Rutgers-Newark 7-Year Medical Program

Getting into the Rutgers-Newark 7-year medical program is highly competitive. The first three years are spent at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Caldwell University, Stockton University, Rutgers-Newark, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Montclair State University or Stevens Institute of Technology and the last four years are spent at Rutgers-Newark. Fifty-two students were admitted into this 7-year program this year, across the seven schools.
NJIT

TCNJ

Montclair State

Stevens Institute of Technology
The program requirements are:
  • Top 10% of high school graduating class
  • Minimum SAT score of 1400 or ACT score of 32, with neither being superscored
  • U. S. citizen or permanent resident by the start of the medical program portion
  • Must have a high school GPA > 3.5, although the high school GPA is usually > 4.0
  • Need a B or higher in all pre-med college classes
  • Must take the MCAT while in college and score at the national average or higher
  • Need to maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 each college semester.
Here are suggested activities during high school for students interested in this program:
  • Shadow physicians
  • Volunteer in a hospital
  • Go on a medical mission trip
  • Learn about different medical specialties
  • Participate in research (e.g., in a summer science program)
  • Be an EMT volunteer
  • Be a lifeguard
  • Start a non-profit.
To get accepted, there are two interviews: one is a general admissions interview and the second is a medical school interview. It is a good idea for students to practice their interpersonal and interview skills.
Recently, Stevens had 150 applicants to the program. Of the 150 applicants, ten were interviewed and two were accepted.  The Stevens application is due in mid-November and the Caldwell application is due by December 1.
Students are notified if they have been accepted by the medical school by early April, not April 1. The medical school communicates with the student using the Common App email address, so the student should check that email address daily to ensure they don’t miss any time-critical communications.
Thanks to Julie Washington of Caldwell University and Brian Switay of Stevens Institute of Technology for sharing this information at the 2017 NJACAC conference.

Rutgers University Honors College

The Rutgers University Honors College, which is two years old, is not to be confused with the Rutgers honors programs. The Honors College takes the top 7% of each school (except nursing) from Rutgers New Brunswick. The Honors College brings together students from across disciplines, creating an interdisciplinary experience.
Freshmen in the Honors College are required to live together in their own housing, a Living and Learning community on College Avenue. When I visited the building, I got to see great seminar spaces, as well as spaces designed for group collaboration, socializing, and studying. Campus Honors Cohort housing is available the sophomore through senior years for those students who wish to take advantage of it.
Academically, the Honors program is special in three areas: curriculum, research and co-curricular programming.
The curriculum includes:
  1. A 1-credit Freshman seminar on curiosity and how to develop new ideas
  2. The Honors College Forum, a 3-credit freshman class on social innovation which includes a group social innovation project
  3. Interdisciplinary classes over first two years, some of which include a study abroad component.
Students in the Honors College take a minimum of four honors classes.
Research is built into the program. Freshmen get an introduction to research, with summer research available after the freshman year. Sophomores have an Aresty Assistantship, in which they assist a professors with their research. Juniors do major research and seniors complete a capstone project.
Special co-curricular programs include honors academic advising, service-learning, internships, and global education. Students have a requirement to do a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer activities in their first three years,
The freshmen and sophomores I met on my visit, were very happy they had chosen the Rutgers University Honors College, over the other highly-competitive colleges and universities that had accepted them. What is your experience with the Honors College?

What’s new at NJ, NY and PA colleges

Admissions representatives from several universities shared highlights of what’s new at their institutions at the NJACAC fall kickoff. 
The Rider representative talked about:
  •  Special activities to commemorate the college’s 150th anniversary, including a gala, special performances, the breaking of a Guinness world record for the longest string of cranberries.
  •  The Westminster Choir College getting a new building. 
  • Sports management being offered as a new co-major.
  • The Musical Theater degree becoming a Bachelors in Fine Arts, requiring an application by January 1.
  • The current college president retiring on June 30th and the search for a replacement.

The Rutgers representative spoke of:
  • The opening of the Residential Honors College housing for 500 students and faculty in September 2015. 
  • Mason Gross having a new digital film making major starting in 2015.
  •  Rutgers planning for a 2016 celebration of their 250th anniversary.

Lehigh:
  • Will be celebrating their 150thanniversary in 2015 with a Lehigh vs. Lafayette football game in Yankee Stadium. 
  • Has purchased two Bethlehem Steel buildings and turned them into research space. 
  • Has a new college president who came from the University of Virginia. 
  • Is in the midst of a one billion dollar capital campaign.

