Heading to Jordan next year means we leave right when most kids start doing their heavy duty college visiting. We don't have that kind of time with selling a house and moving overseas, so now is Katherine's time.
Over the summer we toured William & Mary on our way back from the beach. The beautiful campus received high marks from both girls but the tour was lackluster... no dorm view, no classrooms, no food court, no sports venue, etc. The campus was under renovation so everything was off-limits but the library and while the library was awesome it wasn't enough to truly inspire an application. The history of the school and Williamsburg, the architecture and connections to our forefathers, way cool. If we have the chance to go back over the next few months we'll get more out of it but even so, there isn't a major nursing program for Katherine, nor an arts program that attracted Rebecca's interest.
While in New York, Rebecca and I stopped by Juilliard. An arts school in the middle of the city, where students are completely fixated on one area of life. Though the idea was interesting, Rebecca determined that wasn't how she wanted to spend college. She wants the campus experience, the community, the options. Juilliard is not a match for Katherine either.
So yesterday we took the girls to our alma mater, Marymount University, right here in northern Virginia with a view of the District. The nursing program is top-notch, the fashion arts program is well-regarded. Honestly, it's not a good fit for Rebecca. It's small, without the programs she's interested in, namely film, directing, photography, music, and the like. She's in 8th grade, cut her some slack for not pinpointing her future career. But for Katherine, it's a perfect fit. Close to "home" (aka, grandma and grandpa), small classes with personalized instruction, only 900 residents, Catholic based, DC at the doorstep. Options without being overwhelming. Great education without feeling lost.
There are other visits planned. In November we're scheduled for UVA (a designed college town), and George Mason (big state school). In the spring we'll check out Georgetown (Katherine's #1 choice), Mary Washington (all girls in Fredericksburg) and John's Hopkins (top medical school). By the time we're done, Katherine should have a good sense of what kind of schools she'd like to apply to. And Rebecca will be well on the way to drawing up her perfect college experience as well.