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Sigh.  We're going through this for the second time, this time with the boy.  It was easier with the girl -- she's a star student, had a laser focus on a few schools, and ended up getting into her first choice.

The boy, on the other hand, is a good (but not start) student, he had lots of hiccups in his high school experience (his own illness, and then COVID messing with shit).  He's currently doing a gap year, which has been great, but it also helped him decide "yes, I really want to go to college and I'm ready."  But he hasn't had the experience/opportunity of touring campuses or anything like that.  And, he's cast a wide net, but the application process was TOTALLY on his plate (we helped edit essays, but that's it -- he's 7,000 miles and 7 hours away, so he had to handle it all himself.....which is good, but he's also a fuckup 18 yr old boy, so who knows?)

He's applied to 4 schools in the UK, 2 Dutch schools, U of British Columbia, and 8 schools in the US.  He's been accepted to George Mason with a decent scholarship, so the point of that is that he KNOWS he can go to college.  He just got his first rejection (Utrecht), which bummed him out, as he's really decided in the past months that he might like to study in continental Europe, so all of his eggs in that regard are in the U of Amsterdam basket....but both Dutch schools are SUPER competitive, so it's a bit of a longshot.

Really, this round of the process seems a lot more nerve-wracking than the last one, as there's just so much more uncertainty.  And we aren't even there with him to celebrate the good news or commiserate about the disappointments.  We did tell him that as many schools as he applied to, he WILL get several rejections, even some that surprise him, but he'll also get an acceptance or two that surprises him.

Anyway, I'm mostly just venting some ordinary parental anxiety here.  I'm not necessarily asking for advice or commiseration, although I'll take it if you've got it.  This ain't a unique experience.

All that said....he'll end up where he's supposed to be, and he'll do well.  He's matured a lot, and is ready.

Edited by Brisketexan
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26 minutes ago, Dr Fear said:

I'm probably not breaking news to you, but you did not mention what he wants to study in college and the only goal seems to be to stay in Europe.

I am guessing the preferred subject to be studied is sexually liberated European women. I don't know what it is like now but when I was that age being a young American male in Europe was like having a superpower. I was batting way out of my league and never wanted to leave. I floated the idea of attending school in Spain and my step-dad who was a college professor grilled me on those questions. I had no answer lol So back to Texas.

 

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1 hour ago, Dr Fear said:

I'm probably not breaking news to you, but you did not mention what he wants to study in college and the only goal seems to be to stay in Europe.

Well, it actually DOES overlap -- he wants to major in International Relations or a similar globally focused political science course of study.  He's already built a small network of people/mentors in the field, and it really is his passion.  

But....

24 minutes ago, F250 said:

I am guessing the preferred subject to be studied is sexually liberated European women. I don't know what it is like now but when I was that age being a young American male in Europe was like having a superpower. I was batting way out of my league and never wanted to leave. I floated the idea of attending school in Spain and my step-dad who was a college professor grilled me on those questions. I had no answer lol So back to Texas.

 

He already broke up with the cute and super cool Swedish girl (no idea why, I think he's an idiot).  He just went to visit a French girl at her invitation in Strasbourg.  And I'm 99% certain he has a crush on a Dutch girl.

So.....one suspects that's an element of it.  He's also quite taken with the lifestyle of living in a European city, the nightlife (and drinking age), etc.  He feels a lot more "adult" than his peers at college in the US who are going to house parties and drinking natty light (although on his budget, he's drinking some shitty stuff, too).  That's also an element of it.  And I think he could get that similar experience at any of the other foreign schools -- UK or Canada.  And of course, dad likes the price on all of those.

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Forgot about this thread.  so far the boy has been accepted by Northeastern (which we really like) and Maryland (good bio-med engineering program- but Northeastern gets the nod here), deferred to regular admissions date for Michigan.  All other decisions pending.

Only one flat rejection- The University of Texas at Austin.  Fuck those guys anyway.

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6 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

Well, it actually DOES overlap -- he wants to major in International Relations or a similar globally focused political science course of study.  He's already built a small network of people/mentors in the field, and it really is his passion.  

But....

He already broke up with the cute and super cool Swedish girl (no idea why, I think he's an idiot).  He just went to visit a French girl at her invitation in Strasbourg.  And I'm 99% certain he has a crush on a Dutch girl.

So.....one suspects that's an element of it.  He's also quite taken with the lifestyle of living in a European city, the nightlife (and drinking age), etc.  He feels a lot more "adult" than his peers at college in the US who are going to house parties and drinking natty light (although on his budget, he's drinking some shitty stuff, too).  That's also an element of it.  And I think he could get that similar experience at any of the other foreign schools -- UK or Canada.  And of course, dad likes the price on all of those.

