Apparently the entire world doesn't live in Texas.
This is news to most Texans, but I try not to let it be news to me. However, in my last post, apparently my description of my son's college decision process was a little too abbreviated. So, in the interest of being clear for my readers, and in the interest of having something to post about, I'll clarify.
Son the Older had originally considered some pretty hefty schools -- MIT, CalTech, Tufts, and Rice, all of which were places he sent his SAT scores. When it comes time to actually apply to schools though, one only wants to fill out so many applications. He must take after me that way; I think I only applied to one school. He applied to two: Rice and Texas A&M. Rice was his first choice, with A&M being an easy backup.
For those not in Texas, I'll explain: if a high school student is in the top 10% of his or her class, they are automagically admitted to any Texas state school (A&M, University of Texas, Texas Tech, etc.). This is great for the top 10% but is a bit of a pain for the other 90%, and the point has been made that it's unfairly skewed toward small school districts. I think it's unfairly skewed toward dumb schools (my class was pretty seriously dumb, as evidenced by the fact that I came in 3rd in a class of over 400), but whatever. Make the class rank and you're in, is the point. My boy is easily in the top 10%, so he knew he was automatic for A&M.
Both Rice and A&M have great engineering programs -- this is the son's intended field of study -- so either school is great for him. Unfortunately, Rice did not choose to admit him, for reasons which of course they don't disclose to you. You just get the "we get a lot of qualified applicants, and we're sorry, but we're not going to admit you" letter. He apparently wasn't surprised, but I was, and several people that I talked to were as well. I did hear after the fact that Rice has gotten considerably more difficult to get into in recent years.
Financially, I'm a little relieved: Rice is a private school, and A&M has a great scholarship that I had when I went there that I hope he can get as well. But Rice's marching band, the MOB (Marching Owl Band) is a ton of fun, and he would have enjoyed it. A&M's band is military, and my boy is in no way military, so that's the end of his marching band career. A little sad, but oh well.
Hubby and I both went to A&M, although hubby has always been what's called a "two percenter" (you're either a two percenter or a real Aggie -- someone who bleeds maroon). Son the Older is almost a carbon copy of his dad, so I see two percentedness in his future. Sad, because the traditions are much of the fun at A&M, in my opinion. Still, he'll have a great time there.
Now we just have to find him a nice geekchick like dear old Mom, right? ;-)