Tag Archives: Stanford

The search begins…sort of

1 Jul

When we set out to explore colleges this spring, we didn’t know where to begin looking.  There are, after all, over 3,800 colleges in this country, according to the College Board website.  How does one begin this daunting task?  When I asked my daughter what kind of college she wanted to attend, she just shrugged.  Fair enough, she was only a sophomore.  My hope is that she will gradually take charge of this journey to find the right college and we as parents will simply guide her and serve as her sounding board.

We’ll let you know how that works out.

I know that we have plenty of time before she has to decide where to apply and in part we can’t begin to look at schools until we know how her sophomore year and first semester junior year grades will look.  Those grades, more than anything, will help to determine choices.

Times have changed a lot since my husband and I applied to colleges.  Back then, fewer parents took such an active role in helping their children apply to colleges.  We had only just arrived in this country a few years earlier and so my parents didn’t know too much about all the available choices.  But everyone knew about the Ivies, Stanford and MIT.  So the understanding was, if I could get into an Ivy League school, preferably one that was close to home, I would go.  There was never any discussion about what schools would suit me, my personality, my interests.  Questions like, would I thrive in a bigger school or a smaller one, in a city versus a rural campus, never even occurred to us.

Of course the competition to get into the top name schools has increased manifold in the last three decades.  Just this year Harvard College received over 30,000 applications and its admission rate dropped to less than 7%.  So now more than ever, we need to focus on finding the right fit for our daughter and less on chasing after the big names.

We’ll let you know how that works out too.

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