Lynbrook | Module #1: A Look at the College Selection Process
A Look at the College Selection Process STEP ONE Emily Chang B. Arch 1st Year Cornell University
<ul><li>Choosing what colleges to apply to is the first step in the application process. If you already have a long list of schools that you want to try and get into, congratulations! You are well on your way, and it is time to take another look at the list and determine if it is a realistic one or not. If you have not started thinking about where to apply, it is time to start researching right away! </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of this module is to provide some general guidelines and factors to consider whether you are just starting to create a list or trying to edit and add to what you already have. Each person will have a different set of important criteria when picking schools to apply to so read on and see what is most important to you. Keep this in mind while picking but remember, this is just the beginning so keep your options open! </li></ul>Hello Everyone!
<ul><li>Distance from Home </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: the farther away you are from, the more travel expenses and you may not be able to go home for as many holidays. Be prepared to either stay at school or arrange your own visits to places close by. </li></ul><ul><li>This can be fun to, so don't be intimidated by the freedom being far from home can give you! </li></ul>
Big City vs. Rural Town Consider how convenient (or not) the school will be, whether it is part of a college town or in a large city such as NYC or Chicago. The environment of the school will change depending on its surroundings. Also think about how important it is for you to have an actual campus Check what cities and major airports are nearby, especially if you are going to be using them frequently.
Weather Being from California means we are spoiled by good weather year-round, be prepared for real winters (snow, etc) especially if you plan on going to the east coast. This means you will probably have to invest in a set of cold weather clothes to be fully prepared for college life! I have some friends who immediately crossed out all schools that are past Arizona because they cannot live without the wonderful weather we have on the West Coast, so if you are like them, think twice before adding East Coast schools to your list.
If you ask me: Cornell is a very different place, even compared to other schools on the East Coast. Ithaca is a very small college town for one, and being in upstate New York means I am not really close to any major city. Not to mention the winters here are very cold and snowy, making it inconvenient when flying home (flights get cancelled, etc). The upside is that I am learning how to work around and plan. Also, I initially decided to apply here purely based on the architecture program. I figured that I could deal with anything Cornell and Ithaca would throw at me once I got here. I definitely do not regret coming here, though there are days when I would (almost) give up anything to trade the impossible snow/wind for some California sun.
<ul><li>SMALL </li></ul><ul><li>A school's size determines how many people are in your classes, dorms, and essentially how many people you will encounter throughout your college career. Think about whether having a very close relationship with your classmates and professors is important to you. Small schools usually mean that you will bump into the same people more often. They will feel a lot more personal, but you may feel a little restricted when stuck with the same people for 4+ years. </li></ul>
BIG One major issue that comes with bigger schools is the "lost" feeling that you can get when entering a college that is much larger than the high school you went to. However, a lot of larger schools also give you the opportunity to experience a "small school" atmosphere On plus side, big schools usually have more choices when it comes to the types of classes you can take. If you are undecided, or would like to take courses that may not necessarily be related to your major, big schools will be more likely to have the variety of classes that you want. To put it into perspective: a private “big” school is about four times the size of Lynbrook and a public “big” school can be up to twelve times the size of Lynbrook.
If you ask me: Cornell is big compared to Lynbrook, and I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed that first week of orientation when the entire freshman class was all in one place. The special thing about my experience here at Cornell is that though the campus is huge, there are only 50 freshman architects and we spend a lot of time together. In a program like this, I am lucky enough to get a small college and large university experience. I am sure that this is the case for many larger schools as well, there are so many opportunities to meet people in academics or extracurriculars.
Similar to the size of the school, whether the institution is private or public will result in some differences in your experience there. Private schools usually have smaller classes. Though there are still the big lecture hall classes, these classes have small discussion groups that give students a chance to go over the material in a more personal environment. At Cornell, these discussion groups have 20 or less people. Public schools are naturally larger, and so classes also grow in size. It is also harder to get classes since funding for public schools is limited. Public schools tend to have more students who are from the immediate area while there seems to be a greater number of international students at private schools.
