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Colleges and Universities--where are the real good ones?! - Page 3

post #41 of 56
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post


Just be aware that what that calculator shows is only an estimate. You may get more - or less - aid than the calculator indicates.


And remember that "aid" includes loans and work study. The amount shown in just the cash you need to bring to the table now, not the cash you will be earning as you go or the paying for years and years.

post #42 of 56

Yes, aid may include work study (don't know what's wrong with that, to be honest) and some loans. It's the amount of loans that one needs to look at. Both of mine will wrack up ~$5k/yr in loans. That's $20k overall. Really, that is manageable, IMO.


And, actually... The difference between the calculators and the actual amount of aid each of mine got? Was in academic awards. Had nothing to do with loans or work study. It was extra money, free and clear. And my oldest's university has not reduced his awards at all. <shrug>

post #43 of 56
Originally Posted by Bekka View Post

Good discussion.  In the circles I move in, many of my friends either attended one of a couple church-sponsored schools or have been homeschooled/have homeschooled and they or their children have followed alternative paths to education (College Plus).  I am very interested in many paths to education, but my oldest daughter is a knowledge and information sponge, and she is really the type to benefit from a liberal arts AND sciences-type education that delves into why and how people are the way they are, etc. and would like a broader picture than these few schools.


William and Mary in VA is a very good school, my cousin is there right now. Sounds mostly liberal arts, but is super challenging. My friend from law school found law school to be easy because of how rigorous W&M was.


The University of Mary Washington is where my mom went (when it was practically all girls, and was the women's portion of UVA), and she loved it (as an aside, my grandma is my hero - she graduated from Mary Washington when she was 76 to fulfill her lifelong dream of earning a degree - 30 years to the day after my mom graduated). They have a good science school, I looked at them for chemistry, but are also very liberal arts focused.


Anyway, food for thought.

post #44 of 56

Based on what you said her interests were, you might take a look at Rice

I did NOT go there.  I went to a very tiny, private, liberal arts women's college that no one's ever heard of.  I had a bf that went to Rice and it sounded like just the thing for a sciency-musicy person.

` a quote from  Wiki about what you were speaking of:


Rice's undergraduate students benefit from a centralized admissions process, which admits new students to the university as a whole, rather than a specific school (the schools of Music and Architecture are decentralized). Students are encouraged to select the major path that best suits their desires; a student can later decide that they would rather pursue study in another field, or continue their current coursework and add a second or third major. These transitions are designed to be simple at Rice, with students not required to decide on a specific major until their sophomore year of study.

post #45 of 56

I went to Earlham too and loved it.  Great natural sciences faculty.  


Oberlin would be a good choice for music and science.  I've been super impressed with colleagues of mine who went there.  Small liberal arts. 

post #46 of 56
Thread Starter 

In light of this discussion, I've just begun reading about the life of George Eliot.  She sounds like a brilliant woman, at a time when women did not go to university, and she sought out tutors and teachers and learned many languages, and spoke with religious leaders, and had her finger on the pulse of the political dynamics of her country.  She is fascinating to read about!  People sought her out to speak with her.  So what is the possibility of gaining a "liberal arts" type of education for oneself over a lifetime, as Marian Evans was able to learn having a stipend, so to speak for her living.  If she had needed to work/teach/etc. for her living, there would have been less time for active learning...

post #47 of 56
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

I went to a very tiny, private, liberal arts women's college that no one's ever heard of. 


Sounds like where my daughter is going.  500 students, total. Was single gender until just about 10 years ago. Everyone asks "where's THAT?" It has lots of traditions from years past, which is something she really liked about it.

post #48 of 56
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

You would need to check out the current majors/minors, but at least when I went there, they had all of those.

Just because a college or university offers a major does not mean it is a good program. I work for a state University, so my son would get a 50% tuition discount if he went here - but his interest is Biology, and the department sucks. When he and my DH met with the department chairman, he looked at my son's grades and ACT scores and said "Why would you want to go HERE?" He didn't bother to show him around the labs; he suggested that if ds decided to go there, he should double major in biology and chemistry - because apparently even he doesn't believe his program would prepare my son up for a great grad school.


Compare that to the biochemistry department at the state university 75 miles away. The dept chair put on his best recruiting speech - gave ds the full tour, explained that they try to get undergrads involved in research projects, even as freshmen, and offered him a departmental scholarship (which they don't usually give to freshmen). The program has an excellent reputation (my DH got his MS there), and they made a fantastic impression.

post #49 of 56

One other consideration is where your child wants to end up geographically after college.  There are any number of good schools whose reputations are not well known outside their region. 


