MOSTE’s College Counselor, Pennsylvania College Tour, April/2015

Joyce Smith, MOSTE’s college counselor, recently went on a week-long trip to visit 10 colleges in Pennsylvania.

Joyce’s first stop was at Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster,PA, where there are currently four Post MOSTE scholars attending: freshmen Kim Nguyenle and Stephanie Fabian; junior Shuping Deng and senior Sandra Cach. She was able to catch up with Kim, Steph and Shuping for a late coffee. They are excited to welcome Ingrid Lopez as the newest MOSTE scholar to attend F&M next fall.

Next stop was Gettysburg College in Gettysburg where President Eisenhower’s post-presidency office is now home to the Office of Admissions and his former residence houses the prestigious Eisenhower Institute for Public Policy. The college’s proximity to D.C. provides many opportunities for research and internships in politics and public policy.

Eisenhower-houseOn Day 3, Joyce visited Dickinson College in Carlisle where Post MOSTE scholar Yareli Jimenez is a freshman – unfortunately her class schedule prevented her from catching up with Joyce in the morning. The most popular majors at Dickinson are international business & management, political science, biology and psychology.

2015.04-Group-in-PATraveling north, Joyce met with Admissions and Financial Aid staff at Bucknell University, one of two the universities on her tour – do you know the difference between a college and an university – look it up! Here’s a hint, in order to be considered for the College of Engineering, you need higher than pre-calculus on your transcript.

LycomingJoyce’s trip coincided with a special weekend trip for four MOSTE senior scholars who had been admitted to Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA.: Christiane Illescas, Ingrid Lopez, Koral Zazueta and Heidi Perez (in front). Lycoming flew them to PA in order to spend some time on campus before and after their Accepted Students Day on Saturday April 12 .They received an up-close-and-personal look at the college, including breakfast with President Kent Trachte and participation in Monday classes. They were hosted by current students, slept in the dorms, explored the town of Williamsport and just had loads of fun. Christi, Heidi and Koral have decided that this will be their home for the next four years (Ingrid will be just down the interstate at Franklin & Marshall). MOSTE is very proud off all of them and is excited to have Lycoming become a part of the PostMOSTE experience.

After a wonderful weekend stay in the Lycoming Guest Quarters on campus, Joyce headed towards Philadelphia with stops at Lafayette and Muhlenberg Colleges and Lehigh University.  Lafayette, in Easton, PA, meets 100% demonstrated need and, if a family’s income is under $50,000, the student’s financial aid package will not include any loans! As an in-coming freshman at Lafayette, if you don’t consider yourself a good writer, you will certainly be one when you graduate: three semesters of writing-heavy courses are required. Muhlenberg, in Allentown, PA, is a terrific option for MOSTE scholars as it is a test-optional school and will meet 94% of demonstrated need. This small college has a nationally respected theater and music program and a beautiful performing arts facility. Lehigh’s central quad is drop-dead gorgeous. This is a school that offers a highly ranked undergraduate engineering and business programs, generous financial aid (family income under $75,000=no loans) and has a three-week Summer Scholar Program for first generation admitted students.

Joyce’s last stop was outside Philadelphia where she saw three friends from her own alma mater, Connecticut College, and toured Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Again, because of class scheduling conflicts, she was not able to connect with PostMOSTE scholars Rachel Ofili and Fatima Salcido at Bryn Mawr but had an extensive visit touring the beautiful campus and talking with admissions and financial aid counselors. Bryn Mawr is one of the oldest all-women’s colleges in the U.S. and one-third of the students are studying STEM majors. It will meet 100% of demonstrated need and has a very effective post-graduate and career advising program. Bryn Mawr has a close cooperative program with Haverford providing seamless cross registration of classes between the two colleges. Both colleges are small (each under 1300 students) but also part of a “Tri-Co” consortium that also includes Swarthmore College and a “Quaker” consortium that includes Swarthmore and University of Pennsylvania. Haverford is co-ed, meets 100% demonstrated need and families having an income under $60,000 qualify for no-loan financial aid awards. Haverford also offers the Chesick Scholars Program, a very selective pre-freshmen summer session and four-year mentoring program for first-generation and/or underrepresented students who apply by invitation only and 15 are selected per year.

Whew! Lots of miles, lots of important discussions about college access and many new friends for MOSTE. MOSTE would like to thank the Gilbert Foundation and Richard and Lace Bencivengo for providing funding for Joyce and her extremely productive trip to Pennsylvania.

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