1. AHewlett
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    AHewlett Member

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    American Colleges

    Discussion in 'Research' started by AHewlett, Apr 21, 2012.

    Hey everyone,

    I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in setting development but I'm here either way to ask for your help.

    My story, Boss's Daughter, has hit another crunch in the research world. I've halted writing at the moment because of this block and I can't get my mind off it, mostly because it's annoying me...a lot.

    I understand American's go to college (University for us British people) when their 18 or 19, depending on when they graduate high school. I've got that bit down to a fine T. However, with my character, I'm torn between a couple of the colleges and I wanted everyone's views on which one would be better for the story and for her. My gut is telling me Harvard though I think that's due to the fact that's the only college I know about...apart from Yale.

    So I've done a bit of research and I've made a list. My character (I'll remind you about her) is the secret heiress to her family's business in New York City. She'll take over the business when she's 21 and when she's 19, she'll start formally training to take over. In the meantime, she's going to college to get a business degree.

    1. Columbia, NY. What I liked about this college, after finding it, was that it did a business degree and was also in New York City which meant the character to could have her own home near to the college.
    2. NYU Stern. I don't know much about this college apart from it having a business degree, plus it's in NYC as well.
    3. Yale, CT. It's kinda near to NYC....if you count about an hour near. It's has the business degree and is famous with that old world, traditional sense of education and life.
    4. Harvard, MA. One of my favourites! I don't know what drew me to this college since it's well known for it's law school but thankfully they do a business school as well. It's four hours away from NYC...and I don't know, it just screams 'pick me!'

    But I would like to know everyone else's views, since I have to think of the story and the character. The character herself would probably pick the one near home but would also want one that's well away from home as well.

    Anyway, please let me know what you all think.

    Thanks,
    Anne-Marie.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, those are all universities, not colleges... universities in the us are made up of various colleges, just as oxford is, in england...

    as for which one your character would pick, no one but you can answer that, since you're the one who's created that person and are the only one who'd know what will work best for your plot... yale and harvard are two of the most costly, tuition-wise and living on campus is, as well, though that may not be a problem for this character... they're also very hard to get into, as are columbia and nyu...
     
  3. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Ok business schools near NYC

    There is also Gabelli at Fordham university ( formaly CBA). Right in New York city, Jesuit ( catholic) school. Has a larger traditional campus then NYU or Columbia. The business school is in the Bronx near the zoo and garden, has other campuses in Manhattan and Westchester that are less significant.
    Now just listing business schools in the area friends of mine went to
    Then there is Pace (Manhattan) and Wagner (Staten island) in new your city
    Rutgers in New Jersey.
    Zarb School of Business at Hofstra.
    There is also SUNY and CUNY schools that I really know nothing about.

    it’s not bad they offered me admission.:confused:
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Like mama said, only you can decide. What would she prefer? Does she mind living on campus an hour/four hours away from her parents, depending on which one she chose? Or, does she want to be close to them?

    You said you find Harvard very attractive to her. Start there! If it doesn't work out, try Columbia, NY.
     
  5. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Is she a party girl or does she want an education?

    For example, does she want to go to Harvard, or just say she has a "degree from Harvard"?

    Daddy's little princess, or the victim of a Tiger Mom?

    Might sound trivial, but it's important sometimes in our culture.
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I've heard of 'Daddy's Little Princess', but not 'Victim of a Tiger Mom'. What is that, may I ask?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Think it through, Link. What do you think it means?
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    <goes to research it>

    Oh.

    Lesson to Self #3,410: Do research about it before posting a question on the forums about it like an idiot.

    Um, back to topic: I'm fond of Yale myself. Sounds like a kind of school she would go to.
     
  9. AHewlett
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    AHewlett Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    I'm sorry I got confused between 'universities' and 'colleges' in America but like I said, I'm not use to your educational system.