I totally get that. The best (most enjoyable) discussion I ever had on fascism was with a 20 year old chick that was a student at the University of Madrid. She is sitting there on her couch topless drinking wine talking about life under Franco, the Spanish patriarchy, her disappointment at being a mistress.

A few months later, I am in Austin hooking up with some chick singing "Rump shaker" and drinking trashcan punch followed by her explaining the dolphin tattoo on her butt.

No comparison.

Get that boy into a school in Europe. Do it for all of us!

 

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15 minutes ago, Sbbruin said:

Only one flat rejection- The University of Texas at Austin.  Fuck those guys anyway.

What is the word on the current situation with UT admissions?  I enrolled in 1998, had a great SAT, top 15%ish in GPA, I would not of gotten in 2000-2002 when the undergrad numbers swelled and outside of top 10% just wasn't getting in.  We also have the endless affirmative action litigation.

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4 minutes ago, Dr Fear said:

What is the word on the current situation with UT admissions?  I enrolled in 1998, had a great SAT, top 15%ish in GPA, I would not of gotten in 2000-2002 when the undergrad numbers swelled and outside of top 10% just wasn't getting in.  We also have the endless affirmative action litigation.

Nobody gets into UT anymore. It's too crowded.

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11 minutes ago, F250 said:

I totally get that. The best (most enjoyable) discussion I ever had on fascism was with a 20 year old chick that was a student at the University of Madrid. She is sitting there on her couch topless drinking wine talking about life under Franco, the Spanish patriarchy, her disappointment at being a mistress.

A few months later, I am in Austin hooking up with some chick singing "Rump shaker" and drinking trashcan punch followed by her explaining the dolphin tattoo on her butt.

No comparison.

Get that boy into a school in Europe. Do it for all of us!

 

Amen.

Another problem I am dealing with is my acute envy of my son's life.  That can't be normal or healthy.

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Having looked over that list of European schools, I'm just gonna say this as someone who's mentored hundreds of students on college applications/essays/admissions/funding/etc.:

There are only two things in the world of higher education that I detest.  Intolerant Universities.  And the Dutch.

 

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2 minutes ago, Lobo said:

Having looked over that list of European schools, I'm just gonna say this as someone who's mentored hundreds of students on college applications/essays/admissions/funding/etc.:

There are only two things in the world of higher education that I detest.  Intolerant Universities.  And the Dutch.

 

I know it's hard to make the gag work with a third thing, but there's always room for A&M.

Oh, and I think Amsterdam moved up his list a good bit in recent months because 1) aforementioned cute Dutch girl, and 2) his best friend (an italian) is going to some private university in Amsterdam, so they could be bums in the same town.  AND, he's figured out the joy of $30 round trip weekend trips on Ryan Air (travel with your backpack only), so he can see people all over the continent for little cost.

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Just now, Lobo said:

But seriously, happy to overload you with tried and true tricks of the trade (on the U.S. colleges anyway) over Waffle House and lies. 

Definitely need to set up the Waffle House summit.

And any tricks that are good for AFTER the applications are all in?  Because now he's in entirely "wait and see" mode, or so we'd think.

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Thoughts and prayers.

 

 

 

 

for your wallet(Scholly or not). If he gets moullah, your ass is still buying plane tix and incidentals.  I find it interesting that both your kiddos are interested in studying outside the US.  That is very cool.  Is there something about y’all’s approach with your kids that drove em that way, or is it just, ‘ Hey this sounds cool and it’s 1000 miles  and an ocean from Mom and Dad?’

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10 minutes ago, Kennythetiger said:

Re:  rejection letters. When I was in law school we called them “eat shit and die letters”.  That’s all I’ve got. 

Our family has a fine tradition of getting rejected by Georgetown (both the daughter and I got the thumbs down).  The boy thought of applying, but thinking about the cost (and the fact that even if he got in, we wouldn't support spending that much money), he didn't apply to complete the set.

We all got 'em from someplace.  Harvard law invited me to pursue my interests elsewhere (Yale wanted a follow up with me, but by then I was admitted with a full ride at Texas, so told em to fuck off).  And, as my buddies and I sat around a table at Nasty's one night, shithammered and debating the differences between the terms "naked, nekkid, and nude," one of my buddies paused and said "you know.....there's a reason Harvard didn't let any of us in."

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Not sure of the rest of the U.S. schools (PM or email me a list---you probably still have my personal email from last year, RIP).  

