I Want Baylor. Parents Want Ivy League.

by Judge Josh on December 15, 2010

Danielle wants to a be a neo-natal nurse, and she wants to go to Baylor, which is an expensive private school. Mom & Dad don’t approve…but not for the reasons you might expect.

Hello there.

Hi.

I’m a Senior in high school in Oklahoma City. I’ve known all of my life that I’ve wanted to go into a medical field. My parents were thrilled when I decided to pursue being a doctor.

Ivy League Parents

Sometimes, parents deserve to be ignored.

Sure, who wouldn’t be?

So I went to a medical forum and came back realizing that being a doctor wasn’t for me. Instead, I wanted to be a nurse (that didn’t exactly go over well).

I’m sorry to hear that. Sigh… I  can tell that for the rest of this post, I’m just gonna get progressively more irritated with your parents. (**trying to keep an open mind**).

However, if you’d like an impartial adult professional’s opinion — nursing is an excellent career choice. Nothing to apologize for at all, and most parents would be completely fine with this choice.

To make them feel better about my choice, I started shadowing at a Neo-natal ICU to make sure I want to be a nurse.

Great! It’s an excellent thing to do for yourself, let alone your parents. Listen up y’all reading at home — any time you can take a practice run at the real thing before committing to it, do so.


And I love it!

Excellent.

I thought the third degree from my parents was over after they finally came to terms with my career choice.

I’m guessing it wasn’t.

Here’s the reason I am coming to you for help: now they aren’t happy with the choice of college I want to attend for nursing school.

Great.

I want to attend Baylor University in Waco, TX. My parents are wanting me to attend a college like Yale or UPenn.

(trying to control my anger)

They want me to go because “a degree from a prestigious college will have employers coming to YOU” (my dad’s words).

Sorry, Dad — you’re absolutely wrong.

1) Even when you go to a top college, you still have to find yourself a job. Nurses don’t get wined-and-dined the way can’t-miss professional athletes or tort lawyers do.

2) Baylor is a great school. It’s not Palookaville Institute for the Dumb.

3) Sorry, but I think I can already tell that’s NOT actually why they want you to go to a prestigious school. They want you to go to a prestigious school so that they can tell the other parents and people they know that you’re going to a prestigious school.

Oh, also the fact that since our family’s income was slashed from about $120,000 to $60,000 since he lost his job 22 months ago, I could go to Yale or UPenn for almost nothing. Baylor’s tuition is $40,000 a year and I’d get a lot of financial aid, but not nearly as much as the choices my parents like.

I don’t think you should be so certain of that. You haven’t mentioned what your credentials are (I’m assuming they’re great), but all else being equal, you’re more likely to get better aid from a less-selective school. Baylor’s good, but of course, your parents are correct in that UPenn and Yale and the like are a notch up in terms of prestige.

This means that if you want to get a full ride to an Ivy, you have to present credentials that are even more impressive than Baylor’s going to want for the same award. A free (or close) education at an Ivy is TOUGH to get.

I’m not saying you *can’t* do it, because I don’t tell anybody that. I’m just saying…it’s not a foregone conclusion, that’s all.

Baylor has everything I’m looking for in a nursing school and I feel comfortable and happy there. But my parents are set on me going somewhere else and I don’t want to disappoint them.

There’s a time for pleasing Mom & Dad, and this is not it. You haven’t told me a ton about your parents, and so I’ll give you my standard disclaimer about parents — I don’t know yours, don’t know details about them, etc. BUT:

From what I’ve gathered from your email, they don’t seem to care much about what YOU want and what will make YOU happy. Seems they were pissy when they you decided you wanted to be a nurse — for no discernible reason.

And it seems they were pissy all over again when you chose a school that wasn’t one of the top 10 universities in the entire country. Why? I have no idea. Well, I do have an idea — because they want to brag about it others, and Baylor doesn’t sound as nice as Yale.

I don’t buy the argument from any parent who behaves this way — and they all say this — that they just want what’s best for their kid.

Bullshit. Sending a kid into $200k of medical school debt when she doesn’t want to go to medical school in the first place isn’t looking out for your kid. It’s looking out for your own ego.

