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LisaK in VA is in IT

What do you know about these schools?

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These are DD's Safety Schools at the moment.  She has to follow up with all of the swim coaches to get their perspective (these schools are all interested in DD for swimming, all have her areas of academic interest, and all accept enough students that her attendance there is very high -- her test scores put her in the top 5% of these schools.

  • Rollins (FL) -- trying to decide...
  • Carson Newman (TN) -- trying to decide...
  • Virginia Military Institute (VA) -- plan to visit, but any additional insights are great.
  • Messiah College (PA) -- we have visited briefly, but any additional insights are great.
  • Liberty University (VA) -- no information needed (BTDT)
  • Old Dominion University -- no information needed -- this is the if all else fails school, as it allows her to live at home and go to school, and most likely swim.

These are DD's "Reach" Schools -- due to a combination of swimming and selectivity:

  • Washington University
  • Washington & Lee University -- will visit
  • U.S. Naval Academy -- have visited
  • Dartmouth College
  • William & Mary -- will visit
  • Duke University
  • Princeton

These are DD's "Match" Schools -- due to a combination of swimming & selectivity:

  • Smith
  • Macalaster
  • USCGA
  • Wheaton
  • Vassar
  • Oberlin
  • Grinnell
  • Pepperdine
  • Rhodes
  • Trinity
  • George Mason University -- will visit
  • Swarthmore
  • Washington University

 

This is after reviewing 84 schools... next step is to follow up with the swim coaches (most for the second time), so she can start to get a handle on if she likes the coach and if the program will be a good fit or not.  Still a long way to go!

Edited by LisaK in VA is in IT
Updated List of Schools
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Do a search for Grinnell, Smith, Macalester, and maybe Washington University. We visited all of these schools and I believe that I wrote something about them except maybe WU. 

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11 hours ago, Arch at Home said:

Do a search for Grinnell, Smith, Macalester, and maybe Washington University. We visited all of these schools and I believe that I wrote something about them except maybe WU. 

Will do!

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How are you defining match school?  Does it mean the coach has expressed interest in getting her in?

The only reason I ask is that I recognize some of the names on your match list as schools where acceptance rates have dropped significantly, and students had trouble getting in even with stats that matched the schools’ profiles.

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1 hour ago, JazzyMom said:

How are you defining match school?  Does it mean the coach has expressed interest in getting her in?

The only reason I ask is that I recognize some of the names on your match list as schools where acceptance rates have dropped significantly, and students had trouble getting in even with stats that matched the schools’ profiles.

 

Yes -- most of our "match" schools have expressed an interest in DD swimming with them (she would make the all conference team in at least 3 events), or she is on the borderline of where they would want her (GMU, for example).  In most cases, DD also exceeds the academic profile.  However, it will take additional conversations to find out how much pull the coach has regarding acceptance and a better understanding of the financial position.  I expect we'll lose at least 10 more schools before August.   ETA:  I pretty much expect that GMU will fall off this list once PonyGirl visits.  Merit Aid is really scanty, cost to attend pretty high (even in state), and she'd need at least 75% from swimming to make it feasible.

Edited by LisaK in VA is in IT
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Well I lived in Florida for 13 years, and my mom had a house in Winter Park and I can safely say of all the colleges on your list, Rollins would definitely be one of the most hole in the wall places to live.  Disney isn't far away but Disney gets old very quickly, believe it or not.  The nice weather of fall and spring would totally be lost on your dd since there is no beach anywhere near there (hours away), and those lakes, while some people do watersports on them are murky, funky and they all have gators.  I would take Rollins off - ODU would be better.

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Also, does your dd care about weather?  You've got absolutely freezing cold climates there (Wheaton), and also hot humid sticky on that list (Rollins)...so I would narrow it down if she has any preference at all. 

My son prefers the cold- he's going to be very cold at PennState.  My dd prefers the hot, and the beach,  and she's aiming for going back to FL - my son refused to even consider UofF even thought his old friends are all going there because of the heat, and my dd has crossed off all the good colleges near our family in Philly. 

