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Author Topic: Applying To Colleges  (Read 35469 times)
ilikeverin
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« Reply #525 on: May 01, 2012, 10:42:10 pm »
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But the Core Curriculum is awesome! In my field you have to get a graduate degree no matter what, and apparently there's some repetition, so why not broaden your mind if you have to fill credit requirements? Gives us all something in common to talk about, anyway.

Sure, if you'd like to "broaden your mind", and if you think that the best way to do so is read a bunch of old books, your university should let you.  If you don't want to, your university should let you.  If you want to broaden your mind by taking a bunch of random classes from all sorts of different departments, your university should let you.  Besides, how often do you think those mythical "conversations about core curriculum" conversations actually happen? Wink

I wasn't planning on applying to Brown until the past month when I've started to look at. My uncle went there and has a lot of contacts so I knew I'd have a better chance there than any of the other ivy leagues, but I'm still not sure. They are extremely liberal with majors and you have great flexibility in determining your concentration which is awesome.

If you're looking for flexibility, I can help; that was one of my key considerations in picking a school.  On your list, besides Brown (which sets the bar), UVA's Honors program is lovely on that count.  The University of Rochester was very good.  The Honors College here at Michigan State is great.

In general, take a harder look at state schools.  This isn't just personal bias against elitism, but one of the perks that's often associated with Honors programs at places like state schools is flexibility in choosing your major (some Honors programs just have you do an "Honors major" which you make whatever the heck you want) and in avoiding gen ed requirements.  While Simfan is slaving through 6 classes worth of core curriculum requirements, where he'll be reading "Great Books" that no one will ever care about ever again (Wink to Simfan Grin), you'll be able to make your education what you want it to be.

Thank you! Michigan has come up a few times during my research. I slightly fear going in more in depth simply because I always just end up expanding my list instead of limiting it Tongue though I guess it won't matter now and I'll have the summer. I looked at Rochester for that reason, but I don't think I could do it. If I don't even enjoy the weather at Ithaca, there's no way I can last Rochester Tongue . It's been in the 70s and 80s here and today for the first time I took off my jacket in class because our school has decided to stop using the air-conditioning to save money (of course they had it on DURING winter) and the class was shocked. So I am generally a very gold person already haha.

Ahem, I said Michigan State*, which is a vastly superior school to Michigan, obviously Grin (I actually know very little about the University of Michigan, as I promised my dad I wouldn't do that to him.  Obligatory blustering aside, they're both good schools, though Michigan is certainly traditionally better-regarded and is likely in a nicer location.  Our Honors College is a national model for Honors programs, though, no embellishment.) Honestly, don't worry about making your list too long.  So long as you commit to going through it and pruning in a reasonable amount of time, you're fine.  My grad school list was at some points over 100 items long (because I included just about every psych and linguistics program with a minimum ranking), but it was easy to prune out a lot of them with a cursory inspection; note, though, that it was at its longest early last year, and only got down into the single digits last fall.

You should also look at Maryland to party it up with Xahar and me.

Man up re: Rochester.  I loved the place, and continue to, even though I've rejected it twice.  I suppose you're talking to a Minnesotan, though, who cannot perceive anyone else's winter as particularly threatening.
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« Reply #526 on: May 01, 2012, 10:44:34 pm »
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But the Core Curriculum is awesome! In my field you have to get a graduate degree no matter what, and apparently there's some repetition, so why not broaden your mind if you have to fill credit requirements? Gives us all something in common to talk about, anyway.

Sure, if you'd like to "broaden your mind", and if you think that the best way to do so is read a bunch of old books, your university should let you.  If you don't want to, your university should let you.  If you want to broaden your mind by taking a bunch of random classes from all sorts of different departments, your university should let you.  Besides, how often do you think those mythical "conversations about core curriculum" conversations actually happen? Wink


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A-Bob
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« Reply #527 on: May 01, 2012, 10:51:53 pm »
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But the Core Curriculum is awesome! In my field you have to get a graduate degree no matter what, and apparently there's some repetition, so why not broaden your mind if you have to fill credit requirements? Gives us all something in common to talk about, anyway.

