Advice for a would-be History Major

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: March 2003 Archive: Advice for a would-be History Major
By Chris_S (Chris_S) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 07:36 pm: Edit

Hello, I'm new here. I was wondering if any of you had any advice for me. I'm a sophomore in high school right now and have some questions. First, some info:
I live in a small town in Iowa.
My GPA is 3.524 unweighted. I got all A's first semester this year though, so I am improving. Plus, I've never gotten below a B.
My class rank is 59/234 but many people in my class take the easy classes just to get A's. I've taken every AP class offered to me.
I haven't taken the SAT or ACT yet. But earlier this year, I did take the ITED (Iowa Tests for Educational Development) I was in the 99th percentile for BOTH Iowa students and all students nationally. It predicted my my ACT to be 27-31 (highest it predicts) and SAT to be 1230 - 1460 (Again, that's the highest it will predict.)
I also took the PLAN test earlier this year. I was in the 99th percent for all students nationally. It predicted my ACT to be 26-30 (once again, the highest it will predict)
I want to be a History Major, preferably on the East Coast, not in Iowa. I dislike my home state.
I don't talk much in class. I never raise my hand, and I like doing things by myelff as opposed to in groups.

Now, the questions:
What would be some good colleges for a person like myself?
Would I be better in a big school or a smaller school?
I've looked at Boston U and Lafayette College. Are these good schools?
Also, my parents don't think that I can do anything with a History degree. Any answers that you guys have that might put their mind at ease?
Also, they want me to go to college in Iowa for a couple years and then transfer to wherever I want to go. They also don't want me in a big city (AKA Boston U) Is there anything that I could tell them to convince them to let me go out East for my first year?

Thanks. I'd really appreciate any answers that you might have. Thanks again.

By Kalitiha (Kalitiha) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Chris, where do you go to school? I'm from a small Iowa town too and I also want to get the heck out. You are doing well in terms of test scores and AP classes. Speak to your counselor about getting your school started on the Iowa Online AP Academy sponsored through Belin-Blank at Iowa so that you can take more classes. You need to become more active in class, if only so that you are cultivating the teachers that will have to write your recommendations. It depends on what you want to do after undergraduate school--if you want to go to Graduate school or just get a job. I really don't know what you can do with a major in history other than teach it in a school--but I'm sure you can find many different history-related careers if you do some research. My Yale interviewer majored in History at Yale and then went to Harvard Law School, so it's a good major if you want to be a lawyer. It's a good thing that you have started thinking about college this soon and are already working on your parents, it would really suck if you didn't find out their opinion until you tried to go out of state and they wanted to stick you at ISU.

By Chris_S (Chris_S) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 07:54 pm: Edit

I'm in Newton. It's about 45 minutes east of Des Moines. And yeah, my parents and I had a pretty long "conversation" last night about college. My dad keeps saying "Well, maybe you'll change your mind in 2 years and want to go to Iowa or maybe Iowa State." I know I won't, but they really want me to stay in this horrible state. I guess I still have 2 years to convince them.

By Kalitiha (Kalitiha) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Yeah, I know where Newton is, I'm 30 minutes west of Des Moines, so we aren't that far away. Basically, you need to start coming up with good reasons that you can back up or else you may never get your parents to listen. Work hard in school and get the best grades possible so that you can get into really good schools with a large financial aid endowment. Remind your parents that the Board of Regents continues to raise State University tuition and fees--without a lot of money available for scholarships. If you get into a good school and receive a large grant/scholarship package, you can end up paying the same amount or less for a private LAC than you would for ISU, UNI, or U of I.

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