ASK ME QUESTIONS! [Current Freshman]

<p>Ask me whatever, I'll try to respond fast!</p>

<p>I'm a freshman, and I think I'm going to major in Biopsych. I am taking classes to be pre-med but at the moment I would rather be a PhD than MD. I am on two dance teams and I'm teaching middle school science this summer in Cambridge. </p>

<p>I went to a public HS in upstate NY and my interests are science, dance, design, math, drawing, watching tv/movies, writing, and cooking. </p>

<p>I chose Tufts over Wellesley, Vassar, Wesleyan, and a scholarship to Mt. Holyoke.</p>

<p>Three questions--
will you be living on campus this summer while teaching?
How hard was it to get your summer job?</p>

<p>My D is trying to decide between Smith, Tufts and another great school. Why did you pick Tufts over your other great choices?</p>

<p>What science classes are you taking right now? Do you find them well-taught/designed and manageable?</p>

<p>Hi Tufts Student - thank you so much for starting this student thread. I've been wondering how difficult it is to get housing in Jr year on campus. If my child doesn't secure off-campus housing at that point, what are the odds that she could get something on campus? Many thanks.</p>

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Hi Tufts Student - thank you so much for starting this student thread. I've been wondering how difficult it is to get housing in Jr year on campus. If my child doesn't secure off-campus housing at that point, what are the odds that she could get something on campus? Many thanks.

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</p>

<p>I didn't start this thread, but I'll take a stab at this anyway:</p>

<p>My understanding is that if you start early enough (fall semester or beginning of spring semester is not too early at all), you'll be golden for finding off-campus housing. Even if you start late, you had a pretty good shot of finding off-campus housing. It is significantly more expensive though; many contracts require a 12-month commitment for a total of ~$10k, I think. That could be a bit off, but I'm fairly certain it's more expensive than Tufts housing, which is $6k for a multi-person room or $6.7k for a single.</p>

<p>While housing isn't guaranteed for juniors, I think that every rising junior who has wanted on-campus housing for the last several years has received it. Certainly that is the case for seniors, who have priority over juniors. Both pick before rising sophomores in the lottery, but I'm not sure what happens if there isn't enough space for the rising sophomores, as the sophomores are guaranteed housing.</p>

<p>If worst comes to worst, you can sublet for the fall semester while keeping yourself on the waitlist, and you should be able to get a single for spring semester.</p>

<p>How easy/difficult is it to fulfill the core curriculm? I like the idea of getting a well rounded education that the core fosters, but does it cause it to be more difficult to major and have a minor for example?</p>

<p>thanks</p>

<p>Housing off campus is really easy. Here's why:</p>

<p>Many people study abroad junior year. So those that don't study abroad, it's not too difficult to find housing at all.</p>

<p>And you have to remember that a lot of seniors "Graduate" or people study abroad for one semester, so there are always places available.</p>

<p>Most individual's houses are "off campus" but are literally like right where the dorms are. Tufts is a beautiful campus but the surrounding area is a neighborhood with nearby david square and other shops, food places, etc. Thus, housing is really simple and easy.</p>

<p>The best part, it's actually CHEAPER than the dorms (you save several thousand dollars and this includes utility bills as well). Plus, in MA, it's illegal to charge water as a utility bill for rent.</p>

<p>As for the majors part, no, it's not hard at all. The well round education thing is at many schools. At Tufts, for its part, you can "double dip things." The requirements also vary across the school of engineering and the school of arts and science. Additionally, you can AP and/or test out of things. They have a language class at the start for freshman which allows students to skip out of the language, and sometimes, cultural requirement.</p>

<p>There are plenty of people who are double majors, major and a minor, or just a major. And even people who are double majors have time to study abroad.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The best part, it's actually CHEAPER than the dorms (you save several thousand dollars and this includes utility bills as well). Plus, in MA, it's illegal to charge water as a utility bill for rent.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You sure about that? My friend says he's paying something like $800/month from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012. That's like 3.5k higher than me, although of course I don't have the option of summer housing if I want it. He had to do a 12 month lease though.</p>

