October 5, 2009
Dear LoMA Family,
One of my more inquisitive students confronted me the other day. He said that I’m always telling everyone that they should go to a good college, but said that I’m never specific enough about what the good colleges are. He has a point. High school students should have an idea of the kind of college they need and what they need to do to earn acceptance. The problem is that what makes a college good is different for every student. Some of our students should be aiming for Ivy League schools like Harvard or Columbia that require a 95 average and 1500 SAT score while CUNY colleges might be great for some of our other graduates, and most of our students should be able to earn the 83 average which will enable them to go away to a SUNY college. There are over 3000 colleges to choose from and the variety can be bewildering: state and private; huge and small, rural, urban and suburban; community, technical, 4-year and university; rigid curriculum and hippy-dippy.
This year, LoMA’s first class is now attending a wide spectrum of these types of colleges. Some went as far away as The University of Hawaii at Hilo, Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, Brandeis University in Boston and Columbia College in Chicago. Others stayed in New York City to attend colleges like CUNY Queensboro, City College, St. Francis College and Long Island University. Most commonly, our students went away to SUNY schools like New Paltz, Binghamton, Canton and Delhi. While they may not be as famous as UNC or Harvard, all of these schools were great choices for our students. The private colleges generally provided generous financial aid, the New York State school provided EOP and HEOP support in the form of financial aid and academic support and the SUNY schools are inexpensive and deliver high quality instruction. The only students who I have heard from who are unhappy are ones who thought it was best to postpone college.
What made these choices so good for our students is that they were all challenging for our students to get into. The general rule about what makes a college good for a student is that it is the most competitive one he or she can get into. By following this rule, a student will be around smarter people, her diploma will be worth more and her contacts will be richer. That is why we are always pushing our students to earn higher grades; we know that the higher his average, the more choices he will have. Above 90, students can choose among many competitive colleges like Binghamton, Lawrence and Brandeis and above 83 he can usually get into a four year SUNY college. Below 83, his choices drop off significantly.
Beyond this general rule, each student needs to research his or her options. Two good places to start are collegeboard.com and SUNY.edu/student. You also all know many people who have already been to college – your teachers. Don’t be shy to ask them about their college experience. Beyond that, LoMA has invested in an amazing college office in rm. 239A staffed by four counselors (most large schools only have one college advisor). They have a link on the lomanyc.net website while they work primarily with the seniors, it is never too early to stop by, introduce yourself and start learning about the college trips, SAT classes and your college options. Then you can begin the work of deciding what makes a great college for you.
October 12 Columbus
school October 14 PSATs
for 10th and 11th grade students. Trips for 9th
and 12th grade students October 23 End
of Marking period October 29 Parent/Teacher
conferences 5:45pm-7:45pm October 30 (½
day of school for students) Parent/Teacher conferences 1:00pm-3:00pm
October 12 Columbus Day no school
October 14 PSATs for 10th and 11th grade students. Trips for 9th and 12th grade students
October 23 End of Marking period
October 29 Parent/Teacher conferences 5:45pm-7:45pm
October 30 (½ day of school for students) Parent/Teacher conferences 1:00pm-3:00pm