Waiting to find out my destiny (College Question)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Spymit007, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Spymit007, Dec 8, 2004
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013

    Spymit007 macrumors regular

    Spymit007

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #1
    Ok, I've submitted an application to Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA to continue my college education. I will receive a decision from them by the 15th at the latest so really, it could be any day now. My academic history is riddled with considerable gaps due to personal crises and family committments that were beyond my control. But my grades and GPA are strong and I consider myself to be an outgoing person, involved with various extra-curricular activities.

    Pessimistically, I am expecting the worst. I feel that if I don't get into Claremont, that's it for me. I presently live on the East Coast but since last year have dreamed of moving out west to Southern California to go to school there. If I don't get in now, I could always try again for a fall 2005 entrance but realistically speaking, if I don't get accepted this time around, I probably won't the next time.

    Right now, I just need to get away from where I am now, and I believe that California will offer me an opportunity to find myself. The environment I am presently in is not conducive to continuing my education and quite frankly, I feel like am being held back by what I really want to do. So my question to all of you is that aside from the 2 schools that I've already applied to, if I don't get into Claremont, what are some other good colleges in Southern California. I am sorry to say I don't know many California schools. I am intending to study history, government, and political science (I had originally begun my college career as an aerospace engineer...go figure. It took me a while to find my true calling and find a course of studies that I really liked). Keep in mind, I want to be in the SoCal region.
     
  2. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #2
    Well, I don't know why you want to move to SoCal other than you are caught up in the myth of what hollywood portrays it as, or you really like smog and traffic. It's also funny since I'm wanting to move to Boston, while you're wanting to move here.

    Anyway there are a lot of colleges in California. Go to studentsreview.com and search for schools withing 60 miles of LA and you'll get a ton. I've heard good things about both Loyola Marymount and Occidental for history majors, but that doesn't mean they are the only ones.
     
  3. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    #3
    Southern California isn't that great! :p

    (But it's pretty nice. :))

    There are a ton of private and public schools around here. If you don't get in somewhere, you can still move out here and start attending a community college!

    University of California schools are great, and you can pick from UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego or UC Riverside -- all in different parts of the So. Cal area. You could also look at Cal State Universities (aka, "State" schools), which aren't as research-oriented as UCs but are still excellent public schools. In the So. Cal area, we have CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, CSU Northridge, CSU San Diego, CSU Channel Islands, and maybe a few more I'm forgetting.

    I've heard excellent things about the history program at UC Irvine, though I don't know too much about history programs in general. :eek:
     
  4. jasylonian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    sacramento
    #4
    Has anything changed since you applied to USC? If not, you might want to consider UC Irvine and UC Riverside. The UC system is not your average university of (insert state here) system and is pretty solid all the way up and down the ranks.
     
  5. Spymit007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Spymit007

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #5
    The grass is always greener on the other side, I guess! No, but seriously I want to move out to California because I need to get away from my immediate family on the East Coast. Long story short: my parents are going through a very nasty divorce and I have somehow gotten caught up in the middle of it. I'm not a child anymore and I don't want any part in whatever they decide to do with their lives. I've never been very far away from my parents for an extended period of time. I feel that now is a good opportunity to try life on my own and become my own person.

    I have a lot of extended family in SoCal in Orange County. While I want to be on my own, I would still like to know that there are people I can turn to if I ever need anything. That's essentially why I chose California as a place where I would like to go to school.
     
  6. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #6
    True true. It always it greener on the other side. :) Part of the reason I want to move to Boston is because I've always lived on the west coast and I wanted to experience the east coast, so I figured I'd go to the place of my father's birth; and like you, I still have family around there. So best of luck getting into Claremont and get used to the smog!
     
  7. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #7
    I would say that those are excellent reasons for wanting to go to school in California.

    However, just because you may not get into the school of your dream, doesn't mean that you should just quit, what good would that do? If anything, that means you should go to a different school first. Transferring schools is always better than waiting, because at least you are doing SOMETHING instead of NOTHING. As many have said, if you do not get into that dream school, try another, or go to a community college in Cali since you obviously have family there and family that it sounds like you could lean on if times get hard.

    Either way you would be in school and still learning and college's like that. Like I said transferring is far easier than waiting and trying again.

    Good luck man.

    Mike
     
  8. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    #8
    An excellent point. This reminds me -- I'm fuzzy on the details, but I understand there are / were / may be some programs where, if you attend a community college for 2 years and meet some other requirements, you're automatically admitted into a University of California school. This may be only for high school seniors, though ... unfortunately, I can't recall ... but if you're willing to spend some more years on school, you might want to look into this type of thing.
     