  🙂

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3 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

Well I lived in Florida for 13 years, and my mom had a house in Winter Park and I can safely say of all the colleges on your list, Rollins would definitely be one of the most hole in the wall places to live.  Disney isn't far away but Disney gets old very quickly, believe it or not.  The nice weather of fall and spring would totally be lost on your dd since there is no beach anywhere near there (hours away), and those lakes, while some people do watersports on them are murky, funky and they all have gators.  I would take Rollins off - ODU would be better.

 

Wow!  Okay -- although after visiting Messiah (out in the middle of nowhere) -- I don't know that being out of the way matters much to her.  But, I'll definitely give her the information!  

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I don't think there's anywhere in PA that's as funky as the inner areas of FL- really.  Because you don't have any seasons, and you put up with fire ants and humidity year round, but without the wonderful payoff of the BEACH.  The beach in florida makes up for all of the rest - if you don't have the beach you have no seasons, perpetual humidity, fire ants, alligators, rednecks....I've never been to Messiah, but seasons make up for a lot 🙂 When you get sick of one the next comes along to cheer you on 🙂

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DS applied to (and/or we visited) a number of the schools on your match list: Macalester, Oberlin, Grinnell, Vassar...he applied to all and was accepted at all except Grinnell. We'll see Macalester and Oberlin next week, so I'll have more to report then--my husband graduated from Oberlin, and I lived there for 9 months after I graduated/during his senior year--but my information is a couple of decades out of date. One thing that strikes me is that these schools are all over the map in terms of political leanings and culture--you can't get much more opposite than Oberlin and Liberty University. Is that the kind of thing that's going to be a big factor in her decision? 

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4 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

Also, does your dd care about weather?  You've got absolutely freezing cold climates there (Wheaton), and also hot humid sticky on that list (Rollins)...so I would narrow it down if she has any preference at all. 

My son prefers the cold- he's going to be very cold at PennState.  My dd prefers the hot, and the beach,  and she's aiming for going back to FL - my son refused to even consider UofF even thought his old friends are all going there because of the heat, and my dd has crossed off all the good colleges near our family in Philly. 

  🙂

She doesn't know -- so much she just doesn't know.  I believe she'd prefer to be about 5 hours from home, but she's just not ready to eliminate schools solely based upon geography yet.  Climate-wise, you can't get better than Pepperdine 😉  for me (and probably dd), but getting home wouldn't happen much.  She's grown up in No.VA and GA-like weather, so I have a feeling being buried by snow most of the school year is less than appealing -- but if she loves the school, she'd deal.

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3 minutes ago, kokotg said:

DS applied to (and/or we visited) a number of the schools on your match list: Macalester, Oberlin, Grinnell, Vassar...he applied to all and was accepted at all except Grinnell. We'll see Macalester and Oberlin next week, so I'll have more to report then--my husband graduated from Oberlin, and I lived there for 9 months after I graduated/during his senior year--but my information is a couple of decades out of date. One thing that strikes me is that these schools are all over the map in terms of political leanings and culture--you can't get much more opposite than Oberlin and Liberty University. Is that the kind of thing that's going to be a big factor in her decision? 

To be honest, it will be less about political leanings than a welcome/open atmosphere.  This will be *the* biggest issue for DD.  She knows she doesn't quite fit at LU (in many ways), but she also feels safe to be herself.  She knows she can have some strong minority viewpoints at that university and still be accepted and treated well.  She is much less certain of a number of schools on this list (and schools she knew would be outright hostile, she didn't consider at all).  

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2 hours ago, LisaK in VA is in IT said:

 

Yes -- most of our "match" schools have expressed an interest in DD swimming with them (she would make the all conference team in at least 3 events), or she is on the borderline of where they would want her (GMU, for example).  In most cases, DD also exceeds the academic profile.  However, it will take additional conversations to find out how much pull the coach has regarding acceptance and a better understanding of the financial position.  I expect we'll lose at least 10 more schools before August.   ETA:  I pretty much expect that GMU will fall off this list once PonyGirl visits.  Merit Aid is really scanty, cost to attend pretty high (even in state), and she'd need at least 75% from swimming to make it feasible.

If you will qualify as in state in Virginia when she attends, there are some state grants for both public and private colleges. 

