School US-Colleges: The Good, The Bad, and The Way Too Expensive!

Ascension

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I have been to ODU once, but I honestly can't remember much about it. One summer my old boss set me up in a beach house in Virginia beach while working in Norfolk for a summer. One of the best times of my life. =)

Newbie Guide:
I am still attending ECU in North Carolina. The entire process from applying, to financial aid, and moving into the dorm is a pain no matter to what school. That will be your job when you aren't in school and not working whatever job on the side. You will find yourself in what will seem like a never ending scavenger hunt but with the help of parents and high school advisors get out as many applications as you can as soon as you can. The waiting list is no fun.

Essays:
When you get to college that whole 5 body paragraph thing goes out the window. You are actually "free" to think about writing and make it flow how you please. When writing your acceptance theme, the most important is the introduction (attention getter) and conclusion (summary and recall the main points you make). When writing the body they are looking for aspiring students that convince them through writing that they are passionate, determined, and portray good leadership abilities. Sorry it this comes across as vague, but whatever the topic, keep those qualities in mind and try to portray that through your written words.

Financial Aid:
Is evil, but the most important! Depending on your parents salary and other factors they will calculate an EFC or expected family contribution. This number can vary per year or even semester. Make sure your parents have their tax information handy, and go ahead and start an account with FAFSA (be careful! there are some sites out there that pretend to be FAFSA). It would be wise for your parents to make an acount as well as you will have to file a new FAFSA every year (keep your pin handy! In fact, get a filing box that you and parents share keep all this info in). Once complete, it will process and they will let you know what Federal grants will be available and what loans you may have to take out. Usually with Federal Loans the typical kind are Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsized. The difference is that the subsidized will be payments made 6 months after you are out of school (graduated or not!). If you have to take a semester off that's ok, but you will lose your 6 month grace period as soon as you graduate. Unsubsidized is when you or your family has to make payments each month on a loan as soon as it processes. Stafford loans are the best kind since they have the lowest interest rates, and if you ever decided to go military afterwards they are more likely to pay them all off compared to other private loan agencies.

Free Money: harass the hell out of the financial aid department. Phones are usually swamped around this time so I HIGHLY recommend make a few visits to the school of choosing's financial aid department and sit down with a representative and weight out your options. If nothing happens the first time around, go back and sit down with a different representative. Through my experience if you play the sympathy card and keep pushing, the financial aid officers will work for you and find you more and more FREE money. You would be surprised when sitting there in front of a representative how much grant money they will stumble upon which is sweet! The more you bark and chew the more money you will find, I guarantee it. I am an instate student, and when I first enrolled I spent way more money on dorms and meal plans than I ever did on tuition.

Class Registartion:
Class registration is a first come first serve basis. At my school atleast, Seniors get first pick of classes when initial registration begins. 1 day later, it's juniors, then Sophmores, and eventually you, Freshy! Picking your classes will be relatively easy to start since they will mostly be all core classes (standard classes before your major courses or specialized courses). Usually people don't declare a major until their Sophmore year once they have had a little taste of everything. 12 semester hours (4 classes) is the bare minimum for a full time student. 15 hours (5 classes) is the norm, and 18/19 semester hours is the max. You can declare your major early if you would like, but the chances of you changing your major are much greater as you progress and will be set back. Unless you get lucky, you will have really early classes starting at 8 a.m. If you are ahead of the rest, you can start at 10 or 11 =) The worst classes are 6-9 one day a week. Three hours of the same stuff will make you brain dead.


On the topic of being an RA, I just had an interview last night for a position as one. I know that RAs at ODU get a yearly stipend of $7,500 (paid in increments throughout the 2 semesters) and they get their own room (even if it's meant to be a double) at the rate of only $1,000 per semester. They currently have 109 RAs, but next year they will only have 75 D= That's 35 cut positions!! So yeah, it's hard to be an RA because there aren't many positions and there's certain qualifications, too (GPA, experience, etc)
Wish i would have applied to be an RA, but after one year I was ready to move off campus.
 
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LadyHatake

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Haha, yeah, me too. I declined the RA position last summer, too much work to do on top of all the studying I do now, and at the time I'd just gotten a new job and didn't want to leave it. I commuted from home this year and loved it (except for traffic in the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel - that shit's ridiculous), particularly since I didn't have to pay a dime for housing/meal plans.

Oh, Ascension, on the topic of essays, I totally agree. They aren't Intro w/ topic sentence leading to three discussion points, paragraph on, two, three, restatement of topic sentence with conclusion. I HATED those! All the papers I write now, as long as everything flows and transitions smoothly, has correct grammar, citations, and structure, are accepted. Some of my professors re so lax about it >_>; I turned in my final research paper for my deviant behavior class, and I got 150/150pts xD And it was bare minimum requirements xDDD
 

Ascension

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deviant behavior? I'm assuming that's a psychology class?
 

LadyHatake

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It's a sociology/criminology class I took as a filler. I'm actually an exercise science/pre-physical therapy major xD I just needed another class to fit my schedule to be fulltime this semester.
 

Ascension

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ah, gotcha. Power to you. You are in a competitive field


Make sure to attend Lunatic Luau this year :D
 
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LadyHatake

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Yep, it's highly competitive, and pays very well once you get your doctorate. I'm lucky that ODU offers both the bachelor's and doctorate I want. I just have to get accepted to the Doctorate program when I apply :p They only accept a maximum of 40 applicants per year for it :x


(and haha, my friend goes to the Lunatic Luau every year xD The radio channel that hosts it, FM99, has one of the best morning shows ever: Tommy and Rumble. I laugh so hard when I listen to it :3)
 

Gcat88

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This is why i believe that when we go to college we should take advantage of every chance we get. network, have fun, join clubs, make sure that you are getting the full amount you spend out of the college.
 

zelig

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University of Catania, Italy.
I pay something like 800 €/year, too much...
 

Queenofmuffins

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*bump*

Although I'm Australian, I'm actually considering doing Uni (er... "College") in America. :3
Anyone know of the average international student application process? As in, in my country we do VCE exams... I doubt my score would be the same as the S.A.T's. XD
 
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