#078 5 Essential Questions To Ask Colleges Before Submitting Applications with Lisa Marker Robbins Transcript


Lisa Marker Robbins 00:00

Hi. I’m Lisa Mark Robbins and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity a flourish coaching production. This week’s episode is a rare solo episode, I am going to guide your family through the five questions that you can ask to understand what is often a confusing topic when it comes to how college admissions works. And that is, if a college admits directly to the major, or if they admit another way, we first discussed this back on Episode 57, with Andy Borst, Director of Admissions at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. And I thought, You know what, we need to expand this and not only talk about how admission by major works, but arm you, your family, with the ability to ask the right questions, so that when the fall of the senior year comes, your student can know without a doubt how admission to the major will work, what doors will stay open, cracked or firmly shut for them. So they have confidence as they go about their path. See, I don’t want students painting themselves into a corner, missing crucial deadlines, or risking choices that Well, both of you might end up regretting. So let’s dig in and learn about the questions that you need to ask. So first up, the first question is a very simple one that I want you to try to explore on the website. Or if you can’t find the answer easily, you need to work out.

Lisa Marker Robbins 01:47

The first question I want you to ask is, Does your university or a college admit directly to the major the college within the university or the division? So what do I mean by this? I want you to understand if when your student selects a major in the fall of their senior year, if your student has the ability to secure a spot, I want you to understand that if your student is unclear on what that major might be for them, are they going to have limited opportunities. So there are really three categories for how this comes together at the university level. Number one, some universities and colleges admit students directly into the major. So you want to be a business major you apply to business, you might even apply specific to accounting. And you’re admitted directly in you don’t have to qualify later. It’s not a pre major. And most of the students are taking that path. Many of these colleges do have a pathway for an exploratory studies major. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a bit. So first category is yes, students are admitted directly to the major that they list on their application for to keep things equal. And even for each of these three categories. I’m going to go over an answer to this first question. I’m going to give you the example of five names of schools that work this way. And that is only a sampling because you’re going to have to go out and do the work and ask the right questions. So an example of schools some examples of schools that admit directly to the major would be the University of Minnesota, the Cal Poly campuses, the University of Colorado, the University of Texas at Austin, and Boston College, a note on Boston College, they and we’re going to talk about changing majors in just a few minutes. But Boston College when your students select the division that they are applying to the major that they’re applying to, they must stay within that division for an entire year. So it’s a it’s a real commitment for an entire year, beginning of the fall of the senior year, they put down to what division they are applying. And even if they change their mind, first week, second week, five weeks into their freshman year of college, they must stay put for an entire year. I share that so that you know you really need to be reading the fine print on these admission policies and understand that the decision the direction that your student is taking and the implications for that. The next category down and answer to that first question, which is does your university admit directly to the major college or division is some and when I asked this of a group of my colleagues, we all decided to call it well. It’s complicated. So when we say som, we’re saying it’s complicated. Typically, when we say it’s complicated is complicated because they have the university or the college has some majors that they directly admit students to the major. And they have other majors, that there are not a direct admit. So something else has to happen. After you’re accepted to the University. It’s complicated can be the hardest one to figure out. Frankly, it’s not black and white. Some examples of schools like this are in my home state of Ohio, the Ohio State University, the University of Florida, University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, West Virginia University. So remember, I’m keeping it fair here, there’s only five examples for each one of these categories. And you’re going to have to go out and do your work. So this is really going to depend at the major when it’s complicated. Okay, and then the third answer on the other end of the continuum is no, we don’t admit my major. Some of the schools that would fall here is University of Arizona, Wake Forest, University of Mary Washington, University of Iowa. And I’m just gonna give you a category here. Most liberal arts colleges will fall into this category, but not all. So as you’re seeing here, one of the things I want you to pay attention to, is many of the publics are admitting some or all applicants directly to the major. Most of the liberal arts colleges are going to keep this more open. If you have a student who is really focused on going to a large state public, you’ve got to get dig in and ask the right questions. So let’s move on to question number two. Question number two that you want to ask, are there any majors that are restricted to 12th grade applicants? If so, what are they? What do I mean by this? Well, back on episode number 57, I had Andy Boerse from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign on and he shared that his his university applicants for computer science, which many can argue is the most popular major in the United States are limited to those who apply in the 12th grade, I’m not going to get into the why. And he did a very, very good job of explaining why. And it’s not because they’re not for the kids or they don’t want to support the students. They’ve got great reasons. So if you want to learn about how admission by major we need met directly with major works and and colleges that every stricted majors, I would say go back and listen to episode number 57 with Andy Borst. Another example, I had John Rice of the University of San Francisco on and by the way, that’s a private university non public going back to what we were talking about before, so there are exceptions to all rules. But on Episode 41, John Ries shared that for Nursing at the University of San Francisco, and quite frankly, at many universities, nursing is limited to first year applicants, it is restricted. Another example, and we’re talking about this in an upcoming episode, episode number 79, with Jennifer Steven, who is a dean at Tufts she shared where she did her undergraduate education that Johns Hopkins University admits to biomedical engineering only with first year freshman applicants. Now when I say that, it basically means that if your student arrives on campus, and later discovers, let’s just say they go to the University of Illinois, and they go in as a different major, let’s say they go into sociology. And they later discover that they want to be a computer science major, the door is firmly shut, there is no amount of hoping praying or paying money that can open that door is firmly shut. So you want to know, are there any majors that are restricted to first year applicants, 12th grade applicants at a particular university? If your students considering that major, but they’re not yet sure of it, then they’re gonna want to be sure. Next up, question number three, what is the process for changing majors within a college or division? And kind of leaning into that? I’m going to keep it not as a fourth question, but as a part of this question. And are there any saturated majors where capacity is fairly limited? So going back to that episode with Andy Borst, Episode 57. He talked about while computer science is the only major that is restricted to first year applicants, they are they have very, very little room in business in psychology for students to change their major. So just because a university or college says that they do allow changes of majors, which most do, it doesn’t mean that the path is clear, the path is wide open to all applicants, you really want to ask your questions here. I’m gonna give you an example. And I cite this example, from a free video that I have that I make available to families. That video is how to guide your teen to choose the right major, the right college and career, you can find that if you would like at flourish coaching co.com forward slash video, it’ll take you to the page where you can learn more about it or sign up if you’d like to get access to the free video where we go through three secrets about how college admissions works. So anyway, I use in that video, I’m just gonna give you a taste of it. The example of aerospace engineering at Purdue University. Purdue University is a university that admits by major yet they do have an exploratory studies major at Purdue. And they do allow students to change their majors after they’ve been admitted.

