Selecting colleges rant
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|Thu, 07-15-2010 - 1:31am|
My daughter has me so frustrated. Her older brother is at the point where he needs to get an idea of where he wants to go to college or what he wants to do as far as supporting himself if he does not go to college and so on. My daughter is going in to 9th grade, but is quite advanced in school. She was offered grade acceleration previously, but in the end, we decided against it. She was in agreement after I explained to her why. (high school offers so many AP courses and such, it won't be so boring being in school the extra year and will simply make her more prepared and more competitive for college). So she is taking 11th grade level math and 10th grade level science and gifted 9th grade English(if she had accelerated in English, she would have been defined the higher grade level).
OK...so....she googles to find lists of top universities and then decides those are the ones she wants to attend. She goes to the college board website and will do searches but will only accept the most competitive of schools. She assumes her SAT scores will be the same as her dad's and mine (700's on all tests) so she should only go to a college where her scores, as she thinks they will be, will be average. She is guessing, she has not taken the SAT yet.
About my daughter, she does so well in school because she is driven. She does not always score tops on tests. She generally will get 99th percentiles on ITBS, but last year, she got 98th. Then, she oddly scored lower on high school entrance exams, which shocked me. Regardless, I have tried to point out that certain schools will offer scholarships and such, which she will need to fund going to college, so she needs to be open minded. She informed me that she refuses to attend certain schools. I have also tried to explain to her that she needs to have a reason for picking a particular college that goes beyond it being on the top of some list, she flew off the handle at me over that. I tried to pull up one college that I saw on various lists, that was not a top top college, but was reasonable and known to have a good program for what she says she wants to major in. She closed her mind and refused to really look at it. Right now, she is focused on Juilliard, Yale, or Stanford. Each one of those schools has a less than 10% acceptance rate and are incredibly expensive. I tried to point this out to her, but she flew off the handle again saying I had no faith in her.
I am guessing she has PMS right now which is why she is flying off the handle. But I am afraid with these ideas, she is setting herself up for horrible disappointment when it does not happen. Plus, we have read somewhat about suicides and such on this board, what will she do when the only school she gets in to is an average area state school? I am not saying that will happen, I am just saying that she needs to keep her mind open. She also needs to realize that over the next couple of years, she will mature and maybe won't even want to major in what she is planning.
But also, what if she does keep this up? I am not sure we can afford the cost of transporting her to Yale, let alone all the other things that come along with going there. She does not seem to realize that college is about growing, coming of age, finding out who you are while getting the education for your career, and so on. I do not think she will be very happy getting on an airplane to a part of the country she has never been to, with no parent to take her and just a suitcase to take along because I am most certainly not paying to ship a bunch of dorm room supplies.
Since she will not even look at with an open mind any other colleges beyond biggest name schools, I am afraid she will just be miserable. She will either get in and be miserable because the school is not a fit, or she will not get in and be miserable because she has convinced herself that these are the only colleges she can go to. It seems as if time goes by so quickly and before we know it, it will be time for college. I feel like if I do not prepare her now for the possibility that Yale might not be where she goes, or it might not be where she wants to go for real, she will face huge disappointments soon. Plus, what happens when she only applies to those 3, or ones like them, and gets in to none? It is not just the chances of not getting in that bothers me, it is also the fact that she is not even looking at aspects of these schools to figure out if they are even schools she wants to attend.
There are some colleges we will be visiting over the next year or so for her brother where I wanted her to come along and check it out too. (we cannot really afford to go and then return a year later, as long as we are there, she can look around too) She says no way, she will not go to those colleges. And I love this, I get a lot of the "you are not listening to me." In reality, she is not listening to me. I tried to explain, do you really want to attend a college in the north east? It is cold there, she has never been in such cold and does not even own a coat. She won't go outside as it is when the temp drops below 60. She doesn't even like the a/c on when it is below 90 degrees (we live in Texas). Plus, she is quite conservative, not sure she will find much of that in Northeastern schools. I have also mentioned how she will feel living so far away that Christmas will likely be the only time she can visit home, and she says she is fine and happy with moving across the country from her brothers. Such a sweet girl she is, LOL
Ok, seriously though, should I be worrying? Is she setting herself up for a huge disappointment?