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TAG | where to go to college

Apr/10

13

Colleges- Now it is time to choose

I have written before about my adventures helping my children choose a college. It is tough. There are so many choices, and so many factors. Now, my daughter K has 2 weeks to chose among some great schools and she is having a hard time. They all have her major and great programs- that was part of the criteria for applying. We did the revisits (in some cases the first visit! I’ll tell you about that another time!) and they all offer amazing opportunities. K. has narrowed it down to:
Size
She is thinking that for her major, which is math and science intensive, she would benefit from a lower professor to student ratio and also classes that are taught by professors with teaching assistants available. So far, this has meant smaller schools in the 4,000 to 6,000 undergrad range. In her case, physical size of the campus is not a big issue but she feels she may really need access to academic support.
Internships, Co-ops, On the job learning opportunities
K would like to have job experience at the undergraduate level to ensure that her major is right for her. Many schools offer some sort of job experience; however, some don’t.
Centralized campus with an interesting downtown.
K likes the idea of getting around by bicycle or by foot and avoiding long commutes. She wants to be able to visit the gym between classes and pop into town for an hour of downtime.
Happy students and administration
What impressed us most at the schools is considering is the social atmosphere. There is nothing like stopping into an administrative office and having your questions quickly and attentively answered, or stopping a random student and hearing her satisfaction. By the way, this happened at both public and private universities. We visited two large state schools: at the first, we got a run around and no satisfaction; the attitude of the office workers (without exception) was that they were just doing a job. At a neighboring state school, every administrator was pleasant, informative, and happy. That made one decision easy -nix school #1.
So, she is torn. But I know that whichever school she chooses she will be happy and well educated.
It is an exciting time! My advice: go to the place you want to live. K will be living in the school community for 4 years, in addition to being educated. Be where you want to be.
All the best!
Lynn

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