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Kassia

Where do I start in the college search for dd?

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Dd is finishing her sophomore year of high school.  As of now, she has no idea of a major and her only requirements of colleges are that they are in a warm climate and near an aerial studio.  She prefers a smaller school but is open to a large one. She's an introvert who has no interest in sports. She took the SAT last year and scored well (1460) and is hoping to raise her score this year.  She has a 4.0 GPA and is finishing her second year of DE.  She loves the community college she attends - it's very small.  Her interests right now are languages and math, but she is a very strong writer.  She is thinking of data analysis or some kind of math major, but not sure.  She's strong in math and likes it, but not so sure about a career.  What she really loves is the circus - she does aerial, hand balance, juggling, tumbling, loves trapeze, etc.

 

I don't know where to start in the college search.  I feel like I'm just throwing a dart at a map of warm climates.  We wouldn't qualify for financial aid so will need merit aid.  

 

Any thoughts or recommendations?   

Edited by Kassia

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My boys used Collegeboard's search tools to browse colleges when they were just getting started.

Have you looked at Florida State? They have a collegiate circus. I'm not sure about size  but I think it's a large school.

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Because merit aid will be essential, I suggest going onto the College Confidential Financial Aid forum (and possibly the Parent forum), where there is a pinned post about colleges with automatic merit aid. Start reading posts in the College Search and Selection forum too. There really is lots of good information to be gleaned over there. Ignore the "Chance Me" threads, and realize that there are an inordinate number of parents with exceptionally high achievers there.

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Have you looked at Florida State? They have a collegiate circus. I'm not sure about size  but I think it's a large school.

 

Very large, about 42,000 students. 

 

Dd is finishing her sophomore year of high school.  As of now, she has no idea of a major and her only requirements of colleges are that they are in a warm climate and near an aerial studio.  She prefers a smaller school but is open to a large one. She's an introvert who has no interest in sports. She took the SAT last year and scored well (1460) and is hoping to raise her score this year.  She has a 4.0 GPA and is finishing her second year of DE.  She loves the community college she attends - it's very small.  Her interests right now are languages and math, but she is a very strong writer.  She is thinking of data analysis or some kind of math major, but not sure.  She's strong in math and likes it, but not so sure about a career.  What she really loves is the circus - she does aerial, hand balance, juggling, tumbling, loves trapeze, etc.

 

I don't know where to start in the college search.  I feel like I'm just throwing a dart at a map of warm climates.  We wouldn't qualify for financial aid so will need merit aid.  

 

Any thoughts or recommendations?   

 

College visits, college fairs, and a college search site. 

 

We visited several schools within a two-hour radius, because I think it's very hard to really know if you want large vs small and so on without actually seeing what that means. fwiw, my oldest started with several large schools on her list, but campus visits changed her mind. Her short list wound up being all moderate-sized schools, like 7,000 to 10,000 students. The really small schools tended to not have enough choice in majors. 

 

We went to a couple of college fairs and also "XYZ University visits your town!" presentations - if you share your information on ACT or SAT, you will get invites to these. These really helped her to start to get a feel for the culture of various schools. Oh, and we would also at least swing by schools on vacation and stuff, even if we didn't do a formal visit.  

 

I would personally visit local schools even if she does not wish to attend. One, you never know and she has lots of time to change her mind. Two, we learned a lot from each visit and came up with new questions to ask and new things to look for at the next school. 

 

We used the college search sites and put in varying criteria as the search went along. This sized school with these two majors, within 200 miles, within 500 miles. Then you take a closer look at the schools on the list. You have an easy eliminator with a nearby aerial school being required, that will surely knock some out. 

 

Lather, rinse, repeat. 

 

Edited to add that we did of course move on to targeted college visits at a certain point, they weren't all random, lol. 

Edited by katilac

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I would suspect that reversing your search and finding out schools where there are aerial studios will generate a doable list of schools to further research for merit. You might end up with a very small number that meet all your criteria,

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You can build a starter list from the Quick and Dirty list :

 

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/527cc9ffe4b06105448def23/t/5956c079f7e0aba4bff0bfc7/1498857597321/MMQDCLB+062917.pdf

 

Then start visiting websites (and college campuses if feasible). When you find a few that appeal, look at those schools' peers and competitors.

