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Old 08-22-2010, 06:00 AM
 
239 posts, read 745,673 times
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My sisters son is going into his senior year of High School next month. So far his academic career has been great with a 4.2 GPA and a 32 score on the ACT. (Top 2%).

The easy approach would be for him to go to the State University near his home that lets just about everyone in. Only a small percent of the students are from the top of their High School class and have great ACT scores. But he is also considering going to an elite college with only 2000 students where only the elite students are accepted. 96% are in the top 10% fo their class and the average ACT score is 30.

If your son or daughter had super good grades and very high SAT or ACT scores do you think that they would be better served at an elite University, or would they do just as well at a State College with a diverse student body?
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:36 AM
 
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I would apply to both. If the parents can afford it and he gets into both, I would go to the private school.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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It depends on many factors, namely the strength of the programs at each school. Also, it depends on the student's personality: where will he thrive? At a huge school where students tend to have a lot of space, privacy and independence or at a smaller, more intimate school that will probably be more supportive?

IMHE, private schools are generally more well-regarded. But, again, it depends on the programs of each school and the field that he will be studying.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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He should go to the school HE likes the best and his parents should support that decision. It isn't a state vs private decision but a decision where he fits in best.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:54 AM
 
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I think he should go to the college with the most advanced students. Nearly everyone is brillant and will graduate and do well in life. At the State College a good percentage will drop out before graduating, many will do the minimum in class and the intro classes will be full of 100s of students in a big lecture hall. All the elite college most classes are taught by teachers that love teaching, not professors who would rather be writing a book. And the classes are less than twenty students. But the elite college is very expensive even after financial aid.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by The Outcast View Post
I think he should go to the college with the most advanced students. Nearly everyone is brillant and will graduate and do well in life. At the State College a good percentage will drop out before graduating, many will do the minimum in class and the intro classes will be full of 100s of students in a big lecture hall. All the elite college most classes are taught by teachers that love teaching, not professors who would rather be writing a book. And the classes are less than twenty students. But the elite college is very expensive even after financial aid.
I think you are making some very big generalizations between state and private schools. There are plenty of state schools that are VERY difficult to get into (and your son will need a better ACT score to even be considered). There are plenty of kids in private schools on the 6 year track that never really graduate and are not at all motivated either. Also, brilliant is a stretch with a 4.2 and only a 32 on an ACT-good student, yes, brilliant maybe, maybe not.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I think you are making some very big generalizations between state and private schools. There are plenty of state schools that are VERY difficult to get into (and your son will need a better ACT score to even be considered). There are plenty of kids in private schools on the 6 year track that never really graduate and are not at all motivated either. Also, brilliant is a stretch with a 4.2 and only a 32 on an ACT-good student, yes, brilliant maybe, maybe not.
I agree with golfgal. In our part of the country, the majority of the best schools ARE the state schools. Many of the private colleges have less stringent entry requirements and if you graduate from there, after having spent 2 - 3 times more money, you've got a mediocre education. They will find any way possible to get you to go there to get your money.

I know that isn't the case necessarily around the country. If my kid was able to be accepted into a TRULY elite private school, I'd counsel them to go there. I would by no means demand it. It's their decision.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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What does he want to do....

State schools excel in the sciences as they have large research budgets which allow them to groom students for research and professional degree programs "think med, pharm, dental" schools.

If he wants to go business or law then only elite institutions open doors to the top tier programs in that regard...
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
What does he want to do....

State schools excel in the sciences as they have large research budgets which allow them to groom students for research and professional degree programs "think med, pharm, dental" schools.

If he wants to go business or law then only elite institutions open doors to the top tier programs in that regard...
I still think that's too general. There are great programs in both state and private schools re: business, law, med, etc. It really depends on the school and the program.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: In a house
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Why does he only get to pick from one or the other extreme? Why not add a third, somewhere in the middle?

A large private university (one of the Ivy Leagues perhaps) or smaller state college, where he gets diversity in smaller doses, in a big-school campus atmosphere, high acedemic focus, and plenty of academic scholarships, grants, and student loans to go around?
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