Lisa Marker Robbins 11:40

Almost all schools do to change out, but not necessarily into all majors, as we just discussed with the previous examples. Now, at Purdue, they say, yep, we have a change of major process. And what I love about their processes, they are extremely transparent about what it takes to change your major. When you go over there, you know, Purdue’s known as the cradle of astronauts, because they’ve had so many astronauts come out of their university. So obviously, their aerospace engineering major is very, very popular. And when you go over to aerospace engineering, and you look at what would it take, if I came in as another major, or as an exploratory studies major, to try to figure it out? After I get to college? What would it take to switch over to aerospace engineering, it gives a list of classes that you must have taken, have done well, and it tells you what grades you need to complete in those. But in big bold letters, it says space is extremely limited. Wouldn’t you want to know that before you try to change. So at Purdue, I love their transparency because there’s other majors for which they say, very easy to change, or will let anybody change in in this major popular majors, or the majors that the college is known for, can be difficult to switch into, at many schools. Again, you want to do your homework, and I guide you how to do this in my free video that you can get at flourish coaching co.com forward slash video is how to guide your team to choose the right major, right college and right career without painting themselves into a corner, missing crucial deadlines or risking choices. You’ll both end up regretting. Okay, let’s go on to question number four. Next up, so we’ve talked about saturated majors, so the capacity might be limited, even though the door is open, there is a pathway to do it. But there are some majors that there might not be a lot of opportunity, and there’s others where there’s plenty of opportunity. Next up question number four. What is the process for changing majors between a college or division? So these are two different questions number three, and four. Number three is really saying if I was admitted to the College of Engineering, and I was admitted as a, as a civil engineering major, but I later wanted to switch to mechanical engineering. What is that process? That is typically the easiest type of major to change. You’re changing to a different major within the same division, college or school at that university. Next up is changing between let’s say I was admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences and I wanted to switch to the business college or I’m admitted to the engineering college and I want to be, I want to switch over to the College of Education. You want to understand what that processes like because at some colleges, while they’ll allow changes between majors within the same division is going to be difficult. It may be even sometimes impossible, or the doors just cracked open for a select few to switch into a different division. So that’s question number four. So three and four are very similar, but they work different ways at schools. Okay, question number five. For what majors? Is it difficult to graduate in four years, if you don’t start in that major as a freshman? Now, there’s a whole list of majors in some of them might surprise you, for instance, any kind of performance or fine arts major, think about it, if you’re in a fine arts major, you’ve got studio time to put in, if you are in a performance major, you know, you’ve you’ve got to get into the.

Lisa Marker Robbins 16:10

Also, you’ve got education. Now, one might think like, well, teaching programs aren’t typically that competitive to get into. However, they’ve got to get field experiences. And this is part of why nursing is hard to get into, they’ve got to get field experiences in as well. Education majors have student teaching. So you want to know, if my student doesn’t start? Are we going to extend our time to a fifth year? Because when you do the math, and I’ve done the math before, the real cause, the real average cost of the fifth year of college is over $68,000? Well, how could that be even at a public university, because we are looking at the cost of that fifth year, tuition wise, living wise, we’re looking at the cost of the loss of scholarships that your student may have earned for their first four years. But those scholarships expire after four years, we’re looking at the cost of not working that year, and a lost income. That’s how we get to that 68,000. So I want to encourage your family to set your teen up to get in and out in four years. So your college bound challenge this week that I’m going to leave you with, I’m going to give you two of them. So number one, pick a college that your student is currently thinking about that they’re somewhat serious about, start on the website, try to answer the five questions, I’m going to give you them. All right, again, right in a row right now in just a second. Go through the five questions, see what you can answer on the website. And for any that you can’t answer, get in touch with admissions. Typically, that will be by me email. And I’m going to encourage everybody to go over and get access to my free video that you can watch on demand, not at a time that I choose. But what is right for you how to guide your team to choose the right major right college and right career. So those five questions once again, let me give them to you. Question number one, does your university admit directly to the major college or division? Remember, there are three possible answers to that all it’s complicated or none. Question number two, are there any majors that are restricted to first year freshman applicants? Those are typically 12th grade applicants. Question number three, what is the process for changing majors within a college or division? And are there any saturated majors where capacity is fairly limited? Question number four, what is the process for changing majors between a college or division? And question number five, for what majors is it difficult to graduate in four years if you don’t start in them as a freshman? Okay, you’ve got your marching orders, my friends, let’s set our teams up for success.