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Monday, April 30, 2012

University Of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)

 On Friday, I had lunch with the NJ representative for the University of Georgia (UGA), along with about ten other college admissions consultants. I thought I’d share some of what I heard about University of Georgia:

  • If you are thinking of applying, make sure to take at least 4 years of science in high school. This is a requirement.
  •  If you are planning to apply Early Action (EA), don’t get caught snoozing. The EA application is due on October 15th.
  • Thirty per cent of students are from outside of Georgia. It isn’t easier or harder to get in if you are from outside of Georgia.
  • The Foundation Fellowship provides about 20 students a year with a significant scholarship, opportunities for study abroad, research, conference participation and enrichment (e.g., Honors program, seminars, mentoring). For out-of-state students this translates to a $15,700 stipend (in addition to a Regents Out-of-State Tuition Waiver). If you are interested in this opportunity you must apply for it by November 1.
  • Out of state students who study abroad, pay in-state tuition that semester.
  • Athens, where the college is located, is a college town of a 100,000 with a big music scene, about 60 miles from Atlanta
  • The college is big: about 26,000 undergraduate students, 605 acres, 170 majors, 600 student organizations. In the Fall of 2013, electrical and mechanical engineering majors are being added.
  • Students are required to live on campus their freshman year. While housing is guaranteed all four years, most students move off-campus after the first year.
  • The info on accepted students is: Mid-50% range for GPA of admitted students : 3.74-4.04 (the GPA that UGA calculates based on the core courses taken in HS, and looking at the actual grades on the transcript).  Mid-50% range for the SAT CR and M: 1190-1360.  Mid-50% range for the SAT Writing: 580-690.  Mid-50% range for the ACT: 27-31.  Average number of AP/IB courses: Approximately 6
  • The honors program enrolled 531 students for the fall of 2011 with: Mid-50% range for GPA of admitted students : 4.0 – 4.2 (the GPA that UGA calculates based on the core courses taken in HS, and looking at the actual grades on the transcript). Mid-50% range for the SAT CR and M: 1430-1490. Average SAT Writing: 712.  Mid-50% range for the ACT: 32-33
  • For more information on the college, check out their blog on




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Barnard College (New York, NY)

If you are looking for a small women’s liberal arts college in New York City, Barnard College may be right for you. My two nieces attended Barnard and loved it.

The school is located in Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan and can be reached by subway (the 1 train to the 116th Street - Columbia University stop). The campus has a variety of building styles, is one block wide and goes from West 116th Street to West 120th Street. The Barnard campus is on one side of Broadway and the Columbia University campus is on the other side.

Barnard is the home to about 2400 undergraduate women, with 95% of them living in the dorms on campus. The freshman dorms are arranged around a quad. Housing is guaranteed all four years, as long as you don’t leave the dorms and decide you want to come back.

All students must take two first year foundation courses (English and a seminar) and nine area requirements. Barnard offers 50 majors and their students can pursue special degree programs with a number of other schools in the area including Columbia University, Julliard, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Manhattan School of Music. Barnard students can cross-register for courses at Columbia, and Columbia students (male or female) can cross-register for courses at Barnard. The Barnard classes are small and are never taught by graduate teaching assistants.

Barnard students take advantage of all New York City offers in terms of culture, education, nightlife, and internships. Study abroad, internships, research, and volunteering are popular. There are as more internship opportunities at Barnard than students. Barnard students also can participate in clubs and sports on their own campus or at Columbia. Barnard students participate in Division I, Ivy League Varsity sports in the Columbia/Barnard Consortium.

Some memorable annual campus events include:

  • Midnight Breakfast - Deans and administrators serve the students breakfast the night before the beginning of finals
  • The Big Sub - Students eat a 700 foot sub sandwich
  • President Obama speaking at the 2012 Barnard graduation.

About 21 per cent of Barnard applicants are accepted. All financial aid is need-based and for US students, it is need-blind. The college meets 100% of need and tries to keep loans to a minimum. There is no merit aid.

If you are a female high school student, does Barnard sound appealing to you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey

My tour guide, Emily was enthusiastic about Montclair State University, a diverse public university in suburban Montclair, NJ with over 14,000 undergrads. She took us through the 250-acre campus, consisting primarily of Spanish mission-style buildings, some with a view of the Manhattan skyline. She was among the nearly 5000 students living on campus.

Montclair State has over 250 undergraduate programs in the College of the Arts; College of Education and Human Services; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Science and Mathematics; and School of Business. The average class size at Montclair State is 23. If a class is offered as a large lecture, the school also offers a smaller class as an option.
The school has over 120 clubs, Greek Life (which is not a dominant force on campus), and Division III athletics (Go Red Hawks). There are two train stations and a bus stop on campus, enabling students without a car access to Manhattan. There are also travel abroad opportunities that range in length from one week to an academic year.

If you've visited or attended Montclair State, what was your impression?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

You think you want to attend a New Jersey public college, but Rutgers isn't for you.  Perhaps Rutgers is too big for you or is too hard for you to get into.  In late March, I visited two schools in Northern New Jersey that you might want to consider: William Paterson University and Montclair State University. 

In this blog post, I'll focus on William Paterson University (shown in these photos)  The next blog post will be on Montclair State University.

William Paterson University sits on a 370-acre campus in suburban Wayne; there are one or two buildings off-campus with a shuttle bus servicing them, including the “messy” art building.

The school has a diverse undergraduate enrollment just shy of 10,000, with a quarter of the student body living on campus. Housing, made up of suites and apartments, and is guaranteed all four years. Commuters should allocate time to find parking and to walk to class.

Students attend small classes, averaging 21 students and can major in one of 48 majors in 5 colleges: Arts and Communications; Business; Education; Humanities and Sciences; and Science and Health. Four new majors are being added in the Fall: Sports Management, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Environmental Sustainability. Students need 120 credits to graduate. Forty credits make up the general education requirements. There are pre-professional programs as well as an Honors College.

Some special facilities on campus are the new science building, nursing simulation labs, financial learning center, TV broadcast studios, radio station, and redesigned student center. Travel abroad and National Student Exchange (i.e., where you spend a semester at another US college) are available.

The average high school student admitted to WPU had a 3.1 GPA and a 1050 SAT (Critical Reading and Math); credentials for the nursing school are more stringent. To qualify for an academic scholarship, students need a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and 1050 on their SATs. There are also scholarships for talented artists ranging from $1K to $10K.

The college has about 80 clubs, Greek Life, Division III athletics, trips off-campus on weekends (e.g., ski trips, trips to Canada, trips to Atlantic City), and a NJ Transit bus that takes students to places like New York City and the Willowbrook Shopping Mall. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 2 PM no classes are scheduled; this is a great time for clubs to meet. The big issue in the Pioneer newspaper was that the Student Government Association ran out of funds for the remainder of the spring semester, causing many club events to be cancelled or postponed.