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  1. #1
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    College Selection?

    My daughter is halfway through her Junior year, and we are starting to narrow down colleges.

    She’s a fast XC and track runner, though not THAT fast. And she’s a great student, but not very top of the class.

    She’s been raised in Durango CO so has a pretty high-bar on quality of life.

    She has great grades in STEM, but doesn’t show a lot of interest in pursuing that path.

    At this point, she wants to go to business school, possibly an MBA in the future.

    We live in CO and have tuition exchanges with the WUE (Western Undergrad Exchange) schools. She’d like to run in college, but with her current PRs, she wont get a scholarship to D1 schools.

    I’m not just saying this: she’s an awesome person.

    Some details:

    -3.88 GPA (weighted, currently in 2 AP classes, generally taking 2-4 AP classes each semester)
    -varsity XC and track.
    -great extracurriculars (volunteering, employment, etc)
    -she’ll interview awesome...she’s articulate and polite and confident
    -5k/XC PR is sub 18:30 and her mile is 5:15 (though she’ll get that down next season). She was REALLY hoping to break 18mins at states this year but overtrained and blew up
    -she’s traveled a fair amount and loves the idea of international school. Though she does not speak any other languages.

    She’s in this kind of weird place where she has better grades and times than needed to get in to the big state-schools but not quite good enough to get into top-tier schools.

    Can anyone recommend any schools that we haven’t thought of yet?

    I don’t see her at a big state school. I also don’t see her in a big city, unless it was a pretty unique situation.

    Schools on the list: (in no order, some of these are a stretch, some are safety-schools)

    Stanford
    Berkeley
    UC Santa Cruz
    Cal-Poly
    UC Santa Barbara
    Pitzer
    Claremont Colleges ^^ (pitzer, etc)
    UVM
    Middlebury
    U of Hawaiis (Manoa?)
    Western Washington
    UC Davis
    CU Boulder
    Univ of Oregon
    NAU
    UC San Diego
    UC Irivine
    Lewis and Clark
    Pepperdine
    Puget Sound
    Fort Lewis (hometown)


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  2. #2
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    Deciding where I went to school was one of the first major decisions I made on my own as an adult. Scholarship money helped round out that decision.

    Does she have any say in it? Are there grants and scholarship $$ available to her? Where does *she* see herself? Acceptance is also a deciding factor, obvs.

  3. #3
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    College Selection?

    Haha. Yeah I’d say she “has a say in it”. She’s sitting here at the table with me as we are scouring the interwebs for schools. Definitely not a helicopter parent (or even close)...but there are lots of smaller/mid-sized schools that I’ve never heard of. She’s fiercely independent and pushes-back against excessive pressure from my wife and I. Raising her has been a delicate balance of support without pressuring her. And she’s a badass so I think it’s been working-out.

    She sees herself at a smaller or mid-sized school, with a solid XC program. She’s not interested in Greek-life and partying is way low on her list of priorities, though she definitely seems to want to avoid schools that are religious.

    Lol. She just pronounced “La Jolla” as “la Jol-la”.


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  4. #4
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    Went through the process two years ago with my son and now finishing the same thing with my daughter, who is a senior this year.

    Some other schools to consider are Rice, Northeastern, William and Mary, Carnegie Mellon, and Babson. You said you don't see her at a big state school, but U of Michigan, UCLA, UVA might be schools to explore.

    My niece started at Carnegie Mellon this year and loves it.

    Both Stanford (4% acceptance rate) and UC Berkley will be very difficult with a weighted gpa of 3.88, which is excellent but probably not enough.

    Good luck with the applications.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    What's your budget ? Be honest with yourself and her l. Keep in mind kids at 18 don't understand what long term debt means, for that matter lots of parents as well. Does she have a clear understanding of what a college athlete's life will be vs. a regular student ? What she wants in terms of social life at 16/17 will most likely change drastically when away from home.

  6. #6
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    UVM is expensive. Love the school. But I'm a VT Homer and pretty much grew up on campus.

