On a quick weekend getaway with my family, I decided to stop by the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) campus. I had never visited this campus before, so it was a must see.
CSUMB is located in the city of Seaside, California. The campus is approximately ten minutes North of Monterey – the city where many people might think it is located. It is also located approximately one hour South of San Jose and two hours South of San Francisco. The campus is just minutes away from the beach and the students on campus take advantage of this – while there, I noticed a few students drying out their wetsuits from the windows of the dorm rooms.
The CSUMB campus is very unique. The school sits on a former Army base named Fort Ord. The campus has a unique blend of new and old. There are classes in the old airplane hangars and barracks, but there are new buildings on campus as well. Many of the residence halls are old office buildings from the base. In addition to being a unique fact, the rooms in the residence halls are much bigger than what might be found at other universities. The old buildings that are being used by the university have been updated. However, there are many unused buildings on campus and in the area that look dilapidated. The university will continue to make changes to the campus, so students that attend the university will be sure to witness changes throughout their time as a student.
The school was founded in 1994, making it one of the youngest CSU campuses. The school is also one of the smaller CSU schools. With just under 6,000 students, the school has the feel that one might find on a small, private university. This makes the campus conducive to quiet studying. There are clubs, activities and sporting events on campus, but nothing too big. I found that this is one of the complaints of students. However, again, this can be used as an advantage if you’re looking for a quiet university (for studying) with the potential of building meaningful friendships because “there’s not much to do here,” as one student told me.
The surrounding community and area is great. The one plus that all of the students I spoke to said was the beaches. The school is literally within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Other activities students mentioned were the two California Missions within driving distances and the many hiking trails. The students did say that most things off campus close by ten, but if you’re looking for a more lively area, Cannery Row in Monterey is only a ten-minute drive away. Just off campus is The Dunes Shopping Center. The center has Target, Kohls, Best Buy, REI, Michael’s, Old Navy and Bed Bath & Beyond. There are plans to build up this area and add a movie theatre and restaurants, but no date of completion has been given.
The university currently offers 23 majors. The most popular majors are Business, Psychology and Kinesiology. The university calls itself a residential college. With 85% of first year students living on campus, that is quite a lot, especially for a public university. And, because CSUMB is a state school, students will enjoy in-state tuition. In addition, parking on campus is very cheap. To park on campus for an academic year, it is only $144. Although this might sound like a lot coming from high school, this amount is small compared to other public institutions.
I think California State University, Monterey Bay would be a good fit for students that are looking for a small school where they can make a name for themselves. Because the university is small, students will get to know many of their professors and other students. This school is also good for a student that wants to be focused on their studies because of the small amount of campus activities available. This is also a great place for students that love the beach and the outdoors because of it’s closeness to the ocean
If you’re interested in California State University, Monterey Bay, find out more information and sign up for a campus visit with he CSUMB Admissions Office.
For all of the photos of CSU Monterey Bay, visit Flickr. You’ll be able to find descriptions of all of the photos.
Attending a college fair is an important part of the college admissions process. The college fair is a great opportunity to jump-start your college research. It might be your first opportunity to talk to someone that is affiliated with the colleges you are interested in attending. And, it might open your eyes to other colleges you weren’t even thinking about researching.
Did you know that the impression that you make at the college fair could follow you through the college admissions process? Many colleges keep notes on their applicants. With the acceptance rates going lower and lower at colleges, it is important to make yourself stand out positively to the colleges. This includes making a good impression at the college fair.
As a former Admissions Counselor and Admissions Director, I’ve attended hundreds of fairs. I know what will and WILL NOT impress the person on the other side of the table.
Here is a list of things NOT to do at a college fair:
The college fair is an important part of the college admissions process. To make it a successful fair for you, don’t do any of the things listed above!
Good luck at the fair!
Attending a college fair can be intimidating, especially if you don’t come prepared. Depending on the college fair you attend, you could see anywhere from 15 to hundreds of colleges in attendance. Where will you start? Who will you talk to? What will you say? If you don’t come prepared, you probably won’t get the most out of the college fair. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for the college fair.
1. Get to know yourself and what you want in a college.
Depending on the size of the college fair, you won’t be able to go to every table at the college fair. Get to know what type of college you would be interested in attending. Ask yourself the following questions:
2. Find out what colleges will be attending the fair.
You can find this answer by checking with your high school or the college fair website. Keep a copy of this list and highlight the colleges you want to make sure you talk to while you’re at the fair.
3. Do a little research ahead of time.
Find out what colleges offer everything you are looking for in a school. A great tool you can use is Collegeboard’s Big Future College Search function. You can plug in all of your preferences and you’ll get a list of colleges that meet your preferences. Definitely visit the colleges that met your preferences and needs.
4. Have your information ready.
5. Be patient.
6. Get the college information and Admission Counselor’s business card.
7. Represent yourself well.
8. Go outside of your comfort zone.
9. Do further investigation into the colleges after the fair.
Good luck at the college fair and have fun!
Current students at the colleges you are considering are very important. When you visit college campuses, the person that gives you a campus tour will probably be a current student. Ask them questions because they will give you insight that the Admissions Office will not. However, keep in mind, that these campus tour guides are trained, and sometimes employed, by the Admissions Office. They are there to sell the school to you. In other words, they might turn a negative into a positive or might avoid the negatives of the school – at least that is what I wanted my student tour guides to do when I worked in Admission Offices.
A very unique perspective can come from the random student or students you meet on campus. It’s okay to walk up to them and ask a few questions. These students, the students that are not trained and/or employed by the university, will give you real answers that are not “sugar-coated.”
Below are some questions that you should ask current students when visiting college campuses:
Also, ask the student about the things that are important to you. These things could be about:
Asking the above questions will answer a lot of the questions that the glossy brochures, fancy websites and people employed by the universities cannot or will not answer. Have your list of questions ready when you visit the college. You want to be prepared to make the most of your college visit.
Lastly, if you are a little shy, here are some thoughts. And believe me, I completely understand being shy. I considered myself shy when I was in high school as well and going up to a random person would have stressed me out. Anyway, here are some tips:
Enjoy your campus visit! Have fun “test-driving” the colleges!
Decision letters have arrived. You now have until May 1 to decide what college you will be attending in the fall. But, how do you make the hard decision of choosing the college that is the best school for you? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Above photo credit: Acceptance Letter Envelope" by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0