Sure, if you'd like to "broaden your mind", and if you think that the best way to do so is read a bunch of old books, your university should let you.  If you don't want to, your university should let you.  If you want to broaden your mind by taking a bunch of random classes from all sorts of different departments, your university should let you.  Besides, how often do you think those mythical "conversations about core curriculum" conversations actually happen? Wink

I wasn't planning on applying to Brown until the past month when I've started to look at. My uncle went there and has a lot of contacts so I knew I'd have a better chance there than any of the other ivy leagues, but I'm still not sure. They are extremely liberal with majors and you have great flexibility in determining your concentration which is awesome.

If you're looking for flexibility, I can help; that was one of my key considerations in picking a school.  On your list, besides Brown (which sets the bar), UVA's Honors program is lovely on that count.  The University of Rochester was very good.  The Honors College here at Michigan State is great.

In general, take a harder look at state schools.  This isn't just personal bias against elitism, but one of the perks that's often associated with Honors programs at places like state schools is flexibility in choosing your major (some Honors programs just have you do an "Honors major" which you make whatever the heck you want) and in avoiding gen ed requirements.  While Simfan is slaving through 6 classes worth of core curriculum requirements, where he'll be reading "Great Books" that no one will ever care about ever again (Wink to Simfan Grin), you'll be able to make your education what you want it to be.

Thank you! Michigan has come up a few times during my research. I slightly fear going in more in depth simply because I always just end up expanding my list instead of limiting it Tongue though I guess it won't matter now and I'll have the summer. I looked at Rochester for that reason, but I don't think I could do it. If I don't even enjoy the weather at Ithaca, there's no way I can last Rochester Tongue . It's been in the 70s and 80s here and today for the first time I took off my jacket in class because our school has decided to stop using the air-conditioning to save money (of course they had it on DURING winter) and the class was shocked. So I am generally a very gold person already haha.

Ahem, I said Michigan State*, which is a vastly superior school to Michigan, obviously Grin (I actually know very little about the University of Michigan, as I promised my dad I wouldn't do that to him.  Obligatory blustering aside, they're both good schools, though Michigan is certainly traditionally better-regarded and is likely in a nicer location.  Our Honors College is a national model for Honors programs, though, no embellishment.) Honestly, don't worry about making your list too long.  So long as you commit to going through it and pruning in a reasonable amount of time, you're fine.  My grad school list was at some points over 100 items long (because I included just about every psych and linguistics program with a minimum ranking), but it was easy to prune out a lot of them with a cursory inspection; note, though, that it was at its longest early last year, and only got down into the single digits last fall.

You should also look at Maryland to party it up with Xahar and me.

Man up re: Rochester.  I loved the place, and continue to, even though I've rejected it twice.  I suppose you're talking to a Minnesotan, though, who cannot perceive anyone else's winter as particularly threatening.

Our winter this year was mostly in the 50s with an occasional blizzard, so yes, anything up there, I'm a freezing person. I belong in arizona or florida with the old people Cheesy

Yes, I should look into expanding my list greatly this early summer (though I won't actually be able to visit these places).

Michigan St.
Maryland
UNC Chapel Hill?
Duke?

Any other suggestions?
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« Reply #528 on: May 01, 2012, 11:10:14 pm »
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NiK, I've known a couple of people who went to Rice and they loved it. Two girls from my graduating class are going there in the fall.
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« Reply #529 on: May 02, 2012, 12:25:04 am »
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I spent a considerable amount of time updating my mess of where I want to go to college (for either international relations or political science) and how I'm stacking up thus far. Basically the colleges I want to go to in descending order are almost the exact order of difficulty for me to get in.

Less likely
Yale
Harvard
Princeton
Stanford
MIT (tied with Stanford)

Maybe
Georgetown
Tufts
Brown

More likely
UVA
William & Mary
George Washington
University of Richmond

If you need information about W&M, I'm your man! Smiley
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benconstine
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« Reply #530 on: May 02, 2012, 04:08:03 pm »
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A-Bob, you should definitely look at UVA.  If you visit let me know; I'll happily show you around.
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« Reply #531 on: May 02, 2012, 04:32:19 pm »
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A-Bob, you should definitely look at UVA.  If you visit let me know; I'll happily show you around.

