The Trip, Part 2 - Colleges

We went to four state colleges and walked a thousand miles. Every single school was under some sort of construction. It appeared that many other parents of high school had this same idea. We saw several of the same people from school to school.

1. University of West Florida - The pros: small state school, good student to teacher ratio, strong cirriculum in communication arts, best honors program in the state, not as competitive for special programs, own television and radio station, has the best residence halls, good quality of living, well cared for campus, diversified student population, located in the same town as my mom and brother and friends. The cons: small school that's not well known in the state, question as to whether this program of study is or will be accredited or not.

2. Florida State University - The pros: Great athletic department, great communications program, well known school with active alumni, diversified, own stations. Cons: Extremely overcrowded, small area-wise campus for the amount of students, campus was not well kept (does not look at all like the pictures on the website), heavy city traffic going through the school, well known for being a party school (not that we are worried about her wasting her time). Appears that most of the money goes toward the athletic and science departments (just my impression only). Every part of Tallahassee that we saw was run down and dirty. This was the only school where we did not have contact with any school employees, students only.

3. University of Florida - The pros: Everything a big college should be, great communications programs, friendly, well kept campus, diversified. They did everything right in showing off this school during the tour. This is how a big school should give a tour, not like FSU. All our contacts with the town of Gainesville were positive. The cons: Big school and can easily "get lost in the crowd or be intimidating," competitive.

4. University of Central Florida - The pros: Communications program, well kept campus, diversified, close to family, good quality of living, smaller college. The cons: Does not have a good academic reputation.

After touring UF she was all on fire to attend and UWF was her second choice. The more she thought about it the more she got cold feet at the size of the school. I tried to explain to her that it's just because she's in unfamiliar territory and that once she gets used to the surroundings, it would be like home to her. We spent the night at my sister-in-law's home in Orlando, and the two college bound juniors (my niece and daughter) decided that maybe not going to college would be a good idea. They could move to the Florida keys and open a t-shirt shop instead! Yeah, right.