New college guide for midrange students





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: New college guide for midrange students
By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 03:53 pm: Edit

There's a relatively new guidebook out that focuses on schools for C/B students - it's called Finding the College that's Right For You by John Palladino, McGraw Hill publishing. The book focuses on schools for "midrange" students - kids in the C/B range with SATs in the 1000-1200 mark. I bought a copy yesterday and found it had some very useful reviews of schools that aren't normally included in the main college guidebooks. The author notes that there are lots of schools out there for "average" students but sorting out the quality ones from the so-so ones can be difficult. He has a list of things he looked at in picking schools for the book: transition to college programs, counseling & Academic support, job placement statistics, core & program distribution requirements, plus the usual things like student-faculty ratio, graduation rate, etc.

It's a very nice little guidebook.

Among the schools included:
Albright (PA)
Alfred (NY)
Alma College MI
Augstana College SD
Bradley U IL
Bryant College RI
Coe College IA
Assumption College (Mass)
Birmingham-Southern U (AL)
Berry College (GA)
California Lutheran (CA)
Central College (Iowa
Carroll College (MT
Canisius College (NY)
College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio)
College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's U, Min
Coirnell College, Iowa
Creighton U, NE
Dordt College (Iowa)
Elizabethtown College, PA
Elmira College, NY
Elon, NC
Emory & Henry (VA)
Franklin College (In)
Georgetown College, KY
Hanover, Indiana
Hiram, Ohio
Hobart & William Smith, NY
Juniata, PA
John Carroll University Ohio
Lake Forest College, IL
Linfield, ORegon
Manhattan College, NY
McDaniel College MD
Moravian PA
Presbyterian College, SC
Roanoke College, VA
Hamline U (MN)
Hartwick College (NY)
Hope College (MI)
Keene STate College (NH)
LaSalle U (PA)
Longwood College (VA)
Lenoir-Rhyne Colelge NC
Lynchburg College VA
Marietta College OH
MArquette U Wisc.
Marywood U PA
Meredith College NC
Millicin U Il
Mount St. MAry's College, MD
Muskingum College, Ohio
Niagara U NY
Northwestern College IA
Otterbein College Ohio
PAcific U Oregon
Quinnipiac CT
Randloph-Macon VA
Sacred Heart, CT
Seattle U, WA
Siena College, NY
Simmons College, MA
Stetson U, Fl,
Susquehanna U, PA
Unviersity of the Pacific, CA
University of Redlands, CA
Saint Anselm College RI
Saint Mary's College of CAlifornia
Saint Mary's U MN
Saint MAry's U TexasWagner Collge, NY
WAshington College, MD
Whitworth College, WA
WAshington & Jefferson PA
Whitworth, WA
Wittenberg U, OH
William Jewell College, MO
Winthrop U, SC
Xavier U Ohio
SPring Hill College, AL
Shippensburg University, PA
Saint Vincent College, PA

By Kissy (Kissy) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Thanks for the info on the book, Carolyn. Is it a guide book with stats and lists or does the author discuss the schools' characteristics ala Loren Pope?

By Vjjones59 (Vjjones59) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 05:19 pm: Edit

Just curious about something...Can one assume/predict that colleges on this list would be more likely to offer merit aid to students in the academic upper range? I was once told that this kind of school will dangle a few carrots to better students in order to attract a few more highly qualified candidates. Not sure if this is true even though it makes some sense, just thought I'd through it out to some of the more experienced CC parents.

By Lamom (Lamom) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 08:03 pm: Edit

When son interviewed at Univ of Redlands my husband was told they would be willing to negotiate. We were pleased with the offer when it came several months later and did not feel it was necessary or right to negotiate--this school would be our son's home. He could have gone to ASU w/full tuition plus $$, fit was our criteria not a free ride. As cheap as I can be, I did not feel right trying to pressure his new family for more.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 10:50 am: Edit

Vjjones- students do improve their chances of receiving merit aid by applying to a lower tier or bracket of schools than their stats would place them at.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 11:50 am: Edit

Carolyn--interesting list! This is the first time I've seen Dordt and Northwestern (the one in Iowa) on a list. My niece applied to both and will be going to Northwestern. I had never heard of either one of them before she applied. She is a good student from a small town in South Dakota and was offered merit aid at both schools. Apparently Iowa has quite a few small private colleges of decent calibre that are under the radar.

