November 18, 2009


Elsa and I made one very last visit to one more school.

We had to see Middlebury after Elsa received notice that she was invited to be a Posse finalist. This was something that we had not expected, and when we had to guess about the odds of this happening for her, we guessed that she had better odds at being accepted to her top choice school ED1 than she had of becoming a Posse finalist. So we applied to her top choice school ED1.

Of course, we guessed wrong. She was selected as a Posse finalist on a Monday and the decision to Posse had to be in by Friday, 5 pm. Talk about stress!

Legally, we could not accept the Posse offer because in doing so, one is applying ED and we had already done that. Why? We did it because we believed it was Elsa's best chance of acceptance to a school that she loves along with a place on the soccer team.

But, because the Posse is such a generous scholarship and could have really helped our family, I insisted that we go to Middlebury for a visit. First, I called the Posse Foundation and explained our situation to them. They were very receptive and honest. We were told that we had to make the choice by Friday. The catch is that if Elsa accepted the offer, she would be competing with 21 other students for 10 or 11 spots at Middlebury. It wasn't a sure bet at all. But, had we known of the timeline of deadlines in advance, we could have applied to her dream school EDII and accepted the Posse in the interim. If we accepted Posse and she got it, and she was selected by Middlebury from the 21 applicants, we would have had to send her. We would have been committed. So, we needed to see the school first.

Middlebury is magnificent. The only drawback is the location-far from NYC. Otherwise everything was PERFECT. I loved it. I instantly worshipped the school. I wanted Elsa to accept very badly. Everything was going well, except for our meeting with the soccer coach. We dropped in on him unexpectedly, with no appointment. He was amazingly gracious. He's a lovely man and most likely a very good coach, but he was clearly not interested in Elsa as a potential player at all. He knew nothing about her! Accepting the Posse would have meant Elsa giving up soccer, or playing JV. After so many years of training and preparing, this news was a huge and insulting disappointment and one that Elsa chose not to accept. So that was it.

We passed on the Posse.

It is unbelievable to me as it could have meant four years of tuition paid at a terrific college that specializes in languages and foreign study. Posse even helps with graduate school scholarships!

I loved that campus, the best of all that we have seen.

I called Posse before we left Vermont, to tell then our decision, but the woman I needed to speak to was busy. I decided not to call back because I didn't know how to explain our decision at all. On our way back to NYC, Posse called Elsa to find out her status. Very sweet. She thanked them kindly and declined.

There were mountains surrounding us the entire time we were there.

I cried all weekend.

I love the dream school, but I loved this school more. But, Elsa didn't and that's what counts.

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