stumbled onto (or possibly researched?) the best place to work if you're going to study part time online. Starbucks has a deal with ASU's online program and offers tuition discounts for the first 2 years of credits and then pays for the last two years. ASU also launched a program with EdX to offer typical freshman classes for ASU credit. The deal is that you don't have to pay for the class unless you pass and want credit, so you can try it out for just $45 without risking an F on your permanent transcript.

 

He does know that; not sure if he'll take advantage of it, at least right away.  Online classes can be hard to stay motivated with.  I mean, there were lots of free classes online through EdX and things like that he could have done this past year for senior year, but didn't.  But you're right, it could be a place to start at some point, and maybe it is in fact part of his plan.

 

The other really good thing about Starbucks is that it offers benefits to even part-time workers.  Won't he be needing his own healthcare after 18 if he isn't a full-time student, or can young adults still be on the parents' healthcare under ACA even if not a student?

 

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You can stay on your parents' health insurance until you're 26. I have a nephew who is a college grad and married who is still on his mom's insurance because it's his cheapest option.

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You might get better feedback if you post questions about the actual university.  That would let people give specific feedback that isn't filtered through our individual ideas of what is in what tier.

 

 

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Quite frankly, as a philosophy major, I wouldn't take out a single penny of debt or sell a single ounce of equity for a degree in anthropology, philosophy, philology, or the like. So I'd go for what you can pay cash.

 

I just interviewed 5 candidates with degrees in the social / historical sciences / anthro / women's studies / psych (master's to PhD levels). The average salary among them, and they were quite amazing people, was, and I am not making this up, $1,300/month.

 

That's ONE thousand, THREE hundred dollars a month. Average 10 years of experience. True, salaries aren't all that low but some of them truly, truly suck. It's actually insulting. And these were the top five out of about 75 candidates. All went to flagship or well-known private schools.

 

I made that mistake, as a first generation student in 1995. In 2011 I got my professional degree that added about $50k annually to my market value (just getting there as the recovery hits my sector and I branch out). The first I was able to make work. The second worked for me.

 

I could write a song.

 

"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up with just "soft skills".

Social services ain't easy to support and they're harder to get out of student debt.

They'd rather give you mediocre advice than diamonds or gold.

Worn out converse and 10-year-old Dockers from Costco,

And each day begins a new extremely long commute.

If you don't understand her and she doesn't die young,

She'll have to work until she dies because she'll never retire.

 

 

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to work in the public sector.

Don't let 'em do casework or drive a sh*tty Datsun.

Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to make a difference.

'Cause they'll never leave home and they won't be able to buy a ring

Even for someone they love."

 

I could go on. Seriously. How many anthropologists were hired last year in the United States and Canada?

 

I think it's fine if she studies it. But I think the source of the degree is far less important than the subject studied. I do think anthropology is important! It's just not really a living-wage degree for most people.

 

I tend to agree with this, but as a classical philosophy major myself, I would also be inclined to be picky about the department I would study in - not all programs are created equal.  I don't think that is necessarily going to correspond to rankings and such though - you would have to look at the individual department.  It might be less so with anthropology, but I would not think it would be totally different.

 

If I couldn't find a very affordable and also good program, I'd do something else entirely.

 

The exeption might be if the undergraduate degree was just a step on the way to something specific that would have some reasonable expectation of providing a good salary - I have friends who did specific things with classics degrees, like the army or priesthood or even med school, and that was their plan all along.

 

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You might get better feedback if you post questions about the actual university.  That would let people give specific feedback that isn't filtered through our individual ideas of what is in what tier.

 

Bridgewater State. 

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One thing I was wondering about is if there is any kind of accreditation for anthro depts that might make a difference for employment or grad school.

 

For example, computer science programs can be accredited through the engineering accreditation society.  (the name escapes me)

 

 

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Bridgewater State. 

 

RNP seems to mean that it is in the lower 25% of its category.  Category assignments are based in part on having PhD programs and other markers that don't necessarily indicate the quality of a specific program.  

 

I think it would be useful to ask people like the underwater archaeology instructor what they know about the college program.

