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honors college

bandgybandgy Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
My S has been determined to attend the honors college. He has received letters from the school stating that he is a likely candidate and he was strongly encouraged to apply. He sent in the application on Nov 14 and they already had his 2 letters of rec and SAT scores which were CR 690 math 760 Writing 760 subject tests chem 790, bio 730 , He also had AP scores of BIO 5 Chem 4. He has a 4.2 weighted gpa (4.0 scale). I noticed on his completed application that his guidance counselor has not completed the evaluation form but the 2 letters were completed. Our HS has their own form that they send to the colleges. Does anyone know what this is? Also I would like as much information on the Honors college as possible. We have the brochures and have read the website. S visited the school last year but didnt meet with Honors advisor. The housing looks amazing but will he be taking a good amount of courses in the regular college? I'm concerned that he thinks that he is going to be in separate classes. It's hard to compare it to other schools. Can anyone provide some feedback?? Do you think the most he can get is the Coopers? Any info is appreciated..
Post edited by bandgy on
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Replies to: honors college

  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,869 Senior Member
    I'll address the coursework. (And the housing is amazing) The courses in the honors college are a mix of honors sections of "regular" courses and courses (mostly prefixed SCHC) that are unique to honors college. D is a junior math and religion major. In math, I think you has only taken one class that was not an honors section of regular math. She has had great professors and has a close relationship with many of them. In religion, most of her classes are regular classes. She has taken a couple of honors religion classes that were more topical but most have been in regular. Her general education requirements has mostly been met in honors - honors sections of science, psych, English, philosophy, etc plus a couple of "fun" honors classes like a book-making class and one on the zombie apocalypse (taught by pysch/neuroscience prof).

    So bottom line is that it depends on major as to how much many of your classes are honors. If he knows a major, then he should look at the academic bulletin for that major and then browse the courses on honors site and see what's available for his major. As you move into upper level courses in your major, the classes get smaller (most of the time) and the advantage of honors sections is not as big as it is in intro classes, IMO.

    He seems in range for cooper although the weighted GPA is slightly below average but that is an average. As far as honors college, the essays are read carefully so strong essays will be a plus. I don't know about your HS form but usually HS sends a form with description of HS and programs so that colleges can interpret how your student stacks up - is this what you are talking about.

    If you aren't too far away I would suggest another visit to talk to honors people and maybe sit in on honors class.
  • bandgybandgy Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    scmom12.. thanks so much for your reply. I agree that if he gets in then we should definitely talk to the honors people directly(we are 9 hours away). My S GPA is on a 4.0 scale and I believe the schools posted average is on a 5.0 scale. So a 4.2 out of 4.0 is comparable (4.3 would be the highest gpa attainable at S high school) . I am happy that he is so set on going to a school that offers scholarships, but I am wondering how it would compare to going to a smaller school in general. We were really impressed with the campus and we also met with a premed adviser that spent a lot of time with us considering he was only a junior in high school at the time. I am just being a Mom and concerned that he put so much effort into the USHC that he does not have the same enthusiasm about other schools. He is the kind of kid that likes to get to know his teachers and would do well in a small classroom setting.

    Thanks Again
  • ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    My daughter is a freshman in the honors college. 14 of her 17 credit hours are honors. She has 2 classes in her dorm! All of her honors classes have less than 30 students.
    Her one non honors has over 100. She loves her dorm and the overall school. She is pretty social and has found a nice group oif friends that like to socialize yet are serious about their school work. One of her friends told me that she loves living in the honors dorm because there is always something to do but if you have to study there isn't pressure to go out. My daughters roommate has all honors courses. If he decides to go - sign up as early as possible for orientation. The earlier the better with getting the classes you want. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask.
  • ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    Also - my daughter did receive the Cooper with slightly higher SAT/ACT and slightly higher GPA. I don't really know what a 5.0 scale is but I think they probably mean on a weighted 4.0 scale. I also agree that the essays are VERY important. My daughter has a friend that is a twin and he is in honors and his brother is in capstone. Almost identical GPA and test scores. One must of had better essays.
  • CollinsFactorCollinsFactor Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Re: "I noticed on his completed application that his guidance counselor has not completed the evaluation form but the 2 letters were completed."

    Admissions says they are backlogged with the evaluation letters. They have not entered most of them into the online system. Person I spoke with said the counselor letters/evals are not considered with admissions. Which brings up the obvious question - why are they required?

    When I last checked SCHC students can take up to 3 Honors College classes per year. Not sure how a freshman would be taking honors classes for 14 or 17 credit hours in honors. If the policy is changed or if a student can get a waiver, please let me know.
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,869 Senior Member
    ^^Not sure where you saw that you can only take 3 honors classes a year but that hasn't been my D's experience. As a Jr., she has 3 this semester and is registered for 4 next semester. I don't think she's ever has less than 3 - every one might not be able to do this. As I said in earlier post, she is math major and every math class she has taken has been available as honors section and it's not that way for every major. But she was never told she couldnt' take more than 3 a year. As a freshman, D's experience was same as Ahsmuoh - most of classes (and those of friends) in honors. The one point that was different is that they usually won't advise you to take 17 hours first semester - SCHC want students to engage in life outside the class as well and give themselves time to adjust to college load.

