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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ZeeMee Intro

What is ZeeMee?

Lynn University is a ZeeMee partner
ZeeMee lets students use images and videos to let others get to know them for free. It can be used as part of a college application, to find a college roommate, or to provide information to a counselor or teacher writing a letter of recommendation. Currently, over 190 colleges are partnered with ZeeMee.

What are the parts of ZeeMee?

ZeeMee has three sections:
  • Meet Me – a video, ideally between 30 and 90 seconds in length to introduce you
  • My Story – an elevator pitch limited to 300 characters.
  • My Activities – Three to five of your most important “activities” that you share with pictures, video and/or documents. These can be activities in your Common App or something totally different (e.g., family stories, personal challenges, talents, passions, interests).

What does ZeeMee look like?

Here are several ZeeMee samples.

How long does it take to set up a ZeeMe?

ZeeMee can be set up in as little as 30 – 45 minutes.

Who can see my ZeeMee?

Your ZeeMee link can be public (i.e., anyone can see it and it is searchable) or private (e.g., you send the link only to those you want to see it; it is not searchable).

Do colleges look at ZeeMee?

Brittany Werts, an Elon University Admissions Counselor said she spends 2 to 5 minutes reviewing the ZeeMee of Elon applicants, who she is on the fence about admitting.

What should I do if I have ZeeMee questions?

Check out the ZeeMee FAQ.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF), a public university in Orlando with over 54,000 undergraduates, is the country’s second-largest university. The main campus, on more than 1400 acres, seemed overwhelming when we first arrived on campus, but once we understood the school layout, it was much more manageable. Most of the buildings are laid out in circles with the Student Union in the center.

There are undergraduate degrees offered in twelve colleges and over 600 clubs and organizations. The most popular majors are Psychology, Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing, Mechanical Engineering and Hospitality Management.

Engineering Building
Admissions are rolling. UCF recommends that you get your application in early for the best chance for scholarship opportunities. Over 25% of the students get merit aid between $1,500 and $5,000 per year. 

The mid 50% of students have a new SAT score of 1270-1380 and a weighted GPA between 3.7 and 4.3.  UCF re-computes your weighted GPA using only academic core classes and adding a half point for honors classes and a full point for AP or IB classes.


The Burnett Honors College accepts about 500 freshman with an average SAT score of 1402 and a weighted GPA of 4.4. The honors classes are capped at 20 students. 


Freshman housing is not guaranteed; another reason to apply early is to improve your chances to get one of the 11,640 beds on campus.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rollins College

General - Rollins College is a private college with about 2000 students.  The Spanish Mediterranean style buildings are located on about 80 acres on a lake in Winter Park, Florida, not far from Orlando.  Winter Park is suburban with many restaurants and boutiques in walking distance from the college.

Academics – The school offers business and liberal arts majors. About one third of a student’s classes are in their general education requirements, one third in their major and one third electives.  Most majors require one internship. Double majoring is popular. Three quarters of the students study or intern abroad, for between 1 week and a year for no additional charge.

Campus life - Students are required to live on campus the first two years (unless their parents live within 50 miles of the college) and 70% live on campus all four years.  There are about 200 student organizations including Division II sports, Division I water skiing, and Greek life. Students can join a fraternity or sorority starting in January of their freshman year. Community service is valued and there are opportunities for alternative spring breaks for little or no cost.

Admissions – Students can apply Early Decision or Regular Admissions. The admissions profile of the accepted student is a 3.7 average weighted GPA with the middle 50% scoring between 1150 and 1280 on the SAT or between 25 and 30 on the ACT.  Rollins College is test optional and suggests that students with an ACT score below 23 or an SAT score below 1100 apply test-optional. 

Merit Aid - Students who apply by 11/1 are automatically considered for merit aid, even if they apply test-optional. Academic scholarships are between $10K per year to full tuition, room and board.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

University of Florida

While on vacation, I visited the University of Florida (UF), a public university in Gainesville, with about 36,000 undergraduates, about 90 minutes north of Orlando. My guide was a senior finance major who had studied abroad in Barcelona one summer. He also had a summer internship that he got through UF which led to the job which he has accepted for after graduation.  

UF is among the largest universities in the nation. It has over 100 undergraduate majors, more than 1000 student organizations, and is on more than 2000 acres. Most of the buildings are low-rise brick buildings.  One fun fact about UF is that Gatorade was invented here.

Century Tower
Housing and Food – Freshmen are not required to live on campus but 75% do. There are about 8000 beds available on campus, including traditional doubles, suites, and apartments.    Housing is on a first-come first-serve basis so make a $25 deposit even before you get accepted, if you want to increase your chance of getting the housing you want. 

The school offers all-you-can-eat dining, as well as food from many chain eateries including Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, Subway, and Einstein Bagels. Hare Krishna sells the popular all-you-can-eat $5 vegetarian lunch.
Student Union

Scooter & Motorcycle Parking

Transportation – There are a lot of buses to take you around campus and around surrounding Gainesville. 

The most desirable parking is allocated to scooters and motorcycles.

Library – The libraries are organized from noisiest to most quiet floor as you go from the first floor up.

Football – Go Gators! Football is huge at UF.  Students pay $20 per game or $120 per season for seats.

Football Stadium
Applying – UF uses the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success Application.  Students apply by 11/1 and get a decision on the 2nd Friday in February at 6 pm. Students can apply to start in the summer or the fall.