 

18. What does it mean when a school is marked as Rank Not Published or Unranked?

For the fourth year in a row, U.S. News has labeled all the schools in the second tier of the National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges categories as Rank Not Published to explain why some schools don't have a numerical rank and score listed next to them.

 

Rank Not Published means that U.S. News did calculate a numerical rank and overall score for that school, but decided for editorial reasons not to publish the rank and score for that school on usnews.com. U.S. News publishes numerical ranks for only the top three-fourths of each ranking category. Schools labeled Rank Not Published are in the bottom 25 percent of their ranking category. 

 

U.S. News will supply schools listed as Rank Not Published with their numerical rank and score, if they submit a request following the procedures listed in the Information for School Officials page. Schools marked as Rank Not Published are listed alphabetically.

 

Unranked means that U.S. News did not calculate a numerical rank for that school. The school did not qualify to be numerically ranked by U.S. News. Schools marked as Unranked are listed alphabetically and are listed below those marked as Rank Not Published.

 

U.S. News believes that because schools listed as Unranked are unable to report key educational characteristics – for example, they can't submit SAT or ACT scores because they aren't used in admissions decisions â€“ or because these schools have certain other characteristics, it would be unfair to try to compare them statistically with the other schools that are part of the rankings.

There is a more detailed explanation above and in the general methodology for why a school is listed as Unranked.

 

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2014/09/08/frequently-asked-questions-2015-best-colleges-rankings#21

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Don't forget that there's a world of options between Bridgewater and Smith. If you visit Bridgewater and your daughter likes it, then you have a good admissions and financial safety.  I remember this time two years ago.  Each time I'd read about one of the colleges dd was considering, I'd find all kinds of valid reasons why it would be a great fit for her and I'd fall in love with it.  In this initial review of the colleges I tended to pick out the best of each one, and gloss over the not so good parts.  After dd had actually applied and we were waiting for decisions, I had more time to research some more thoroughly and I'd find enough of the negatives for some to say that she probably could have dropped them from her applications list.  The applications and waiting time is such a roller coaster - or at least it was for me.  Dd was too busy with classes and ECs to go through what I did, but she was still very relieved when acceptances started to arrive.  She was more practical and able to wait to visit and carefully weigh her options.  But in the end I'm glad that she applied to all that she did because neither of us would have guessed she'd end up where she did.  And looking at it now, it's a great fit for her.

 

I think you're right to have her consider the level of stress at the different schools, but at this point I'd be looking to widen possibilities and wait for decisions to narrow them, assuming the costs for applying are within an acceptable range.  Overnight visits are a great way to get to know a bit of the college culture and to get a sense of whether it might be a good fit or not.  I'd also consider that she may change her mind a few times about her major area of study, so while a particular program's ranking should be taken into account, the overall academics and offerings should be considered as well. 

 

If you want an idea of how an RNP school might be ranked, you can look on various other sites.  One that I've found helpful is Niche.  But remember that how good of a fit it is for her is what will count the most.  An honors college within the university might give her a very different experience from the average student as well.  With it being only an hour from home, she can start visiting and asking questions this summer.   I know it's important to have at least one safety, if you can, but having two or three means that the student will end up with choices no matter how the other decisions turn out. 

 

You're doing a great job researching options for her!  Now that she's found her chemist, maybe she could shadow him a bit this summer.  Another thought is that if she decides to homeschool her senior year, maybe she could take a course there this fall so she can check it out. (I think she's debating whether to return to ps or homeschool, but I may be wrong.)  It might also help her to become more involved in the college search process as it will likely open up her world to more  possibilities.  I know an hour is still a distance to travel, but maybe there's a course which meets only once a week or is a hybrid in-class/online one. 

 

 

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Some of the things I liked:

 

1. There is an honors program for kids who are more ambitious and academically focused, to help her get the most out of the school

 

2. The anthropology web page shows at least a few kids each year (3-6) doing the undergraduate research option over the past few years. Research isn't something that is just available "in theory."

