college admissions

#truth: What’s not to like at Pasadena City College

May 2, 2015 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges

Everything always seems better in the beginning. Starting college for me was becoming an adult, becoming myself, and getting to make my own decisions. Pasadena City College was not my first choice college, but it is definitely a great start for someone looking to improve their grades or someone who is still figuring everything out. But before saying “I Do” to the acceptance letter, here are a few things I would change and a few things to consider:

 

1. When Your College Is Not Internship Friendly

 

I’m a lover of internships. I mean, who doesn’t love a great opportunity in a career setting? So mixing school and internship should be a perfect blend, right? Uhh… WRONG. At least at Pasadena City College, your internship needs in-country, in- state, and practically in-city (at least if you want credit for it, which we all would, right?). I was so excited when I got accepted into the Disney College Program and I couldn’t wait to work for my dream company. So when I found out that PCC offered an internship “class”, I was beyond thrilled to still be able to build my college transcript. Then, the class meeting schedule came out. #uhmmwhat? I was going to be in Florida working at Disney World for five months, how could you expect students participating in internships to come to a class? When I asked the professor if there was any way to gain credit for my internship, she responded by saying, “Apply to a college over there.”  And this was me: #wow #rude #unprofessional #byefelicia. With that said, if you want an internship friendly college, PCC is NOT for you. #iwenttofloridaanyway

 

2. When Your College Is Overpopulated 

 

Meeting new people? Heck yes! Having 40 people in a class? It’s possible. Pasadena City College is notorious for being overcrowded. It’s great at first because you get to meet so many new people, but you know its bad when your class is so large, that there isn’t enough seats. Education is something I pay for, so why wasn’t I getting it? It is difficult to learn when education isn’t personal. I practically had to wait in line to have my questions answered. I felt like my teachers hardly had time for me, and what student  PERSON wants to feel left behind? (And not pass a class?)

3. When You Don’t Graduate On Time… Because The One Class You Needed Was Filled

 

I think this might be a struggle every student deals with. Except PCC is notorious for it. This is another issue in overpopulation. I am in no way graduating any time soon, but I also know not to expect to graduate on time.   Many of the classes I needed just were not available because of priority. I wasn’t even able to get into my math class (which I needed prior to college math). #thestruggleisreal Many of my friends who go to neighboring colleges have had better luck getting the classes they need. HOWEVER, Pasadena City College has an amazing transfer rate… to stay or not to stay…

 

 

 

Private University vs. State School

July 10, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Events

One dilemma many future college students face is deciding to go to a private university or a state college. There are many factors that come into play when considering each option. In the end, it comes down to how much importance you put onto different aspects of college life.

Do you prefer a close-knit community, or do you prefer to go with the flow at a big state school? How much importance is placed on tuition costs? Do you have to worry about class credits transferring in?

All of these things and more will have to be considered while making the choice between private and state school, so here are a few things to think about before choosing.

1- Class Size

Small Classes

Small Classes

Class size is one of those things that people look to as a mark of quality. The less students in the classroom, the higher the quality becomes.  Private schools typically have less students per class than state schools, which sets the stage for a more personal and efficient student-teacher relationship.

2- Tuition

Tuition Costs

Tuition Costs

Something that every future student should consider is the amount of debt they will be graduating with. If you can find the right state school, you could end up not only with a great education, but a fraction of the debt that you would have had you attended a private university.

3- Campus Community

Campus Community

Campus Community

This is one of the more underrated aspects of college life. A tight-knit student body that is involved with their school through things like extra curricular activities and class events is more common in the private university setting. State schools can have similar activities and events, but it is hard to match the effect that a close-knit, small student body has on class gatherings and other affairs.

4- Transferring Credits

Transfering Credits

Transfering Credits

Many students spend a year at community college before transferring into a four-year program. Some private schools hold extremely strict regulations regarding transferred courses, which could result in the repetition of intro and low-level courses. Students will find much less friction when it comes to the successful transferring of credits while they are looking into state schools as opposed to private.

5- Personable experience

Teacher Giving Personal Instruction

Teacher Giving Personal Instruction

When at a state college, it is not uncommon to feel insignificant when it comes to getting signed up for classes or trying to get other small, seemingly negligible things figured out. Classes can fill up as fast as they became available on the website, and the employees can be trained to handle a bulk of people as quickly as possibly. Not ideal for you.