My nephew (also from South Dakota) has decided to go to Bemidji State in MN. He went to band/choir camp in Bemidji this summer, and someone from the school heard him sing and offered him a scholarship on the spot. The scholarship is for $2200, which brings the total cost for going there down from around $10,000 (yes, includes room and board!) to $8,000. The band camp he went to cost $180 a week. Yes, it was an overnight camp. The $180 is a discount, though from the full price of (gasp!) $300 a week, because the band director has connections in Bemidji. These low prices fascinate me, since I live in CA.

By Toblin (Toblin) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:28 pm: Edit

Lamom said:

"When son interviewed at Univ of Redlands my husband was told they would be willing to negotiate. We were pleased with the offer when it came several months later and did not feel it was necessary or right to negotiate--this school would be our son's home. He could have gone to ASU w/full tuition plus $$, fit was our criteria not a free ride. As cheap as I can be, I did not feel right trying to pressure his new family for more."

I admire that! You son has been blessed with good parents.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:24 pm: Edit

The book is more like your typical guide book than a Loren Pope book. It doesn't tell much about the social aspects of each college but does give you a pretty good sense of what each college has to offer. Kind of lacking on stats - but that's info. that is easily found on college web sites so I don't feel it's a drawback. In the back of the book, it does divide the listed schools up into categories (less selective, selective, very selective) and tells a bit about what each category requires for admission - But the categories are based on MID-RANGE students, not 1600 SAT students so it's useful info.

To give you an example, here's a few excerpts from the Redlands section (Lamom - this one's for you!):

History U of Redlands was founded in 1907 by American Baptists and today maintains an informal association with that denomination.

Location: The 140-acre tree-lined campus is located in Redlands, Calif (population 64,000) and is about one hour's drive east of Los Angeles and coastal beaches. Overlooking the campus are the two highest mountains in Southern California.

Top programs of study: Business, liberal studies, education, music.

(It includes a complete list of all available majors - something not found in other guides)

Special programs There are many opportunities for student-designed majors and many study abroad and internship opportunties. There is an alternative program within the College of Arts and Sciences. The university has a campus in Salzburg, Austria. There is a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter

Facilities: there are 40 buildings including the Hunsaker University Center, the Aroncost library, the Academic Computer Center, the Wallichs Theater, an art center, a new state-of-the art fitness center and the new STauffer center for sicence and mathematics. Residence halls are situation around an expansive quadrangle.

Transition to college program: All new students are required to take the First-Year SEminar during their first term. First-Year SEminars provide students with a close personal relationship with a faculty member who not only teaches the course but also serves as academic advisor and mento to students, introducing them to college-level skills...Seminars have included "The rise of American Capitalism," "Shakespeare and Film," and "Ethics and the Scientific Method."

Student life and housing: About 1,500 students can be accomodated in college housing which is guaranteed for al four years. 72% of the students are from California. All students may keep cars.
(Section also includes demographic breakdown )

Accomodations for students with disabilities: The university will make reasonable accomodations for individuals for known physical and mental limitation of qualified students

Fianncial Aid - About 82 percent of all freshmen receive aid. The average freshman award was about $17,500

Requirements for admission: SAT I or ACT schores and transcript from a college prep high school program. A personal interview is highly recommended.

The Heart of the University: The University of REdlands has much to ddo with its location, being an hour's drive to green mountains, waterfalls, ocean beaches, and desert wilderness. Very few campuses can claim such an incredible location, which offers outdoor enthusiasts sunny skies to go hiking, mountain biking, swiming or skiing. At the same time, students also have the big city attractions of Los Angeles, Hollywood and San Diego. The city of Redlands has been rated as one of Southern California's five most liveable cities. Visiting students are also impressed with the "laid back" atmosphere.

The University of REdlands could be characterized as innovative, courageous, out of the box, and actively concerned with the environment. Nearly 200 highly motivated students are enrolled in the Johnson Center for Integrative STudies, an alternative learning environment where students believe that they are responsible for their own educations and sign contracts with professors that personalize the goals of each course for the student. Professors, in turn, provide extensive written evaluations instead of grades. In the seocnd year, students create an individualized major. Much of htis work is doen withint the context of a close-knit community with its own dorm.

