|By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Saturday, May 31, 2003 - 05:44 pm: Edit|
I'm currently a high school junior and am anxiously awaiting my senior year! Of course the college stress is starting to add up ... not on me but mostly on my parents. I plan on being either a biomedical or chemical engineering major (possibly a double major or a major and a minor who knows) and I have a list of 5 schools which includes Penn, Carnegie Mellon, UMaryland, Ohio State, and UPITT.
My parents are having me look somewhat "local" for college, primarily because I am an only child. UPITT is closer to me than OSU but OSU is in-state. Yes, costs are a concern but I plan on co-oping full time to help pay tuition. Besides the schools in OH, PA, MD, and NY I'm also looking a little farther away, such as IL, IN, and down through NC. State schools as well as private schools have my attention. I just convinced my parents to let me look at Penn (7 hours away from here) and am wondering how some of you parents had your kids look at colleges. Did you act like my parents are acting now or did you pretty much let your kids have the sky (or maybe a little less) as their limit? NC doesn't seem to far away from Ohio, to me at least.
Also, my parents are "making" me apply to only 3 schools: a reach, a safety, and a more or less "good match." They claim that it will cost "thousands of dollars to apply to as much as 6 schools." (if you can't tell my parents really dont konw much about college other than what their friends tell them). How can I tell them that there is nothing wrong with applying to 6 schools (at the most for me) and that its not expensive? I guess I could weigh in that the best offer I get will be where i end up and with 6 schools I have more options maybe.
Finally one last questions ... Do any of you know of any great colleges (say north of TN/NC, west of New England, and East of the Mississippi River) that offer Chemical and/or Biomedical engineering? I'd like to hear of more schools than those that I am looking at now. (If you would like to see my stats for info purposes in naming schools I will include a link at the bottom where you can find them)
Thank you for your help in advance and sorry this post is a little long.
< Please post stats here rather than at an external URL -Admin >
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Saturday, May 31, 2003 - 10:31 pm: Edit|
To respond to a couple things you raised.....as far as limitting my child as to where she could apply (I think you meant geographically, right?).....we never put a limit on location for her. I want these decisions to be hers (though we can offer support, guidance, etc. and help facilitate). On her own, she said she wanted to stay on the east coast (we live in Vermont). Her reason basically is cause she feels it is within an easier commute should she ever want to come home to visit. Of course, you can fly home from anywhere but that is expensive and less likely for just a weekend if need be. I doubt she will come home hardly at all but she feels that being on the east coast makes that option available. She also has a preference to go to college out of state simply as she hopes to experience a different environment than that in which she grew up her entire life. I support that too cause we chose to raise our children in rural Vermont which is a great place and she loves it here but I have always thought on my own (without ever mentioning it) that come college age, it would be good for the kids to experience a contrasting environment and thus they would have more varied experiences to help them decide at some point where they may wish to live later on. I am not complaining that she wants to stay in the east but would have supported whatever location she had chosen. As it is turning out, all the schools on her list are within a seven hour drive, some less. Every family is different and if your parents feel strongly that you go to school within a certain radius from home, that is not unusual. I would try to talk to them about their reasons and if you have a compelling reason to prefer a school outside that range, try to maturely discuss it. However, I am sure if you stay within several hours of home, there are many fine choices for you. I am not sure I totally get your situation in this respect as you are saying you will be looking at some schools much further away afterall.
As far as your parents limitting your applications to just three schools to save money on the fees.....I definitely think your parents need to be better informed. The application fees are not that much. Sure, it costs money but in the scheme of college tuition, it is a drop in the bucket. Please share the fee schedules with them. Earn money if you have to to help pay for the application fees. I do not know your financial situation but I believe there is assistance on these fees or they may be able to be waved in certain circumstances. But in any case, they are not high and the difference between three or six applications is not all that much.
I think your parents need to talk to a guidance counselor at school, or read this forum or website, or read a book on the college admission process to educate themselves a bit on this whole thing. If they do not take that initiative, you can research it all on your own and show them what you find out. If you need your guidance counselor to advocate for you, have a three way meeting with him/her and your parents.
