College Recommendations for a High School Student
My interview with Miss Kellam was very helpful in learning what this student is looking for in a university/college. She is very motivated and has many items that she is looking for in her ideal college. She would like to go into nursing as her eventual profession, yet has enjoyed languages of Spanish and French and would also like to look at pre-law as a possibility.
Location: Miss Kellam has discussed staying fairly close to her hometown of Laguna Beach in order to attend college. This is an important factor to her as she wants to be close to family and friends, however, being so near to Los Angeles, she wants to be able to diversify herself with city life and perhaps access to more people, as she emphasized being part of a small graduating class. She hopes to be part of a “medium sized campus” as she puts it, where she will not be overlooked, and teacher/student ratio is small. In looking at colleges around the Los Angeles county area, there are about 230 colleges/universities to consider and fewer in the Orange County area. She is also looking at during/after college of networking and possible jobs she could intern at and experience that she would obtain.
Size: For Miss Kellam, size was a factor as well, as she mentioned being in a big city, however one of her factors is to have smaller class sizes, as she has been used to this in her high school and feels it will attribute to her success at college, as she will be able to be in more contact with her peers and ask questions of her teachers in a more friendly, quaint environment.
Financial Considerations: Miss Kellam has explained to me that she will be applying for scholarships and grants through FASFA in addition to the monies given to her for college by her aunt. She is trying to keep an open mind on many universities, and is not excluding private universities from her search, but would like to see what can be offered by such universities in comparison to state universities. She would prefer to live on campus, so campus housing is another factor to think about.
Academic Offerings: In terms of academic offerings, she has not been too specific in this area as she has mentioned she would like to take classes that differ greatly than what her high school offered. She has mentioned nursing and pre-law, so those are variables I will take into account when looking at schools.
Extracurricular Activities: Miss Kellam seems a very sociable person and is looking forward to different clubs and activities offered in addition to the mainstream academia. She has mentioned she would like to continue dance in college and would perhaps like to take part in an intramural sport or attend a sorority organization. Even though she has mentioned possibly attending a private university, a factor she brought up was she would like to have is a campus that has an open minded diversity regarding religion, sex, race, or gender.
Academic Background of Student
Subject: Michelle Kellam
Grade Level: Incoming Senior
Current High School: Laguna Beach High School, Laguna Beach, CA
Grade Point Average: 3.78 (weighted)
ACT Score: 24
SAT Score: 1250 (600 Reading & Writing; 650 Math)
SAT Subject Test in Biology Molecular: 740
SAT Subject Test in Biology Ecological: 760
Class Rank: 40th (82 percentile) (222 students in graduating class)
Freshman Year Courses:
Global Studies & Skills
Sophomore Year Courses:
AP European History
Exploring Dance II
Junior Year Courses:
AP English Language
Anatomy and Physiology
Future Senior Year Courses:
AP English Literature
Dance IV and Dance Production
Based on the above qualifications of Miss Kellam and her indications of her preferences factoring, below is my best advice in the colleges listed: (Prospective and actual colleges based of Likely, Possible, Reaching)
Factors to consider: Southern California Area, Low student-to-teacher ratio, financial scholarships/grants available, possible course of study focusing on nursing, law and Spanish, with possibilities for study abroad. Dancing and possible intermural sports. GPA, SAT scores, and ACT scores
1. Concordia University, Irvine (private, religious affiliation: Lutheran Church)- This is a likely school as Concordia accepts SAT scores of 990-1230, ACT scores of 20-26 and Avg GPA is 3.42. Enrollment is small with 4,299 students and has a high admissions rate of 76%. Cost of tuition is $44,720 per year, however Concordia is located in Irvine, which would be a close commute for Miss Kellam if she decides to live at home, as this could help with finances. The student-faculty ratio at Concordia University is 18:1. $15, 959 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 98%. Concordia hosts a contemporary, comprehensive nursing program as well as many Spanish courses for availability. It appears that Concordia has a great study abroad program as well as a great athletic department (www.cuieagles.com) and Dance department (www.cui.edu/arts/dance). However, it appears that it does lack in a possible law school and a possible drawback is that Miss Kellam wants to be closer to Los Angeles, as although there are job offerings in Orange County, there would be a bigger epicenter and more variety in the city.
2. Whittier College, Whittier (private) – This is a likely school as Whitter accepts SAT Scores of 1000-1200, ACT scores of 20-26 and Avg GPA is 3.47. Enrollment is small with 2,072 students and has a high admissions rate of 72%. Cost of tuition is $58,476 per year. The student-faculty ratio at Whittier College is 12:1. $24,138 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 93%. Whitter College hosts pre-health type classes that will lead to nursing degrees if they decide to transfer to another school. They also have political science classes and business classes that can lead to transferring to a law school. Although Whittier College is known for its liberal arts, it appears that this campus would allow Miss Kellam to obtain general education and take a few classes to see which she prefers to possibly transferring to a high end nursing or law school if she decides to continue down that path. They do offer some sports however; it appears that no dance is offered. This would be close enough to Los Angeles where she could eventually transfer to UCLA or Pepperdine. Although I would say the admission to this college is promising, Miss Kellam needs to look at the fact that she would have to transfer to pursue a nursing/pre-law degree.
