Check below for info on college visits from some of our PAAS members.
So far we have visited the following schools.
I am asking Justin to write his comments on the Quad A website in facebook so we can get the perspective from the student perspective where it counts
These are my opinions solely from a parental point of view.
Old Dominion University – reminded me of UMBC however more of a urban center across the bridge from Hampton. A very diverse population similar to Howard County with some military students, alot of internship and local job opportunities due to the naval base and the IT, DOD and services that support that infrastruture nearby. Many of the buildings and dorms are new and near the beach.
West Virginia University
President is ex vice president of Towson U. and if he does what he did there with diveristy and the graduation rates across all groups a school that will shed some of its party persona and gain ground academically. The presidnent Dr. James Clements is a graduate of UMBC and was a team dad for the Warhawks. One of the most beautiful campuses I have visited not to far away ( but far enough) I think it a school on the rise. Not much diversity but very genuine reception from the staff.
My alma mater what can I say a true “FLAGSHIP” I love recommend and will always love College Park. Great access to the nations capitol and if you can start and maintain a career in DC you can work anywhere in the world.
Hampton – the history is unmatched the facilities need a lot of work however the reception was comfortable once they realized we did have an appointment for a tour. The students were not very enthusiastic
Howard – again the history is unmatched in a urban but regenderfication zone of DC. Unmatched as the home of African American education. After visiting Harvard for business Howard atmosphere was very much the same.
College of William and Mary
Absolutely beautiful campus in Williamsburg which has encredible access. Very very upscale but retaining its history. It had the atmosphere of a ivy league school in the South.
We started college visits the summer of Cordney’s 10th grade year and really got into swing last year. A couple of suggestions that I picked up along the way: start early (it can be as early as 9th grade), mix up your visits, and ask questions. The best suggestion given to me by a teacher was to set a standing appointment to go over college stuff. If possible, do it away from home. Doing so eliminates the constant checking on what they’re doing about college research, they know the weekly meeting is coming and so do you, and everyone knows the expectations. It’s also a great one on one bonding opportunity. Cordney and I chose Sunday mornings because it’s not a hectic; we’ve met at McDonald’s, Barnes and Nobles, and Bob Evans. We’ve missed a couple, but it has been a huge help.
From touring with my oldest son 6 yrs ago, I learned that visiting colleges in the winter or during their spring break (not ours, which can be a zoo), and on a weekday is a plus to the large campus tours. It’s important for students and parents to ask as many questions needed and not have to compete with large crowds; visiting during non-peak times offers just that. However, it’s still a good idea to visit with larger tours because they’re typically on a weekend, someone else may ask a question you didn’t think to ask, and the feel of a larger crowd and other students may peak the interest of a shy student. Depending on the distance, be prepared to travel the night before and stay overnight because the tours start early. I love traveling, but getting up at 3 am to drive 4-5 hours for an 8am or 9 am tour is not my idea of a fun weekend L
University of Pittsburgh – Cordney’s 1st choice and we both fell in love with it! Pitt offers the feel of being in a downtown setting, but it’s in its own little world. Downtown Pittsburgh is approximately 15 minutes away, the students seems to genuinely like the school and campus, and staff/faulty made us feel at home. We’ve toured twice and the second tour sealed it for Cordney. The business program offers real-life learning, one of accounting professors said, “students are good at rote processes or reciting what’s in a book, but we want them to think about how processes apply to the real world” There are lots of opportunities for internships, studying abroad, and the four major accounting firms are located in Pittsburgh. Also, students interested in the medical field should take a look at Pitt because of the many hospitals and research facilities located on and around the campus. Students can take classes at other neighboring schools, one being Carnegie Mellon. The fine arts program is huge (although I’m biased to Howard) and students have opportunities to see a variety of plays, musicals, and concerts at reduced rates…some are even FREE (apparently, the university subsidizes a good portion of the fees). Ever heard of “Sneakerology? Yes, it’s a class on the history of sneakers. Cordney says he’s definitely taking it…lol
Villanova – A catholic university with a student body that loves their school. Smaller campus and awesome library. Dorms are spread across the campus, which can turn into a 2-10 minute walk; depends on how far or close the dorm. Not as diverse; I believe they’re 6% minorities with African Americans consisting of 1%, maybe 2. Students can also take classes at UPenn, Drexel, and other neighboring colleges and the name of that school will reflect on the Villanova transcript.
University of Virginia – It has somewhat of preppy feel, which is true for some schools in the south; the McIntyre School of Business has a great reputation, ranks 2nd behind Wharton. Has a diverse population of students. One of the AA presenters said every student needs a mentor and should align themselves with friends who are motivated to achieve success. UVA offers a Spring Fling in the fall (Fri. & Sat) for Hispanics and African American students.
University of Pennsylvania – UPenn’s located in Philly (not downtown) and neighbors Drexel. Nice urban campus, students are more preppy, the campus is somewhat diverse, and is known for the Wharton School of Business. Donald Trump developed the TV show, “The Apprentice” based on Wharton’s cohort concept. Freshman accepted into Wharton begin classes in their freshman year unlike other business schools where students start in the junior year. Housing isn’t that great for freshman, but does get better. Lots of houses and apts in walking distant of campus.
University of Washington – Located in beautiful and far, far away Seattle 🙂 Originally Cordney’s 1st choice until bumped by Pitt. Gorgeous city, very laid back, friendly, rainy, but still beautiful. We visited early January, it was a misty to a steady rain, and temps were in the upper 50’s. Known for their medical research, nice campus, and old historical buildings. Lots of students from California (not a lot from the east coast). We met with a counselor from the Office of Minority Affairs who said they have been working on increasing the number of AA students, but they aren’t where they want them to be.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania – IUP is about 40 minutes from Pitt. It’s considered a rural setting; however, Pittsburgh is less than 1hr away. They do have a diverse population because of the recruitment efforts in the past few years, particularly in MD, NJ, and NY. Another biggie is they offer in-state tuition for students with a B average and a minimum SAT score of 1,000. There are currently some AA students from Hebron attending now. I had my reservations as we were driving over the river, through the woods, and past the numerous John Deere tractors. However, I really did like the campus. It’s small, very nicely laid out and all of the dorms have either been renovated or are brand new. All are suite style, (reminds me of the extended day style hotels—Residence Inn) except 2 traditional and they have been renovated. Downside—IUP only guarantees housing for 1 year because of the dorm’s popularity. However, there are numerous houses and apts for rent. I have heard they are somewhat of a party school; we just have to stress to our kids about the importance of making good choices and not being followers.
Parents of seniors, another milestone is here, it can battle and struggle to get them moving. As much as the want to be “all grown up”, it’s a scary and overwhelming time for all of us. The students that are so confident get nervous and overwhelmed by the process. Enjoy this time; pick and choose your battles. Good luck to you and your student!
Junior parents, now is the time to start the search. Sophomores and freshman parents, it’s never too early.
Imani and I were down at University of Miami this past weekend, a beautiful campus, great city, particularly for Spanish speakers :)! If any rising Seniors are interested in the University of Miami, they have an amazing, full tuition scholarship program, the Ronald A Hammond Scholarship, that really looks out for their students.
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