Babson College

Overview – Babson College is a private business college with a focus on entrepreneurship in Wellesley, MA, only 10 minutes from Boston. The college has 2300 undergraduates with an average class size of between 20 and 25 students and no TAs teaching. Classes are capped at 40 students.
Academics – The following makes Babson different:
  • Everyone is involved in entrepreneurship
  • There is a focus on thinking globally (30% of students are international) and innovatively
  •  Students need to be willing to be creative, take risks and be able to fail
  • There is an emphasis hands-on learning.

There are required business and liberal arts classes including rhetoric, quantitative classes and a business foundation in finance, accounting and marketing.
Everyone takes a yearlong foundations of entrepreneurship where they start a company to solve a problem, they pitch an idea to get funding for their idea and launch the business. At the end of the year, students liquidate the business and donate the profits to a local charity.
Students can have 0, 1 or 2 concentrations (like majors at other colleges).
All freshman get a laptop with needed software loaded.
There are no classes on Fridays.
Babson has partnerships with Olin College (which is their next door neighbor) and Wellesley College. Students can take 1 class per year at these 2 other colleges. The three schools also have a shared makerspace.

Study abroad – Over 50% of students have a global abroad experience that is over a break or a semester in length. There is also a yearlong partnership with the London School of Economics.

Post-Graduation – Students can work with the center for career development from day 1. Over 500 employers come to campus to recruit. Most students have at least one internship, although an internship is not required. 99% of graduates are placed in a job or a graduate program.

Housing – 85% of students live on campus all four years. Students can choose to live in a Living and Learning Community or Greek Housing if they like.

Extracurricular activities – There are 22 NCAA Division III athletic teams, as well as intramural and club sports. Babson has Greek life and lots of clubs for students to join (or students can start a new club).

Applying – Students can apply Early Action, Early Decision or Regular Decision. Admissions are holistic with an average SAT score of 1360 or ACT score of 31. All applicant must have pre-Calculus in high school, although Calculus or AP Statistics are encouraged.

Curry College

Curry College is a small, private college in Milton, Massachusetts with about 2100 students. The majority of the students are from Massachusetts. The rest come from 35 states and 21 countries.

Academics – The most popular majors at Curry College are Health Professions, Business, Security and Communication. Curry has a 5-year Bachelors/Masters in Education and a 5-year Bachelors/MBA in Business. The most competitive major at Curry is Nursing. There is also an Honors program.

Learning Differences Program – Curry has a fee-based Learning Differences program called PAL (Program Advancement Learning) for students with language-based learning differences and/or ADHD. This program was established in 1970.

Typically about 20-25% of the freshman class participates in PAL. The PAL program costs about $7000 a year and students typically stay in the PAL program for one or two years. PAL students need to be able to advocate for themselves and they are not segregated in classes or housing. The PAL building includes an assistive technology center and a study lounge.

Over thirty learning specialists work in PAL. Students in PAL are matched with a specific learning specialist for consistency, and that learning specialist is their first year academic advisor. PAL students typically meet with a learning specialist twice a week for one and a quarter hours each time.

PAL students receive an iPad containing assistive technology. There is a full-time assistive technology professional aided by ten students knowledgeable in the use of assistive technology available to help PAL students.

Academic Supports – All Curry students can take advantage of the Writing Center, Speaking Center and Assistive Technology center.

For Fun – About 37% of the student body is involved in NCAA Division III Athletics. Students participate in many clubs and sports activities; they like to watch the hockey and basketball games. There is no Greek life on campus.

A shuttle takes students to Boston, the Legacy Place Shopping Center and the T station. The Orange and Purple line T station is about a mile from campus. There is also a small ski resort in walking distance from campus.

Internships – Some students get internships at Dunkin headquarters about a mile from campus. Students can work at the on-campus day care.

Admissions – Students with a high school GPA of over 3.3 are considered for the Honors Program. There is Honors housing.

