We were in Chicago this past week, hence the late blog entry. We drove out on the 9th and returned Friday. We visited three colleges with Mike. We stayed in the suburbs with Dave and Carlota. They just bought a three bedroom townhouse in July. It’s real nice, fairly new and the previous owner added a lot of neat features to it. They still need to paint and get some pictures on the walls, etc., but they are coming along nicely.
On Monday, Dennis, Mike and I drove into downtown and to Hyde Park to visit the University of Chicago. It is Mike’s first choice, but it is a fairly small private college so it may be hard to get in to. I think they said they get 21,000 applicants and accept about 3,000 of those. Last year 1200 freshmen enrolled at University of Chicago. 86% of the students were in the top 10% of their class. Mike is in the top 10% (unless he blows it this year) and he has a high ACT score, but we also need to look at the kind of financial aid available because tuition runs close to $30,000 a year. The average University of Chicago student has an ACT score between 32-34.
After the tour, we headed back downtown to Navy Pier where we ate and spent the rest of the day.
On Tuesday we toured Loyola University on Lake Shore Drive. They have a campus downtown at Water Tower Place as well. It had a totally different “feel” than University of Chicago. More modern. At both colleges there was construction but U of Chicago they were renovating old buildings while Loyola was tearing down old buildings and putting up new. Loyola has a beautiful campus with a fantastic view of Lake Michigan.
On Wednesday we drove to Northwestern University at Evanston, just north of downtown Chicago and a little further north than Loyola. Mike really liked Evanston. The first thing we did was stop to eat. A couple blocks from campus is an Irish pub called the Celtic Knot. It was one of the few places open for lunch nearby so we stopped there. Mike said that was a positive in his eyes for Northwestern! It was a great little place. The tour of Northwestern was pretty boring, but they have a neat campus as well. Northwestern was started by some Methodist ministers, but no longer has any religious affiliation, they said.
Mike is vacillating among all three campuses. He may end up at UNL if he doesn’t get good scholarships, though, because all three places have high tuition, between $23,000-30,000 a year. We will see who can give us the best deal, I guess.
On Thursday, we took the Metra train downtown. Carlota went with us. (We were tired of driving.) We did a little sightseeing, going from the Loop to Millennium Park to the Chicago River. We took a boat tour on the Chicago River. I had done that years ago when I was in Chicago for a convention. Dennis had never been on that tour. We used to go out on Lake Michigan on boat tours a lot, but never the river. Anyway, it’s a fun tour with looks of architectural information given. We had an extra treat on Thursday. Both at Millennium Park and on the boat tour, we saw the Blue Angels flew over. It was so cool! They were practicing for the big air show this weekend. I caught a couple brief pictures, but missed several times. Once while we were on the boat, we saw them do a loop-dee-loop between two skyscrapers (or rather, it appeared they were between the two buildings.) They left pinkish-purple smoke behind. It almost looked like the pink ribbon you see for breast cancer awareness. I wished I would’ve gotten a picture of that!