Oh, March...what a bittersweet month you are... So many emotions with admission decisions across the board, but as we write this in late May, we find that all of our students are now excited about where they are going and the initial sting of some decisions has waned.
April was especially busy for us with professional development which we will share with you in a future post because we're really excited this month to do something a bit different on our blog and post an article from one of the parents with whom we have worked. We absolutely loved the writeup they sent and thankfully got permission to share it with you. We hope you also enjoy it!
Coast to Coast College Campus Tours: A Parent’s Perspective
Graduating high school and making decisions about college are tough times in a young person’s life. It is a time of mixed emotions both for the college bound young adult and the parent. Feelings of excitement, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and the anticipation of what the future can hold are some of the most predominant ones. Recently, I had the opportunity to partake in the “which college to go to” decision with my 17-year-old son. What a privilege this was, as most teenagers want nothing to do with their adult’s opinion. This is a parent’s perspective on the schools my son ultimately narrowed down his choices to and those we visited.
We have lived across the United States from the east coast to the mid-west to the west coast, so he decided to apply across the board. He received many acceptances, many wait lists, and a few rejections. The acceptances were emotional highs, and the wait lists and rejections were definite emotional lows, but as with many things in life, a little bit of time helped heal those momentary blows. And then to look at it realistically, he had many acceptances and options!
At the end he narrowed his options down to three business schools that fit his unique persona, based on major, finances and best cultural fit for him. He is a business major, with a concentration in marketing. These were his choices in the school of business: Northeastern University, Santa Clara University, and Indiana University. (Like I said across the US) We visited all three schools, and this was my perspective on how each presented themselves on the day of admitted student tours.
Northeastern University located in Boston, MA (sprawling a few city blocks) did an outstanding job welcoming us and helping us recognize the culture and fit of the school. They served both breakfast and lunch and had a solid welcome ceremony. It was informative about the history of the school and the admitted students’ statistics. They had many informative sessions we attended:
I thought this format gave us a real feel of the students, the faculty, the types of co-ops available and how competitive they are. We met a student (junior) at the last session, who was pursuing exactly what my son wanted to do. It was very beneficial to speak with students to discuss the pros and cons about the program. Also, it helped us learn and recognize what the culture is like there and if you could see yourself there. What I did not like, is the Global Scholars session, I did not think it was worthwhile as it did not provide additional information than what was shared in the brochure. Also, I felt this program would be very disruptive to the student’s college experience, by being in four different locations in the first two years. Overall, I think they did a well-rounded job giving us the opportunity to feel what the University is like from an academic and cultural point.
The second school we visited was Santa Clara University located in Silicon Valley. This is a very beautiful, picturesque campus. They served breakfast and lunch and had a fanfare type of welcome ceremony with a few freebies to give away. They had the band and cheerleaders out to welcome the admitted students and families. They spoke about their Jesuit values and history behind the school.
Overall, I believe the opportunities to network and make some connections are available here, however, I am unsure about the academics he would receive.
The third and last school on the list was Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. They had a breakfast and a solid welcome ceremony, about their history, academics, and IU Sports. Indiana University is one of the prettiest campuses for sure. I am told the Fall colors are stunning. This tour was broken up into three different sessions.
Although IU is a very large school and out in Bloomington, an hour away from Indianapolis, I thought it presented itself as a solid University and with a sound business program. The one key thing worth mentioning about IU, is every representative student who spoke all mentioned the advisors are readily available to guide your career when registering for classes and throughout the entire four years.
To sum it all up, I believe all three schools were good options. It helped to go visit on their admitted student days, as it provided a different perspective than what I learned from reading about them online. Some schools did a better job representing themselves than others, however, I don’t believe that is the only thing to look at here. I think the visits help take away some pressure to go to a name brand school, while also helps figure out if the fit is correct for your student. At the end, the decision must be based on what you value the most and where you believe your student will succeed.