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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

Sarah Lawrence is a liberal arts college of 1300 students on 44 acres in Westchester County, NY that is unique in several ways:

· It is among the colleges with the largest percent of classes with fewer than 20 students.

· Students interview the professors for 30 minutes in order to decide what classes they are would like to take.

· The classes are modeled after the Oxford/Cambridge tutorial. The seminar classes include a round table discussion with a group of 15 or fewer where the students need to come prepared to reflect on their reading and have a conference with their professor every other week to go over their term research project/paper.

· The music, theatre, and dance classes are organized differently. Each class is broken into three-week sessions on a particular skill set. There are theatres, art and performance spaces, and music spaces.

· There are only 10 lectures courses offered each year and they are capped at 45 students.

· Professors give students a written evaluation of their work, in addition to grades.

· Their don (i.e., advisor) is also their teacher for their yearlong first year seminar. With the don, students create their own program of study.

· Students take three 5-credit courses a semester.

· Thirty credits are needed for a concentration (i.e., major). Many students take two or three concentrations.

· Many buildings contain teacher’s offices, classrooms and student housing. Freshman housing is not separate from upper-class housing,

· Sarah Lawrence is one of the most expensive colleges in the country.

The college is known for creative writing, visual and performing arts, history and international studies. The student body is 70% women and tends to be politically liberal. Eighty-five per cent of undergraduate students live on campus. There are six study abroad programs, including one in Cuba.

The school is located in an upper middle-class suburban area. There are some stores and restaurants about a 15-minute walk from school. Many students go to New York City, a 30-minute train-ride away, for pleasure, cultural experiences, or internships. A free shuttle to the train station is available after 5:30 PM. Those who stay on campus on weekends participate in dances, poetry readings, concerts, plays, or community service.

The school seems to be a good fit for an outspoken, well-written independent learner, interested in intellectual discussions in multiple disciplines and independent research in the liberal arts. The academic requirements include that students to take a yearlong freshman seminar, take a course in at least three of the four areas of study, and take 2 physical education classes. Students can earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years in Teaching, Child Development, or Women’s History. There is a 3-2 Engineering program with Columbia University. There is also a pre-med program.

The school has recently applied to join Division III sports. There is a nice gym and pool.

SATs / ACTs are not considered in admission. The college uses the Common App with a Supplement which includes the “Why Sarah Lawrence?” question. Students should submit a graded high school paper as part of their application. An interview is strongly suggested; seniors often conduct the interview.

The college is need-sensitive and uses the FAFSA and CSS/PROFLE for financial aid. Students are automatically considered for merit aid.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

                                                                           Sophomore architecture contest photo

NJIT is on 45 acres, a few square blocks, in the University Heights section of Newark, NJ.  There is a light rail station next to campus which goes to Newark Penn Station. There is a limited amount of green space on campus.

NJIT is the only NJ state college with an architecture program.  It is also strong in engineering and the sciences.  The college has an  Honors college that offers enrichment, a significant scholarship, its own housing floor, and its own space on campus.  There is an engineering class that Freshman can take to help them decide on an engineering major.  Clubs that have to do with your major and internships (e.g., with at&t or PSE&G) are popular.

Housing is limited and there are many commuters. Students who want housing seem to get it. Freshmen have a choice between long hall building with the bathroom in the hall or a building with 2 room suites with a private bathroom for each suite. There is an Electrical Engineering floor and an Honors floor.  Upper classmen can live in those buildings or in apartment style buildings. There seems to be a strong safety focus on campus. I wouldn’t want to stray far from campus alone after dark.

I think a NJ student who wants to study science, engineering, or architecture but wants a school smaller than Rutgers with a multi-ethnic group, doesn't mind that the school is only one quarter female, and is not too interested in social life would be happy here. A student we met in the dorm said he went to class, studied, ate and slept.

