There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, University of Rochester. While New Yorkers may know about the hidden gem that is the University of Rochester, students from around the country should most certainly take note. This private research university, with its unparalleled science and engineering programs and stellar music conservatory, offers approximately 6,500 undergraduates the chance to build their own curriculums without the confinements of strict distribution requirements. After selecting one major (from the 75+ available options), students round out their studies by choosing two “clusters” – which run the gamut from green engineering and graphics programming to legal studies and popular music. Just up the road from the University’s River Campus lies the Eastman School of Music, a world-class music facility that benefits even non-music majors. Rochester students can audition to take private studio lessons at Eastman on instruments such as harp, organ, jazz guitar, or voice. Fun fact: let’s say you’re on track to complete your major and minor, but just discovered a newfound interest in art history, geomechanics, or linguistics. Enter the Take Five Scholars Program. Students who are accepted into the program are given the unique opportunity to take one or two semesters-worth of courses tuition-free, all for the sake of satisfying their intellectual curiosity.
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship. We at College Coach want to personally welcome you to our favorite season—autumn! Children (of all ages) are preparing for Halloween fun and high school seniors are busy applying for scholarships from colleges, organizations, charities, businesses, individual donors—anywhere they can hunt down cash—to help cover college costs. This scholarship mixes the two autumn activities perfectly and awards funding to the best response to a prompt asking what you would do if zombies took over your school. For more information on this fun scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Applying to a U.S. university from abroad can seem like a daunting process. Not only are you taking a leap from the familiar educational surroundings of your secondary school into the unknown waters of higher education, there’s a possibility you’re flying farther away from home than most of your peers and taking a chance on an entirely different country and educational system. Let’s just say, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” Unless, of course, Kansas is your ultimate destination. So how do you make sense of it all? Check out the Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com for an overview of the U.S. admissions process.
If you’ve been staring at a blank computer screen wondering how to craft an answer to the supplemental writing prompts for Johns Hopkins and UC Boulder, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll talk through appropriate approaches to all on today’s show. We’ll follow that by answering all of your burning college finance and admissions questions.
If you’re paying attention to the news, you may be aware that the National Association of College Admissions Counselors recently voted to eliminate portions of its ethics code regarding student recruitment. The result is that colleges can now offer special incentives to students applying under binding Early Decision policies, continue to recruit students who have already committed elsewhere, and recruit students who were admitted but enrolled elsewhere.
Much has been written about the impact to college admissions and college finance, but what does all of this mean for students applying to college? We see some positives and a few potential negatives to these changes.
For a full breakdown of the pros and cons of these changes as we see them, and what it all means for students applying to college, check out the latest post on the Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
There is no such thing as a safety school anymore. Acceptance rates at some of today’s most selective institutions used to admit far greater percentages of applications back in the 1970s and 80s. But with so many students applying to college today, admission offices have the luxury of being ultra-choosy. And, thanks in large part to the powerful rankings game perpetuated by US News & World Report, colleges don’t want to “waste” an acceptance on a student who isn’t likely to enroll. That’s why you’ve likely heard stories about amazing students – valedictorians, student body presidents, basketball captains, and so forth – getting deferred or waitlisted from their perceived “safety” schools. But just because college admissions decisions appear unpredictable doesn’t mean that well-meaning students can’t find solace in a thoughtfully researched and realistic college list. To maximize your chances of getting into the less selective colleges on your list, keep the following tips in mind: (1) Demonstrate interest in all schools on your list. (2) Consider applying to a less selective major. And (3) Apply to colleges where your stats are well above average. For more information on safety schools and how to succeed in this more competitive college landscape, check out the latest post on the Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Mount Holyoke College. Many female students balk at the suggestion of applying to a women’s college. Clearly, they don’t know enough about Mount Holyoke, the first institution to join the famed Seven Sisters. Here, an impassioned and diverse group of young women seek to empower themselves to make a difference in the world. The College’s 2,200 undergrads come from across the country and around the globe, with international students and students of color comprising 27 and 26 percent, respectively. Interdisciplinary majors are popular, and students can pursue enticing options such as psychology & education; international relations; and critical social thought. And for aspiring female scientists, attending a women’s college can provide you with exceptional support as you strive to enter a traditionally male-dominated field. At Mount Holyoke – or MoHome as it is affectionately known – over one-third of students major in the sciences, taking courses and conducting research in the College’s state-of-the-art science center. Considering engineering? You can earn your BA from Mount Holyoke as well as an engineering degree from either Dartmouth or Caltech through the College’s 5-year dual degree program. Good to know: the admissions committee welcomes applicants from female, transgender, or non-binary students who identify as female.
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Science Ambassador Scholarship. Are you a fan of the “party game for horrible people?” Maybe you should be, as Cards Against Humanity is funding a full-ride scholarship for women who are pursuing a degree in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering, or math). If you’d like to help fund this scholarship and support young women in science, all while having a lot of fun, consider investing in the Science Pack expansion deck, available on the Cards Against Humanity website. For more information on the Science Ambassador Scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
A few weeks after starting college, Julie Wolf’s daughter texted her mom that she was getting a flu shot. Julie patted herself on the back that her summer of “Important Lessons for Independence” had done the trick. Her daughter was following her advice. But wait, Julie thought. She’d never said anything about a flu shot. The flu shot was her daughter’s idea. What else had Julie missed? She taught her to do laundry and loaded her down with a package of pods that will last her all four years. Her daughter wanted her room to be homey, so Julie spent hours helping her select too many decorative pillows for a bed that’s too small to accommodate them all. Julie encouraged her daughter to read her email Every. Single. Day, because there is certain to be something very important in it from Financial Aid or from a professor, with deadlines that Julie won’t be there to help keep track of. Julie told her to get involved in clubs but not to overcommit; to learn where the health services office is located in case she ever needs to talk to someone; to be nice to the university workers who have the thankless jobs of cleaning the bathrooms and preparing the food for thousands of students who tend to look past and through them, if they bother to look at them at all; to learn her professors’ office hours and sign up for them; to stop sleeping through her alarm; to call an escort from campus security to walk her home if she’s out alone at night; to be open to new ideas and activities but to also know how to say ”No”; to never drink out of a cup that a person hands her at a party; to stride boldly outside of her comfort zone and yet remain true to herself, simultaneously, that dizziest of balancing acts; and, of course, to call her mother weekly. Julie’s daughter hasn’t called weekly. Julie has no idea if she’s checking her email or going to office hours. But she did get a flu shot without Julie scheduling it for her. Anything else Julie missed, her daughter is going to have to figure it out on her own. And Julie knows she will. To read more about Julie and her daughter’s transition to college, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Guest Post by Julie Wolf, freelancer writer and parent
In late August, my daughter started her first year at a large urban university not far from home, and, since then, I’ve heard from her a handful of times. A couple of weeks ago, though—Thursday, September 12, 2019, not that I’m keeping track—she actually texted! But she didn’t text to say “I love you.” She wanted information. She had walked to CVS with some friends (new friends! Yay! She’s making friends!) so that they could get flu shots, and while she’d brought her insurance card, she wanted the first five digits of her Social Security Number. (She knew the last four.) “Just in case they need more information.”