Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

This fall, I visited Marist College to get an update on the information I shared in my December 2012 blog post. In addition to learning more about the college, I got to see a stunning campus.
Focus – Marist seemed very focused on hands-on practical skills, internships, and jobs after graduation for all majors. Examples of this include:
  • On-site fashion show for fashion majors.
  • Fashion students are paired with designers during New York Fashion Week.
  • History majors intern at the nearby FDR House and Library.
  • Those interested in the environment can make use of the river laboratory, the aquatic pontoon boat, and many intern at the nearby Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
  • Students in the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences are required to have a semester long fieldwork assignment. There are over 100 approved fieldwork opportunities in the Hudson Valley.
  • Bloomberg tools are used in the School of Management.
These are in addition to the special programs described in my earlier post which included semester-long internships in New York City and Washington D.C., a partnership with IBM, students investing the Marist endowment, freshman year in Florence, and the branch campus in Florence.
Academics – Class size is capped at 35 students so students don’t need to worry about being in large, impersonal lecture hall classes.
Clubs – All clubs must do community service and Campus Ministry is the largest club.
Housing – Marist is building additional housing for juniors and seniors on the North side of the campus, as well as additional dining and athletic facilities. Housing is guaranteed for all freshmen and sophomores. There is no Greek housing.
Other new building – A new studio art facility will be opening in the Fall of 2018.

Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York

On Friday, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Louis Santiago, Director of Admissions at Marist College, Kate Budzinski, Assistant Director of Admissions at Marist College, and 17 other independent college consultants.

The Basics – Marist College’s main campus is located on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York. Marist has about 4500 undergraduate students, with an average class size of between 20 and 25 students. There are over 80 clubs and organizations, Greek life, ROTC, and Division I athletics. The Cost of Attendance is $42K per year; there are need-based, merit, and athletic scholarships.  Marist is broken up into colleges that focus on (1) communication and arts, (2) business, (3) computer science and mathematics, (4) liberal arts, (5) science, (6) social and behavioral sciences and (7) management.

Admissions – About 31% of Marist applicants are accepted. The mid-50% of Fall 2012 applicants had a GPA between 88 and 93 and an SAT score between 1730 and 1950. Marist is test-optional. Fashion design, fashion merchandising, and studio art have special requirements for admission.

What’s Special – Special programs at Marist include a semester-long internship in New York City, a semester-long internship in Washington D.C., a freshman-year in Florence, Italy, and a branch campus in Florence, Italy where student may spend up to four years. There is a class in the business school where the students invest the Marist endowment. Marist has special services for up to 50 new students with Learning Differences each year. The college has a 25-year partnership with IBM.

What’s New – A redesigned core curriculum, which is more flexible, will be offered starting this Fall. A new music building will be also be opening in the Fall. Marist is planning to offer 14 full-ride technology scholarships.

Programs for high school students – Marist has pre-college summer programs in both Poughkeepsie and Florence for rising high school juniors and rising high school seniors.

What is your experience with Marist College?

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

I attended an RIT breakfast for counselors hosted by Ashley Hennigan, Assistant Director Undergraduate Admissions today.  Here are some highlights.

What kind of student likes RIT?

A student focused on a career, who likes a larger school, and would like a co-op experience would be happy at RIT, if they don’t mind cold weather and a predominantly male student body.

RIT Basics:

RIT has about 15,000 undergraduates, out of a total student body of 18,000. These include 1300 deaf and hard of hearing students. About two thirds of RIT students are male.
RIT is the 11th largest private university in the US.  It is the second largest in computing, and third largest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

RIT offers 90 majors in 9 colleges including colleges of applied science and technology; business; computing and information sciences; engineering; health sciences and technology; imaging arts and sciences; liberal arts; National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID); and the college of science.

There are 35 accelerated dual degree programs (Bachelors and Masters) .

The average class size is 25 with 90% of classes having less than 50 students. Students start taking classes in their likely major in their Freshman year. They declare their major at the end of the first year. Students have real-life experiences in their majors.

RIT is in a suburban area, six miles from downtown Rochester. RIT has 245 buildings on 1300 acres, primarily built of brick.  They were all built in 1968 or later. Students can have a car in the Freshman year and RIT provides a free shuttle that goes off-campus.  There are 11 colleges in the Rochester, New York vicinity.  Five of these colleges are within five miles of RIT.

Weather-wise, an RIT student should be prepared for an average of 90 inches of snow per year, starting around Halloween.

Fraternities and sororities are popular, as are Division I hockey and video games.