  9. Spymit007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Spymit007

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    Thanks for this link. It's been REALLY useful. And after looking up USC in it, I am really glad I didn't end up going there. So many negative reviews from bitter students. From what they've said, it sounds like I would have been really unhappy there.
     
  10. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #10
    Free response polls are undeniably biased though. Good, happy students wouldn't bother getting on that site to review their school. However, if its scores are lower relative to other colleges then it probably does have a low student satisfaction rate.

    scem0
     
  11. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska USA
    #11
    Try UAS. You can get any degree here and it will be from a state university, not a community college. Resident tuition 100.00 a credit (100 - 299 level), and slightly more for upper division. There is an exchange program with many states where you can pay the resident tuition, non-resident is something like double.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.uas.alaska.edu/ods/coolshots.htm
     
  12. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #12
    Truman State University!!!
    truman.edu

    Come here and we can be the bestest friends!!!
    or not...
     
  13. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #13
    usc and claremont are among the top schools in the southern california region...pepperdine and ucla are also good and a little easier to get into...you have to remember claremont (in business) and usc (in everything) are the two hardest schools to get into...imho, you can get an education at ucla which is just as good as usc, but not with the usc panache or connections of the rich kids who are the offspring of the la area's rich and famous...it's a bit of an elitist country club thing at usc and some students i went to high school with with straight A's in every class, activities, sports letters, ap classes, and sat scores in the top 1% percentile in the nation were flatly rejected by usc, so don't feel bad at all...of 230 grads in my high school class, none got into usc

    some schools that are a shoe in with a good gpa would be san diego state, cal state los angeles, cal state long beach, cal state dominguez hills, san diego state, uc san diego, cal state san bernadino, uc irvine, uc riverside, chapman university, azusa pacific university, and many, many others from los angeles down to san diego
     
  14. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #14
    the uc system is somewhere just above the suny system in new york while the cal state system ranks somewhere below the suny system

    claremont(business), usc(everything), cal tech(sciences) are above the uc system in college education/job connections/employability but fall short of your east coast's ivy league system www.princetonreview.com and www.petersens.com could give you rankings and general rundowns on academics and other important factors

    if you want an ivy league equivalent, both in education and important post school connections, only stanford university on the west coast can safely decide to plant ivy plants against the sides of their buildings...of course, stanford is landlocked and does not possess the cool, california beach culture many come to seek in california and at the southern california colleges
     
  15. fuzzynavo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    CA
    #15
    I've visited USC on numerous occasions, one was for an interview regarding admissions, and I must confess that the aesthetics of the campus, and ESPECIALLY the surrounding neighborhood left a bad impression on me. USC is in a very bad neighborhood. And although USC's reputation for networking for their students is excellent, from what I've heard, their academics (at least in the sciences) are not the best California has to offer. So in my opinion its no real biggie to not go there. For techs the Cal Poly's should also be considered: Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, though the latter isn't really So Cal is it? Also put in my vote for any UC school, they are great as well as inexpensive. Cal state schools are also respectable. I don't know too much about the individual Cal states, I just hear that San Diego State has a reputation of being a party school =). Of the UC's, UC Berkeley (Cal) is by far the most distinguished in academics (I daresay more so than Stanford even). Almost all of Cal's graduate programs are in the top ten of the nation, though Stanford treats their students much better and offer better networking. Both are in Northern California so it may be out of the question.

    If all else fails, I'm pretty sure the program in which completing community college and getting a 2 year degree (with decent grades) will get you into a UC system school is still in place. However, I think the catch may be that you don't get to choose which UC school...its sort of assigned. But I'm not too sure of this so you should check with a community college advisor.

    Edit: Sorry, I forgot...out of state tuition for all UC schools are ridiculously high compared to that for people who live in CA. Though you may find a way to convince admissions you live permantely in the state, I'm not sure what their requirements are. Considering this, I would think long and hard before committing to a CA public school, unless it was one which was top notch.
     
  16. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #16
    Call or visit your intended college. UC Berkeley has been very very helpful and since not all of the required classes are available locally, they have even helped find alternatives to meet those requirements. I should be there next year, woo hoo.
     
  17. Spymit007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Spymit007

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #17
    Really? UCLA is easier to get into? Even for someone out of state? I never bothered applying to any of the UC schools because I thought that since I'm not from California, it would be a waste of time applying and they'd reject me anyway. I hear the UC schools are overcrowded as it is with California students. The last thing they'd want is an east coaster like myself.
     
  18. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    #18
    I think UCLA is actually extraordinarily hard to get into. In high school, I knew someone who got rejected from UCLA but got into Berkeley ... this is with a 4.0+ GPA and a 1400+ SAT! I was rejected from UCLA myself (though my GPA / SAT were slightly lower than that).

    The UCs are pretty crowded, but some are easier to get into. If you do end up looking at UCs, Spymit, you might want to look at UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine.
     