 

3. Five tenure-track faculty in anthropology is a good size department - some of the little liberal arts schools will only have 2 or 3. I did not look up any of them on ratemyprofessor, though.

 

If she is planning a career in a credentials-obsessed area (e.g. becoming a tenure-track faculty member), she should go for a stronger name. If she wants to study anthropology as part of a liberal arts education and not go on for a PhD, it looks like she could get a nice education there.

 

Next step is definitely to visit, sit in on a class, etc.

 

I also agree with the above: There should be a world of options between Bridgewater and Smith. If you're really lost, I agree with the suggestion to ask someone in the field, or perhaps buy a copy of Rugg's Recommendations or try the lists at collegexpress.com.

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I fully agree with you that kids need to look at all aspects of careers to determine which niche truly fits them - money is only a part of that.  

 

Money is "only a part" of life when you're rich.

 

When you're poor, it is 100% of what you need.

 

The idea of "fit" and "satisfaction" are things that you can only look for after you have a comfortable life.

 

Students should look for money first, then personal satisfaction, unless, of course, you feel like supporting your child for their entire life out of their need. I know people in the social services who can't have weddings* because they are too poor. Can you imagine? Probably not, or you'd never say "money is only a part of that".

 

Unless the parents are rich, the student taking out any loans at all should be looking at majors that feed into salaries that START at at least 500% of the poverty line and the median salary of which is at least 1000% of the poverty line. Otherwise, you're going to have to eat your fit and your satisfaction while you wait in line for SNAP or Section 8.

 

The other option would be no loans and planned life with a rich spouse and/or no children.

 

*They get married at the courthouse--of course they can marry.

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Money is "only a part" of life when you're rich.

 

When you're poor, it is 100% of what you need.

 

The idea of "fit" and "satisfaction" are things that you can only look for after you have a comfortable life.

 

Students should look for money first, then personal satisfaction, unless, of course, you feel like supporting your child for their entire life out of their need. I know people in the social services who can't have weddings* because they are too poor. Can you imagine? Probably not, or you'd never say "money is only a part of that".

 

Unless the parents are rich, the student taking out any loans at all should be looking at majors that feed into salaries that START at at least 500% of the poverty line and the median salary of which is at least 1000% of the poverty line. Otherwise, you're going to have to eat your fit and your satisfaction while you wait in line for SNAP or Section 8.

 

The other option would be no loans and planned life with a rich spouse and/or no children.

 

*They get married at the courthouse--of course they can marry.

 

Youngest has pretty much decided he wants to live somewhere third world and work in missions of sorts (probably more Peace Corps type, but with a religious backing rather than secular, just with a "real" job there).  IRL even now he'd be quite content with a tent in the Everglades and a Port O John - or skip that latter bit - just the tent would be ok.

 

He's been to third world countries.  The level of living he is considering is not unknown to him.  It's actually more appealing than the materialistic world/country we live in.

 

If he stays in this country he still expects to live as simply as he can.  He already does to be honest.

 

YMMV

 

Any of those starting salaries listed would be enough for an entry level job IMO.  It will depend upon how much one wants/needs to be content.

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Wanted to update and say that we visited the college yesterday.  Dd said she really liked it!  It really does have a nicer campus than Flagship U, and the town is small but cute with shops and a walking district that can be walked to from campus, and the train station to Boston is right on campus.

 

We weren't able to talk to the Anthro Dept - don't think a lot of people are around for the summer.  Admissions suggested sending them an email?  How do you guys usually get all that info out of the dept?  We'll definitely visit again in the fall when school is in session.

 

So, I feel like we have a really good reach (Smith) and a really good safety (Bridgewater).  I know there are lots of options in the middle, but I'm having a really hard time finding one (or better yet, more than one)!  (I started a whole thread about this a while back, which is actually how Bridgewater came to my attention - you guys are great!).  Her other top choices have been BU and NYU, which I'm happy to have her apply to, but I honestly think are not good fits - both because they're really big and I think she needs a place where she can stand out and also not get lost, and because I'm guessing even if they get in they'll 'gap' her and we wouldn't be able to afford it.  Someone on that other thread suggested Concordia in Montreal and I was feeling very bullish about it for a while, but it's even more geenormous than those other schools, only has housing for a small percentage of freshmen (no upperclassmen) - I think again it would be easy for her to get lost there.