6- Realistic and Helpful Professors

Understanding Professors

Understanding Professors

Many professors at state schools understand that their students have actual lives beyond the classroom and make it clear that they are willing to work around your schedule as  long as you fill them in.

This comes in handy when you get two 10 page papers assigned on the same day, and want to hand one in a few days after the other one. a state school professor’s response would be “Sure, thanks for letting me know ahead of time!” while a private university professor might respond- “No problem, just hand mine in a week early! You’re welcome!”

So, before choosing which college you’re going to attend, consider these thoughts, and always visit the campus. before-hand.

by Bailey

Choosing Which College is Right For You

January 16, 2014 in Colleges

 

College applications can sometimes become overwhelming

College applications can sometimes become overwhelming

Deciding on where you want to go for College is an extremely important time in your senior career of High School, and for many it may be nerve-wracking and difficult to decide which College is the right choice for you. Before you start to completely panic, it is helpful to take a step back and ask yourself what type of school are you really interested in. Are you looking for a school that has a large student body, possibly a university? Or are you looking for something on a smaller scale, perhaps private? The exciting thing about applying to different Colleges is it’s up to you to decide. You have complete control over where you want to go. Other factors you may want to consider when deciding which schools to apply to may be if it’s far or close from home. Do you want to be able to come back home frequently or would you rather be away for weeks at time? The choice is all up to you.

For myself, the College I ended up choosing to attend was one that I came across when I wasn’t really looking for it. I remember having my top five schools already picked out (including my reach) and was in the process of completing the applications for all of them when one day my College Board had a school recommendation list with the name Wheelock College on it. I remember realizing I had heard the name of the school before from somewhere and soon found myself looking it up online and realizing that this school grabbed my attention more than the other schools I had already applied to. Wheelock College is a school focused on helping students develop skills they would be able to use to help children succeed in their educational careers and get them to continue their education long after High School which greatly appealed to me. It has always been my belief that education is one of the most important things that you could ever obtain, and it’s not something that should be thrown away. My school teaches us the importance of education and through showing other younger students how crucial and fun education can be, we can change the lives of many of them and get them to want to have a successful life and eventually career.

I consider my school to be different than the typical College school that many are used to. For example, it doesn’t require high SAT scores that many may not be able to achieve, and focuses more on the grades you acquired during High School than anything else. It also has a small student body; so if a small close-knit community is something you’re interested in, along with learning about how to teach younger students about the importance of education, then this school may be the one for you. However, if it isn’t, there are plenty of other options you can choose from. As I had said before, the choice is entirely up to you. If you ever feel the process of choosing a school is becoming overwhelming don’t let it. Take a step back and take a deep breath, and ask yourself what type of school works best for you. I can guarantee you there is a school out there that fits your specifications; it’s just finding it that will be the process.

Decisions, Decisions: The College Planning Experience.

November 27, 2013 in Admissions, Colleges

 

There are few decisions in life as daunting and as stressful as determining where to go to college. With so many things to consider like distance, size, majors and what kind of area you want to spend the next four years, or more, of your life in, the decision can at times seem overwhelming. This is a sad truth because the college planning experience should be one of the most exciting times of your life thus far, not one of the most terrifying. Deciding where to go to college is the first time in your life that you get to make a huge decision for yourself, it is the first time you truly get to take the reigns and steer your life in any direction you want. You worked hard in High School right? Well this is where all that hard work finally pays off.

I’ve always been an indecisive person so when I was trying to decide which colleges to apply to I took the “more the merrier” approach and applied to 9 different schools. I just could not bear to narrow it down, sure I had already applied to 3 schools in New York where I really wanted to live, but what if none of them accepted me? I’d better make it 4 just to be sure. I applied to reach schools that I knew despite my good grades I’d never have a chance of getting in and I applied to safety schools that I would have rather dropped dead than actually attend. I was covering all my bases and making way more work for myself than I actually needed to. After becoming a professional with all things Common App related, completing all my schools extra sections and paying all those application fees came the hardest part of all; waiting for the responses.

