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Fall 2008 Visits (& News)

on November 24, 2008 in College Visits

QuestUniversity1Northwest College Updates

Open houses for juniors and seniors considering various colleges throughout the Northwest have been announced. To learn more about opportunities to visit colleges, meet with coaches, hear from faculty, and tour the facilities, go to the admissions websites and research campus events. Here are just a few of the opportunities in our area:

  • To reserve a spot at one of the Fall Preview Days at Washington State University in October and November, go here. WSU just announced that it is offering guaranteed admission to in-state students who either rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class or have at least a 3.5 grade point average at the time of application.
  • Quest University (above photo), a new liberal arts college in Squamish, British Columbia, founded by the former president of the University of British Columbia, is Canada’s first non-denominational liberal arts college. Fifty percent of Quest’s students are international, and class sizes are small. The Block System allows students to study one subject for 3 1/2 weeks, and an interdisciplinary program is also central to the education of a Quest student. Information on visiting Quest can be found here.
  • Whitman College, a very selective liberal arts college in Walla Walla, Washington, is offering two preview days this fall.
  • Oregon State University offers a variety of engineering disciplines and an Honors College. Learn more at the fall preview days in October and November.
  • Willamette College offers internships at the nearby capitol in Salem, Oregon, in addition to strong music and debate programs. You can schedule a visit here.
  • The University of Puget Sound (below) attracts students from all over the United States and the World; only 19 percent of the student body comes from the state of Washington. Its undergraduate school of business and leadership is unique.  Learn more about what this small, liberal arts college has to offer, including research opportunities, small class size, and a focus on teaching, at the fall preview day in October.

Financial Aid Update

If you are applying to colleges now, it is important to visit the financial aid and scholarship pages for each of your colleges to determine if there are specific requirements for additional essays, or applications for specific scholarships. Your best source of scholarship funds comes from the institution rather than outside scholarships, so focus your energy on your list of colleges. For example, some colleges provide music scholarships for non-music majors, and others provide scholarships for leadership and community service. Most have early deadlines, so now is a good time to get familiar with all of the requirements. Some colleges will allow additional, higher SAT or ACT scores to be submitted to allow consideration for merit awards, even after an application has been submitted. Check with your colleges prior to having additional scores sent.

Requirements and deadlines for submission of applications for financial aid, either the CSS Profile or FAFSA, are listed on the financial aid pages of each college, another reason to get an early start in the process.

Are you curious about how colleges will review your financial situation in terms of your “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC)? Use this calculator for a preliminary analysis. More information about the financial aid process and additional calculators are available on this excellent financial aid website.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) allows students who are residents of Washington to enroll at participating college programs in other states at a reduced tuition rate. Learn more here, and make sure to explore the search tool offering a listing of programs and any GPA and/or SAT requirements.

Transfer Students

There is a great deal of information for first-year students applying to colleges, but transfer students, often a large percentage of a college’s student body, are often ignored.  You should first check the transfer pages of the admissions website and learn who your contact will be at the college. If you are considering a transfer to another college, take time to evaluate the following:

  • Do you admit transfer students, and if so, for what years?
  • How many transfers are admitted, and how many apply?
  • Are there orientation and housing programs for transfers?
  • Is financial or merit aid available to transfers?
  • What grade point range will be needed?
  • When and how will transfer credits be evaluated?
  • How difficult is it to transfer into the more competitive majors/programs?

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