Choosing A School, College Spotlight

Greenlight Student Scholarship Opportunity: Gettysburg College’s STEM Scholars Program

No Comments 12 December 2017

Located in the world-famous town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, students can find Gettysburg College, a small, private liberal arts and sciences institution for 2,600 students known for excellence in academics.  Gettysburg boasts a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, and students attend a variety of classes on one of the most beautiful campuses in the U.S.  Gettysburg is also home to an amazing opportunity for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students interested in the STEM fields: the STEM Scholars Program.

The STEM Scholars Program, funded by the National Science Foundation, combines a monetary award (Gettysburg is guaranteeing to meet full demonstrated need with no loans) with multi-faceted support to accepted students entering the following STEM disciplines: Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, and Physics. Scholars will participate in a STEM-focused pre-orientation as well as enroll in an exclusive First-Year Seminar taught by STEM professors.  As classes begin, students will have the chance to participate in a number of activities, including a bi-monthly STEM luncheon with faculty.  Throughout the program, students will continue to receive an array of STEM-based opportunities including peer mentoring, faculty-student research opportunities, internships, and preferential residence in Gettysburg’s Science House.

In selecting members of this cohort, the college is especially interested in applicants from underrepresented backgrounds and first generation-students with demonstrated financial need. Students should also plan to enroll as full-time students in one of the previously mentioned STEM fields, and demonstrate financial need through their FAFSA and CSS Profile.  Students also must be U.S citizens, nationals (as defined in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), alien admitted as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or an alien lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.

Gettysburg College and its STEM Scholars Program is a great fit for any first-generation, low-income, underrepresented student looking to major in the STEM fields.  Learn a little more about the scholarship and add Gettysburg to your list on College Greenlight! If you would like to learn about Gettysburg College firsthand, there will be a Senior Open House on Monday, January 29th, 2018. Included is a special session for you to learn about the STEM Scholars Program from the professors themselves! Please sign up here!


Choosing A School, College Greenlight Features

The Green Light on Cooper Union!

No Comments 11 December 2017

In theatre, it’s about the lime light. Over here at College Greenlight, we include a lot more than just lime in our color palette. Every week we try to shine our green light (get it?) onto deserving institutions that our students might be interested in. This week, we spoke with Makeda King-Smith, the Assistant Director of Admissions and Records at Cooper Union! Located in the Big Apple, this privately-funded college has a unique way of doing things!

What makes your institution stand out from others students may be considering?

The Cooper Union is a unique institution for many reasons. One thing that sets us apart from other schools is that our academic programs are very specialized and focused. We are a small school located in New York City and offer three programs for undergraduates: art, architecture, and engineering.  Cooper is a great match for students who have a clear sense of the field they wish to pursue.  We’re proud of our intimate environment driven by the relationship between passionate students and faculty.

What support services or diversity initiatives do you offer to first-gen, low-income, and/or underrepresented students?

Cooper is a small and inclusive community that is student-centered. We strive to create a space where students of all backgrounds and experiences feel welcomed, included, and empowered to create change on campus. We are always thinking of more ways to improve inclusion and student involvement on campus. One recent change was the removal of all gendered signs from our restrooms. This effort was  pioneered by a group of students and supported by Cooper’s administration. Another more recent example of improving inclusion on campus was the creation of our Diversity Task Force. This Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was tasked with examining diversity and inclusion at Cooper in order to develop an actionable plan that promotes inclusive practices across all facets of Cooper’s operations, pedagogy, and student support. We are also proud that Cooper Union students comprise many working committees on campus and even sit on our Board of Trustees! These are just a few examples of ways in which we support diversity and student inclusion at Cooper Union.

What should College Greenlight students know about financial aid at your institution?

At Cooper Union, our admissions process is completely need-blind, meaning we do not consider a student’s financial circumstances during the admissions review. When applying, students are evaluated on merit alone, not their ability to pay for school. We award all undergraduate students admitted to Cooper Union a half-tuition scholarship, currently valued at $21,625.  This scholarship renews every semester of a student’s program as long they complete their program on-time. Students will automatically be considered for additional merit-based scholarships when they apply; no additional application is required. Additionally significant, many of our students qualify for need-based financial aid after completing a FAFSA application. This aid helps to cover remaining tuition, books, supplies, housing, etc.

