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Old 06-28-2009, 11:36 PM   #21
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Hmmm. Bridge building and chemical engineering. Chem Eng is fun for me and I wouldn't go back and change it if I could (even though it has been a real roller coaster), but I would advise her to go Navy. It is a steady job. Besides...

Nords, what do you think? Could she follow the same path as Ollie North?

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Old 06-29-2009, 01:26 AM   #22
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Hmmm. Bridge building and chemical engineering. Chem Eng is fun for me and I wouldn't go back and change it if I could (even though it has been a real roller coaster), but I would advise her to go Navy. It is a steady job. Besides...
She takes great comfort from the idea of having a job waiting for her at graduation. Besides, if the Navy was suckerred into paying both her parents for all those years, then how hard could it be? ER is just a bonus. Gosh, and driving ships looks like so much fun. Maybe the detailer will let her go to Japan or Europe!

We'll have to wait & see what happens when the NROTC fantasy slams head-first into reality... her first good look at USNA this month seems to have been enough to make it her last.

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Nords, what do you think? Could she follow the same path as Ollie North?
Nah, she's talking more about five four & Reserves, but she has no clue there either. It depends on whether she can get directly commissioned into the SeaBees or whether she'll have to transfer over from a surface warfare officer tour. Again, fantasy-reality.

Joining the Navy has always been her idea. My goal is that she get enough exposure to USNA & NROTC while they're "free" to make an informed decision before shouldering the obligation. After learning about those two she may decide that the civilian job-search process isn't so scary as it looks.

Ever read Timberg's "The Nightingale's Song"? Ollie is USNA '68, same as Jim Webb (plus a host of other famous alums), and they actually boxed each other as midshipmen.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:03 PM   #23
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My goal is that she get enough exposure to USNA & NROTC while they're "free" to make an informed decision before shouldering the obligation.
Good idea.

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Ever read Timberg's "The Nightingale's Song"? Ollie is USNA '68, same as Jim Webb (plus a host of other famous alums), and they actually boxed each other as midshipmen.
No, but it is on my list now.

Cheers, papa!
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:48 AM   #24
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They've wrapped up two of the three weeks with a 4th of July party.

It's interesting to see how our kid chooses to communicate. When she's bubbling over with happy happy joy joy news, our phone rings. When she's not having such a good time or when she wants to bring up a contentious topic, we get e-mail.

So this week's e-mail resulted in a "fashion emergency" mail run. Turns out she brought slacks for a banquet that "other girls" are wearing dresses for. She also wanted heels (instead of rubber slippers), which she usually avoids because it puts her just shy of six feet. Sounds like a viciously competitive crowd. She says one girl brought five dresses and two suitcases for a three-week dorm stay-- with laundry facilities in the basement.

They visited Warren Dunes Beach Park (she's very impressed) and Lake Michigan was 60 degrees (which she found very depressing). She was shocked that one of the world's largest fresh-water lakes was so dirty. She felt pissed slightly better learning from us that Houston was in the 90s/100s this week and that Oahu's south shore surf has been 6-10 feet most of the time she's been gone.

Today's picnic taught her another valuable social survival skill: beer pong. She swears they were just using water. And they weren't even drinking that. Uh-hunh. Gosh, we'll have so many stories to share together when she gets home...

Meanwhile they've found the time to attend a lecture or two. The longer she hangs around the engineering department, the more enthused she gets about civil/environmental engineering. This week's CE talks came from a woman professor who described the World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina, and the Indian Ocean tsunami almost blow-by-blow and then spoke about handling the design & disaster-recovery issues. They had a most excellent talk from a white-hat hacker who basically scared the crap out of them about computer security, let alone Microsoft products and Facebook. Some poor audience member (maybe a plant) said "Aha, I have a Mac!" and got sliced to ribbons. So our kid claims to appreciate all the other engineering disciplines that she's seen so far but she keeps coming back to CE. She also sounds like she knows what she's getting into-- I don't think she's going to be blown away and disillusioned by her college freshman engineering classes.

The NROTC recruiters (in San Francisco) have her application and were delighted to make quota turn over her officer interview to the Notre Dame NROTC officers. So she should have all of that done by the time she gets home, and can start dinging the high school counselor to mail out those transcripts.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:02 AM   #25
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What is the cost of tuition, room and board for a year at Notre Dame these days?
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:56 AM   #26
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What is the cost of tuition, room and board for a year at Notre Dame these days?
Short answer: $40,000/year.

Long answer:
It's like going onto a new car lot, handing your credit card to the nice sales guy, and asking how much Hummer you can afford to buy.

Notre Dame has a $7 billion dollar endowment, one of the nation's largest NROTC units, and what seems to be a hypercompetitive bunch of alumni donors. You can't swing a dead cat anywhere on the campus without hitting at least one plaque, and you practically expect the hallways & doorframes to be named "in grateful appreciation for..." One building (named for one alum) had a lobby with a half-dozen plaques explaining what other parts of the building had been donated by other alums.