The colleges administer the program using state money. Usually you can see the typical grant amount if you run the college net price calculator. 

http://www.schev.edu/index/tuition-aid/financialaid/state-student-aid/undergraduate-financial-aid-programs

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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Regarding Liberty:

You/your daughter might be interested in reading Kevin Roose's

I read and enjoyed it some years ago while finding it both eye opening and disconcerting.

Here's a balanced review that might be of interest by a professor at Liberty.

Regards,

Kareni

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So Rollins happens to be a campus my family has sort of toured couple of years ago......we tagged along on a group tour until we broke off to get a snack.  We simply decided to take a walk around campus when shopping in Winter Park and wanted the kids to see what a small liberal arts college was like.......I attended one and my kids have never visited my school.  

They have some cool electives as in sailing and water skiing.  Located by a very upscale small town of shops and restaurants on a good size inland lake......big enough for water skiing. 😉. Winter Park was the winter home of some very wealthy families a hundred or so years ago so some of the lakeside houses are mansions.  The setting is picturesque.  Can’t remember the percentage but Greek life definitely is a part of life on campus.  Beaches are maybe an hour away, Disney is a bit closer.  The MBA program is highly rated.

 Not sure how to phrase this but I thought it was a good place, a place where a student could make friends and have a good experience.  They were really proud because it had just been announced that one of their students had received a Fulbright (pretty sure) scholarship, signs all over campus,  talking about what a great person x was etc.  But as we weren’t looking at it for our kids seriously I wasn’t thinking about any other vibes.

It’s an expensive school and we knew we would never want to spend the amount of money required even after some decent merit aid which we assumed because my kids had really high stats.  We figured about half because...At the time we knew of one local girl who really wanted to attend there and appeared to be getting good scholarship money......in the end she went elsewhere but I never heard the details of why not Rollins.

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We have a friend who went to Rollins. Uber liberal family and the young lady came out even more liberal. Your more conservative kids might not find it a great match. 

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16 hours ago, Kareni said:

Regarding Liberty:

You/your daughter might be interested in reading Kevin Roose's

I read and enjoyed it some years ago while finding it both eye opening and disconcerting.

Here's a balanced review that might be of interest by a professor at Liberty.

Regards,

Kareni

I graduated from Liberty in 1990... while there have been a number of changes (most for the better...Jr. not withstanding), it still retains the things I most appreciated about the school.  I explained to my daughter that some of the irritating things are only irritating because as a young adult you can kind of get tired of being told "you can't do this, you can't do that" -- but the reality is, it wasn't a problem for me because I was never a party girl, enjoyed going to bed early, didn't like alcohol, and pretty much life was school, debate, and work.  I didn't take most of the gen ed courses, because I tested out of them.  My experiences in the upper level courses of both speech and poli sci were heaven -- I was allowed to think and express ideas that very much went against R-thinking at the time, and my professors engaged with me, never discouraging me, but instead encouraging me to continue to question and dig deeper.  It was a freeing experience.  I was part of debate team, as we started a rise to national attention, was part of the first individual team to qualify for nationals (NDT), and even had the privilege to beat teams from Harvard, UKY, USNA, Dartmouth and other well known schools.  It was at Liberty, I grew not to fear having my beliefs challenged by honest discussion, and it's also where I learned to suss out who was questioning because they had a desire to engage and who was questioning out of a desire to play "gotcha."  My daughter sat down with the Math chair for over an hour talking about her interests in math, and it was a great experience during our visit.  She went there wanting to hate the school, and came away in love with the campus, the teachers she met, and dreams of attending LU stuck in her head.  Every school will be judged by that standard.  She felt similarly at Messiah. 

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It looks like GMU is waaaay down on your list, between your earlier comment and the other thread, but I thought I would comment anyway.

My dd went to GMU, graduating two years ago. It wasn't her first pick of schools, and she applied because it was a "safety" and she somewhat liked it (after we toured at the same time we toured American University). She applied for and was accepted into the Honors College, and at the time, my husband and I basically told her that was the school we were willing to help pay for.