  19. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #19
    as the uc system gets crowded, they will one day be as hard as stanford, cal tech, and usc to get into...the original intent of the uc system was to have all uc schools be open to any california high school student in the top ten percent of their class, regardless

    due to the uc schools' popularity, this is no longer the case unfortunately

    from my high school, most of the kids who shot for some uc school got in...usc and cal tech snubbed all the kids from my high school who tried and one kid did get into stanford even though dozens applied

    dollar for dollar, the uc system is better than stanford but if money is not an issue, go for the top shelf california private university...some say the stanfords and usc's rest on their laurels and are not as good as uc berkeley, but when job hunting after college, see which resumes the hr professionals keep...you can't toss a rock ten feet anywhere in california without hitting a cal or ucla grad, but stanford and usc grads (cal tech, too) get the red carpet treatment...for life

    i used to be an hr person and i got my ba in the subject, and while hr people are supposed to match the jobs for like minded people, the stanford, usc (see usc mafia on google for instance), and ivy league grads always get the first pick...it's not fair but it's still the way it is...look at how many us presidents have private college educations vs. the ones who have public school educations...it's not in the quality or lack of quality of the classes, but it's in the connections and right now in america, still in 2004, they hang out at the private universities and hobnob among themselves
     
  20. Spymit007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Spymit007

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #20
    Well I got my decision letter today in the mail:


    Your application has been given careful consideration by the Admissions Committee, and I am sorry to tell you that they felt they decided not to accept you for entrance for the Spring Semester of 2005


    I'm actually not as disappointed as I thought. The letter went on to say that mid-year admission was competitive and that I could be considered for Fall 2005 admission if I wanted to.

    At this point, I want to explore my other options. I'll no longer pin my hopes on one school. Apparently, even with mostly As and a couple Bs and a GPA of around 3.78, I'm not good enough to get into these highly selective colleges.
     
  21. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #21
    Sorry to hear you've been rejected from your top choices. Don't give up! I went to my fourth-choice school (University of Chicago) after being rejected from Harvard, Columbia, and Brown, and my four years there were some of the best years of my life.

    My wife served on the admissions committee at Davidson College, one of the top 20 schools in the nation, and I can tell you that admissions get more competitive each year. They regularly reject people with 3.9+ GPAs. It's not just grades, it's grades plus your application essay plus recommendations plus *quality* activities. At this point the only thing you can improve is the quality of your essay. If you spend the next few weeks generating a REALLY polished essay, with a compelling story and a strong conclusion, it will make a big difference on how you are received. At this point you might want to just start from scratch. Get as much constructive criticism as you can get. Don't be satisfied with people who just tell you "this is good." You want real feedback on how to make your essay better.

    One other thing -- make sure you do real research on your school. You need to be able to explain WHY you want to go there, compared to the other options out there. Study the school Web site and learn what makes the school different, then tailor your application to their strengths.

    Edit: Okay, one more thing. You want to make sure the people writing you a recommendation really know you. You may want to schedule an interview with them to make sure they know all of your strengths. If they are too busy to meet with you individually, they are too busy to write a good recommendation.
     
  22. jasylonian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    sacramento
    #22
    last time i checked, the UCLA kids were the ones running the old joke: what do UCLA students and USC students have in common? please don't flame me, i'm just repeating what i've been told. There is a holy trinity of UC's: Berkeley, LA, and SD, and their admission standards are strictest to most lax in that order. In other news, there is no shame in not getting into USC, but you might want to seriously consider the juco-transfer route if you're gungho educational elitist.
     
  23. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #23
    I'm sorry to hear about your denial letter. I'm sure that deep down it may still hurt some. On the bright side you have more time to explore your options. Noting in your first post, it is also important to be positive about your application process.
     
  24. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #24
    Strong reccomendations from some of your Professors will help as well. My Poli Sci Professor is a Duke Law School grad and she believes that recommendations from her professors was what got her in. She does the same now for students that she wants to help out. There are a lot of other things you can do that can help you improve your chances.

    Going the JC route is cheaper and I think that it improves your chances of entry. Counselors are also very helpful, but you have to be careful cause some are just there to collect a paycheck.
     
  25. fuzzynavo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    CA
    #25
    Sorry to hear about your result, but just as everyone else before me has said: don't get discouraged. You sound like a very qualified individual, and it's unfortunate that the college admission system is far from perfect (not that I have any ideas on how to improve it). I've known many highly qualified people that get shafted by the admissions committe for no tangible reason. But the worst thing is when I actually started attending my college of choice, you meet tons of blatantly stupid people that are completely unqualified and don't value the education they were so generously offered -- and "generous" is putting it lightly.

    But good luck in whatever you decide on doing.
     

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