    There are some areas that are not well represented in honors courses - fine arts for example. Chances are some general ed requirements will be regular courses. D kind of liked having music appreciation - large class, easy (for her) content and she could be invisible - not the case in some honors classes :)

    (Now if you take 3 honors classes a year = 12 classes = 48 hours more or less so you could meet all honors requirements doing as few as 3 a year and maybe that's what you are referencing.)
  • ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    My freshman dd has 17 hours but 3 of them are U101 - so that makes the 17 less overwhelming. She has English, Biology, Econ and U101 - all honors. Her Chemistry is not honors - only because the honors section didn't fit in her schedule. Her roommate has 16 honors credit hours. So, if they used to have the 3 honors classes/year rule - it is not in place anymore. My dd is a pre-pharmacy major so she does need to get her honors credits done quicker than the average student because she will (hopefully) enter into a professional program her 3rd year.

    As far as U101 goes - she is glad that she enrolled in this class - and so am I - she is learning about all the resources on campus - something that will be useful goinf forward - and she is being "forced" to go to the career placement office and other areas of campus that she would probably not explore as a freshman. I would highly recommend that if your son has room for this class that he takes it (and she says it is an easy A).
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,869 Senior Member
    ^^Agree that some students need to get honors requirements out of way as soon as possible for maximum flexibility with major. After last maymester, D (as soph) completed all her honors hours and requirements except the honors senior thesis. So she is technically "done" with honors outside of thesis - she just prefers honors sections so she still takes them. Especially in math she feels like she gets better teachers and she enjoys the topical seminars.
  • bandgybandgy Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    Thanks again for all of the responses. I had also forgot that when my S met with the admissions rep that visited his H.S she told him that his gpa would be recalculated by USC. That actually helps him because they didnt count religion or foreign language. I am not sure if this is accurate. Also do they send a lot of kids likely letters. He received one after he sent his SAT's then he received another one stating that he is competitive for Coopers or McKissick (all before applying). One letter strongly urged him to apply to the Honors College. Anyway, it would be sad if he didn't get in at all. I think the school is overall too large for him so the only way we will pay for him to go is if he gets in the Honors college. Is the HC advising much better? He is thinking premed.
  • ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    DD has been very pleased with advising so far.....she is just a freshman. She has both a pharmacy advisor and an Honors College Advisor. Pre-Pharmacy is pretty cut and dry though so she hasn't been very demanding of her advisors.
    I will say that my DD likes the big school but with the small honors colloege feel. I think there are only about 350 freshman this year in honors. The one thing that we were not clear about is the extra honors classes that are required. Students must take an honors class in each "discipline" - for example - my dd got a 5 on her APUSH test and thought she was forever finished with taking history - but to get an honors diploma she has to take an Honors history at USC. Now, I don't think this is a terrible thing but it is a much stricter requirement than most honors colleges.

    BTW - we are 8 hours away also and my DD could not be happier!
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,869 Senior Member
    ^^Talk to an honors advisor. You can "honorize" an AP class in each requirement area by taking another honors class and there is some flexibility. D honorized her AP history by taking an honors Philosophy class. She actually is still taking a history class since her major college requires a "history other than American/European" for cultural awareness or something (after she had taken Phil when she added a major). Read about honorizing in student handbook or go ask advisor for clarification. Yes, the overlay of honors requirements can add a little, but we've felt it was worth it. D still has room to double major and could have added a minor it she had really wanted to use available hours that way.

    I believe quality of students in SCHC is equal to other top schools D applied - and at some of them she would have been capped at using 4 APs.
  • ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    Yes my dd knows about the "honorize" situation - but for one reason or another the history doesn't work - although her AP Psych and AP Econ will be able to be "honorized" with some other class that she is taking! She understands it more that I do - which is a good thing!!! She will get credit for her APUSH once she takes the other history class and gets at least a B (at least that is what I think). Her advisor is being very good with helping her with this.
  • CollinsFactorCollinsFactor Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I actually meant 3 honors classes per semester. I re-read an email my daughter forwarded from her honors administrative adviser before her first semester. When my daughter asked to switch a Spanish course from a non-honors section to an honors section, the adviser stated "Three is the maximum number of honors courses you should be enrolled in as a first year student" and did not allow her to change the course.

    Not sure if this was SCHC policy or the advisers opinion. Sounds like it may have been advice more than policy. The adviser also spoke highly of the non-honors Spanish professor, so that may have also been considered.

    My daughter also prefers honors classes over the non-honors classes.
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,869 Senior Member
    Bandgy - to respond to one of your questions, D has really liked her honors advisors. Looking at the page, they have two that deal with pre-professional. The one that advises pre-med bio majors graduated from honors college a year behind me and has a senior son there now. I don't know how non-honors premed is advised so I don't know how it compares. Do know there is honors premed community that gives students additional opportunities. D has gotten very close to advisors in her majors - both professors she first had in honors classes that she approached about advising her in her major. As junior she relies more on them for guidance on classes.

    IMO, honors advisement is most helpful in first 2 years, but may depend on individual situation. D's freshman honors advisor steered her to a favorite teacher who was actually lower rated (Rate my Professor) but perfect for her. She also helped D go through decision on whether to double major or pursue customized baccalaureate. The honors advisors seem to have a more holistic take on majors than perhaps advisors in individual majors do since most advise in more than one area.
  • bandgybandgy Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    thank you scmom12 and again we were already impressed with the non honor premed advisor that we met with last year. Also, no one answered my question about the letters that my son has been receiving strongly encouraging him to consider the honors college and stating that he is in line for Coopers etc. Do most kids with good SAT's get these letters?
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