If the desire is to end up in New York or DC or San Francisco after college, perhaps looking at schools in that location or only schools with a more national reputation is appropriate.


Also, if graduate school is being seriously considered your child might want to give some thought as to how their college choice may affect their graduate school opportunities.  I went to a small college in my home state but had the benefit of knowing in advance that that college was well thought of by the very competitive graduate program at my in-state "public ivy" which was my ultimate goal.  However, if I wanted to go to an out-of-state "public ivy" or "ivy league" graduate school my college of choice would have been a detriment rather than an assistance -- it would have been basically unknown to the average admissions person.


Also -- if she is looking at the hard sciences, she needs to know that despite all the hype, a BS (and sometimes even an MS or PhD) in the sciences is not a route to a great-paying job.  Engineering is one thing.  The sciences (particularly chemistry) are another.

post #50 of 56
Thread Starter 

:)  I got my bachelors in biological sciences.  Her dad did 9 years graduate study in physics.  He chose private industry instead of academia.  We can give real-world examples of what you can do with a science degree. :)

post #51 of 56

I can too, with a husband in private industry, BS and MS in Chemistry, making $62,500.   Those I know in the sciences (versus engineering) who are making a large bankroll have, in every instance, transititioned over to the management/business side (frequently obtaining an MBA along the way).   They are managing science not "doing" science. 


Obviously, there is always space and money for the creme de la creme of any profession but given the reporting in the academic press about having too many science PhDs those opportunities are more competitive.

post #52 of 56

I don't think you can make a generic list. It really depends on the child. My niece went to Scripps -- 227 graduating seniors or something like that. It was the perfect place for her to be. High academic standards, opportunities to really focus on what she wanted, intimate environment + ability to take a big range of classes from any of the Claremont Colleges. I would have hated it. I was very very happy at the University of Minnesota. It let me have the diversity of classes and the real advantages of a big, research university. It allowed me to change majors from engineering to biology to German without huge cost. Because it was large, I got to focus on German linguistics as an undergrad, an option that most smaller colleges can't give. I didn't need hand-holding -- I needed to try out my options. I went to Cornell as a graduate student. I had a great graduate experience, but having taught the undergraduates there, I would have hated the undergraduate experience. Far too many entitled kids with far more money than I could ever hope to have. The class lines were really clear, and the undergrads without a lot of money did feel it.


So, I think you really have to match the interests and personality of your child to the strengths and features of the school. There are a lot of really really good public institutions out there that people often overlook. I strongly suspect that our son will end up at a medium sized liberal arts institution, and our daughter will end up at a large school - given their personalities, strengths and interests. Ds thrives in a smaller environment. Dd needs challenge and options. But, ask me again in 7-10 years when my kids enter university. I have no idea how they will develop.

post #53 of 56

I agree with LynnS6, and that's why I haven't replied. My dd is attending a university that's perfect for her: it's in a large, artistically and musically vibrant bilingual city, it enrols the country's best young classical string players (whom she can play in orchestras and ensembles with) and employs a violin professor who is an ideal fit for her. No idea whether it would suit a student wanting an customizable program in social sciences or a rigorous engineering program or whatever.



post #54 of 56
Thread Starter 

I agree, but I think that making a list of schools that can even start to offer what she's interested in (Classics, physical sciences/physics, and violin or composition) will already narrow the field.  I know that there are excellent schools out there I've never heard of.  Hence, the start of the thread here--trying to gather info from multiple sources.  :)

post #55 of 56
Originally Posted by Bekka View Post

She is interested in physical sciences, probably major in physics, although she's saying chemistry is really interesting too.
She's a serious violinist, but probably doesn't want to pursue it as a career--instead she'd like to minor or major as a liberal arts music major/minor.
She LOVES Latin and Classics studies, and I could see her with a triple major, or 2 majors/1 minor, or 1 major/2 minors.  We'll see what bubbles up as her biggest love, or maybe something else entirely.

I asked if there were a school with a physics major, and violin performance minor, and Latin/Classics minor, how would that sound; she thought it sounded GREAT.  She also has diverse interests in and around social studies/anthropology, Scottish fiddling, and music composition.  This is why I'm exploring the strong liberal arts component--she has so many diverse interests that she will probably need/want an honors program of some kind with emphasis on academic exploration and discussion--deep and wide over diverse topics around the world.

College of Creative Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara

post #56 of 56
Thread Starter 

awesome!  Thank you!  That's the kind of info I'm not able to find on the first round of a uni's webpage!  :)

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