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A Plethora of Colleges

on December 20, 2017 in College Visits

From college tours to college fairs, there can never be enough college knowledge. I am always encouraged when I return to a particular campus, meet with a representative from a college, or chat with other counselors–there is always more to learn. It is so inspiring to visit with students on campus and hear about their life in the trenches, not life branded on the college website. I gain more insight, and can picture individual students thriving in various settings. So let’s dive into some brief summaries of a few programs…….

RiceRice University

  • Without a doubt, this was one of the best admissions presentations I have ever experienced! Here are my key take-aways
  • Rice supports unconventional thinking
  • Very flexible, no core just three classes in different general areas
  • 150 study abroad programs, encourage it for everyone, need-based and financial aid travels with you abroad
  • Honor code means take home, self-scheduled exams
  • General liberal arts important
  • Can switch schools, double major, or take courses from any school
  • Music and architecture are professional schools
  • Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen: design your own engineering project “lab in a backpack” project Peace Corps bought thousands
  • Engineering leadership program
  • Shepard School of Music, can take private lessons without being a major
  • Architecture: paid fifth year internship anywhere in the world, Rice School of Architecture in Paris
  • School of business, includes entrepreneurship
  • Pre-professional programs as well, advising programs, can major in anything, advisor supports you though the process with scholarships: med school, law, and business
  • Certification to become a teacher
  • Social science program for students to intern and get work experience
  • Century Scholars, Rice Undergrad Scholars program, 25% of students are published, 66% of students get research experience
  • Center for Civic Leadership, 80% involved in community service
  • Very diverse, balanced M/F, no sororities/fraternities, Harry Potter house system, randomly assigned, each has it owns symbols and traditions
  • Each college is a microcosm, athletes assigned to all colleges, operated by students, students control budget and activities, self-governed, concerts, plays
  • Students make Rice what they want through the residential college system, can eat at any college, and can participate at all colleges activities, but colleges build loyalty
  • Chief support system is faculty residing in college, advisor, support, open homes to sponsor events to support students
  • The Mob is the band, uniforms but don’t even need to play an instrument
  • Division I, the Rice Owls
  • Even a club for people who hate politics
  • Jobs and internship, large hospital, energy including alternative
  • Houston is the most diverse city in US, NASA, free or discount to access to pro sports, museums, metro, arts
  • Interview optional: on campus without having to apply, or off campus with alumni only if applicant
  • Rice village nearby is a fun place for lunch!

George Mason UniversityGeorge Mason

  • Building more dorms to become more residential
  • Diversity: 135 countries, all 50 states, global, cosmopolitan student body, students from all socioeconomic backgrounds do well
  • Really want to grow out of state enrollment, to 30% now 20%, want to grow internationally to 15%
  • Scholarship for out of state, can ask for more by calling
  • Weekend life: Division 1 athletics, shuttle to Metro station with Orange Line into DC in half hour
  • Mason Life Program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and very competitive, certificate program life training and academics, 50/50 out of state
  • MASI Program is a comprehensive, fee-based program that provides additional, intensive support services to students on the Autism Spectrum that are above the standard accommodations received in higher education
  • Known for engineering, they have to provide test scores but optional for others with 3.3 GPA, 550 minimum math or 23 math section
  • Students go right into their field/major, no foundation course for anyone
  • Cyber security engineering: 4.5 years and paid internship at FBI, Virginia is focusing on this, woman from military designed program with major companies in VA, drone program part of it.
  • All agencies including NSA have paid internship, encourage students to get security clearance.
  • Companies lease space on campus so students don’t have to leave campus to intern.
  • Ten colleges, liberal arts is biggest
  • Undergraduate research big, National Institute of Health and others
  • Neuroscience research institute on campus
  • Strong long established economics program
  • Top accounting program, fifth year accelerated masters
  • Forensics, cyber security, forensic psychology, govt & politics, criminal justice are programs students will travel here for because of DC
  • Lots of important speakers, many have amazing jobs, suburban, lots of adjuncts who teach and work in DC in interesting positions
  • Greek life popular
  • Honors college: 1500 total, substitution for Mason core with different professors, open to any major, lots of speakers, living learning community, same application, additional essay, holistic review for curiosity and eagerness, doing well in advanced courses, resume, letters of recommendation, can interview but not required
  • Common Application, no writing required but encourage doing it
  • Progression to harder courses important, As and Bs, but lower is ok, recalculate and weight AP and Honors and dual enrollment
  • Out of state considered for money, at any point in process, FAFSA required for merit for out of state
  • Merit aid for international but not need-based
  • Dance major 20 students, most competitive program bachelors degree and conservatory level, modern focus, interviews, most prestigious, very high attendance by student body at performances
  • Also nursing direct admit pre-nursing, 2 year BSN, building clinic for public
  • Strong: Political communications, broadcast journalism, journalism, communications popular, strong history program, government program, many high profile people from DC come to campus, also students go to DC for hands-on research projects
  • Freshman required to live on campus, lots of options on campus even with lottery system after freshman year
  • Orientation program and course, helping students meet people and get over home sickness, college readiness course offered anytime freshman year, RAs foster community and getting them out there, learn about resources on campus
  • Honors living learning communities and other LLC’s
  • Massive pep band and school spirit for basketball
  • Sense of community is strong, suburban and safe, comforting, weekend life varies lots on campus and Fairfax, but many go into DC, many organizations on campus, very genuine students, politically active campus

Some quick takes……..

Drew University

DrewDrew is located on a beautiful, wooded, 186-acre campus in Madison, New Jersey, a small town close to New York City. Drew has six new programs for a semester/year in NYC where students walk from campus to the commuter train with faculty on Thursdays/Fridays to participate. Programs on Wall Street, in theater, the arts and communications make this an ideal spot for students who want the best of both worlds. Drew is reaching further for students, with merit awards available.

Kettering University

Programs include year-round paid co-op experiences at companies around the world. Many are tied to auto industry. Applicants are invited in March of their senior year to campus to explore various engineering (only) options and make a selection so that they can start day one in their area of interest. The next semester they begin their jobs and are paid between $14/$20 an hour but some students later get stipends for living expenses covered by companies. Students get to go home during the December holidays and Spring but other than that go year-round and finish in 4.5 years with great experience and jobs lined up. A total of 1800 undergraduates in Flint, Michigan are all taught by faculty.


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