Cornell vs. Macaulay Honors College at Queens

<p>Okay, so I am faced with a dilemma that has been torturing my mind for weeks. I simply don't know which one to choose. For those who are not familiar with the Macaulay Honors College, here is some great info:</p>

<p>The Macaulay Honors College is a program offered at seven of the many senior CUNY colleges. The program is designed for high achieving high school students who have clearly shown that they are capable of handling a rigorous curriculum. For Fall 2008 entry, Macaulay Honors College received 3,846 applications while there were only 340 openings in the Freshman Class of 2012. Which calculates to an acceptance rate of roughly ~8.8%. It is highly competitive and students are extremely talented. For the class of 2013, the mean GPA was over 95 and SAT Math and Reading combined scores averaged was over 1400. The benefits of being a Macaulay student (also known as a "University Scholar") are tremendous:</p>

<p>Tuition: University Scholars will receive full tuition scholarships for four years.
Opportunities Fund Grants: Every University Scholar will have access to an Opportunities Fund of $7500 to support experiences such as studying abroad and activities such as internships.
Laptop Computer: University Scholars will each receive a laptop computer. Any student who withdraws or is dismissed must return the laptop.</p>

<p>In addition to this you will receive a Cultural Passport which will gain you admission to many of NYC's museums, shows, etc.. for free or greatly reduced price. </p>

<p>So, I hope many of you can see why I am stuck between these two options. I simply do not want to regret choosing one over the other. What intimidates me about Cornell is the extremely heavy workload. I'm afraid that I will be constantly stressed and sleep deprived, and that my social life and mental health will be compromised. What I like about Macaulay is that it is in the city and offers amazing opportunities. But, of course, it is not as well known as Cornell. Traveling and meeting diverse people are two of my priorities, as well as developing a passion for what I am learning in class. I plan on majoring in psychology. Can anybody help me in reaching a decision? Any feedback would be awesome. Thanks guys.</p>

<p>Go to Macaulay if money is important (That's a lot of money - and if money matters a lot to you or your family really do go to Macaulay). Otherwise, Cornell is pretty much better at every field and would give you more opportunities and connections. Selectivity of the schools should also not affect your decision (Cornell is more selective anyways - the applicant pool is a bit more self selecting, and it can afford to reject many students with good stats and it does so regularly).</p>

<p>Congrats on your amazing accomplishments!</p>

<p>It sounds like you have already made up your mind to follow your heart but your head is telling you not to listen to it. Don’t talk yourself out of a great decision.</p>

<p>You were accepted to the Honors College in its most competitive year yet - 36% increase in applicants (5500), 0% increase in seats available and a drop of 10% in our acceptance rate.</p>

<p>You were selected! </p>

<p>You will be academically challenged and your interests will be maximized. You will be in a diverse class room of the brightest student in New York who are engaged in student life, service to the community and have a big desire to explore the globe.</p>

<p>Psychology is number 3 on our list of most popular majors. It’s a strong point t of ours.
Just in case you have a change of heart or multiple interests you will have over 200 majors across the seven campuses to explore. </p>

<p>The opportunities are endless!
Macaulay</a> Honors College - The Macaulay Program</p>

<p>Students have free or discounted access to many museums, exhibits, Broadway shows, The Opera etc.
They have created fun events that bring the student body together that include a freshman mixer, arts night, culture night, Halloween party, film festival and many more activities.</p>

<p>Your campus also has 90+ clubs, organizations and sports that students are very involved with outside of their academic pursuits. </p>

<p>See some of what Macaulay students are doing: Macaulay</a> Honors College - Current Students</p>

<p>You will be part of a very small community with access to the best faculty and the most amazing opportunities. The personalization of our Macaulay Advisement Program is a major part of why our students are winning the most prestigious fellowships and internships, and being accepted to the TOP grad schools/Law Schools/Med Schools in the nation.</p>

<p><a href="http://macaulay.cuny.edu/about/factsheet.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://macaulay.cuny.edu/about/factsheet.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>AND I hate to mention that you will be able to take courses of interest that you would not have, if you had the burden of paying for them. That makes for a much more interesting and engaging academic experience. You will also graduate college DEBT FREE! (that's irrespective of how much money you have)</p>

