Basic College Questions + Liberal Arts College...

<p>I'm currently finishing up my sophomore year in HS and I'm SO ambitious to go to college and make something of myself. I'm a high-achieving student and I like to set high goals for myself that I can realistically achieve. </p>

<p>I'm starting to explore possible options as to where I can/want-to go to college. I live in Florida, and my dream school has always been UF (from an outside perspective; that can always change when I visit the campus and get the real feel of it). However, my parents have $0 saved (savings in general, that is... personal, emergency, college, etc. ... $0), and my household's income leaves less than $100 each month after bills are paid and all. This really frightens me because I have no idea how I can pay to go to a university, or any college for that matter, other than a community college. I feel like my abilities are worth much more than just a community college, though. =/</p>

<p>Can somebody offer insight as to how likely it is that somebody with hardly any financial integrity can possibly get into a school like University of Florida, or even University of South Florida? </p>

<p>Somebody brought up New College of Florida to me (New</a> College of Florida - A Public Honors College for the Liberal Arts), and it seems interesting in that it's 'different'... but I have no idea what a liberal arts honors college is. ???</p>

New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences, specializing in student-centered learning through collaborative curriculum development and independent research.


<p>According to one of my teachers, whose son got accepted to attend in the fall this year, requirements for getting into the college are very minimal. However, they only accept 200 students per year. This makes for a very small student population, which I see as a possible good thing. I went to a small, charter middle school and I loved how everybody knew everybody, and the student-teacher relationships were stronger. Now I go to a high school with almost 3,000 students, which has exposed me to the bigger side of things. In the end, I prefer a smaller school, but I don't know if a small college is different than a small middle school, or if a big college is different than a big high school.</p>

<p>Their headline mentions independent research and collaborative curriculum, which seem interesting. I am an independent person and love to work on my own. </p>

<p>Also attractive is that New College of FL is in Sarasota, where I am originally from, and where most of my family lives. I'd love to be able to live in Sarasota where my friends and family are while attending college. But only if the college is a fit. </p>

<p>So basically:
1) Is there any consolation for me regarding my lack of financial resources?
2) What is a liberal arts college? Do they have limited areas of study? Are you at less of an advantage to get into graduate school coming from a liberal arts college than you are from a university?
3) How would you describe New College of Florida, based on its website, and what type of prospective college student would it be a "fit" for?</p>

<p>I apologize for this lengthy post, but I'm just confused and overwhelmed with what seems like a long, winding road to getting into college. I'd like to start finding answers to my questions so that I am not scrambling last-minute. This would be so much easier if I had money, but such is not the case, so I presume my choices are more limited.</p>

<p>I love New College of Florida. It definitely seems like a very supportive academic environment with the small school. The facilities look amazing and many students go on to earn a PhD. </p>

<p>A liberal arts college is a college that has the same majors as a regular college would except for pre-professional studies such as engineering or business. Everything else is basically the same. Most liberal arts majors go on to graduate school so it doesn't matter whether you are from a liberal arts school or from a university.</p>

<p>New College of Florida is good for the student that is driven to succeed academically. One thing that is special about New College of Florida is that they don't give grades but each professor writes a detailed evaluation of your course work which is great because it gives you feedback instead of assigning you an abstract grade. Also, there are a lot of liberal leaning and atypical students at New College of Florida.</p>

<p>If the school is right for you, I'd definitely suggest it to you. Another similar school to New College of Florida is St. Mary's College of Maryland, another public honors college in Maryland. The majority of liberal arts colleges are private and as a result can be $50K+. A public liberal honors college can save you money as they are only around $35,000 (including room/board). Other liberal arts colleges include The College Of New Jersey and UNC-Asheville.</p>

So basically:
1) Is there any consolation for me regarding my lack of financial resources?
2) What is a liberal arts college? Do they have limited areas of study? Are you at less of an advantage to get into graduate school coming from a liberal arts college than you are from a university?
3) How would you describe New College of Florida, based on its website, and what type of prospective college student would it be a "fit" for?