But one thing I've encouraged students to do (and our Subiendo Academy students apply to probably 50 schools as a group each year---mainly UT though!) is find out where admissions offices send their applications.  By that I mean, most universities for most applications typically plug and play the formulas and have some admissions or alumni committees read the essays.  However, for borderline cases, particularly out-of-state applicants...it can be more wholistic even if not for performing arts.....they will get sent to the college/school/unit (CSU) of top priority for that student.  Someone there, particularly at a big school with lots of personnel, will often review it more depth.  Most of the time, you won't know who that person is...nor should you probably (thanks a lot...Aunt Becky).  But you can write to that particular CSU's admissions team during the "wait and see" period.  And you don't write to them to bug them about admitting you or "Tell me Yes, or tell me No...just don't keep me waiting."  But rather, and I've had a few students do this with great success (it's anecdotal, but anecdotes get out-of-state kids into state schools): 

Write the smaller CSU admissions team with some extremely recent article or research paper the student came across and how it motivated them to reach out to discuss xyz topic because it crosses academic disciplines.  Reason being is the individual CSU on a larger campus, at most schools anyway, has been powerfully charged from up on high with more inter-disciplinary research and teaching.  We call it "Center & Initiative Fatigue" because every semester, a handful are launched to bring together Nursing & Engineering or Business & Fine Arts or Communications & Pharmacy.  But we've had students write "Update Letters" to admissions teams about how this very new and latest thing has inspired them to seek out opportunities at State U. to study and research both Humanities & Geology.  And it fucking works.  It shows the student understands the importance of research, of collaboration, of working with teams of different backgrounds, and how all of that shit gets outside funding.  CSU admissions teams eat that shit up because they are mid-level staffers and mid-level staffers gab incessantly with other mid-level staffers at University (faculty and deans stay in their bubbles and low-level staffers punch out at 5pm and don't look back).  There is no downside, so long as the applicant doesn't press more on being admitted, just that if they were admitted, here's another exciting research topic that I'd like to work on at State U. with these other fields of study.  Worst case, they just set it aside.  What they don't do is say, "Oh these pushy little fucker, put it in the NO pile."  Best case, it gets moved on to further review them or their contemporaries at another CSU on campus.  Your child gets a second advocate on campus, and suddenly there's momentum where there was none.  

We had a young lady at McCombs a few years ago, before Covid-19 logistics glut.  Wrote us this compelling letter after applying about wanting to do more with supply chain research and majoring in BHP but also working with engineering and politics.  It was also incredibly well-written because she wasn't bound by the rules of a cliche essay question.  It was so fucking interesting we kicked it over to Cockrell and Liberal Arts  and she wound up getting in and getting a Canfield Honors scholarship to boot.  Again, anecdotal...but anecdotes are what make or break a non-auto admit application.  Find some other way to get in one last word that's not about their admit decision, but about what the student can do to reach across bridges once on their campus...say it was sparked by some recent event or finding.  Plenty of that shit to choose from these days.  Write it up really well and get it to the CSU in question and let them advocate for you.  It's worked really well.  Now that I typed it out, your son will probably be brought up on academic fraud charges.  Sorry.

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1 hour ago, Sbbruin said:

Forgot about this thread.  so far the boy has been accepted by Northeastern (which we really like) and Maryland (good bio-med engineering program- but Northeastern gets the nod here), deferred to regular admissions date for Michigan.  All other decisions pending.

Only one flat rejection- The University of Texas at Austin.  Fuck those guys anyway.

I knew a couple years ago that went to Northeastern. They loved being so close to Fenway and of course all of the research opportunities in the Boston area made it really rewarding. That and it's a loooong way from mom and dad probably helps too.

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1 hour ago, Sbbruin said:

Forgot about this thread.  so far the boy has been accepted by Northeastern (which we really like) and Maryland (good bio-med engineering program- but Northeastern gets the nod here), deferred to regular admissions date for Michigan.  All other decisions pending.

Only one flat rejection- The University of Texas at Austin.  Fuck those guys anyway.

Small caveat here.  In the past, at least, biomedical engineering as an undergraduate field was kind of iffy.

Getting a broader degree in ME or EE while taking some biomedical courses or having a biomed "minor" or subspecialty, used to be a more "profitable" way to approach it and left more doors open for career options.  In any event, graduate school may be a necessity to progress in hardcore biomedical.

I believe @Beau Vine daughter found that to be true, more recently, but I could be mistaken.  I believe @Murfdogg21 is our resident biomed phd.

And, of course the major switch is pretty likely as with all kids, and the dropping of engineering altogether probably moreso.

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3 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Small caveat here.  In the past, at least, biomedical engineering as an undergraduate field was kind of iffy.

Getting a broader degree in ME or EE while taking some biomedical courses or having a biomed "minor" or subspecialty, used to be a more "profitable" way to approach it and left more doors open for career options.  In any event, graduate school may be a necessity to progress in hardcore biomedical.

I believe @Beau Vine daughter found that to be true, more recently, but I could be mistaken.  I believe @Murfdogg21 is our resident biomed phd.

And, of course the major switch is pretty likely as with all kids, and the dropping of engineering altogether probably moreso.

Mines does not have a BME major, only a minor.  On our first visit there, I remember seeing a document put out by the school that officially stated, "Because BME is a graduate field..."