UF re-calculates your GPA using only English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Foreign Language classes.  They weight grades depend on the difficulty of these classes (e.g., Honors, AP, IB).  The mid 50% recomputed GPA is between 4.2 and 4.5.  The middle 50% test scores are 28-32 for the ACT and 1290-1440 for the new SAT. UF also look at your senior year classes. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rowan University

General Rowan University is a public university in New Jersey with about 14,000 undergrads.  The Glassboro campus is flat and set on 200 acres, about 20 minutes from Philly.  Most of the buildings are red brick and there is a street going through the middle of campus. A new business building and a new engineering building are slated to open in January. Bikes and skateboards are popular ways to get around campus.

Admissions –Freshmen had an average high school GPA of 3.6 and an average new SAT score of 1290.  The mid-50% of new SAT scores are 1140 -1330.

The school is test optional for students with an average 3.5 high school GPA who write an extra essay, except for engineering or honors students. 

The grades and scores needed for admissions into engineering are higher; engineering students need at least a 3.3 GPA and 1290 on the new SAT. 

Art students have a portfolio requirement and music students need to audition.  
Freshman retention is 91%. The scholarship deadline is 1/31 and the application deadline is 3/1.

Student body -  About eighty per cent of freshmen live on campus and twenty per cent are commuters; this is not a suitcase school.

Academics – The average class size is 22 with classes capped at 40 students.  No Teaching Assistants teach classes.  

Internships are popular, with over 250 companies recruiting each semester. Study abroad is available. There are no co-ops.

The newest school at Rowan is the School of the Earth and Environment and the newest program is Nutrition.

The most popular major in the school is biological science.

Education majors can start student teaching in their first year and there is a child development center on campus. There is a 5-year Bachelors/Masters program in education. 

Engineering is hands-on with lots of projects.

Popular majors in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are Exploratory Studies (undeclared), Sociology and Law and Justice.

There is a 5-year Bachelors/Masters program in athletic training.

There are a number of majors where students can complete their Bachelors degree in three years, saving about $22,000.

The Honors program is by invitation only.  Honors students generally have at least a 3.5 GPA and at least a 1775 on the old SAT.  Honors students have special housing, honors classes, and special trips.

Financial – Tuition, fees and room and board cost about $25,000 per year.  Merit aid of between $2,000 and $21,000 per year is available. 

Student Center with Law School Fair
Social – The school has over 100 clubs, Greek life and NCAA Division III athletics.  The student center was bustling with a law school fair on the day I visited.  The rec center has two pools, racketball courts, an indoor track and much more.  There is plenty to do on-campus on the weekends and there are also off-campus trips.
Rec Center


Food and housing – There are ten on-campus dining options.  Learning communities are available.  There is hall style and suite style housing available for freshmen.  The newest housing, Holy Pointe, has air conditioning.  Upperclassmen have on-campus housing opportunities, including townhomes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Whats new at Lynn University

When I met in October with the Lynn University admissions rep, Paul McPhee, I wanted to know what had changed since I had visited Lynn in November 2013. Here are some of the highlights:
  •          An international business center opened.
  •          A new dorm for upper classmen will be complete by the end of this school year
  •          A new University Center will be opening in the 2018-2019.
  •          Every student gets an iPad Pro
  •          Faculty-authored e-books offer cost savings and are tailored to Lynn’s courses
  •          Lynn signed a partnership with General Assembly.  Initially 9 students will go to San Francisco for a 10-week IT boot camp followed by a 6-week internship in the San Francisco area.
  •         The freshman class will be growing from 680 to 700 students.

So what is the typical Lynn student like?
  •          Students come from over 100 countries and most US states.
  •         NJ is the 3rd biggest state that sends students to Lynn.
  •          25% are international students
  •          20% have learning differences
  •          Most were B/B- high school students
  •          44% apply test optional
  •          45% are business majors.

If you want to know more about Lynn, check out my November 2013 blog post.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Christopher Newport University

On September 23rd, 2016 I attended a Christopher Newport University counselor luncheon in NJ and here’s what I heard:

General: Christopher Newport is a public university in Newport News, Va. of about 5000 students which focuses on undergraduates. Leadership, service and honor are valued and there is an honor code. Students must live on campus through their Junior year. The CNU motto is “Leading a life of consequence” and the four pillars are undergraduate research, study abroad, internships and service.  The campus is beautiful.

Special programs/features:

All freshmen are in a learning community where they share two to four classes with the people they live with.

There is an honors program and the Presidents Leadership Program.

About four hundred freshmen join the leadership program each year.  This four year program involves a 21 credit leadership minor, required community service, attending a speaker series three times a year, and mentorship of freshmen by seniors.

Academics: Classes are small so professors get to know the students. Students are required to take a rigorous core curriculum including three semesters of language. CNU is a liberal arts school with an accredited business program and an electrical engineering major.

Social: There are over 200 clubs.  Thirty per cent of the students join Greek life and can “rush” in their second semester.  There are 24 Division III teams, including football.  Sailing, dancing and cheer are varsity sports and compete on an intercollegiate level.  CNU has the winningest athletics in Virginia with 12 national championships and more than 600 All Americans.  They are ranked among the top 10% of NCAA Division 3 teams.  Watching football, basketball and volleyball are popular activities.  More than 3000 students participate in club and intramural sports.  Ferguson Center for the Arts houses CNU’s theatre and concert hall. This is a dry campus so there isn’t a big party scene.

Admissions: One third of the class applies Early Decision and the bulk of the remainder is filled by Early Action (which is due 12/1).  An interview by 12/15 is encouraged; interviews can be via Skype. CNU is test optional for students with a grade point above 3.5.  The school cares about demonstrated interest.

Internship: Students have an opportunity to intern with NASA and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.