<p>1) Yes - People who save for college are often aghast to find that they qualify for less financial aid than non-savers because they have greater "assets." So the financial aid process in certain ways rewards non-saving. Not a reason to avoid saving, but a good reason to avoid despairing about non-saving.</p>

<p>2) Smaller colleges that teach the fields which convey the timeless sense of how to learn, communicate, and critically evaluate information. LACs may provide an advantage for grad school. Of the 10 colleges and universities that produce the greatest percentage of Ph.D.s among their alumni, seven are LACs.</p>

<p>3) New College is a great value in public higher education, almost unique among public college options. It has a reputation for attracting a somewhat quirky, bohemian student population, but those kids of stereotypes are almost always over-simplified.</p>

<p>The money question is impossibe to answer without specifics. If there are no savings because your family makes little income, that's one thing. If there are none because they pay a big mortgage and have credit card debt, that is treated completely differently.</p>

<p>If you are low income the best strategy is to do really well and apply to schools that meet full need. None of the Fla state schools do but they may be doable with Bright Futures, Pell grant, loans and work study.</p>

<p>Thank you all for this wonderful information! I hope to keep receiving such great responses. Now I've got something to really think about. NCF may end up being the perfect college for me! :p I spend my Summers and many weekends throughout the year (including vacations, Spring Break, Thanksgiving, etc.) in Sarasota, so I think I ought to take a visit this Summer.</p>

The money question is impossibe to answer without specifics. If there are no savings because your family makes little income, that's one thing. If there are none because they pay a big mortgage and have credit card debt, that is treated completely differently.


Family makes little income and doesn't exactly pay a mortgage (my step-dad's father "owns" the house, even though we live in it, so he covers the mortgage, and we just pay him monthly so that if we ever get behind, it's on a personal level and not with the mortgage company). No credit card debt, no crazy spending habits, no gambling, etc. Just a low-income family.</p>

<p>When it comes time to applying for financial aid, I'm going to need help on how to answer the questions. The mortgage situation is a tricky one in that I have no clue if it's more beneficial to say that we are paying a mortgage, or to say that we aren't paying a mortgage. We also get monthly food stamps and some other government aid, including some health care coverage I think? I'm sure this can only help my case.</p>

<p>If you are in the top band of applicants (solid chances at top 20-30 universities and LACs) then being low-income is something of an advantage for admissions and finaid. You still have time, so you want to work to put yourself into as close to this position as is possible. Best-case scenario, you will rely on a combination of reaches that meet full need and safeties that give big merit scholarships.</p>

<p>An ideal T20 candidate, IMO, has around a 3.8+ GPA in a curriculum considered "most rigorous" by her GC, a 2100+ SAT or equivalent ACT, and significant achievement--leadership or awards--in a couple different ECs. I say "ideal" because one can make up for a deficiency in one area with a strength in another, or with excellent essays. But this makes it harder and crafting a college list becomes more perilous for the unbalanced applicant. As you go into your junior year, concentrate on keeping your grades up as much as possible and pursuing extracurricular opportunities in a few areas of your interest (interest!), keeping in mind that depth is usually better than breadth.</p>

<p>Have you taken the PSAT? If so, what was your score? You will want to take it this coming fall, as getting a high score could put you in line for serious amounts of merit money, up to and including full rides. Last year Florida's semifinalist cutoff was 211, but that figure does fluctuate. Ideally, you should take the SAT/ACT at least once during junior year as well, to give yourself more room for prep. Don't forget SAT IIs, either--many top schools (usually the ones that give the best finaid) require them.</p>

<p>There are a lot of other things I could say, but I think stuff like Questbridge, app fee waivers, list strategies, and the like can wait until this time next year. Don't think so much about specific schools; concentrate on doing as well as you can in school, and when you have a better picture of where you are as an applicant you can begin to start researching colleges, crafting a list, etc.</p>

<p>Agree, we need your GPA and test scores to be able to help much. Big state schools tend to use more stats; private selective schools will include more of interviews and recommendations, application essays, extracurriculars and community service. With your limited income, a strong application could get you what some call a "free ride" at many schools, but that often includes working a campus job and taking somewhere around 10% of the cost in loans.</p>

<p>When answering the financial information on the FAFSA, you must truthfully answer the questions (i.e., you can't choose to report paying a mortgage or not) or face serious consequences.</p>

<p>The situation regarding the mortgage is a tricky one. Yes, the house we live in has a mortgage. TECHNICALLY, it is owned by my step-dad's father. It is in his name, and he pays the bill every month, but ONLY because we have money problems. So in REALITY we pay my step-dad's dad back every month. This way, if we get behind on payments, it's with his dad and not with the mortgage company. That's why I'm confused as to how we would report that.</p>

<p>I make straight-A's (except I made one B Algebra II my first semester of freshman year). So as of the middle of this school year, my unweighted GPA is 3.9666, but it should go up a bit after the final report card comes out (which takes into account the final semester). Not that this necessarily matters, my weighted GPA is 4.65 and should also go up significantly come the final report card. </p>