 

I feel like she needs some more Honda schools (or any Honda schools).  I thought UMass Amherst would be on that list, but again, it's huge, and she didn't like it when we visited.  :(  She would like not to go too far - say, Northeast within a 4-6 hour radius, so all those nice cheap schools in the MIdwest and South are out. 

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I mentioned Wooster earlier in this thread.  Jane in NC's ds had a fabulous experience there and got to go on incredible digs.  You should PM her for more info.

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I mentioned Wooster earlier in this thread.  Jane in NC's ds had a fabulous experience there and got to go on incredible digs.  You should PM her for more info.

 

Yes, but it's in the MIdwest.  Over 10 hours away, and well, Ohio.  I've suggested both Wooster and Oberlin to her, but she won't even look at them.

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I'd have her asking the prof she's taking a class with for more suggestions as well as for thoughts about Bridgewater.  It's all sounding promising at this point though.

 

And yes, I've contacted departments by e-mail - definitely.  Many colleges we've visited were too far away to not use e-mail for some "trimming down" basics.  Since my guys were homeschoolers, I mentioned I was acting as their guidance counselor and wanted more info.

 

Once a college hit the "plan to apply" list all communication was done by my guys.  I only did research to assist with getting that list since I had FAR more time than they did to comb through oodles of schools.

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Great update!  

 

UMass still looks like a fabulous option.  They have pre-college programs for high school students this summer, and it doesn't indicate that they're no longer accepting applications.  Maybe she could go there for a week?  Cost is about $1200 for a week, but it might be money well spent as she'd probably like it much more if she just spent some time on campus.   Just a thought.  I think the campus looks nice!  Maybe you need to show her a truly concrete only campus so she can see the comparison. 

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interesting discussion.  in my opinion the car analogy is insufficient since it assumes everyone can drive all cars.  better examples to me would include a stick shift BMW M3 with a 400 HP engine that some drivers would kill themselves in.  some tier 1 schools would serve some students about as well as that race car would serve an old man like me.  but that's just me being logically picky.  and I'm completely out of date on this discussion which has moved way past this and seems to be succeeding excellently.  congratulations on this difficult process.

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If she won't go west, would she consider south -- St Mary's College of Maryland?

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interesting discussion.  in my opinion the car analogy is insufficient since it assumes everyone can drive all cars.  

 

Did you miss the "different cars have different features" part of the analogy? 

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Money is "only a part" of life when you're rich.

 

When you're poor, it is 100% of what you need.

 

The idea of "fit" and "satisfaction" are things that you can only look for after you have a comfortable life.

 

Students should look for money first, then personal satisfaction, unless, of course, you feel like supporting your child for their entire life out of their need. I know people in the social services who can't have weddings* because they are too poor. Can you imagine? Probably not, or you'd never say "money is only a part of that".

 

Unless the parents are rich, the student taking out any loans at all should be looking at majors that feed into salaries that START at at least 500% of the poverty line and the median salary of which is at least 1000% of the poverty line. Otherwise, you're going to have to eat your fit and your satisfaction while you wait in line for SNAP or Section 8.

 

The other option would be no loans and planned life with a rich spouse and/or no children.

 

*They get married at the courthouse--of course they can marry.

 

 

Past the degree earning stage, talent and ability play into career success and potential income stream. It may make no difference if a person has a computer science degree if they are competing for jobs with people who have a similar degree with greater innate talent and greater interest in the field than they do. They, in fact, might be better off from a financial standpoint to have a degree and seek jobs in a field where they have an innate talent and interest. An employed landscaper has more financial security than an unemployed computer programmer, even though it would appear that the computer programmer has more income potential. Over five years, the employed landscaper will still earn more money than the unemployed computer programmer. 

 

You can also rest assured there are plenty of people with computer science degrees (or any number of various degrees) who are unemployed for a variety of reasons. A degree is not a guarantee of success or employment in the field. 