Insisting your kid go to an Ivy when he/she is perfectly happy with an alternative — especially when we’re talking about nursing, a profession where jobs are not scarce and an expensive education is not required — is not looking out for your kid. It’s looking out for your ego!

I’ve read your posts about whether you should follow your dreams, but I was hoping you could answer my question directly. Baylor sends out acceptance letters from the first round in December/early January and I want to know my decision is a good one.

I think it’s fine. And I apologize in advance if you think I’m being too harsh on your parents. I mean, I have parents, and I’m a parent myself, and I wouldn’t want somebody banging on my parents too hard, even if I knew they were wrong about something.

But again, it’s my job to go against them here when I think they’re steering you wrong, and here, I think they are.

My guiding principle around here is to do what makes you happy. If you’re happy being a nurse and you’re happy going to Baylor, go to Baylor and be a nurse. What your mom or dad or creepy uncle or next-door neighbor or state senator want you to do — all that is secondary.

I appreciate you taking time to answer my question. I’m completely lost on what to do.

Yeah, that’s my advice. Hopefully your folks will come around. I really would be shocked if you weren’t offered considerably more aid from Baylor than from the Ivies. And if that’s the case, there’s another weapon in your arsenal to explain to your parents why it’s a good idea to go there.

Good luck, Danielle! Let us know how it goes!!

— What do you guys think? Are her parents out of line, or do they have a good point? Let us know in the comments below.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

katherine December 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I’ll be starting at Baylor in the spring. I have several friends who attended/are attending and they all love it. Plus they gave me an amazing financial aid package. I think one of the most important parts of going to university is being happy with your choice of school and major. If Baylor’s where you want to go, you should do it. It’s going to be difficult to deal with your parent’s attitude, but if you’re happy with it and do well, maybe they’ll come around.

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pam g December 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

One of my kids graduated valedictorian of her high school and one was a national merit scholar. Baylor didn’t offer much in the way of financial help to either of them.

In Texas, Baylor has an excellent reputation. Maybe her parents don’t know this, as they don’t live in texas.

Also, Baylor’s nursing school is not in Waco (just fyi), it’s in Dallas.

For nursing school, you can go to any school with a good passing rate on the NCLEX. Josh is right that nurses are not vetted like some other professionals. A nurse is a nurse, no matter where the education came from.

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Anonymous December 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Baylor has a full ride deal for national merit or val’s (Although this may have changed recently). It is competitive though, and not financial aid :p

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I disagree December 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

First of all, it is widely regarded that Penn nursing is the #1 nursing school in the nation. I think Josh is trying to say that you shouldn’t just go for the general “better school” simply because it has a fancier brand name, but I would have to disagree in this particular instance, because you want to be a nurse, and Penn is one of the best institutions in training them. While it’s true that all you really need is certification to be a nurse (since there is a shortage of them), if you’re going to pay full college tuition for it, why not get the best bang for your buck? Penn nursing does a lot of things differently from other nursing schools, in that it exposes students to clinicals earlier and is arguably more rigorous than other schools, simply because of its inclusion in the Ivy League. And with Penn and Yale’s need blind policy and hefty endowments, you will hands down get better financial aid than Baylor (I disagree with Josh again in that respect). But this is all getting way ahead of yourself, because there is >80% chance you will not get into either Penn or Yale, rendering this entire article fairly superfluous.

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Rika December 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I attend Baylor and so does my friend who is in the nursing program. We both love it although she’s in Dallas and I’m in Waco. I’m unsure about the nursing program because I’m an accounting major. But I can tell you once I transferred here I’ve gotten numerous accounting employment opportunities due to all of the networks I’ve made. I’m an accountant for a large software company in Austin (terrible commute, but well worth it) and I’m only a junior. They are really credible here in TX.

Also, if you have a pretty good academic standing, there are plenty of scholarships that they offer. My scholarships and grants are enough to get me out of here with owing less than 50k for my entire undergraduate degree. Just do your research, build a good relationship with your advisor and the financial aid reps, and they will really try their best to find sources for you and your situation.

