Two Local UW Schools
Posted: May 9, 2014
This is the time of year when I hear seniors in high school telling their fellow classmates that they can do better than "just settling" for furthering their education at either UW-Eau Claire or UW-Stout. I hear the talk at high school graduation parties and during end-of-the-school-year activities. It's seems like local, intelligent high school seniors are being verbally abused for selecting one of the two local UW schools to attend college.
I have been impressed with both UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout since I have lived in Eau Claire the past 27 years. Both institutions have a lot to offer graduating high school seniors. In fact, unlike the junior college scene that was popular in Northern Illinois where I was raised, the Chippewa Valley Technical College is also an ideal option for higher learning for some students.
I remember when my girlfriend's daughter was considering where she wanted to attend college. She looked at a few schools, but wasn't sure if UWEC was the best option. That's mostly because so many other of her high school classmates were going to become Blugolds and the campus was located only eight miles from our home.
The graduate's biggest concern was that her mother was going to be too close to her living quarters in the residence hall and that she would feel like UWEC would be an extension of high school.
On the contrary, the UW-Eau Claire campus is a world of its own. It is insulated from the rest of the community and my girlfriend's daughter is only visited by her mother when asked. The best part for the teenage daughter is that she is only a few minutes from home if she needs time to get away from campus and decompress.
Earlier this week, UW-Eau Claire was ranked among the top three colleges and universities in Wisconsin and Minnesota, public or private, in annual return on investment (ROI) for students who pay in-state tuition and receive financial aid. The annual ROI report, which was compiled by PayScale.com, ranked UW-Eau Claire only behind the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and UW-Platteville.
It's a shame that too many gifted high school seniors in the Chippewa Valley probably do not even consider attending UW-Eau Claire or UW-Stout because of its proximity to home. I know for a fact that my girlfriend's daughter has found happiness and a whole new world at UW-Eau Claire - and she rarely sees other high school alumni - unless she wants to.