  7. #7
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    Western Colorado University? Ugh I hate to type that lol. Close but not too close to home, Division II track and XC, decent business school, I guess academics don't really compare to other schools on your list though.

  8. #8
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    College Selection?

    Pretty wide range on the list at the moment

    This year, go visit:

    A state land grant school
    A small private
    A large private
    A business program

    Have her experience, if only via the single day, the feel of the various campuses & the cities around those campuses.

    We did a visit this fall with our junior to our land grant school & it was enlightening in many facets beyond is-it-a-good-school

  9. #9
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    Stanford doesn’t have an “in-state” rate, so there’s a big difference in tuition costs compared to some of the other schools. Is money really no object?

  10. #10
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    I went to a school on that list for 6 months. Decided being racked with debt from out of state tuition was dumb and transferred to a state college. Nobody cares where you did your undergrad. That GPA likely rules out most of the UC's/Stanford unfortunately.

    State colleges with good enough academics, athletics, social life and costs would be where I would try to steer her, especially if she can run on scholarship. That way there's money for semesters abroad and if she really wants to do a schwanky MBA after she's not saddled with that much more debt. My 2 cents.

  11. #11
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    If you’re looking at CU Boulder, look at CSU too. Got a daughter there now, she’s loving it. Less of a party school than CU. FoCo is cool town too.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    Western Colorado University? Ugh I hate to type that lol. Close but not too close to home, Division II track and XC, decent business school, I guess academics don't really compare to other schools on your list though.
    Their engineering program, which is really CU, is pretty sweet though. As is their XC.

    Back to TT, maybe DU, it's a good business school?



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  13. #13
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    If she plans in running in college, her coach needs to start reaching out to schools soon. You can find out early if she’s fast enough for a “pull” at any of those schools, but unless she’s ranked at the state or national level, it’s not likely.

    How are her test scores? What schools are other students from her HS attending? If others have gotten into Stamford/Midd/etc the admissions office may see her more as an known quantity. Oh and she should be talking to those students immediately!

  14. #14
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    My son is a senior at Regis in Aurora and is committed to play lacrosse at Middlebury. He was recruited by several high-academic DI and DIII schools, but Midd checked all the boxes. His grades/scores (4.2/33) put him in the lower half of admitted students at his target schools, so getting coach support/juice was critical. Shoot me a PM if you'd like to chat.
    Last edited by Smoova; 11-29-2021 at 06:30 AM.

  15. #15
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    For undergrad business degrees the school's connection to the business world matters a lot.

    I'm a CU Leeds grad and I've been pretty involved in the undergraduate mentorship program as an alum. The mentorship program is specific to the business school- it assigns freshman to senior students, sophomores to recent grads and juniors and seniors to mid level and higher business leaders. It helps students figure out what they'd like to major in and then gives them connections to the business world so that students can get placed into well paying jobs directly out of college. CU isn't a target school for FAANG tech companies or tier one investment banking, but my previous company hired dozens of CU business grads into positions that yielded six figure salaries by mid to late 20s.

    By no means am I trying to pass CU off as some elite institution, but the business school is well connected. I think it would be way harder to develop meaningful connections to business major job opportunities coming out of smaller, less well connected schools.

    On that note, perhaps add University of Washington to your list?

  16. #16
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    Ft. Leisure and Wasted State. I’m not letting the nicknames die.


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  17. #17
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    She want to be in mountain or near ocean? She want big, medium, small size school?

    U of MT always claims to have a good business school and takes everyone and she might walk on to XC team.

    U of N. AZ seems to always have strong XC, cool campus and location, no idea about academics.

    My wife walked on to Cal XC...but had faster times.
    U of California system is crazy competitive but claim to start allowing fewer Chinese nationals... hopefully that will improve in state kids chances.

    Cal Poly SLO is a really cool town.

    UC San Diego is the soulless major campus I have been on, but awesome location. Maybe look at U San Diego, smaller and private, so should get in if you want to spend the money.

