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, Hanover College. Touted as Indiana’s first private college (it was founded in 1827, just seven years after the creation of Indiana University Bloomington), Hanover College is situated on 650 wooded acres in the historical college town of Madison. Hanover is dedicated to providing its approximately 1,100 students a transformative liberal arts education with an interdisciplinary and hands-on approach. All business scholars graduate with at least one internship under their belt, while future teachers can volunteer in local schools and earn initial teaching certification. And if none of the College’s 30+ majors appeal to you, consider creating your own major such as Biological Chemistry, Computing & the Arts, or Political Philosophy & Ethics. Among Hanover’s most striking academic features is its unusual 4-4-1 calendar, whereby students take four classes during both the fall and winter terms, but one intense course – either on campus or off – during a shortened May term. For one month each spring, imagine trying a fascinating course like “National Parks” at the Grand Canyon, “Math History” in London, or “Cyber Psychology” on campus! Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Hanover offers all students a challenging yet supportive community to call home. Good to know: approximately half of students participate in Greek life, which offers plenty of community service and leadership opportunities for those who wish to join.
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Minecraft Scholarship. College Coach Robyn Stewart’s daughter is obsessed with the game, Minecraft. For all of you parents in the same boat as Robyn, fear not! Welcome to 2020 and the only (that we know of) Minecraft Scholarship for students. The scholarship committee wants to hear from all gamers who share a love of Minecraft and learn how it is so much “more than a game” in their lives. For more information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Post-January 1 can be super challenging for seniors. After the crush of finalizing and submitting applications, have nothing left to do but wait—and that can be tough. We have some suggestions for actions you can take once all of your apps are in. Since it’s the new year, we are all about resolutions—and we have thoughts about some good resolutions you can make related to college admissions and finance. To listen, say, “Alexa, play Getting In: A College Coach Conversation.”
With college application season just wrapping up, many families’ thoughts are turning to financial aid. College Coach’s finance experts are flooded this time of year with some variation of the question, “Do I need to complete a FASFA if I’m not going to qualify for financial aid?” The short answer to that question is “no.” The FAFSA is a financial aid application, and no student is required to apply for financial aid. Believe me, colleges will be more than happy to admit your child without providing you any financial assistance. Still, there are many reasons why you may want to complete an aid application even if you don’t expect to qualify for need-based assistance. Read about the top five on the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
So you’ve booked that college interview. You feel prepared. You’re able to speak to your interests, you can articulate why you hope to attend this particular college, and you’re armed with some good questions to ask your interviewer about the school. What’s stressing you out though? The eternal question: what to wear??? Have no fear. Enter former University of Pennsylvania admissions officer, Sai Somboon, to answer the question, “How should I dress for a college interview?” Check out Sai’s video on the College Coach YouTube Channel.
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, Ursinus College. There may be dozens of colleges in the Philadelphia suburbs, but Ursinus College is truly one-of-a-kind. Highlighted as one of the Colleges that Change Lives, Ursinus (pronounced “er-SIGH-nus”) is a liberal arts college with an exceptional science and pre-health curriculum. In addition to majors in the traditional sciences, Ursinus offers interdisciplinary programs in biochemistry, molecular biology, and neuroscience, too. Whether students take advantage of research opportunities on campus, or health care internships in the hospitals of Philadelphia, science majors are guaranteed hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology in a highly personalized setting. And get this: an amazing 75 percent of Ursinus students who apply to medical school are accepted! A signature experience at Ursinus takes place during the first year. All freshmen participate in a “Common Intellectual Experience” by enrolling in small seminars that dedicate themselves to the analysis of significant works—including texts from Euripides, Freud, Darwin, and others—in order to answer philosophical questions such as, “What does it mean to be human?” Good to know: 99 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance from Ursinus, and the highest merit scholarship is valued at $40,000 per year!