<p>
[quote]
How easy/difficult is it to fulfill the core curriculm? I like the idea of getting a well rounded education that the core fosters, but does it cause it to be more difficult to major and have a minor for example?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Core curriculum:</p>

<p>2 English
3 Language
3 more language or 3 classes in a single culture area
1 "World Civilization"
1 "Quantitative"</p>

<p>2 Arts
2 Humanities
2 Social Sciences
2 Natural Sciences
2 Mathematics</p>

<p>You can use AP credit for 1 of each of the last 5 categories. You can place out of as many language classes as you can. Basically everyone passes out of the quantitative requirement (>560 on the Math SAT or something like that?). >760 on the Writing SAT or a 4 on the AP exam places you out of English 1; a 5 will place you out of English I and II. If you do a science major, natural sciences and mathematics will take care of themselves. A lot of culture classes overlap with arts, humanities, and to a lesser extent social sciences. So the core isn't really that huge of a requirement, even though it seems really intimidating at first (20 classes!).</p>

<p>Plenty of people double major or have a major/minor. Being pre-med or pre-vet or anything like that might make double majoring harder, but it's still certainly possible.</p>

<p>Are Tufts classes writing intensive? Are the distribution requirements painful for a math/science person who does not really like humanities and English? They look kind of painful.</p>

<p>I'll be living off-campus next year as a junior so I can address that a bit. My friends and I started VERY late- basically once everyone else had signed (around Oct-Nov) but we didn't end up signing until around Feb. We still managed to secure a nice house in a pretty good location. One year leases are standard, but that's not an issue for us since most of us were planning on staying in Boston over the summer anyway. One thing to definitely take note of though is that $800/month is VERY expensive- I've never heard of anyone paying that much here, ever. More usual is around $650 or $700. Depending on how far you are from campus, it could be even less. As for on-campus housing for juniors, my friends who wanted it didn't have any problem getting it. That being said, most everyone is moving off-campus because of the benefits of having an actual house.</p>

<p>As a parent of a student about to do the apartment thing next year, I can definitely say that it is NOT cheaper to live off campus. When one factors in the rent, utilities, insurance (parents' homeowners' policies typically cover a student in a dorm but not in an apartment), the cost of furnishing an apartment, the soaring cost of food, the need for at least one housemate to have a car (to shop for food), it is definitely more expensive. Since most juniors and seniors live off campus (and are expected to do so, I would appreciate it if Tufts sliced the tuition/room and board pie differently to reflect the added cost. (I think Tufts is a fabulous place, but this is my one major beef with it). That said, I think it's easy to find a place, off campus or on, if that's one's preference, and the reality is that most students really enjoy living off campus.</p>

<p>Momiac, several things you need to consider on why living off campus is cheaper. It's all about the opportunity cost:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Some students who live off campus still eat at the dining halls. In fact, they get a cheaper meal plan (because they aren't mandated to have an unlimited meal plan). Because some houses are literally right where campus is, this is very possible.</p></li>
<li><p>Even if you have a car or are buying food, it actually is still cheaper. Rising food prices aren't as expensive as you think (and those inputs would be factored in a student meal plan). Regardless, the amount you would drive would be minimal. But, even then, you don't need a car. Plenty of students actually use services that deliver food to your house (nifty, eh?).</p></li>
<li><p>Utilities aren't expensive. Since in MA a landlord can't charge you for water utilities you just have gas and electric. Gas prices are really low right now. Though the cost rises in the winter time, you have to understand that you live with other people so the cost is spread thin (e.g. you each pay your fair share).</p></li>
<li><p>Think of it this way: Let's assume no food or car because a student who lives on campus and a student who lives off campus both have the same meal plan. If this is the case, then--</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Tufts room and board ~ $10,000 (no one will dispute this).</p>

<p>Off-campus ~ $650 per month (I know people who get 550 a month, but let's just take a range between 600 and 700).</p>