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Ella December 15, 2010 at 10:02 pm

To the comment above: your child was national merit and did not receive a good package from Baylor? That’s interesting because my husband received a full ride from Baylor because he was national merit. I am graduating from Baylor in the spring, and I absolutely love it. I also had the option of going to ivies, but I am so grateful that I picked Baylor. Go where you want to go.

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Student2013 December 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm

From the financial side of things, I disagree with Judge Josh. Danielle should definitely consider her parents advice about aid. Her parents are right that she likely will get better aid from an Ivy, if indeed their family income merits financial aid. A school like Baylor does not have the funding to meet the full financial need of its applicants, so unless she gets a full scholarship, Yale probably will be cheaper. Many students with family incomes under 60000 can get near full grant coverage by Ivies, regardless of if they are the best in their entering class at the university. Most Ivies don’t actually only give out need-based aid — the kids that have the full merit scholarships get them from prestigious private sources.

Quotes from Yale financial aid:

“Yale provides full need-based financial aid to all admitted students and will meet every student’s demonstrated need.”

“Families earning less than $60,000 annually will not make any contribution toward the cost of a child’s education, and families earning $60,000 to $120,000 will typically contribute from 1% to 10% of total family income.”

Baylor’s a great school, and you should apply and go there if you can, but remember you’re not assured scholarships from them. I would say at least apply to one Ivy. It couldn’t hurt, right?

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kiwinc December 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Ok, I’ll bite.
Your parents probably love you and want what’s best for you. Unfortunately, they don’t have to live with the consequences of this choice. You do.
1. Nursing school is hard, so choosing someplace you’re happy and comfortable is critical to making this doable. If Baylor is what you want, that’s where you need to go. If you change your mind later, you can transfer in.
2. Baylor’s got a good rep. Even I’ve heard of it.
3. I really think you should apply to at least 3 schools, if you can afford it (I can’t, which is why I’m bringing this up). That way you can compare financial aid offerings and actually see which school offers the best deal.
4. Josh is right about nursing school, in that you’ll learn the same stuff and have to pass the same exam no matter where you go. But expect at least some wining and dining – in our areas nurses were getting offered some AWESOME sign-on bonuses not that long ago, and they’re still doing well in the Pacific Northwest, from what I understand.

Good luck, and remember, you have to live with this choice. Hopefully your parents will realize this and support you on it.

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Student2013 December 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Correction: Most Ivies only give out need-based aid — the kids that have the full merit scholarships get them from prestigious private outside sources.

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Anonymous December 15, 2010 at 10:47 pm

i went to the school my parents wanted me to go to, even though it wasnt my first choice. I ended up totally hating it! I transferred to a new school (one that i picked out by myself) after last semester. I only wish I would’ve left my first college sooner! Your parents arent going to be the ones living your college years for you, so you need to pick a school based on YOUR wants and YOUR needs, not the needs and wants of your parents

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Abby December 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Hahaahahaha your parents sound like my parents when I was in high school. Go to an Ivy League because they’re the only worthwhile schools to go to!

Puh-lease. Half of the population of undergrad Ivy League kids is rich brats riding on a legacy or some huge endowment their family made. The actual brilliant kids who do get in without those traits are pretty much top of the line in wherever the hell they are. My college BFF’s ex went to Yale and I think he graduated high school with something like 12 AP classes under his belt or something ridiculous like that. An old classmate of mine also went to Yale, but she was president of like 6 different clubs along with being a massive overachiever. Being totally loaded helped her a lot too.

Also, your parents seem to ignore the fact that nurses are in high demand, especially with all the baby boomers needing more and more care as they get older and older, so while finding a job won’t be a walk in the park for you, it will be much easier than say, graduating with a degree in Communications.

I’m pretty sure I’ve minor-ly offended some groups of people on here. Oh well.

But honestly. It’s really your choice. In the end, and this worked for my boyfriend, if they don’t want you to go to the school you wanna go, you say you won’t go to college at all unless you go to Baylor and that’s the end of it. If your parents really have that much of a stick up their rear ends, they will relent because having their kid not go to college at all is a hell of a lot more embarrassing than having them go to a college they know nothing about. It’ll definitely cause a rift for a little while, but if they actually do love underneath all that BS, they’ll support you eventually. If not, well, I hope you get a damn good financial package.