Check out my business Facebook page for additional photos of NJIT.  If you are an NJIT student, add your comments to this blog.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Bucknell University has a beautiful campus in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. It is a three-hour drive from Somerset County, N.J., not far from I-80 in the small college town of Lewisburg.

With colleges in Arts and Sciences, in Management, and in Engineering, this private university has more than 60 majors for the 3500 undergraduate students. Classes are small and professors spend three hours a week in office hours. There are few colleges that primarily award bachelor’s degrees in the liberal arts that also have strong engineering programs. Bucknell University is one of them. The employment and graduate school information of recent Bucknell graduates is encouraging.

Bucknell students are involved in over 200 organizations, including Division I Athletics; club sports; academic organizations; arts and entertainment; Greek life; leadership groups; multicultural groups; music, dance and theatre; publications; religious organizations; service organizations and political groups. Freshmen can participate in theme-based housing options, where hallmates take a seminar together and have opportunities to travel together. Forty-five percent of students study abroad.

On of my son’s best friends attended Bucknell (like his father) and studied accounting.  He got a great education and had a great time.

What did you think of Bucknell University, when you visited?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Penn State

Penn State is a university with campuses all over Pennsylvania.  Sixty percent of students start in a campus other than University Park, and then transfer after two years to the main campus in University Park, which is shown here.

The school is huge, with a plethora of colleges and majors.  Those students who are undecided can join the Division of Undergraduate Studies, which helps them sample different majors. 

Those who are at the top of the class may be part of the Schreyer Honors College which has smaller Honors classes, priority registration, special housing, a thesis, and a travel grant.
Penn State students have a great enthusiasm for their University and their Division I sports teams. In addition to being well-known for their academics and sports teams, they are also well-known for their job placement services.

Penn State likes to admit out-of-state students and it is not more difficult to be accepted if you are an out-of-state resident. Students can apply to start their Freshman year in the Summer or in the Fall.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

University of Washington

While I was in Seattle visiting my son, I toured the University of Washington, more fondly known as UDub.  If you are looking for a large public university in a major city, with strong research funding and a beautiful campus, this might be the university for you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cheap College Travel in the Northeast - Updated

Here's an update on the Bolt Bus for New Jerseyans.  The Bolt Bus now leaves from Newark Penn Station.  If you are taking the Bolt Bus to visit colleges in Boston, there is no longer any need to go into Manhattan to catch the bus.  This should save you both time and money!

Last summer I wrote:

Need a cheap way to visit an out of town college or to get to and from college without a car? Consider the Bolt Bus which serves locations including New York, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

If you book early enough you may qualify for the $1 fare. If you take eight trips you get one free! The bus fare includes wireless internet.

If its slow by car because of inclement weather or holiday traffic, it will also be slow by bus.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fairleigh Dickinson University, College at Florham, Madison, NJ

Fairleigh Dickinson’s Madison campus has about 2500 students on over 175 acres and offers Bachelors degrees and some combined Bachelors/Masters in liberal arts, business, allied health, and hospitality management. The average class size is between 25 and 30 students. There is a study abroad program on Fairleigh Dickinson’s own campus in Wroxton, England (75 miles outside of London).

The school has over 80% of students living on campus and freshmen are guaranteed housing. Students are involved in Division III athletics, non-residential Greek life, over 40 clubs/organizations, and alternative break programs in the US and abroad. Students can get to NYC easily by taking the train which is close to campus.

The Honors program requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher and over 1100 on the CR and Math sections of the SAT.

As the Regional Center for Colleges with Learning Disabilities, there is an extensive program for 25 –30 students each year on the Madison campus at no extra charge.

The college is need blind with 92% of students receiving an average of $19,700 in aid. Merit scholarships of between $3500 and $24000 are available based on SAT scores. Students can get an Alumni grant of $1000 by getting an alumni, trustee or faculty member to sign; children of alumni get a $1500 grant.
If you've visited or attended the Madison campus lately, share your observations.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Amherst College

Amherst College is a very selective, small Liberal Arts College with no core curriculum or distribution requirements except for the Freshman seminar. This makes it possible to do a double or even triple major. Students at Amherst can take advantage of classes in the five-college consortium that Amherst does not offer.

