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GT Honors benefits

TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
I am seeing mixed opinions on the benefits of GT's Honors program.

Son will only consider attending GT if offered Stamps (about 1 in 10 odds for the OOS semifinalist), and Honors application deadline predates Stamps winners notification date, so trying to gauge if the two required 500 words essays are worth spending the time on given the low odds of ultimate attendance.

He is very busy with extracurricular academic pursuits, so it's not a choice between writing the essays and just being lazy on the sofa. He will major in CS and with 16 APs would probably not have too many elective slots left at GT.

Appreciate any insights from parents of former or current GT Honors students, particularly in CS/Engineering majors.
edited January 23
30 replies
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Replies to: GT Honors benefits

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24097 replies19 threads Senior Member
    It would depend on his other options. To me, GT is worth it without the Honors or Stamps, but if he has 6 other acceptances then it might not be worth his time to write the essays.
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 23
    Thanks, but my question is not whether GT is worth it, but what additional benefits GT Honors would provide to a CS major, particularly if they are a Stamps scholar (since if not selected as one son will prefer MIT or Caltech).
    edited January 23
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 464 replies6 threads Member
    I've heard the same about GT Honors that it's a mixed bag. That said I'm not sure you would want to do both GT Honors and Stamps. Stamps seems like an Honors program in itself. Maybe someone with more GT knowledge can chime in.

    https://stampsps.gatech.edu/package-experience
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  • InPursuitInPursuit 583 replies2 threads Member
    edited January 24
    I'm a former President's Scholar and former member of the honors program. I have fond memories of the honors program classes I took at Tech. Classes were small, students were comparatively more eager and curious, the content was approached in a more engaging way. The professors almost always went above and beyond to provide a rewarding experience and a lot of the students formed relationships with the professors that may not have feasible in larger lecture style courses.

    Many Stamps scholars choose to participate in the honors program, so its not an either or thing, and the honors students all live together freshman year, so there is some bonding from that, similar to other LLCs. Stamps scholars choosing not to partake in the honors program also cannot live with those who joined the program, at least as freshmen.

    You mention that your son has a lot of AP credit and will not have "too many elective slots." Many of the honors classes are special topics/electives, although there are a core classes offered as well. If your son is just planning to take required courses at Tech (which he hopefully is not), then the honors program may not be a good fit. You don't join the program to check off boxes on a required course list for graduation, but because you are intellectually curious and enjoy a more engaging academic experience.

    edited January 24
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  • RoboticsDadRoboticsDad 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @TheVulcan The biggest benefits would be priority registration and access to the Honors classes. At Purdue, the Stamps winners are automatically invited to the Honors College. I think the relevant question is whether Stamps winners at GT automatically have similar benefits, whether or not they are in the HC. The other question of course is if not applying to the HC lowers your odds at getting Stamps in the first place.
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    @InPursuit, thank you for the detailed response!

    My comment about elective slots was not meant as an indication of lack of intellectual curiosity on son's part. Rather, it is my, perhaps a bit clumsy, attempt to convey the sense that he may have an option to focus more on specialized classes of particular interest to him vs someone who may be yet to fulfill more of the general requirements that are commonly offered in honors equivalent in at least some of the honors programs.

    My admittedly limited understanding of honors programs in general is that at most colleges honors classes are more often predominantly focused on humanities and low-level science courses. We have not yet done a detailed analysis of honors curriculum at GT. Does it offer a wide variety of choices both in humanities and in sciences?

    What did you major in at GT? Did you have honors-level classes in STEM disciplines taught with a higher level of rigor than that typical outside of the honors program?
    edited January 24
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    @TheVulcan The biggest benefits would be priority registration and access to the Honors classes. At Purdue, the Stamps winners are automatically invited to the Honors College. I think the relevant question is whether Stamps winners at GT automatically have similar benefits, whether or not they are in the HC. The other question of course is if not applying to the HC lowers your odds at getting Stamps in the first place.
    Thanks, RoboticsDad. Those are good questions I see no direct answers to on GT's Stamps web site. Perhaps someone can illuminate? @InPursuit's response seems to indicate Honors benefits are separate and not automatic (I would assume someone who applied for both Stamps and Honors would probably be offered Honors if chosen for Stamps - but if the selection processes are completely independent, then who knows).

    https://stampsps.gatech.edu/what-expect

    I have a similar concern in the back of my mind as well re: the message that lack of the Honors application may send to the Stamps committee.