The school turned out to be a great fit. She loved the proximity to DC, which also afforded her an amazing internship opportunity. She had outstanding professors, several prominent in U.S. security and government (her major/minor was Criminology/Intel Analysis). The Honors College curriculum paralleled her academic strengths. We appreciated the campus housing options. Dd also enjoyed the diversity of the students, many of whom were foreign. While our parental contact with the school was minimal (financial aid, emergency housing during a flood situation), they were extremely easy to work with. Considering the location, we also found the school to be relatively  conservative (although her field of study had an influence).

Overall all, she was very pleased with her choice and her time there. It's an excellent school.

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20 minutes ago, ThisIsTheDay said:

It looks like GMU is waaaay down on your list, between your earlier comment and the other thread, but I thought I would comment anyway.

My dd went to GMU, graduating two years ago. It wasn't her first pick of schools, and she applied because it was a "safety" and she somewhat liked it (after we toured at the same time we toured American University). She applied for and was accepted into the Honors College, and at the time, my husband and I basically told her that was the school we were willing to help pay for.

The school turned out to be a great fit. She loved the proximity to DC, which also afforded her an amazing internship opportunity. She had outstanding professors, several prominent in U.S. security and government (her major/minor was Criminology/Intel Analysis). The Honors College curriculum paralleled her academic strengths. We appreciated the campus housing options. Dd also enjoyed the diversity of the students, many of whom were foreign. While our parental contact with the school was minimal (financial aid, emergency housing during a flood situation), they were extremely easy to work with. Considering the location, we also found the school to be relatively  conservative (although her field of study had an influence).

Overall all, she was very pleased with her choice and her time there. It's an excellent school.

Thank you.  My older son and I did a brief drive through during one of his doctor's appointments.  I completed the Net Price Calculator on their site, and it's coming up with about $4,000 in Merit Aid (which isn't much).  She isn't far off time-wise for swimming (could be middle of the women's roster, but that won't be much, if any scholarship $$).  I do think DD will find the campus a bit larger than she'd like, but we are going to visit and meet with the coach.  Having just gone through this with her older brother, I know that sometimes there are pockets of money that the school doesn't talk about until after you apply.  I still have friends on the faculty there and in the area. I know DD would find a comfortable group of friends, as well.

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My son is a fourth (freshman) at Virginia Military Institute. 

He loves the school and we have been very impressed by everything about it, but its marketing phrase "No ordinary college, no ordinary life." could not be more true.

It is an extremely spartan, regimented life, full of close friendships, tight-knit community and school spirit.  Definitely go visit.

The first 6-7 months of school are dominated by the rat line.  Extremely strict, military life style, no cell phone etc.

Sports are a huge deal at VMI. Club sports have dedicated practice time each week and the school has 16 Div 1 NCAA teams.  They have one of the few women's water polo teams on the east coast and a number of women come out from California just for that reason.  Overall VMI is about 85% male and 15% female.

Do you have specific questions about VMI?

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On 3/28/2019 at 10:01 AM, LisaK in VA is in IT said:

These are DD's Safety Schools at the moment.  She has to follow up with all of the swim coaches to get their perspective (these schools are all interested in DD for swimming, all have her areas of academic interest, and all accept enough students that her attendance there is very high -- her test scores put her in the top 5% of these schools.

  • Rollins (FL) -- trying to decide...
  • Carson Newman (TN) -- trying to decide...
  • Virginia Military Institute (VA) -- plan to visit, but any additional insights are great.
  • Messiah College (PA) -- we have visited briefly, but any additional insights are great.
  • Liberty University (VA) -- no information needed (BTDT)
  • Old Dominion University -- no information needed -- this is the if all else fails school, as it allows her to live at home and go to school, and most likely swim.

These are DD's "Reach" Schools -- due to a combination of swimming and selectivity:

  • Washington University
  • Washington & Lee University -- will visit
  • U.S. Naval Academy -- have visited
  • Dartmouth College
  • William & Mary -- will visit
  • Duke University
  • Princeton

These are DD's "Match" Schools -- due to a combination of swimming & selectivity:

  • Smith
  • Macalaster
  • USCGA
  • Wheaton
  • Vassar
  • Oberlin
  • Grinnell
  • Pepperdine
  • Rhodes
  • Trinity
  • George Mason University -- will visit
  • Swarthmore
  • Washington University

 

This is after reviewing 84 schools... next step is to follow up with the swim coaches (most for the second time), so she can start to get a handle on if she likes the coach and if the program will be a good fit or not.  Still a long way to go!