There are 105 seats in Nursing each year. Students accepted into the Nursing program must have a GPA over 3.0 and average a 3.5 GPA. Their average SAT score is 1250 and their average ACT score is 24.

Merit aid – Merit aid of $2K – $30K is available.

Dean College

General – I visited Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts as part of the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference in June. Dean has about 1200 undergrads. About 80% of students pursue a Bachelor’s degree and about 20% pursue an Associate’s degree.

The college is in a safe town in walking distance to stores. It is next to the Franklin Library, the oldest public library in the country.

The Dean motto is “Never Give Up” and their mascot is a bulldog.

Majors and Academics – The two most popular majors at Dean are Dance and Arts & Entertainment.

Dance and theater majors make up about one third of the student body with approximately 180 dance majors and 100 theater majors. The school has connections with the Disney Center, The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the Boston Ballet, and the American College Dance Festival.

Dancers can receive a BA or a BFA. The BA students can study abroad and have more class choices. The Dance BFA can be in either choreography or performance. There is conservatory-style dance training. Students can study ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. There is a Dance Abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dean College is one of the few colleges with a full-time certified and licensed Athletic Trainer for the Dance majors.

The newest major is Biology.

The MAP program is for undecided students; by the end of their first year they select a major.

Classes are small and students make personal connections with faculty and staff, many of whom live on campus.

To ensure students are not surprised with a poor grade at the end of the semester, there is college-wide monitoring for student grades every 3 – 4 weeks. This helps with student retention and graduation rates.

Arch Program for Learning Differences (LD) – The school has the Arch Learning program, a fee-based program available for 200 students with LD. Students with documented LD can participate in this program for one or more years. For this program, the college is looking for motivated students who can self-advocate, have independent living skills (e.g., get up in the morning on their own, take medication on their own, eat healthy food, get out of their dorm room, solve problems without mom or dad, can handle a part-time job) and with the ability to do college level work (i.e., typically with an IQ of 90 or above).

Typically, the most intense support is in the freshman year. For example, freshmen on the program often do three hours of executive function coaching per week. Students in the Arch program take 1 Freshman Arch-designated class in the Fall and 2 Freshmen Arch-designated courses in the Spring taught by LD professionals. The content of these courses is the same as the courses taken by other students; it is not watered down.  They take 2 Arch-designated class in the Sophomore year and 1 Arch-designated seminar in the Junior year and in the Senior year.

Arch students live among all the other students and their classes are all over campus.

93% of Arch students return to Dean for their Sophomore year of college.

Learning Support – The entire school population has the following learning supports at no additional cost: Math Center, Writing Center, peer tutors, faculty tutors, and workshops for students. In addition, students who had an IEP or 504 Plan in high school may be eligible to use the school’s assistive technology at no additional cost.

Internships and After Graduation – Every student does at least one internship. There are more internships available than they Dean has students. The Sports Management major has a relationship with the stadium for the New England Patriots which is only 15 minutes from campus. They also have a relationship with soccer’s New England Revolution, as well as the Red Sox minor league baseball team.

The College indicated that they had a 96% placement rate for their graduates. They have direct admissions to certain graduate schools.

Extracurricular activities – There are performance, academic, athletic, multicultural and community service clubs. Students run the school radio station. Students can act starting in the freshman year; there are two musicals and three plays each year. An orchestra is hired for the musicals. Athletics are in NCAA Division III.

Diversity – Dean is diverse in many ways. Students come from about 40 states and 20 countries. About 35% of students are African-American or Hispanic. There is a large LGBTQ population on campus. 35% of students are athletes. 35% of students have a learning difference.

Renovation – The College is currently renovating the TV and radio station. The Library is scheduled to be renovated next summer. For sustainability, the school is changing all the light bulbs to LEDs.

