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Most overlooked factors in college choice

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Replies to: Most overlooked factors in college choice

  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,962 Senior Member
    Just noting that Beloit does have greek life. Like several midwest CTCL schools -- Knox, Lawrence, Wooster -- greek life exists but is described as "non traditional."

    Kalamazoo is another school to add to the list without greek life.
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,295 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    @Dustyfeathers UChicago actually has some greek life. Not much, and it certainly does not dominate the place.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,962 Senior Member
    I'd forgotten about Chicago too -- I have a grad student who was in greek life at Chicago.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,734 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    https://www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2016/6/1/snapshot-uchicago-greek-life-demographics-growth-r/ describes fraternities and sororities at University of Chicago. The article claims that 19.6% of undergraduates participate.
  • HapworthHapworth Registered User Posts: 488 Member
    About the sports thing: I am a huge college football fan but attended a DIII LAC. One of the very nice benefits of attending a doctoral program at a Big 12 school was being able to finally attend big-time sports events. I still remember a Saturday evening game against Nebraska that was broadcast on ESPN. The environment was electric: the crowd---70,000 strong--roaring, the ESPN camera streaking along its zip-line to get overhead shots of the on-field action, the complete butt-kicking *my* school handed the Cornhuskers that night!

    But, yes, not all college environments are pro-sport. Many college departments, especially in the humanities, are decidedly anti-sports. I've long been the oddball who loves college football but has had to listen to faculty complain about the money that goes into sports rather than their department.

    However, this is an often misunderstood point. Athletics are entirely separate from the rest of the university. Money comes from boosters, television rights, sale of merchandise, etc. Contrary to what most believe, only a handful of FBS (formerly Div. 1-A) schools earn a "profit" (or, more accurately, have a surplus of funds). The money generated by men's football and basketball, the two cash cows, is then used to fund the athletic department as a whole; it is used so that women's volleyball and men's lacrosse can exist. Yes, it is also used to pay for the head football coach's multimillion-dollar salary or costly improvements to the stadium. But it is not at all the case that the money made and spent in athletics could have gone to the philosophy or English departments. It doesn't work that way at all.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    But it is not at all the case that the money made and spent in athletics could have gone to the philosophy or English departments. It doesn't work that way at all.
    It doesn't work that way at a Big 12 school, because the Big 12 has a whopping media rights deal with ESPN and Fox that pays $20 million per school per year, not to mention the stadium, parking, and concession revenue that each school gets from hundreds of thousands of in-person fans. This may, in fact, be enough to cover the costs for football and men's basketball, plus all the other sports.

    But most DI schools aren't in the Big 12, or any other "power" conference. They don't have the same fat media deals or rabid fan bases. In those cases, the football and basketball programs may not make enough to cover the costs of the athletic program (especially when new stadiums are involved), and so athletics has to be subsidized out of the university budget, or from student fees. And in that case, there may well be an argument that the money being used subsidize athletics could be better spent on other things.

    For example, Georgia State isn't known for drawing high TV ratings or big crowds. In that case, who is paying for the cost of their DI athletics programs?
    The Panthers, now in their sixth season, haven’t given fans much reason to celebrate. In the 2013 and 2014 seasons, competing at the highest level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the team recorded just a single victory. Average attendance last year was among the 10 worst in the NCAA’s top level. Yet Georgia State’s 32,000 students are still required to cover much of the cost. Over the past five years, students have paid nearly $90 million in mandatory athletic fees to support football and other intercollegiate athletics — one of the highest contributions in the country.
    https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/ncaa-subsidies-main#id=table_201
    If a Big 12 school gets $100 million over 5 years from ESPN and Fox to cover the cost of athletics, that's one thing. If Georgia State gets $90 million over 5 years from its students to cover the cost of athletics, well, some might see that as a different thing.
  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    A lot of things are getting overlooked when applying. I'm seeing a lot of very directionless kids applying to schools. They have no idea what their interests and ambitions are, but they know exactly what school they want to go to. Once they get in, they find that these big schools set them up for failure. Getting into the school is one thing, but getting into an employable major or even changing majors is something entirely different. UT-Austin, for instance, has a 33% acceptance rate for their business program, which leaves smart kids with a 3.7 GPA into useless majors. In essence, they get chewed-up and spit-out and are forced to transfer. I find that these schools are highly overrated anyway.

    My advice, if you have no idea what you want to do, then do yourself a favor and go to a community college. This will give you time to find out what you want to major in...and see if your grades are competitive enough to get an employable degree at a top school. Its not a glamorous option, but its smart.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,168 Senior Member
    ^ We should remember that not all states have strong community college systems. I wouldn't hesitate to send my kid to a CA community college, but my state? No. The closest community colleges to me are almost strictly voc-tech. The one nearest my house has more courses in auto mechanics than English, French and history combined. There is a larger CC offering more liberal arts courses about 40 minutes from where I live, but it has a graduation rate of 13% and offers exactly 5 courses in chemistry, two of which a student who'd taken AP Chem would automatically test out of. It has 3 courses each in French, Spanish and German, one of which is a course for absolute beginners. That's as many courses as are taught in floral design and one less than are taught in cake decorating.
  • isthisborealisthisboreal Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    @PengsPhils I got an email from Northeastern regarding my combined major:

    "It is important to note that while your undergraduate academic experience will take place across two colleges, upon graduation, one degree will be conferred by one academic college. Due to accreditation and academic requirements, students admitted into a Combined Major associated with the College of Computer and Information Science​ cannot change the college affiliation for their major."

