Search This Blog

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA

General: Lebanon Valley College (LVC) is a private residential college of 1630 students on a 345-acre campus in Annville, Pennsylvania, 10 minutes from Hershey. The buildings are architecturally mixed and the college has impressive physical education facilities. The 4-year graduation rate is 70%. About one quarter of students are commuters. The remaining students have housing for all four years.

What’s new: The school has just started a self-designed major, which must include at least two disciplines.  The school has a new President, Dr. Lewis Evitts Thayne, who came on August 1. He would like to increase the school’s diversity geographically, ethnically, internationally, and racially. Arnold Field was renovated over the summer with artificial turf, track resurfacing, and new lighting.

Academics: Teaching is the #1 priority for professors. Classes are generally small, with an average class size of 20. The largest classroom on campus holds 70 students. The school encourages students to study abroad/away, do internships and/or research. Students often do travel abroad in the summer (e.g., education majors in London, business students in the Netherlands). In addition to travel abroad in about a dozen countries, there is study away in Philadelphia and Washington DC. Education placements start in the freshman year. One hundred employers come to campus in January.

The school is probably best-known for its 6-year Physical Therapy (PT) program. The school also has other unusual majors including actuarial science, music business, music recording technology, and digital communications.

Extra-curricular activities: The school has Greek life, Division III sports, including football, and a Marching Band. There are 540 student athletes, 120 students in the marching band, and 100 students involved with the theatre. There are 90 clubs and organizations, including many faith-based groups. The students do over 18,000 hours of community service a year. There is a 4-day social justice program in January. 300 to 400 students attend the Friday night comedy series.

Admissions: The school has rolling admissions with 60 – 65% acceptance rate. The school is test optional.

All of the 4 types of music majors require an audition.

In order to apply for the PT program students must have shadowed physical therapists for at least 15 hours in each of two different clinical settings. Only 85 students are accepted to the PT program out of about 500 applications. PT students are admitted to the college first and then considered for the major.

Financial Aid: 98% of LVC students get some form of financial aid. There is both need-based and merit aid.

The top 30% of students get academic scholarships. Merit aid of 50% off of tuition is provided to students in the top 10% of their high school class. Merit aid of one third off of tuition is provided to students in the top 20% of their high school class. Merit aid of 25% off of tuition is provided to students in the top 30% of their high school class. Students with an SAT score of 1100 (2 sections) with no ranking or ranking lower than 30%, have an opportunity for a merit scholarship via an interview.

There are multicultural scholarships valued between $2 and $12K.

PT majors receive one-third off scholarship for their 5th and 6th year of school.

LVC and Bias: When I visited in mid-November, a freshman had found a piece of paper with a sketch of a person lynched. The school responded quickly. There was a special edition of the school newspaper, a student and faculty gathering to raise awareness and speak out against racism, and the president responded. The school has a Bias Response Team, which was created in 2005 after several incidents of racial and homophobic comments in which two students were charged.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Albright College, Reading, PA

The Basics - Albright is a small college in Reading, PA. Most of the classes have 15 to 25 students; only 2 classrooms hold more than 40 students. Two thirds of the students take a dual major and 1 in 3 students is a minority or international student. Albright is known for its business and arts programs.

Academics - The school is on a 4-1-4 calendar and has a new Gen ed (general education) requirements. Gen ed requirements include a first year seminar class of 15-18 students with lots of reading and writing, a composition class, a foreign language requirement, foundations (i.e., one course in each of five areas), connections (i.e., two classes on cultural or biological diversity), synthesis (i.e., a class with two teachers) and experience events (e.g., study abroad, study off-campus, internship, research or service learning). Students can study abroad after two semesters and there are some scholarships available for study abroad. Some majors require an internship.

Extracurricular Activities - Greek life and athletics, especially Division III football, basketball and swimming are important here. 12% of men and 18% of women go Greek. There is a great health and wellness building. Popular activities are ultimate Frisbee, rugby, and the comic club. One school tradition is to throw you in the pond, which is more like a fountain, on your birthday.

Admissions - The school has rolling admissions with decisions starting on October 1. Students generally hear if they have been accepted two weeks after they apply. This year there were 1500 applications by Labor Day. The school uses the Common App without a supplement. The mid 50 % for GPA was 3.1 to 3.7. The mid 50% score for the SAT (for Critical Reading and Math was 1000 – 1170. The school is test-optional.

Building on Campus - The college is building a new $30 million science facility, is doing a $5million upgrade to the building that houses business, accounting and political science, and is doing a $10 million library renovation.

Financial Aid - The big news at Albright is that starting in the Fall of 2013, Albright will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need! Expect to have a Stafford loan and to do work-study. The school is need blind. There is also merit aid available. Most scholarships are between $5K and $25K. There are 2 full scholarships per year. There are also awards of between $500 and $5K for arts, participation, being a member of National Honor Society, and for Methodists.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York

On Friday, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Louis Santiago, Director of Admissions at Marist College, Kate Budzinski, Assistant Director of Admissions at Marist College, and 17 other independent college consultants.

The Basics – Marist College’s main campus is located on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York. Marist has about 4500 undergraduate students, with an average class size of between 20 and 25 students. There are over 80 clubs and organizations, Greek life, ROTC, and Division I athletics. The Cost of Attendance is $42K per year; there are need-based, merit, and athletic scholarships.  Marist is broken up into colleges that focus on (1) communication and arts, (2) business, (3) computer science and mathematics, (4) liberal arts, (5) science, (6) social and behavioral sciences and (7) management.

Admissions – About 31% of Marist applicants are accepted. The mid-50% of Fall 2012 applicants had a GPA between 88 and 93 and an SAT score between 1730 and 1950. Marist is test-optional. Fashion design, fashion merchandising, and studio art have special requirements for admission.

What’s Special – Special programs at Marist include a semester-long internship in New York City, a semester-long internship in Washington D.C., a freshman-year in Florence, Italy, and a branch campus in Florence, Italy where student may spend up to four years. There is a class in the business school where the students invest the Marist endowment. Marist has special services for up to 50 new students with Learning Differences each year. The college has a 25-year partnership with IBM.

What’s New – A redesigned core curriculum, which is more flexible, will be offered starting this Fall. A new music building will be also be opening in the Fall. Marist is planning to offer 14 full-ride technology scholarships.

Programs for high school students – Marist has pre-college summer programs in both Poughkeepsie and Florence for rising high school juniors and rising high school seniors.

What is your experience with Marist College?