I'm probably going to be there in late June, if you'd be there already haha. Though I might just do all the colleges in the Northeast and not the D.C. Virginia colleges I'm looking at.
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A-Bob
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« Reply #532 on: May 02, 2012, 04:35:33 pm »
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I spent a considerable amount of time updating my mess of where I want to go to college (for either international relations or political science) and how I'm stacking up thus far. Basically the colleges I want to go to in descending order are almost the exact order of difficulty for me to get in.

Less likely
Yale
Harvard
Princeton
Stanford
MIT (tied with Stanford)

Maybe
Georgetown
Tufts
Brown

More likely
UVA
William & Mary
George Washington
University of Richmond

If you need information about W&M, I'm your man! Smiley

Awesome! How is their international relations program compared to their political science? Since I really don't know which one I want to go into, my lists of top schools are in a varying ordered compared on that decision.
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« Reply #533 on: May 02, 2012, 08:16:00 pm »
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NiK, I've known a couple of people who went to Rice and they loved it. Two girls from my graduating class are going there in the fall.

Well, that's good to know. Unfortunately, I'll probably end up not being able to visit it due to its distance from everywhere else I am applying. Ah well.

I'm actually considering applying to Reed as well; I recently read more about the school, and I liked the "intellectual" culture it seems to have. I'm not sure if it fits me, though. And I'm not sure if I could handle the workload of it. Portland is awesome, though, so that would be nice.

I recently visited the Claremont Colleges and USC. I was sort of neutral on USC; the campus was nice, but didn't like the neighborhood around it. I also don't know how I'd be able to reconcile my dislike of Trojan football. The Claremont Consortium schools were nice, but I think I'd probably get bored in the area eventually. The suburb seemed boring, but I really liked the campus.

Saw Stanford for the first time as well, too. I loved it. I had to leave convincing myself I didn't have a shot in hell of getting in, since I didn't cure cancer or travel to Uganda and capture Kony. There's always grad school, though.
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A-Bob
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« Reply #534 on: May 10, 2012, 05:24:18 pm »
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For east coast colleges, including ivy leagues, that require the ACT with writing (or SAT etc etc), will they look at my ACT scoring that I took without writing (all subscores were higher) combined with my writing score from the writing ACT? Or will they only look at any score that was received on a writing test?

Thought I'd just post this again, thank you for your help
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A-Bob
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« Reply #535 on: June 10, 2012, 04:06:38 pm »
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Which is better for political science and also international relations?

UC San Diego or UCLA?
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« Reply #536 on: June 10, 2012, 04:08:09 pm »
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I've heard UCLA.
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« Reply #537 on: June 10, 2012, 05:25:23 pm »
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No clue, but I do know that UCLA enters you as pre-political science when you arrive, and that after two years, they require you to petition to actually get into the major. I read that a long time ago, though, so I am unsure. I do know that UCSD is ranked higher at the graduate level for IR, but that hardly matters, I'm sure.

If you are highly interested in international affairs and are looking at LA-area colleges, why not Occidental College? It has a pretty cool program in which you get to intern at the UN, and as far as I know, is reputed to be fantastic in the subject.
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« Reply #538 on: June 13, 2012, 03:34:24 pm »
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I'm setting up meetings for a few minutes at a time with Professors from the schools I'm looking at this summer. Do you have any suggestions for questions to ask? These are all IR and political science professors.

I'll ask basic things like what undergrads in their program end up doing right after college, where do they  usually go to for graduate studies, what their program is like, for certain schools- how to get into their IR program.
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« Reply #539 on: June 13, 2012, 03:38:02 pm »
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Ask what the acceptance rates are for grad school. Smiley
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« Reply #540 on: June 13, 2012, 03:41:46 pm »
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Ask what the most frequently attended graduate schools are for your subject. Are they at the top of the food chain? The highest ranked? If a school claims to be effective in placing students, you need to know where they place the students.
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« Reply #541 on: June 13, 2012, 04:38:31 pm »
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Great idea, btw!  It definitely helped to talk to professors; they're usually better at giving you the "non-Admissions-certified" version of the school.