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Look at collegedata.com. This site was recommended to me many years ago by an admissions counselor, and it has wonderful info about chances for admission, financial aid data, and so much more.

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How many aerial studios are there? I am in a mid-size city in the midwest with 4 local universities and there is not one here (I know because my gymnast/acrobat would have loved to have tried it). If they are fairly uncommon, I would start with that list and then look at the college options in those places. Since she doesn't know what she wants to do, I would hesitate to choose a small school, because her options would be limited. However, there are mid-size schools with 5,000-15,000 students that have a good range of majors, but fewer huge classes, and that aren't overwhelming like a college of 20,000+ is for most introverts.

 

I'm going to guess that colleges that hold any interest for her correlated to aerial studios won't be a very long list.

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How many aerial studios are there? I am in a mid-size city in the midwest with 4 local universities and there is not one here (I know because my gymnast/acrobat would have loved to have tried it). If they are fairly uncommon, I would start with that list and then look at the college options in those places.  

 

 

They are really growing in popularity now and for the last few years. Our city has several, plus other places that offer aerial classes! Unfortunately for the OP, I don't think there's any quick way to figure out where they are, I think she will have to make a college list and then check each city. 

 

OP, I also wanted to say that I would keep plenty of notes on promising schools that do not have aerial studios near them. Your dd is young, and goals and interests change. Teens can have intense interests that last for years, yet decide that they don't want to pursue them past high school.

 

Also, new aerial studios might be opened, lol. 

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Having been through this with one who is now a college graduate, I recommend that you don't start the college search. Give the information offered on this thread to your dd, and she can start the college search.

Edited by Haiku

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They are really growing in popularity now and for the last few years. Our city has several, plus other places that offer aerial classes! Unfortunately for the OP, I don't think there's any quick way to figure out where they are, I think she will have to make a college list and then check each city. 

 

OP, I also wanted to say that I would keep plenty of notes on promising schools that do not have aerial studios near them. Your dd is young, and goals and interests change. Teens can have intense interests that last for years, yet decide that they don't want to pursue them past high school.

 

Also, new aerial studios might be opened, lol. 

 

Yes, they are very popular now.  We live in a semi-rural town and we have a small studio in the town square.  I was thinking about new studios being opened and also existing ones closing before she actually starts college! 

 

 

Having been through this with one who is now a college graduate, I recommend that you don't start the college search. Give the information offered on this thread to your dd, and she can start the college search.

 

My role is more of guidance than actually doing it myself, but I do want to help her.  I assisted my sons (all college grads) in their initial searches as well.

Edited by Kassia

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My boys used Collegeboard's search tools to browse colleges when they were just getting started.

Have you looked at Florida State? They have a collegiate circus. I'm not sure about size but I think it's a large school.

I was curious, so I looked up the circus at Florida State. They offer a camp during the summer if your daughter wanted to check it out to see if she would like a big school. I'm sure it would meet her warm weather requirement. https://circus.fsu.edu

 

There is also a circus PE class. PEM 1952 - Circus Activities (Circus Class)PEM1952, Circus Activities, is a one credit hour class offered through the P.E. department. There is one session of this class offered in the fall semester only, T/TH 10:30-12:00. This is not a mandatory class to join the circus and by taking it you are not obligating yourself to join the circus. The circus class is purely for fun. Throughout the semester you will have the opportunity to try many of the acts we perform in our show, both aerial and ground, as well as learn some of the basic rigging we do on a daily basis, such as how to set up a net

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I was curious, so I looked up the circus at Florida State. They offer a camp during the summer if your daughter wanted to check it out to see if she would like a big school. I'm sure it would meet her warm weather requirement. https://circus.fsu.edu

 

There is also a circus PE class. PEM 1952 - Circus Activities (Circus Class)PEM1952, Circus Activities, is a one credit hour class offered through the P.E. department. There is one session of this class offered in the fall semester only, T/TH 10:30-12:00. This is not a mandatory class to join the circus and by taking it you are not obligating yourself to join the circus. The circus class is purely for fun. Throughout the semester you will have the opportunity to try many of the acts we perform in our show, both aerial and ground, as well as learn some of the basic rigging we do on a daily basis, such as how to set up a net

 

Thank you!  This is great info!  I didn't know about the camp or the actual class.  We live in OH so I don't know how we'd make the camp work, but I will look into it.  

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