 

I'm going to stop now, because I am not sure I am making sense anymore. 

 

Edited to remove personal information. 

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I thought of another possible Canadian option for you, Matryoshka (I don't really know any American schools, so can't help you there):

University of New Brunswick-Fredericton has anthropology and archaeology. I think it's about 9000 students and the city is about 85,000. It looks as though it should be within your travel distance radius, more or less (I don't know where exactly in Massachusetts you are), and even the international tuition appears quite reasonable (it's 7000 for Canadians, and internationals add about 8500 more--all in Canadian dollars of course, so in the neighbourhood of 12K US if the exchange stays around 78 cents). There look to be plenty of residences, too.

 

There are some good options in Halifax, too, but that is getting to be outside of your optimum driving distance.

 

Just another idea to toss into the mix!

 

ETA: Is she still interested in linguistics, too? If so, another idea: Glendon College (has linguistics, but not anthropology) in Toronto (the drive is a little long, but Boston to Toronto should be easy on train, plane, etc.) is a small college in a huge city. It's associated with York University, which is gigantic, but one can choose to do all one's courses at Glendon (a separate and lovely little campus, with its own residences), or choose to take advantage of some of the courses at the great big university. One can also do one's degree in two or three different languages of instruction, which is a neat feature, I think.

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Has your daughter looked at Ursinus? It's on the CTCL list, and I believe has a good anthropology dept. I fell totally in love with the school a few years ago when my son toured it. I loved the talks the president and other faculty gave. The chapel was gorgeous, the buildings were beautiful, the students seemed sincere. (Their biology dept was so interesting). They offered my son an amazing amount of merit, over 30,000 but in the end, he didnt love it as much as I did. It's a small school and one that seems like a place your daughter could really shine, and close enough, I think, for your location requirement.

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Yes, they can. But other regions have very different attitudes about university reputations. In Texas, you really are better off going to UT or TAMU if you want to live here after graduation. It makes no sense to pay outrageous private school tuition if you can attend a well regarded school and pay our bargain instate tuition.

 

Could you check out the schools that are highly ranked on the National Research Council's Anthropology list? It ranks grad programs, but it's a decent proxy for undergrad at least for a first pass:

 

http://chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-/124703/

 

There are lots of state schools that would probably be very happy to get someone from MA and might even offer instate tuition.

 

Happy hunting!

My neighbor's kid is a freshman EE student at TAMU next month.

 

We live in Lubbock.. It seems to make more financial sense for  D12 to attend Texas Tech so she may live at home and hopefully graduate debt free. 

 

I struggle with TAMU and certain debt/ better job prospects  or TTU and most likely debt free/ not as good job prospects.

 

D12 will likely end up in EE, CS, CE or ME.

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I don,t know anything about Bridgewater, but I do know something about small state schools compared to, say, UMass Amherst. How much is your daughter going to be influenced by what others say about Bridgewater? If she is a certain kind of person, she will only "do" school if she has faith in the school, and that faith may be influenced by what others say. If she losses faith, it may feed i to her insecurity and depression and make it likely that she won,t throw her heart into her education enough to finish.

 

( This kind of person tends to do school as part of a pack, also. Will she be able to FIND a suitably enthusiastic pack at Bridgewater? I don,t know if your child is like this. I have one who is and two who aren,t. The one who is is an exceedingly successful adult BECAUSE he is pack oriented. Things were just rather dicy around the end of his teens when he didn,t have much experience with people yet. Now he,s older, he,s leading his pack GRIN. I,m not knocking this type of personality. It just needs to be taken into account.)

 

(I readily admit that these are rich people problems. Being able to spend family resources to get a fragile child through something that takes strength is pretty much my definition of "rich".)

 

About the anthro - My impression of that field is that if you want to work in it, you pretty much need prof,s with connections who can help you make your own connections and find you opportunities that wouldn,t be open to others. It is the department that matters, not the college. Sometimes top DEPARTMENTS hide out in mediocre colleges.