What does your institution’s campus and its surrounding area have to offer students? (Cultural opportunities, outdoor recreation, athletics)

Cooper Union is a small school in a big city. We capitalize on the fact we are located in the East Village with Manhattan as our campus. From galleries and museums to movie sets and theaters, there is never a shortage of things to do and see in our neighborhood. In addition to all of the offerings of Manhattan, we have lots going on at Cooper Union. With over 90 clubs, there are many ways for students to get involved on campus and outside of the classroom. Our historic Great Hall regularly hosts world-renowned politicians, activists and artists through programs that are free to students.

What else should students and counselors know that we should highlight in our post?

Cooper Union was founded in 1859 by industrialist Peter Cooper who at that time in our nation’s history, had the radical notion that education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, socioeconomic background, or immigration status. Cooper Union is still firmly rooted in its commitment to providing a high quality education that is accessible to all regardless of demographic.


Choosing A School

Spotlight on Worcester Polytechnic Institute

No Comments 21 September 2017

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a college of more than 6,000 students (both undergrad and graduate) in Worcester, Massachusetts. The college places an emphasis on students who are creative and curious, enjoy working in teams to get things done and love math and science but are passionate about other things such as music, art or movies.

The campus is a medium-sized community that is made up of students from many different cultures. It offers a personalized experience where “students aren’t treated like numbers and are able to make impacts in the ways that matter to them,” according to the college. It also emphasizes project-based learning, where students apply their knowledge to real-world situations.

The college offers both need-based and merit financial aid. That aid includes need-based financial aid packages, merit-based scholarships, on-campus employment and loan programs and payment plans for parents. Most students receive grants averaging about $20,000.

The college also provides a fly-in program, which allows students from low-income families to tour the campus. It also boasts that 15 percent of its students are first-generation. Worcester Polytechnic Institute also is committed to diversity and runs a Connections Program to increase domestic students of color in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

It also runs the Frontiers program, a residential, on-campus summer program for high school students.

The college also is home to one of two goat mascots in the country, Gompei. The mascot was named for Gompei Kuwada, a 1983 graduate. The college’s freshman and sophomores compete each year to win the Goat’s Head Trophy, a bronze statue of the mascot. The competition includes a rope pulling competition and plays out through events during the course of the year.

The college also has diverse student activities ranging from traditional sports to gaming. There are more than 200 student organizations on campus.

Here are some other standout traits of WPI:

  • 92 percent of WPI students are employed or in full-time graduate school within six months of graduation
  • Scholarships are available to rising juniors and seniors
  • 98 percent of first-year students receive some form of financial aid
  • It was named one of the Top Colleges Doing the Most for the American Dream by the New York Times
  • Starting salaries for college graduates were about a third higher than the national average
  • It is test-optional with no strings attached

Admissions, Choosing A School

How to Begin the College Visit Process

No Comments 13 September 2017

One of the most daunting aspects of finding the perfect college for you might be how to begin the college visit process. Here are some tips to make sure you start off on the right foot.

Finalize your college list. This list should consist of five to nine colleges that fit your financial, social and academic fit. Within this list, you should have a good mix of safety, reach and match schools. You’ll want to visit as many of these schools as possible before you decide on a college.

Check your calendar. Coordinate your personal calendar with your academic calendar to see when the best time is to visit campuses. Spring and winter breaks are good times to road trip and hit multiple colleges or visit the furthest one. A three-day weekend is a great opportunity to visit a local school. Make a note on your calendar to hold these days for college visits.

Plan ahead. List the questions you need answered by each college. Even if it seems simple, ask it. Consider which buildings and offices you’d like to see on each campus. This will be your one chance to see the campus before you make a final decision. Don’t waste it.

Time to schedule. Reach out to each college and schedule a visit as soon as you know a date that works for you. Take this time to schedule anything else on that campus, such as an overnight stay with a current student. The earlier you schedule, the more time you allow yourself to prepare.

