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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rhodes College



In the late Fall, I attended a luncheon for independent college admissions consultants with Lauren Sefton, Associate Director of Admission from Rhodes College. Here is some of what Lauren shared with us:
Overview: Rhodes College is a liberal arts college of around 2000 undergraduate in Memphis, Tennessee.  The college draws students from around the country and the world with 76% from outside of Tennessee. There are students from 46 states, Washington, D.C., and 43 countries.
The college has a beautiful 100-acre campus with stone Gothic architecture buildings, thirteen of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Academics: Rhodes offers more than 50 majors and minors. Classes are small with an average class size of 14.
Rhodes has strength in the sciences. It has a new $34 million science facility. Biology and neuroscience undergraduates benefit from partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Neuroscience Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Rhodes sends more students to medical school than any other liberal arts college.
Computer science and neuroscience are among the college’s fast-growing majors.Study abroad or off-campus is big, with 65% of students participating. 75% of students complete internships.
Extracurricular activities: There are over 100 clubs, organizations and intramural and club sports. Greek life is popular, with students rushing in the 2nd semester. Volunteerism is huge, with 80% of students volunteering. Rhodes has 21 Division III athletics teams, with a strong rivalry with Sewanee.
Applying: You can apply to Rhodes using the Common App with NO fee. There is no additional essay. Demonstrated interest is important.
Financial Aid: Merit aid ranging up to full tuition, is typically offered to the top third of the incoming class, without any separate application. There are four fellowships that require a special application process: Taylor Physics Fellowship, Fine Art Award, Jewish Community Fellowship, and Bonner Service Scholarship.
Students seeking need-based aid must complete the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE.
International students are considered for both merit and need-based aid. Admissions is more competitive for international students looking for need-based aid.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Temple University

Introduction: Temple University is a public university with its main campus in North Philadelphia. There are other campuses including:
  1. The Ambler campus, a suburban campus with majors in Horticulture, Criminal Justice, Community and Regional Planning, and more         
  2. A Health Science Campus, just 1.5 miles from the main campus, housing a hospital, medical school, pharmacy program, and clinicals        
  3. The Harrisburg campus for freshmen and graduate programs       
  4.  Overseas campuses with housing, Temple faculty, and Temple courses in Rome, Italy and Tokyo, Japan.
Temple University has about 27K undergraduates with an average class size of 27. There are lectures with teaching assistants teaching the recitation sessions.
Ambiance: There is a major street going through campus. There are lots of students around. Food trucks abound and there are many fast food outlets. The campus does not have a uniform building style and there is not much open green space.
Safety: The campus has 600 security cameras, 259 security officers and is the most-lit campus in Philly. The patrol zone is about 5 blocks outside of campus. Part of freshman orientation deals with being safe in an urban area.
Extracurricular activities: Temple has over 300 clubs and provides free student tickets and transportation to their football and basketball games.
Something surprising: The Tech building was filled wall-to-wall with hundreds of students on computers doing work quietly.
Construction: The Morgan Residence Hall was opened five years ago. A new health and wellness center opened in the Fall 2017. A new science building is being constructed and when it is finished, the two old science buildings will be knocked down and will be replaced with a green quad. A new library will open in Fall 2018 with a robot-retrieval system, the third in the nation..
Price: For out-of-state students the tuition averages about $28K/year and the Room/Board averages at about $11K/year. Tuition varies by college, with the Fox School of Business being the most expensive.
Applying: Temple University is a Common App school. Students who apply are automatically considered for merit aid and the honors program. Students who apply Early Action by November 1 are notified of acceptance by 1/10. Subsequent to that date, admission is rolling with a typical acceptance response in 4 – 8 weeks.
Temple recommends that students with an SAT score of less than 1000 who write well apply test optional. Test optional students are considered for merit aid.
Merit aid ranges up to full tuition plus one $4K summer educational stipend. Scholarship notification is by 3/1.
The average accepted student has a 3.56 GPA (weighted) and a 27 ACT or 1220 SAT. The ACT is not super-scored.
The average Honors student has a 3.9 GPA and a 32 ACT or 1450 SAT.
Housing: The Freshman housing deposit deadline is May 1. Students can pick their building usually starting in February. Housing is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Morgan Hall fills fast. Living/Learning community students can get rooms later. The View at Montgomery, is privately-owned off-campus housing right next to campus. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY)





