A slip of the finger and the email goes to the wrong person. It is mortifying. I always hope it would not be hurtful to anyone. Recently, though, I was on the receiving end. Someone was writing to a friend about me, and sent it to me instead! Not hurtful at all, but still… I think it is an opportunity to explain something.
“While she touts that her boys got into their “first choice schools”…they are small, private Christian colleges. Not Stanford…”
When my boys were applying to college, there were certain requirements. I wanted a Christian school that could minimize unwelcome socialization. I wanted a school within an hour drive of a family member, in case of roommate disasters. For my youngest son, it had to be a college within driving distance from home, so that he could live at home until he was 18. For my older son, we needed an engineering college, and he did not want to leave Washington State.
Last week I heard a father boldly proclaim, “If your child can go to an Ivy League school, they SHOULD go to an Ivy League school.” I disagree strongly. Only a parent will know their unique situation, and only the parents will know where a child should go to college. While it is nice to have some general ideas, and apply to a variety of schools, there is simply not one right answer for brilliant kids, or any other kids for that matter.
When my children were applying to college, I had a very small college fund. I recognized that they would be well qualified for a small private Christian college, and would likely receive good financial aid. At the same time, I knew that however smart they are, most of the applicants at Harvard and Yale would be just as smart – or smarter. The chances of financial aid would be slim. We needed big financial aid.
When children are smart (or even very smart) it is tempting to look toward an Ivy League school. Instead, I encourage people to look at the right school. For some kids and for some families, that means avoiding some well ranked schools with great reputations. My children had near-perfect SAT scores, but we did not even apply to Stanford, Harvard, Yale… They were not a fit for my family.
Parents know best. Know your child and trust yourself. Even if someone else thinks they know what is best for your child that does not make it true. Only the mom and dad have all the details.