Making Your College Choice

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Back in May, she recieved acceptances from four colleges. We were very happy with that, but we also had a  decision to make.  Today, I'd like to share how we went about making that decision.   And the fun road trip that we took afterwards....

Making our College Decision

It all started at the library, where we did some more research on each of my daughter's college options....

The main decision to be made was between a large state college, and a smaller state college, both within commuting distance of our home.  Both had a large choice of majors. But one of them seemed to fit my teen, to the tee.  That was the smaller one, as it offered a smaller freshman class, and I thought that might be important for social reasons.  

on our first college visit

But, at the same time, my teen was enticed by the excitement of the larger college, which had an especially good reputation, and a student size of more than 60,000.  She knew that some of her friends would be going there, and she liked the architecture and the plaza on the gorgeous large campus. 

My main concern was choosing a college that best fit my teen's social needs. 

My daughter was used to working in small groups, and did well with those, finding her way, as she has in Youth and Government. How could that work out at the larger state college?

So, together, we researched the two colleges again, first at the library, then at home, with the help of our cat.

First, we looked at what each college offered for incoming freshmen...

Freshman social environment

The smaller option offered freshmen seminars, where the students would work together in small groups. This would give my daughter plenty of opportunity to get to know her classmates.  And she has thrived in this kind of environment!  Small groups, that's just like her Youth and Government!  The seminars would last all year, giving them time to build friendships, and learn together.

The larger college did not have freshmen seminars, but did have a first quarter freshman into class, and nice raft trip for incoming freshmen, as a way to get to know each other.  But after that, they could be in some large lecture halls with over 700 students!

Then we compared the two on the basis of support offered to the students.

 Academic support

This is what we found.....The larger one did have tutoring on campus, but was known to have a very competitive academic environment.  The smaller one had way more tutoring options available, with easy access to the professors.  The larger one had many more students per professor, and the teens would usually be dealing with TA's instead of their professors.  Yet, the class size was ideal at the smaller college, about 30 students in each class, compared to 100-600 per class.  Both colleges had solid reputations.

We talked about these two issues together, and with my husband at dinner all week.  My teen soon realized that having a smaller, more supportive environment was more important to her than the status of going to the larger college.  Soon a decision was reached.  And I am so happy that she chose the more supportive environment at the smaller college.

So Thursday, we got out the formal papers, and my teen prepared them for mailing.  She accepted the scholarship offer at the smaller college, and sent in her college acceptance papers! 

And she was thrilled!

I am so happy for her, excited, relieved to have the decision made, and a little sad at the same time! I decided that, if my daughter was really going to college, my family needed a road trip!  

So, on Saturday, and we all headed out, of course with our cameras!  Nice, family time was just the ticket, especially for my husband and I.

 Country roads......  And the mountain, Mt. Rainer, was out... we saw a field of daffodils, still blooming this late in their season!

 Then we saw this was funny, as it was no where near the daffodils!

 We stopped and bought some strawberry plants...

Then we found a small town, near the mountain, and a nice park in the middle of town, where my college student-to-be, decided to pose for a picture in front of the merry-go-round... 

 Big decisions call for big playground equipment, don't you think?

I enjoyed the road trip so much, and we plan to go back there next year, to see the daffodils in April, with our favorite college freshman, ...and have fried chicken again, at this little cafe...

So that about wraps it up for our week.... Our papers are officially in for my daughter's college choice.  Next week should be more the usual...thank goodness!  

This was not an ordinary week in our house.  What out of the ordinary things have happened this week in yours?  I love reading your comments.

Have you seen my new book on college yet?

Get my best tips on college from a homeschool perspective!  Make your high school planning easier!  A great gift for your high schooler.

Kindle is $7.17 on Amazon  or read for free on Prime. 
In print on Amazon  for $9.19 

"Betsy's book is a terrific resource for homeschooling parents who are planning to send their teens to college.  As a homeschool upperclassman advisor, I can attest that the information is spot on.  Also the book is chock full of resources with links and lots of helpful forms.  Be sure you are ready to take notes while you read!"
........Vicki Tillman, from

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


 Betsy is mom to her 20 year old daughter whom she homeschooled from day one. She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early years, and high school & college.  She offers free homeschool help and messaging at BJ's Consulting

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  1. This is wonderful! Your post gives me faith that our children WILL get into college and that all of this pays off. Your daughter looks so thrilled! Congrats!

    And, thanks for linking with Collage Friday!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary Prather, host of Collage Friday! Homeschooling towards college has been such a wondrous journey, and I can't believe that mine will graduate this June! Oh, my! And I appreciate reading all the great posts on Collage Friday. Thanks again,

  2. Big decisions definitely call for big playground equipment! So thrilled for you, your daughter and family. Congrats all around

  3. Thanks, Hodgepodgemom, for your encouragement and for stopping by! I enjoy reading your Helpful Homeschool Habits posts on Hodgepodge. And after our busy week, I was so happy to see my teen enjoying big playground equipment!

  4. Betsy, my daughter just made her decision this past weekend too! Whew, what a ride...she's very excited now that she's made her decision, and of course we are too! Congrats to your daughter, thanks for sharing her the way we are in Newcastle, WA just southeast of Bellevue ;-)

  5. Hi Betsy,

    Boy did you guys have a 'whew' moment. :) It's Jackie stopping by from the May Let's Homeschool High School Blog Hop. So glad you linked up with us again. It's always nice reading your posts.

    You guys surely had some excitement during your decision time. I know you are super proud of her, as you should be!


    1. Thanks, Jackie P., for stopping by! We are taking it easy this week, finishing up senior year courses. Let's Homeschool High School has always been our favorite site for info on aiming towards college. It is such a wonderful resource! Have a great week, Jackie.


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