What’s new at RIT?
Starting in the Fall 2013, the school calendar switches from quarters to 15-week semesters.

RIT applications:

RIT admits students by major, and applications are read by major. Students can list up to three majors on their applications, including undecided majors. 58% of the students who apply are accepted, although this varies by major. Among the hardest programs to get into are Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Game Design, Film and Animation, and Physician Assistant. An art portfolio is required for the School of Art and the School of Design, which are two of the six schools in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

The SAT Range for Middle 50% of Accepted Applicants varies by academic area. For example, the range for Engineering is 1790 – 2030, while the range for Engineering Technology is 1580 – 1820.

Co-op education:

RIT has a hundred years of co-op education.  They have 2000 co-op education employers in 50 states and 40 countries. Many majors require one or more co-op experiences, generally after the Sophomore year. Some majors with heavier co-op requirements (e.g., Engineering) take five years to complete. Seventy per cent of students end up working for a company that they had a co-op experience with.

Financial Considerations:

The cost of an academic year is about $44,000. The cost is about $24,000 for NTID students and hearing students majoring in American Sign Language. The school offers merit and need-based aid.  SAT/ACT scores are important for merit aid.

Early Decision:
The Early Decision (ED) at RIT is more friendly than most. It is easier to get in during ED than Regular Decision. Students who apply ED don’t have to commit to attending if they feel the school will not be affordable for them when they get their financial aid package. ED applications are due on December 1.

RIT Honors:

The top 5% of RIT students are in RIT Honors, which provides the students with early registration, a scholarship, a travel stipend, specialized housing, some unique courses, and more.

Fun facts:

RIT has the Guinness World Record for Mud Tug of War and for Dodgeball.

For high school Juniors:

RIT offers two 2-day program in the summer for rising Seniors to explore, investigate, and sample academic and career paths. This will give students an opportunity to get a taste of four possible majors/careers out of 68 highlighted, as well as to stay overnight in an RIT residence hall.

Fordham University (Bronx, NY)

Fordham University is the Jesuit University of New York, one of 28 Jesuit universities in the United States, with three undergraduate colleges and two New York campuses. The Fordham mission is to care for the entire person, strive for greatness, and to develop men and women for others by providing community service, locally and abroad.

I visited the Rose Hill campus in a working-class neighborhood in the Bronx, which houses the Fordham College at Rose Hill and the Gabelli School of Business. In 2010, the College of Business Administration was renamed the Gabelli School of Business after Mario Gabelli made a 25 million dollar gift to Fordham. You might know my tour guide, a young woman from Basking Ridge. She is a triplet who graduated from Ridge High School, is studying at the Gabelli School, studied abroad in Italy, is a member of the crew team, and has had internships.

The other campus is the 8-acre Lincoln Center campus in the heart of Manhattan, which houses the Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Both the Fordham College at Rose Hill and the Fordham College in Lincoln Center offer majors in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. There are a few majors that are only offered at one of these two colleges. Some sciences are only offered in Rose Hill and dance, theatre and social work are only offered in Lincoln Center.

The Rose Hill campus is home to 5000 undergraduates, 80% who live on campus and 20% who commute. The campus covers 85 green acres in the middle of a city neighborhood in the Bronx. It is a green, Gothic oasis close to the Metro-North train, bus and subway transportation, which provides students an opportunity to intern or take advantage of the arts/nightlife in Manhattan. The school runs a shuttle service, the Ram Van, between the two campuses, as well as a late-night Rose Hill Off-campus shuttle. The school is also close to the sights of the Bronx, and is across the street from the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.

The Fordham College at Rose Hill has 3300 undergraduates majoring in the liberal arts and sciences. The Gabelli School has 1700 undergraduate students majoring in business; a new business building with expanded, new capabilities will be opening in the Fall. The Rose Hill campus also has five year BS/MBA programs and 5 year Bachelor’s/Masters programs.

The Lincoln Center campus has 1750 undergraduate. Half are residential and half are commuters.

Housing is guaranteed all four years at both campuses.

The school has a large core curriculum and a small average class size of 22 students. The core curriculum includes two theology classes, but these are not limited to Catholic theology.

The Division I athletics are housed in the Bronx campus. There are 143 clubs and organizations. Internships, community service, campus ministry, and study abroad are popular. Fordham provides access to over 2600 internships and three quarters of Fordham students have had at least one internship by graduation. There are over 165 study abroad programs.

