Choosing A School, College Greenlight Features

The Green Light on Cooper Union!

Comments Off on The Green Light on Cooper Union! 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.


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