North Dakota

Many admissions officers are not only good speakers, but also quite witty. Several started their information sessions with ice-breakers, and some with clever jokes. At GW, the presenter began by telling the group that admissions decisions had been sent out the day before. He was proud to let everyone know that the new class represented 48 states – and the admissions committee was still hoping to find students from the remaining two. He paused and then, with perfect timing, revealed that those two states were….Connecticut and New Jersey. This got a big laugh, because most of the people sitting in the room were from Connecticut or New Jersey. If you’re from one of those two states, you’re over-represented at GW.

So what were the two missing states? When the laughter subsided, the admissions officer revealed that they were Montana and North Dakota. He told the group that in case any of us were from either of those places, he would love to meet us after the session.

Yes, our whole college journey would be different if we lived in Big Sky Country or the Peace Garden State.  So, after much careful thought, we are seriously considering moving to North Dakota. (We actually prefer Montana, but Montana is on its way to becoming the new Colorado, which could end up being problematic admission-wise.)

So I dream of a new life in North Dakota, a life without college anxiety. As a North Dakota resident, CJ would have lots of choices. But what makes the move even more tempting is that once we sell our Southern California home, we would be in a better position to finance not just undergraduate school, but graduate school, business school, law school, medical school, a year abroad in Prague and multiple community service summers in Malawi.

And, best of all, CJ will have the perfect topic for his common app essay: how he had to adjust to a place with tornadoes, blizzards, quail hunting, furry coon hats and limited sushi. Plus, I’ve already checked, and the SAT tutors charge less for a whole course of study than our guy does for one lesson.

He’re a link for the Fargo home we’re thinking of buying – five bedrooms for $190,000, and I’m sure there is some flexibility in the price. Because I doubt we will be getting many visitors, CJ can have a whole room to store college brochures and I will have a separate office for my blogging.

Would appreciate hearing from readers in Fargo. Where is the closest Whole Foods? Are there mobile pet groomers? Is there a good Prius mechanic? Just let us know and we are on our way. But, please don’t tell anyone else about our strategy. This won’t work if North Dakota suddenly becomes the new Illinois.

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