Applications – Dean accepts the Common App and their own App and they are both free. The college is test optional, but they encourage students to send their scores even if they are low. They also encourage students to submit an essay and a letter of recommendation. Admissions are holistic.

Admission to the Dance major requires an audition.

Financial Aid – All domestic students are considered for merit aid, currently between $10K and $25K. International students qualify for a merit aid although the amounts are lower. There is no required GPA needed to keep your merit aid in future years.

Crossover College – Nearby Curry College is a crossover college which I also visited. I plan to write about Curry College in my next blog post.

Endicott College

General – Endicott College is a private college with about 3400 undergraduate students; 75% of them graduate within 6 years.
Uniqueness – Endicott’s internships make it unique. Students do 3 internships: one 3-week internship typically in January of the freshman year, one 3-week internship typically in January of the sophomore year and one semester long internship typically in the first semester of the senior year. There are variations for nursing, education and athletic training majors. Nursing students do clinicals; education students do pre-practicum and practicum; athletic training students work with the athletic teams. Forty-three per cent of students find their job through their internships. All students do a senior thesis. The school provides a liberal arts core, an academic major, and internships and experiential learning.
No alt text provided for this image

Location – Endicott College is in Beverly, Massachusetts, about 20 minutes by car from Salem and Gloucester and about 45 minutes by car from Boston. The beautiful campus is on the water with three of its own beaches.

History – In 1988, Endicott went from an all-women’s 2-year college to a 4-year institution and in 1990, Endicott went coed. The school has provided internships since 1939.
Housing – There are singles, doubles, triples and quads. Housing is guaranteed all four years. Freshmen have their own housing. Some housing is air conditioned. I stayed overnight in an air-conditioned, sophomore building. My room was a triple with its own bathroom. There was a half kitchen (2 burners, no oven, refrigerator), an elliptical machine, and a pool table in the building.

Study abroad – 36% of students study abroad; Endicott has 28 partner universities worldwide. Financial aid travels with the student.
Extracurricular Activities – Endicott has more than 50 clubs and organization, a TV and radio station, and Division III athletics. 84% of students participate in intramurals.
Home State – 50% of Endicott students are from Massachusetts. 15% are from outside New England. 2% are international and 2% are visiting students.
Majors – Business is the most popular major. Engineering is a relatively new major.
It is hardest to transfer into nursing and interior architecture. Education is a little bit hard to transfer into.
Undecided students would pick liberal studies as their major on their application or would pick their most-likely major, taking 2 or 3 classes in that major and 2 or 3 classes in liberal arts.

Admissions and Financial Aid – Admissions is more difficult for nursing than for the rest of the school. Endicott recomputes high school GPA. Endicott is test-optional except for majors requiring testing (e.g., nursing, education).
The average high school GPA is 3.5 and the average SAT is 1157. The mid-50% GPA is 3.13 – 3.85 and the mid-50% SAT is 1080 – 1230. The acceptance rate is 69%. For nursing, the average high school GPA is 3.88 and the average SAT is 1227. The mid 50% SAT is 1170 – 1270. The acceptance rate is 35%.
The school has Early Decision application deadline of 11/1, with a decision by 12/15. It has an Early Action deadline of 11/1, with a decision of 1/15. The Nursing Priority deadline is 12/15, with a decision by 2/15. The Regular Decision deadline is 2/15, with rolling admissions. There was a 40% increase in applications last year.
Students applying for need-based aid must fill a FAFSA. The CSS Profile is not needed. There are no supplemental financial aid forms.

Merrimack College

Merrimack College is a private Roman Catholic college in the Augustinian tradition in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is a career-focused, personalized, success-driven college that wants to “make good students great.”
What’s New – Merrimack College has made significant changes in recent years including the following:
  1. Significant growth of undergraduate population (from 2259 in 2011 to about 3500)
  2. Hired 17 new tenured track professors this school year
  3. A successful 50 million dollar capital campaign
  4. Switched from an undergraduate institution to a Masters-granting institution
  5. New business building opened in Fall 2017
  6. Invested heavily in academic and social support for students to increase retention and improve 4-year graduation rate
  7. Addition of computer engineering major
Planned changes include:
  1. Addition of nursing, physical therapy, chemical engineering and industrial engineering majors
  2. Completion of a new building to house both the Welcome Center and the Career Development Center
  3. Growth of the undergraduate population to 4000 students
  4. Moving from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I.