I have a friend whose daughters' went to Trinity recently and she says they loved it. It is supposed to have great residence halls. It is not a huge school and has more of a rich kid feel I think, somewhat like SMU. I hear Rhodes College might have that too. The only person I knew who went to Pepperdine was quite wealthy. But it is supposed to have an amazing campus. Wash U would be my dream school. Everyone I have known who has gone there has done engineering or neuroscience or biochem, that sort of thing. It is a very top of the rungs academic type school. Grinnell is also a very top academic school, but more with a political feel/slant. Grinnell is in a smaller town in the middle of Iowa. Oberlin is off our list. They have an amazing music college, but got in trouble for anti-semetic things recently and I did not like how the school responded. Swarthmore is in a triad allowing students to attend classes at two other schools. It has been around hundreds of years and has an amazing history. Macalaster is in St Paul. I tend to think of Macalester as political science majors and such, but it is a very good school, very nice, in a very nice city. Also..think weather. Macalester...very cold, buy smart wool socks....Trinity..nice and warm...maybe bring a jacket for January. 

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I just want to say you certainly have a hugely diverse list! Is there any way to narrow it down? I mean, the difference between an Ivy or near-Ivy and a college like ODU is really extreme. 

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I'm familiar with some of those on your big list:

VMI -- Make sure that she's really into the military environment. It's a great school, but I know a handful of kids that were very unhappy once they got there. My oldest is in the Army National Guard while going to college, and even he said that in retrospect he would have hated it. He likes the military, but doesn't want it full-time. 

Washington & Lee -- The student body is on the wealthy side, and can be elitist. Big Greek scene. More liberal.

GMU -- Gigantic, but so many different majors and programs. Strongly emphasizes internships. If a political or government career is planned, this is a great place for that with a lower price tag than Georgetown or George Washington University. Many different housing and food options. Athletes have their own gym. Somewhat conservative, but very diverse faculty and student body.

William & Mary - Beautiful campus and town. Several friends felt like the liberal arts program was more on the liberal side. 

You said you know about Liberty. FWIW, I've been on university and government hiring committees where Liberty grads were automatically put aside. There's some behind-closed-doors discrimination that goes on, particularly where strong academics are required. I know that it has some really good programs and produces solid graduates, but there is a bias there that can be hard to overcome.

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In the 2nd group you included Duke University.  My DD applied there.  Duke was one of the 4 schools that were in the School Fair we attended in Bogota on May 3rd of last year. The other 3 were: Harvard College, UPenn and I think Georgetown (a Catholic university in DC)    Of the 4, Duke was the only one DD applied to. (She had been invited to the school fair by UPenn).

DD did an interview (60 minutes) with a woman who is a Duke Alumna who lives here in Colombia. She told DD she thought the Interview is about 5% of the admission score.

Duke is located in Durham which is a nice area.  DD will be attending UNC at Chapel Hill which is approximately 20 miles from Duke.

Now, DD had also applied to Rice University.   A little farther down the Totem Pole of National Universities.   Both schools have tremendous Financial Aid available.  A few weeks ago, when I was looking at the Stats of the students who got into both schools, a year or two ago, it was obvious to me that Rice had students with higher stats (GPA, test scores, etc.)   Rice announced an 8.7% Acceptance rate last week. I don't know what the Acceptance rate for Duke was this time.  

You listed Washington University in the 2nd and 3rd groups. If that is Washington University in St. Louis I believe it is a top notch school. One of my High School  friends went there. I don't remember his name or what he majored in, but I remember that he went there...

84 schools is too many and as I time goes on, hopefully you can reduce that number to make it easier.

Much good luck!

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11 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

I just want to say you certainly have a hugely diverse list! Is there any way to narrow it down? I mean, the difference between an Ivy or near-Ivy and a college like ODU is really extreme. 

 

lol... well, getting it down from 84 was quite the accomplishment.  Yes, there is a lot of diversity in the list at this point.  DD needs to speak to the swim coaches, there is a bit more digging into the school itself (AP/CLEP), additional scholarship opportunities to explore, and in some cases, visits.  I doubt she'll apply to 25 schools.  15,  is a good possibility.  But, we've done more or less all we can do for now.  

