Are there any other schools like Columbia GS out there?
I just want to know if there are any other programs similar to that of GS. If anyone could tell me if this kind of program is strictly unique to Columbia or if there is something similar in other schools. Thank you.
Hi there heyman! In short, there is no other Ivy League program directly comparable to Columbia's School of GS where non-traditional students are fully integrated into the undergraduate student body. I strongly encourage you to research undergraduate programs for non-traditional students by searching online.
You will find Yale's Eli Whitney program to weigh against the School of GS. To qualify as a candidate for Eli Whitney, students must have at least a five year break in education. Also, less than 10% of applicants (i.e. 4-9 students) are admitted each year.
You may also consider the non-traditional programs at Trinity and Smith College to start.
Brown also has a program similar to Yale's Eli Whitney - RUE.
The other two programs mentioned occasionally are Harvard Extension and Penn LPS.
Harvard extension is simply entirely different. It's different professors, different classes, and a different degree (if you get one at all). If you happen to be near Boston and want to take a class or two, it's probably great. But it's not the path to a serious undergraduate education, of any kind.
Penn's LPS is geared much more for working adults who are taking a class or two part time. It's mostly night classes, and overall my understanding is that it's considered less rigorous and prestigious.
Overall though, I think GS is a one of a kind program. You get the benefits of peers and administration that understand and support non-traditional adults PLUS the benefits of one of the best liberal arts educations in the world. For me there was no other choice.
(EDIT: I would consider Yale's Eli Whitney, but it's near impossible to get in to, and my partner needs to work in a big city, ideally NY, LA, or DC. Plus I preferred Columbia even before I knew about GS vs Eli Whitney.)
Just wanted to add that Smith College is one of the seven sister colleges and for women only, except for their graduate school. For those interested, it is called the Ada Comstock program and there is a generous financial aid program. My daughter went to Smith and the non-traditional students are definitely valued members of the community. Also, Smith will not accept you if you already have a bachelor's degree.
It depends on what you're looking for. There are some similar attributes to all of the colleges already listed in this thread, and many differences.
I've been looking into both programs at Penn (LPS) and Columbia (GS) for years and there appear to be very few differences in allowable experiences. Yes, Penn offers evening classes, but so does GS, and to my understanding both programs allow the students to attend the daytime classes up to full-time.
RUE and Eli Whitney appear to be just another admissions route into the respective schools, whereas LPS and GS are entirely different colleges with a set of collegiate administrators dedicated to a particular student set.
The outlier among the Ivies is Harvard Extension School, which is more like a community college on Harvard's campus for adult students, like all Extension schools.
There are substantial differences in the amount and type of financial aid available to students in each program.
Just a side note about UPenn's LPS - though LPS seems to be similar to GS, it is not an undergraduate school of UPenn, it is a program within the School of Arts & Sciences. Columbia GS is an official undergraduate school of Columbia University, and to reiterate campaigner's sentiments, Columbia GS is unique - a school within a top university dedicated to non-traditional students that is integrated with the other undergraduate schools of Columbia U.
Dare I say, a students concern when evaluating the non-traditional schools is whether the course work and degree will be the same as a traditional school, and whether they will have access to the same classes, professors and opportunities for research and other programs. If both schools are the same on the above criteria, "division of another school within the university" vs. "official undergraduate school of the university" seems like a distinction without a difference.
I've read many LPS vs. GS posts that had responses similar to yours, but neither really goes to the heart of what a student is/should be focusing on when trying to evaluate how the non-traditional school compares to "traditional" school.
I am seriously looking to finish my education in one of these Non- Trad programs and any advice would be beneficial, here are the programs that are in the running:
**Harvard Extension**- This school is somewhat controversial and people are always dogging this school, but I am attending the open house, and I will come up with my own opinion- it seems like a quality program though.
**Columbia GS/Brown Rue/Yale Eli Whitney**- My previous grades at Emory are not gonna hit it for these programs.
**Penn LPS** The walk in wednesday was informative.
** Northwestern SCPS** I got a cold feeling from them, but their programs seem good
** University College @ WUSTL** I went to the open house was very impressed
Duke University Continuing Studies- you have to live in the triangle area
NYU SCPS- seems expensive
Does anyone know of any other high caliber institutions that offer programs for Non Trads?
I attended University College at Washu before coming to GS. It really isn't comparable to this program (except in price!). Classes were not very integrated, if at all, and despite the fact that my schedule would permit me to more easily take day classes instead of night classes, the U College simply doesn't offer those to the non-traditional students. Besides the difference in quality of education, I also wasn't allowed to use the gym, and the school also charges you for every sheet of paper you print on And it was small things like that which drove me crazy! I overall had good professors but a couple bad eggs like a laughably easy class where I didn't learn anything. GS is heaven if you enjoy exercising your mind, and I do.
I confirm the above: LPS offers night courses for working adults, but requirements are the same, you can absolutely take normal day courses with no hassle what so ever (regular students take the lps designated night courses too if they wish) and your diploma is given by the college of arts and sciences, not from some separate division.
Fordham is not an ivy leage but I guess it competes with NYU. Their acceptance rate is almost the same. I think fordham's tuition is little bit more reasonable than NYU or GS
Fordham has non-traditional program called Fordham Univeristy school of professional and continuing studies (PCS) .
They have both day time and evening time classes. Not many major option, I don't think they are very selective although it ranked very selective on many websites.
Shortly, it is not an ivy but not like Cuny or Sunny colleges, I think in the middle, ivy school for B students. Any opinion about this ?
Have you taken any college classes before? If so, I would consider applying to other comparable schools--not ones necessarily designed for returning or non-traditional students--as a transfer student. I dropped out of high school in tenth grade, attained my GED some years later, enrolled in a community college, performed fairly well, took some more time off, and recently applied to several schools as a non-traditional transfer student. You may have different circumstances; however, if, as I said before, you do have college credits, get in contact with schools of interest to you. They truly value non-traditional students, as they often bring a unique perspective to the classroom based not on standard education but life experience.
To respond to your original post, I would say that the only true equal for the Columbia School of General Studies is Brown's Resumed Undergraduate Education program.