 

Pick the college your daughter will finish. The east has some mediocre colleges with a pretty uniformly depressed and depressing student body. She is unlikely to finish if she goes to one. She is unlikely to finish if she goes to a huge college where she can,t find friends or ask her prof,s questions when she doesn,t understand. She,ll shut down or give up. Your job as her mother is to guide her away from those two into something vibrant and exciting that seems DOABLE. She won,t have the experience to tell. It is hard enough as an older, experienced adult. You put things on her list, she puts things on her list, she applies, you discuss the pros and cons (see that recent thread about questions to ask), and then she makes the final choice. At least that is the way it went in our family.

 

I can say that in my extended family, We have found that "reachable by car" means a parent can spend the morning driving, take child out to lunch and spend the afternoon, feed them an early supper, and then drive home. That means there is a big difference between 4 hrs and 5 hrs. 4 is about max, for us. There is a huge "feel" difference between 1 hr and 2. One is not a big imposition. A parent can go after work, eat with child, and get to bed more or less on time. It can be just-for-fun. 2 hrs requires more than an evening. It requires either in "important" reason or planning ahead. This is prob true only for new Englanders. People in other parts of the country will feel differently about distances.

 

Just in case it is helpful...

 

Nan

 

ETA rereading, it sounds like I am worried about what family will think about a small stae college. I didn,t mean that. I meant her peers.

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I have heard this about BU, too. A relative loved his classes there but if your daughter doesn,t like the UMass Amherst campus, i can,t imagine that she,d like BU,s. My youngest refused even to tour it (or Northeastern), knowing what it looked like from driving by. We were relieved.

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I don,t know anything about Bridgewater, but I do know something about small state schools compared to, say, UMass Amherst. How much is your daughter going to be influenced by what others say about Bridgewater? If she is a certain kind of person, she will only "do" school if she has faith in the school, and that faith may be influenced by what others say. If she losses faith, it may feed i to her insecurity and depression and make it likely that she won,t throw her heart into her education enough to finish.

 

( This kind of person tends to do school as part of a pack, also. Will she be able to FIND a suitably enthusiastic pack at Bridgewater? I don,t know if your child is like this. I have one who is and two who aren,t. The one who is is an exceedingly successful adult BECAUSE he is pack oriented. Things were just rather dicy around the end of his teens when he didn,t have much experience with people yet. Now he,s older, he,s leading his pack GRIN. I,m not knocking this type of personality. It just needs to be taken into account.)

 

(I readily admit that these are rich people problems. Being able to spend family resources to get a fragile child through something that takes strength is pretty much my definition of "rich".)

 

About the anthro - My impression of that field is that if you want to work in it, you pretty much need prof,s with connections who can help you make your own connections and find you opportunities that wouldn,t be open to others. It is the department that matters, not the college. Sometimes top DEPARTMENTS hide out in mediocre colleges.

 

Pick the college your daughter will finish. The east has some mediocre colleges with a pretty uniformly depressed and depressing student body. She is unlikely to finish if she goes to one. She is unlikely to finish if she goes to a huge college where she can,t find friends or ask her prof,s questions when she doesn,t understand. She,ll shut down or give up. Your job as her mother is to guide her away from those two into something vibrant and exciting that seems DOABLE. She won,t have the experience to tell. It is hard enough as an older, experienced adult. You put things on her list, she puts things on her list, she applies, you discuss the pros and cons (see that recent thread about questions to ask), and then she makes the final choice. At least that is the way it went in our family.

 

I can say that in my extended family, We have found that "reachable by car" means a parent can spend the morning driving, take child out to lunch and spend the afternoon, feed them an early supper, and then drive home. That means there is a big difference between 4 hrs and 5 hrs. 4 is about max, for us. There is a huge "feel" difference between 1 hr and 2. One is not a big imposition. A parent can go after work, eat with child, and get to bed more or less on time. It can be just-for-fun. 2 hrs requires more than an evening. It requires either in "important" reason or planning ahead. This is prob true only for new Englanders. People in other parts of the country will feel differently about distances.

