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Going to the CSUs
Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Going to the CSUs
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My child has just been admitted to SDSU - and U of Oregon. They both seem like good schools to me and I think my child would do well there. I am having a hard time convincing my child that they are fine schools (my child feels ''entitled'' to better, even though has not applied to privates!!??). We are still waiting on UC decisions too. If we get into UC Davis is this better? Anyway I would like to hear from students or parents of kids at these schools to get more info. We live in Berkeley. Thanks need info
My opinion of UC Davis is that it is BLOODY hot up there and it smells like cows. Its great for science and animal work, but not nearly as interesting as your other two options. Kids are like snowflakes; or as my husband says, ''they remind me a little bit of people''; each one so intricately unique. A good question to ask is where does your kid like to vacation most? By a river or at the beach.... both are really great schools.
If you want to talk further, I'd love to hear how things are going and fill you in on my kids personal pros and cons. Mine are all over the map (though their gigantic bodies are all here now with all of their glorious languages, political arguments, general laziness and laundry) Best to you, and congratulations to your baby. It's not easy to get into either of those. He/she certainly did the work. Welcome to ''the next envelope of worry'' reen
That being said does your son have specific goals for career or what he wants to study? He may not but if he does that can help you set some criteria on which to evaluate the schools he is accepted at.
I would also suggest that you consult his high school advisor or counselor if he has one at his school. Often this person will ask questions or help you evaluate along lines you had not thought of.
If you son wishes to go to get PhD, or enter a competitive professional program, a degree from a University of California school may have more ''weight'' providing his grades are good, study area appropriate, recommendations and any exam scores he needs are high. There is not ''one'' ingredient for future success. But it does help if a student can find a niche or feel confident.
Setting up some criteria - maybe along the lines of studies offered, looking at some statistics on ratio of students who graduate in 4 years, go on to grad studies, what schools they go on to, living conditions, extracurricular activities. Maybe some other criteria that you can make a comparison will help.
Of course it would have helped if he did this before he applied - but sometimes this is just what happens when the other kids start to brag on their acceptances, and people have second thoughts or get teased. You can go to the most elite school and not do well, or attend a very unassuming program at another school and totally blossum.
My daughter just graduated from UCSC and she was accepted at several elite schools, but after making comparisons she chose to attend UCSC and for a lot of reasons I think it was an excellent choice, and she did well in her studies. In the end it is not the reputation of a school that creates the educational experience, it is the ''match'' between the school and the student. Setting up criteria and a chart will help your son discover more about himself as well as digging a bit deeper into what each school offers.
If he does not get into a UC and really wants to - it is easier to transfer from a Community College in Junior year than it is to transfer from the State system. There are a number of reasons why that is true, but not enough room to explain it here. Supportive
Editor Note: a review was also received for University of Oregon
I am wondering what anyone knows about Humbolt CSU. My son applied there, and though he is quite bright, has not gotton good grades recently. Is the school good? Is it a healthy environment for most college students? How friendly is the student body? Are there more drugs there than other schools? Thanks anon
I personally thought the school was great! Some of the fields of study are top notch like Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries, etc. But they have good teaching, nursing, business, and art programs as well.
The student body is very friendly and it is easy to fit in. The biggest problem most students have is dealing with the lack of facilities for recreation. Humboldt County has amazing beaches and forests, and there are lots of outdoor recreation options. However, there aren't a lot of "indoor" activities which can be a problem for some student (especially since it rains normally 250 days a year). The closest mall is in Eureka and there are no "big box" stores in Arcata. My friends and I often drove to Oregon to go shopping for our big Fraternity social events. So that is something to consider.
I would defiantly say that Marijuana is more prevalent on Humboldt's campus than it is on most other campuses. But that said most students used Marijuana and Alcohol for recreational purposes rather than anything else. Other types of drugs are not prevalent on campus and can be hard to find. I did know people who did way too much and other's who didn't touch it at all, again I think it's all about your student and what they are into.
I would be willing to talk more about any questions or concerns about HSU if you would like. I was a leader on campus and would even be able to refer you to friends who may have the same interests as your child and friends who work on campus. Please feel free to email me. klz
My son has been accepted to a variety of schools and we are now wondering which schools of the ones he likes will be the most economical. Does anyone out there know if you can really get your classes and graduate at CalPoly and/or UC Santa Cruz in 4 years? He has been accepted to a few privates with aid but they run a bit over the UC tuition for us, so it wouldn't be worthwhile unless the others really don't let a student get the classes needed to graduate. CalPoly would be the cheapest and he likes it, and he could take some city college classes in the summer. I'm just wondering if it's hype or true or not, and if anyone has experience with these two schools in particular.
UC has a very good record on graduation rate and time-to-degree. At UC overall, the majority of students graduate in 4 years or 4 year plus one quarter and 80% graduate in 5 years or less. For students who take longer than 4 years, the issue is generally not an inability to get classes but rather a desire to take more classes than the minimum needed--for example because a student is completing a double major, is taking additional courses to help prepare for graduate work, or was away from the campus for a term or more studying abroad or whatever. This is not to say that individual students don't have frustrating moments trying to get into a needed course. (I'm sure at least one UC parent will write in with a horror story.) But students who persevere (register for classes early, put themselves on waiting lists, appeal to professors, and try again if closed out the first time) and are flexible (willing to take an 8:00 a.m class!) can generally get what they need.
At CSU, the picture is a little different: courses can be tough to get into, graduation rates are much lower, and many people take longer. But Cal Poly is not a typical CSU--its stats look a lot like a UC campus. There are a number of factors at work here: the drive and preparation levels of students matters a lot and they tend to be high at UC and at specialized CSU campuses like Cal Poly; additionally the culture at private institutions and UC/Cal Poly has an expectation that students will graduate in 4 years (less true at many CSUs). And don't forget the price effect: data shows that the more expensive an institution is, the more motivated students (and their parents!) are to finish on time.
My guess is that unless you are getting great financial aid offers from the private institutions you're looking at, UC or (especially) Cal Poly will be less expensive. And the best way to ensure your son does well in school is to send him to the place he really wants to go. Congratulations on having these options--as budget reductions shrink the size of public education in California, they will be available to fewer and fewer students. Higher Ed expert
Will this get harder? Anyone's guess. But if you read catalogs carefully you will find it is also fairly common to take 5 years at a private school which may also have many requirements and not offer enough sections to cover the demand. At $35 to $50K per year - that is an even bigger ''ouch'' if money is a consideration. Depending on the private school and how rigid the degree you still need to stay on top of the requirements to graduate.
UCSC students can take classes at any UC in the summer ( unless this changes )- even Berkeley - and there are transfer options within the UC system if Santa Cruz is not his first choice. Though Santa Cruz is a stunning Campus and the Administrators and Staff provide a lot of service. Read over the website carefully for all the options and requirements. Good luck. Banana Slug MOM
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