University Of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)

 On Friday, I had lunch with the NJ representative for the University of Georgia (UGA), along with about ten other college admissions consultants. I thought I’d share some of what I heard about University of Georgia:

  • If you are thinking of applying, make sure to take at least 4 years of science in high school. This is a requirement.
  •  If you are planning to apply Early Action (EA), don’t get caught snoozing. The EA application is due on October 15th.
  • Thirty per cent of students are from outside of Georgia. It isn’t easier or harder to get in if you are from outside of Georgia.
  • The Foundation Fellowship provides about 20 students a year with a significant scholarship, opportunities for study abroad, research, conference participation and enrichment (e.g., Honors program, seminars, mentoring). For out-of-state students this translates to a $15,700 stipend (in addition to a Regents Out-of-State Tuition Waiver). If you are interested in this opportunity you must apply for it by November 1.
  • Out of state students who study abroad, pay in-state tuition that semester.
  • Athens, where the college is located, is a college town of a 100,000 with a big music scene, about 60 miles from Atlanta
  • The college is big: about 26,000 undergraduate students, 605 acres, 170 majors, 600 student organizations. In the Fall of 2013, electrical and mechanical engineering majors are being added.
  • Students are required to live on campus their freshman year. While housing is guaranteed all four years, most students move off-campus after the first year.
  • The info on accepted students is: Mid-50% range for GPA of admitted students : 3.74-4.04 (the GPA that UGA calculates based on the core courses taken in HS, and looking at the actual grades on the transcript).  Mid-50% range for the SAT CR and M: 1190-1360.  Mid-50% range for the SAT Writing: 580-690.  Mid-50% range for the ACT: 27-31.  Average number of AP/IB courses: Approximately 6
  • The honors program enrolled 531 students for the fall of 2011 with: Mid-50% range for GPA of admitted students : 4.0 – 4.2 (the GPA that UGA calculates based on the core courses taken in HS, and looking at the actual grades on the transcript). Mid-50% range for the SAT CR and M: 1430-1490. Average SAT Writing: 712.  Mid-50% range for the ACT: 32-33
  • For more information on the college, check out their blog on




Barnard College (New York, NY)

If you are looking for a small women’s liberal arts college in New York City, Barnard College may be right for you. My two nieces attended Barnard and loved it.

The school is located in Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan and can be reached by subway (the 1 train to the 116th Street – Columbia University stop). The campus has a variety of building styles, is one block wide and goes from West 116th Street to West 120th Street. The Barnard campus is on one side of Broadway and the Columbia University campus is on the other side.

Barnard is the home to about 2400 undergraduate women, with 95% of them living in the dorms on campus. The freshman dorms are arranged around a quad. Housing is guaranteed all four years, as long as you don’t leave the dorms and decide you want to come back.

All students must take two first year foundation courses (English and a seminar) and nine area requirements. Barnard offers 50 majors and their students can pursue special degree programs with a number of other schools in the area including Columbia University, Julliard, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Manhattan School of Music. Barnard students can cross-register for courses at Columbia, and Columbia students (male or female) can cross-register for courses at Barnard. The Barnard classes are small and are never taught by graduate teaching assistants.

Barnard students take advantage of all New York City offers in terms of culture, education, nightlife, and internships. Study abroad, internships, research, and volunteering are popular. There are as more internship opportunities at Barnard than students. Barnard students also can participate in clubs and sports on their own campus or at Columbia. Barnard students participate in Division I, Ivy League Varsity sports in the Columbia/Barnard Consortium.

Some memorable annual campus events include:

  • Midnight Breakfast – Deans and administrators serve the students breakfast the night before the beginning of finals
  • The Big Sub – Students eat a 700 foot sub sandwich
  • President Obama speaking at the 2012 Barnard graduation.

About 21 per cent of Barnard applicants are accepted. All financial aid is need-based and for US students, it is need-blind. The college meets 100% of need and tries to keep loans to a minimum. There is no merit aid.

If you are a female high school student, does Barnard sound appealing to you?

Penn State

Penn State is a university with campuses all over Pennsylvania.  Sixty percent of students start in a campus other than University Park, and then transfer after two years to the main campus in University Park, which is shown here.

The school is huge, with a plethora of colleges and majors.  Those students who are undecided can join the Division of Undergraduate Studies, which helps them sample different majors. 

Those who are at the top of the class may be part of the Schreyer Honors College which has smaller Honors classes, priority registration, special housing, a thesis, and a travel grant.
Penn State students have a great enthusiasm for their University and their Division I sports teams. In addition to being well-known for their academics and sports teams, they are also well-known for their job placement services.

Penn State likes to admit out-of-state students and it is not more difficult to be accepted if you are an out-of-state resident. Students can apply to start their Freshman year in the Summer or in the Fall.

Lafayette College

If you are looking for a small school with strong engineering, science, and liberal arts, as well as Division I sports and a formidable Greek presence, Lafayette may be for you. Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania has a main campus of about 100 acres with an additional 212 acres of athletic fields for its 2400 students.

Freshmen and sophomores participate in small seminars.  Over half the students study abroad and over 45% do community service.  There are more than 250 clubs. Top students may qualify for the Marquis Scholars merit scholarships of a minimum of $20,000 per year.

If you’ve visited Lafayette College recently or are a student there, share your thoughts on the college.