    From what I understood that means that if I wanted to change my major from CS to something else, I wouldn't be able to. But I could go from CS + Ling to CS + literally anything else if I wanted to. That being said, it's possible that I misread/didn't understand the aforementioned excerpt from my email. I just wanted to mention my experience to caution others applying to colleges that something similar may occur.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,734 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    Sue22 wrote:
    There is a larger CC offering more liberal arts courses about 40 minutes from where I live, but it has a graduation rate of 13% and offers exactly 5 courses in chemistry, two of which a student who'd taken AP Chem would automatically test out of. It has 3 courses each in French, Spanish and German, one of which is a course for absolute beginners.

    In all fairness, if a CC's chemistry offerings include two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of organic chemistry that are accepted for transfer subject credit by universities, that is the extent of typical frosh/soph level chemistry that is expected. It is likely that most CCs also have a lower level course so that students who have not had high school chemistry can take it to be ready for the first semester of general chemistry. So that makes five expected chemistry courses at a CC that offers frosh/soph level courses to students intending to transfer to a university.

    Only three semesters of each foreign language is one short of the four semesters that would be expected to be offered at the beginner / intermediate level in a common foreign language.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,168 Senior Member
    Only three semesters of each foreign language is one short of the four semesters that would be expected to be offered at the beginner / intermediate level in a common foreign language.
    Unfortunately that's short of what any of my kids took in high school. IOW, if any of my kids went to this CC with an interest of studying their current foreign language they'd be out of luck. They wouldn't find a single course beyond what they've already finished.

    Another example is physics. 5 courses, two of which are a 2 semester introduction, the first of which is described as
    The first in a two-semester algebra/trigonometry-based physics sequence. Emphasis is placed on understanding through problem solving. Topics include the metric system, kinematics, Newton’s laws, momentum, energy, power, rotation, buoyancy and simple harmonic motion

    This sounds to me like the simple physics my kids learned in 9th grade.

    While the college only has 5 physics courses it has 10 in fire prevention. What that tells me is that the school is focussed on practical skills, which is good, but it's not a great stepping stone to a challenging 4 year college. It doesn't mean it doesn't happen, just that it's going to be a lot harder to make it work than it would be in a CC system like California's.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,734 Senior Member
    There are really only 5 possible transfer-prep courses that a CC would offer:

    * 2 semesters of non-calculus or light-calculus for biology majors
    * 3 semesters of calculus-based for physics and engineering majors

    A CC may also offer a high school level physics course to prepare for these sequences if the student has not had high school physics.

    Your point may be more obvious if you compare offerings in a subject like history, where the possible frosh/soph level offerings are greater, than subjects like chemistry and physics, where there is a small number of expected offerings.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,168 Senior Member
    3 classes over the course of 2 years doesn't really seem great for a prospective major. Other state CC systems offer a dozen or more courses and even a small LAC normally offers a couple dozen.

    In any case, I fear we're taking this thread off track so this will be my last comment on the relative strength of different CC systems.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,734 Senior Member
    Sue22 wrote:
    3 classes over the course of 2 years doesn't really seem great for a prospective major.

    However, that is the normal sequence for a physics major, since they start in second semester for students who start math in calculus 1, and those three courses are prerequisites to upper level physics courses. Of course, some students start the physics sequence in first semester, since they have already completed the equivalent of calculus 1 (or higher) while in high school.

    Here is an example course plan for a physics major:

    http://physics.berkeley.edu/academics/undergraduate-degree/the-major-and-minor-program/4-year-planned-program

    In the first two years, the student completes either the 5A-5B/5BL-5C/5CL or 7A-7B-7C sequences, along with four math courses (Physics 89 is mathematical methods for physics).
  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,998 Forum Champion
    edited February 2018
    @isthisboreal
    Due to accreditation and academic requirements, students admitted into a Combined Major associated with the College of Computer and Information Science cannot change the college affiliation for their major.

    I believe what is meant by that is that is that if you do combined major X, it is technically affiliated with one college between the two fields, and that cannot be changed. Example: The CS + Linguistics degree is from CCIS only. You can absolutely change your major to any college you'd like.

    Generally, some colleges can be restrictive at some schools, but those usually tend to be restricted when getting into popular subjects like CS/Engineering/Business, not switching out of them, which would obviously cause a lot of problems if that was the case.

    Short answer: You misinterpreted a misleading email, you can absolutely change your major! :) I would email to confirm, but that would be quite the odd policy which I've never seen in action here.
This discussion has been closed.