Kyle--Just curious..Did you say before that you all visited Texas A&M? If so, what did you think? I am curious about the school. My oldest is thinking of working for an oil company in Houston or maybe going to grad school and A&M is one he is considering.
A&M is primarily a school devoted to vets or other animal-type careers, OR those who're interested in engineering, which Robert has no interest in either. It IS a very conservative school while UT is considered very liberal.
As a Texas A&M alumna I'd have to agree and disagree with this. While it is known as a conservative school for the most part, things have changed a lot over the past ten years. Especially with current President and the move to the SEC, the campus is opening up more and more. and while I would not call it liberal by any stretch, it is becoming more so.
As a freshman, it is just as difficult to get into A&M as UT. All colleges are competitive. However, I know some schools - like UT - perpetuate the myth that it is much harder to get into their school than others. It's a marketing ploy and many people fall for it.
I will have to say that A&M is by far one of the most welcoming campuses you can be a part of. I've been to many colleges over the years and none so far have compared. There is a very real camaraderie that people are included in by just being on campus. For a larger town, there is a very small town atmosphere. It is very welcoming and accepting. You hear stories about the "Howdy" and students and faculty helping people. It really is true. But even with the small town feel, you don't have to be without the things you'd expect in a larger city, so it is a wonderful mesh of both worlds.
As for "A&M is primarily a school devoted to vets or other animal-type careers, OR those who're interested in engineering", this is false
. While those two things are large parts of the Texas A&M system, these are by no means the only avenues of study Aggies are known for: architecture, accounting, finance, education, engineering, veterinary sciences, chemistry, genetics, microbiology, forensics, history, psychology, etc.
I'm honestly not trying to be rude, I just want to point out that there is a very real misconception about A&M that even other Texans have. In my opinion, if you want a quality school without the big city feel, it's the best option around.
My suggestion for anyone looking to go to a specific college: visit the campus multiple times, talk to advisors, talk to students, spend the weekend (parents weekend is a good (crowded) one, but most colleges have a weekend set aside for visiting students), talk to alumni.
For college students, once you are admitted, join a few campus groups, use the free resources the college provides. As a student, sometimes it is difficult to see the things that are good to do until you miss out. Go to the student center and find groups you like.
For parents of college students, find a parent group, encourage your student to be actively involved in student groups. Aggies have a group called Aggie Moms. There are chapters all around the country. One thing I loved when I was there was the exam packs. Parents paid (I think $20-40) for a pack. In the pack (ours was always a big plastic bin) was snacks, drinks, pencils, pens, scantrons, etc. The pack is designed to help you through exam week and give you one less thing to worry about, plus to let you know your parents were thinking of you.
Anyway, if anyone has questions about A&M or college in general, feel free to PM me and I'll share anything I know.