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Old 09-05-2007, 10:47 PM
 
2,039 posts, read 4,288,631 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by mokinoie View Post
She should apply to both. They are of (debateably) equal repute, both very large, both in the same general area of the country, and both fairly difficult for non-residents (and even some residents) to get into.

If she happens to get into both, make a decision then, based on faculty in her program or, more sensibly, on cost. College may be just an "experience" to lots of people, but to everyone who doesn't have the financial luxury for a multi-year, drinking/finding oneself-debt-inducing-extravaganza, it's a way to get a degree that will get you a job.

With financial aid/scholarships, there is no way to tell which would be cheaper for you, but she will get a similar experience either way (and the same degree), and if she is not married to either, then pick the cheaper one.
Thank you for the solid advice. Unfortunately, "we" will be paying the bill for her education. OTOH, she is an all around, well balanced student. Hopefully, she will remain smart enough to know how lucky she is that mom and dad are footing her bill and should she make the incredibly stupid mistake of "falling into the wrong crowd" we will cut off funds very quickly.
They are both, in my opinion, very expensive.
But she has her heart set on going to one and if she can get in (so far so good as far as grades, SAT scores, class ranking, etc. She's Student Body President of a 3000 student Scottsdale, Arizona school and it appears she will have no trouble getting great letters of recommendation.)
Even though it seems like it's all there, I am not unaware of how tough her competition will be.
I have made her a promise that if she can get in, we will support her decision. She's actually a very nice kid.
I've often told her that her first four years is not what an employer is going to look at, it will be where she earns her final degree from.
Heck, I'm not even sure if that's true in today's world anymore. Anyone?
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:52 PM
 
Location: In my mind
630 posts, read 1,445,633 times
Reputation: 654
Mpost students stay on campus, they have a lot of activities on the campus. There are a few locations within a block or two that the students go to, which I would say is fine in a group setting. I would defintely stay with on-campus housing. The school itself is great, it's just the surrounding area that is not. If she is going to school, and not playing about, she should be just fine. You both just need to be aware of the surrounding areas so that she doesn't think she can just walk off campus and walk the neighborHOOD. I wouldn't cross over the other side of the freeway, that would be looking for real issues.

I wish you the best on which school she should attend. I just wanted you to know the area, so that if she does go there she knows what the area is like.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:55 PM
 
2,039 posts, read 4,288,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalMomma View Post
Your daughter really needs to visit both campuses, take a guided tour, sit in on a class, see what each school is all about & choose which would fit her best. If she still cant choose, apply to both & see which she gets into & which offers the best 'package'.
.
We're in the process of lining that up this week. Since I am not from the area, nor do I profess to know much about either school; do you feel she will get that "college experience" at either school?

We are in such a holding pattern as she is unsure what to go for at ANY school! Yikes!
All she knows at this time, is that she would prefer USC over UCLA.
She expressed a desire to experience campus life (as opposed to say, NYU where it's scattered about) and she wanted a great sports program. Don't ask me why, as she can't walk and chew gum at the same time, but I think she is really looking for that Rah! Rah! experience.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:57 PM
 
2,039 posts, read 4,288,631 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicTouch View Post
Mpost students stay on campus, they have a lot of activities on the campus. There are a few locations within a block or two that the students go to, which I would say is fine in a group setting. I would defintely stay with on-campus housing. The school itself is great, it's just the surrounding area that is not. If she is going to school, and not playing about, she should be just fine. You both just need to be aware of the surrounding areas so that she doesn't think she can just walk off campus and walk the neighborHOOD. I wouldn't cross over the other side of the freeway, that would be looking for real issues.

I wish you the best on which school she should attend. I just wanted you to know the area, so that if she does go there she knows what the area is like.
THANK YOU.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Pomona, CA
11 posts, read 67,111 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by londonbarcelona View Post
We're in the process of lining that up this week. Since I am not from the area, nor do I profess to know much about either school; do you feel she will get that "college experience" at either school?

We are in such a holding pattern as she is unsure what to go for at ANY school! Yikes!
All she knows at this time, is that she would prefer USC over UCLA.
She expressed a desire to experience campus life (as opposed to say, NYU where it's scattered about) and she wanted a great sports program. Don't ask me why, as she can't walk and chew gum at the same time, but I think she is really looking for that Rah! Rah! experience.

Thoughts anyone?
The "college experience" is stereotypically found in a)big schools and/or b) schools with bad reputations, because it is all about everything but classes. They are both big schools.

Personally, I went to a mid-sized state school.... TOTAL "experience" there, and even though college parties are fun, I wish I had gone to a more reputable school--somewhere I could be proud of when people ask where I got my degree.

But one thing I would caution against: People act like going to college right out of high school is the best (or ONLY) thing to do, but you are talking about paying A LOT of tuition, and students who don't know what they want to do when they come to college often change majors, spend 5+ years there, etc. It may be seriously worth it for her to defer admission for a year and figure out what she wants to do... especially since, despite "good" grades, her main focus in the college search is sports and "experience." Lovely and wonderful as I am sure she is, that says a lot about her maturity level, and at big schools (with big parties) far from home...?
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:22 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
1,288 posts, read 3,534,427 times
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They are both excellent schools. Your daughter would be lucky to get into either one. You really have nothing to worry about if these are truly viable options for her in terms of her academic credentials. In fact, you should be quite proud of her. And, yes, USC is not in the best part of town, but that is in no way a deterrent to the school's ability to attract very high caliber students and professors to campus. Trojans are very loyal to USC. They love the place and have a very strong alumni network. The fact that the campus is located in an undesirable neighborhood is just part of the fun and adventure of going to school there. It can also be a very educational, eye opening experience.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:37 PM
 
2,039 posts, read 4,288,631 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by mokinoie View Post
The "college experience" is stereotypically found in a)big schools and/or b) schools with bad reputations, because it is all about everything but classes. They are both big schools.