    UC Santa Barbara is awesome, but lots of kids end up partying to hard.

    UC Santa Cruz is also awesome and more removed from town. If my kids do very good in HS, I'm hoping they go to UCSC.

    If they goof off(like I did) then U of MT. Which I loved, but my only other option was Montana St.

  18. #18
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    Anecdotal stuff - My nephew and some friends’ kids (California) got offered $/scholarships from:

    Tulane
    San Diego State
    Univ San Francisco
    Purdue

    As an example, my nephew got into UCLA. Had a 4.8 weighted GPA with AP courses and scored a 33 ACT. Basically 5% acceptance rate at the very top UCs like Berkeley or UCLA.

    Tulane: My buddy’s daughter was offered about $15-$20K/year assistance at Tulane. New Orleans would be fun.

    Purdue: Another friend’s kid just graduated Purdue with a degree in Mech Engineering and was offered internships and got a great job straight out of school with Lockheed.

    Re college athletics - I played hoops and ran track at UC Davis. It’s a huge time and physical/mental/emotional commitment. If she doesn’t love XC enough to sacrifice other college experiences, then it shouldn’t be a major factor.

    Good luck with everything! My kid will be doing this next year.

  19. #19
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    Also, my only regret was not getting to do a semester abroad.

  20. #20
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    UPS may be worth a look. Smaller student body but big enough for good business program and great liberal arts & sciences. Smaller classes. Close to Seattle & Sea Tac. Profs there were great back in ancient times.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevo View Post
    For undergrad business degrees the school's connection to the business world matters a lot.
    This. If your daughter is serious about going into business, then a school with a strong internship/externship program with great relationships with leading companies/firms is more important than the name on the school or where it’s located.

    The same goes for someone wanting to get into law school, a good engineering job, or design firm. The experience you acquire means more on the resume to a hiring manager/partner.

    I was very lucky in that my Alma Maters had standing placements at P&G, GE, Coke, Bain, Home Depot and all the national biglaw firms. My placements have made it all the easier for me (and my classmates) through our careers.
    I still call it The Jake.

  22. #22
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    I have a daughter at Villanova and her experience has been fantastic. The business school is excellent, she's near a major US city (culture and jobs), there's a ton of camaraderie, they are D1 track so that's probably out of the question. On the negative side, it's very, very white and very, very expensive.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 406 View Post
    She want to be in mountain or near ocean? She want big, medium, small size school?

    U of MT always claims to have a good business school and takes everyone and she might walk on to XC team.

    U of N. AZ seems to always have strong XC, cool campus and location, no idea about academics.

    My wife walked on to Cal XC...but had faster times.
    U of California system is crazy competitive but claim to start allowing fewer Chinese nationals... hopefully that will improve in state kids chances.

    Cal Poly SLO is a really cool town.

    UC San Diego is the soulless major campus I have been on, but awesome location. Maybe look at U San Diego, smaller and private, so should get in if you want to spend the money.

    UC Santa Barbara is awesome, but lots of kids end up partying to hard.

    UC Santa Cruz is also awesome and more removed from town. If my kids do very good in HS, I'm hoping they go to UCSC.

    If they goof off(like I did) then U of MT. Which I loved, but my only other option was Montana St.
    My other daughter is at USD (bolded above) in the business program. She's a freshman so I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about the quality of the program although it ranks well. The campus is ridiculously beautiful and she had a great base tan by week 3. I told her work hard and play hard and she's taking it to heart.

  24. #24
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    College Selection?

    Err…why not CC? As of early 2000s the (D3) cross country program was great and I had tons of fun. CSprings sucks but the campus bubble insulated that and though tuition was steep they had good need based financial aid. Lots of good people and genuine experiences in and out of the classroom.

  25. #25
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    If quality of life is a priority, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and Western Washington should be at the top of the list. Cal Poly would be there too but they make you declare a major right away and it’s wildly difficult to change. Similar story with UC San Diego. Santa Cruz is a truly special place, worth a close look. Best campus in America, maybe the world

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