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With my son in his senior year in high school, the college experience looms near in his future. He started the year with a 3.5 GPA, SAT scores of Math-690, Reading-580, and Writing-660.

He sent applications to Virginia Tech (his original first choice), University of Pittsburgh, Christopher Newport University and as a last resort, Old Dominion University. He wants to go into Biochemistry with some very vague plans in the medical field after that. Tech has a specific BioChem program though it appears Pitt does not (though they offer all the equivalent classes I believe.)

He recently took a trip with a friend (whose father is a doctor) to the University of Pittsburgh. That became his new favorite university. Fortunately for him, he just got accepted into their Arts and Sciences school!! I can't begin to tell you how proud I am and how happy I am for him. We still haven't heard from Tech yet, and his decision on where to go is not finalized by any stretch, but he's in at least one anyway. I think it's likely that Tech will accept him as well, as will Christopher Newport (which is likely out of the running now much like ODU).

It was only recently that he decided on BioChem and medicine whereas before he was considering engineering. In light of that, he never seriously looked at the University of Virginia. Now, I have suggested to him that he should revisit that consideration as they are ranked highly for med school as well. In most reports we have read on the 'net, Pitt ranks 16 in the nation (Med Schools/Research) whereas UVA ranks around 25. Either place would be great for him I think.

My son intelligently recognizes the dilemna of his college choices as "a good problem to have." Who says being a parent is a sacrifice?

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Word of advice: (which I'm sure you've heard over and over again) Keep your options open. Most students change their major or career path at least once. The one that is good for med school as well sounds like a good call because he will have more options if he changes his mind.

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Who says being a parent is a sacrifice?
Bad parents, of course. It's nice to know parents like you are out there! Congrats!

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Congratulations to your son for his achievements and to you for your success as a parent!

I was an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon (right down the block from the University of Pittsburgh) from 1999 - 2003 so if you have any questions about life as an undergraduate in the Pittsburgh area I would be more than happy to do my best to answer them.

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Today my son received a response from VA Tech and he was accepted there as well!

So his two real choices are U of Pitt and VA Tech.

Congratulations to your son for his achievements and to you for your success as a parent!

I was an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon (right down the block from the University of Pittsburgh) from 1999 - 2003 so if you have any questions about life as an undergraduate in the Pittsburgh area I would be more than happy to do my best to answer them.

Thanks, I gladly keep that in mind! Carnegie Mellon, very nice.

I have one question right off; how safe is the area?

He's seen Pitt, but we have not. His friend's father (an M.D.) is an alumni and he took them up there to show them around. We've all seen VA Tech, which is why we (the parents anyway) are more comfortable with Tech. It's in a small town rural area vs. a big city.

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I have one question right off; how safe is the area?

He's seen Pitt, but we have not. His friend's father (an M.D.) is an alumni and he took them up there to show them around. We've all seen VA Tech, which is why we (the parents anyway) are more comfortable with Tech. It's in a small town rural area vs. a big city.

I feel terrible for not noticing this question sooner. If you would still like to know, I considered Pittsburgh to be pretty safe although certainly not crime free. Especially compared to Atlanta. The worst crime reports I have heard consisted of a student getting mugged after wandering around, well off-campus by himself at around 2am.

In terms of the city, the "worst" parts of Pittsburgh are certainly not close to the campuses of U Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. Anyway, if you have more questions about Pittsburgh, feel free to send me a personal message.

Congratulations to you and your son for his success as a college applicant!

Edited by DarkWaters

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Thanks DarkWaters for the information and thanks Groove!!!

I honestly can't believe I forgot to post a follow up in my own thread. My son chose VA Tech and he starts in the fall. He was accepted into the School of Chemistry, specifically BioChemistry. His long term plans at this point are to be a doctor in some specialty field.

Like any proud parent of a great kid, I am both happy for him and sad to see him leave home. When we take him out there in August it's going to be a very emotional day I'm sure. :D:thumbsup:

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Congratulations to you and your son!

I have at least thirty friends and acquaintances who attend Virginia Tech. They all enjoy it. I don't think any are involved in the Chemistry program, however, so I cannot give you an insider's perspective. I should let you know that every friend or acquaintance I have spoken to in Blacksburg has stated that they feel no less safe than they did before the massacre. Blacksburg is a very quiet, safe town, and you shouldn't be concerned (if you are).

I was accepted in Virginia Tech as a transfer student a few weeks ago, but I have chosen to go to the University of Virginia instead. I'm a Humanities guy, so Tech wasn't exactly the best choice for me.

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