Is attending an honor college a good idea? Is it worth it?
I will graduate from high school in 2022. The only way you can get into my school's honors college is by invitation, and I got an invitation to join. I already plan on attending the school so I might as well join the honors college, right? I will be majoring in criminology on a pre-med track so my concern is will joining in the HC make undergrad harder than it should be? I know it will be a good experience and I know it will look good in medical school applications but I do not want to possibly take a hit to my GPA.
I compiled a list of pros and cons from stuff that I have heard, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
PROS: scholarship, great for networking, great on med school apps, more volunteer & community service opportunities, smaller class sizes, a small HC community, study abroad
CONS: heavier, potentially harder course work, having to maintain a certain GPA, can take away from the traditional college experience, senior thesis
I want to know if this is something that I should consider. I am taking a tour of the school's Honors College tomorrow so I guess I will have a better understanding of what I am getting into then. I am afraid that they will sugarcoat a lot, so please let me know what you think, no sugar coating haha.
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If you want to say in your state and close to home and honors college accomplishes at lot your PROs.
But if you are open minded to the idea of applying to better Private Liberal Arts colleges, the upside is that they often have better financial aid packages that potentially lower your total college costs to less than the honors college at a state school.
In my state, 2 of the state schools offer Honors Colleges and some of my friends are going. They have to pay a supplemental fee to attend in addition to the standard tuition, room and board because at the Honors colleges, the dorms, dining halls, and libraries are better. 1 school costs $31K and the other $32K. The avg. need based financial aid package is about $11K and 1/2 the students get aid. So the Net cost is about $20-21K or $80K for 4 years if you qualify for financial aid.
There are literally 50 Privates that offer substantially better aid. One example would be Colgate University in Upstate NY. It's not an Ivy or Elite but certainly an awesome LAC.
They meet 100% of financial need and families whose income is up to $150,000 have Zero loans. The avg. debt for 4 years of college is $14,000. That's a huge bargain compared to the sticker price of $320,000 for 4 years. It's harder to get into these private LACs than honors colleges but there are plenty that are just about the same like Skidmore or SOKA.
Just a thought. Good luck.
Congratulations on getting an invitation to join your school's honor college! I definitely agree with the perks you mentioned - you will get a lot of unique opportunities and mentorship that other students in your class might not get. This will be especially helpful in differentiating yourself from your peers in the medical school admissions process. That being said, potentially harder classes could hurt your GPA and make you less competitive for med schools. My advice would be to reach out to upperclassmen in the honors college (or even alumni - do a quick search of the school's name on LinkedIn and you'll find a list of students that have it listed in their profile) and ask them what their experience has been with the classes and professors. They'll give you a good idea of whether or not you think you'll be able to handle the rigor. There will also be quite a few premeds in the honors college so try to find one of them to talk to and ask about the rigor of the premed required classes (Intro Bio, General Chem, Organic Chem, Physics, etc.).
Hope that helps!
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