In my experience though, parents eventually learn sense. You just need to stand your ground with them.

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Oddkin Bodkins December 15, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Hey, what’s wrong with my degree from Palookaville Institute for the Dumb?

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Scott D. Walker December 16, 2010 at 12:11 am

I just finished my pre-med Bio degree at Baylor in Waco and I can tell you they have an awesome biology program. I don’t know about how similar a nursing student’s undergrad courses are to pre-med ones, but I found the calibre of teaching was excellent and will definitely prepare you for whatever you’re desiring to do. Not sure how long you’ll be in Waco, though, because I think parts (or all?) of the nursing degree are in a separate campus in the DFW area. Best of luck to you and enjoy!

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Lisa December 16, 2010 at 12:14 am

Hi!!! Judge Josh I just wanted to correct you and inform you that she would be able to go to Yale or UPenn for almost nothing because her family’s income is $60,000. This is because many prestigious schools are enforcing a financial aid program that helps people from lower income families be able to go to prestigious schools without any loans or else capped loans. I’m certain of this because it is how I was able to afford Rice University and Vanderbilt also gave me an awesome scholarship. Plus I know someone at UPenn who had to pay little to nothing to go :-)

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Nursing Mom's Son December 16, 2010 at 1:16 am

Amazing circumstances. I can’t even imagine having a dilemma like that.

Fact? Nurses are in high demand. Babies are being born. Babies have trouble sometimes. Nearly anywhere. It won’t matter so much if you get your degree from Baylor, Yale, or wherever. Learn the stuff, pass the boards. That’s the biggest, most important thing. No boards, no nursing, and your $200,000 nursing degree is just ankle weights to a swimmer? it’ll pull you under.

This is a good case of ‘what’ being a much greater factor than ‘where’.

Not that it’s really relevant or anything but my mom is an OB RN and a friend of hers is in NICU.

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Danielle December 16, 2010 at 1:20 am

I’m the Danielle that sent him this email. I’ve done my research on Baylor, Yale, and UPenn. I am well aware of UPenn’s rep and Yale’s need-based financial aid, as my parents flaunt this around me. I know about Baylor’s nursing school. It’s the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, TX. I’d spend my freshman & sophomore year in Waco for basics, then go to Dallas for the school of nursing. Then spend 3-4 years as a nurse to get bedside practice in, as my NNP I shadow suggests, then go back to Waco for the Neo-Natal Nurse Practitioner Master’s Program. I definitely do my research.

I’ve gone to an event called “Ivy League & Friends” for Choctaw Native Americans. Many Ivy League colleges (including Yale and UPenn) had discussions with me and they didn’t have what I was looking for. But my parents still persist.

I’d rather attend a college I feel happy at and deal with the debt (which after I get my degree, it wouldn’t take long to pay off) than go to a college I’m miserable at for free.

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Devon January 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm

That makes sense, but as a high school senior majorly stalking colleges, I’ve often had to remind not to pre-judge schools. There’s no way that you know for certain that you’d be miserable at all of the Ivies. Parents are annoying, but we need to remind ourselves to have open minds too.

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Carol Wiley December 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

I say go to Baylor. I am a neo-natal nurse and just finished the RN-BSN program at Texas Woman’s University. I am not a spring chicken but I am not over the hill yet. I have been in the nursing field for over 20 years. I loved it then and I still love it. I decided to get my second four year degree because so many hospitals are now looking for employees who have a four year degree. The hospital that I currently work at just changed to only hiring bachelor’s prepared nursing employees. The employeers do look at where you went to school but it does not have much of an influence on their decision. I say go to Baylor and get your education. It is your decision and if you want to go to Baylor you will work harder there than at another university that your parents want you to go to. This is your life not your parents. Your parents will come around – they just want to brag that you are attending an Ivy League school.