As far as how many schools to apply to.....I definitely think that three is way too few with the current college admissions situation. Times have changed since your parents went to college. I do not know their age. I am 46 and when I applied, I sent to five colleges. Today that is too few. You are right in that you need reach, target and safety schools. While I do not know your stats, I do know that Penn and Carnegie Mellon are not that easy to get into and you could not count on getting in (nobody could) and if you only apply to three schools and some are of this sort, it is way too risky and your options will be too limitted and/or you may have no school to go to. At certain levels of selective colleges, you could be totally qualified and still not get in....it is VERY unpredicatable at that level. The only way I would say to limit it to three schools is to have them each be safety schools! My daughter has 7 schools on her list and I think normally that is enough. I am reading of MANY kids on these forums who apply to 10-15 schools!!! Frankly that seems like too many to me. On the other hand, it has made me wonder if my daughter's list of seven is too risky cause admissions at many of her schools is akin to a lottery of sorts, even though she has the credentials (as does most of the applicants). She has two safety schools on her list but they are not complete guarantees either. At least she has various levels of schools on her list and likes them all, whereas some kids' lists on here are ALL top tier schools....seems nuts to me. Even so, now she is thinking of adding two more schools to her list for a total of nine, just to increase the odds of having options come April. Nine seems reasonable to me. In your case, I encourage you to try for six, not three.
As far as schools that are good for biomedical engineering and/or chemical engineering...there are many and I would have to search my resources for you, plus I do not know your credentials or criteria for college selection to make my suggestions that valuable. Just one suggestion....since I do know they have those majors....Tufts University (my alma mater). I have read up on engineering there and visited their engineering school with my daughter last fall.
Good luck to you and if your parents do not get better informed, try to give them resources and information and/or enlist help of someone else to assist you and to advocate for you.
|By Jawharpist (Jawharpist) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 01:41 pm: Edit|
Beware - be sure your reach & good match are really within reach - don't get caught with no acceptances. Average applications are $50 and some schools will waive this fee for financial need. Information about schools can be found at Xap.com - I've been doing a lot of looking for my daughter there. If you're a rising senior you've got a lot of work to do - dig in, it's your future. Just be respectful and as understanding as possible with your parents.
|By Anotherdad (Anotherdad) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 04:32 pm: Edit|
1. I think you have five good choices for your field.
2. Five or six schools is a practical minimum now.
3. Ohio is a big state. Which part are you in? -- it might help in thinking about prospects.
|By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 06:39 pm: Edit|
Anotherdad: I live in the northeast part, near Youngstown/Warren.
As I see it, Ohio State is a great school. I know a few engineers who have married family friends that are really quite successful (welding eng and chemical eng). My parents and I are going to sit down after I return from Boys State in 2 weeks to kinda get a final feel for schools. My ECs are good and my grades are very high (1 B in hs and taking hardest courseload) but my ACT is a 24 . When I come back we're going to assess just how far away from home I think I can handle.
From my list of schools up top, OSU and Pitt are the only "for sure" schools that I have down. Most of my friends are going to either of those schools and have similar stats as I do. I'm also thinking of removing CMU and Penn and puting UVA and Michigan down. Maybe I'll apply to 1 private school but I have the best shot at state schools. I also realize that anywhere I go to college will be just fine and that the education i get there will be just as great. If you'd like to see my stats you can go to the "What are my Chances?" board and my topic is titled "Chances at the top 25" its near the top
|By Dadster (Dadster) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 08:03 pm: Edit|
Andy, we didn't place any geographic limits for our kids searches. We actually encouraged a few extra apps, both to maximize the chances of getting into a good school and to increase the opportunity for a good aid package. About the only limit we placed was an understanding of how much we could contribute, with the balance to be made up with loans.
CMU has good merit aid, by the way. At Penn, you'll have to rely purely on need.
|By Anotherdad (Anotherdad) on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 05:24 pm: Edit|
UVA would be very hard to get into from out of state, and they tend seek high test scores and GPAs. Not a good bet. Virginia Tech is a better school in your field, and not as hard to get in. It is also gaining prestige very quickly.
|By Crazyandy (Crazyandy) on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 09:54 pm: Edit|
don't count me out yet, anotherdad. I still have plenty of time to get my test scores up! apps arent due until January sometime and i can have another 2 cracks at both the ACT and SAT. I plan on prepping over the summer and maybe takin a class. My friend took a class at Kaplan and went from a 1280 to a 1450(if he can do it anyone can). Virginia Tech is a very good school. I have a cousin there for some sort of science major. Sorry to say I dont know much about them except their football team is pretty good haha. I'll have to check them out. As I see it, whether i get my test scores up or not, chances are i'll pick the easier admission state school over the private or harder state(especially if its in a hot area for pharmaceuticals) Can you think of any other state schools in the general area of VA that are good in engineering (chem and bio)? Also do you know where a lot of pharmaceutical plants are located? (do they tend to congregate in one of the country area (like the mid atlantic or northeast) or near a particular city (philadelphia or LA)?
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