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23 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

We taped them to our apartment walls.  Plural.  In the late 80s, we had a shit ton.

In the early ‘00s we didn’t have any trouble getting INTO law school- hell, even OU accepted me. Except for the top-tier students, of which I was definitely not, the rest of us played hell trying to find jobs upon graduation. 

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1 hour ago, slorch said:

Thoughts and prayers.

for your wallet(Scholly or not). If he gets moullah, your ass is still buying plane tix and incidentals.  I find it interesting that both your kiddos are interested in studying outside the US.  That is very cool.  Is there something about y’all’s approach with your kids that drove em that way, or is it just, ‘ Hey this sounds cool and it’s 1000 miles  and an ocean from Mom and Dad?’

A good bit of it was our influence -- my wife and I met as UT students, and we were the kind of geeks who would stay up late arguing about the dynamics of Soviet influence in western Europe, the current state of the Israel-palestine conflict, etc.  We were geopolitics nerds, and had been for a long time.  So, those were naturally also conversations around our dinner table growing up.  

And, we traveled with them at a young age, including a trip to the UK that made a big impression when they were 13 and 11.  But a lot of it was them on their own, just exploring things that they found interesting, and going down the rabbit hole.  When they realized that colleges overseas had costs on par with state universities here, that made the option that much more attractive.

51 minutes ago, Lobo said:

Not sure of the rest of the U.S. schools (PM or email me a list---you probably still have my personal email from last year, RIP).  

But one thing I've encouraged students to do (and our Subiendo Academy students apply to probably 50 schools as a group each year---mainly UT though!) is find out where admissions offices send their applications.  By that I mean, most universities for most applications typically plug and play the formulas and have some admissions or alumni committees read the essays.  However, for borderline cases, particularly out-of-state applicants...it can be more wholistic even if not for performing arts.....they will get sent to the college/school/unit (CSU) of top priority for that student.  Someone there, particularly at a big school with lots of personnel, will often review it more depth.  Most of the time, you won't know who that person is...nor should you probably (thanks a lot...Aunt Becky).  But you can write to that particular CSU's admissions team during the "wait and see" period.  And you don't write to them to bug them about admitting you or "Tell me Yes, or tell me No...just don't keep me waiting."  But rather, and I've had a few students do this with great success (it's anecdotal, but anecdotes get out-of-state kids into state schools): 

Write the smaller CSU admissions team with some extremely recent article or research paper the student came across and how it motivated them to reach out to discuss xyz topic because it crosses academic disciplines.  Reason being is the individual CSU on a larger campus, at most schools anyway, has been powerfully charged from up on high with more inter-disciplinary research and teaching.  We call it "Center & Initiative Fatigue" because every semester, a handful are launched to bring together Nursing & Engineering or Business & Fine Arts or Communications & Pharmacy.  But we've had students write "Update Letters" to admissions teams about how this very new and latest thing has inspired them to seek out opportunities at State U. to study and research both Humanities & Geology.  And it fucking works.  It shows the student understands the importance of research, of collaboration, of working with teams of different backgrounds, and how all of that shit gets outside funding.  CSU admissions teams eat that shit up because they are mid-level staffers and mid-level staffers gab incessantly with other mid-level staffers at University (faculty and deans stay in their bubbles and low-level staffers punch out at 5pm and don't look back).  There is no downside, so long as the applicant doesn't press more on being admitted, just that if they were admitted, here's another exciting research topic that I'd like to work on at State U. with these other fields of study.  Worst case, they just set it aside.  What they don't do is say, "Oh these pushy little fucker, put it in the NO pile."  Best case, it gets moved on to further review them or their contemporaries at another CSU on campus.  Your child gets a second advocate on campus, and suddenly there's momentum where there was none.  

We had a young lady at McCombs a few years ago, before Covid-19 logistics glut.  Wrote us this compelling letter after applying about wanting to do more with supply chain research and majoring in BHP but also working with engineering and politics.  It was also incredibly well-written because she wasn't bound by the rules of a cliche essay question.  It was so fucking interesting we kicked it over to Cockrell and Liberal Arts  and she wound up getting in and getting a Canfield Honors scholarship to boot.  Again, anecdotal...but anecdotes are what make or break a non-auto admit application.  Find some other way to get in one last word that's not about their admit decision, but about what the student can do to reach across bridges once on their campus...say it was sparked by some recent event or finding.  Plenty of that shit to choose from these days.  Write it up really well and get it to the CSU in question and let them advocate for you.  It's worked really well.  Now that I typed it out, your son will probably be brought up on academic fraud charges.  Sorry.

Thanks for this.  I've already passed it on to the boy.  Being that he is confined to quarters for the next week with a positive COVID diagnosis, he has time to look into such things.