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Ed December 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

I kind of think I can speak to this issue because I worked for a Baylor alum, had a doctor who interned at Baylor College of Medicine, have a former neighbor who is a senior at Penn and have been treated by a nurse who was a Penn alum (sorry, do not know anyone from Yale well enough to speak about them), I have to say that Baylor is a high quality educational institution. Certainly, Penn and Yale are more prestigious, but Baylor is a tremendous education. Studying in a big city such as Dallas is also beneficial. I went to college at a suburban school of a big city and a college in a college town, and will tell you that you should consider the environment you want to live in. No matter what, consider that financial aid package. Since you are studying nursing, you are very lucky that your educational credentials will not matter significantly in regards to your employment prospects. Consider your state schools like University of Oklahoma or OK State, just in case. Danielle, you will be successful wherever you end up studying nursing.

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Counselor Buddy December 16, 2010 at 10:49 am

I agree that decisions on your career and schooling need to make you happy. However, I’m inclined to throw your parents a bone.

Knowing your father lost his job and this has significantly affected your parents’ earnings for nearly two years, I would guess that part of your parents’ desire for you to aim high in your career goals is to ensure you don’t meet the same fate. I would argue that nursing is an in-demand field and you are not likely to be out of work *ever* but your parents’ financial insecurities might be a basis for their desire for you to attain a career they perceive as prestigious and stable.

And, although the final choice of schools rests in your lap, those same issues are likely underlying reasons for their push toward Ivy League. I don’t agree with dad’s comment about employers coming to you, but financially, it might make sense to look into Yale or UPenn if their aid packages truly benefit students in your economic situation.

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Cori K. December 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

Judge Josh and some of the other posters are absolutely right: for nursing, it’s not about where you go, and I’m saying this coming from a family where all the women (but me) are nurses. As long as the school is accredited and not under scrutiny for some malfeasance or another, don’t worry about where you go.

Me, I’d be pushing for you to find a state university, particularly in a state where there’s a dire need for nurses (California comes to mind). Less expensive, accredited, and a great likelihood of getting a job when you get out. But what’s really important is that you find somewhere you’re happy.

p.s. Accreditations & certifications sometimes don’t travel across certain state lines. When you’re closer to completion, just double-check that you have mobility with your certs. :)

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snoopyloopy March 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

i’d recommend coming here to ca for nursing schools. all nursing schools out here (minus for-profits like itt tech, but which are also expensive) are ultra-selective, have 2-year long waiting lists, or a combination of both. in addition, the private ones then add expensive to that list.

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billy December 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I had this problem when i was an incoming freshman and i fought and fought with my parents. I even got my teachers involved to side with me and finally they broke. baylor is awesome sic ’em!

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Grey_GirlPTK December 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I think the parents push for the Ivy is two fold. On one hand they think that an Ivy degree means a definate job after graduation–not true. I have 5 friends that graduated from Yale & Princeton last year and they are stuck with loan debt and zero jobs–2 of them are in medical field. So an Ivy diploma does not mean solid work or imcome in today’s market.

The other is bragining rights. I know because my mom suffers from the same problem. I am attending a 1st tier university, where I got a much better aid package then the Ivy she wanted me to go to. I am happy and she is still pissed over a year into it that I am not at an Ivy, and have no intention to transfer to one. So parents do get hung up on this no matter how much they profess that it is for your “good”.

You have talked to the people at Yale and UPenn? Fabulous! You now know that they are not a good fit for you. To me that is the end of the arguement. Go to Baylor and let your parents come around. In the end they won’t be taking your classes, studying for exams, or taking your boards for you.

That means that it will be you and only you. This also means it is up to you to be happy with your choice. If they still complain offer to take them to Baylor and do a tour. Maybe if you get them on campus and let them get to know Baylor they will start to see what you do in it. If that fails accept that they will just have to grow up.

Go to Baylor and be a success. Once you garduate and are working doing what you love see if they still complain. I bet they will be proud and happy for you. Just hang in there and stick to your guns and you will show them that they raised you to be an adult.