<p>Since you are actually in school from September - May, that's 9 months.</p>

<p>9 X $650 = $5,850 for 9 months rent off campus.</p>

<p>Now, let's assume utilities. I will be outlandish and say utilities are 300 per month (this is very far from the truth (it's way cheaper because you split with your housemates. Some months are 30 dollars for utilities). It depends on the month, but let's assume gas, electric, and cable (like for the internet)). Seriously, anyone will tell that's an absurd amount for utilities per month. I didn't include laundry because in the dorms you have to pay for your laundry (while some off campus houses it's free).</p>

<p>$300 X 9 = $2,700</p>

<p>So, </p>

<p>$5,850 + $2,700 = $8,550 which is less than ~$10,000</p>

<p>And that's with outrageous assumptions.</p>

<p>That's over the span of 9 months. Interestingly, most housing contracts are for a year. But you can rent it out over the summer and make some money off it and/or cover any loss for not being there. But if you are living there for the summer, it's nice to have your own place. Plus, you have to pay additional money if you were to live in a dorm over the summer.</p>

<p>But the form of insurance is usually done with a contract with the landlord. This is done via a deposit or whatever. Unless your student likes to burn houses down, this is not really an issue.</p>

<p>And, while you are right about furnishing houses, think of it this way--</p>

<p>You already have stuff from when you lived in the dorms. All that's left are beds and drawers. Seniors who are graduating always sell stuff like beds for really cheap (like 10 bucks for a bed!). Why? because they have to get rid of it! They are going to a different city or can't haul it or whatever. If they don't find a seller, they essentially throw it away. Other furnishings in a house can be split with housemates and again, are very cheap.</p>

<p>Buzzer,
Yes 8550 is cheaper than $10,000, but you haven't yet added on the cost of a meal plan!</p>

<p>I made a comment about it. I said that it is the same if you are on campus or off campus. You can have a meal plan if you are off campus. Usually, however, most juniors and seniors don't get the unlimited meal plan as compared to freshman. Why? Because they don't need to eat that much. Thus, their plans are actually cheaper.</p>

<p>Adding a meal plan still makes off campus housing cheaper.</p>

<p>But Tufts is known to have great food anyways. Plus Boston in general has great food. And of course, there is the famous "trick-turning" which allows freshman to get free food due to a glitch in the food system that students discovered many years ago.</p>

<p>Buzzers-what you are saying does not make sense. You have not accounted for the cost of food, meal plan or not. You are not comparing apples to apples. You are comparing on-campus room AND board of $10,000 to an off-campus room.</p>

<p>I would like to hear from other students/parents about their experiences with off-campus living costs.</p>

<p>The projected fees for 2011-2012 breakdown the cost of room at $6162 and the cost of a full meal plan at $5350: Tuition</a> - Office of Undergraduate Admissions - Tufts University. </p>

<p>Students living off campus do usually purchase a partial meal plan, both for convenience and for social reasons. The costs for those partial plans are as follows:Spring</a> 2011 Meal Plan Rates - Tufts Dining Services - Tufts University.</p>

<p>So, to compare apples to apples, one has to compare the total cost of the apartment, without regard to food, to the room only charge of $6162. There is no way that living off campus can be cheaper. Furthermore, buzzers' analysis assumes that it's easy to find a full sublet for the summer, which isn't true---our D has settled on someone taking it for 2 of the 3 months. His/her analysis also underestimates the cost of furnishing the apartment. A decent bed/mattress etc is pretty expensive, along with other necessary furniture, lighting and cookware. Our D was also under the impression that living off campus would be cheaper---lucky for her, we didn't enter into a bargain saying the she could keep/pay the difference between the two options.</p>

<p>I have other issues with the off-campus living, to wit, it narrows your social circle rather than allowing it to grow naturally by living in a dorm surrounded by new people, and that it bogs you down with the drudgery of day-to-day chores (e.g., cooking) that you'll be doing the rest of your life, rather than spending that time doing things that you only have the chance to do in college.</p>

