nimo956 wrote:I just want to stress that the top-ranked school may not necessarily be the best fit for your child as an individual. It really requires a level of honesty and introspection that he may not be willing to admit at this age. When I was his age I thought the world was my oyster, I am going to do whatever I'm interested in, and there's no one who can tell me to do differently. The truth though is that a lot of these schools like MIT are extremely cut-throat. There's a lot of pressure to keep up with and compete with other students who are probably at the genius level. They load up on 7-8 honors level classes per semester, get straight A's in all of them, take courses simultaneously that are supposed to be sequentially, are Putman Fellows, etc. This could make your son feel like he needs to keep up. He'll overextend himself, do poorly, and then start to feel inferior/depressed. I've personally known people this has happened to at MIT. Let me tell you that a C GPA at MIT doesn't mean much compared to an A from a slightly lower ranked school when looking for a job or to go to graduate school. It could be beneficial to consider some of these lower ranked schools, or perhaps small liberal arts colleges where there is more individual attention. I'm not saying that this will definitely happen to your son, but I feel it's an important point to consider.
If he is lucky enough to be admitted to a school of that caliber, and if he were to do poorly there, we would not hesitate to pursue Plan B. He would not find us resistant.
I don't understand why, just because a less than stellar outcome is possible, we would avoid the opportunity.