ODU is a school that is local to where we will be living, which makes it the cheapest option by far, if nothing else works out (I don't expect that it will be needed, but it is a school she could apply to late in the game, if she felt nothing else was going to work out.

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5 hours ago, G5052 said:

I'm familiar with some of those on your big list:

VMI -- Make sure that she's really into the military environment. It's a great school, but I know a handful of kids that were very unhappy once they got there. My oldest is in the Army National Guard while going to college, and even he said that in retrospect he would have hated it. He likes the military, but doesn't want it full-time. 

Washington & Lee -- The student body is on the wealthy side, and can be elitist. Big Greek scene. More liberal.

GMU -- Gigantic, but so many different majors and programs. Strongly emphasizes internships. If a political or government career is planned, this is a great place for that with a lower price tag than Georgetown or George Washington University. Many different housing and food options. Athletes have their own gym. Somewhat conservative, but very diverse faculty and student body.

William & Mary - Beautiful campus and town. Several friends felt like the liberal arts program was more on the liberal side. 

You said you know about Liberty. FWIW, I've been on university and government hiring committees where Liberty grads were automatically put aside. There's some behind-closed-doors discrimination that goes on, particularly where strong academics are required. I know that it has some really good programs and produces solid graduates, but there is a bias there that can be hard to overcome.

 

She does plan to visit VMI this summer.  She spent a week at Navy (on campus), and the military atmosphere doesn't seem to phase her (yet).  If she gets into AIM at USGCA, she may have a better opportunity to evaluate this life.  Washington & Lee will be visited the same time as VMI... she may hate it, but she loves the historic feel to what she's seen at W&L and W&M GMU, she may feel is too big -- but it's a solid school, and she needs to meet with the coach and the math department and see if it stays or goes.  

Yes, I'm well aware of the bias wrt LU.  I've experienced it.  But, she loves the school.  She wanted to not like it -- but fell in love (it was one of the last of about 13 schools we visited).  Things could change, but to be honest, it will probably take a lot.

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Well, Messiah, Dartmouth, and Princeton were all in my daughter's final four, along with Ga Tech. 🙂 Visited Messiah twice. She's currently attending Princeton, because in the end that one made the most sense for her, but it was a very very difficult decision.

Messiah is smaller, more of an intimate family feel. Obviously there is more of an emphasis on faith there. People were down to earth and friendly. Definitely more people there from PA and the Northeast in general than other parts of the country. Lots of homeschoolers. Lovely area, deer wandering the campus. Would have been a great place for school.

Dartmouth is quite rural/small town as well. Much more diverse, with people from everywhere. The Appalachian Trail runs through campus. Athletics is huge there. Everyone seems quite fit. Great college town with easy walks to restaurants and such. Definitely more of a party culture. A mascot called "Keggie" was present during the Prospective Student weekend: yes, that is a human in a keg costume. It's an unusual set up as far as college schedule, in that you will have at least one summer that must be spent  on campus.

Princeton is a gorgeous campus with top notch academics. Obviously diverse student population. One hour train ride from NYC with the train stop right on campus. Princeton does not nickel and dime their students, and financial aid is generous, very often covering things like clubs and student exchange. Free laundry even, and my daughter has gotten by without a meal plan this year because there is so much free food available. She went to Kenya last summer on Princeton's dime, and has the same situation with her upcoming summer internship in Germany. If you are a person of faith, there is quite the significant community of like-minded people on campus.

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I don't know if she hopes to swim outside of college, but the DC area has a lot of strong USA Swimming club teams.  A couple used the GMU pool for training when we lived in the area.

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12 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

I don't know if she hopes to swim outside of college, but the DC area has a lot of strong USA Swimming club teams.  A couple used the GMU pool for training when we lived in the area.

Her priority is swimming NCAA -- she can train with our club team during the off season (summer/vacations) without issue.  I just have to pay the USAS fees, and she can swim unattached.   She has reached out to local clubs around schools she is interested in attending, but probably wouldn't make their cuts in time to be on the freshman roster (Jr. National Times).  So far, every club she's reached out to about training with them and assisting with coaching (as a volunteer) has been very open to the idea.  