Best of luck:)

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culturecritic December 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

danielle – it sounds like you mind is made up, so just go to baylor. but why not just cast a line toward upenn and yale just to see what happens (and to appease your folks)? if you do get into one of them for cheaper than baylor, you’d be a jackass not to attend; but like somebody else said, you might not even get in (problem solved).

i noticed you’re an oklahoman, and everyone knows baylor is in texas, and the whole ok – tx sports rivalry… are your parents sports fans? maybe they just can’t stand the thought of you going to the “other side.” granted, there prob. isn’t a real huge difference between the two states, besides maybe rivaling one another for something besides sports … maybe vying for the top slot in banjo owners per capita or something. clearly, i’m biased because i despise the deep south (yes, including texas); and frankly, i don’t care if i offend you or other people from the south because their “culture of honor” basically prescribes they get can offended by pretty much any suggestion that they aren’t the bomb. so, if you can get into yale or penn, do it if only for the cultural experience. the north is an entirely different (generally more rational and squared-away) existence than other parts of the country.

yes, i’m from pa… but i’ve been all over and now live in nv (the mississippi of the west, as dubbed by pbs), and the culture out here is idiotic. i may be biased, but trust me… education just has a higher premium in the north than most other parts of the country. again, you’d be a fool to turn it down if the deal is ripe… and i’m sure baylor would let you transfer from an ivy if you end up hating it for whatever reason.

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BaylorFullRide December 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I WOULD NOT go to Baylor. I got a full ride to Baylor, have many friends that went and are at Baylor, and many friends that went to Baylor’s nursing program.

Baylor is a great school but it is highly conservative.
Waco is a very weird and backwards town if you’re use to doing things in a larger city like OKC.
Waco is also a dry county and the school is super religious.
If you are not a “born again” evangelical Christian be prepared to be bombarded constantly about Jesus until you convert.

It’s a great school if you are a Jesus-freak, lots of things to do but if you are going to Baylor to get an adept education in nursing you may want to consider elsewhere,especially if you can get into Yale, U Penn. etc. you WOULD get better grants and educational curriculum at those Universities.

Many of my friends went to Baylor and then transferred to the University of Texas (a public) nursing program b/c it is well funded and much more adept compared to Baylor.

While Baylor might feel comfortable now, talk to students that are there and students that have left Baylor.

Talk to students at U Penn and Yale… Try to discern which students are more intelligent and have learned more in their field.. You will see Baylor is not the best place to go, it just has a reputation in TX that makes them think, “they are all that.”
TX schools are like that especially UT and A&M (but they have the ratings and successful alumni to back up their reputation where Baylor falls short).

If you have a chance to go to Yale or U Penn, do not turn those places down for a school like Baylor. I got a full ride to Baylor and everyday I’m really happy that I chose not to go to Baylor after seeing how my friends went through Baylor. My private institution (Trinity) is hard as heck, I did not get any scholarships and I’m on student loans. It isn’t a fun or a breeze through school like Baylor is but I am happy that I’m always being challenged and when break comes around and I talk to my friends from Baylor, well, I’m very very glad I didn’t go there. Better Universities have more connections in the real world, better endowments, and better speakers. I’ve met Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, John Cleese (took a photo with him) and Condoleeza Rice. Karl Rove’s son was a classmate of mine for two classes!
Go to a good school with lots of opportunity, a school that will challenge you and a school with a good curriculum so you will be on top of your field when you graduate.

Judge Josh is a great guy but he should really be careful about his opinions especially if he has no real idea what a certain university is like. Admissions magazines, reviews, and students representing admissions councils don’t tell the full story. Talk to ppl at Baylor and the other Universities. Get a comprehensive view of what each University will offer you as far as your extent of learning goes.

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NA December 18, 2010 at 1:21 am

I have to say that you do not mention what exactly the problems with the curriculum at Baylor University. If you know something about their educational system, you should tell Danielle before she considers talking to any former Baylor student, so she will know what she is getting into. A lot of your argument seems to be based on Baylor’s religious and political beliefs, and I wonder if that is clouding your vision in giving it a fair review. You should think about that possibility before giving the school a review.

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Devon December 16, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I disagree with Josh. Of course, her parents should be supportive of what she wants to do, because her plans are perfectly ambitious and make her happy. It’s possible that her parents just want her to have the confidence to make that reach towards the Ivies. Also, the big names do matter. They get you attention. If you think you might be a candidate, you should try to get in. I’m from NJ, and I’ve never heard of Baylor in my life. If I were an employer outside of Texas or the south and I saw Baylor versus Yale, I would be much more impressed by Yale. Most of all, she’s absolutely right about financial aid. At Yale, Harvard, or Princeton, most people whose household income is under 60 grand go almost absolute free (regarding tuition). I think she should do what makes her happy, but I hope that fear of rejection from the Ivies isn’t what’s holding her back.