Fordham University accepts the Common Application and the SAT or ACT. They admitted 42% of applicants with an average GPA of 3.7 and the mid-50% score on the SAT of 1830 – 2050. They provide both merit and need-based financial aid. They have both Early Action and regular admission. Early Action applications, as well as all Dance/Theatre applications, are due on 11/1. Regular admission applications are due on 1/15. Students can receive credit for AP exams.

If you are a student looking to study liberal arts and sciences, or business at a private Catholic college with a campus in a city environment, the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University may be for you. If you have visited or recently attended the Fordham University Rose Hill campus, what did you think of the school?

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?

New York University, New York, NY

NYU is a “hot” school. If you are looking for a big, private college in the Village, maybe NYU is for you. You can join about 20,000 undergrads studying over 230 majors, in classes averaging fewer than 30 students. About ten thousand of these students live in the residence halls, and housing is guaranteed for all four years. In addition to the campus in NYC, there is a 2-year old campus in Abu Dhabi, and a campus is scheduled to open in two years in Shanghai.

NYU also owns and operates twelve other physical sites in Accra, Florence, Paris, Tel Aviv, Berlin, London, Prague, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C. You can attend classes taught by NYU professors in English at these sights for the same price as classes in New York. A lot of students (42%) take advantage of studying abroad.

NYU has both research opportunities and 22,000 internship opportunities for undergraduates.

What NYU doesn’t have is a campus. On the other hand, most of the undergraduate buildings are a short walk from Washington Square Park.


Most financial aid at NYU is need-based. The school does give merit aid, which ranges from $1000 to full tuition. Students need to submit both the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE.

There is Early Decision I, Early Decision II and Regular Decision. Students can apply to a first and second choice college within the university.

There are 9 undergraduate schools, colleges and programs:

  • College of Arts and Sciences (1443 freshmen)
  • College of Nursing (63 freshmen)
  • Gallatin School of Individualized Study (253 freshmen)
  • Stern School of Business (552 freshmen)
  • Liberal Studies (1125 freshmen)
  • Silver School of Social Work (26 freshmen)
  • Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management (100 freshmen)
  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development (567 freshmen)
  • Tisch School of the Arts (776 freshmen)

NYU Poly, also known as the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, in downtown Brooklyn is transitioning to become the tenth school within NYU. At this time, it has it’s own application.


There are a lot of testing choices. You can submit SAT or ACT with writing or 3 SAT subject tests or IB scores or 3 AP tests.

Students in the arts have to audition or submit a portfolio. In addition to being talented they also need to have strong academics.

Students interested in the business school need to know Calculus.

The Gallatin School is made up of students who create their own majors from classes that cross other major boundaries.

There is plenty to do because of the city location. In addition, NYU has over 400 student organizations, two athletic centers, a gym on 14th Street, 21 Division III varsity teams, and the largest theatre south of 42nd Street.

If you are looking for a big school with dorms in the big city, and don’t mind not having a campus, NYU might be for you.

If you are a student or alum, do you have any comments to add about NYU?


The Cooper Union, New York, NY

The Cooper Union is a one-of-a-kind private college.  Since 1859, it has been providing a full-tuition scholarship to every admitted student.  But it’s not an easy school to get into.  Only 8% are admitted.  There are about 1000 undergrads (64% male) who study engineering, visual arts or architecture.  The school has a handful of buildings (including a student residence that houses only 178) scattered in or near Cooper Square in Manhattan.  They represent both the old and the new as you can see from my photos.

Pace University, New York, NY

If you are a student who would love to go to a co-ed college in the Big Apple, you may want to consider the Pace University campus in lower Manhattan. (Pace also has another campus in Westchester.)

For undergrads, the New York City campus has about 4000 full-time undergrads in 3 undergrad schools:

  • Lubin – the Business School 
  • Dyson – the Arts and Sciences School
  • Seidenberg – the Computer Science/IT School.

Pace also has an Honors program, which comes with benefits like significant merit aid, special honors classes, special events, research opportunities and housing.


The NYC campus consists of a handful of buildings including dorms in lower Manhattan and one dorm in Brooklyn Heights. If you are looking for green lawns and trees, you are in the wrong place. Your campus is the city. If going to the South Street Seaport, soaking up Wall Street, or walking across the Brooklyn Bridge excites you; Pace may be for you. My tour guide Michael, a freshman in the Seidenberg School, lived on a themed housing floor in a Freshman Residence Hall. Housing is guaranteed all four years and there are also a sizeable number of commuters.


Most of the classes are given in the main building pictured below. Class size averages 28 students and grad students don’t teach classes.