Students live on campus all four years.  Freshman have their own housing. About half the students travel abroad. This Division III college is a school of student-athletes, with a majority of students in Division III, club or intramural sports. There are no fraternities or sororities. 

While there is no merit-aid at Amherst College, need based aid packages are provided without loans.  The college will pay students to work at an NGO or non-profit over the summer.

If you attended or visited Amherst recently, what are your impressions?

Amherst College

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts

When we arrived on campus a student, surrounded by a small group of family and friends was ringing the bell. Behind him were others waiting their turn. They were celebrating the completion of their academic work at Hampshire.

There are no letter grades at Hampshire. In their place, teachers provide a written evaluation and critique. Professors serve as teachers, mentors, and collaborators. Students develop their own concentrations, which are self-deigned majors consisting of coursework, independent projects, internships, community service and off-campus study experiences. Each student has a personalized academic program. Students complete a significant research project in their senior year.

The college draws students who are motivated self-starters. If you are looking for a small non-conformist college, perhaps Hampshire fits the bill.  For additional photos, check out the Slosberg College Solutions LLC Facebook page.  If you visited or attended Hampshire College recently, share your experiences.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Landmark College

After spending a day and a half at the “Professional Visit Days for Educators” at Landmark College this month, I feel strongly that Landmark College is a college that changes lives.

Landmark is a unique college in Putney, Vermont that offers an associate degree program to a student body of about 500 students who learn differently and who are likely to struggle in a traditional college setting.  The students (69% male) are average and above average students with learning differences and/or ADHD.

In addition to giving the students an opportunity to earn their Associates degree, Landmark prepares these students to transfer into Bachelor’s degree programs with the:
· Ability to read and write with a high level of independence
· Knowledge of their strengths and challenges in learning
· Ability to ask for services and support
· Ability to keep track of assignments, organize materials, and manage time effectively.

The Landmark staff members have all been trained to teach and work with students with learning differences and/or ADHD. Many of the staff members are graduates of Landmark or have children who attended Landmark.

Landmark also offers summer programs for:
· Rising High School Juniors and Seniors
· College-Bound Seniors (not going to Landmark)
· Visiting College Students.

I have Professional Day Scholarship Referral forms, which will allow up to three of my clients to receive a $75 application fee waiver and priority consideration for financial aid for the Fall 2011 Semester and/or one of the Landmark Summer Programs for the Summer of 2011.

If you have attended or visited Landmark College, share your experiences.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

State University of New York - Purchase

State University of New York - Purchase might be especially interesting for you if you are interested in the fine or performing arts. It is one of the few public universities, which is an arts specialty school. There are four theatres on campus, a relatively new Dance Building with 12 dance studios, and the Neuberger Museum.  The movie "Black Swan" was shot here.

Twenty-five percent of students are from outside of New York State.  Politically, the student body is liberal. 35% of the students are vegetarian and the school has a vegetarian eatery, Terra-Ve on campus. There are 70 clubs and Division III Athletic teams. The largest student group on campus is the LGBT group. The Cheese Club is a also very popular group. One of the social highlights of the year is the Zombie Prom. There are no fraternities or sororities at SUNY Purchase.

The school is located in a wealthy, suburban residential area. A short bus ride will take you to White Plains. From White Plains, you can get to Manhattan by train in 45 minutes.

For additional SUNY Purchase photos, check out the Slosberg College Solutions LLC Facebook page.

If you attended or visited SUNY Purchase recently, what were your impressions? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

Manhattanville is a private co-educational college with 1700 undergrads (64% female) on 100 acres in Purchase, NY. Students come from 76 countries and 48 states. Classes are small and the school is especially known for its management, art, music, psychology and education programs. The school has over 50 clubs, a radio station and 21 NCAA Division III teams. Programs, including an Honors program and a fee-based Learning Disability program, are available. Special opportunities are available because Manhattanville is a non-governmental organization (NGO) of the UN.

