College Snap Shots

In an effort to provide Burlington High School students and their families with relevant and up-to-date college information, the Guidance Staff will be visiting various colleges and universities and providing you with information. The colleges visited do not represent a preference on the part of the BHS Guidance Department towards any particular school.

In the college search process, many things are taken into consideration. Things that are considered, but not limited to are: campus size, location, number of students on campus, majors, tuition, distance from home, athletic programs, clubs and other activities. When considering a college, students must also make realistic decisions based on personal interest, grades, test scores, etc.

The department feels that the college visit is an integral part of the process, and we strongly encourage students to visit any and all schools that interest them, especially if these schools are fairly close by. The information we provide is only a small snapshot into each respective college. We hope to add information about other schools in the future, and as always we appreciate any feedback that you have that would help us provide our students and their families useful information in the sometimes overwhelming college search process.

Furthermore we ask that students also research colleges by using their Naviance accounts and scheduling meetings with their counselor on a consistent basis. Please feel free to contact your son or daughter's individual counselor if you have any further questions.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Visited by Ms. Minty, 12/5/13
Location: Worcester, MA
Population: 4000 undergraduates
Campus type: 80 acre campus set in a safe, residential section of Worcester. WPI is also a member of the 12 colleges that make up the Worcester Consortium.

Most Popular Majors
Over 50% of students major in some form of Engineering and their Robotics program is particularly notable.Of the remaining students, about 40% major in Math, Science, or Computer Science, 8% major in Business, and 2% major in Liberal Arts. About 20% of incoming freshmen are “undecided.”  The academic program is pretty unique. There is no core curriculum and even within a major, students have lots of freedom to tailor their courses to their interests. If a student does not earn at least a “C” in a course, the course will not be listed on their transcript; the college does this to encourage collaboration and risk-taking. Instead of 2 semesters, courses are broken into four terms. During each term, students take only 3 intensive courses at a time. Courses are very project-based and emphasize group collaboration.

On-Campus Housing Information
97% of freshmen and 62% of the total population live on-campus.

Medium, private, coeducational technological university. Though the gender ratio is almost 2:1 male to female, in walking around campus, girls were not a noticeable minority. The campus was buzzing with students on every walkway and in every building I went through. Freshman year lectures can be large, but break down into smaller discussion groups. Because of the large number of original collaborative projects that students complete, graduates have some of the highest starting salaries in the nation and often have job offers by their senior year. Over 50% of students travel overseas to complete a project and receive the same financial aid abroad as they would on campus.

Besides being passionate about math and science, about a third of students are also involved in music or theatre and community service is very big. Greek Life on campus mostly revolves around community service. Most students stay on campus on weekends or attend events at other colleges in the Worcester Consortium. Each freshman is assigned a team of three advisors- academic, resident, and community- who work together to ensure they are getting the most of their college experience.

View of quad
Students can choose to submit a “Flex Path” project in place of test scores; this should represent detail-oriented work involving planning that the student completed outside of school (e.g. an Eagle Scout project). Applicants must have taken Pre-Calculus in high school and need a recommendation letter from a math or science teacher who had them in class. If students complete the optional writing supplement, they will be considered for additional scholarships.  

Oversized chess game

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