    Perhaps the optimal thing to do is see if he made it to the final 100 (3:10 odds; 2:5 odds for Stamps from there) in mid-Feb, and if he did, proceed to apply to Honors at that time to have it as an option if accepted as both Stamps and Honors.
    edited January 24
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  • RoboticsDadRoboticsDad 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited January 24
    @TheVulcan Unless you can get specific answers quickly, I would just write the essays. Since you already said that without Stamps GT is a non-starter, you want to do everything you can to maximize your chances. Your son can always exit the HC later. Did he apply to HC at Purdue? If not, that may be one of the reasons he was not offered merit there. Certainly his stats were not the issue.
    edited January 24
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    @RoboticsDad, he did apply to HC to Purdue, and everywhere else it was an option (and accepted where honors decisions already came out). GT is the only school on his list where Honors application is a post-admission affair.

    He's extremely busy with final preparations to multiple high-stakes academic competitions right now, and writing good essays take time for him, so waiting until odds are better than 1:10 seems like a reasonable hedge. Starting on GT essays mid-Feb should still leave enough time, and that is incidentally when his schedule opens up a little.

    ...Of course, if GT made essay prompts available in advance, he'd have prepped the essays in the Summer/early Fall, along with all the rest. But they did not.
    edited January 24
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 464 replies6 threads Member
    edited January 24
    @TheVulcan Maybe you've already had a conversation with your son but might be a good time for a frank and lengthy conversation with your son? Try to gauge his "true" level of interest in GT vs MIT, etc. Maybe he's already made up his mind unless $ is the deciding factor. I know it's like pulling teeth sometimes trying to figure out what my kids are *really* thinking.

    Waiting until mid-Feb also seems pretty reasonable.
    edited January 24
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    @chmcnm, son is 100% on board if GT offers Stamps.

    It is me who is conflicted%-)

    Probably would not bite if it were Purdue.
    edited January 24
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  • RoboticsDadRoboticsDad 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @TheVulcan Minor point. Purdue does not send HC invitations out until late Feb. Not getting merit does not mean not getting into the HC. There are 700+ incoming freshman HC seats at Purdue. I think the number at GT is much, much lower.
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    @TheVulcan Minor point. Purdue does not send HC invitations out until late Feb. Not getting merit does not mean not getting into the HC. There are 700+ incoming freshman HC seats at Purdue. I think the number at GT is much, much lower.
    Yes, still watching what happens with Purdue. For statistical purposes:)
    (Got another kid to go through this rodeo with in a few years:)

    And since this is my thread and I get to derail it if I want...:) @RoboticsDad, if I am not mistaken, you are OOS in CA and your kid has acceptances to both GT and Purdue, and you are leaning Purdue - is it because of the price differential due to merit, or do you have other factors that make you like Purdue better?
    edited January 24
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    I gotta say, this admissions season had its share of surprises, good and bad.

    We were chalking both Pitt and Purdue into the safeties with likely merit column, yet, no merit at either (although it might still come at Pitt, technically) - but surprising hit rate with reaches so far (not that we didn't think he deserved it, but still...)

    Just goes to show you that you can never know...
    edited January 24
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9226 replies93 threads Senior Member
    Just a note about HC at Purdue - there are 800 seats but they are evenly distributed amongst all the colleges. The competition for HC admission for engineers and CS majors is tough.

    And HC and merit don't necessarily go together. Lots of students didn't see merit but were admitted to honors.
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    ^^^ Lots of cross-pollination between GT and Purdue boards:-)
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  • RoboticsDadRoboticsDad 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited January 24
    @TheVulcan We are actually very much still on the fence. At this point, Purdue has the edge because its Honors College seems to be very well run, and it is much better integrated with the CoE curriculum - especially the FYE Design course. Geographically, we prefer Purdue over GT because it is closer to family and more aligned with our culture (I'm from the midwest even though in California for 20+ years). We are still waiting on a lot of other college decisions, and Purdue without HC will make it a much closer race.
    edited January 24
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  • TheVulcanTheVulcan 428 replies1 threads Member
    edited January 24
    Good luck in the RD rounds, @RoboticsDad! :-)
    edited January 24
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  • hehehahahehehaha 54 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited January 24
    Purdue & GT are both very good! Congrats!
    edited January 24
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