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2 hours ago, Sbbruin said:

Forgot about this thread.  so far the boy has been accepted by Northeastern (which we really like) and Maryland (good bio-med engineering program- but Northeastern gets the nod here), deferred to regular admissions date for Michigan.  All other decisions pending.

Only one flat rejection- The University of Texas at Austin.  Fuck those guys anyway.

 

28 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Small caveat here.  In the past, at least, biomedical engineering as an undergraduate field was kind of iffy.

Getting a broader degree in ME or EE while taking some biomedical courses or having a biomed "minor" or subspecialty, used to be a more "profitable" way to approach it and left more doors open for career options.  In any event, graduate school may be a necessity to progress in hardcore biomedical.

I believe @Beau Vine daughter found that to be true, more recently, but I could be mistaken.  I believe @Murfdogg21 is our resident biomed phd.

And, of course the major switch is pretty likely as with all kids, and the dropping of engineering altogether probably moreso.

Yes I have a BS ChE and PhD in BME. Hide yo kids, and tell them to stay away from BME. You can get BME jobs with ME (sometimes EE or ChE depending on the role) with some “bio” courses and relevant experience on top of your non-BME engineering degree. But the BME job field blows. Much fewer opportunities, more and more ambitious kids coming out of school with BS, MS, and PhD in BME after hearing that BME was the future for the past 20 years. I’ve received marketing from UT BME hyping the field that I consider irresponsible and unethical because the jobs aren’t there. Do ME with some BME specialty track and thank me later. 
 

Northeastern is an awesome school, the somewhat under the radar elite Boston university. A friend of my mine is a prof there and my wife’s cousin is a grad. Both praise it highly. There is a supreme geographic employment bias, at least in the Texas to Northeast direction, where it is incredibly difficult to get through HR black holes for biotech jobs in the “Northeast” (Philly to Boston) if you went to school west of Duke (with exceptions like Stanford, UCLA, Michigan, and Northwestern). People up there think of UT like we are 1940s aggy and many have never heard of Rice. But fuck if you went to Maryland or Rutgers you are a golden boy! In conclusion, if your kid think they want a job in biotech, or considering grad school or med school, getting a BS ME from Northeastern with BME minor track is a damn good path. BS BME can get you pigeon holed, and BS BME from a Big12 or SEC school will get you professionally butt fucked. 

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49 minutes ago, Murfdogg21 said:

 

Yes I have a BS ChE and PhD in BME. Hide yo kids, and tell them to stay away from BME. You can get BME jobs with ME (sometimes EE or ChE depending on the role) with some “bio” courses and relevant experience on top of your non-BME engineering degree. But the BME job field blows. Much fewer opportunities, more and more ambitious kids coming out of school with BS, MS, and PhD in BME after hearing that BME was the future for the past 20 years. I’ve received marketing from UT BME hyping the field that I consider irresponsible and unethical because the jobs aren’t there. Do ME with some BME specialty track and thank me later. 
 

Northeastern is an awesome school, the somewhat under the radar elite Boston university. A friend of my mine is a prof there and my wife’s cousin is a grad. Both praise it highly. There is a supreme geographic employment bias, at least in the Texas to Northeast direction, where it is incredibly difficult to get through HR black holes for biotech jobs in the “Northeast” (Philly to Boston) if you went to school west of Duke (with exceptions like Stanford, UCLA, Michigan, and Northwestern). People up there think of UT like we are 1940s aggy and many have never heard of Rice. But fuck if you went to Maryland or Rutgers you are a golden boy! In conclusion, if your kid think they want a job in biotech, or considering grad school or med school, getting a BS ME from Northeastern with BME minor track is a damn good path. BS BME can get you pigeon holed, and BS BME from a Big12 or SEC school will get you professionally butt fucked. 

Good info, but please elaborate on the BME issue if you would.  I don't want to discourage him from pursuing a degree he has been focused on for awhile now without really being armed with reasons.  Is BME too specialized?  I think his is more bio inclined than ME inclined.  

Yes, we had a great tour and info session at Northeastern, and came away from it VERY impressed.   The internship and jobs programs they have are like nothing I've seen anywhere.  They have a major focus on preparing kids for the real world job market, which at the end of the day is the whole idea.

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17 minutes ago, Sbbruin said:

Good info, but please elaborate on the BME issue if you would.  I don't want to discourage him from pursuing a degree he has been focused on for awhile now without really being armed with reasons.  Is BME too specialized?  I think his is more bio inclined than ME inclined.  

