|By Paul_Dirac (Paul_Dirac) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 07:55 pm: Edit|
I've looked up the costs of a school like Caltech, and was pleasantly surprised at the cost of tuition + residential expenses: only $30,000! For a top tier school.
It's cheaper than virtually every private school in the Top 50, and even comparable to the out-of-state tuitions of many top 50 public colleges. The only one I saw that was cheaper than Caltech was UIUC for out-of-state tuition; though I've only been looking at the physics/engineering schools.
ANd I'e heard great things about Caltech scholarships too; it's been ranked hihgly for financial aid.
Is Caltech the school I want to go to if I'm considering physics and if cost is of concern to me?
Of course, the problem is admissions, so I would have to be QUITE outstanding to be selected there..
|By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 09:23 pm: Edit|
Eh... they jacked the prices up by quite a bit from that figure. More like $38.5k now. The ouch, but not as bad as MIT's $42k.
I also thought they were good at need-based fin. aid until they sent me the letter saying that my family looked fine. (Then again, my EFC calculations point it at >$50k so I guess I was being unrealistic in the first place)
Check the other thread for some discussion regarding merit scholarships.
|By Kyshantry (Kyshantry) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 07:48 pm: Edit|
I don't think it's $38.5, that sounds off. This year we were rated #1 in Kiplinger's best college deals in the US. Due to our endowment taking a hit (tech stocks), tuition has been going up as have room/board, but comperably to everywhere else, with the exception of two eyars ago. I unfortunately don't remember the figures off the top of my head (I sit on the Scholarships and Financial Aid Committee), but I think low 30's is where I thought it was.
As per financial aid, we do tend to be generous. We use a differnet formula to calculate the amount of need based aid that people receive, so they tend to receive a fair amount more here than in othe rpalces. We also have Axline merit scholarships for incoming freshman (only go to like, 30 people at most, you have to be _really_ badass), but then after you get here there are very hefty merit scholarships if you still end up at the top of the pool. I think that there are like, 120 of those given out each year (student body of 850, seniors are inelligeible, so really 120/600 or so).
And yes, our physics department is awesome. If you want to send stats i can do my best to offer some indication of if you have a chance of making it in. Having sat on admissions for a year, I can tell you it's easy to end up in the "Well... they'd do fine here... but they're isn't anything particularly outstanding..."
If you want to come here, and are still a junior, I REALLY REALLY REALLY strongly suggest doing research this summer. It is considered more important than anything else on the application. I would say that it is virtually impossible to get in early without it, to be honest.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 07:58 pm: Edit|
some of those "really badass" Axline scholars standout because of int'l or high nat'l olympiad honors. Have they done research also? I wouldn't think very many people who pursue olympiads to the top have much time left over for research in high school.
|By Kyshantry (Kyshantry) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 08:17 pm: Edit|
I would be very surprised if there was a single Axline who had not participated in research. It's possible, but I would be surprised.
|By Paul_Dirac (Paul_Dirac) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 04:31 am: Edit|
Thank you for your wonderful advice, Kyshantry!
I'm actually a 9th grader right now, but ever since my mother recommended me to Caltech, I have investigated it further and the more I learn about Caltech, the more I fall into love with it. My only two concerns are really about the pollution and the earthquakes. But I've heard that the pollution in LA was improving considerably and earthquakes in CA barely cause any human casualties. In fact, the San Francisco quake of 1907 did not kill a thousand people, if I can recall correctly. And CA is now so much more better prepared that few lose their lives in recent quakes. So my only two concerns really are quite petty now.
As I can see, after the average need-based financial need is met, Caltech is the 3rd cheapest private college!! Oh, such a great place to opt to get into! Even when considering costs alone, the only top 50 private college cheaper than Caltech is Rice, and Rice is really only for engineering majors, not for physics majors.
By the way, as for research opportunities... My parents are not scientists, so I'll have to search on my own. Can I easily get some from the local university? (I am a WA state resident, so that would mean going to the University of Washington). I am also trying to aim for the RSI, but I know that the chances of getting into RSI are low, so I'll have to look for a backup plan for research.
Also, are only juniors allowed to conduct research, not sophomores?
|By Paul_Dirac (Paul_Dirac) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 04:38 am: Edit|
Also, another question. Caltech and many other universities require 4 years of math. But what if I run out of mathematis offerings at my school and want to take AP Physics C off Stanford's EPGY program? Can a summer mathematics course (Pre-Calculus during the 9th grade summer) count as a year of mathematics credit for Caltech?
My school does offer physics, but it is IB Physics, which only covers information necessary for the AP Physics B exam, not the AP Physics C. And here would be my future math plan:
9th grade: Advanced Alg./Trig
9th grade Summer: Pre-Calculus
10th grade: Calculus; prepares one for AP Calc AB (IB Math Methods II)
11th grade: None, because I must take IB Mathematics in 12th grade; and want to take AP Physics C. I could take two Stanford EPGY courses, but that would be overwhelming with 6 other IB classes.
12th grade: Ib Mathematics (Ap Calc BC and AP Stats, plus some linear algebra)
Also, if one receives a high AP exam score like a 5, then can that replace a year's level course requirement? I frequently self-educate myself and am considering taking a few AP exams without taking the AP course itself because my school doesn't offer them. My school only offers IB, and while IB is a great program, it is also a bit lacking in some areas.
|By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 07:07 pm: Edit|
Hey, if you have time to study up for math, I personally recommend using it to do problem-solving. Just get Art of Problem Solving and work at it.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 07:11 pm: Edit|
I agree with Webhappy - allow time for "competition math" which will include things like number theory and combinatorics, and will bear you in better stead than simply marching through the usual school sequence of courses.
|By Shibbalnom (Shibbalnom) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 09:28 pm: Edit|
Webhappy2, you are coming to Caltech, right.
I am at PCC walking distance from Caltech.
|By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit|
Eh, you're that eager to meet me? I'm your typical nerd, perhaps a bit more socially adept (I'm an Eagle Scout, so I've had to communicate somewhat).
|By Shibbalnom (Shibbalnom) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 03:25 am: Edit|
Maybe we can make a second Yahoo.
|By Kyshantry (Kyshantry) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 10:11 pm: Edit|
Alright, a couple at a time.
Pollution isn't that bad anymore - I don't even really notice it. Some people do periodically complainabout it, but I'm from rural southern oregon, where we have REAL nice air quiality, and it doesn't seem so different down here. And earthquakes are actually fun (I was in the Bay area one of the early-mid 90's), and not that devastating typically. We do certainly have more earthquakes than, say, Wisconsin, but I guess every region has to have it's natural calamaties.
EPGY or classes at UW would both be fine substitutes for a fourth year of highschool math. The majority of enrollees who don't go to somewhere like TJ (Thomas Jefferson highschool in Vermont, very elite) exhaust their Highschool's math or science curriculum. I had to take my senior year math and physics at the local university. As for research - yes. Look around at UW, or see if there are any programs that facilitate research for talented highschoolers. I would be surprised if there wasn't one. If you can't find something, let me know and I'll ask one of my friends from Washington what he did and pass it along.
It's really, really hard to get out of classes. Getting a 5 on an AP is nothing special here - I had 5's across the board basically, and didn't test out of anything. There are exams to place out of classes, but unless you do very well in a college level class, don't expect to test out of anything. And, really, it's a bonding experience to work on sets with people - so testing out of classes isn't so great, in my humble opinion.
Hope that helps,
(PS I'm not familiar with "The Art of Problem Solving" but it doesn't sound like a bad idea to work on things like that)
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