Personally, I went to a mid-sized state school.... TOTAL "experience" there, and even though college parties are fun, I wish I had gone to a more reputable school--somewhere I could be proud of when people ask where I got my degree.

But one thing I would caution against: People act like going to college right out of high school is the best (or ONLY) thing to do, but you are talking about paying A LOT of tuition, and students who don't know what they want to do when they come to college often change majors, spend 5+ years there, etc. It may be seriously worth it for her to defer admission for a year and figure out what she wants to do... especially since, despite "good" grades, her main focus in the college search is sports and "experience." Lovely and wonderful as I am sure she is, that says a lot about her maturity level, and at big schools (with big parties) far from home...?
I completely understand what you are saying. She's actually much more level headed than I am giving her credit for. It appears I have given the wrong impression when I said she wanted a college/camps experience.
She's looking for the type of university she can be active in. Whether it be political, sports relate, whatever.
She absolutely hates the Arizona schools, and who can blame her? Typically they are not highly rated, except perhaps the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and the business department. She's a strong student and wnats to succeed at a challenging university. She's not much of a drinker and prefers to be the designated driver. I am not immune to the fact that most kids party in college. Hopefully she will remain motivated enough to abstain. (everything in moderation I suppose.)

I agree with the "take a year off" but I don't think that is what is best for her or her ambitions. But thank you for the suggestion.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
7,273 posts, read 1,673,889 times
Reputation: 1077
Quote:
Originally Posted by londonbarcelona View Post
We're in the process of lining that up this week. Since I am not from the area, nor do I profess to know much about either school; do you feel she will get that "college experience" at either school?

We are in such a holding pattern as she is unsure what to go for at ANY school! Yikes!
All she knows at this time, is that she would prefer USC over UCLA.
She expressed a desire to experience campus life (as opposed to say, NYU where it's scattered about) and she wanted a great sports program. Don't ask me why, as she can't walk and chew gum at the same time, but I think she is really looking for that Rah! Rah! experience.

Thoughts anyone?
I am speaking from experience.. my son and I just finished an east coast tour of colleges (13 schools in two weeks) and we hit them hard! We learned a lot simply by visiting the schools. From the research he had done on the web, and reading the school ratings books, etc. he had it narrowed down to these 13 schools. After the second or third tour, he knew what he liked, what he didnt like, what things the guides said that really were important, vs what was just some sales data! Of the 13 schools that he loved before our trip, he ended with ONE favorite and 3 backups. The other 9 were wiped completely off the list! One, Wake Forest, was a school he was so excited to see & prior to our trip told me that he didn't care to even see any others, that's where he wanted to go. It ended up on the bottom of his list. So you just never know.

My suggestion: Even though she doesn't want to go to an AZ school, take a tour of a couple. Just so she can see what its all about & get an idea of what things excites her, and what things she definitely cant live with. That will give her a starting point for the types of schools to focus on. That way, when she gets to UCLA and USC she'll already have an idea of the questions to ask, things to look for, etc.

USC and UCLA are actually pretty similar. Their locations differ, but I think the schools are pretty even as far as education and the 'school spirit'. I went to UCLA and loved it. I didnt live on campus, I commuted, so it became a tedious thing after a while. However, I had incredible professors, the facilities are top notch and the school is really a great place to hang out. Westwood village is right there, with shopping, clubs, restaurants... There are tons of frats and sorrorties for 'gathering spots' within walking distance. 15 min to the beach, Hollywood is not far, great location! USC is awesome, too. The campus is really safe in itself, its when you venture into the neighborhoods that it can get scary. They are renovating the downtown area, near the Staples Center, adding a whole new entertainment area. It will be great when its done. I think USC is a status thing, more than UCLA is.

Make an appt for a tour of both campuses. Try to see as much as possible. Ask to attend a class (choose a similar class at both schools so she can compare). You can even get overnight visits, if she is open to that. She would stay in the dorm with a student, go to class with her, eat with her, etc. We are definitely going to do that once the time gets closer (my son is still a jr). If she is interested in playing sports, arrange to meet with a coach. If she is interested in music or art, ask to see the facilities. The group tours are wonderful, they show you many things, but you can also get some personalized tours, if you ask! We also asked for indiv. informational meetings with administrative people. We were able to meet with a few of the admissions counselors. When you are looking at spending $40k a year on school, you want to make sure you see it all..

While on campus, look around at the cafeteria, in the dorms, look at the posters hanging all over the place. See what events are going on. Try to get the whole 'atmosphere' of the school. They really differ from each other in that respect.

Sorry for such a long reply, this is all just so fresh in my mind, and I wanted to share.

Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:26 AM
 
Location: So Cal
320 posts, read 1,190,526 times
Reputation: 97
I LOVE USC and HATE UCLA have my entire life and will until I die, Unless my kid get a full ride to UCLA, I can bought for about 50K a year. BUT both are very good schools and she really should know what direction she wants go in before she chooses. If shes going into the film industry or nursing USC no question. If shes a soccer player or like powder blue UCLA(sorry hard to say something nice) Hr major should be the deciding factor you really can't go wrong with either school.
Maybe a year or two at home then transfer to one once shes decides.
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:31 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,616,740 times
Reputation: 536
What made her choose USC or UCLA. Was it the schools or California?

Personally, Id go with UCLA because they have increased housing around campus recently, nice little village area around campus, close to the beach, movie theatres, shopping, cooler temperatures etc. She's not going to stay on campus 24/7. Its not going to happen, so you may as well not have to worry.

I do have to say that around USC, they have truly cleaned it up quite a bit in comparison to the past.
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