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SStahl May 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I can’t say I fully agree with you. I am a pre-med student who spent a year at a little known private college in North Carolina who was accepted to some of the big name universities but didn’t decide to go because name doesn’t mean everything. A small unknown is just as good as a big name as long as the curriculum is just as good or better. You make sense about the tuition but name doesn’t always impress your future employer, your skills and knowledge does.

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Jackie December 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Well, I also disagree… The name of the school is very important…
Baylor is not that great (the people here in Texas make such a big deal about it!). Baylor has an acceptance rate of about 50%-55%… That’s horrible! My four year old sister could get in!
Just remember, employers know universities and they will pick the UPenn/Yale graduate over the Baylor graduate any day.
Of course, the acceptance rates at UPenn is 18% and at Yale the acceptance rate is 8%. I don’t know about your grades and other volunteer work, SAT scores and job experience but if you considering Baylor over name schools your chances of getting into an Ivy league are probably not that good anyway.

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Renee December 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

The 50-55% acceptance rate is really not a good indicator of what kind of education a student will get at that school. It is much more based on the number of students who apply compared to the number the school can reasonably contain. Just about anybody who didn’t flunk out / drop out of high school can get into most colleges in the country. What matters is the graduation rate and post-grad employment rate.

Plus, we’re talking about nursing here. If she was looking to be a politician, or a Supreme Court Justice, or a Wall Street mogul, then I would say she should aim for Yale. But nursing? Yale or UPenn seem a little overkill to me, even if she wants to be a CNP.

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Devon December 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Nursing or not, the Ivies have better financial aid.

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Saia January 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Actually they do, I applied to Baylor and got accepted before I even had the chance to submit my teacher recommendation… And I got rejected by one of the Ivy leagues I applied to (However I was accepted and enrolled at NYU). That just comes to show you, Baylor will take an Ivy league’s trash… (Yes, it sounds harsh, but it’s true!)

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Jackie January 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

So you’re telling me Baylor is better than Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, UPenn, MIT, Caltech, Dartmouth College, Duke, John Hopkins, Brown, Cornell, Rice, Georgetown, UC Berkley, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, U of Virginia, Tufts, Boston College, NYU, Lehigh, College of William and Mary, Brandeis and all the other 55+ Universities (Yes, Baylor is ranked somewhere around the 79th+ place?) ? I mean, come on, acceptance rates do not count? Just because some people decide to settle for mediocrity does not mean everyone else does too.

Plus, believe me, all the other universities receive a quite significant amount of applications (more than Baylor?) and they also admit less people (Therefore we use the term selective, because not anyone can get in).

But I do agree that it might be too much if she is just planning on going into nursing.

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aro May 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I will agree that it’s impressive to say your degree from an Ivy league school, however few people get in and even fewer people are able to finish. This means she wont’ be competing against many people from Ivy League schools. Either way employers want the paper that says “bachelors” or “associates” or “PHd”, and getting it from a well known university is still impressive…

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CR December 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

One thing I feel like I should mention is that yes, logically a less-prestigious school is going to more likely give you more support than a high-competition university. HOWEVER, if you were more on the fence about your decision and were having trouble deciding based on supports, I would recommend looking into how the school is run and financed. I’m personally a third-year undergrad at the kind of school that gets made fun of a lot for nobody knowing that it exists, and this does mean that they try harder to welcome and coax people into their lovely school. However, in our case, bad money management and a heavy debt has resulted in some shady dealing that has recently been exposed in the form of most students not actually receiving the scholarships and bursaries they were initially promised. But I only tell you this for posterity’s sake; your college sounds like a fine enough school that they wouldn’t get away with that kind of thing. Still, feel free to actively compare bursaries offered early on in the decision process if you are ever concerned.

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pam g December 29, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Yep, my daughter was her class valedictorin in 2006, and at first, she was put on a wait list at Baylor, then, when she was accepted, the financial aid was not enough to even cover half of her expenses.

