Stumped as far as picking colleges to investigate - help

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: Stumped as far as picking colleges to investigate - help
By Web250 (Web250) on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit

I'm currently a junior in high school (Suffern HS, Suffern, New York, ranked 488 in the nation). Here are my grades and other info:

white male

AP Chem - B+ range
AP US History - A
AP Spanish I - A
Honors English - A
Pre-calc - A (100, 97, 100 on regents the 3 yrs prior)
Chorus - A (the schools top bass)
C++ - 100 average

AP US Gov and Poli (will take both AP for US and Comparitive)
Honors Physics
AP Calc AB
AP Spanish II
Shakespeare (english)
Chorus (4th year straight)

EC: School musical 3 yrs running
Select Choir, Area-All State Chorus, Senior and Junior All-County Choruses, NYSSMA level 6 - 91/100 singing.
I tutor 2 hrs every week for free at my old elementary school helping 4th graders with their homework. This has amounted to close to 100 hours. I am active member of my Jewish community (youth group board, hebrew school, etc.)

PSATs: 630m 600v taking SAT in may
SATII's - taking 3 in june
Regents, all over 85 (mastery), all but 1 over 92

Other stuff: high honor roll/ honor roll every quarter in hs. I'm ranked in the top 10% out of nearly 400.

DISABILITY: I'm also half-deaf

I've really been considering teaching as my career. I'd prob either teach history or math, im undecided on which. I'm confused on which schools to look at, my family is not affluent by any means, and I'm certainly gonna need financial aid. What would be good schools to look at in my area (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut) that are good schools, that i have a decent chance of acceptance and will give me a good amount of money, or are public. #1 on my list would be SUNY-Binghamton, which usnews just ranked 38th in the nation.

Any other suggestions?? Also, do u think teaching is a good route (schools in my area pay very well), and what do i major in for that, do i major in ie: math secondary ed, or do i major in just math? How does that work? Also, what is truly more important, undergrad or grad?

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 12:08 pm: Edit

If you wish to teach high school, most states will require you to get an undergraduate degree in the subject area you want to teach (i.e., major in math or social studies) and then take education courses in order to get your teaching credential. Some schools will allow you to work towards your teaching credential as an undergraduate, but in many cases you'll have some work to do post-graduate to get credentialled.

If you want to teach at the college level, you need to concentrate on finding the strongest overall academic program so you can get into a good graduate program for your doctorate.

I'd say SUNY Binghamton would be a good choice for you with strong programs in both math and history. Other SUNY schools worth looking at for your interests: SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY BRockport (for history). I'd suggest you start by reading through the web sites of each of these schools (you can find links at and getting a sense for whether you'd prefer a larger or smaller school, a more urban or rural environment, etc.

If you want to look beyond the SUNY system, here are some other suggestions for schools:
Union, Boston U, Rutgers, U of Maryland-College Park, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Drew University, Bucknell, Gettyburg, GEorge Washington, Trinity (CT), Skidmore.

By Pattykk (Pattykk) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 03:48 pm: Edit

You might want to read Loren Pope's "Colleges That Change Lives." Juniata College, Hiram College, Kalamazoo, and several others might fit the bill. I don't know how severe your hearing loss is, but Rochester Institute of Technology has good programs for the hearing impaired. If you are willing to venture south, look at St. Andrews in North Carolina.

By Web250 (Web250) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 05:45 pm: Edit

Carolyn: as for New York State, i know that I will need a masters degree to get certified. You can be hired with a bachelors, but you must recieve certificiation (masters + training hours + tests) within three years or with NYS waiver for a longer amount of time.

Also, nobody really commented on my grades and my chance for getting good money...any comments on that would be appreciated :) thanks.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit

In general, one has one's best chance of getting merit aid if one checks first to see if the colleges offer merit aid. If one is in the top 1/4 of the applicant pool that adds to your chances.

Before applying, check out various colleges web sites and see what kind of merit aid they offer and who qualifies.

Some colleges may have merit aid for aspiring elementary/secondary school teachers. In such cases, males would be at an advantage because they are underrepresented in that profession.

Also check out your local community college. Probably you'd have a good chance at full aid, and after 2 years may have a great chance of transferring to a state public school with nice merit aid, too. Look at the community colleges web pages under financial and and also check state publics for merit aid for transfer students.

Getting a college guide like US News or Princeton Review -- available at most libraries, bookstores -- also can help you get a good overview of what colleges look for.

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