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Create a Greeting Card Scholarship. While the holiday season is the most popular time for sending cards, we love getting the mail year-round and finding that someone has sent us a card just to say hello. Creative high school and college students, here’s a chance to show off your artistic talent while brightening someone’s day. Consider creating a holiday card, birthday card, or just an everyday card that will make someone smile and win yourself some money for college in the process. For more information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Today we’re going to tackle a selection of questions frequently asked by international students, the answer to all of which could be: “It depends.” In fact, the answer to, “Who do colleges consider an international applicant?” is often, “It depends.” That’s how diverse the range of responses from different colleges can be.
Now, on to your questions:
Am I expected to take non-Native (but non-English) language courses to be competitive? I’m a native Spanish speaker and live in Colombia, attending the American school where I take most of my classes in Spanish. Should I also be taking French or Chinese or something?
The most selective colleges will expect you to take a language other than your native language, and in many cases, this will be your third language in addition to your native language and English. This is not true of all, or even most American colleges, but for the most selective colleges, the expectation is that you will take an additional language, if possible.
Does it look “bad” if one of my SAT Subjects is in my native language?
Colleges are less frequently requiring SAT Subject Tests from students. If yours does, they will generally indicate which ones they require, and most often, they will not require Subject Tests in a language. Generally, the colleges that require Subject Tests, require them in STEM subjects.
For the answers to more questions and tips for applying to a U.S. college as an international applicant, check out the latest post on the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
College Coach Kara Courtois’ former college roommate called her in early fall to ask a question about her daughter’s college application process that went something like this: “We can’t decide whether it’s worth the time and money for Leah to visit these colleges where she wants to apply. What do you think?” A big part of this question was asking about whether colleges will penalize Leah’s application or not take her application seriously if she has not visited campus or “demonstrated interest” in this way. But what is actually considered “demonstrated interest” when it comes to admissions?
The most common ways to demonstrate interest tend to be:
- Taking a campus tour
- Writing a supplemental application question along the lines of, “Why do you want to attend this college?”
- Meeting with an admissions representative during that rep’s visit to the student’s high school
- Viewing a virtual tour on the college’s admissions website
- Speaking with an admissions representative at a college fair
- Researching the college online or via social media
(CAUTION: You’ll notice that we do NOT suggest emailing admissions counselors with random questions as a form of demonstrating interest! Asking genuine questions that can’t be answered on the website is fine, but “fluffy” emails have no impact on any part of the application. That’s a myth we dispel daily.)
A similar question we often get from students is often: “Which colleges ‘track’ demonstrated interest?” Most colleges are honest as to whether or not they track interest, but they don’t necessarily yell it from the rooftops, so you may need to dig into an admissions office website or even call the office to confirm their policy. To our knowledge, there’s no exact science to knowing which colleges absolutely take demonstrated interested into account when reviewing a student’s application, but the smaller the college, the more likely it is to do so. Statistically, a student is more likely to take an offer of admission if they have visited campus or gotten to know the college through one or more of the ways listed above. So, if your student thinks they are interested in a campus that’s fewer than 5,000 students, you might start with prioritizing those visits.
For more information on demonstrated interest, see Kara’s full article on the College Coach 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, Vanderbilt University. Named after its original benefactor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt is a major research university with outstanding undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, engineering, education, and music. The majority of the University’s 6,900 undergrads are enrolled in the College of Arts & Science pursuing majors in everything from Communication of Science & Technology to Public Policy Studies. But students interested in fields such as biomedical engineering, child development, and music composition will find a home at the University, too. All students, regardless of their major, can apply for VUSRP, the University-wide undergraduate research program that places students with faculty mentors for 10 weeks each summer. Summer research at Vanderbilt is a full-time commitment, and participating students will earn a $5,000 stipend! Located just outside of Nashville’s downtown, Vanderbilt boasts a busy on-campus social scene. Next month alone, students can cheer on Commodores basketball as they take on the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the Florida Gators, enjoy performances of music, dance and art at the January cultural series, participate in a 30-minute meditation sponsored by the Center for Student Wellbeing, volunteer at the MLK Joint Day of Service with Tennessee State University, and attend a seminar on designer genes through Vanderbilt’s Center for the Humanities.