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To Apply or Not Apply - Honors College

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Ds is receiving emails encouraging him to apply for the schools' honors college.  Some of the schools state there are scholarships available for honors college students, so he will apply to the honors programs at those schools.

But for those who don't specifically state they have honors college scholarships available, should he still apply?  He is not super interested in being in an honors program, but I'd hate to tell him not to apply if it might give him additional scholarship opportunities.

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It depends on the perks vs the requirements. So far, DD is only applying to the one(s) where you get housing and registration perks (plus smaller class sections in one case). At my alma mater, it was more work than benefit.

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In case it helps, here is discussion on the pros/cons of Honors programs/colleges from several past threads, all of which are linked in the first 6 pages of the new pinned thread at the top of the College Board: "Going to College Motherlode":

Honors Programs
Honors programs — Aug 24 2017, Julie of KY
Why choose to participate in an honors college? — Feb 23 2018, athena1288
Benefits and drawbacks of honors programs — Jan 3 2017, klmama
What college honors societies are worthwhile? — Feb 7 2018, mum
Value of various honor societies — July 9 2017, Pegasus

Edited by Lori D.
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4 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

In case it helps, here is discussion on the pros/cons of Honors programs/colleges from several past threads, all of which are linked in the first 6 pages of the new pinned thread at the top of the College Board: "Going to College Motherlode":

Honors Programs
Honors programs — Aug 24 2017, Julie of KY
Why choose to participate in an honors college? — Feb 23 2018, athena1288
Benefits and drawbacks of honors programs — Jan 3 2017, klmama
What college honors societies are worthwhile? — Feb 7 2018, mum
Value of various honor societies — July 9 2017, Pegasus

 

I never saw that "Motherlode" thread. Thank you so much for creating it, Lori! You know I love you like grapes!!! (Bunches)

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3 hours ago, Angie in VA said:

I never saw that "Motherlode" thread. Thank you so much for creating it, Lori! You know I love you like grapes!!! (Bunches)


Aww, shucks Angie ... You're a sweetie to say so. ? 

The "Motherlode" thread is new -- just last month! So for the next few months you'll see me with more responses like this one above just to help people see that we have this resource available now. I also just finished updating / reorganizing / expanding the 2 pinned threads at the top of the high school board -- and renamed them as High School motherlode #1 and #2:

High school motherlode #1 covers a number of topics on starting to homeschool high school (post #1), and all about all of the tests (post #2).
High school motherlode #2 covers transcripts/record keeping topics (post #1), and DIY classes, outsourcing, online classes, dual enrollment, etc. (post #5).

It's so amazing getting to see the accumulated wisdom of the Hive all in one place like that! (:D Enjoy browsing! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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11 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


Aww, shucks Angie ... You're a sweetie to say so. ? 

The "Motherlode" thread is new -- just last month! So for the next few months you'll see me with more responses like this one above just to help people see that we have this resources available now. I also just finished updating / reorganizing / expanding the 2 pinned threads at the top of the high school board -- and renamed them as High School motherlode #1 and #2:

High school motherlode #1 covers a number of topics on starting to homeschool high school (post #1), and all about all of the tests (post #2).
High school motherlode #2 covers transcripts/record keeping topics (post #1), and DIY classes, outsourcing, online classes, dual enrollment, etc. (post #5).

It's so amazing getting to see the accumulated wisdom of the Hive all in one place like that! (:D Enjoy browsing! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

I feel like reading that combined wisdom is the grad school of homeschooling!

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I would definitely take into consideration how much extra work applying is, as well as how much extra work is involved once the student gets there. 

My teen is only applying to honors programs that seem interesting to her. If the program just feels like extra work and extra pressure, even the money isn't worth it. A different, more affordable school might be a better choice. 

We aren't as interested in honors programs that feel like an afterthought. On the other hand, an honors program that is a more integrated experience has the potential to move a so-so school to the top of the list. One school's honors class options and reading list made me want to join!

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At our local public, besides registration perks (I don’t know how real this is. I mean DS goes absolutely last as an unmatriculated student and he’s been able to get into the class he wanted (tiny tiny sample though), there are however special classes only Honors kids do

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For me (a long time ago, but I think my school still has the same basic perks), it meant early registration and first pick of housing, and it also meant I almost never had to take giant lecture courses. I ended up taking one for political science and one art history, but I could have taken the honors equivalents of those if I had wanted to. It can be a way to get a smaller college type experience at a big university; my honors classes were generally seminar style classes with 10-15 students in them. For me that was a big benefit, but for your son it might not sound so great....it just depends what kind of experience you're looking for.

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Is he applying to TX state schools' business honors programs? If so, then it is actually a separate major at McCombs (UT) and Mays (TAMU). They take all their classes together in special sections and at least at McCombs the classes are taught with cases like an MBA program. OTOH, if your ds is interested in Accounting and would like to do an integrated MPA program or the special math-based finance honors courses at McCombs, they seem to conflict with the Honors BBA. There's probably a work around, but I'd call them up and ask detailed questions if I were him.