    She's not a party girl in the sense and her parents don't really care what she does, though she's not a rebel because of it. She's a very complicated character, mostly because I've tried to base her somewhat on me which I've never wanted to do and which is why I'm trying to distance myself from her a bit. Trying not to get too attached than I already am.

    Having a degree in Business probably wouldn't matter seeing as she's getting training and she's already the heiress but having that degree would be a one up on everyone. I'm very torn between Harvard and Columbia. Columbia because it's near and Harvard because it's Harvard. It's very hard to pick is why I wanted someone's view on it, a second opinion as it were.

    I've had a look through the curriculum of both business schools and Harvard looks like the best one as there are many options as well as joint degree's.

    So, there we go, one decision. Harvard.

    Thanks everyone anyway for helping!
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are many, many universities other than these high-visibility, expensive institutions. More believable, too, unless your character comes from money.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    The age would be 17 or 18--school kids start first grade at age six, but the birthday cutoff dates mean that a fair number actually start at five. And then it's twelve years, assuming that they don't skip or fail a grade.

    I think that Harvard, Columbia, Yale, etc., would have a cliched vibe. It's _hard_ to get*into those schools; do you want your character to be genius-like? And wealthy enough to pay huge tuition? And even if they are a genius and wealthy, there are a lot of less well-known, and therefore less cliched, schools.

    Also, do those schools offer an undergraduate business degree? For some reason, I imagined a business degree as being a graduate degree. My college days were in engineering, so I don't have a clue.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Harvard Business School issues undergraduate as well as graduate degrees, and MIT has the Sloan School of Management. I don't know Yale, but I assume they would too. Granted, most companies are more interested in MBA degrees (Master of Business Administration) than in undergrad business degrees.

    There are many smaller schools. There are dozens of colleges and universities in the cities of Boston and Cambridge alone.
     
  13. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Some do offer undergrad, but there are not nearly as many. For example Columbia does not have an undergrad business program, just MBA’s and higher, but Gabelli (Fordham) and Stern ( NYU) do have undergrad.
     
  14. MVP
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    I want to ask why are you being so safe with the character? She will be inheriting a position at a successful business based in NYC, why are you letting her have an Ivy League education? Why not throw her into an average school where no one knows her or her family, and is completely out of her element? Just curious, I'm not trying to change your story around, its your work. It all just sounds very 'perfect' to me.
     
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  15. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I would do that in real life, because I'd want my kid to value the right things. However, in a story does it become a distraction, or does it move the plot?

    I saw something silly happen in the theater once. I doubled dated with my best friend and we went to see "Quigley Down Under." We saw an Aboriginal family on the move, the mother carrying a blonde toddler.

    Suddenly the theater filled with cross-talk about a child they thought should have a darker complexion. I learned several months later that some of their children have lighter colored hair, and the film-maker probably just used a real family for extras. However, this seemingly simple action derailed the plot.

    Tossing daddy's little rich girl into a no-name school, even a good one, might make the reader pause wondering why. You now have to create a scene about values. I had the same issue and solved my problem with a simple scene from the lead's past.
     
  16. MVP
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    That is what story is about, creating tension, making the reader want to know why.
    I don't know what the OP's story is about, so I can't say if this would add or derail her plot, it just made me curious.
     
  17. AHewlett
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    AHewlett Member

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    Once again, thanks to everyone for replying and sharing their views.

    I probably am being a little safe with the character, but sending her to an average school in the middle of the story would distract everyone from the plot. If I was reading about an old money family and their daughter went to an average school, I'd be wondering what she was doing there and not an Ivy League but then again some might wonder why she's not in an average school.

    I'm going to do a bit more research on the school system and for now I'm going to stick with Harvard, unless I change my mind halfway through.

    She's old money and old money does get people in well known schools or businesses. She wouldn't be there for the money, but to learn and to show everyone that she can learn like the rest of them whether it's in Harvard or Stanford.

    Once again, thanks to everyone who replied.
     

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