The school uses the Portfolio System. Through this system, students working closely with a faculty advisor, talk about educational and post-baccalaureate goals and the curricular path that would best meet those goals. The portfolio reflects a student’s entire college career as both a system of planning and assessment and a repository for their best work.

The campus is well-maintained. Near the center is the castle, a beautiful mansion with marble halls from the 1800s, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The school's mission is:

“To educate students to become ethically and socially responsible leaders for the global community. We are committed to doing this by ensuring three things:

· The full intellectual, ethical and social development of each student within a community of engaged scholars and teachers

· The application of students’ development as independent leaders, and creative thinkers, to their career and professional goals; and

· A diverse campus community whose members know, care about and support each other and actively engage the world beyond.”

My guide, a senior from the Dominican Republic, seemed to be living the school mission. He:

· Had participated in 3 internships, one of which had led to a job upon graduation. He praised the campus career services, which provided students assistance in getting internships in Westchester or New York City and getting jobs. Students can take a campus-bus or public bus to White Plains and then can take the train to New York City.

· Volunteered regularly in soup kitchen in Manhattan. He explained that the school values community service with over 30,000 hours of community service taking place over the last year.

· Spent a semester abroad in Germany, exploring many European countries.

· Recounted how one of his professors invited a group of international students for a pre-Thanksgiving feast. Not only does the president live on campus, but there is also on-campus housing for some of the teaching staff.

· Had chosen Manhattanville, in part, for its financial aid. Both need-based aid and merit-based aid are available.

If you visited or attended Manhattanville College, share your experiences.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adelphi or Hofstra University?

Which one of these private Long Island colleges is for you: Adelphi University or Hofstra University? 
Adelphi University

Adelphi Science Building

Hofstra University
Bridge over highway connects 2 sides of campus

Hofstra University


  • Have ready access to New York City
  • Are among the less expensive private colleges
  • Have Honors programs 
  • Have Learning Differences programs
  • Are arboretums.

Some important differences are:
  • Size: Adelphi is much smaller than Hofstra in both the number of students and the campus size
  • Commuters: Adelphi has a larger per cent of commuters
  • Surrounding neighborhood: Adelphi is in a safer neighborhood 
  • Per cent accepted: Larger per cent of students is accepted at Adelphi than Hofstra
  • Per cent graduate: Larger per cent of students graduate from Adelphi than Hofstra
  • Sports: Adelphi is NCAA Division II and Hofstra is Division I
  • Strong majors: Adelphi is known for nursing, elementary ed, accounting, performing arts, psychology, and phys ed.  Hofstra is known for accounting, biology, creative writing, international business, music, audio/video/film, drama and dance.

Which of these two Long Island universities do you like best and why?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

Rider University focuses on five advantages: connected learning, leadership skills, global perspective, social responsibility, and being student-centered.

Some special items of note at the Lawrenceville campus are:

o Education - Education majors are in the field observing starting in their Sophomore year; Education majors can student teach in NJ and Pennsylvania; 100% passed PRAXIS

o Business - Separate business honors program, one of only 35 Global Supply Chain Management programs in the country, forty co-op positions with Johnson & Johnson

o Hands-on learning including research, internships, co-op assignments, field experience.

o About 88% of students live on campus. There are over 150 clubs.  12-15% of undergrads are involved in Greek life. There are 20 Division I teams with basketball being the biggest sport.  Students contribute about sixty thousand hours of community service per year.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT

The clock tower is playing a show tune.  The Division I Tennis Team is practicing.  You look out at the spacious quad and to the adjacent Sleeping Giant Mountain State Park.  You are in Quinnipiac’s 250-acre Mount Carmel campus, one of three campuses that make up the university.

The school is best known for health, including physical therapy and nursing; communications, with two radio stations, a TV station, and home to the famous Quinnipiac Polling institute; and business, with the facilities of the Lender School of Business.