<ul><li>Have a good idea of how much your family can afford in terms of your college education. At this point in time, though it is important to keep cost in mind, don't let it get in the way of applying to your dream school. </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond what the listed cost of tuition, room and board, etc, there are also travel expenses and student fees that will vary depending on the school. Just get a general sense of what it might cost </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to consider financial aid, the type of school (public/private), and whether you already or will have siblings in college while you are in school. </li></ul><ul><li>For Financial Aid: Consider fastweb.com as well as the Lynbrook College & Career Center to find both need-based and merit-based scholarships. Also, ask your mentors! </li></ul>
<ul><li>Here is a basic break-down of costs: </li></ul><ul><li>UC- $30,000 </li></ul><ul><li>CSU- $20,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Private School- $50,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Out-of-state Public School- $45,000~$50,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Don't forget that there are also application fees. These fees can add up: the more colleges you apply to, the more you will be paying, so choose wisely! </li></ul>
If you ask me: I applied to a pretty diverse group of schools when it came to cost. I had UCs, a CSU, out of state public schools (which would cost about as much as a private school), and private schools. One other school awards a full tuition scholarship to admitted students(The Cooper Union). Even though cost was not one of the major concerns while picking colleges to apply to, I thought about this issue a lot more carefully after hearing back from the schools. *No matter what schools you end up choosing, be sure to look up scholarships and apply for financial aid.
<ul><li>If you already have a good idea of what field you would like to go into, it will also be important to research your own specific major rather than looking at schools over all. Some schools may not rank very high may have really strong programs in certain subjects, so do not overlook them. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Ivy Leagues </li></ul><ul><li>There is still a definite prestige associated with the Ivy League schools that makes Lynbrook students gravitate toward them, and the legends are not completely untrue. As a student at an Ivy League school, I hear about the great connections that alumni have after graduation. However, keep in mind that prestige and a name will only get you so far, and there is an undeniably big price tag that comes along with an Ivy League education as well. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
If you ask me: The most important criteria I had while selecting colleges to apply to was the major that I wanted to apply for. Taking into account both ranking and area of study, I looked up the top architecture schools in the US, and used that to create my list of colleges. Since I was already very sure of my decision to study architecture, this was the easiest way for me to finalize my own list.
<ul><li>When it comes to choosing colleges, it’s of course important to consider what you want to study. While the environment is important, ultimately, you’ll be spending most of your time on schoolwork. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind that some schools may be better for certain academic interests than others. For instance, Wharton is great for pre-professional business, while Cornell is great for Architecture. </li></ul>
If you ask me: The best way to get to know the college’s academic strengths is to reach out to students who go to those schools. The great thing about Lynbrook is that there are tons of alumni at practically any college you’re interested in. Shoot them a quick Facebook message and ask them about the department you’re interested in!
<ul><li>Deciding what colleges to apply to is the first step in the process, and really determines what you are going to have to do for the following months in terms what the amount of essays, letters of rec, and different applications you will need to complete. </li></ul><ul><li>Before you finalize the list, make sure that each school you are applying to is a place that you can see yourself attending. Whether it is a "back-up" or that dream school, think of each place as your potential second home for the next 4 years. While it is important to be realistic, this is your chance to reach for something that you really want for yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Take a look at the list of key dates/suggested deadlines and the links on the following slides to get more detailed information on the actual application process. </li></ul><ul><li>Good Luck! </li></ul><ul><li>Emily </li></ul>SOME LAST WORDS...
KEY DATES (AND SOME SUGGESTED DEADLINES) <ul><li>Summer </li></ul><ul><li>If you haven't already, start to research colleges online (start nearby, go by majors, ask teachers/your CompassPoint mentor/counselors, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Start to brainstorm and outline your college essays-this will take a while so start as early as you can just to get some ideas out </li></ul><ul><li>August </li></ul><ul><li>Have a list of about 8-15 colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Ask teachers for letters of rec (private schools)---some teachers will only write a certain number of letters </li></ul><ul><li>September </li></ul><ul><li>Finish up essays for UC's, have others read over your essay (family, counselors, friends, teachers) </li></ul><ul><li>Work on essays for private schools </li></ul><ul><li>October </li></ul><ul><li>UC and CSU application deadlines--turn them in a couple of days early if possible, the servers CRASH </li></ul><ul><li>If you are applying Early Decision/Early Action, deadlines are also in October </li></ul><ul><li>By now, you should have finalized your list so you have sufficient time to work on applications and essays! </li></ul><ul><li>November </li></ul><ul><li>Nov. 1st---absolute last day to turn in early applications </li></ul><ul><li>Nov. 1~Nov. 30---filing period for UC applications </li></ul><ul><li>December </li></ul><ul><li>If you applied Early Action/Early Decision, you will hear from the college mid-December </li></ul><ul><li>Dec. 1 Regular Decision applications due --check specific s </li></ul><ul><li>January </li></ul><ul><li>Jan. 1st---start your FAFSA---apply for a PIN on the fafsa.gov website </li></ul><ul><li>February </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Aid deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>March </li></ul><ul><li>UC decisions will start to come out this month </li></ul><ul><li>April </li></ul><ul><li>Private School decisions </li></ul><ul><li>May </li></ul><ul><li>May 1st---last day to respond to colleges! </li></ul>