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In no particular order....

I wish I could go to college again. In part I mean this facetiously.  I mean it would be great to study all day, to have a time in my life (again) when I could make my studies and my social life my primary concerns 24/7/365.  But I also mean it more seriously.  I think that when I attended college, I was too young to make good use of the resources at my disposal.  I made unwise choices, I allowed myself to take the easy way out too often, I didn't apply myself the way I should have.  I'd like another chance to get it right.

There is no way in hell I could get into my alma mater today.  None.  Zip.  It is so much harder for kids who are applying today than it was when I was a teen.  And at the time my generation was being told that it had never been harder to get in to schools.  I guess it just gets more and more competitive.

College is really, really expensive.

Colleges have decided that certain things are really important from a marketing point of view, and so they all emphasize similar points in their tours and information sessions.  "Faculty accessibility -- faculty are 'there' for undergrads."  "Small classes and low student to faculty ratio."  "Campus safety -- real police rather than 'rent-a-cops'."  "Study abroad programs that don't add to college expenses (which are high enough -- see comment #3)."  "A broad spectrum of student organizations that allow students to do pretty much anything and everything they can think of."  "Need blind admissions and financial aid that covers 100% of established need."  "Lots of meal plans and 'flex dollars' that work at a variety of food establishments on campus."  And more.   None of these things are bad; in fact all of them have the potential to be really good.  But the fact is, lots of schools seem to have them, and most of these schools present them as something special that only _____ University has.

We had seen a few schools before this trip.  We've seen three schools in the last three days (with seven more to go in the next week).  And so far, in order of preference, we seem to have the following:  University of Virginia, University of Richmond, College of William and Mary.

More as the week goes on.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
arhyalon
Mar. 14th, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
John went to William and Mary (for law school). I've visited a few times. Nice area.
davidbcoe
Mar. 16th, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
It was a lovely town; Alex wasn't quite as impressed with the school as she was with others.
madkestrel
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
The meal plan thing blows my mind. When I went to school 300 years ago, there was a cafeteria where everyone went for meals. At the Beetle's school, his meal plan works at 25 different restaurants, although his favorite is a buffet style place not far from his dorm. If it had been that way when I was in school, I'd have spent most of my meal plan dollars on coffee!
davidbcoe
Mar. 16th, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, the meal plans and flex dollars are quite remarkable. A vast improvement over what we had when I was in school.
hedwig_snowy
Mar. 16th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
Ok,

1) Get off my lawn Grandpa!!! ;)
2) I wished you a Happy Birthday on Facebook, but I'll do so
again here...because apparently you're having a mid-life, regret-
driven phase and I want you to know we noticed! LOL
3) Who doesn't want to go back to school? Where we thought it
was 'Real Life' and...ok...I did have to laugh when people would
tell me their troubles right before mid-terms...3 papers...4 tests...
life is rough! Like they were the only ones with those problems.

Plus, the pizza is better in college towns...

4) All three in Bob McDonellville eh? Yowza... Not sure I'd send my
kid to VA these days...the administration doesn't seem to be fond
of women...especially college-educated women.

But maybe that's just me. :)

Hope she does well and gets her choice of schools.

My only problem with schools, beside costs, is that because of
the cost they are trying to make them more like tech schools where
the students get just what they need to get a job after school is
over. Uh, they can get that elsewhere. The reason, I thought, for
a University education was to make you a more well-rounded and
educated person...and a commie/socialist/Santorum hater!!! ;)

The cost thing made me think of a great line from the musical 'Closer than Ever'
and the song, 'Life Story',

"I pay tuition like a fine".

Mine's only 6...and we just finished the state pre-paid plan...I
know that won't cover it all...but I get 'the fine' thing...

Best sell a lot of books. :-)
davidbcoe
Mar. 16th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Love this! Thanks. Re. VA schools. We started our tour in VA, but we're now in DC and will soon be in North Carolina, so we're not limiting ourselves.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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