I’m often surprised when I read a newspaper article that says a high school student applied and was admitted to all eight Ivy League universities. I am surprised not because they were admitted, but because I wonder why would anyone apply to all eight of the Ivy League colleges. It makes me wonder if the student applied primarily for prestige or really didn’t take the time to learn about the colleges they applied to.
While these eight universities have some things in common like low acceptance rate, high graduation rate, strong need-based aid, no merit aid, a high ranking in US News and World Report, and the same sports conference, they are more different than they are the same.
I am left questioning how “smart” the student really was who applied to these eight schools. I ask myself, would someone who:
Liked Columbia University’s strong core curriculum, like the lack of a core curriculum at Brown University?
Liked college in a big city like The University of Pennsylvania, like being at a college in a town like Dartmouth University?
Liked the focus of the university being on the undergraduate students like at Princeton, be happy at Harvard where there are more graduate than undergraduate students?
Wanted to live on campus in a residential college system like Yale’s be happy at Cornell which only has housing for about half of its undergrads?
Wanted to go to a college with a semester system, be happy with Dartmouth’s quarter system.
Wanted a smaller undergraduate student body like Princeton’s be happy at Cornell where the undergraduate student body is more than three times as large?
Last, but not least these universities have strengths in different majors and some have majors not offered by any/many of the others.
What’s your reaction to my pet peeve? What do you think makes these 8 schools similar or different?
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?
At the NJACAC meeting, the following colleges shared some “new” information:
Muhlenberg College is opening a new rehearsal hall for theatre arts, music, and dance. They will also be opening a new dining hall which will offer a kosher meal plan.
Columbia University went to the Common App
Duke University introduced a neuroscience major and a finance minor; they are building a new dorm on the west side of campus for upperclassmen.
Rutgers University had a record enrollment. Their experiment with students self-reporting their academic record on their college application was a success and some of the State University of New York (SUNY) colleges will adopt it. Many new dorms are in the works.