 

Just in case it is helpful...

 

Nan

 

ETA rereading, it sounds like I am worried about what family will think about a small stae college. I didn,t mean that. I meant her peers.

 

Thanks for weighing in, Nan!  I think this is all very good info.

 

I think at first she was concerned about 'name brand', but this seems to be fading, thank heavens.  Maybe because the crowd she's been hanging with this year (many homeschooled kids, many who have leaned towards unschooling) are just wandering - even Bridgewater seems like an ambitious plan next to "I'll work for Starbucks and maybe eventually take some of ASU those online classes in something or other"  or "I guess I'll work for some relative that will give me a job".  She does know other homeschoolers that have gone on to college, but maybe because they're all more individual, there isn't that same level of groupthink or 'the right path' - in stark contrast to the high school where she was hanging around the honors kids who were super-stressed and aiming for perfect test scores and selective schools.  Actually, it seems like the homeschoolers who have gone on to college or are more academic almost 'hide' that in the group, maybe so as not to stick out or be criticized by the unschooler types who tend to get defensive if they hear someone is serous about academics...

 

She feels like she hasn't found her tribe either place - the porridge is either too hot or too cold.  I think maybe she listened at some point when I said if the kids at the high school were too competitive and stressed out for her, then why would she want to spend four years at college with those types of kids?  She has been liking the CC.  The thing is, she is competitive.  She wants to be the best, but she isn't willing to do nothing but study and stress to get there - it shuts her down.  So I think that it will be a good thing for her to be at a place where she can stand out and still have a life outside of studying 24/7.

 

She is absolutely loving the summer class she's taking this week at Salem State (same ranking as Bridgewater).  It's being team-taught by three people, none of whom are actually from Salem State.  It's Underwater Archaeology guy, a woman who sails tall ships (to lecture them about the structure of older maritime vessels), and another guy who she says is actually her favorite teacher.  It's got a wide range of students, from her, to a Harvard grad student, to some people with lots and others with absolutely no experience, and some guy in his 50's.  They're spending the whole week at the shore excavating the wreck of an old schooner buried under the sand at the shore, measuring, sketching, and making notes.  Speaking of competitive, she seems very happy that her sketches are 'better' than most others :001_rolleyes:  (she's very artistic).  She loves attention to detail and representing things accurately.

 

She also seems to be getting actually positive about the prospect of attending Bridgewater.  I think it's lowered her stress a lot to know that she'll likely just get in, and not have to go into debt.  I hope the department is a good one, or at least that she can continue to make good contacts and connections through things like these field schools.  She said all the professors and most of the class seemed already to know each other.  Let's hope Bridgewater at least has a decent department, if not a top one.  She's going to ask these professors if they have an opinon before the class is over.

 

I'm hoping that maybe the Honors Program at Bridgewater might be a good fit for her.  They don't have honors dorms, but you can request an honors floor. And speaking of finishing, I think it will help that with all the credits they would take there, she could either graduate in less time, or take a more relaxed load.

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BTW, BU is notoriously stingy with financial aid. If finances are an issue, BU is not an option you can count on.

 

 

I have heard this about BU, too. A relative loved his classes there but if your daughter doesn,t like the UMass Amherst campus, i can,t imagine that she,d like BU,s. My youngest refused even to tour it (or Northeastern), knowing what it looked like from driving by. We were relieved.

 

Yes, I've also heard this about BU, which is a big reason why I was a bit concerned when it initially showed up on the top of her list.

 

And I totally don't get why she'd like BU's 'campus' (it doesn't have one) over UMass's, but she is quite familiar with BU - the German Saturday School used buildings there till just a few years ago; she practically grew up in BU buildings.  And we'd get disgusted by all of the fancy-schmancy upgrades they did that I'm sure is helping to jack up the sticker price - after they'd renovate, they wouldn't let the Saturday School back in the upgraded rooms, and eventually we were squeezed out...  I was a bit gobsmacked that BU made her list at all!

 

But she seemed to really like the Bridgewater campus, so that's really good!