<p>I took two AP classes this year and am confident I got a 5 on one of them and a 3 or 4 on the other. I am taking 4 AP classes next year. </p>

<p>PSAT: I got a 163 my freshman year and a 192 my sophomore year. I guess that shows some significant improvement? I think I'm going to buy a PSAT/SAT review book and practice/study this summer so that I can do my best my junior year, when it really counts.
I want to take the SAT at least twice my junior year, because my school covers the cost of the test one time. So I can take two for the price of one, or just one for free. When should I do these? Perhaps one in early 2011 (middle of junior year) and one at the end of my junior year (Summer 2011)?
I am going to try to take the Biology E SAT Subject test sometime next year. I took AP Bio this year and that's the exam I think I got a 5 on. After taking APUSH and AP CALC next year, I might try the US History and Math subject tests as well.</p>

<p>Extracurriculars: This year I'm in FBLA and Spanish National Honor Society. Next year, I am going to be in (I have already applied and/or been accepted to these): FBLA (Vice President), Spanish National Honor Society, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Interact Club (a service club), and Mu Alpha Theta. I am trying to see if I can start a Doctors of Tomorrow club, but that isn't looking too bright at this point. (It would be awesome though, to be a founder of a club!)</p>

<p>I only have about 25 hours of community service, but that is completely independent initiative. Being in two service clubs next year (NHS and Interact), my hours will definitely accumulate. I also plan to do some community service this summer. </p>

<p>I think this covers just about everything. Let me know if there's anything else I can provide to help tailor your advice.</p>

<p>Assuming your step-dad's father takes the mortgage interest deduction, your family pays rent. End of story. :)</p>

<p>Good stats, especially GPA; you should be able to get significant financial aid at some fine schools.</p>

<p>Glad to see another sophomore (upcoming junior) on CC! I have been here since freshman year. New College of Florida is on my list. It is very small and quirky and I love the idea of having no grades. Grades=Stress! Hampshire College is similar with having written evaluations. The only problem I have with New College is it may be a little too "hippy" for me. UF is really the opposite! It is more of a jock/party school, much bigger, more school spirit, and it's in Northern Florida. I also would check out St. Mary's College of Maryland as Pierre suggested. It was too rural for me, but I do like the College of New Jersey. </p>

<p>I would also recommend Georgia College and State University. It is in rural Georgia, but it is a very good school. You may like it, but it doesn't get much name recognition outside of Georgia. It is my number one safety right now. Good Luck!</p>

<p>another one is University Of Minnesota - Morris (might be too cold though!)</p>

<p>^ I love the cold, but I've lived in Florida all my life so I have no experience with actually living with the cold for more than one week at a time. :p</p>

<p>I do not envision myself partying and such, whatsoever, to be quite honest. I don't want to go to a school where you're either a nobody or a party-animal. I'm sure you can find good friends anywhere but I think a smaller, more unique school is better for that.</p>

<p>I just want a good education where I can really pursue my interest(s) and get into grad school.</p>

Glad to see another sophomore (upcoming junior) on CC! I have been here since freshman year.


Yeah, me too. I've spent all my time in the HS Life and AP Tests Prep sections, and I'm starting to take more advantage of CC's resources. :p
It's just hard figuring out where to start...</p>

<p>actually, most of the schools that are small are less known for as "party schools" (there are exceptions but that's just the trend). Most schools that have big time sports programs have a lot in terms of parties and nightlife.</p>

<p>Your step-dad's income and his non-home assets will be considered for financial aid. So, if you're saying that you're low-income because of your mom's income, then that may not be true if your step-dad's income is also included.</p>

Your step-dad's income and his non-home assets will be considered for financial aid. So, if you're saying that you're low-income because of your mom's income, then that may not be true if your step-dad's income is also included.

Mom doesn't work and is pending disability (has been for like 4 years; apparently it takes FOREVER). My step-dad works a $7-something/HR job Mon-Fri. His little income is hardly enough to cover the bills for the house, groceries, etc. for four people. We're lucky we get food stamps, otherwise I don't know how we'd be surviving, to be honest.</p>

<p>Regardless, the specifics of financial aid are something that can wait until it gets closer to applying for aid. Our situation could change by then.</p>

<p>^ CSS Profile schools (and the vast majority of top private colleges use CSS) will consider your noncustodial parent's income as well. Just something to keep in mind.</p>