The ROTC building, a few years old, was built completely by alumni donations. No military funding-- rumor is they didn't even bother asking. It's so opulent that the submarine lieutenant's office has a (*gasp*) window.

So for an ER with a $38K pension, some investment income, and some rental equity-- I'd guess $25K-$30K/year. (If anyone has a better estimate then I'd love to know how to work the system.) If she gets a NROTC scholarship for the tuition then we're talking just room & board. That might be as little as $10K/year.

The maturing process of sending a Hawaii student to the Mainland-- priceless.

By next January I'll be a freakin' expert on the details and no doubt I'll start a thread to vent share what I've learned.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:06 PM   #27
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As you know I have a rising senior in the household, so I have enjoyed reading this. Our daughter did a California college tour with mom at spring break. Many of her friends went on college trips elsewhere, so they all compared their notes which turned out mostly about dissing their parent chaperones. One controversial bit of advice was to only tour colleges that you were accepted to which means you don't do the tour until Spring of your senior year. Mom didn't like that idea.

We live near Houston. The weather in Houston has not been as freezing as the forecast shown earlier in this thread. This June was the hottest on record. I think every day was 100 deg F or hotter and no rain. I didn't know that the thermometer on my car could go up to 108.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #28
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One controversial bit of advice was to only tour colleges that you were accepted to which means you don't do the tour until Spring of your senior year.
Interesting--my kids actually both ended up going to college (and being very happy there) at places they had not seen before being accepted (they did tours previously of some of the other schools they then applied to, but not the ones they went to). So maybe there is something to be said for kids visiting the schools once they know they're in.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:35 PM   #29
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Hmm, how do the kids know where to apply to then? I guess the Common Ap saves time, but it still costs money for each application, doesn't it? And if they're applying very far away, it'd be tough to get in many visits before a decision would have to be made, and the letters usually come after spring break.

Mine applied to one school she didn't visit, because it was a reach, and a long ways away. If she got accepted, we'd have visited there. She would up going to, and loving, a place she might not have applied to had I not talked her into visiting it.

In fact there was one state school I thought would be a slam dunk for her for a number of reasons, and she just plain didn't like it on her visit.

My problem with the financial aid packages is that they assume you don't have much saved beyond your 401K, have a mortgage, etc. I started plugging numbers into a FAFSA estimator and saw that we weren't going to get any aid even for Duke or Stanford. She applied there anyway, but I wasn't too disappointed she didn't get accepted.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:53 PM   #30
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Nords - I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and at least 15% of our student body was from Hawaii. My freshman roommate was from Kauai. The students threw a big party for the rest of the school every year with food and foliage sent by their parents. Virtually all of them managed to stay in shorts and flip-flops all year but winters in Tacoma are much milder than they will be at Notre Dame. Your daughter is going to have to get a whole new wardrobe!
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:09 PM   #31
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Virtually all of them managed to stay in shorts and flip-flops all year but winters in Tacoma are much milder than they will be at Notre Dame. Your daughter is going to have to get a whole new wardrobe!
"Winter" is one of the reasons Rice is #1 on her list. She figures that by the time the Houston temperatures start climbing she'll be on midshipman training or doing a research project/internship in an air-conditioned building.

Local kids have to leave the islands to appreciate what they grew up with. Then they spend a decade on the Mainland (or in Asia) saving up for the move back because they want to raise their kids here. And the cycle repeats itself...

I liked all the colleges we visited, especially compared to USNA, but once the winter wind leaves the Great Lakes there's only cornfields to slow it down before it slams into South Bend. I think it's also a lot easier for family visits & graduations to be in a large metropolitan area that can soak up a few thousand hotel rooms people. Geographically remote places like West Point, Annapolis, Troy NY, and South Bend are simply overwhelmed. If I had to do one of them again I'd want to park an RV on a corner of the campus.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:08 PM   #32
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Hmm, how do the kids know where to apply to then?
They use the same techniques that were used decades ago:

1. Apply to the State school by default. If there is more than one state school, one can use the criteria below to help decide.

2. Look to where your friends are going. Don't listen to your parents.

3. Check your SAT scores and see which colleges you can get into. You don't need to apply to Stanford if you aren't special, but conversely you don't need to apply to U of Houston if you are somewhat special. Basically, your scores and activities are gonna select the "tier" of schools that you will apply to.

4. Check which majors the schools might have. Engineering? Accounting? Basket weaving? Be sure to account for the fact that you will change majors 3 to 10 times.

5. Decide if you want to go as far away from your parents as you can get, or if you want to stay close.

That's about it. Did I miss anything? Note that money/budget is not used to decide which schools to apply to.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:18 PM   #33
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Is there a specific reason that she has no desire to remain in Paradise for an education?

Sounds very much like in your opinion she is leaving heaven for a tour in hell.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:37 PM   #34
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What a great experience for your daughter. She will be very prepared for what to expect when she goes to college.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:30 PM   #35
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Ahhh, Civil Engineering... or as the old joke goes... now she can build targets (for the Mech. Engr.'s to shoot).

Always work to be had.

