Alec's Accepted Student Day at JWU

Last spring when Alec started his college planning I was pretty surprised that he only wanted to visit 2 colleges out of state (he visited a few in-state with his high school culinary class).  He ultimately decided to apply to just the 2 colleges we visited-- Johnson and Wales University (JWU) and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Both ranked as the #1 & #2 schools in the U.S for culinary and baking/pastry arts. Funny enough out of his 2 culinary teachers he's had in high school one attended each of those schools! 

Photo of harborside campus from last spring

JWU Future wildcat photo also from last spring

Visiting the CIA over the summer

We were lucky that both schools are easily visited in a day and we had a great time touring them both. Alec made sure to ask lots and lots of questions. The two schools were so comparable to one another that we had quite the pro/con list going.  He LOVED the CIA's campus and that it was along a river and rather rural and quiet... but he really, really wanted to have the option to study abroad and JWU had a fantastic program for that. I convinced him to keep his options open and just apply and see. 

He submitted his applications early to both schools and knew by Thanksgiving that he had been accepted to both and even better they offered him very comparable and generous merit scholarships as well. He knew by then that JWU was his top choice.  We're so excited for our future Wildcat! 

We spent last Friday at one of JWU's accepted students days.

The day started at the Omni hotel with complimentary valet service and we were ushered into their event room. Each of the families had assigned seating and we sat with other bakery/pastry students. Each table was assigned one faculty member to answer any questions we had. 


I think they said they had about 600 people in attendance that day. There were a few opening speakers talking about life at JWU and then we were served a really delicious lunch. 


We had a field green salad and some fresh bread to start then Alec and I got the roasted veggies with risotto while the rest of the table had chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes. 


They topped off our meal with a delicious chocolate cake. There were also little individually wrapped bonbons at each seat that had been made by the baking/pastry/culinary students at JWU. 


Once the meal was over they dismissed tables a few at a time and we loaded onto JWU buses to head to their downcity campus for a few seminars before we could head off touring. 

Our first seminar was about resident life and they went over the different dorm options, the meal plans, the dining options, etc. 


JWU has a few programs that are pretty unique! Students can bring their pets with them to live in the dorms if they so choose; they can also live in gender inclusive dorm rooms.  All of Alec's friends tend to be female or were assigned female at birth and are transitioning so we had been joking that he wouldn't be able to bunk with friends anyway; but maybe he can. 



From there we went to a financial aid appointment; sadly, that's where our day ended. These financial aid offices were swamped and running behind on all appointments-- mostly because colleges are left trying to fill the gap this year.  The government is in the process of re-doing their financial aid system and are lagging so far behind this year. They basically gave us a best guess estimate but it was great to go through all of Alec's merit based scholarships and learn more about them and how they'll be used over the next 4 years. 


Luckily we had done the campus tour last spring and Alec has since been back on campus 2 more times so he didn't feel like he was missing out on much.  We also missed a seminar called freshman orientation... BUT there is a mandatory overnight freshmen orientation over the summer that he'll attend and I'm sure he'll get plenty of information then! 

The more we visit the more I can just see him loving campus life and all the opportunities this campus offers. 

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Comments

  1. Congratulations to Alec! I know you're both so excited for him and his bright future. The school sounds like it will be a perfect fit for him!

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    1. Thank you! I definitely think it's going to be a perfect fit.

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  2. So exciting! How far from home will he be? I was so scared about the financial part, but it really wasn't as bad as everyone had made me think. We only look at one semester at a time, all the scholarships come off the top, then you can break the amount into 5 monthly payments or they offer no interest loans. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer!

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    1. It's not even a full hour away so close enough he can come home on long weekends if he wants (they have classes Mon-Thurs and get every Friday off). I'm not really worried about the finances... until Evan starts school that is! JWU actually offers monthly payment plans spread out over 12 months if we wanted to go that route but his scholarships cover something like 40% of the total cost and he'll have them all 4 years that he's there as long as he takes a minimum of 12 credits each semester.

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  3. Congrats to your son! It's such an exciting time. I am in the same boat. My two sons are both figuring out college plans. One for a master's and one for a bachelor's. Not ready to be an empty nester!

    https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  4. This is so exciting, congratulations Alec!

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  5. Oh this is super exciting! Congratulations to Alec!!!

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  6. Congratulations to Alec and to all of you- such an exciting time- I am sure he will thrive there- what a beautiful campus!

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    1. Thank you! Both of their campuses (they have one right in the city and one just a few minutes bus ride away near the harbor) are quite lovely and yet have very different vibes.

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  7. Congrats! So Good to know where Alec is finally going. Being from New England I know JWU is top notch. We are still in the deciding process in our house.