<p>The suggestions here are very good, although I would hold off on list-crafting until we have some preliminary SATs, at least. Right now I would think in broad strokes--visit UF and New College of Florida sometime this year. Maybe also a private research university, if that's possible. It helps to get a general idea of what kind of environment would appeal to you, since I'm guessing you don't have the time or money to go on a lot of extensive college visits. </p>

<p>Things to ask yourself: large or small? urban, suburban, rural? weather? intense or laid-back? intellectual or pre-professional? is a thriving extracurricular scene important to you? how about big sports? (I'm guessing no.) single-sex schools, yay or nay? religious schools? big fish in small pond or small fish in big pond? Think on them for a while--the answers may not come to you easily--and when you have a better idea of what kind of school you want, start delving into the specifics.</p>

<p>You say you want a "small, unique" school--check out Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives. It's a very illuminating read.</p>

<p>Your GPA is excellent. Your SAT scores I think are going to be in a good place by the end of this. Your testing schedule works--you could take it once in January and once in June, for example--but I might push the first one even earlier, to fall 2010. It gives you more time to study and try out the ACT, if you don't do so well on the SAT. And if you're taking Math II (which you should be, if you take a math) be sure to get a prep book beforehand, or at least brush up on your precalc. I know that can get rusty after a year of calculus, which is so different.</p>

<p>Extracurriculars also look good. Starting your own club is an excellent idea, and community service is never bad. Some things to think about, though: the operative question here is not so much "what's your position?" but "what did you do?" There are plenty of presidents and founders who never did anything. What are your responsibilities, what have you accomplished? How have you changed the club for the better? The school? The community? Go beyond volunteering your time--start thinking of ways you can take initiative in the organization you volunteer for. Is there a need you could fill? A way you could improve the process? This is the difference between a kid with good ECs and a kid with great ECs.</p>

<p>The most important thing: don't go crazy. Think about colleges over the next year, but don't fret about the subject. Work hard in school and out of it--it could mean a lot of money for you--but don't make yourself miserable. Don't be afraid to drop an EC if it ceases to be enjoyable. And good luck.</p>

<p>Seeking- Yeah CC can make you very overwhelmed. But I would take it easy. I have researched schools since 8th grade and I already have my list. Most upcoming juniors have no idea where the want to go, I do. </p>

<p>I originally came here to learn more about Simon's Rock, an early college, hence my name. I learned it was a terrible fit and thank goodness I never applied. I then focused more on the Theater/Drama forums, but I decided I do not want to major in drama. I am going to apply to one school which I would major in drama, Chapman U. But I want to major in print journalism right now and may want to go into screenwriting. I use to go on the AP Test prep, but thought it mad my confidence go way down. When I noticed everyone got 5's and I got a 3, it made me feel a little stupid haha. But CC isn't reality because most people aren't going to Ivy League schools. I will have a 3.4/3.5 after this semester and I'm proud of myself. I don't need to go to Harvard to become successful. I tried High School Life, but didn't really fit in. I'm not gifted nor perfect like some people think they are.</p>

<p>that all kind of campus performance organised by university of Florida and you want some outer environmental information about Florida university
Museums & Galleries, Music, Theatre & Dance, Radio & Television
Athletics & Recreation
Gatorzone, Gator Boosters, Tickets, Recreational Sports, Intramural, Facilities, Wellness, Aquatics, Lake Wauburg
Health & Safety
Campus Safety, Emergency Management, Police, Environmental Health & Safety, Student Health Care Center
Housing & Dining
Gator Dining Services, Residence Life, Links for Parents, Application Links, Facilities, On Campus Housing, Off Campus Life
Student Involvement
Greek Affairs, Community Service, Multicultural Affairs</p>

<p>Student Services
Career Resources, Dean of Students, Dining Services, Disability Resources, Financial Aid, On Campus Housing, Off Campus Life, New Students, Student Health Care, Counseling</p>

<p>Florida State University President Eric J. Barron and the Florida State chapter of the Collegiate Veterans Association (CVA) today announced several new initiatives that will help the university in its efforts to become the most veteran-friendly public university in the nation.</p>

<p>The initiatives are designed to provide support and services to assist veterans in their transition to college and successful pursuit of a degree. To launch the initiatives, a special Veterans Day screening of "Hell and Back Again," directed by Danfung Dennis, will make its Southeast premiere at Florida State's Ruby Diamond Concert Hall on Nov. 11. The film is a 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prizewinner.</p>

<p>"With nearly 25 percent of recently-separated-from-the-military veterans enrolling in college within two years, the need for support and assistance in the transition from military service to college student is obvious," Barron said. "Although FSU is already recognized</p>

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