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Thread: Picking colleges

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Picking colleges

    Hey guys!!!!!

    I need to pick your brains.

    My oldest two went to the local state college that is 15 min from our home. My youngest is interested in Chemistry, and the reputation of the Chem dept at that school isn't good.

    I help her a lot with her school, but she's also carrying an enormously heavy load for a 9th grader. She feels like she does NOT want to live on campus anywhere.

    My oldest didn't look anywhere else. How do I look down the road and help R pick a college? I don't even know where to start?

    My disposition thinks that the local college is usually good enough and a good value. I could help her with her studies if she was here. She'd also probably be fine if she went away. Other people's kids do it and succeed!

    Most of the kids in our circle just go here to the local school.

    Any advice?
    You have indeed been called into ministry. Be careful that you don't scorn it in persuit of something bigger or better in the world's eyes. -- Lis in Maine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    No longer in Texas


    Will she be taking the PSAT in 10th grade? That alone will flood your mailbox with college options. However if she limits herself to living at home, she really doesn't have many options. Since she is only in 9th grade, may I kindly suggest that she's liable to change her mind a dozen or more times in the coming years?

    Have you taken her or any of your others on any college tours?
    Mom to Grace (15), Sarah (13), and Hannah (11)
    Using my college degree in ways I never imagined....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Lots of ways to approach this, but you have lots of time, too! So that's a good thing.

    So many things may change -- her choice of major, her desire to live on/off campus, and the all-important scholarship offers that she may need to compare from each school. And if money is an issue, you either narrow it to public schools only, or she gets a great ACT score which will make most private schools also doable.

    One thing you could do now, if she's interested, is to print a list of all the colleges in your state (if you think she'll probably stay in state) or draw a circle of a certain radius around your city (100 miles, 200 miles, 500 miles -- whatever you and she are comfortable with). That narrows things down considerably. But honestly, you can wait to do this until she's ready. If she has a heavy load this year, maybe start this process in 10th grade. No need to put the pressure on now.

    We knew, for many reasons, that our dd, who could have gone just about anywhere, wasn't going to go too far away from home and she wanted to live on campus. So that narrowed things down a lot! She chose a large-ish university because she went in undeclared and wanted lots of options, rather than a small university where she might end up wanting a major they didn't have or didn't have a good reputation with. Other things that mattered to her were diversity of student population, the Honors College, and the good non-humanities opportunities (science, computer science, etc.). But all of this was settled more in early 11th grade.

    It was a tough decision between two schools, and she agonized over it for a while, but in the end she "knew" which was right for her and is very happy with her choice!
    "Ree-bee," Mom to former United States Marine ds and math teacher DIL * artist dd 20 * motion-loving ds 17 * piano-playing ds 12
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Might I suggest that you wait until she is a little older to really tackle the issue? I find that high schoolers change a lot between 10th and 11th grade. Her plans now may look different a few years from now. It seems to me if she wants to live at home, her options will be limited even if you live in an area with more than a few schools. Commute times will be a big factor and that will narrow her choices as well.

    When it comes to high schoolers and their plans for the future, our motto is not to close any doors too soon because so much can happen to change their minds. You don't want to limit them early in high school by shutting out options based on course choice, etc. Keep the options open as long as you can. Otherwise, they might regret it later.

    The Common Application is a great place to start and high school juniors can have an account to gather college information which will roll over to a senior account ready for applying to the schools she chooses. It's a place to keep all the information you find out about schools like admission requirements. It will also help your student to keep deadlines, etc.

    I've written about this process a lot lately. You might like these posts on the topic. Have fun with it!

    How to Navigate the College Application Process as a Homeschooler

    Preparing for College Made Easy- A Guide to the Common Application

    Heather wife to Dan and embracing the independent nature of homeschooling with our fantastic four (20 ds, 18 dd, 16 ds, 13 ds).

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