Why Davidson?

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Savannah Heager '16 with her parnetsIt’s that rite of passage for parents of future college students everywhere—the College Tour Circuit. Davidson was the first school we visited and frankly didn’t know much about, other than our nephew was a ’01 graduate and raved about his experience (something Davidson alumni tend to do, we would learn).

So, with a daughter who had thoroughly researched and planned (also typical of a Davidson student), we hit the ground running. We visited enormous state universities, medium-sized schools and other cozy campuses. There was also a stop at mom’s alma mater, yet all roads led back to Davidson.

Determined (yet another Davidson trait), she crossed the other schools off her list and opted to go the early decision route. But we had some concerns. Was it too small?

After all, her high school in suburban Chicago had double the number of students. Wasn’t she ready for a larger playing field? However, with the smaller size came more opportunities to experience things she most likely would not have been able to do at a large state school, like a class trip to Colombia or cheerleading, for instance.

Haeger family at Savannah's commencement in 2016Would a small college in the heart of the South exposure her to people from all walks of life? With students representing 47 states and 38 countries, and so many different lived experiences and passions, we learned that would not be an issue.

Did the students want to be there and possess similar academic goals? With rigorous academic standards, these students were used to hitting the books. And along with this rigor was the Davidson Honor Code, holding students to the highest standards of integrity.

Would the professors be engaged, or would they delegate duties to some TA, like many parents had experienced in our own college days? At Davidson, dinner at a professor’s home is not unusual, and the small class sizes ensure your student will be engaged.

What about affordability? We continue to be thankful to The Davidson Trust, a remarkable program providing assistance helping make Davidson fit within your family’s budget.

Would she have the opportunity to go abroad? Like the 76 percent of students who study abroad, she headed off to São Paulo with two semesters of self-instructional Brazilian Portuguese under her belt, ready to take in the experience of a lifetime.

Savannah Haeger '16 with her parentsIn addition to all of these facts and many more that tipped the scale for us, to our daughter, Davidson felt right.  And, like many parents who took this journey before us so wisely told us, “they just know.”

For our daughter, the Davidson fit was perfect. Now working in D.C., she encounters Davidson alumni on a regular basis, and the bond they have, whether they graduated two years ago or 20 years ago, is undeniable. Looking back, she tells us that selecting Davidson is the best decision she ever made. As parents, that is music to our ears. So is “It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!”

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About Author

LeJane Carson and Michael Haeger

LeJane Carson and Michael Haeger, parents of Savannah Haeger '16, live in High Point, N.C. Their son, Carson, is a student at UNC-Asheville.

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