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My first ds did not do it at his small college and I can’t imagine he has missed anything at all. My second ds is at a huge university and the honors program comes with lots of perks that make it totally worth any extra effort. They are all so different. 

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Depends on the honors program. CBH/RRS at Bama? Totally worth it, plus some.  USCarolina's? Ditto. (USC's HC is #1 in the country.)

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My experience with an honors college at a big state university was very positive, and from what I can tell, those same perks still apply: honors (nicer) housing, priority registration, scholarship, small sections of classes, special advisors, and a general positive attitude toward the honors students that opened doors for research, privileges, etc. not easily available to other students. Sometimes just stating you were in the honors program was enough to get people to make exceptions, plus the honors program people would make calls on your behalf. The requirements were a certain GPA, a required number of honors classes each year (specific sections or classes, senior level classes taken as freshmen or sophomores/grad courses as a junior or senior, or an honors option), and a six-credit senior thesis (which counted towards major requirements).  Not too strenuous at all. I found it to be a great blend of big school and small school — large lecture courses when I wanted something easy and simple to fill a requirement and small courses with top professors when I wanted those. 

 

So I think you need to ask what each honors program means. 

Edited by happypamama
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3 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Is he applying to TX state schools' business honors programs? If so, then it is actually a separate major at McCombs (UT) and Mays (TAMU). They take all their classes together in special sections and at least at McCombs the classes are taught with cases like an MBA program. OTOH, if your ds is interested in Accounting and would like to do an integrated MPA program or the special math-based finance honors courses at McCombs, they seem to conflict with the Honors BBA. There's probably a work around, but I'd call them up and ask detailed questions if I were him.

 

He has been admitted to Mays, but hasn’t been admitted to McCombs, yet.  He applied to business honors at both schools, but I think those honors programs are reaches for him.  Very selective. 

There are a few schools he was accepted to (University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, and UT Dallas) where he has received emails saying his SAT score makes him a good candidate for the honors college.  I wasn’t sure whether those would be worth it or not.

I looked over the requirements after reading this thread.  UTD business honors actually looks pretty good - 1 business class a semester with the cohort, a few professional events, 6 hrs volunteering.  UArk seems to come with a lot of additional requirements so I don’t think that one will be worth it.  

I’m going to share all the info with him and see what he thinks.  I didn’t know McCombs had a math heavy finance major.  That might be right up his alley.  I will share that with him, as well.

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For my DS the perk of preferred registration for classes was worth it all by itself. He needs to work a certain number of hours off campus per week in order to be able to pay for school, so being able to set his schedule to his preferences was a must for him.

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I think it depends on the school and the requirements. Every where is different. Look at requirements vs rewards.

DD is happy with her Honors College selections and enjoying the course work and knowledge that she can add it to her resume or grad school applications.  However, many of her friends dropped honors due to scheduling and time commitment conflicts. Most still have the GPA but arranging the extra work became to much.

DS was an entirely different story.  He opted not to consider honors college, he has lots of other pressures with classroom work and other obligations that would have made the pressure of honors college work/GPA requirements just over the top. (My opinion not his-he just said no from day one. Maybe he had better foresight.) He also wouldn't have had the same payoff as DD.

Edited by JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst
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I'll add to the "depends on the school." Dd applied and was accepted into an honors program at our state's largest public school. It got her a two person dorm room with a private bath--GREAT perk, considering all other freshman had dorm style bathrooms at the end of a loooong hall. She also got early registration each semester and a special blurb on her diploma re the Honors College. Additionally, because she took the required Honors freshman writing course, as a senior, she was hired as the T.A.'s assistant for that year's incoming Honors freshman writing course. In her particular school, the Honors curriculum was heavy on writing. I don't think it would have been a such a good option for students who weren't strong writers to begin with.

Ds considered applying for the honors program at another large state school. There was no notation on his diploma, and you were "rewarded" with Honors housing--which meant NO kitchen in the apartment--which meant a hefty $4000 meal plan. He decided not to apply.

They definitely each made the best choice for them in their situations. ?

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My oldest decided not to. He transferred to a school that is in the top dozen or so for his major, and he is very, very busy with two jobs and other responsibilities. His major has a huge drop-out rate even at the junior level.

So we decided that his grades were more important. No regrets.

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19 hours ago, JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst said:

I think it depends on the school and the requirements. Every where is different. Look at requirements vs rewards.

DD is happy with her Honors College selections and enjoying the course work and knowledge that she can add it to her resume or grad school applications.  However, many of her friends dropped honors due to scheduling and time commitment conflicts. Most still have the GPA but arranging the extra work became to much.

DS was an entirely different story.  He opted not to consider honors college, he has lots of other pressures with classroom work and other obligations that would have made the pressure of honors college work/GPA requirements just over the top. (My opinion not his-he just said no from day one. Maybe he had better foresight.) He also wouldn't have had the same payoff as DD.

 

Are we living parallel lives? I could have written this post. 

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