You should also ask what opportunities exist for undergrads to do research (or other academically-relevant work) on campus.  If you're feeling adventurous, you should ask for specific examples of times when they' themselves have worked with undergraduates outside the classroom.
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« Reply #542 on: June 21, 2012, 02:26:45 pm »
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I have a question that hopefully someone can give me some insight on.

My sister and one of her best friends applied to a couple of universities in-state and got into both of them, but they're not sure which one to pick. One university is a more expensive top-tier public university with a degree program that's fairly broad, while the other is a less expensive second-tier public university with a degree program that is very focused on exactly what they want to do. Also, the second-tier school allows them to get a BA and a BS in their field with only one extra quarter if everything goes according to plan. Both universities are not really in parts of the state that they want to live long term.

I'm not sure what to advise them in this situation. Both really like the latter program, but the former is a better school. Which would be the best for their long term career prospects?
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« Reply #543 on: June 21, 2012, 02:28:57 pm »
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I have a question that hopefully someone can give me some insight on.

My sister and one of her best friends applied to a couple of universities in-state and got into both of them, but they're not sure which one to pick. One university is a more expensive top-tier public university with a degree program that's fairly broad, while the other is a less expensive second-tier public university with a degree program that is very focused on exactly what they want to do. Also, the second-tier school allows them to get a BA and a BS in their field with only one extra quarter if everything goes according to plan. Both universities are not really in parts of the state that they want to live long term.

I'm not sure what to advise them in this situation. Both really like the latter program, but the former is a better school. Which would be the best for their long term career prospects?
Option 2 - it's cheaper and is better for what they want to do.
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« Reply #544 on: June 21, 2012, 08:18:40 pm »
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I have a question that hopefully someone can give me some insight on.

My sister and one of her best friends applied to a couple of universities in-state and got into both of them, but they're not sure which one to pick. One university is a more expensive top-tier public university with a degree program that's fairly broad, while the other is a less expensive second-tier public university with a degree program that is very focused on exactly what they want to do. Also, the second-tier school allows them to get a BA and a BS in their field with only one extra quarter if everything goes according to plan. Both universities are not really in parts of the state that they want to live long term.

I'm not sure what to advise them in this situation. Both really like the latter program, but the former is a better school. Which would be the best for their long term career prospects?

Former. College is the new high school, everyone gets a degree. It's about doing excellent in whatever college you're in while being able to connect to a large and active alumni society upon graduation and knowing your school sends kids to good graduate programs. Of course if they aren't happy with the 1st one then they shouldn't go there.
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« Reply #545 on: June 21, 2012, 10:11:56 pm »
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How sure is she about what field she would like to get into? A ton of kids go off to college and find out they really don't want to major in what they thought. If your sister goes to the lesser school with the more focused program, she will need either be completely sure about the program she wants or have some other back-up plan there in case she doesn't like it. She's not going to need to worry about that as much at the better school with a less focused program.
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« Reply #546 on: June 22, 2012, 03:03:06 am »
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I should have mentioned that they are both transferring in with associate's degrees as juniors. They've bounced around a bit major-wise in community college, but I think they pretty much have settled on the major that I've thought should have been their first choice all along as it fits them so well.
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« Reply #547 on: June 22, 2012, 10:46:10 am »
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Former, half of college is the reputation, unfortunately. However I'd need names, to be honest. Are we talking Michigan or Ohio state, for example?

Also, how have they not chosen by now?
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« Reply #548 on: June 22, 2012, 02:59:04 pm »
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Yes, give names.  And have them pick the cheaper one.  (However, they should know that having two bachelor's degrees doesn't count for much.)
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« Reply #549 on: June 24, 2012, 09:30:52 am »
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I'm assuming the first university is Washington State. The second is, what, Eastern Washington?
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