For those of you following the story of my son’s college application process, we have an update.
My son did not get into his uncontested first choice, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. While we knew this was a long shot because they only take 89 kids, nine of which are from the previous year’s wait list and half of which are girls, my son was nonetheless deeply emotionally invested in hoping to go there. He received a well written letter saying he had what they were looking for but so did many other applicants, yada yada; they were overwhelmed with the quality of applications they received.
We also have heard from WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) where he expected to get in. We had a moment of trepidation last week when talking to a very intelligent friend of my son’s who was saying that she was on pins and needles waiting to hear from WPI as it was her first choice and her “reach” school. Had we overstepped our expectations counting on my son getting in this school as his “safety” school?
Apparently not. Yesterday we learned that Andrew not only got in but has been offered the Presidential Merit Scholarship! This compliment softens the Olin blow, and assures us that we were not offtrack in our assessments. It also makes WPI financially viable for us in the face of the more deep-pocketed, financial aid generous schools he will not hear from until April, since funding was our concern with him considering WPI.
He really liked WPI and could be happy there. It had the first Robotics Engineering major in the country, which is a concentration which most schools still do not offer. He had been so impressed with WPI that he had eliminated good possibilities like Princeton, Brown, Haverford, Tufts and Principia from his initial application list, having clarity that he’d rather go to WPI over these well-ranked places. He may choose it over the other schools he applied to as well.
In April we hear from Columbia, Cornel, Carnegie-Melon, Harvey Mudd, Reed, Swarthmore and Dartmouth. Admission at all these schools is highly competitive and selective, and along with WPI, these schools are still all equal options in my son’s mind. Some of these schools he has not even visited yet and we may be racing around doing that in the spring, so he can make an informed decision. If he had gotten into Olin, the decision would have been clear-cut for him; now he will have to weigh carefully options that are still wonderful, but their comparative advantages are not all that obvious. The decision will be completely his own, and I think that feels scary to him right now, but I know God will help him.
I’m grateful he knows these answers so soon from both Olin and WPI. He can settle into getting over not getting into his top choice, as well as be reassured that a place he is really interested in has not only accepted him but is aggressively courting him. Meanwhile, he awaits the rest of his hand to be dealt. I’ll keep you posted…