<p>But, as I said before, I nevertheless think Tufts is great and that the students appear to really enjoy the off-campus living, which buzzers correctly points out is usually right on the edge of campus.</p>

<p>There is a distinction between food and meal plans. That's true. But it's not like freshman don't buy snacks, etc. This is why it's a mute point.</p>

<p>I have a buddy that found a house in May, right on the edge of campus, pays 550 a month and has very minimal costs because they have housemates. You have to remember, that an individual splits the bill with housemates. This usually applies if people cook. Some people don't cook food but their housemates do. Others, prefer just the dining halls. While others do a mix.</p>

<p>I am not underestimating furnishing. Indeed, go to Tuftslife and see all the deals being offered. A spring sublet for about $580 a month; a bed with mattress for about $20; etc.. The reason, as I said before, is because seniors have to get rid of things so it becomes really cheap. And paying for something (say a desk) isn't that bad since again, students sell things cheap.</p>

<p>I think it all depends on the deals that individuals get and a bit of luck.</p>

<p>If you start early, you will save a lot of money. I know buddies that have saved about $4,000 living off campus in really nice houses. That's because things like a desk, or bed, or whatever, are fixed costs. E.g., you don't have to furnish for senior year. Even more so, by junior year, you probably have met a good group of buddies. At Tufts, you are always meeting new people.</p>

<p>So really it's a circumstantial situation. I guess some get luckier in the process than others. Some individuals are lucky and can get stuff from home. Others find good deals because seniors need to get rid of stuff. And some don't get lucky which I am sure happens to some individuals.</p>

<p>I will not be living on campus because it's not a program through Tufts, the program is going to provide housing for me. It's called Breakthrough Cambridge (you can look it up on google) and I had to apply on my own (I found it through Tufts volunteering groups and the community service society on campus though). There are Breakthrough programs across America if you live farther away, I just wanted to stay in this area because it's closest to my home along with NYC but I think I would be more comfortable on my own in Cambridge rather than the city. There is a 15-20% acceptance rate across the US, but it's only 11% for the Cambridge program. There are two interviews, one with a teaching demonstration and group activities, and another alone over the phone. The process was fun and I learned about myself, I'm really glad I got this opportunity! I won't really be paid, we get a stipend, so it's more volunteering than a "job"</p>

<p>I chose Tufts because of the location (I wanted to be near an urban area, and not like Vassar where it's 45 minutes away, but REALLY near, like I hop on the T and go to Boston), the size (not too small, the other liberal arts schools were too small for me I wanted about 5000+ undergraduates), the balance (the fact that Tufts has a school of arts & sciences and a school of engineering is really really wonderful and gives it the liberal arts school feel without being surrounded by a bunch of kids whining about how they hate math--if you like math, trust me, it's annoying), the co-ed-ness (as you can see I was accepted to two women's colleges, but the thing that convinced me that there was no reason to do that to myself was that NO girl at wellesley could honestly say that she thought she was getting a better education because she was in a single-sex situation. all i could see from it was that girls who were quiet and meek had an easier time speaking up, lesbians felt more comfortable, and they were on a very pretty campus but quite isolated. not what i was looking for). those were the main things that distinguished tufts from my other choices.</p>

<p>I am took the first Bio class (Bio 13, but it's really as far as pre-med reqs go "Bio 1") first semester and now i'm in the second (Bio 14). Not going to lie, they have quite a bit of work and you have to be very good at Biology to do very well, but you can do okay if you keep up with the work. I got frustrated because I did not take AP Biology (I took AP Chem and AP Physics, my high school only let you do 2) and I felt like many pre-med kids around me knew some of the concepts already, but you just have to make sure you don't take more than one other very challenging class in your first semester and sciences will be manageable if you have been good at science in the past.</p>

<p>As a science major who is choosing between tufts and vassar, what made you choose tufts over vassar?</p>