Posts filed under ‘NY’

Book Review: 3 meritocracies

* CalTech, the elite science and technology school
* Cooper Union, the NYC school of art, architecture and engineering, where tuition is free
* Berea, a school strictly for poor students from Appalachia, with free tuition


Continue Reading April 10, 2009 at 12:14 am Leave a comment

College Visit Report: Fordham

Fordham’s information session in Dallas this past fall really “wow”ed us, but we weren’t exactly bowled over at Admitted Students Day.  Still, we learned some interesting things.

They really pitched the advantages of New York City, in terms of things to do, internships and jobs.

  • I’m still a bit skeptical, as Manhattan is 30-60 minutes away.  Do students really have that much time to spend travelling?  Still…
  • If I had attended college in a big city, would I have spent more time at the theatre and museums and less time at frat parties and keggers?   Is alcohol less of an issue if there are more interesting things to do?
  • There are a plethora of organizations in NYC – both for profit and non-profit – with which  to do internships or career “shadow days”.
  • Of Fordham’s grads who find employment after college, 87% find jobs in the NYC area.

That last point is an interesting consideration.  For a student who wants to work in NYC after graduation, it would be advantageous to attend college at Fordham.  But for a student who does not want to end up in NYC, the career services might be lacking.  However, they told us that Fordham students can also take advantage of career services at all 27 Jesuit colleges, although interviewing with an employer across the country is a challenge.   But if my daughter sees herself as living, post college, in Chicago, then attending a college in Chicago might be a better tactic.

On the social front, Fordham protests that they are not a “suitcase college”, meaning one where everyone goes home for the weekend.  They proudly cite that RAs organized 1300 activities last year as proof.  So add the NYC attractions to the on-campus events, and there should be plenty of ways for kids to stay out of trouble, even though alcohol is allowed on campus.

Although 30% of students “commute”, most of them live in apartments in the neighborhood, not home with mom & dad.

Applicants from outside the northeastern states, and particularly those in the southwest, may have an advantage in admissions as Fordham is working to be more of a national university.   Still, the families we met were all from Philadelphia or points northeast.   They were also all Catholic and applied only to Catholic universities, even though Fordham keeps reiterating that it values diversity and serves people of all faiths.

The Honors program accepts only 25 students, who then take their core classes together.

I again got the vibe that Fordham cares deeply about social justice.  The Urban Plunge program brings freshman on-campus 3 days early for service experience, team building and bonding before normal orientation.

Bottom line: Fordham is still on our list but Admitted Students Day didn’t move it to the top of the list.

February 22, 2009 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Kudos for Fordham’s marketing

We just got a letter from Fordham University, one of the colleges where my daughter has been accepted, telling us to “save the date” for May 18, 2013. Huh? Oh, cute. That’s my daughter’s graduation date, should she decide to attend.

Nice job, Fordham. You got my attention and created a sense of buy-in or commitment.

(If you’re not familiar with Fordham, “The Jesuit University of New York”, it has a traditional Gothic campus in the Bronx next to the Bronx Zoo and another campus at Lincoln Center, a great law school, and – what captured my daughter’s attention – an honors major in International Political Economy. The information session that the director of admissions held here in Dallas ranks as one of our 3 most impressive info sessions….and he spoke without notes and without PowerPoints!)

January 25, 2009 at 9:26 am Leave a comment

The Selected Six

Hooray!  My daughter has completed her college applications.  The final six selections are (in alphabetical order because she still doesn’t know how to rank them in order of preference):

  1. Clark University, Worcester, MA – smallest research university in the US, appealed to her because of the college’s close ties to local government for internships and the sense that the campus is involved in social change
  2. DePaul University, Chicago, IL – she loves Chicago and they offer urban planning & environmental studies
  3. Fordham University, The Bronx, NY – their international political economy major combines all her interests
  4. Macalester College, St. Paul, MN – she felt she would “fit in” best here – perhaps influenced by the fact that Michelle Obama was speaking the afternoon of our visit
  5. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL – originally made her list when she wanted to be a journalist because they have a great journalism school (and she didn’t like Mizzou’s journalism school), but she still liked it well enough to want to go there even if she’s not going into journalism.
  6. Washington University, St. Louis, MO – strong political science program, gorgeous campus, beautiful new dorms, fun pep band (no practices required – just show up and have fun), best info session ever, and generally a great place.  Grandpa is rooting for this one because he lives at the end of the light rail line so he hopes he’ll see her regularly.

If she gets accepted by all 6, it’s going to be a tough choice!   I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed until April 1st, when the last of the acceptance or rejection letters goes out.

December 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

Info Session: Fordham

Wow.  Fordham University’s information session would rank in the top 3 of all the sessions we have attended, and the admissions director spoke without notes and without PowerPoint slides.

He also had a very engaging current student speak.  She really got my daughter’s attention when she said she was pursuing an Honors major in International Political Economy.  Now that my daughter is taking economics and loving it, that major combines almost all her interests!

Fordham is a Jesuit university, so students have to take some religion/ethics/philosophy courses.  Knowing that my daughter has sometimes felt pressure from Catholics at her high school to conform to their beliefs, I asked questions about the % of students who were practicing Catholics and what impact being a Jesuit university had on the students’ lives.  The answers reassured me that students are respected for holding their beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs might be.

I think Fordham might make her final list.

September 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

Info Session: Cornell

When my son and I attended Cornell‘s info session, they came across as trying to offer everything.  One area where they truly are exceptional is Hotel Administration.  But that’s not high on our list.

It’s also a great buy for New York state residents, provided they want to pursue certain majors, because parts of the university are land grant colleges and therefore have lower tuition for in-state residents.

Interesting note on dual credit:  Cornell will not give any credit for dual credit courses taught on a high school campus.

I’m turned off, though, by any university that will admit you but then tell you that you can’t get into the college/major of your dreams.   Also, Cornell only offers need-based aid, not merit-based, and I expect my son should be able to find some significant merit-based aid somewhere else.

Bottom line:  no great appeal for us.

April 1, 2008 at 7:24 pm Leave a comment

Insights and advice from a parent of two gifted teenagers



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