Music is also one of Redland's greatest strengths, offering a conservatory-quality education, taught by full-time master teachers and adjunct professionals who perform throughtout Souther California. The facilities and opportunities for undergraduate musicians are impressive.

Redlands also offers one of the most extensive study abroad programs in the country, with more than 100 off-campus study opportunities. More than half of the students participate and spend either a semester, a January Interim, or a year in another country.

The education program is excellent. Over hte past decade, all of the students credentialed through Redlands have been offered jobs upon graduation. There is also a strong writing program and hands-on science courses of incredible breadth.

Redlands offers a tight-knit community of talkented teachers and diverse and engaging students. Faculty are from leading universities but teaching is their calling. They teach small classes, really get to know their students, are accessible, and encourage student sto work with them on projects. Students say that faculty members challenge them to try a broad range of things, encouraing them to hink beyond the confines of their own disciplines. At Redlands, students tailor their educations to fit their interests and their futures.

By Lamom (Lamom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:35 pm: Edit

Toblin & Carolyn-Thanks :). Son rec'd 2nd choice freshman seminar but now it seems like first choice-India culture and people. Son is very excited. Moves 8/31 and can hardly wait. We know he ended up where he belongs.

By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:42 pm: Edit

Thanks Carolyn, My D visits and interviews at Redlands a week from Mon so that was very helpful. I gave the list to a friend who has a S as well that will benefit. I think I may need to get the book. Thanks again!

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Mstee - Yes, I was surprised at how many nice little colleges Iowa has - places like Coe and Cornell are great. I think Grinnell overshadows all of the other schools, however.

Northwestern sounds very nice - The guide says "Northwesern is one of the best Midwestern colleges in this book and a very affordable one. Northwestern focuses on helping students develop a career and personal focus for their lives. This is accomplished in a ":loving community" comprised of students characterized by their openess and respectfulness...The outcomes are excellent with 96 percent of the graduates reporting employment withon six months of graduation. This should be no suprise since Northwestern students are focused on communication and writing skills, integrity, and a strong work ethic..."

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:11 pm: Edit

Vijjones - Hard to predict merit aid - the best bet is to visit the college sites themselves and see how many awards they offer and what the minimums for them are. I do know that Wittenberg in Ohio - a great school - offers some good merit awards.

By Lamom (Lamom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:11 pm: Edit

Arizonamom - hope you and daughter have a nice visit.
LA

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:13 pm: Edit

Lamom - My daughter would LOVE that india and its culture seminar.

Arizonamom - Good luck to your daughter! Let us know how it goes! And, we expect a full trip report. Are you also going to visit Pitzer and Scripps?

By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:09 pm: Edit

Carolyn, She is going to visit Pitzer as well, She is taking Mon off from school and helping move her brother into Pomona Sunday. No schools do visits on Sat so Scripps will have to wait for another weekend when Sat tours start up again. We plan on doing our own walking tour through University of San Diego or possibly Chapman. I'll let you know what she thinks. Thanks Lamom for the good wishes.Keep us informed how your S's semester goes! I am currently reading How to Let Go. It is helping! My S teases me about it.His girlfriend told me her mom had about 5 similar books I could borrow if I wanted!

By Bettina (Bettina) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

A friend's kid was offered a $10k merit at Redlands last year. This kid was from a very competitive public school and had good grades. This was a huge offer that made it competitive financially with UC, so she had the choice of a smaller college which was nice. But she ultimately picked UCSC (or, I suspect, her parents did.)

By Fredo (Fredo) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit

Carolyn: To this day, I still wish my daughter were going to Wittenberg - I really liked that school and thought it was a great fit for my child.

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:12 am: Edit

The problem with this list is that many of the colleges are very small. Some people feel that a small college is great, some feel the scope of courses offered is too limited.Also, a small college in a small city can be lonely if the fit is not right.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:02 am: Edit

Thanks for the sample description, Carolyn. I think I'll have to pick up the book as my junior S can benefit from it. He's actually interested in Redlands, too, as he wants to go to a warm climate school in CA or FL,lol.


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