NYU:
·         Has fully integrated the engineering school into the university. Has new majors including Design and Performance Study, and an interdisciplinary Business and Film/TV.
·         Is looking for a new president. 


TCNJ:
·         Is building a Campus Town Center which will open in August.  It will have a first floor with Panera,Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and a pizza place, and a second floor housing 430 TCNJ students. 
·         Has a new STEM facility housing natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. 
·         Will be switching to a 4-1-4 schedule to encourage a higher 4-year graduation rate and to give more students the opportunity to study abroad. 

·         Will require students to complete the CSS PROFILE in order to get financial aid.  They expect this will enable them to give more aid to students whose families make between $75K and $150K per year.
The Rowan representative spoke of:
  •  Bringing in five companies, including Lockheed Martin, on property Rowan owns next to the college campus so students can do research and work with those companies.
  • Two new med schools and the integration of medical studies with arts, business, and STEM.  Students can get accepted into medical school right after high school; the med schools are focusing on community/family medicine. 
  •  The freshman class being 40% bigger than last year. 
  • Rowan focusing on improving their graduation rate and having a goal to reach a 90% graduation rate. 

College Admissions Trends 2013 – Part 3

The college admissions personnel on the panel spoke about their schools.  This focuses on the trends shared by admissions personnel from Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Manhattanville College.

Paul Johnson, Assistant Vice President, Research and Enrollment Services at Rutgers University, indicated that applications were up by 6% this year. Rutgers has a new president who oversaw the merger of Rutgers and the Medical School. On the Livingston campus there is a new residence hall and a new business building. Rutgers handles 32,000 applications and values the right high school courses, grades, and standardized test scores. They admit by school with mid-ranges for GPA and test scores varying by school; this data is on their website. Rutgers would like more out-of-state and international students. While 50% of students change majors, it is very difficult to transfer into popular majors. School- to-school transfer requirements are on-line.

Shane Topping, Director of Admissions at Stevens Institute of Technology, spoke of a 22% increase in applications this year. A new president started in July 2011. The most popular major at Stevens is Mechanical Engineering. There is increased interest in Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. International applications are up. The school has a popular 5-year Masters program where the scholarship and financial aid from the undergraduate years continues to the 5th year. Stevens students have an average high school GPA of 3.8. A 20-25 minute interview is required and is important. For engineering and science majors they are looking to see students who have had 4 years of Math and Science.

Kevin O’Sullivan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Manhattanville College said his school is known for its international students and diversity. One thousand of their 5,000 applications are from international students. The school has students from 56 countries, with the biggest representation from Ecuador, Vietnam, China, Brazil and Canada. Thirty percent of their students study abroad in their European Union (EU) program based in Southern Germany, in which students visit every EU country. Manhattanville has NGO status, allowing their students access to UN programs. The school went test-optional four years ago. The size of the freshman class has grown from 407 to 608 students in the last two years. The undergraduate Sports Management program is new to the school. Manhattanville is working on developing a new accounting major. Management is the most popular major. Manhattanville values demonstrated interest. Admitted students have a solid B average with an average SAT score of 1100 (for Math and Critical Reading).

If you work in Admissions or Enrollment Management at a college, do you have any trends you want to share about your college?

College Admissions Trends 2013 – Part 1 of 4

On February 26th, I attended a workshop at Rutgers University featuring a panel of college admissions and high school guidance personnel. They reviewed college admissions issues, concerns, and trends for members of the NJ Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC). The common themes were increased applications, more applications from international students, more demand for certain majors, continued building on-campus, and NJ state colleges looking for students from outside of NJ. Do any of these trends surprise you?

Some questions discussed included the impact of the economy on colleges and financial aid. Some private colleges are offering additional financial aid, with some discounting up to 50%. The panelists didn’t see how that could be supported on a long-term basis. Parents are asking more questions on college completion rates; it is taking students 5.6 years to graduate on the average. Some colleges are seeing the willingness to pay for college going down among those who can afford to pay. There is also an increase in families appealing financial aid awards. As parents, how has the economy impacted how you view a college education for your son or daughter?

In my next post, I will review the comments from the admissions personnel from Rider University, Fordham University, and The College of NJ (TCNJ).

