I sincerely hope that I've put this in the correct forum! If not, then please relocate it!
Now, if you're here already, don't hit the X or backspace because I truly need as much input as i can recieve. Either from those very knowing university students, or the parents that have helped/are helping their children decide on a school.
I'm a NYC student, in a good public high school (an admissions test was required for entrance.) My school is really large, with over 4000 students, that's around 1000 per grade. My grade is extremely competitive so I do not see myself being in the top 100 of those 1000 students.
I live in a very sheltered household. My parents are from Russia and Azbaijan and they've brought all their mentalities over with them. We've been living here for 13 years, and my parents are both greatly fluent in English. But, although the success in their new lives have allowed our family to rise from Russian immigrants to upper-middle class citizens of NYC, their customs are all the same. They are extremely strict in their way of life, and they truly believe that sending kids 'away' to college is an oddity. My parents think it's all sorts of absurd for me to not live at home and not commute when I go to college. The only truly excellent colleges here that I would go to are NYU and Fordham, maybe a few others. They are both reaches however, considering my school stats. Not impossible, but reaches. My mother is totally fine sending me to a CUNY, such as Hunter, or Brooklyn College. I don't want to, though! I truly do not want to. I want to get away from here. From this house, and from this city. I love my family, and I love NYC, but I just want to get away. My sister goes to NYU and she adores it beyond anything else in the world. I think it's her favorite place, ever. But it's just not for me. I want something that I've never had, and have never seen. I want a true college community. A college town, where there isn't a starbucks in the middle of campus, or an Urban Outfitters between Psych 101 and Human Anatomy 101. I want a school where people have school spirit, and go to school games, and truly love their school.
I sound like a spoiled baby, but this is really where you guys come in. Colleges like that seem as if they're only heard of when 'ivy-league' is attached to their name. Those schools have students with true school spirit. Pride beyond anything imaginable really transcends from students attending ivies or near-ivies. I seriously don't know much about colleges and I need guidance. I'm starting to look now, as I'm entering junior year, because I know it'll take my mother (notice how I don't say father much, he's the easier one to convince! ;P) a year or two to convince that I AM going to dorm, and no way in hell will I commute to a CUNY College!
I need you guys to point me in the direction of schools with that sort of 'school spirit' thing going on, where the campus doesn't resemble NYU's or BU's. Not a bunch of buildings in the middle of a bustling city. At least not the way-too-familiar city of Manhattan. I really want a campus-campus. Now, that should be easy as pie, buuuuuuut I need to find a school that I can actually get in to! I am not a contender for Yale or Harvard, but I'm not a slacker at all. Like I said, my school's hard and competitive. My GPA last term (2nd of sophmore year) was at it's all time low at 3.3. I've never gotten that low, and I plan to pick that up greatly with a bunch of weighted classes that I'm taking next year. Another requirement in addition to it not being an impossible-to-get-into-school is that it needs to be in or around NY. I mean either New York, Mass, Connecticut, New Jersey, Penn, or Vermont (brrr.)
I have done a bit of research, so here's the list I've compiled. I'm totally looking forward to your responses. Please add additional schools to this list. If they're private, I'm up for it, just make sure that I'd be able to get in!!! If they're public, sure for that too. I also want feedback on the ones I'm listing below. I want to know how you would rank these schools, and why. Education-wise, campus-wise, studentbody-wise, etc. Anything you've got to say about them, I'm up for it. If you have extremely long responses, the longer the better. I know this is A REALLY LONG POST, but if you've made it this far, any bit of input would be more than appreciated.
SUNY Binghamton - 188 mi, 3 hr 30 min
Syracuse - 255 mi, 4 hr 30 min
University of Massachusetts Amherst - 180 mi, 3 hr 30 min
University of Connecticut - 153 mi, 3 hr
Pennsylvania State University - 240 mi, 4 hr 20 min
Rutgers – New Brunswick - 40 mi, 1hr
Those stats are just for me, haha. I had this as a notepad document and pasted, in relation to the distance from my house. My Personal opinions : SUNY Bing is the most appealing since it's in-state, and public (unlike Syracuse) being cheapest. I hear it's dreary though, all around people seem to dislike it from what I read online...yet my friends who go there (and there are quite a few) love it a LOT, no complaints there. Next would be Massachusetts, just cause I think it's a really fun school! BAD way to decide, haha, so I def. need your help, guys!
Junior Year my classes look like this (in addition to PE and the boring stuff)
AP English Language AP American History AP Environmental Science Pre-Cal Physics
AP English Literature AP Biology AP American History (very lame, it's a two-year course in my school so you don't take the exam until the end of senior year, somehow AP economics is part of the syllabus ) Energy Policy/Environmental Medicine and Urban Planning (how this works is that Fall semester I'm randomly put into either of the first two classes and then spring semester is the latter class.)
The reason I have such odd classes (Environmental, and those last three) is because my school makes students declare majors, and thus having their APs set out for them, allowing little leeway in forming our own schedules, and choosing classes which truly would appeal to us. There were Bio-Med majors, and Chemistry Majors, but I chose Environmental as a major because it surprisingly is the one with the most leeway. Environmental Science is also a class which is fairly easy to get high grades in, and it's weighted-ness is reallyyyyy helpful. I am able to take an extra class senior year, due to my my major which I actually want to ask you guys about.
Should I take AP Psychology (something I REALLLLLY want to take) or take Calculus? If I take AP Psych, I need to drop mathematics. I know that this is really bad though, not having math all four years...so, what do I do? If not AP Psych, AP Economics interests me (more than calculus at least.) Is this seen as a math class, or is Calculus truly necessary.
btw, I've taken Chemistry and Biology. I'm also trying to switch my AP Bio and AP Environmental so I take AP Biology in Junior year, and AP Environmental in senior year, allowing me to take my SAT II's for a science. (Noooo Physics for me)
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy long post. PLEASE guys, I really, really, reallyyyyyyyyy will appreciate all that you guys can give me, please!!!