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ecb 03-11-2008 10:32 PM

Anyone got opinions for or against any colleges
My eldest is planning to graduate college next spring (in one year) and has her heart set on getting her medical degree, she wants to work with Drs without Borders.
she will be just barely 17 when she starts College, and with her history I would prefer she go someplace with a strict drug policy, and not a major party scene.
she gave me this HUGE list of colleges (37) and told me she was not REALLY interested in all of them, but since then i have added half as many as i have taken off in doing my research.

so now I M looking for peoples own experiences with colleges


auburnchick 03-11-2008 11:15 PM

Hmmm...the first thing she's going to have to do is her undergraduate work. Why not have her go someplace close to home where you can monitor her? After her pre-med program, she'll have to apply to medical school, and to get in, she'll have to have kept her nose clean...get good recommendations from professors, etc.

PCwombat 03-12-2008 12:47 AM

Where are you looking and how far away? When I was looking at schools, my parents' only restriction on location was that it had to be in driving distance. Which, considering I live in Pennsylvania, still left me with so many options.

It'll be harder (but in no way impossible) to find a school with a small party scene. Big state schools tend to be all about parties, and small liberal arts schools often attract rich kids whose allowance from Mommy and Daddy lets them spend all their money on drugs and alcohol. But, there are definitely schools with a happy medium. Schools with a large amount of commuter students have less of a party scene because many people leave campus on the weekends. And, there are smaller schools where partying has less of a presence, like schools without a huge greek life.

evona 03-12-2008 01:13 AM

As a person who has a 17 year old daughter graduating this year and a 16 year old son who will graduate next year I understand where you're coming from. I agree with auburnchick about colleges close to home. Or at least a few hours driving distance. It will wind up better for both of you both psychologically & financially. She'll probably wind up in less trouble that first crucial year if she knows home is not too far away. (As an aside - I would really like to know what the ratio is for kids dropping out of college or getting in trouble the first year who have moved a large distance to attend school as opposed to those who attend school relatively close to home.) Good luck to the both of you! :)

Hildegard_von_Knittin 03-12-2008 01:20 AM

I think the best thing you can do is have her narrow the list according to program evaluation, start visiting those campuses WITH her, see if you can talk to some alums or parents.... maybe you could go visit on a parent day or something.

princess 03-12-2008 02:16 AM

ok, im gonna add to the input honestly as a current college student. I think your primary concern shouldnt be whether or not its a party school, i think you need to look at other details first. How much support is there when she starts struggling? (not meant to make her sound like she wont succeed, but i man has tutoring and the learning center on campus saved my butt for a few classes! that plus i can talk to counselors anytime i need about anything i want if i so feel the need to, its nice knowing the resources i have access too.) How well are the advisors at placing students and generally helping them during school? what are the costs? how safe is the school, ie what kind of programs do they run to prevent as much crime as possible. what kind of reputation for prestige will the diploma have? how many classes are taught by TA's versus profs. how good do the profs tend to be? how many students are in classes. (i currently have a 600 person lecture and a 30 person lecture, they are soooo different)
imo, party school or not if your kid is gonna party they will find a way.Basically you have to send her out the door and just hope you raised her right. I go to michigan state university, and boy do you want to talk about a party school reputation :P we are known for inventing creative drinking games and having riots on campus(not really anymore, there were a few famous ones though) people here say not just go green, but you say "go green burn couches!" and believe me people do. But set all that aside, hmmm last time i drank alcohol and partied was last summer, and wait that was only because i was in london studying abroad so it was legal (im only 19). those that want to drink will find a way, and those that dont wont. plain and simple, and i dont think peer pressure is a huge problem either. I can go to parties and stay sober just fine, everybody respects that. so i would put non party school a little lower on the priority list if it were me, but thats all just my two cents, and feel free to pm me if you want some more input from a current college gal(sophmore currently)

Jan in CA 03-12-2008 02:18 AM

Definitely go visit the colleges. Start as soon as you can and keep a notebook of your feelings about a school as well as any info you can get.

Don't rely entirely on any one method of evaluation.. listen to what people here have to say, read lots of info and do check the library or bookstore for books on colleges.

Our oldest started out at an out of state university (SMU) and it became obvious that it wasn't really a good fit for her so she came home, finished the first two years at a good local community college, then transferred to UCSD in San Diego with a degree in molecular biology. She recently got her masters at UMich. Don't discount community colleges if you feel it would be a better fit for a few years.


msmelody 03-12-2008 07:28 AM

I love Wesleyan College in Macon, GA ( It is an all female college. I have all ready decided this is where my 3 year-old will go when she is ready for college. I want to go back there and finish getting my degree, but I will have to wait until after children grow up and husband gets out of the Navy.

HamaLee 03-12-2008 09:28 AM

What's on your list so far?

I don't know much about Maine's state university/college system, but if it's decent and well-priced I highly recommend doing that for undergrad. In the grand scheme of things, where you did your undergrad isn't terribly important. What matters is how well you did and what opportunities you took advantage of--which gets you into a good graduate/medical school (which I think matters more).

So if Maine's state schools are reliably funded, have programs to help students get internships and get into graduate school, etc. I would definitely push for that. Save the outrageous debt for the post-undergrad work (cuz believe me she'll have lots!!)

Caveat: This is all coming from someone who went to a top tier private college for undergrad and I'm now heading to grad school. I loved my college experience and I got an education I could NOT have received in any my state's schools (not to mention UMass is getting nearly as expensive as a private school these days!)....

However, in retrospect I kinda wish my parents had done more to "encourage" me to head to a cheaper school. I have undergrad loans and because of that I didn't even apply to some of the better graduate schools in my field because they're prohibitively expensive and my field is low paying. If I were free of the undergrad debt I wouldn't have felt so nervous about taking on the debt for the better grad schools....

iza 03-12-2008 09:35 AM

I graduated from 3 different universities, and so as my boyfriend. The two of us together are alumni of 5 different universities (we met in graduate school), in 3 Canadian provinces, so we know a lot about students! We were undergrads a long long time ago, :teehee: but in grad school we became TAs and worked with them every day. And I must say, princess has a very good point. Party school or not, students are all the same everywhere. Some will party all the time, others won't. The school has little to do with it in my opinion. Who she hangs out with and her own behavior is the only thing you can rely on and you have little control over that!

If you're worried, find a place where she can stay at home while she studies. I've seen some residences turn into party lounges pretty much every night (yup, even girls-only residences). Yes when you visit they will tell you they have very strict rules. But believe me, kids will find ways to go around them no matter how strict they are! :shrug:

What's important is that she feels motivated and excited about going to college. If she likes what she's studying and has a lot of work, she probably won't have too much time to party. If it's too hard, if she doesn't like it, or if it's too easy, then yes it can be harder to get her to focus on her studies. And yes, look at the library, and the ratio of students/profs/TAs. :thumbsup: Good luck!

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