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Old 07-08-2009, 05:53 AM   #36
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Nords - That unrelenting winter wind is what is driving us back to FL. If she does decide to attend Notre Dame, I'm sure she'll get a great education and I know she will get a fantastic alumni network which will serve her well upon graduation. The quality of the summer program is a concrete example of the quality of the school. Pretty cool to get to try before you buy!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:21 PM   #37
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We're picking her up at the airport in a few hours. Five weeks off the island and nowhere near the homesickness that we might have been concerned about. It's certainly been a tremendous dating growth experience, and I bet she can't wait to get back home so that she can stop acting so mature and polite.

She's sold on Notre Dame and their sense of family. But she agrees that she needs to make a list of each school, their advantages, and whatever unique features that she can't get at the other schools. ND may be big on family but I bet Rice and Carnegie-Mellon are too. And USNA's midshipmen are just one big happy family.

She tried the "just one more college visit" line but we're done. At this point I think the chances of a bad travel experience are higher than the opportunity for a good college visit, and I'd hate for lost luggage or some other logistics disaster to be the basis for her teen logic to decide that Notre Dame is better than Rice.

I thought she'd have to play up the "surfer grrrl from Hawayuh" aspect with the admissions staff, but there's another perspective even more important to ND: women engineers. The ND chapter of the Society of Women Engineers threw the high-school women a pizza party with major chick geek chic power. ND also puts the women engineering students together in their own special section of the dorm. That made her feel a lot better about homework help and networking.

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They use the same techniques that were used decades ago:
5. Decide if you want to go as far away from your parents as you can get, or if you want to stay close.
That's about it. Did I miss anything? Note that money/budget is not used to decide which schools to apply to.
Don't forget about parsing the website photos and the campus visits for hot bodies and guy::girl ratios. Can't just wing it-- gotta do the research.

But I agree that distance is the only way to cut the umbilical cord.

To be fair to her, we didn't want her excluding schools based on her idea of how much things should cost. Teens just don't have the cerebral critical-thinking circuitry, let alone the experience, to handle that. Our parental job has been saving $100/week since 1992 and aggressively investing most of it (thank you, Berkshire Hathaway) to cover at least the local UH campus expenses.

For those asking about expenses, here's what's on the college's websites:
Expense categoryRiceNotre DameCarnegie-MellonUVA
Tuition & fees$31,430 $38,480 $40,920 $29,790
Room & board$11,230 $10,370 $10,340 $7,709
Books & supplies$628 $950 $1,000 $1,150

NROTC would cover the "Tuition & fees" category for all of the above, as well as pay her a book allowance and a monthly stipend ranging from $250/month (freshman) to $400/month (senior). With NROTC paying most of the bill, the college wouldn't feel obligated to offer any more financial aid. Parents, scholarships, and part-time work would cover the rest.

USNA, of course, is "free", with the caveat "An interest-free loan from the federal government is advanced to entering midshipmen to help defray first-year costs. This loan is repaid through monthly deductions from midshipmen pay during the first two to three years at the Academy."

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Ahhh, Civil Engineering...
Always work to be had.
Psssst... sewage!

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That unrelenting winter wind is what is driving us back to FL.
I joked that if she thinks the Notre Dame campus is too big & spread out now, wait until she has to walk through it in January with 25-below windchill.

First I had to explain what "windchill" is. Then I had to answer the question "Below what?" And finally we realized that she thought she could ride her bike in South Bend in winter. Never occurred to her that the powdery white stuff or the shiny glassy stuff might be slippery. After all they keep the streets clear, don't they?

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Pretty cool to get to try before you buy!
Five weeks of empty-nester practice has been worth every penny!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:52 PM   #38
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OK. I went to Rice and think highly of the place, but the thought of somebody leaving Hawaii to attend college in Houston leaves me speechless!
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #39
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...I thought she'd have to play up the "surfer grrrl from Hawayuh" aspect with the admissions staff, but there's another perspective even more important to ND: women engineers. The ND chapter of the Society of Women Engineers threw the high-school women a pizza party with major chick geek chic power. ND also puts the women engineering students together in their own special section of the dorm. That made her feel a lot better about homework help and networking.
Ah, finally a place where I can contribute. I'd like to offer another perspective on the SWE woman engineer thing...from a real live woman engineer, yours truly.
I would like to think that gender bias in any field is history, but let's stay real here.
In my own experience, it was the fact that I did not separate myself from the guys that I think had a lot to do with my acceptance into the field. Granted I was an odd duck and w*rked as a mechanic and talked about guy things very naturally. I always netw*rked with both genders in college.
If DD is going to w*rk alongside guy engineers when she graduates and gets a j*b, what purpose would it serve to have a separatist attitude from college experience?
I'd like the guy engineers here to chime in, please, for other opinions. Don't want to start a gender war, but may be worth discussing, IMHO.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:02 PM   #40
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I have come to know and appreciate the sense of family which is to be found in the midwest. It's great she is feeling it and it is real. I will miss it very much when we leave OH. I will try hard to cultivate it in our new surroundings in FL but it's totally the culture of the midwest.
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