Once my responses came back I realized that my decision was not going to get any easier from there. I was accepted into 6 of the 9 schools I applied to and still did not know which I wanted to attend. College is expensive and like most students today I knew I was going to need as much financial aid as possible in order to make it through all 4 years. So the next step of my decision came from looking at which schools gave me the most money to attend, and leaving out the ones who did not give me enough. After this I was left to decide between 3 schools; Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Drew University also in New Jersey and Hofstra University on Long Island. This is when it came down to everybody’s favorite part, college visitations. If you ask me this is the most important step in the entire college decision process because it is when you finally get to experience the school and feel the atmosphere. At the end of the day the college you choose can be the most prestigious in the world but if you do not feel at home there, you are going to be miserable. The minute I stepped on to Hofstra’s campus I felt so at home and at ease that I knew this was the school for me, and it was a decision I have never regretted.

The school you choose will not only be where you receive your higher education but it will be where you make the friends you will have for the rest of your life, where you get that killer internship you’ve been dreaming about, where you learn lessons you could never learn in a class room and potentially where you meet the person you spend the rest of your life with. It is a huge decision but it does not need to be a horrific one, here are some of my best tips for surviving the college planning experience and making it look easy.

1. Start Early- While everyone else is still procrastinating, start researching schools, and filling out the Common Application; you’ll thank yourself later

2. Keep it simple- Sure you want to make sure you have a fair spread of safety, match and reach schools but you do not need to apply to every single school your guidance councilor suggests to you, only apply to schools you can actually see yourself attending.

3. Do it for You- You may want to go to the same school as your best friend, or the same school that your parents went to but at he end of the day this is your life, do what makes YOU happy and go where YOU really want to go, or you may regret it later

4. Apply for Scholarships- Sure it means a little extra work and maybe a few extra essays but you’ll thank yourself when your not neck deep in student loans like all your friends are.

5. Visit Visit Visit- I cannot stress this enough DO NOT attend a school you’ve never even been to before. There are certain things you can’t get by looking at pictures, reading articles or even by talking to overly peppy students and administrators. And that is the feel of the school, you need to make sure it feels right to you because soon it could be your second home.

Follow these tips and you should be well on your way to the best time of your life in a school you absolutely adore! Good luck and happy applying!

 

by RJ Ross

Why There is Nothing Finer Than a Cal State Forty-Niner

September 5, 2013 in Academics, Admissions, Colleges

From an early age on I knew I had to go to college no choices about it. I have a physical disability and could not rely on getting a “normal” job as a cashier or fast food person like my friends could. I tell you about my disability because it greatly influenced my choices in which colleges I should be applying to.

When it came time to start applying to colleges my home college California State University Long Beach (CSULB) was definitely at the top of my list for several reasons. First reason my parents are college sweet hearts and met at CSULB. So, CSULB definitely had the whole nostalgic feel going for it.

One of the main reasons as to why I chose to go to state was that it is my home school. I know most kids want to go away, but I believe that I had a certain advantage at staying in my home school. Over the years in Long Beach I have created a networking system that worked for me and would help me in the long run.

I had accepted two internships through the city and if I stayed local I was able to keep them and continue being active in the community. This is something I take great pride in giving back to the community you were raised in. Because as Theodore Roosevelt said “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” And this is true, because I’m sure your community: family, friends and neighbors have all helped you at some point, but what good is all that if you cannot help them.

Another major reason of choosing to go to CSULB was that it had one of the better Disability Student Service programs in the west coast. Now this might not seem like something “your average” student might be concerned about, but then when you consider a study done by the National Center for Education in 2007 11% of undergraduate students reported having a disability. This is a minority group, but it is the only minority group we all could become a part of. But, the Services provided at CSULB and the familiarity with the area was definitely a huge part in my decision making.

As for getting accepted that was no cake walk by any stretch of the imagination. The world is getting more competitive and being accepted to any college is an accomplishment on its own. I was lucky enough that my high school had an education plan that actually caused us to graduate with more credits and be competitive for college applications. We followed what is called A-G requirements.

The CSU system requires a minimum 15-unit pattern of courses for admission as a first-time freshman. Each unit is equal to a year of study in a subject area. A grade of C or better is required for each course you use to meet any subject requirement. The requirements are: History and Social Science (including 1 year of U.S. history or 1 semester of U.S. history and 1 semester of civics or American government AND 1 year of social science), English 4 years, Math 4 years recommended including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or higher mathematics, Science including 1 biological science and 1 physical science, Language Other than English 2 years of the same language, Visual and Performing Arts (dance, drama or theater, music, or visual art)for a year, and finally a College Preparatory Elective for a total of 15 required Courses. As for extra help with staying on track I suggest going to CSUMentor.edu and keep in contact with your school counselor.

Prospector Pete

Prospector Pete