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13 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

Well, Messiah, Dartmouth, and Princeton were all in my daughter's final four, along with Ga Tech. 🙂 Visited Messiah twice. She's currently attending Princeton, because in the end that one made the most sense for her, but it was a very very difficult decision.

Messiah is smaller, more of an intimate family feel. Obviously there is more of an emphasis on faith there. People were down to earth and friendly. Definitely more people there from PA and the Northeast in general than other parts of the country. Lots of homeschoolers. Lovely area, deer wandering the campus. Would have been a great place for school.

Dartmouth is quite rural/small town as well. Much more diverse, with people from everywhere. The Appalachian Trail runs through campus. Athletics is huge there. Everyone seems quite fit. Great college town with easy walks to restaurants and such. Definitely more of a party culture. A mascot called "Keggie" was present during the Prospective Student weekend: yes, that is a human in a keg costume. It's an unusual set up as far as college schedule, in that you will have at least one summer that must be spent  on campus.

Princeton is a gorgeous campus with top notch academics. Obviously diverse student population. One hour train ride from NYC with the train stop right on campus. Princeton does not nickel and dime their students, and financial aid is generous, very often covering things like clubs and student exchange. Free laundry even, and my daughter has gotten by without a meal plan this year because there is so much free food available. She went to Kenya last summer on Princeton's dime, and has the same situation with her upcoming summer internship in Germany. If you are a person of faith, there is quite the significant community of like-minded people on campus.

Excellent!  Your description of Messiah is just what we experienced -- and your reviews of Dartmouth and Princeton have definitely influenced my perceptions of the school.  DD has a much better shot at swimming for Dartmouth than Princeton at the moment,  but DD would be wholly put off by Keggle.  Although, a party culture is kind of a non-issue, since she is not a party girl and pretty solid in her own skin on that one.  We'll have to make a drive up that way, I'm sure!  I've never been to NH though -- thankfully, we have friends up there to visit 😄

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8 hours ago, LisaK in VA is in IT said:

Excellent!  Your description of Messiah is just what we experienced -- and your reviews of Dartmouth and Princeton have definitely influenced my perceptions of the school.  DD has a much better shot at swimming for Dartmouth than Princeton at the moment,  but DD would be wholly put off by Keggle.  Although, a party culture is kind of a non-issue, since she is not a party girl and pretty solid in her own skin on that one.  We'll have to make a drive up that way, I'm sure!  I've never been to NH though -- thankfully, we have friends up there to visit 😄

 I think there are plenty of non-party people at Dartmouth too, and certainly the drinking culture is alive and well at Princeton. You can find like-minded people at both places, though Dartmouth did have more of a "rich kids at camp" kind of vibe. We know a few people who went to and are at Dartmough for skiing, and they are happy for the most part.

In the end, there's no perfect place. It's about picking the place that makes the most sense, then making the most of it!

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On 3/29/2019 at 10:58 AM, LisaK in VA is in IT said:

 

Wow!  Okay -- although after visiting Messiah (out in the middle of nowhere) -- I don't know that being out of the way matters much to her.  But, I'll definitely give her the information!  

Messiah is kind of in the middle of nowhere but not too inconvenient to anywhere. I live not very far away and pass by it regularly. Access to stuff is pretty easy with a car, and while winter can be unpleasant, spring and fall are really lovely. It's a cute little campus, and townspeople are really, really nice. I don't know much about the school itself, but I adore living here.  Messiah does great homeschool science clubs and seems to be pro-homeschoolers in general. 

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On 3/29/2019 at 11:01 AM, Calming Tea said:

I don't think there's anywhere in PA that's as funky as the inner areas of FL- really.  Because you don't have any seasons, and you put up with fire ants and humidity year round, but without the wonderful payoff of the BEACH.  The beach in florida makes up for all of the rest - if you don't have the beach you have no seasons, perpetual humidity, fire ants, alligators, rednecks....I've never been to Messiah, but seasons make up for a lot 🙂 When you get sick of one the next comes along to cheer you on 🙂

So true! I've always felt that central PA is about as perfect for seasons as you can get. Enough winter to appreciate summer, but not as extreme as the north, enough summer to appreciate winter, but not as extreme as the south. Fall and spring are like slices of heaven. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, happypamama said:

So true! I've always felt that central PA is about as perfect for seasons as you can get. Enough winter to appreciate summer, but not as extreme as the north, enough summer to appreciate winter, but not as extreme as the south. Fall and spring are like slices of heaven. 

