Two college visits done, three more to go. Kayla and I visited Simpson College in Indianola and Drake University in Des Moines. We still have St Olaf, University of Minnesota and Northwestern to visit.

As of right now Drake is in first place, USD is second and Simpson is off the list. Simpson is a beautiful campus and a great school. It has a building on campus that is so old it is in the National Registry and it is beautiful inside and out. The music building is one floor and has a lot of practice rooms and a wonderful auditorium. But, Simpson is more a school that focuses on vocal music over instrumental.

Drake campus is gorgeous and has awesome buildings. The music building is a work of art all in itself and several floors tall. Lots of practice rooms, two floors worth! The freshman dorms have all been remodeled within the last three years. The auditorium where the music students perform is amazing! Just comparing looks between Simpson and Drake...Drake wins. But comparing music programs...Drake is far and away the winner.

We talked to the clarinet professor at Drake, he is also the professor in charge of the music department. He was friendly and outgoing and even offered Kayla lessons if she would like to come see him again. That was a huge selling point for her...she is very excited to go and have a lesson from him before All-State tryouts. Drake has a marching band, a pep band, a concert band, a wind symphony and several other ensembles. They also give lots of scholarships to music majors...and no football scholarships! Drake is the only school I have visited or looked into that doesn't think of athletics first and fine arts second, if at all. They give major money to the fine arts department and have a lot of benefactors to fund them as well.

Kayla was impressed with Drake and I was very surprised when she said it was first above USD she has been to USD for band camp and of course visited Becky there, so is well acquainted both the campus and the music department. The only thing Drake doesn't offer is a graduate program but USD she could go for her undergrad at Drake and her grad at USD. Not a definite plan yet, but a strong possibility.

Choosing a college can be a tough decision. I am glad Kayla is visiting lots of different ones so she can see what each has to offer and find the one that is right for her.

date June 18, 2010

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