There’s no wrong time to start the college visit process. Even if you are only a freshman or sophomore, don’t be afraid to visit a college. The earlier you start, the more well-informed you will be by the time you need to select a college.

Admissions, Choosing A School, Diversity, Low Income Students

Best Private Colleges for Low-Income Students

No Comments 30 August 2017

The 73 private colleges that satisfy the selection criteria enroll a total of 253,926 undergraduate students, including 48,876 Federal Pell Grant recipients (19%). The average net price is $8,716, ranging from $353 to $12,389. The average 6-year graduation rate for Federal Pell Grant recipients is 83%, ranging from 50% to 100%.

The colleges are listed in alphabetical order.

Best Private Colleges Percentage
Pell Grant
Net Price for
Low-Income Students
(AGI $0 to $30,000)
Graduation Rates for
Pell Grant Recipients (2013)
Amherst College 20% $3,700 94%
Barnard College 18% $9,231 86%
Bates College 11% $7,426 88%
Berea College 83% $3,575 58%
Blue Mountain College 53% $8,246 55%
Bob Jones University 41% $11,323 58%
Bowdoin College 14% $5,925 90%
Brigham Young University – Idaho 39% $5,374 54%
Brown University 14% $3,186 93%
California Institute of Technology 11% $6,696 91%
Carleton College 12% $11,760 92%
Christian Brothers University 42% $6,466 56%
Claremont McKenna College 12% $9,225 85%
Colby College 11% $1,710 89%
Colgate University 12% $12,034 100%
College of the Atlantic 30% $12,014 75%
College of the Holy Cross 16% $11,808 88%
College of the Ozarks 62% $10,296 60%
Connecticut College 13% $9,282 86%
Cornell University 16% $11,665 92%
Dartmouth College 14% $7,529 92%
Davidson College 13% $8,289 94%
Duke University 14% $8,777 94%
Franklin and Marshall College 14% $10,661 87%
Georgetown University 13% $9,638 92%
Grinnell College 21% $8,112 84%
Harvey Mudd College 13% $8,770 80%
Haverford College 15% $8,881 92%
Hobart & William Smith Colleges 18% $11,994 78%
Illinois College 33% $12,266 68%
Johns Hopkins University 13% $10,049 95%
Kenyon College 10% $2,813 85%
Lafayette College 11% $11,995 90%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 18% $5,128 88%
McDaniel College 31% $11,740 67%
Middlebury College 11% $4,904 89%
Milligan College 36% $7,904 52%
Northwestern University 14% $11,700 93%
Oberlin College 11% $11,788 89%
Pitzer College 16% $12,389 90%
Pomona College 17% $5,807 93%
Presbyterian College 23% $9,972 50%
Princeton University 12% $3,630 97%
Reed College 17% $9,423 76%
Rice University 17% $6,468 91%
Russell Sage College 46% $12,361 80%
Saint Johns University 19% $12,254 70%
Saint Josephs College 32% $11,072 71%
Salem College 56% $12,272 58%
Sewanee:  The University of the South 18% $9,107 70%
Skidmore College 15% $11,354 91%
Smith College 23% $11,619 90%
St. Olaf College 15% $11,792 88%
Stanford University 16% $2,841 91%
Swarthmore College 14% $8,537 89%
Trinity College 12% $11,030 91%
Trinity University 15% $8,977 78%
Tufts University 11% $10,574 92%
Union College- NY 16% $8,682 89%
University of Chicago 14% $8,964 92%
University of Notre Dame 12% $9,048 92%
University of Pennsylvania 14% $9,799 93%
University of Richmond 20% $10,742 82%
Vanderbilt University 14% $6,905 87%
Vassar College 22% $10,558 89%
Washington and Lee University 10% $353 90%
Washington University in St Louis 6% $11,100 92%
Wellesley College 19% $9,735 91%
Wesleyan University 18% $6,009 94%
Whittier College 36% $11,378 66%
Williams College 19% $3,127 92%
Yale University 13% $3,918 96%

Take a look at this list of best public colleges for low-income students.

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