3. Mount St. Mary’s University, Los Angeles (private, religious affiliation: Roman Catholic)- This is likely school as Mount St. Mary’s accepts SAT Scores of 900-1100, ACT scores of 17-22 and Avg GPA is 3.34. Enrollment is small with 3,496 students and has a high admissions rate of 68%. Cost of tuition is $51,073 per year. The student-faculty ratio at Mount St. Mary’s is 12:1. $15,787 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 98%. Mount St. Mary’s has a nursing program which would provide her with a degree in Nursing (BSN). A minor in Pre-law would also be available and they offer many courses with regards to Spanish/Latin American studies. It appears there are a wide variety of clubs/organizations, including Mount Movement, a dance club and study abroad opportunities. The campus is at the northern part of Los Angeles, which might mean less public transportation and a commute into the heart of downtown.
4. Loyola Marymount University & Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (private, religious affiliation: Roman Catholic)- This is a possible school as Loyola accepts SAT scores of 1190-1390, ACT scores of 26-30 and the Avg GPA 3.72. Enrollment is medium with 9,330 students and has an admissions rate of 53%. Cost of tuition is $59,286 per year. The student-faculty ratio at Loyola Marymount is 10:1. $16,607 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 91%. Loyola has its own school of law, Loyola Law School in which the campus is not located with the main campus and is about 20 miles apart. While Loyola does not host its own Nursing program, it does have a few health and human sciences courses. It does offer courses in Spanish and Latin Studies. Loyola’s campus offers dance courses, offers many types of athletics as well as clubs. Loyola’s main campus is on the coast and while close to Santa Monica, it is about 20 miles from downtown, where it’s law school is.
5. Biola University, La Mirada (private, religious affiliation: undenominational) – This is a possible school as Biola accepts SAT Scores of 1030-1290, ACT score of 21-27 and Avg GPA is 3.54. Enrollment is medium with 6,095 students and has an admissions rate of 77%. Cost of tuition is $48,110 per year. The student-faculty ratio at Biola is 15:1. $13,069 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 98%. Biola offers a BS in Nursing, a minor in Pre-Law as well as a minor in Spanish. Miss Kellam would need to transfer to a Law school in order to continue down this path. Although it appears there are athletics offered, no dance is offered at this university. This university also offers study abroad programs and multi-ethnic clubs, which is something Miss Kellam discussed wanting to possibly be part of.
6. California State University, Fullerton (public)- This is a possible school as CSUF accepts SAT scores of 1000-1190, ACT scores of 19-24, and Avg GPA of 3.48. Enrolling is large with 40,235 students and has an admissions rate of 45%. Cost of tuition is $23,800 per year. The student-faculty ratio at CSUF is 25:1. $5,206 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 74%. One reason against this campus is that it is a larger campus and a lot more students. However, they do have an excellent nursing program available to obtain a BS in Nursing. They do offer a minor in Law through their Poli Sci program that Miss Kellam would need to transfer to a Law School to continue in pursuit and the campus hosts many Spanish classes. With regards to activities, they offer a competitive athletics program and dance classes. There are many clubs and a few sororities in the area Miss Kellam could take part in. However, Fullerton is on the cusp of Los Angeles and Miss Kellam once again, could have the option to live at home if she wanted to save on funds.
7. University of California, Los Angeles (public). This would be a reaching school as UCLA accepts SAT scores of 1230-1510, ACT 28-33 and Avg GPA 4.29. Enrollment is large with 43,548 students and has an admissions rate of 26%. Cost of tuition is $29,625 per year. The student-faculty ratio at UCLA is 17:1. $10,657 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 64%. UCLA is a top notch school and while getting into this school would be very difficult; their course offerings are of a variety. This school is in downtown Los Angeles and boasts a Law school and Medical facilities for nursing. Spanish culture is very dominant here and Miss Kellam would have no lack of clubs and activities here. Yet once again, this is a large campus and she would be in serious competition to obtain a spot.
8. Pepperdine University, Malibu (private, religious affiliation: Churches of Christ)- This would be a reaching school as Pepperdine accepts SAT scores of 1180-1390, ACT 26-31 and Avg GPA 3.59. Enrollment is medium with 7,826 students and has an admissions rate of 30%. Cost of tuition is $65,852 per year. The student-faculty ratio at Pepperdine is 14:1. $22,843 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 84%. Pepperdine is a beautiful campus on the coast that is known for its School of Law, which houses the number one program for dispute resolution in the nation. Although there is no nursing degree here, they do have offerings in sports medicine. Spanish is offered as a minor and Dance in Flight is their audition based dance team that performs in and around campus www.pepperdinedif.org. However, Pepperdine has a low acceptance rate and tuition would not be very affordable for Miss Kellam here, as well as it is away from the hubbub of downtown Los Angeles.
9. University of California, Irvine (public)- This would be a reaching school as UCI accepts SAT scores of 1130-1390, ACT 24-30 and Avg GPA 3.92. Enrollment is large with 32,754 students and has an admissions rate of 42%. Cost of tuition is $28,555 per year. The student-faculty ratio at UCI is 18:1. $7,434 in annual institutional aid is given and the percentage of students who receive some type of aid is 68%. UCI’s Medical Center Campus is located in downtown Orange and is known throughout the world as a breakthrough school in the medical field. UCI established their relatively new Law School in 2009 and has several distinctions amongst many California universities. UCI is a fairly diverse campus, and its Claire Trevor School of the Arts enjoys many collaborations between the dance and music departments. UCI has its own study aboard center and hosts competitive athletics. Many clubs and organizations as well as sororities are offered on campus. Along with Concordia, UCI is another close college to Miss Kellam in terms of choosing to commute rather than live on campus. Yet, this is a larger campus and fairly competitive to gain admission to.
Based on the above statistics I had received from the student as well as a few filters to run with, I believe that Miss Kellam has a good variety of options out there to choose from. However, my continued advice is to tour several of these universities to get the feel for them, ask plenty of questions and have the mindset that things always change in life so it’s better to have more options in a university than fewer.