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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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Seven College Safety Concerns

If you are concerned about campus safety, what should you know or ask?  Most colleges will tell you about their “blue light” system, their security staff, how they keep out people who don’t belong in your student’s dorm, and their campus-wide alert system.  Here are seven other safety concerns to consider:
  • Does the college allow concealed carry of firearms?  
  • Is the college being investigated by the government under Title IX for their inappropriate handling of sexual assault on campus?
  • Does the campus rely on its own campus police or outside local police?
  • What are the crime statistics at the college?
  • Does the college have a cross-functional threat assessment team? This team assesses whether individuals on campus are dangerous to themselves and others and makes recommendations to address the issue.
  • Does the college have a speedy evacuation plan in the case of natural disaster or terrorism, while your student studies abroad?
  • Are students prepared for possible security issues before they study or intern abroad?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY

I visited Manhattan College, a co-ed Catholic College in the Riverdale section of the Bronx with about 3500 undergraduate students. 

Campus: Manhattan College has a campus of 22 acres, near Van Cortlandt Park (1146 acres) and near the last stop on the 1 Subway, which goes into Manhattan.  The campus is spread out over several blocks.  There are brick buildings arranged in a square around a grassy quad and a relatively new student union building which opened in 2014 across the street from the quad.  Leaving from the back door of the student union, students pass a sports field on the left and then come to two buildings on the right which include the engineering classrooms.  The campus has steps and hills.

Academics: The most popular majors are Engineering (31%), Business (22%), Communications/Journalism (11%), Education (11%), Psychology (7%) and Biology (5%).  Classes are small with only 0.1% of classes having more than 50 students. The library is open 24/7.  Internships and study abroad are available.  Three religion classes are required of all students, but they do not have to be about Catholicism.

Student body:  Most students come from NY, NJ and CT and they appear to be racially diverse.

Housing and Dining: Freshman housing includes traditional style and suite style buildings.  There are freshman living and learning communities in the suite style building.  Students in the living and learning community take three classes with the people they live with, as well as having opportunities for social activities and community service together.  There are also apartments for upper classmen.  Housing is guaranteed all 4 years. There are several dining opportunities including an all you can eat dining hall and a Starbucks.  The all you can eat dining hall had a separate frig and counter space for gluten free students, as well as a vegetarian/vegan station.

Athletics: There are 19 Division I Sports.  There is a large indoor track around the basketball courts.  There is a large outdoor sports field.  The swim team and the baseball team practice off-campus.

Applying: Manhattan College accepts the Common Application. 67% of their applicants were accepted to the college. The mid-50% SAT scores (old SAT) were CR: 490-580, MA: 500-610, and WR: 480-590.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Some of my favorite college references

Here are a few of my favorite college planning reference books and websites organized by category.  What other references do you like and use?

Figuring out what makes a college right for you: College Match

College Majors: Book of Majors

College Guides:
·         The Princeton Review, The Best 3xx Colleges
·         Fiske Guide to Colleges
·         America’s Best Colleges for B Students
·         Colleges That Change Lives
·         Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers
·         The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences
·         Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges

College Search Sites:

Chance for acceptance: Naviance scattergrams from your high school

Financial Aid:
·         Financial Aid information-
·         FAFSA Web site -
·         CSS Financial Aid PROFILE -
·         Federal Student Aid -
·         Some legitimate college scholarship search sites:
Net Price Calculator – on each college’s website
College Visits:
·         “A Pocket Guide To Choosing a College: Questions to Ask on Your College Visits” by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) -
·         On-line visit –

Common Application:

College Essay: Conquering the College Admissions Essay on 10 Steps

Going to College Advice Guide:  The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

Expected Pay when you Graduate:

For students with Learning Differences:
·         “K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” by Marybeth Kravets and Imy Wax.
·          Information on SAT and ACT accommodations – and

·         “Questions for the Office of Disability Support” by Rana Slosberg on

Friday, July 8, 2016

Six Unusual Colleges

New College of Florida
Here are six unusual colleges and what makes them different:
  1. Colorado College – Students take one course at a time.
  2. Deep Springs College – With a total enrollment of no more than 30 men, this elite college is a working ranch in the Nevada desert that awards associate’s degrees and charges no tuition.
  3. Landmark College – This Vermont college is just for bright students with learning disabilities, ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.  
  4. New College of Florida – New College, Florida’s public honors college, has no grades or GPAs. Students develop a contract with their adviser each semester and get a written evaluation, instead of grades. Students do individual research and/or group projects.
  5. St. John’s College – With campuses in Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Fe, New Mexico, all students read and discuss the Great Books, about 150 of them.
  6. Webb Institute – Webb is a tuition-free engineering college on Long Island with 100% job placement. Students can get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.
      Landmark College

What's your favorite unusual college and what makes it different?