<p>The value that you gain for your degree relative to your return on investment, and these amazing NY/Global experiences/connections is unmatched.</p>

<p>BUT all that said, you have to find a FIT for you and must be HAPPY. That's all that matters in this decision making time.</p>

<p>Most people choose to focus on all the reasons they can’t do something when all they need is ONE reason why they should. I think you have a lot more than just one great reason to be a Macaulay Honors College scholar!</p>

<p>For more information please call (212) 729 2935</p>

<p><a href="http://macaulay.cuny.edu/about/factsheet.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://macaulay.cuny.edu/about/factsheet.pdf&lt;/a>
Actually 29.1% acceptance.
However that shouldn't have any bearings on your decision. It's a good school, and definitely go there if the aid offered at Cornell is not comparable (I'd say anything of a difference of $120000 and up would be good enough for you to choose).</p>

<p>The fact sheet does not reflect this application class yet. That is information for the Class of 2015. This year we had 5500 applicants for 500 seats (across 7 campuses). Last year we had 500 seats as well not 340. Maybe Alexander is quoting campus specific info which might be quite the case selectivity wise.</p>

<p>We accepted 19% of our entire eligible applicant pool.</p>

<p>That is the 10% drop that I refer to in my earlier response.</p>

<p>For more factual sources of information please give us a call directly at 212 729 2935.</p>

<p>All the best</p>

<p>alexander8317 would be well advised to carefully read through the following recent thread, from the Parents Forum, which relates to his original post here. It describes a few pros, and some quite serious cons, to the Macaulay program he is researching:</p>

<p>[thread=1313749]Tell me about Macaulay Honors at Queens College[/thread]</p>

<p>Well, in response to Colene, I received some pretty significant financial aid from Cornell, so that isn't really the problem. I'm just concerned about where I'll have a better experience. From talking to some students at Cornell, they all seem to remark about how strenuous the workload is. I don't want to be an academic slave. But if that's not the case, someone tell me. I want to actually appreciate and become passionate about the material I learn, instead of blindly memorizing facts to score some points on my GPA. I want something more than just getting a high paying job after college.</p>

<p>Anyway, thanks for the thread link Colm. I will check it out.</p>

<p>Well, here's a Cornell student who thinks the workload is perfect. Challenging without being overly strenuous.</p>

<p>Hmm, most likely it depends on your major. Do you know many psychology majors? What's yours?</p>

<p>I was a biology major/premed. I doubt psychology is more difficult.</p>

<p>Workload of a psych major wouldn't come close to being over strenuous if that's the only major you are doing. And seriously unless you are premed, you wouldn't fall into that trap at all.</p>

<p>I actually took some classes at QC as an HS senior, and they couldn't have been more different from what I've done here at Cornell. They weren't Macaulay Honors classes, but if Macaulay is going to be anything like regular work at QC, your academic experience will most likely be more fulfilling at Cornell.</p>

<p>Alexander --</p>

<p>You ask a legitmate question, which, unfortunately no one can answer for you.</p>

<p>Macaulay is an incredible program, that provides a fantastic opportunity. From what I know about it, it is a Macauley vs Cornell, or Macauley vs Yale or Macauley vs Harvard (or any other school you may choose) represents a legitimate choice.</p>

<p>In many cases, the cost consideratons alone are compelling. Let's face it, education is expensive. Not knowing what sacrifices Cornell would require your family to make, I cannot comment as to what you should choose.</p>

<p>Having said this -- My understanding is that Macauley is a part of a larger university. While the Macauley students are absolutely top notch, Cornell provides a much deeper and more diverse group of students, IMO.</p>

<p>good luck with your choice.</p>

<p>Thanks for all your responses guys. I guess I keep thinking that someone can make this choice for me so I don't have to stress over it so much, lol. This is just something I'll have to figure out myself. But I really appreciate all the input. If anyone has anything more to say, it will be duly noted.</p>

Hi Colm,

Please share the link you mentioned with me? I can’t seem to find it. My daughter was accepted to the Macaulay Honors program and she’s very happy and so am I. However, I’d like to know the Pros and definitely the Cons so we are not surprised if/when faced with these. Thanks so much.

Nadine