The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - College help? Need ideas! *Calling all plant-heads*
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
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Thank you so much for all the advice you guys have! I will consider everything you guys have said! I don't have time to reply to each post ( I'm swamped with homework, gotta keep my grades up!) but if I had time I would! Thank you all, any more advice, as always, is very welcome! I feel a little more secure knowing that I can change majors and change course if I decide to. And in reality, I really only need to decide what gen-eds to take next semester. And since I know the basis of what I would want to study, I can take the classes that I will need, or that would help me, for all of those. A bio or botany would be good, I want to see if i can take horticulture, because that would be helpful. And also through these classes now I can even start to learn what I do and I don't like.

greenman- As far as tissue culture and in-vitro propagation, almost all orchid seeds need to be propagated in-vitro, so even if i don't end up in that field, classes like that are things ill want to take and look into!

I think I have pretty much given up the idea of opening a nursery, at least not as a main source of income. Maybe down the road a ways though!

As far as volleyball, I really really want to play in college. I have played for 7 years and I love it, its a passion of mine, and I would be upset not playing. I also would like to pursue coaching after college as well, i have talked to my highschool coach about this a little bit.

Originally Posted by FaceWise View Post
Make a list of colleges or universities you may want to apply to next year. In-state institutions will offer lower tuition rates and more attractive scholarship opportunities, but don't let that stop you from looking elsewhere. Browse the websites of the schools on your list, research what majors are offered, and narrow down your selection accordingly. Look for the 'Academic' section, or one similar, to find a description of available areas of study.

For instance, on the undergraduate admissions page of Penn State's website, I find this list of majors. I notice that the college of agricultural sciences offers a horticulture major, and gives students the option to specialize in floriculture. The college of science offers a biology major with the option to emphasize plant biology. I choose Penn State as my example because it has a volleyball team, but I agree with UDGags--don't let this become a make-or-break factor in your application process.

I dual-enrolled at a local community college during my senior year of high school. My advice is to knock out as many general education requirements as you can. We're talking general social science classes, like psychology and sociology; introductory science classes, such as chemistry and physics; basic mathematics and writing courses, your college algebras and English 101s. These pesky courses are required by most degrees and will plague your schedule during your first few years of higher education. Use the aforementioned websites to determine which are most likely to be required for your field of interest and knock them out early. They are often easier at the community college level.

Course codes are often helpful in determining which credits will transfer from one college to another, but this is not always the case. I notice that Introductory Sociology has a different course code at Messiah (SOAN 101) than at Penn State (SOC 001). Check in the 'Transfer Students' section to confirm which incoming credits will apply, or contact the institution's admissions office directly.

I find websites such as ratemyprofessors useful when enrolling for classes.

Don't let my input ruin dual enrollment--it can be a lot of fun. If you're taking, for example, three classes at Messiah next semester, allocate two to satisfy general education and pick a fun or interesting third class (I chose Creative Writing one semester). Just bear in mind that arriving at university with most of these requirements behind you will free up space in your schedule for French, photography, and volleyball, in addition to new interests you're likely to discover along the way. Also note that if you acquire a certain number of credits (in Florida, 60) you will need to apply to the next college as a transfer student. Good luck, orchidman!
Thanks for this!! SUPER informative, thanks a lot!! I'm trying to do dual enrollment that way when I get to full time college I can have a somewhat lesser load so I am able to play volleyball. I think its a great idea to take some fun classes too! I will probably do an art class, I was looking at Messiah's catalog today with my mom and I might choose photography (there may be schedule conflicts), Design and Color, or a class that is basically 3D design.

Originally Posted by View Post
Keep your grades up and concentrate on academics. Don't put athletics ahead of academics. You can play volleyball all you want, but it won't pay your bills.
Men's -anything but football and basketball- will be the first sports to be cut if the athletics budget comes up short or Title IX balance needs adjusting.

Try to narrow your range of colleges as each application will cost something.
Don't put a huge amount of value on a one day visitations or orientation. All colleges and universities put on their best show for visiting families. You can not get to know a town or institution in a day or weekend.

If you get on the National Merit Scholar list, colleges will be seeking you. Some will seem silly and weird. Don't automatically turn them down until you've actually checked them out. Some will offer a free ride. School, unless you are seeking a specific "name" on your diploma for professional reasons - is what you make of it. The quality of the teaching professors is more important than the name on the paperwork. Don't let the number of faculty to students influence you. Every research institution has a substantial number of research professors who don't teach. So their reputation means little to your education.

Just like the military, Make sure any offers you seriously consider, are in writing.

Some schools in areas adversely affected by hurricanes (in the last five years) are still trying to build their classes back to where they were. Tulane made both my college age kids, very interesting offers.

Now is also the time for your parents, if they are planning to help you in any way financially, to look at the structure of their finances. Making some changes while you are a junior may help your shot at financial aid.

Visit for more information on financial issues. Have your parents look at the forms. Keeping in mind that reporting requirements change. One recent change vastly altered the reporting for some retirement investments.
Thanks for this! Most of my remarks are noted above. As far as finances go, my dad works at PHEAA so he works with student loans all day, so he will definitely be able to help me figure out what is best!
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