If you go look at med device job postings for J&J, Medtronic, Cardinal, Stryker, Boston Scientific, GE, etc. they may not even list BME as a desired degree for candidates, and ME and/or ChE or EE usually are. Usually it’s all of the above. Completely depends on the role. Same goes with Pharma jobs with Pfizer, BMS, J&J, Bayer etc. (often chemical is the preferred over all others unless it is a process engineering job where they may want ME or BME). BMES are viewed as “jacks of all trades but masters of none” because they skim knee deep in elements of the other engineering disciplines without having a deep course regiment of its own (because electrical BME is way different that biomechanics or biochemistry or anatomy etc.). This is also why they usually encourage students to pursue an MS or PhD in BME where they can dive deep in the subset of BME that they are passionate about and become true masters of that area. 
 

After your first job in whichever area of “biotech”, the college major matters less. Doing a BS in ME, ChE, or EE with sub specialty in BME will NOT limit your son’s options and aspirations in the biotech field, but also keeps other options open. Getting a BS in BME locks you out of many other good fields. In fact, my PhD in BME worked against many times when I was looking at jobs based only on my BS ChE, and I guess I was tainted by the scarlet BME. BS’s in those core engineering disciplines often make more money than MS or PhD in BME due to how shitty most of the field pays and how BME gets disrespected. It took me until I was 40 to catch up to approximately (annual salary) what my undergrad peers in ChE were earning, ignoring the 15+ years of earning less. Nothing tells me that change is coming soon. 
 

Mrs. Murfdogg (BS BME, MS BME, PhD BME) wanted me to tell you that Northeastern has an amazing co-op program that sets kids up great for industry jobs, and the program is not limited to BME majors. She also regrets getting the BME degrees rather doing BME courses/research/jobs with another type of engineering major. 
 

I was once an idealistic noncynical murfpup who at 18 thought I’d go to med school or do research to cure disease, then at 22 as BS CHE rejected the corporate dollars of the Exxons to do the BME PhD and create great medical innovation. There have been rewarding times for sure, but there have been more times of frustration, a couple times unemployment with low prospects, and I am pretty far behind my undergrad peers in lifetime earnings. If I could do it over again, I’d probably go to

1. med school, or

2. go consulting after undergrad followed by MBA, or

3. PhD in CHE or ME with biotech related thesis work to keep more industry doors open. 

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1 hour ago, Sbbruin said:

Good info, but please elaborate on the BME issue if you would.  I don't want to discourage him from pursuing a degree he has been focused on for awhile now without really being armed with reasons.  Is BME too specialized?  I think his is more bio inclined than ME inclined.  

Yes, we had a great tour and info session at Northeastern, and came away from it VERY impressed.   The internship and jobs programs they have are like nothing I've seen anywhere.  They have a major focus on preparing kids for the real world job market, which at the end of the day is the whole idea.

From what I know of it, there are kind of three areas of biomedical engineering:  electrical type things (pacemakers other implantable devices and instrumentation); mechanical type things like joint replacements and new surgical instruments and devices; and the chem/bio things (artificial organs and things of that nature).  A BME degree can focus on one type of area or spread out over several.  Spreading out, plus engineering fundamentals, gives you that "jack of all trades master of none."  And the chem/bio area I think is the area that's really going to require a graduate degree.

Examples:  to design a pacemaker, or part of it, you have to know how to design electrical devices, which is primarily EE.  Someone else can supply the bio parameters you have to work with and problem-solve.  With a hip replacement, you have to be able to design a mechanical device, which is primarily ME.  Again, someone else can provide you with the bio parameters.  That someone may likely be a masters or doctorate BME. The chem/bio stuff, like pretty much all chem/bio stuff, can't be done by someone with an undergraduate degree.

So, if it's a desire to turn a BS in biology into something marketable, it's probably not going to work.  It has a lot of the same limitations as a BS in bio or chemistry.  Also, saying "he's more bio than ME" is worrisome.  The first couple of years of engineering is about the same for all degrees at all schools:  calculus, physics, statics and dynamics, chemistry, circuits and maybe one or two "field specific" courses.  It's only in the third and fourth years (and fifth in many cases) that you get into the courses that put the M, E, Ch, etc. into the BS_E.

And I wouldn't recommend placing out of any of those core courses with AP credit.  Those that I knew that did it regretted it.  

I tend to think of biomedical engineering as a newer version of "marine biology."  And, unlike marine bio, smart, well-intentioned parents that are not engineers may not have the knowledge to talk them out of it.

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1 hour ago, Murfdogg21 said:


 

Mrs. Murfdogg (BS BME, MS BME, PhD BME) wanted me to tell you that Northeastern has an amazing co-op program that sets kids up great for industry jobs, and the program is not limited to BME majors. She also regrets getting the BME degrees rather doing BME courses/research/jobs with another type of engineering major. 

Very awesome insight Murf.  Your perspective obviously holds weight.

Yeah, the co-op programs were really compelling.  Of course, the idea of my first born going to school 3K miles away, and to a school that would set him up on a career path in the NE give me, and moreso his mother, some pause.  But it is just about time to let go and let him do his thing.