Academics – The most popular majors are in Business (representing 30% of the school). Other popular majors are in Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Professions, Engineering, Education, Psychology and Security and Protective Services. There are also a number of 4+1 programs where the students can earn a Bachelors and Master’s degree in 5 years.
Some special academic activities and/or features are:
  1. All freshmen get an iPad
  2. All freshmen participate in the First Year Experience where they learn things like time management and study skills, identify their strengths, learn about the supports available at the college (e.g., tutoring, writing center, math center), and have diversity training.
  3. There are six career advisors in each school and every freshmen meets with one in their first semester
  4.  There is a 2-day professional development retreat in Boston that lets 60 students work on their soft skills with alumni in the fall and in the spring. These include things like how to eat in a high-end restaurant.
  5. There are two jobs/internship fairs a year. Forty companies recruit accounting and finance students in the fall. One hundred companies recruit students in all majors in the spring.
  6. There are semester-long and short term study abroad opportunities based on student’s major and goals. There is also a semester of study available in Washington, DC for Political Science majors. Often study abroad incorporates service learning or an internship. Students can learn more about these opportunities at the fall and spring Global Education Fairs.
  7. Business students get Bloomberg-certified as freshmen
  8. The investment club is investing some of the college’s funds.
Campus – Merrimack College has a suburban campus which is less than an hour north Boston, not far from the New Hampshire border, and 45-minutes from the beach. The campus is over 200 acres. It is relatively flat with low-rise buildings, many of which are red brick.
Housing – 85% of students live on campus for the freshman year. Housing is guaranteed for four years and all students can have cars on campus.
Cohorts – There are many different cohorts at Merrimack. The more cohorts a student belongs to, the higher their retention rate. 70 – 80% of students are in at least one cohort. The different cohorts include:
  1. Guided “undecided major” program
  2. Honors program (top 7-10% of applicant pool) – These students can live in the Honors Living/Learning Community. They take 8 Honors classes and do a capstone project or social justice project.
  3. Dean’s Forum is a program for those students who are academically just below the Honors program. They meet as a group monthly with a Dean.
  4. Promise Program is a program for 140 freshmen who enter with a 2.5 – 2.6 GPA in high school. They receive weekly coaching.
  5. Compass Program for 60 freshmen who enter with 2.0 – 2.2 GPA from high school; these students are provided with extra support in a structured program.
  6. Phoenix Program is for those on academic probation.
  7. Living/Learning Communities (LLC) – LLCs are intentional living arrangements where residents share common goals, engage in a common academic program and participate in experiential learning. There are 5 LLCs for freshmen and 2 for upper classmen.
  8. Athletes – 620 students currently.
Extra-curricular activities – There are over 70 student organizations. Over 250 students who are doing community service in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a struggling mill town about five miles from campus. There is Greek life on campus. Currently, ice hockey is an NCAA Division I sport and the other school sports are NCAA Division II.
Some clubs and activities the students I met were involved in were: the Green Team, Student/Alumni Association, the Dance Team, Ambassadors, Orientation Leaders, Cross Country Track Club, Resident Assistant, Relay for Life, and Best Buddies.
Applying/Financial Aid – Merrimack Collegge accepts the Common Application. The average high school GPA of incoming students is 3.1. The college is test optional and there is no application fee. The application deadlines in 2017-2018 were 11/15 for Early Decision and Early Action I, 1/15 for Early Action II, and 2/15 for Regular Decision. 82% of applicants were accepted (fall 2016/fall 2017).
Students need to fill out the FAFSA to qualify for need-based aid. The college is need-aware and does not meet 100% of need. The college provided some form of financial aid to 99% of students in 2017-2018. Students get their financial aid package with their acceptance. Merit scholarships range between $6K and $21K.
There are sibling discounts for families with more than one student in a family attending Merrimack at the same time.
Moving In – Upperclassmen meet freshmen on move-in day and take their belongings to their dorm room.

