It took Emma a while to decide what she wanted to study in college. John and I (naturally) thought she'd make an excellent engineer, but she was not convinced. Then she took an AP Statistics course and loved it. She aced the course and scored a 5 on the AP Exam. She asked her teacher if there were any careers in Statistics and was delighted to hear that it was actually a sought-after field, highly employable. She also loves research, especially the study of people, so she's hoping to combine those interests into a career as a research statistician.
We started researching universities with Statistics majors and discovered that it was a Masters level degree at most institutions. The University of Washington offers a Bachelors degree in Statistics so we went out and toured the campus last year, but while Emma loved it, the finances and geography made it an impractical choice, especially with so many great schools in Texas. As we explained, her college fund could be stretched to cover part of grad school with in-state tuition, but would be depleted much faster with out-of-state tuition.
John came across an article about Texas A&M possibly starting a Statistics undergraduate program in the Fall of 2016. After talking to the head of the department it seemed extremely likely to be added, so Emma put all of her energies into getting accepted to A&M. She retook her SAT's and increased her score. She wrote three amazing essays. Then we went on a prospective student tour and left feeling a little discouraged. By State law, Texas public universities are required to admit all applicants from the top 10% of their graduating class from accredited Texas high schools. The top 10% makes up the bulk of incoming freshman at A&M. While Emma has a good GPA, she attends a huge and very high-performing high school. The top 10% in her school all have GPA's of 4.3 or higher. (I know!) With Emma's rank, she had to apply for one of the "review" spots, which only encompass 13% of the incoming freshman and includes the out-of-state applicants as well. Even worse, they don't consider major choices when deciding who to admit. So even though Emma does not intend to study engineering, business or architecture (the 3 most sought-after majors at A&M) it wouldn't increase her odds for acceptance. We started to consider "Plan B's" and hoped that if she wasn't admitted straight in, that A&M would offer her an alternative for her Freshman year - either Blinn team (the local junior college) or one of their other campuses.
I'm fairly sure I'm going to be a blubbering mess when I drop her off in College Station next fall. Karl will be staying home for another year to work on some additional computer certifications and take some community college courses, so at least I'm not sending them both off at the same time. Still, I look at the photos of Emma and all I can see is this:
Love you, baby girl! Congratulations!