Current students/grads/parents - need your input!

My son is currently trying to figure out where to spend the next four years. One of his choices is Manhattan College.

Looking for input on the social scene. What do kids do on weekends? Is it a big party school? What is a typical student at Manhattan like? Specifically in freshman year, how are the intro classes? Do you feel like your professors know you? Do they do anything to help ensure kids don’t fall through the cracks? Do you feel like there is a lot of academic support available? Any info you can provide about the school, pros and cons, would be greatly appreciated!! He’s majoring in civil engineering if that helps.

@taverngirl I’m cutting and pasting two of my prior posts. After reviewing them I will see if I hit your questions. Please note obviously this is a pre-covid comentary.

Congratulations to all ! ! My son is graduating this May (2019) and has been very happy with his choice. Just one cautionary note about the merit scholarships, you can lose them in part or whole is your CUM goes below 2.90. This is a little different than other colleges, although you always need to read the small print. For those in the school of engineering it can happen a lot easier than you think, so beware. If you look up national average CUMs for engineering degrees /students you will see what I mean. MC has a strong program and many of those classes they do not give away grades. This is true in other majors too (sciences). Also, in many classes you have to get a C or hirer for it to count, or you need to repeat. Again, sounds like it won’t happen but it can and does. Engineering seems to have more of these classes than the other majors. Also, as the school is small many classes are only offered in some semesters, and often with one prof, the very unyielding one who did not give you a C the 1st time. Beyond that the community is great, and proximity to the city is awesome. Best of luck.

All upside to Arches. At the top of my list was the fact my son was in an upgraded dorm year 1. I’m telling you, either at MC, or any other college, Freshman dorms are rarely at this level. Short sighted on my part, as Arches is about a lot more than the dorm and community of freshman. No matter how social we all think are kids are, they are in a new place with new people and new stresses. Many will navigate that on their own, some will struggle. Either way, Arches makes it all happen sooner, and minimize those who may not make it. Following my kids HS classmates, I’m amazed how often their dream schools turns into a disappointment, the majority of the time because feeling they ‘don’t fit in’, feel isolated, or left out. And I’m talking about kids in HS who were BMOC, athletics, club leaders, with robust social circles. This happens in that 1st period between the start of the semester and Thanksgiving. Arches combats this. I strongly recommend getting into Arches if you can.

@taverngirl One thing about MC, the school of engineering, which is about 20% of the college, operates with significantly more rigor. Some other programs outside engineering are certainly tough and come close, but still not as tough. So enjoying the ‘social scene’ is a bit different and finding the balance can be hard. This is sort of true at any non-tech school, but really evident at MC. Your son will likely see this once the honeymoon period is over just after mid-terms as it becomes obvious that it is not HS and the momentum from doing well in HS in lost.

With that, lot’s of great clubs and intramural sports to get involved with. Proximity to Manhattan is a big plus. The subway is 1 block off campus and the city is awesome.

Last item to mention, they don’t apply any AP credits. They want you to learn it all there from them. In retrospect it is for the best as while the material in AP is technical the same, the the AP tests are hard, esp. to get a 4 or 5, the intensity and complexity is not the same as a college. Having them will help build confidence and take the edge off in the honeymoon period.

Feel free to ask any other questions here and I will try to post back promptly.

On these questions : Do you feel like your professors know you? Do they do anything to help ensure kids don’t fall through the cracks? Do you feel like there is a lot of academic support available?

MC engineering paints a very supportive picture going in, but our experience was mixed. Part is clearly on the student to seek out professors during office hours or going for tutoring in the CAS. IMHO those in engineering programs have had success in the past, many being student tutors in HS, so the concept of needing and going for help does not come naturally, or early. The CAS is very good and accommodating. You just can’t wait until mid-terms or finals to get help. So beware (wherever you decide to go). My other student is at a highly competitive technical school and this is true there too. At MC the advisor is the dean / asst dean and they are there and meet somewhat regularly but they will only catch issues based on attendance and when mid-term grades come out, which c/b too late. The technical school my other student goes to has more fail safes in place, including a teaching assistant in the dorm who are in the loop, and also can tutor (or if a subject they are weaker on, has a peer in a neighboring dorm). Sort of like the way you have an RA onsite. The school also tracks grades and problems to catch things sooner. Still, the student needs to be self aware.

If I were to give one specific it is MC’s lack of early intervention in calc 2, 3, 4 and physics 2 where many struggle. With the C or greater rule, a student can get off track too quick and / or start to lose merit $s (as mentioned above). Their go to solution is to re-take during winter break of summer, which never sat well with me.

@spark2018 thanks for this great input! It is very helpful. S has an online accepted students’ day zoom this afternoon, which will hopefully provide even more information. One thing to note, his paperwork say he needs a 2.0 min GPA to keep his scholarship. I’m not sure if they changed from the 2.9? He has substantial merit aid at all his schools but most require a 2.0 min (one requires a 2.5). We certainly hope he will not fall below those thresholds! Would you mind sharing the school where your other son attends?

I have not checked, and technically that may be correct. There was a pro-rata chart where you started to lose a % once you fell below 3.0. As recall 2.9-2.99 you went on probation, then would lose 20% each 10% your overall GPA was below that. If you got your GPA to recover, you would get it back (be sure to ask for re-evaluation after each individual semester Spring/Fall/Summer/Winter). In engineering it is hard / slow to recover as the classes get harder. If the changed that, great. Just check as it was only 1-2 years ago that was in play. Going in we missed that. Also, again off the top of my head, this rule applied to presidents award (which is the bulk of the $'s for most people) but not other school scholarships which may be part of the larger package or federal loans. That part was 2.0.

@taverngirl related links. you have to dig a bit.

Look under academic progress requirements.

To be clear MC is a great school! For the record my student is now in engineering grad program. But there are some of these academic and financial rules out there that you want to go in with eyes open including the many classes with the C requirement and rules around awards. In my experience, having now gone through the college search and selection process for 2 engineering students’ and examining 30+ schools closely since 2014, these fine print rules are among the toughest once you are in. I have other +/-'s for other schools to be fair. It’s just at MC it is a bit of a trap, especially if you want to complete in 4 years and anticipated costs are a concern.

@Spark2018 Thanks for the clarification. I wonder if that is something that is common at other schools. Something we definitely need to check on. He received two scholarships, one school of engineering award and one engineer achievement award. It doesn’t say President’s award anywhere, but they may indeed be considered such. We will definitely be asking for confirmation on all this, and I appreciate you bringing it to our attention!