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Dd and I are meeting this afternoon with the dean of the foreign lang dept at our regional RNP university. We went to an Alliance Francaise meeting on Sat and spoke with several people who had nothing but wonderful things to say about their French program. Dd mentioned to her Russian teacher what we were doing and her response was more one of mortification. She does not want dd to attend there!

 

Dd has a long list of questions. I am curious as t o what we will learn. :)

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As a MA native (and someone who spent her freshman year at Smith), I am a bit surprised that Bridgewater and Smith would end up together on a college list! I would look VERY carefully at Bridgewater -- it is not remotely of the same caliber as Smith.

 

I do not say that to be elitist -- the students and profs at the two schools will be VERY different. I suspect that someone who is a good fit at one of the two colleges is NOT a good fit at the other.

 

There must be other arch programs that exist at other colleges in New England..... I would look really carefully at other options.

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One more idea (I'm just nattering away in the background here.... :laugh: )--out of your driving range, but still sort of your general neck of the woods--Memorial University of Newfoundland has excellent anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics departments (and music as well, which you'd mentioned earlier). In fact, the archaeology programme is likely one of the best in this country. There's a tremendous focus on marine studies, they also have a campus in the UK so good opportunities for study abroad, the school is a good size, St. John's is a picturesque small city (though it helps if you like winter...)--an idea?

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As a MA native (and someone who spent her freshman year at Smith), I am a bit surprised that Bridgewater and Smith would end up together on a college list! I would look VERY carefully at Bridgewater -- it is not remotely of the same caliber as Smith.

 

I do not say that to be elitist -- the students and profs at the two schools will be VERY different. I suspect that someone who is a good fit at one of the two colleges is NOT a good fit at the other.

 

There must be other arch programs that exist at other colleges in New England..... I would look really carefully at other options.

 

Well, I agree with you, and that's actually the kind of thinking on my part that prompted this thread.  As another MA native, I didn't even consider looking at the state schools (outside of UMass schools).  I'm surprised to find myself warming to it (and I'm thinking she could always transfer if it really wasn't a good enough fit).

 

I am honestly having a really hard time finding middle-ground choices.  I tried the search based on criteria at College Confidential, and not a lot came up that weren't already somewhat on my radar.  Bridgewater shows up fairly high on the list.  Syracuse and Ithaca College were ones I hadn't looked at that closely and am having her take a closer look at.  SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Stony Brook were already on the list, but she's not excited about either.  UConn and UVM she also isn't interested in, and both are quite pricey for out of state students.  (It kind of chaps me that MA is the only state in NE that offers discounted tuition to other NE residents... and I may have her visit UVM with me so she can make a more informed decision)  Penn State was also on our list, but wow, 45,000 students, and 7 hours away - I think it should probably come off.  Most of the LACs I can find with anthropology programs are in western PA or Ohio...

 

Smith doesn't even show up on the CC search I did - not sure why.  It would definitely be a reach.  Their mid-ACT range is 25-31; she got a 29, so about 50th percentile?  Bridgewater's range is 19-24; she'd be over the 90th percentile.  Another instance where the porridge seems to be too hot or too cold!

 

Interestingly, Bridgewater requires 15-16 courses for an Anthro major; Smith only requires 11.

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One more idea (I'm just nattering away in the background here.... :laugh: )--out of your driving range, but still sort of your general neck of the woods--Memorial University of Newfoundland has excellent anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics departments (and music as well, which you'd mentioned earlier). In fact, the archaeology programme is likely one of the best in this country. There's a tremendous focus on marine studies, they also have a campus in the UK so good opportunities for study abroad, the school is a good size, St. John's is a picturesque small city (though it helps if you like winter...)--an idea?

 

Taking a look - bizarrely, it's about the same price as Bridgewater (even with international student tuition....), and she'd probably love the area (after all, she loves Iceland...), and it has all the programs she wants...  but wow, Google Maps says it's a 28 hour drive from here!  Holy bananas!!  I also don't think of Maritime Canada as being so far from here!  And there aren't even any direct flights...  Montreal is only 4.5 hours in a car, by comparison...

 

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