Thursday, April 14, 2011

Choices for Colleges

Visiting with track moms the other day, discussing where our daughters are headed for college in a few months, I became aware of how unprepared and uneducated I was in this college process.
You would think by number 4 I would be giving these moms advice.

They have compiled spreadsheets of all the colleges they applied to, what AP classes are acceptable, cost, distances, and scholarships so their daughters can weigh the choices. Great idea. For some reason I felt behind the eight ball.

I let Molly do all that work. She asked me last fall if she should apply anywhere else besides BYU.
I said no, her dad said yes.
She should have a backup plan. So she chose MIT and Harvard as her backup.
MIT deferred her till next month and Harvard sent her a very nice text and letter stating she's wait listed.
They took 35,000 applicants for 1600 spots and my kid got wait listed, so if any of those first 1600 don't accept, they will reevaluate Molly. She had a great interview with an alumni a few months ago who gave her a raving review.
I was quite happy with that.

We just so happened to be in Cambridge the day she got her text.
She said, "Either I will throw eggs at their walls or frolic in their halls" so when she got wait listed, she didn't know what to do she was in the middle.
(She would never have thrown eggs - in case any of you Harvard people ever read this.)

In the meantime she's been offered full scholarships by colleges she never even applied to. The funniest one was from Roosevelt in downtown Chicago. They offered her $60,000, told her how they are the 2nd tallest campus in America and you never have to leave the building. Dorms are in the same building as the classes. Oh my! Not a great selling point for an adventurous girl who can't be cooped up

Look at all this college mail she's received since last spring, over 200 pieces, some from universities we never even heard of.
My favorite was the map of Chicago from University of Chicago, now that is useful.

Harvard was smart, they sent her one big packet, MIT sent her some stick on tattoos and BYU sent a music CD.
Others kept sending letters and cards over and over.
Jeesh what a waste of money.

After visiting with the track moms I couldn't help but think of the article back in Jan. about the Chinese tiger mom, who never let her girls have sleepovers, watch tv, be in a school plays, sports or play computer games, they practiced only the piano and violin and got nothing but straight A's. The mom commented on how Western moms worry too much about being liked and we don't push our children. Chinese kids tend to excel in science, math and music because of the strict lifestyle they lead. I was never even close to being strict.

hmmmm come to think of it, Number 1 student at Molly's school is Chinese. (Funny side story) Back in 8th grade she made it her goal that year to make him smile, since no one had ever seen him laugh or smile.
It took to the end of the year, goal accomplished.
That's my girl, she's persistent.
Even though I don't agree with Amy Chua the tiger mom, her daughter did just get into Harvard, so her strict rules worked and the daughter seems normal from what I've read.
I've just wanted my kids to find their own passions,work hard,live balanced lives, love and help others and most importantly have confidence before God.
I also hope they are stricter with their kids when it comes to computer games and tv. To be honest I had no idea Harvard was within reach.
hmmmm I better learn how to do a spreadsheet for the last one.

BYU it is! What a gorgeous campus. I'm quite proud and happy for Molly and I love the comment my husband made on her FB when she announced full ride.
"I love you and my bank account loves you."


  1. Glad she chose to Choose The Right. :-). Go Cougars!

  2. Congrats to Molly! That's wonderful! You should be one very proud mom.

    And per the Walnut Creek reference on my blog, I think the Ingalls lived in Walnut Creek in the Little House books, didn't they? If not, then I have egg on my face. And I can't blame Molly for that. ;)

  3. How exciting! Now lets see...Michael will be home in 2 years and 2 months. Do you think she will want to switch to ASU by then?

  4. Great post, Tami -- and great idea to have snapped a photo of Molly with all the college mail. (Why didn't I think of that?) Isn't it wonderful to have the decision made ... finally?

  5. She must be a very smart girl. BYU is lucky to get her. I loved BYU from the moment I got there. What a unique and wonderful experience she'll have.