  A second building, diagonally across the street, is the home to the bookstore and two black box theatres.



The school boasts of having a large number of internship opportunities with 56% of the student body taking advantage of this opportunity (#1 university in NY for internships per US News). Pace graduates are 12% more likely to have a job after graduation based on the Fall 2011 Salary Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.


The Division II teams are all in Pleasantville. There is a bus twice a day between the two campuses. The NYC campus has gym facilities, but no pool. There are club hours three times a week.


Virtually all students (97%) get some form of need-based or merit-based financial aid. Students are automatically considered for merit aid of between $4K and $28.5 K.


PACE has rolling admissions with a 2/15 preferred deadline. Those who apply Early Action by 12/1, will hear if they have been accepted by the second week in January. Overall eighty-four per cent of applicants were admitted. Those who are interested in performing arts have a 1/15 deadline and need to audition; admission for the performing arts spots is highly competitive.

Are you a Pace student or recent alum?  If so, add your comments.

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

Sarah Lawrence is a liberal arts college of 1300 students on 44 acres in Westchester County, NY that is unique in several ways:

· It is among the colleges with the largest percent of classes with fewer than 20 students.

· Students interview the professors for 30 minutes in order to decide what classes they are would like to take.

· The classes are modeled after the Oxford/Cambridge tutorial. The seminar classes include a round table discussion with a group of 15 or fewer where the students need to come prepared to reflect on their reading and have a conference with their professor every other week to go over their term research project/paper.

· The music, theatre, and dance classes are organized differently. Each class is broken into three-week sessions on a particular skill set. There are theatres, art and performance spaces, and music spaces.

· There are only 10 lectures courses offered each year and they are capped at 45 students.

· Professors give students a written evaluation of their work, in addition to grades.

· Their don (i.e., advisor) is also their teacher for their yearlong first year seminar. With the don, students create their own program of study.

· Students take three 5-credit courses a semester.

· Thirty credits are needed for a concentration (i.e., major). Many students take two or three concentrations.

· Many buildings contain teacher’s offices, classrooms and student housing. Freshman housing is not separate from upper-class housing,

· Sarah Lawrence is one of the most expensive colleges in the country.

The college is known for creative writing, visual and performing arts, history and international studies. The student body is 70% women and tends to be politically liberal. Eighty-five per cent of undergraduate students live on campus. There are six study abroad programs, including one in Cuba.

The school is located in an upper middle-class suburban area. There are some stores and restaurants about a 15-minute walk from school. Many students go to New York City, a 30-minute train-ride away, for pleasure, cultural experiences, or internships. A free shuttle to the train station is available after 5:30 PM. Those who stay on campus on weekends participate in dances, poetry readings, concerts, plays, or community service.

The school seems to be a good fit for an outspoken, well-written independent learner, interested in intellectual discussions in multiple disciplines and independent research in the liberal arts. The academic requirements include that students to take a yearlong freshman seminar, take a course in at least three of the four areas of study, and take 2 physical education classes. Students can earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years in Teaching, Child Development, or Women’s History. There is a 3-2 Engineering program with Columbia University. There is also a pre-med program.

The school has recently applied to join Division III sports. There is a nice gym and pool.

SATs / ACTs are not considered in admission. The college uses the Common App with a Supplement which includes the “Why Sarah Lawrence?” question. Students should submit a graded high school paper as part of their application. An interview is strongly suggested; seniors often conduct the interview.

The college is need-sensitive and uses the FAFSA and CSS/PROFLE for financial aid. Students are automatically considered for merit aid.

State University of New York – Purchase

State University of New York – Purchase might be especially interesting for you if you are interested in the fine or performing arts. It is one of the few public universities, which is an arts specialty school. There are four theatres on campus, a relatively new Dance Building with 12 dance studios, and the Neuberger Museum.  The movie “Black Swan” was shot here.

Twenty-five percent of students are from outside of New York State.  Politically, the student body is liberal. 35% of the students are vegetarian and the school has a vegetarian eatery, Terra-Ve on campus. There are 70 clubs and Division III Athletic teams. The largest student group on campus is the LGBT group. The Cheese Club is a also very popular group. One of the social highlights of the year is the Zombie Prom. There are no fraternities or sororities at SUNY Purchase.

The school is located in a wealthy, suburban residential area. A short bus ride will take you to White Plains. From White Plains, you can get to Manhattan by train in 45 minutes.

For additional SUNY Purchase photos, check out the Slosberg College Solutions LLC Facebook page.

If you attended or visited SUNY Purchase recently, what were your impressions?