This fall, I visited Marist College to get an update on the information I shared in my December 2012 blog post. In addition to learning more about the college, I got to see a stunning campus.
Focus - Marist seemed very focused on hands-on practical skills, internships, and jobs after graduation for all majors. Examples of this include:
  • On-site fashion show for fashion majors.
  • Fashion students are paired with designers during New York Fashion Week.
  • History majors intern at the nearby FDR House and Library.
  • Those interested in the environment can make use of the river laboratory, the aquatic pontoon boat, and many intern at the nearby Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
  • Students in the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences are required to have a semester long fieldwork assignment. There are over 100 approved fieldwork opportunities in the Hudson Valley.
  • Bloomberg tools are used in the School of Management.
These are in addition to the special programs described in my earlier post which included semester-long internships in New York City and Washington D.C., a partnership with IBM, students investing the Marist endowment, freshman year in Florence, and the branch campus in Florence.
Academics - Class size is capped at 35 students so students don't need to worry about being in large, impersonal lecture hall classes.
Clubs - All clubs must do community service and Campus Ministry is the largest club.
Housing - Marist is building additional housing for juniors and seniors on the North side of the campus, as well as additional dining and athletic facilities. Housing is guaranteed for all freshmen and sophomores. There is no Greek housing.
Other new building - A new studio art facility will be opening in the Fall of 2018.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tips for College Freshmen


I hope these tips will help your children or students get through the first semester of college with good grades, good health, new friends, not too much homesickness, and no regrets.
Academic Tips:
1.      Attend class regularly.
2.      Do your homework. Plan on doing two hours of school work out of class for every hour in class.
3.      When you don’t understand something in class, get help from the school’s tutoring center and/or visit the professor during office hours with your questions right away.
4.      Find a good place to study on campus, like the library.
5.      Don’t leave big projects until the last minute.
Social Tips:
1.      Find and join some clubs, as soon as possible. Take advantage of the activity fair during orientation or early in the first semester to learn what clubs are available.
2.      Keep your dorm room door open when you are in. This makes it easier for you and your hallmates to get to know each other.
3.      Eat your meals with other students. Make mealtime a social event.
4.      If you are a residential student, don’t go home on the weekends.
5.      Set up groundrules with your roommate.
6.      Talk with your Residential Advisor about problems you are having.
Other tips:
1.      Get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
2.      Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and supper.
3.      Know and use the services the school has to offer, as needed. These may include health services, job placement services, recreation facilities, tutoring service, disability services, and more.
4.      Exercise regularly.
5.      Manage your time and your money.
6.      Do things in moderation.
7.      Be true to yourself and your values.
8.      Don’t do things that are illegal, immoral or unethical.
9.      And last but not least, communicate with your family.
What other tips would you give?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rutgers-Newark 7-Year Medical Program

Getting into the Rutgers-Newark 7-year medical program is highly competitive. The first three years are spent at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Caldwell University, Stockton University, Rutgers-Newark, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Montclair State University or Stevens Institute of Technology and the last four years are spent at Rutgers-Newark. Fifty-two students were admitted into this 7-year program this year, across the seven schools.
NJIT

