campus encounters

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York College of Pennsylvania

York College of Pennsylvania (visited 1/25/12)

I had been curious about this school for several years because it had started becoming a more popular option among my students. It felt very much like a typical college campus – a main “quad” sort of area, lots of brick buildings, a fountain. Students were everywhere; they were happy and interacting with each other. This is a comfortable-feeling campus. The school has been expanding, so there is a Main campus (the original part) and West Campus which holds the gym, the nursing program, several new dorms, and a lot of parking. Freshman can have cars on campus, and parking passes are only $60 a year. The one thing that my tour guide said she would change about campus was the parking situation; parking can be found, but it’s not convenient. People usually have to park far away from dorms. Shuttles do run frequently between the two sides of campus, however.

Some of the unusual majors that stood out for me were Supply Chain Management (in the Business Department), Sports Medicine, Forensic Chemistry, and the nursing program which students can enter directly as freshman. Business is their largest major, and they are working on a new building now which is scheduled to open in 2013 which will have a stock ticker. Engineering is also very popular, and there are several types to choose from; mechanical is probably the most popular, but the others such as electrical engineering hold their own. They even have Engineering Management.

There is no fee to apply. Admissions is rolling with decisions provided within 4-6 weeks. Recommendations and essays are not required but will be looked at if they are sent. Either the SAT or the ACT w/ writing will be accepted, and they do super-score. Some departments have specific admissions criteria. For nursing, students need a 1040/1600 SAT or 22 ACT score and be in the top 40% of the class; engineering students need a 600 Math SAT score; Forensic Chemistry students need a 540 Math SAT score; Biology, Radiology, and Nuclear Medicine need a 970 SAT or 21 ACT.

University of Delaware

University of Delaware, Newark DE (visited 1/25/12)

For a larger state school (with about 16,000 undergraduates), UDel was surprisingly easy to navigate. The campus is long and kind of narrow so it seemed less daunting than some other larger campuses I’ve been to. A beautiful brick-building-lined main quad runs through the middle, giving the campus a traditional, smaller-school feel. However, the extensive resources that radiate out from the quad provide all the resources you’d expect at a bigger school. Even on a slightly drizzly day in January, the campus was bustling. Kids were taking advantage of all the open spaces, buses were coming through campus regularly with kids piling on and off, and there was a vibrant feel to campus. I can only imagine what it must feel like on warm, sunny day when the Frisbees come out!

As expected, there is a ton to do on campus. Students can start clubs with about 5 people and an advisor, and recently, students have started things like the Chocolate Club and Grilling Club. An active main street runs through the northern part of campus. The street has all the typical things you’d expect around a college campus: pizza and sandwich joints, pubs, book stores, etc. Buses and shuttles were always running around campus. There is an Amtrak and SEPTA station on campus: Philly and Baltimore are both about an hour away; New York City and DC are about 2 hours.

95% of freshmen live on campus, and although the percentage lowers as students get older, UDel guarantees housing for all four years (which I definitely did not expect at a larger state school!). Their retention rate is good: 90% of freshman return for sophomore year.

Some of the unusual academic programs include their Earth, Ocean, and Environment school, extensive engineering programs, and health services programs. They include service learning into their curriculum, involve over 700 students in research every year, and have an Honor Program which includes an Honors living community. They also enroll students into a First Year Seminar.

In terms of admissions, 12/1 is the priority deadline if students are interested in the Honors Program or Merit Scholarships. However, they consider senior-year grades to be the most important part of the application, and they will not make decisions until mid-terms! If students submit the ACT, they have to include the writing section. They also encourage students to send in a resume.

(c) 2012

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