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11 minutes ago, Sbbruin said:

Of course, the idea of my first born going to school 3K miles away, and to a school that would set him up on a career path in the NE give me, and moreso his mother, some pause.  But it is just about time to let go and let him do his thing.

Like UCLA, Boston universities also have “Asian girls everywhere” but they are not same same. 

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6 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

Amen.

Another problem I am dealing with is my acute envy of my son's life.  That can't be normal or healthy.

There’s probably some Surly NIL money he could attract for his NSAA photography skills if he ends up in the right environment. Just something to weigh against that scholarship.

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Reopening this thread - my twins are looking at applying to schools in the EU that offer english-only programs.  Does anyone know how the application requirements are different for applying to these schools compared to US schools?  They are in Texas pubic schools so aren't doing the IB programs.  Do these schools use ACT/SAT scores and class rankings or do they mean jack-squat over there? (My kids also have EU citizenship so they can attend at EU rates rather than "foreign" citizen rates).  Anyone know a college planner service that also deals with EU schools in addition to US ones?  (Several I have talked to only deal with US schools...)

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Timely bump.  I'm diving into the deep end right now.  My eleventh-grade daughter is starting to get serious about specific colleges, and I enrolled her in an SAT prep course in advance of the March 11 SAT.  She hasn't taken an official SAT yet, and her last score on a timed practice test administered by the course was 1450.  Not bad.  Unfortunately, a good number of schools she's interested in are either SAT blind like the UC schools ("don't bother sending your scores; we won't even look at them") or SAT optional ("yeah, we may look at them, but only as another data point if your GPA might be on the lower end of our range").  My hope is that schools will at least consider a good SAT score along with her GPA (she's currently somewhere inside the top 10% and will have taken about 30 hours of AP classes before she graduates) and other factors in giving some merit-based aid, but I'm not holding my breath.

For those whose kids are seniors and are in the middle of applications and admissions process, did any of your kids decline to submit their SAT or ACT scores?

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3 hours ago, Grimas said:

Reopening this thread - my twins are looking at applying to schools in the EU that offer english-only programs.  Does anyone know how the application requirements are different for applying to these schools compared to US schools?  They are in Texas pubic schools so aren't doing the IB programs.  Do these schools use ACT/SAT scores and class rankings or do they mean jack-squat over there? (My kids also have EU citizenship so they can attend at EU rates rather than "foreign" citizen rates).  Anyone know a college planner service that also deals with EU schools in addition to US ones?  (Several I have talked to only deal with US schools...)

Each school is going to be different (or at least, each country is -- the UK is pretty uniform, for example) in how they want applications from kids who graduated from a US high school.  Class ranking really won't mean much, if anything.  But ACT/SAT scores absolutely will - because they don't really trust American grades as a good proxy, they will want things like a high standardized test score AND some good AP scores.  For Glasgow (for example), they wanted a certain ACT score, and at least 3 APs of a 4 or better.  I know the German schools actually require an additional year over there in their system (a studienkolleg year) for American high school grads (one of the reasons the boy crossed German undergrad off the list - also, German uni is in German, so that would be a barrier for y'all).  So, the bigger point is....individual countries and universities may vary.

The boy also applied to University of Amsterdam (got wait-listed, bailed on it), which is taught in English.

EU residents do still get some sort of special handling/pricing at the UK schools, IIRC, so don't rule those out - they all run through the UK's UCAS system, so check that out.  In any case, gotta love those EU prices (functionally free at most schools).

I really don't know of any college planner services here in the US that deal with European universities -- we had to figure it all out by ourselves (while the boy was living on the continent, so our entire planning process, and his applications, were done with him over there -- tricky, but it got done).

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1 hour ago, DaysOff said:

1450 is great; submit the score. These assholes are lying. They'll look at the scores and consider everything.

Also this.  A score like that got me some serious undergrad scholarships.  The AP credit and AP exam scores also help a lot, from what I understand.  But in the end, realize that top-end American universities have become ridiculously competitive.  I mean, you may have a perfect SAT score, were valedictorian, and helped Jose Andres found World Central Kitchen, but unless you were ALSO a special adviser to more than one US president while you were in middle school, forget it.

The good news is that there are a lot of great universities, and where your undergrad degree is from isn't as important as we used to think.

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1 hour ago, Brisketexan said:

Also this.  A score like that got me some serious undergrad scholarships.  The AP credit and AP exam scores also help a lot, from what I understand.  But in the end, realize that top-end American universities have become ridiculously competitive.  I mean, you may have a perfect SAT score, were valedictorian, and helped Jose Andres found World Central Kitchen, but unless you were ALSO a special adviser to more than one US president while you were in middle school, forget it.

The good news is that there are a lot of great universities, and where your undergrad degree is from isn't as important as we used to think.