College Trends and Hot Topics – Part 3

The admissions personnel on the Higher Education Consultants Association college admissions panel answered the following questions on current trends and hot topics.
How do you know a student wrote the college essay? 
  • The prose style of a 17-year old is different than a 40-year old. 
  • Essays written by committee loose their force. 
  • The main essay and supplement essays are consistent.  If they are in doubt, they compare the essays to the SAT writing sample.

What gender issues are colleges facing?

  • Liberal arts colleges are becoming increasingly female.  Some liberal arts colleges are looking to keep the percent of men at greater than 40%.
  • There are too few women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

How should high school students spend their summer?

  • Do something constructive.
  • Test some idea, like “what is it like to work?” or “what is field x like?”

What is the role of the interview in the admissions decision?

  • The Muhlenberg College representative indicated that 75% of students are interviewed by their admissions staff on campus or off-site.  Their interview is both evaluative and informational.  The college wants to get at intangibles like what is the student hoping for and whether the student is kind and civil.
  • The Dartmouth College representative said that alumni conduct the interviews and score the prospective students on a 1 – 5 rating score.  41% of the students interviewed received a score of 4 or 5.  Dartmouth is interested in learning why the students want to attend their college.
  • At Rutgers University, students from the Pharmacy School and the Mason Gross School have interviews.

How are you using social media?

  • Rutgers University does not read the student’s Facebook page.
  • After students were accepted to Dartmouth College, they could participate in a Class of 2016 page.  High school students could video chat with current Dartmouth College students.

What’s happening with Spring admits?

  • Brandeis University has been accepting students who applied for the Fall term as Spring admits for seven or eight years.  This allows then to fill the space made available because students are studying abroad.  The students who are Spring admits have their own orientation, make a good transition to Brandeis University, and turn out well.
Do any of these answers surprise you?  Are there other questions that you wish they discussed?

College Trends and Hot Topics – Part 2

The panel of admissions personnel at the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference discussed “What intangible factors make a student stand out?”

Chris Hooker-Haring, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Muhlenberg College, valued energy, sustained commitment, intellectual curiosity, and authenticity.

Lou Hirsch, Director of Admissions at the University of Delaware, indicated that he didn’t expect applicants to be Olympic Gold Medalists.  He wanted to know who the student is and how did he get that way.  He wants to learn how the student’s activities shaped them.  When the letters of recommendation and student’s essays mesh, he found it compelling.

Mark Spencer, Director of Admissions  at Brandeis University, said that admissions officers sometimes have a bias.  If the admissions officer feels connected to the student because of their story, that student had an advantage.

Brian Estrada, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College, talked about valuing students who are open to learning from others, as well as students who others can learn from.  Dartmouth College considers moral development and peer recommendations.

Courtney McAnuff, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Rutgers University, said the Rutgers admissions office does not see race, gender or high school when evaluating applications.  Rutgers University is concerned about how students work with diverse situations and want to have a well-rounded class. 

What intangible factors do you think make a student stand out?

College Trends and Hot Topics – Part 1

I attended the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference this week.  Here’s what’s happening in college admissions, according to key admissions personnel who participated in a panel entitled “College Trends and Hot Topics: Admissions 2012.”

Courtney McAnuff, Vice President of Enrollment Management for Rutgers University indicated that he was looking at a proposal to merge UMDNJ with Rutgers, which now seems likely. He was also looking into the merger of Rowan and Rutgers Camden. The size of the Rutgers freshmen class will be reduced for the next three years, because retention is up.

Brian Estrada, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College said, with the April nomination of their college president to lead the World Bank, Dartmouth is looking for a new college president. This year Dartmouth had 23,000 applicants and accepted 2200 of them. 1104 students will be attending, and Dartmouth may accept 5 more students from the wait list.

Mark Spencer, Director of Admissions at Brandeis University said parents are becoming more concerned about college costs. This year a lower percent of students stayed on the wait list and a lower percent of students are accepting a spot off of the wait list.

Lou Hirsch, Director of Admissions at the University of Delaware indicated that his school had the same situation with the wait list as Brandeis. Parents seemed more concerned with college cost and “have gotten over if their child doesn’t get into their first choice school.”

Chris Hooker-Haring, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Muhlenberg College told the independent counselors that Muhlenberg had over 5000 applicants this year. They admitted about 50% of their incoming class through Early Decision. It took longer to get to their target class size this spring and there were more conversations with parents about money and value.

In a future blog post, I will cover the panel’s input on college essays, gender imbalance at college, how high school students should spend the summer, college interviews, college use of social media, and spring admits.

What’s new at college?

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.