UCLA

The University of Utah’s Bargain Honors Program

The University of Utah’s Bargain Honors Program

High-quality education in the form of Honors Colleges in Public Universities is becoming ever more common. Within the University of California system most have, including UCLA, UCI, and five of the six colleges of UCSD, special honors programs. The reason behind the growth of these honors programs is public universities want to keep their best students at home, in state, and challenged by a curriculum many believe can only be obtained from the most selective universities.

 

The Importance of the College Library

The Importance of the College Library

When visiting a campus one of the last places most students want to see is the library, or, depending on the size of the school, the library system.  Neglecting the library, however, is a big mistake.

Many of the main benefits students derive in college are associated with the library. Outside of class, most students spend their time in the dormitory, cafeteria, the gym, or in the library.

Making your UC Personal Statement

Making your UC Personal Statement

For the first time in recent history, the UC Admissions site goes live on the same day as the Common Application: August 1st.

If you’re going to be a senior next year, it might not be a bad idea to celebrate by writing the first draft of your UC Personal Statement now. As the websites at most the UC campuses advise, applicants should take ample time to brainstorm, write, revise and burnish their essays. It is essential to do as good a job as possible on the personal statements as they are key components in the UC selection process at most of the campuses.

Cooper Union: No Longer ‘Free as Water and Air’

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, located in Manhattan’s East Village with 1,000 students and an admission’s rate of 8%, was founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, a successful entrepreneur who had designed and built the first steam railroad engine.

Cooper wanted to create a college, ‘equal to the best’ yet ‘open and free to all’ regardless of sex, wealth, or social status. Cooper Union is comprised of three schools: Irwin Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art, and Albert Nerkin School of Engineering.

The engineering school offers both bachelors and masters degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering. Thomas Edison is a notable former student.