Yeah, my daughter doesn't have her eyes set on any Ivies or really any "public ivies."  She's for the most part leaning toward a great public university in a cool area far away from the political shithole that Texas has become.  Schools like University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of California-San Diego.  She can probably get into them.  Paying for them is another matter.

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25 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Yeah, my daughter doesn't have her eyes set on any Ivies or really any "public ivies."  She's for the most part leaning toward a great public university in a cool area far away from the political shithole that Texas has become.  Schools like University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of California-San Diego.  She can probably get into them.  Paying for them is another matter.

It's like you don't even know about stripping. 

Which, interestingly enough, was not an alternative for my daughter; her Quebec student visa allowed her to work up to 20 hours a week, but had a very detailed and strict prohibition on her working in any "adult" industry.  The Quebecois are apparently quite protectionist when it comes to their strippers.

And yeah, those W. Coast public schools can set you back as an out-of-state student.  Good luck.  

Has she considered the University of British Columbia?  Great W. Coast school, in a cool city, definitely affordable.

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12 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

Has she considered the University of British Columbia?  Great W. Coast school, in a cool city, definitely affordable.

She hasn't.  I'm actually surprised she wants to go to school so far away, because she's somewhat introverted and doesn't have the biggest sense of adventure.  Going to school in another country altogether (even though Vancouver is practically in Seattle's backyard) might seem like a stretch for her.  But I'll bring it up.

One of my best friends lived in Toronto for a few years after undergraduate and he thinks University of Toronto would be great. 

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Just now, South Austin said:

She hasn't.  I'm actually surprised she wants to go to school so far away, because she's somewhat introverted and doesn't have the biggest sense of adventure.  Going to school in another country altogether (even though Vancouver is practically in Seattle's backyard) might seem like a stretch for her.  But I'll bring it up.

One of my best friends lived in Toronto for a few years after undergraduate and he thinks University of Toronto would be great. 

One of my son's best friends goes to  U of Toronto (but he's not a great benchmark -- super nerd genius, was taking sr. level math courses upon entry).  That said, he loves it, and Toronto is a helluva city.  Neither Toronto or Vancouver get as cold as Montreal, so they have that going for them as well.  And seriously, you can't beat the price -- it's like $30k, all-in.

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UBC is more expensive than any UC school and any out of state public US school tuition. Yes, I did the currency conversion.

Here’s my daughter’s current list of schools with last year’s costs. I’ve been pretty obsessive with researching costs, merit aid, etc. Out of state tuition is listed for all except Texas.

University Tuition/Fees Room/Meal Plan Total
University of Texas $12,968 $13,058 $26,026
University of Ottawa (CAN) $21,759 $11,919 $33,678
University of Victoria (CAN) $24,991 $9,774 $34,765
University of California, Berkeley $21,989 $19,890 $41,879
Washington State University $28,384 $13,316 $41,700
Colorado State University $32,734 $13,316 $46,050
University of Vermont $43,890 $13,354 $57,244
Cal Poly SLO $28,104 $16,377 $44,481
Oregon State University $34,983 $14,238 $49,221
University of Massachusetts, Amherst $38,172 $14,776 $52,948
Colorado School of Mines $42,120 $16,110 $58,230
University of Colorado $43,636 $16,146 $59,782
University of Washington $39,687 $16,667 $56,354
University of British Columbia (CAN) $42,431 $10,228 $52,659
McGill University (CAN) $45,489 $14,242 $59,731

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Holy shit!  Those numbers are nuts.  My daughter graduates from McGill this year, and we didn't pay NEARLY that in tuition.  Okay, so I just went and looked -- what kind of degree plan are you looking at?  Because for my daughter's BA (she started in 2019), tuition was under $20k....although for 2022, it's up to $31k (man, a fucking 50% increase over 4 years).  She's graduating early (only had to take one online class this semester, which was still a bullshit $3k).  But, the point is that current McGill tuition for a BA is $31k.  I'm guessing that (obviously) for other degree plans, it's higher.

Man.  The Canadian schools were bargains just four years ago, maybe not so much now?  But again, check your specific degree plan (I do know that BC is a bit higher than McGill, but not a lot).

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Holy shit!  Those numbers are nuts.  My daughter graduates from McGill this year, and we didn't pay NEARLY that in tuition.  Okay, so I just went and looked -- what kind of degree plan are you looking at? 


Civil and environmental engineering.

Mines is her top pick since you can get a masters in Civil & Env in 5 years total.

I also have all the data on average merit aid for those schools if anyone is interested.

From a merit aid perspective, I will say Vermont is pretty intriguing. We had to cancel a tour due to a work conflict for me and they have been aggressively emailing to get her to campus. A female majoring in STEM is highly sought after. The last email basically said if she applied and had a 3.25 GPA, she’d get $20K a year in merit aid.
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