TCNJ

Montclair State

Stevens Institute of Technology
The program requirements are:
  • Top 10% of high school graduating class
  • Minimum SAT score of 1400 or ACT score of 32, with neither being superscored
  • U. S. citizen or permanent resident by the start of the medical program portion
  • Must have a high school GPA > 3.5, although the high school GPA is usually > 4.0
  • Need a B or higher in all pre-med college classes
  • Must take the MCAT while in college and score at the national average or higher
  • Need to maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 each college semester.
Here are suggested activities during high school for students interested in this program:
  • Shadow physicians
  • Volunteer in a hospital
  • Go on a medical mission trip
  • Learn about different medical specialties
  • Participate in research (e.g., in a summer science program)
  • Be an EMT volunteer
  • Be a lifeguard
  • Start a non-profit.
To get accepted, there are two interviews: one is a general admissions interview and the second is a medical school interview. It is a good idea for students to practice their interpersonal and interview skills.
Recently, Stevens had 150 applicants to the program. Of the 150 applicants, ten were interviewed and two were accepted.  The Stevens application is due in mid-November and the Caldwell application is due by December 1.
Students are notified if they have been accepted by the medical school by early April, not April 1. The medical school communicates with the student using the Common App email address, so the student should check that email address daily to ensure they don’t miss any time-critical communications.
Thanks to Julie Washington of Caldwell University and Brian Switay of Stevens Institute of Technology for sharing this information at the 2017 NJACAC conference.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rutgers University Honors College

The Rutgers University Honors College, which is two years old, is not to be confused with the Rutgers honors programs. The Honors College takes the top 7% of each school (except nursing) from Rutgers New Brunswick. The Honors College brings together students from across disciplines, creating an interdisciplinary experience.
Freshmen in the Honors College are required to live together in their own housing, a Living and Learning community on College Avenue. When I visited the building, I got to see great seminar spaces, as well as spaces designed for group collaboration, socializing, and studying. Campus Honors Cohort housing is available the sophomore through senior years for those students who wish to take advantage of it.
Academically, the Honors program is special in three areas: curriculum, research and co-curricular programming.
The curriculum includes:
  1. A 1-credit Freshman seminar on curiosity and how to develop new ideas
  2. The Honors College Forum, a 3-credit freshman class on social innovation which includes a group social innovation project
  3. Interdisciplinary classes over first two years, some of which include a study abroad component.
Students in the Honors College take a minimum of four honors classes.
Research is built into the program. Freshmen get an introduction to research, with summer research available after the freshman year. Sophomores have an Aresty Assistantship, in which they assist a professors with their research. Juniors do major research and seniors complete a capstone project.
Special co-curricular programs include honors academic advising, service-learning, internships, and global education. Students have a requirement to do a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer activities in their first three years,
The freshmen and sophomores I met on my visit, were very happy they had chosen the Rutgers University Honors College, over the other highly-competitive colleges and universities that had accepted them. What is your experience with the Honors College?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Union College

Union College in Schnectady, NY is unusual in many ways, including:
  1. Being a small college with majors in the liberal arts, sciences and engineering.
  2. Having three 10-week semesters each year as well as two 3-week semesters during the winter break. Students generally take 3 classes during each 10-week semester; engineering students need to take 4 classes during some 10-week semesters. Students can relax, take a class, work, have an internship or study abroad during the two three-week semesters, which is also the winter break.
  3. Having interdisciplinary majors. This is like a double major, but it focuses on the relationship of the two majors and the senior thesis/project combines the two majors.
  4. Seniors do a thesis or project which is presented/displayed at the Steinmetz symposium in late May.
  5. Everyone (i.e., students and staff) is assigned randomly to a Minerva house. Each Minerva house offers events open to the entire student body and is run by its own elected student board. The first floor of the building has a full kitchen which students use and places to hang out. Upperclassmen can choose to live in their assigned Minerva house.
  6. First years (aka freshmen) have separate housing and dining.
  7. Students can join a fraternity or sorority in their sophomore year and can live in Greek housing starting in their junior year.
  8. Some classes are jointly taught by professors in two departments. For example, we saw a class jointly taught by a biology professor and an art professor on drawing organisms.
  9. Students in the Scholars program (Union College’s Honors program), do research in their sophomore year, in addition to in their senior year.
  10. A new Integrated Science and Engineering Complex is being built to foster collaboration and to integrate teaching, research, labs and offices. A new addition is scheduled to be complete in the Summer of 2018 and renovations to existing facilities are scheduled to be complete in the Summer of 2019.
  11. Eight students have a post-graduation opportunity to be a Minerva fellow. They receive an all-expenses paid fellowship for a “Peace Corps-like activity” for 9 months, and then they return to campus to mentor the next group of Minerva fellows. Minerva fellows create an entrepreneurial project to improve an international community in a sustainable way.