The Advantages of the Small College with the Resources of a Giant University

  • Enrolling in a school that is part of a Consortium
  • The Small community-feel of certain Big Universities
  • Don't be deceived by the size of the school
Sometimes when I recommend a small, liberal arts school to students, say a school like Pomona College, they're puzzled. Why in the world would they want to pay $45-50,000 a year for a school with 1,500 students (smaller than most high schools) and, in all likelihood, with limited resources? On the surface, such an objection makes sense. However, it doesn't account for the consortium of colleges to which Pomona belongs. This consortium opens a huge network of educational opportunities for all Pomona students, while maintaining Pomona's personal and intimate touch. Pomona is part of the Claremont College Consortium. There are a total of 5 undergraduate campuses: Claremont McKenna, which specializes in business and economics; Harvey Mudd, engineering; Pitzer, behavior sciences; Scripps, foreign language; and two graduate schools. None of these colleges is much bigger than a mid-sized dorm at UCLA, yet each has its own faculty, administration, admissions office, and curriculum. They also share a number of services and facilities among themselves: art studios, a biological field station, a 2,500-seat concert hall, interscholastic athletic teams, and the Claremont library that houses over 1.9 million volumes. Students at any of the member Claremont College Consortium can cross register for over 2,500 different courses given by its members. While the average class size at Pomona College is 14 students, a Pomona student has access to almost unlimited educational resources-and I haven't even touched on Pomona's exchange programs with Swarthmore and Colby (on the East Coast), or the Study Abroad Program, or the 3-2 engineering program with Cal Tech. The Claremont Consortium is by no means a rarity. A number of smaller schools band together to offer cross registration of courses, share study abroad programs, or their facilities. One of the best listings of consortia can be found on page 771 of "Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2009." It lists some of the "largest and oldest" of these programs:
  • The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (www.acm.edu ): 14 institutions including Carleton, Macalester, University of Chicago, Colorado College, and Grinnell (Iowa)
  • The Associated Colleges of the South (www.colleges.org): 16 institutions including  Davidson, University of Richmond, and Washington and Lee
  • Five College Consortium (www.fivecolleges.edu) : including Smith College, Amherst College and three others; allows any undergraduate at the member schools to cross register
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association (www.glca.org): joins together 12 liberal arts schools including DePauw, Kenyon (Ohio), and Kalamazoo, to offer study abroad programs.The listing above is by no means comprehensive. There are consortiums among Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and the University of Pennsylvania; the Colleges of Worcester Consortium (including Tufts, Holy Cross, and others); The Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities...the list goes on.
On the flip side of small schools magnifying resources through joining a consortium, are big universities that gain the feel of a small school through special honors programs, residential colleges, and special programs. Honors programs in schools such as UCLA (http://www.ugeducation.ucla.edu/honors/hchome.html ), University of Michigan, or University of Wisconsin, emphasize small class size, select faculty, and "community atmosphere in a large university." Other schools build a sense of community through a residential college program, initiated by Oxbridge, and incorporated by Yale, Harvard, and Pennsylvania universities (among many). Then there are special programs, with very limited enrollment and very low student/faculty ratios. One example is Cornell University's College of Human Ecology and its Interior Design program. It has about 100 students and 14 faculty members, with access to a university of over 13,000 undergraduates. The moral to take from this is to not be deceived by the size of a school. In many cases, a small school can access the resources of a giant, while a giant school might very well have programs that make it feel like an intimate community. Uncovering these features requires research, questioning and, better still, a visit, if at all possible. There are no rules for what a school's size means, only potential opportunities that beckon investigation. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy College Prep LLC -------------------------------------- 대학의 자원을 접할 있는 작은 대학의 장점
  • Consortium 속하는 대학 연구
  • 대학 중에서 작은 이웃처럼 느끼기
  • 학교의 크기에 신경 쓰지 말라
필자가 학생들에게 Pomona college처럼 규모가 작은 인문과학대학을 추천하면,  그들은 고개를 갸우뚱한다.  학비 45-50,000불을 내고 학생수는 1,500 명(일반 공립고보다 작은 숫자)이고, 자원이 풍부하지 않는 학교를 다닐 것인가?  겉으로는 이러한 반대의견이 맞다.  그러나, 이는 Pomona 대학이 속해있는 consortium대학들을 고려하지 않은 탓이다.  이러한 consortium에서는 속한 대학의 학생들에게 엄청난 교육의 기회를 제공한다.  또한 Pomona의 가족적인 친밀한 관계도 유지할 수 있다. Pomona는 Claremont College Consortium에 속한다.  총 5개교가 참여하고 있다: Claremont McKenna는 경영과 경제를 전문으로 한다; Harvey Mudd는 공학전문; Pitzer는 행동과학전문; Scripps는 외국어 전문; 그리고 2개교의 대학원이 있다.  5개교 각각은 UCLA의 기숙사보다 크지 않지만, 자체 교수진과, 행정부, 입학사정실과 교과과정을 갖고 있다.  반면, 많은 서비스와 시설은 공유한다: art studios, 생물학 현장, 2500좌석의 음악당, 운동부, 190만권의 장서를 가진 Claremont 도서실.  이 대학들의 학생들은 2,500의 개설과목들을 어느 대학에서나 등록할 수 있다.  Pomona의 수업당 학생수는 평균 14명이며, 이 학생들은 거의 무한의 교육자원을 얻을 수 있다.  필자가 경험하지는 않았지만, 이대학은 East Coast에 있는 Swarthmore, Colby대학과 교환프로그램이 있으며, 해외유학 프로그램과 Cal Tech에서의 공학프로그램도 있다. Claremont Consortium만 특이한 것이 아니다.  많은 작은 대학들이 수강신청, 해외유학 프로그램과 시설을 공유하여 신청하도록 한다.  아래의 자료는 오래되고 유명한 프로그램들이다(Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2009, p. 771참고).
  • The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (www.acm.edu ): 14 institutions including Carleton, Macalester, University of Chicago, Colorado College, and Grinnell (Iowa)
  • The Associated Colleges of the South (www.colleges.org): 16 institutions including  Davidson, University of Richmond, and Washington and Lee
  • Five College Consortium (www.fivecolleges.edu) : including Smith College, Amherst College and three others; allows any undergraduate at the member schools to cross register
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association (www.glca.org): joins together 12 liberal arts schools including DePauw, Kenyon (Ohio), and Kalamazoo, to offer study abroad programs.
위 자료만이 전부가 아니다.  그 외에도 Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and the University of Pennsylvania; the Colleges of Worcester Consortium (including Tufts, Holy Cross, and others); The Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities등 이상의 리스트가 있다. 작은 대학들이 consortium으로 자원을 극대화하는 반면, 큰 대학들은 honors programs를 제공하며 작은 대학의 환경을 만들어준다.  UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin의 honors programs은 소규모수업, 탁월한 교수진과 가족 같은 분위기를 내세운다.  Oxbridge대학은 residential college program을 만들어 가족 같은 분위기를 조성하며, Yale, Harvard, Pennsylvania 대학들도 시도하고 있다.  또한 적은 학생수에 교수비율의 특별 프로그램을 시행하는 대학도 있다.  Cornell대학의 College of Human Ecology와  Interior Design program은 13,000명의 재학생 중에서 100명의 학생과 14명의 교수진을 갖고 있다. 여기에서 배울 점은 대학의 크기에 좌우되지 말라는 점이다.  작은 대학들은 무한의 자원에 접할 수 있는 프로그램이 있으며, 큰 대학들은 친밀한 분위기를 가질 수 있는 프로그램을 갖고 있다.  이러한 자세한 특성들은 자료연구, 질문, 방문 등 여러 가지 방법으로 가능하다.  그러므로 학교의 크기가 의미하는 바보다는 심층조사로 잠재적 기회를 포착해야 한다.

The College Interview: Tips and Ideas

The College Interview: Tips and Ideas

How important is the college interview? The correct answer is, 'it depends.' There are over 2,400 four-year colleges and universities. Some put a great deal of weight on the interview; others, especially the most selective schools, rarely even conduct them, except through their alumni network. Of course, just when I'm ready to discount the importance of interviewing, a student, who was a true long shot at UCLA, gets admitted because of the strength of her interview.

