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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Transfer Forum

About two months ago, I attended a Transfer Forum sponsored by NJ Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC).  There was a panel of transfer personnel from RVCC, Middlesex Community College, and the County College of Morris.  Here are some of the highlights of the program.

Transfer: One of the most common questions asked is, “Will my credits transfer?” The answer is, “it depends.”  It depends on the:
  1.          Grades you get.  Typically you need a C or better for your credits to transfer.
  2.          Major you select.
  3.          Articulation agreement between the community college and the 4-year college.
  4.          Type of class (i.e., on-line classes may not transfer).
So, have your transfer discussion with transfer services personnel at the community college and at the 4-year college you would eventually like to attend, while you are still in high school.

Community College Price: Generally, you pay less for your local public NJ community college, than another public NJ community college in the state.  If your local public NJ community college doesn’t have the major you are interested in, you may be able to attend another public NJ community college for the same price, through a charge back. 

Look into the NJ STARS program which waives tuition at community college, for the top 15% of the graduates from your high school.

Disability Services: Not all public NJ community colleges have the same level of disability services.  For example, County College of Morris offers disability services to about a quarter of its students.

Middlesex County College
Remedial Coursework: The panel members indicated that about 75% of their community college students need at least one developmental (aka remedial) course. Students need to take an Accuplacer placement exam unless their SAT or ACT scores are above a threshold.  Currently, they need at least an SAT score of 540 in Critical Reading (old SAT) and 530 in Math (old SAT) or a 23 subscore on the ACT to be waived from the Accuplacer exam.  Students cannot use a calculator for the Accuplacer exam.  It is not unusual for a two-year associates degree to take 3 years, because of remedial classes.

Unique Programs and Opportunities: Some public NJ community colleges have unique programs and/or opportunities.  For example:
  •         Middlesex Community College has Dental Hygiene degree.
  •         RVCC has a medical coding  degree.
  •         Students at Glassboro Community College can live on the Rowan campus.
  •         Middlesex Community College gives credit for military experience. 
      If you attended a NJ community college and transferred to a 4-year college, what tips/advice do you have?

Monday, April 4, 2016

East Stroudsburg University

General: East Stroudsburg University is a medium sized public university with about 6800 undergraduates in the Poconos.  About three quarters of the students are from Pennsylvania with one quarter from 30 states and 25 countries.  New Jersey sends the most students from outside of Pennsylvania.  Most of the campus is made up of low-rise red brick buildings of 5 stories or less.

Academics: ESU has five undergraduate colleges: College of Arts and Sciences (the largest), College of Business and Management, College of Education (where you will get into the classroom early), College of Health Sciences (the most competitive for admissions), and the University College (for undecided students). 

Science Building with Planetarium

Housing: There are 18 residence halls with traditional, suite and apartment living.  There is special interest housing and honors housing.  Freshman housing is guaranteed and laundry is free.  Wi-fi is available throughout the campus.

Campus Life: There are 139 clubs and organizations, including 20 NCAA Division II sports teams and Greek life.  The biggest spectator sport is men’s basketball.  There are club hours from 2-4 PM, twice a week; during those hours there are no classes.  You can start your own club with 9 or more students.

University Center

Financial Aid:  There is out-of-state merit aid of $7K for students with a GPA over a 3.0.  There is also a $3.5 K merit scholarship for some out-of-state students with a GPA less than 3.0.

Services: ESU has a tutoring/writing lab, mentorship, as well as counseling and career services. Professors are required to have 5 hours a week of office hours.  The school provides college buses into town and an Enterprise car share.  There is a hospital “next door” which is handy if you become seriously ill.

Open House: If this sounds interesting to you, you may want to attend one of the upcoming 2016 Spring Open Houses on April 9, 16 and 23.