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    1. Thank you! He knew where he wanted to go before he even got his letters in the mail!

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  8. This is exciting! Congratulations to Alec! These days always made me want to go back to college, ha!

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    1. Yes! Me too! I feel like I could really take advantage of all the programs now but I was much too anxious and shy to bother then.

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  9. Congrats to Alec!! Such an exciting new chapter coming up for him. I always wished I studied abroad in college.

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    1. Thank you! I both wanted to and was terrified to all at the same time.

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  10. That is so awesome! Congratulations! Do his merit scholarship cover any of the lodging? I have been curious how it works in different states. My son only applied to 2 schools too but only got accepted in one (the other one was MIT lol and their acceptance rate is 4% but he made it to their second round).
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. His merit scholarships covers about 40% of the total cost of attendance so it does not include room and board (or we could say it only covers room and board! LOL). He does have to keep a minimum of 12 credits each semester to have those scholarships but they are guaranteed for all 4 years regardless of his GPA. He also plans to apply to be an RA in the dorms next year and they get free room/parking/ etc. so his second year should be substantially cheaper if he goes that route.

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  11. Congrats to Alec. What an exciting time.

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  12. So exciting! Such a mix of emotions for you, I'm sure.

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    1. At this point I'm just mostly excited; I'm sure all those other emotions will come into play the closer it gets.

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  13. Congratulations! What a fun day and so exciting.

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    1. It was a really fun day; I don't remember colleges doing anything like this back when I was accepted.

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  14. How exciting! Time is such a thief, way too fast!

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  15. Congrats! The school seems perfect for Alec and I think you´ll all like the fact that he´s fairly close by. By this time next month, Alyssa will have made her decision (she pretty much HAS to by May, lol!).

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    1. Yeah I do like that he's fairly close by; but something tells me we won't be seeing a whole lot of him. I can totally see him joining ALL the clubs and activities. He's very social

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  16. That's great he was accepted, great he can bunk with friends and I'm AMAZED they can bring pets. How fabulous. Our colleges are almost all Unisex and have been since I went in the 1980s (In Australia). We even had share bathrooms (inc showers) so I find the current furore really weird. We managed just fine in the 80's but can't now?? But pets? That's next level - and a wonderful one at that. Congratulations to you all, and exciting times ahead! #WeekendCoffeeShare

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  17. Gosh, this is the most exciting time for him and for you guys. I love how he is so focused on what he wants to do.
    XOOX
    Jodie

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  18. Congrats to Alec and the proud parents! It's an exciting time for you all. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

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  19. Congrats to Alec!
    Sounds like he's found the perfect fit for his culinary journey.
    The campus and programs sound fantastic, and I'm sure he'll thrive there.
    Wishing him all the best as he embarks on this exciting new chapter!

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  20. Congratulations to all of you and especially Alec! How exciting for him...a new life just opening up! It is hard to sit back and let them make the choice, isn't it? The only thing we ever did was tell our daughter she couldn't attend a very large state school. And, the only reason we did that was because that was where her then boyfriend attended. It was really too bad because she was offered a 3/4 scholarship to attend. She would have been in all Honors classes. But, she loved the college she did attend.

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. I had no problems sitting back and letting him make his own choices, but I knew he'd choose wisely and would do great at either college.

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  21. This is so exciting. You must be so rightfully proud of him and his accomplishments. Three cheers! I'll look forward to hearing more of his adventures (and see more of his cooking!) as school continues!

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  22. Congratulations! We have a weekend house near CIA and so many of the graduates stay in the area and open/work in restaurants, making a rural area a bit of a dining destination! But many of my friends kids have gone to JWU and every single one LOVED it and is working in their field ;)

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    1. We did see many delicious dining looking options in that area! I really thought both programs looked and sounded wonderful.

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  23. Congratulations to Alec! JWU sounds like an amazing school and what a welcome, the food looks incredible!
    Ruth@playworkeatrepeat

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  24. How exciting! A huge congrats to Alec and wishing him all the very best on this new chapter. :)

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  25. Congratulations! I would love to have a child in the family who was an amazing chef! Lucky you!

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  26. What exciting news! Congrats to Alec and his proud parents, too!

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  27. Oh my goodness!!! Congratulations to Alec and to you his parents! It’s so wonderful that he is following his dreams. I’m so happy for him and you. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

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  28. Oh, Joanne! How exciting! Sending hugs to all of you!

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  29. Congratulations to Alec! This is so exciting!

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  30. What a beautiful family photo!

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  31. Congratulations! I am so happy for him. A perfect fit and studying abroad would be so wonderful too.

    -Soma

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  32. How exciting. Congratulations!! The food looks amazing

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