Cheap College Travel in the Northeast – Updated

Here’s an update on the Bolt Bus for New Jerseyans.  The Bolt Bus now leaves from Newark Penn Station.  If you are taking the Bolt Bus to visit colleges in Boston, there is no longer any need to go into Manhattan to catch the bus.  This should save you both time and money!

Last summer I wrote:

Need a cheap way to visit an out of town college or to get to and from college without a car? Consider the Bolt Bus which serves locations including New York, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

If you book early enough you may qualify for the $1 fare. If you take eight trips you get one free! The bus fare includes wireless internet.

If its slow by car because of inclement weather or holiday traffic, it will also be slow by bus.

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Amherst College

Amherst College is a very selective, small Liberal Arts College with no core curriculum or distribution requirements except for the Freshman seminar. This makes it possible to do a double or even triple major. Students at Amherst can take advantage of classes in the five-college consortium that Amherst does not offer.
Students live on campus all four years.  Freshman have their own housing. About half the students travel abroad. This Division III college is a school of student-athletes, with a majority of students in Division III, club or intramural sports. There are no fraternities or sororities. 
While there is no merit-aid at Amherst College, need based aid packages are provided without loans.  The college will pay students to work at an NGO or non-profit over the summer.
If you attended or visited Amherst recently, what are your impressions?

Amherst College

Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts

When we arrived on campus a student, surrounded by a small group of family and friends was ringing the bell. Behind him were others waiting their turn. They were celebrating the completion of their academic work at Hampshire.

There are no letter grades at Hampshire. In their place, teachers provide a written evaluation and critique. Professors serve as teachers, mentors, and collaborators. Students develop their own concentrations, which are self-deigned majors consisting of coursework, independent projects, internships, community service and off-campus study experiences. Each student has a personalized academic program. Students complete a significant research project in their senior year.

The college draws students who are motivated self-starters. If you are looking for a small non-conformist college, perhaps Hampshire fits the bill.  For additional photos, check out the Slosberg College Solutions LLC Facebook page.  If you visited or attended Hampshire College recently, share your experiences.

Clark University

Shortly after the Fall term began, I visited Clark University in urban Worcester, Massachusetts, an hour’s drive from Boston.

Clark is the smallest liberal arts research university in the nation with about 2100 undergraduate and 550 graduate students. The school places equal emphasis on teaching and research. Undergraduates have plenty of opportunity to do research and to participate in one of the 33 travel abroad programs.

The college is well-known for its psychology and geography programs. Classes are small, averaging twenty students. The first year seminar professor becomes the academic advisor to the students in the seminar, until the students declare their major. Students, who complete their Bachelors degree with grade point of 3.25 or higher, can stay for a fifth year and pursue a free Masters degree.

While there is no Greek life at Clark, there is plenty to do. The most popular events of the year are the International Gala and Spree Day, a spring day when classes are spontaneously cancelled and replaced with a day-long carnival. Clarkies can participate in 108 clubs, 17 NCAA Division III teams, intramural sports, and a myriad of volunteer opportunities.

Clark University students live the school motto “Challenge Convention Change Our World.” If you are a progressive student looking for an urban campus, where you can make a difference, Clark may be right for you.

I’d love for you to share your photos or experiences at Clark University. You can see my photo of the statue of Freud on the Clark University campus on or on the Slosberg College Solutions LLC Facebook page. Clark University, is the only U.S. college that Freud ever spoke at.