 

 

Between the Messiah visits and volunteering at my daughter's cheer camps (oddly placed smack dab between Amish farms), I've been to rural PA a few times in the last few years. I find it absolutely charming, and could see enjoying life there.

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Based upon what we currently know, I expect these schools to fall off our list in the next 4 weeks (much of that depends upon how long it takes for DD to communicate with them), because they will just be way too expensive:

  • Pepperdine
  • Rollins
  • Oberlin (they have competitive scholarships, and are recruiting DD, so this comes down to what the coach thinks can happen...)
  • Wheaton (comes down to things we have heard exist, but don't see on the website)
  • Rhodes (mostly because they don't allow stacking outside of direct costs (which don't include room and board -- at least that's what their website says)

DD has 9 schools thus far that are either full ride, or would not require loans (4 reach, 3 safety, 2 match).  The next band requires a lot more communication with the coach, the FINAID office and the Department Chair (math).

Oh, and DD is still getting "interested in you" emails 😉  We added one to our list and sent a decline to another.  DD declined Bryn Mawr and the coach immediately followed up asking why (academically it's a match, but DD is 99% certain she doesn't want to go to a small, all girls school, and that if she's going to a small school it would only be a military school.  She is interested in Swarthmore which is also recruiting her and part of the same conference, and she could also take classes there if she wished. She has one all girls' school left on her list (Smith) that she's considering.  

I think we are now past the really hard work and now onto more fun things (although DD still has to do all of the school communications, which she does not like...ha!)

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These are my opinions and not meant to be offensive in any way.

ODU does not have a stellar academic reputation within VA. You probably know that already. It is lumped in with Radford and Longwood in perception. I believe all 3 schools could be perfect for some students. Just commenting on reputation. College is what you make of it. 

If part of your daughter's goal in attending college is to meet a diverse pop of kids from all over, GMU may disappoint. We found a high percentage were from NoVa. NoVa itself is diverse, so it seems moot. 

I have a dear young friend who visited VMI while a Sr in high school; she was looking to run track and was pro-military. She ended up at the Naval Academy and flew jets for a while. Anyway, she said VMI students during her visit were rude to her bc she's a woman. I mean, letting doors slam on her and talking rudely as they passed kind of crap. Not much has changed, I have heard, in the roughly 9 years since then. Honestly, unless she's very tough and can handle herself under extreme pressure, I wouldn't send her there. Just my opinion. 

Edited by Chris in VA

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5 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

These are my opinions and not meant to be offensive in any way.

ODU does not have a stellar academic reputation within VA. You probably know that already. It is lumped in with Radford and Longwood in perception. I believe all 3 schools could be perfect for some students. Just commenting on reputation. College is what you make of it. 

If part of your daughter's goal in attending college is to meet a diverse pop of kids from all over, GMU may disappoint. We found a high percentage were from NoVa. NoVa itself is diverse, so it seems moot. 

I have a dear young friend who visited VMI while a Sr in high school; she was looking to run track and was pro-military. She ended up at the Naval Academy and flew jets for a while. Anyway, she said VMI students during her visit were rude to her bc she's a woman. I mean, letting doors slam on her and talking rudely as they passed kind of crap. Not much has changed, I have heard, in the roughly 9 years since then. Honestly, unless she's very tough and can handle herself under extreme pressure, I wouldn't send her there. Just my opinion. 

ODU will probably be falling off this list, as it will not be any less expensive than LU (at at least one other) for her to attend.  

That's really sad to hear about VMI.  There is a girl we know who is graduating this year -- we'll follow up with their family and see how things went.  It's definitely something to bring up with the swim coach there, too.  I can't imagine he'd be too fond of losing a strong female swimmer because of shenanigans like that -- at least if he wants to coach women.

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