Update on Landmark College

Earlier this month, Landmark College, a college serving students with language-based learning disabilities, announced three new academic programs would be starting this Fall:

  1. BA in Liberal Studies
  2. Associate of Science in Life Sciences
  3. Associate of Science in Computer Science/Gaming.

For more information on Landmark College, see my original blog post on this school.

What’s your experience with Landmark College and how do you view these new academic programs?

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?

It’s Not Too Late

Some of you are suffering because you didn’t get into the college of your dream or even worse, you didn’t get into any college that you want to attend this Fall.  Don’t despair, because it is not too late!  Over 375 colleges are still accepting Freshmen and/or transfer students for the Fall, and some of these have financial aid money left.

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 http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com




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?

High School Guidance Directors Reflect on College Admissions

Catherine Angelastro,
Director of Guidance at
Watchung Hills Regional High School


Hillary Charney,
Director of Guidance at
Hillsborough High School

‘Tis the season for high school seniors to apply to college. New Jersey high school guidance offices are bustling with activity and have wisdom to share with families who are going through the college application process.


Catherine Angelastro, Director of Guidance at Watchung Hills Regional High School offers this advice, “Get applications in early. The earlier the better.” She also strongly recommends the use of Naviance scattergrams, which shows the GPA and SAT scores of students from the high school who were accepted and rejected at a particular college. “Naviance is a great reality check.”

“Start doing your homework [on colleges] in the sophomore year,” said Sean Siet, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Ridge High School. “Visit [the colleges]. Make sure you can fit in,” he continued. Mr. Siet also recommends that students “use Naviance.”

Students should “be willing to consider schools they haven’t heard of” in order to find “schools that are a better fit,” offered Hillary Charney, Director of Guidance at Hillsborough High School. “Go look at colleges. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it,” she continued. 


In the last five years there have been a myriad of changes in the application process. The changes included more early action and early decision applications, rising application and college costs, additional of families applying for financial aid, increasing instant decision days on site, and a larger number of students taking the ACT, according to Sean Siet of Ridge High School.

Admissions have become “much more competitive”, according to Hillary Charney of Hillsborough High School. A lot of students are switching from private to public colleges because of the financial situation, and students are applying to more colleges. Some “students are applying to ten or more colleges,” she continued.

Catherine Angelastro indicated that many high schools, including Watchung Hills Regional High School, switched to a paperless application process. Once everyone learned the system, it made preparing applications easier and less expensive for the school district.


There are a lot of myths associated with college admissions. Hillary Charney indicated that some students mistakenly believe that if someone from Hillsborough High School got accepted at a particular college last year, no one from Hillsborough will get accepted at that college this year.
“Parents worry [unnecessarily] that there isn’t a college for Johnny”, Catherine Angelastro shared. She also indicated that some families incorrectly think that children of alumni get a free ride.
Applying to more colleges doesn’t guarantee you’ll get accepted to more colleges, shared Sean Siet.
Everyone knows that students and their families face many challenges in college admissions. The guidance office also face many challenges. Catherine Angelastro indicated that it is hard to be in the middle of the family financial situation. “Economics once planned, [families are] now unable to do”. Hillsborough High School tries to help parents get a better understanding of financial aid basics.
Sean Siet indicated that guidance counselors have to manage the family’s expectations. They need to make sure that students apply to target and safety schools, in order to avoid the situation where the student doesn’t get accepted into any college.
In this stressful season for New Jersey high school seniors, guidance counselors are a resource for students and their families. They “go on college tours” in order to give students first hand information, said Hillary Charney. They have relationships with college representatives from around the country, according to Sean Siet. They can help ease the transition from high school to college.