My son was a national merit scholar. I could be mistaken about what I said about baylor….because now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t remember if he actually applied to Baylor or not. He got a nice aid package at A&M though and that’s where he will graduate from.

I am an RN in Texas. All nurses take the same licensing exam at the end of their education. The real education comes from working in the field, not from school. I went from being an RN with an associate’s degree to being an RN with a bachelor’s degree. No difference in pay. No difference in recognition from an employer. There is really just no difference. Except that now, employers want you to have that bachelor’s degree. It’s like college is the new high school. Everyone has to go. There is a certificate or specialized training for things that used to be on the job training.

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Nick January 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I think what she wants to do is important. I myself plan to go to a non Ivy Med school and for residency I will attempt Ivy League since I am doing more specialization. Danielle can do the same (if she pursues a PhD.)

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Mom Like Danielle's March 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I am preparing for the bashing now- but I agree with Danielle’s parents. I have a son who has applied to Harvard (probably only because I have hounded him over the past year) and will find out by April 1 if he is accepted (6-8% acceptance rate). He wants to serve in public office…. not just any public office- but maybe say… Supreme Court or beyond…. He has the highest credentials (except not a National Merit Scholar since we were unaware that you had to take the PSAT by Oct of your junior year and our school did not offer this or announce this… grrr) and has applied to 4 schools besides Harvard (including Baylor). After receiving the financial packages at those other schools, Baylor, OCU, and OBU and Tulsa U, we have found it will be THOUSANDS of dollars less to attend Harvard. Their endowments are out of this world- think of the wealthy people who graduated from there and who give back- there is no comparison. While tuition/room/board at Harvard is $56,000, it is between $26,000 and $40,000 a year at the other schools. In our tax bracket, at Harvard we are guaranteed to pay no more than 10% ($5,600) per year at Harvard. The other schools offered large amounts off the top, but come no where close. I am only speaking for my son and his major (plus law school) and hope he realizes the difference Harvard can make for his future. Danielle, you might want to meet him, sounds like you two would get along wonderfully! He is a home boy and even though “Mama knows best” he must decide what is best for him and I will support him 100% (but if he does not choose Harvard if accepted, I will probably cry when he is not looking!). Part of growing up is weighing your options and making your own decisions. After all, you, Danielle, must live with them, not your parents. Good luck to you! You have put a lot of thought into this and will be successful know matter where you go!

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SStahl May 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Danielle, I know its hard to go against your parents but you have to do what you have to do. Yes, Ivy league schools are great but the debt isn’t quite worth it. You may get an amazing scholarship but who knows if you will have the same amount of funding your second or third year? College is unpredictable and if you don’t feel as if you need a degree from a big name college (which in my opinion you don’t) then go to the school you want. There will be less regrets and resentment that way. Parents sometimes need to understand that things are our choice and not always theirs though I am not parents bashing at all. I say do what makes you happy because in the long run that is all that matters. If it helps though, even with a specialization, you don’t need to go to an Ivy league school for an employer to look at you. I’m going to be a medical/surgical oncologist and plan on being a Navy doctor and recruiters let me know that the only way employers actually notice what school you went to, is if they are alumni themselves.
I wish you all the best!!!!

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aro May 31, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I think you should follow your dreams. I’m a film student and instead of choosing the New York Film Institute or UCLA I picked the University of Colorado… I love it there, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Baylor is a well known school, there’s no shame is choosing that over Harvard Medical. Either way you’re going to get a good education so why not pay a little less and get the same training necessary to start the job? Besides, it’s the experience, not where you got the degree, that counts. You could get a degree at the local community college and still become a nurse. What I think is that you should pick the school you’re happy with. School is worth nothing if you don’t enjoy being there… you should enjoy your environment, what the school has to offer, and the overall college experience, and not just go somewhere because it’s top on a list… Lists mean very little in retrospect.

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Susan December 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm

These parents sound just like mine. I went to the school they picked for me, and was unhappy for it. I changed my thinking (it’s much easier to do when you no longer live with your parents) and studied what I wanted and then married the person I wanted to.

I’m successful in my chosen career and am happy with my spouse. Don’t let your parents bully you into thinking you don’t know what is best for you. You know what’s best. Not them.

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