Researching Colleges

The importance of researching colleges and how to do it.
  • Strategies essential in conducting research
  • Resources useful for the task
One part of the admissions process that is often a bit neglected, is doing the research on potential college fits. Many students, and their parents, pull together a preliminary list of colleges based mainly upon college ratings, rankings, reputations, and opinions; that's human nature. But there is more to the research process than graduating near the top of your class and immediately applying to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and then UCLA and UC Berkeley as your "safety schools". Today every applicant to a selective US college is facing stiff competition; most knowledgeable students and their families recognize this reality. Whether you believe it or not, even if you're the next Albert Einstein or Marie Curie, it's not a bad idea to research colleges of interest.  Furthermore, while you're going through the research process, it is critical to prepare a list of "reach" colleges-colleges that will be a challenge to gain entry, "target" colleges-colleges where you stand a good chance of acceptance, and "safety" colleges-colleges that will admit you, with very good assurance.  This coming admissions season will be the most competitive ever. The demographics confirm it. So, looking at a range of schools, and really getting to know your short list of the most promising and appealing is not just a good idea, but an essential strategy for dealing with what's ahead. Beyond these strategic necessities, there are some other reasons why research is now more important than ever before. Even if you're lucky enough to gain acceptance into your college picks, tuitions, fees, books, and room and board are becoming substantial expenses. Even if expenses are reduced through grants, or 'in state' status, the time a student invests to gain an education is not trivial: nowadays, in many institutions, taking 5-6 years to finish school is becoming less and less unusual. So, not knowing what you're getting into before you get there is plain foolish. To create a preliminary list of colleges upon which to research, some key questions need to be answered: location/setting-which regions of the country are of interest--; campus life-what school size is appealing, is it possible to live on-campus?; academic resources and requirements-does the student prefer a specialized program of study, e.g. pre-med, engineering, fine arts, or liberal arts?; extracurricular activities-study abroad programs, job internships through alumni networks, theater or intramural sports...Answering these types of questions is a good start. One standard college guide, Fiske Guide to Colleges 2008, has a "Sizing up the Survey," which you can use to guide you through this step. Assuming your preferences have led you to produce a preliminary list of schools, and remember, this is only a preliminary list, you can always make whatever changes you wish, now you are ready to get started. The first step is to grab a reliable, current guide, and read through, completely, a description of the university in question. The guide I mentioned above, The Fiske Guide, is a good source for a number of the leading selective schools. In addition, a very useful website, "College Navigator,"  mentioned previously in this column, will also give you a lot of the basic information you need to determine how well a school matches up with a student's needs. Here you'll find general information (including the school's mission statement), estimated expenses (that are pretty accurate, as this site is the government agency that gathers the FAFSA information), financial aid, enrollment, admissions, retention (what percentage of students actually graduate in 4, 5, or 6 years), programs and majors (and the number of students taking each major), and campus security. With this information, you a have a good foundation, but you still need to get more information to gain a better grasp of the school. Go to the school's website and take a general tour.  Let's assume that Dartmouth College is on your list. Then you'll want to go to Dartmouth's general information site, http://www.dartmouth.edu/apply/generalinfo/.  Here you'll find all the basic information, but there is a lot more that might give you a better feel of the campus and the students. There is a virtual tour, both video and still images, and blogs by current students, to gain an even better insight into the daily life of a student. If you have a specific interest in a department within Dartmouth, you can also go to its news site and sign up for a newsletter: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/features/sites/ .  There's even a site for Dartmouth experts, with biographies, one of whom, David Kang, is a noted expert on North Korea.  One other area to examine, if you're looking at a specific department, such as Physics or French, is the list of majors and their courses. This will give you a good idea of the course selection and major requirements. If you have specific information you're attempting to glean from a site, and it's not readily found, you can always enlist Google University: (http://www.google.com/options/universities.html), which allows a student to a search over whichever university website she wishes, using the Google Search engine. Sometimes, because the breadth of information available on colleges can seem virtually limitless, it’s not a bad idea to pull together a checklist with the specific information you want to find out about various schools, before you begin an extensive search. This will also allow you to customize your search to specific interests, and make the process that much more focused. Let’s assume you’re interested in MIT, and have a strong interest in studying physics. You can actually take a MIT Physics class on their website. MIT is part of OpenCourseWare, a group of universities that supplies complete courses, videos of lectures, booklists, tests, syllabi, all free, on-line. If you mention, on your application, should you decide to apply, that you have already worked through their 1999 class on Classical Physics, it tells the admissions office that you have done your homework and are more prepared to take advantage of the full scope of activities that MIT has to offer. By the way, the link to the physics class is: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-01Physics-IFall1999/CourseHome/index.htm. Your aim is to arrive at a list of 7-8 colleges (with the state university systems counting as one) containing reaches, targets, and safeties. Your research will lead you to schools, regardless of selectivity, that you like a lot.  I have had students that were so taken with one of  their “safety” schools, that it became difficult for them to choose where to go, when they were accepted to all of their schools. More importantly, don’t think this is a useless exercise. Researching your future is an invaluable skill that will come into play throughout your life (e.g. graduate schools, job searches).  So, do it well and look beyond the famous colleges: there are over 2,000 four-year schools awaiting your investigation. You might just fine some gems if you venture off the beaten track. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy College Prep LLC -----------------------------------