Classes are small with an average size of 22. Students are involved in clubs, intramurals, and Division I sports. A small percent participate in Greek life. Students also take advantage of activities in Hamden and New Haven.  Juniors and seniors will need a car for travel between the York Hill and Mount Carmel campuses.

If you’ve been admitted to Quinnipiac, what do you think the pros and cons of the school are?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cornell University is unusual in that it houses four private and three public colleges.  If you are a New York state resident that means you can have the opportunity to get an Ivy League education at a state school price.  Cornell is well known for rigorous academics.  The engineering, architecture, and hotel administration programs are especially strong. 

The campus is spread out and very beautiful.  Gorges, ravines, waterfalls, lakes, and parks are all around.  The weather can be cold and snowy for much of the year. 

Freshmen live together on North campus.  Cornell's food is the best I've had on a college campus, hands down.  Greek life is popular and hockey is the most popular sport on campus.  There are more than 600 extracurricular clubs to get involved with.  Collegetown, which is next to campus, offers students plenty of restaurants and bars.

If you have visited or attended Cornell University lately, share your observations.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

A student who wants a pre-professional or liberal arts education in a private school with small classes near the beach might find Monmouth University to be a good fit. The school is set on 156 acres and includes Woodrow Wilson Hall, a National Historic Landmark (pictured to the right).

The school has just under 4000 undergrads with housing on campus for 2000 undergrads.  Classes are small with an average class size of 22 and no lecture halls.  Experiential learning is part of the graduation requirement (e.g., internships, co-op education, and service learning courses).  Bachelors and Masters degrees can be completed in 5 years.  There is an Honors programs with a Senior thesis and special housing (if desired).  Merit awards of up to $16K a year are available.

The school has Division 1 athletics featuring excellent soccer teams, a nice athletic center, and sports fields.  There are 70 student groups with an involvement fair each semester.  Greek life, travel abroad, music, drama, theatre, a radio station and a TV station are available.  Students can travel to NY by train. 

If you've visited or attended Monmouth U, share your observations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time to Plan February College Visits

If you are a high school student with time off from school on President's weekend, plan a college visit.  On a week day during your break, visit a college that is in session.  Sign up, if needed, for a tour, information session, and to sit in on a class.  Take notes and photos to capture your college visit.
  • For Seniors, visit or re-visit schools you have been accepted to (or are waiting to hear from).  Include an overnight stay if possible.
  • For Juniors, who have a list of colleges they are considering, pick a school that is on your list. 
  • For students who don't yet know what schools they are considering, use a visit to a nearby college to help you understand college characteristics better (e.g., whether you like big or small schools, whether you like city schools or schools in the suburbs, to see how you feel about a large lecture).
Share what schools you visited and what you learned.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lafayette College

If you are looking for a small school with strong engineering, science, and liberal arts, as well as Division I sports and a formidable Greek presence, Lafayette may be for you. Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania has a main campus of about 100 acres with an additional 212 acres of athletic fields for its 2400 students.

Freshmen and sophomores participate in small seminars.  Over half the students study abroad and over 45% do community service.  There are more than 250 clubs. Top students may qualify for the Marquis Scholars merit scholarships of a minimum of $20,000 per year.

If you've visited Lafayette College recently or are a student there, share your thoughts on the college.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Questions Homeschoolers May Want To Ask

Homeschoolers may want to ask the following questions when they consider or visit a college:

1. As a homeschooler, how should I apply?

2. How many homeschoolers applied last year and how many were admitted? How does this compare with the overall admittance rate?

3. What are your policies for dealing with high school homeschoolers?

4. How do you evaluate homeschoolers? How is it different from how you evaluate other applicants?

5. How does the documentation you require from homeschoolers differ from applicants from small, private, unaccredited schools?

6. What concerns do you have about homeschoolers?

If you are a homeschooler who has recently visited or applied to a college, what questions did you ask because you are a homeschooler?