Search This Blog

Monday, May 13, 2013

University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Inside the student union building

Plenty of green spaces and brick buildings

Admissions building
Basics - The University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware is a Tier 1 research university. It has 16,000 undergraduates and 3400 graduate students. There are students from all 50 states and 100 countries. 35% of these students are from Delaware. New Jersey sends the most students, after Delaware. Housing is guaranteed all four years for students who enter as freshmen. The campus is physically large, covering 1,241 acres.

Academics - Class sizes vary with 62% of classes having 25 or fewer students, 24% having 26 – 50 students, 10% having 51- 100 students, and 4% having more than 100 students. In the 7 colleges, there are over 145 majors and 100 minors.

450 students in the freshman class, including my tour guide who hailed from Georgia, are part of the Honors program. Students applying for the Honors program need to write an additional essay as part of their application. These students take many honors classes, which are capped at 25 students, and have honors housing.

The University of Delaware has had study abroad since 1923. The school is on a 4-1-4 calendar so students can study abroad for a full semester or during the optional 5-week winter session.

Summer scholars have an opportunity to do research over the summer while receiving a $3,000 stipend.

Extracurricular activities - There are over 300 student organizations; Division I athletics, including football; 32 club teams, hundreds of intramural teams, and Greek life, with 20% of students going Greek. The main drag outside of campus is full of restaurants, stores, and students.

What’s New - There are a number of construction projects on campus that are near completion. The following are slated to open in the Fall: a new freshman residence hall that will house 767 students, a 194,000-square-foot Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Lab, and a renovated and largely-expanded sports building.

Applications and Financial Aid - The admissions office looks at the applications holistically. They evaluate each student’s core classes, look at the SAT (all three sections) and/or the ACT (which they superscore). They consider how well prepared students are for their major (i.e., did you take honors or AP classes in the area of your planned major). The University of Delaware uses the Common Application. They are looking for recommendations from your high school counselor and one teacher. They offer optional, evaluative interviews to high school students between June of the junior year and Thanksgiving of the senior year of high school. The University of Delaware offers both need-based and merit aid, with merit aid ranging from $1000 up to a full ride.

If you are a student at the University of Delaware, what do you like most and least about the school?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA


Bomberger Hall houses music rooms
Art Museum

Campus Map
Campus - Ursinus College is a small liberal arts college of 1750 students, 28 miles northwest of Philly. The school sits on 170 acres, with plenty of green space, lots of outdoor sculpture, and buildings with a variety of architecture styles in the small town of Collegeville. The school houses an art museum and two theatres.

Academics – All freshmen participate in the two-semester seminar where they read and discuss texts to help answer questions like: What does it mean to be human? How should we live our lives?

In addition, every student must participate in at least one of the following: independent research, a creative project, study abroad, internship, or student teaching.

Most classes, with the exception of some introductory classes (e.g., Introductory Psychology), are small.  80% of classes have fewer than 20 students. No classes are taught by teaching assistants. Freshmen meet with their advisor weekly in person, by phone, or by email. The school gives every freshman a laptop.

The school offers 27 majors and 51 minors. Double majoring is popular.  The school has some unusual majors for a small liberal arts college, like neuroscience and East Asian studies.
About eighty students do summer research on campus and receive free room and board, as well as a stipend.

Housing – Housing is guaranteed all four years and 97% of students live on campus. In addition to the usual dorms, there is themed housing in six or seven Victorian houses across the street from campus for upper classmen who apply. The themes change yearly and are selected by the student body.

Extracurricular activities – One third of the students participate in a Division III sports team, with football and women’s field hockey being most popular. Club and intramural sports are also popular.

The school has Greek life, but no Greek housing.  There are more than 80 clubs, organizations and interest groups, as well as many opportunities for volunteering. The Ursinus Center for Advocacy, Responsibility and Engagement is the focal point for community service and civic engagement at Ursinus.

There is a large shopping mall, with a movie theatre a short drive away.

Transportation – There is a city bus that takes students to a train station, where they can catch a train to Philly.  Freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus.

Financial aid – In addition to need-based aid, there are scholarships and academic awards of up to $30,000 a year, including a creative writing award.

Tour Guide – My tour guide was a well-spoken, enthusiastic senior, who was going to med school in the fall. He had participated in summer research, which led to a presentation at a conference, and had participated in an intramural sport while at Ursinus.

Have you attended or visited Ursinus College recently?  If so, what was your experience?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

Seton Hall University is a Catholic university in South Orange, NJ with about 5300 undergraduates.  It is 14 miles from New York City, which can be reached by train in thirty minutes.

Financial Aid - The big news at Seton Hall might be the financial aid. 96% of students get aid and 86% get grants or scholarships, which don’t have to be repaid. Students in the top 10% of their high school class, with 1200 on their SAT (Critical Reading and Math) who apply by 12/15 get the “Public Tuition Rate” (i.e., they pay the same tuition as in-state Rutgers students).

Academics and beyond – Most Seton Hall University classes are small with an average class size of 21. Seton Hall has over 80 majors to choose from and hands-on learning is stressed. 75% of students have at least one internship.

The School of Arts and Sciences has dual degree programs in Physician’s Assistant, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Athletic Training.

The School of Diplomacy requires 2 internships or an internship and a travel abroad experience.

The School of Business boasts a 91% placement rate within six months of graduation. In addition to the usual business majors, they have a sports management major.

Seton Hall has the oldest and largest school of nursing in New Jersey. The program is a direct admit program and includes eight clinical rotations.

The College of Education and Human Services includes Education majors with 75-hour placements in four different school environments, as well as Speech and Language Pathology majors.

Freshmen are assigned a professor, as a mentor and an upper classman, as a peer advisor.

The school gives everyone a new laptop or tablet as Freshmen and again as Juniors.

550 employers come to the Career Fair.

Campus - The architecture on campus is mixed. The gym is currently being expanded and the new facilities should be open by the Fall or 2013. The science building was renovated a few years ago. The entire campus is wireless.

Residential Life - 82% of Freshmen live on campus. Students get to pick upper class housing based on a point system, with points for GPA and points for participation in activities. There is a free mini bus that takes students to South Orange; downtown South Orange is about three quarters of a mile from campus.

Extracurricular activities – Seton Hall University has over 100 clubs and it has Greek life. Students perform over 25,000 hours of community service each year. The NCAA Division I Big East Conference basketball team is popular. They play at the Prudential Center in Newark, with the university providing bus transportation for students. The day I visited Seton Hall, the students were hosting a health fair on the lawn.

Admissions – Seton Hall University accepts the Common App and does a holistic review of applications. On the average, students have a 3.4 GPA and an SAT score of 1100 (Critical Reading and Math). Seton Hall has Early Admissions with applications due on 11/15 and 12/15 and Regular Decision with applications due 2/1 or 3/1.