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Which would you choose.


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So you have large scholarship and grant offers from two schools. Both schools will cost about the same after scholarships. One school is a top five ranked wrestling schools in their division but has few choices academically in fact none of the degree paths you hope to study except in a very general way but they are a very strong academic school. The other has a wrestling program that is not very strong but has been getting better and has the exact degree you want to study. Which do you choose.

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Most definitely student athlete. While it would always be nice to go straight to a strong team. Look at the academics first as this wil move you though life. Then go out and beast up to help maximize the teams abilities!

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It's almost has to be the school and especially degree the student want.  In my opinion (and it's just my opinion) the prestige and size of a program is only important for football and basketball where being "drafted" into the professional level is an issue.  In "Olympic" sports for lack of a better term most of the time competition is inter divisional anyway and moving to the next level is an individual concentration.  Besides like I told my son he will wrestle for the next 4 years but work for the next 40, so get the degree you want.  This is a great post because we just had this talk a couple of weeks ago.

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I agree with the others sentiments: academics over athletics, but that 'might not' be the best question. How strong academically is the first school compared to the second? Does the first school have other strong programs that are compatable/similar? How strong is the student's commitment to the degree program? Students change programs very frequently. Often they change to similar programs, but in other cases they move in a completely different direction. If your student has a 4.35 HS GPA and has always wanted to be a Physician that's one thing, but if he is a good solid student that over the years has given thought to multiple career paths maybe a specific degree program isn't the end all be all.

 

Not that you don't know this, but there is more to chosing a school than athletics or degree program (academic quality, the make up of the faculty, staff, & students, fit/feel, support services, facilities, location, size, etc.). If the schools are otherwise a toss up then, like someone said, it is a no brainer.

Edited by gsmith58
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Be careful getting hung up on a Major or a specific degree.  There are a few certain things you need a very specific program/degree for but most majors can be interchangeable.  A "business" degree can be very generic as can things like pre-law or pretty much "pre" anything.  Any accredited college will be able to get you to graduate school or into ALMOST any field you want to go into.  I'd probably pick the school that is stronger academically overall. 

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I agree with the others sentiments: academics over athletics, but that 'might not' be the best question. How strong academically is the first school compared to the second? Does the first school have other strong programs that are compatable/similar? How strong is the student's commitment to the degree program? Students change programs very frequently. Often they change to similar programs, but in other cases they move in a completely different direction. If your student has a 4.35 HS GPA and has always wanted to be a Physician that's one thing, but if he is a good solid student that over the years has given thought to multiple career paths maybe a specific degree program isn't the end all be all.

 

Not that you don't know this, but there is more to chosing a school than athletics or degree program (academic quality, the make up of the faculty, staff, & students, fit/feel, support services, facilities, location, size, etc.). If the schools are otherwise a toss up then, like someone said, it is a no brainer.

 

 

The first school is exceptionally strong academically but they only have the basic science degrees, Bio., Chem.,  etc and he hopes to carry on to grad and possible PHD in a specific healthcare field.  The second school is about the same size, is still a strong academic school, maybe not as highly regarded as the first, but it has significantly more choices for the specific degree paths he hopes to make a career in.  This is where the choice gets hard.  He could choose to just take Bio. at the first and it would satisfy the pre-req’s needed for the specific grad school path, but not sure if he would enjoy this path as much as diving into the field he has already been work in with an internship and volunteering and knows he loves.  Both schools seem to have coaches that are passionate and have been talking to us a lot.  They are both offering a lot of money academically so we need to make a decision in the next couple weeks to secure them.

 

I know the academics is the most important part of this decision and we are leaning toward the second but the first is an amazing school in every way, it's just the degree path that has us a little concerned.

 

It's not that we are expecting to make a decision based on this thread but I always enjoy seeing what thoughts and ideas come out of this great community.  I’ll miss it for sure. 

 

 

 

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Degree > Wrestling... Many kids end up going to play college sports and end up hating it and quit. Sports are not always about winning.

I'll also go on to say that the more specific your degree is the better off you will be. I have a "Generic" degree and had a hard time finding a position in my field when there are people out there with specific degrees related to that job rather than my degree that was related to a whole bunch of jobs.

Edited by Super_Fan
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If you are looking at going in the healthcare field, it is really important to look at the placement rates into grad school or medical school too. Some colleges can really pitch that they are very prestigious or exceptionally strong academically, but it is better to look at facts such as placement rates rather than generalizations.

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I love the opportunity to plug my Alma Mater here.  If he is serious about a career in the medical field and wants to have a great chance to get into grad school, I'd recommend he looks into Wabash College.  I actually suspect that Wabash may be "Option A" in this scenario.  Take a look at grad school placement rates, you'll be astonished!

 

Here's a link to the "colleges that change lives" brief on Wabash http://www.ctcl.org/colleges/wabash#academics

Edited by Bash513
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The first school is exceptionally strong academically but they only have the basic science degrees, Bio., Chem.,  etc and he hopes to carry on to grad and possible PHD in a specific healthcare field.  The second school is about the same size, is still a strong academic school, maybe not as highly regarded as the first, but it has significantly more choices for the specific degree paths he hopes to make a career in.  This is where the choice gets hard.  He could choose to just take Bio. at the first and it would satisfy the pre-req’s needed for the specific grad school path, but not sure if he would enjoy this path as much as diving into the field he has already been work in with an internship and volunteering and knows he loves.  Both schools seem to have coaches that are passionate and have been talking to us a lot.  They are both offering a lot of money academically so we need to make a decision in the next couple weeks to secure them.

 

I know the academics is the most important part of this decision and we are leaning toward the second but the first is an amazing school in every way, it's just the degree path that has us a little concerned.

 

It's not that we are expecting to make a decision based on this thread but I always enjoy seeing what thoughts and ideas come out of this great community.  I’ll miss it for sure. 

 

 

 

It sounds as if you are taking a thorough and systematic approach, which is good.  I don't think the answer is simple enough to be answered on a message board.  It's not as simple as academics vs. athletics as you know.  You definitely have to factor in the likelihood his path of study could change.  It may not seem like it now, but a change in majors, even multiple times is more common than not.  I don't think you can look past the quality of life issue as well.  Where will he more enjoy living for the next 4-5 years?  A college should not be chosen just for the parties, but college should be fun!  Where can he find the best balance?  Could there be additional connections made at the first school despite it not being perfect (at least for now) academically?  Could the major wrestling program help provide more alumni connections?  Or in his hoped field, would they even be necessary?  Would the city/state of the chosen school be more advantageous after graduation or is that a non-issue?

 

On the athletic side, how would he react if he goes to the top school and never becomes a varsity starter?  Will he handle the competition well in terms of how it affects his overall enjoyment of the school?  If things don't go well with wrestling, how will that affect the decision?  Will he regret not choosing one option if things don't work out?  Either way?

 

What about the size of the school and his comfort level with that?  I preferred a smaller school, but others may prefer the big university.  Does he like the general atmosphere of one school more than the other?  

 

Obviously, in a highly technical field, some of these issues may not matter as much.   I agree that long term academics is generally more important, but there has to be an overall balance.  An athlete that takes care of the academic side and uses his sport connections can open a wider path than one simply focusing on academics alone.

 

I'm sure you've thought about much of this, but hope it helps a little.

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