Essential Information for the College Bound -- Summer 2005

In this issue

Denver University

Colorado University

Regis University

Colorado College

Colorado School of Mines

The Air Force Academy

From the Conference

In Closing


Taking The Next Step
12904 Mizner Way
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 790-5462
Robin Abedon
web site: TakingThe NextStep

Which School?

You will live with the answer
the rest of your life.

May brought an opportunity to re-charge my professional batteries. The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) semi-annual conference was held in Denver. There were seminars on a variety of current issues confronting colleges and universities, as well as valuable exchanges with my fellow consultants from across the USA and throughout the world. Going to Colorado also afforded visits to several campuses, including Denver University, University of Colorado, Regis University, Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, and The Air Force Academy.

During these visits, I had a number of conversations with savvy admission officers who recognize that their campuses are distinguished by evolving and unique programs that meet the needs of emerging students. Let me frame some of the insights I gained on each campus.

From the Campus

  • Denver University
  • Denver University has instituted the Hyde Interview program as evidence of the university's commitment to personal attention. Interviews by admission personnel take place in major cities across the country. Representatives come to Miami in December and February. The interview may be more important than the essay in establishing the fit between the college and the student. Denver feels it can determine the student's level of interest and assess desirable personal characteristics. A typical discussion point is: "Describe a situation you had to face that required you to measure your own values". Profile of students admitted: GPA, 3.45; SAT, 1050- 1240; ACT, 22-27. Eight-seven percent of applicants were accepted.

  • Colorado University
  • University of Colorado has 45% out of state students, a large percentage for a state school. This year there were 21,000 applications for 4,800 places in the freshman class. Profile of students admitted: GPA, 3.6; SAT, 1200; ACT, 26. As many as 1,000 out of state students were eligible for the merit-based chancellor scholarship, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. There are 17 academic "neighborhoods" that create "communities" within the university. Students who share specific interests can live and study together, and go to class together.

  • Regis University
  • Regis University, in residential Denver, is the only Catholic university in the Rockies, a Jesuit school. It promotes its small size, a maximum of 1,500 students. Student/Faculty ratio is 14 to 1; many classes have fewer than 20 students; none are larger than 49. The faculty "care about teaching and teach about caring." Ninety percent are lay faculty, 10% Jesuit priests; 90% have doctorates, and there are no teaching assistants. Two of their strongest programs are in nursing and physical therapy. Other special programs are: environmental studies, political economy and neuroscience. The "learn and earn" program guarantees a job on campus for those who need it to defray costs. Over 90% of students receive financial assistance; 75% are on merit scholarships that can be granted for community service as well as academics.

  • Colorado College
  • Colorado College is one of the more exciting small colleges in the United States. Students work hard and play hard, devoting energy to outside interests as well as academics. Campus clubs are extensive and sometimes unusual: Back Row (men's a cappella, contemporary rock, jazz and hip-hop group); cycling club; LOKAHI Book Project (collects used text books, novels, children's books to send to prisons, inner-city schools, women's shelters and other countries); Worner Activities Committee (provides lectures, comedians, plays and musicians and other entertainment on campus). The most unique academic feature is the Block Plan: eight 3 -week segments, one course at a time. Small classes are taught seminar style. New courses are often student-driven. Students and faculty work together on research. The acceptance rate for 2005 was 37%, 32% were valedictorians, the SAT range was between 1,270-1,420. Colorado College promises to meet all economic need.

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is no longer a school just focused on mining, metals and petroleum. Today it is a comprehensive school of engineering with strong programs in mechanical, electrical, chemical and computer engineering. Soon it will incorporate biotechnology. It has a strong teaching faculty that is very supportive of its students. Of note is the McBride Honors Program offering student leaders the opportunity to blend the humanities, social sciences and engineering. There are a total of 3,600 students (2,850 undergraduates), uniquely small for a public university. The student/faculty ratio is 15 to 1. Freshman profile: GPA, 3.76; SAT Reasoning Test, 1210; ACT, 28. Students choose CSM because of its small size and sense of community. Non-residents receive most of the merit aid. Top non-resident scholarship this year was $12,000.

  • The Air Force Academy
  • Students at The Air Force Academy must be nominated by a congressman. Each congressman is allotted up to 50 nominations. Profile of a typical cadet: 3.8; GPA, 1200 SAT. Some potential candidates will be deferred and recommended to attend a year of naval preparatory high school prior to admittance. Upon graduation 60% go to pilot training and 40% choose other areas in the air force such as space missiles and communications. Students may choose among 30 majors including the humanities, engineering and sciences. The academy prides itself on offering a solid leadership foundation, strong academics, and a wide array of military training programs.

  • From the Conference
  • At the conference, you can be sure that the new SAT and new ACT received a lot of attention. A few observations about the SAT seem to be in order. For starters, the nomenclature has changed. The SAT I is now called the SAT Reasoning Test; the SAT IIs are now the Subject Tests. Of more immediate importance, the new Essay section of the Reasoning Test will --- by and large --- NOT be used for admission purposes for the class of 2006. Nor will the ACT essay (which is an optional feature of that test) be used. By visiting, you will be able to obtain specific testing requirements. According to the National Council of Teachers of English, in a report authored by a panel of seven that included six college professors, the essay is unlikely to predict success in college writing and will send high school writing instruction in the direction of formulaic and superficial writing. Many colleges see serious flaws in the essay segments of both tests and have adopted a wait and see attitude. Furthermore, increasing numbers of colleges (some 700) have decided not to use these tests --- at all --- as a requirement for admission. To see a list of those schools you can visit:

  • In Closing
  • Traveling as I do from one corner of the country to the other, I am constantly reminded of the great diversity and wide range of academic opportunities available to students pursuing a college education. While the process of selection and application is demanding and sometimes intimidating, it is well worth the time and energy it takes to find the right school. Perhaps the right school might bear a "familiar" name and be in a location close to home; but there are over 3000 choices for higher education across the USA. I introduce these Colorado institutions to you as distinctive examples of that diversity and range. Possibly, the opportunity to gain a fine college education in a new physical environment enlarges the educational experience.


    Taking The Next Step | (561) 790-5462 | 12904 Mizner Way | Wellington | FL | 33414