Edward J. Connor '92

Dean of Admissions

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A grand opportunity for the men's crew team

The WPI men's crew team in in mid-season form, but the season will be a bit longer this year with a trip to England this summer. They will be competing in a number of regattas over their stay, with the culmination being the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley on Thames.

Learn more about the opportunity to row at WPI and this exciting opportunity to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finances and Happiness - Can they go hand in hand?

Now that all the decisions have been finalized and the letters have arrived the questions and appeals begin. Some are of course regarding the wait list…will I get in? How big is the wait list? What number am I on the waitlist? Can I come for a visit to interview and better my chances for admission? (See Adam’s blog for great waitlist info.) And others are from those students who were admitted and are now wondering about how to pay for it, or if it is worth the investment.

Data certainly shows that the value of a college degree versus only a high school diploma is at least $1 million dollars over one’s lifetime, but are all degrees the same? Are all programs the same? Will I get a “good” job when I graduate? (see below) And certainly beyond those questions the ever popular can I get more merit scholarship money or more financial aid to make attendance more affordable?

We always welcome scholarship appeals from students particularly when there is additional information to consider. On the merit scholarship side that may mean additional grades, new test scores, a new honor or award, another letter of recommendation, or maybe some additional activities that you’ve gotten involved in. On the need-based side this typically means a significant change in your financial situation.

I am busy going to scholarship committee meetings and chatting with families and students as we consider their requests for another look at a merit scholarship, or a plea for the scholarship committee to consider them for a new award based on new information.

There is no denying that the economy is making the college selection process much more stressful for many families this year. College savings or the plans that were in place may have gone by the wayside as the stock market has dropped like a lead balloon and many parents have lost jobs over the last year. That being said I feel it is important to make changes to academic scholarship when situations warrant a change. My colleagues in Financial Aid use the same philosophy as they consider appeals from families.

I am amazed to hear of schools encouraging families to fax them awards from competitors so they can match or beat awards or telling students that if they don’t enroll shortly a financial aid award might disappear. As Adam recently posted making your college choice is about the fit and about being excited to call a school home for the next four years. Figuring that out is hard enough for all the young adults across the country this month without the added pressure tactics.

I encourage students to visit the schools you are considering over the next few weeks. Ask the questions that are important to you. If they are financial so be it, but think long and hard about the investment for your future and your happiness. Yes, students graduating from WPI get great jobs and are admitted to the world’s best graduate schools each year. The Boston Globe recently recognized WPI for having the 3rd highest average starting salaries in New England and the 12th highest of all universities in the nation. Yes, the engineering and science and technology fields have a great outlook for the future. Yahoo Hotjobs ranks engineering as the No. 1 occupation in its “Staying Power: 5 Careers with Bright Futures” survey.

Hope to see you in Worcester soon!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Think you know Worcester?

Were you recently admitted and trying to make that final college decision? Or perhaps you're a junior just starting to plan those college visits over spring break....

Think you know Worcester?

Sure we don't have the Sox right in town (of course they're less that an hour away!), but we were just named the 9th most livable city in the country by Forbes.com!! A big congrats to Worcester!!

Come on over for a visit:)


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Opening Day

For all you red sox fans out there tomorrow's the big day...but looks like rain:(

We'll have the game on in the Bartlett Center after the 2PM group information session (weather permitting). If you happen to be visiting tomorrow come by and check out the game!! Unless you are a rays fan:)