What should I do between the summer and delayed College?
April 25, 2008 9:15 AM   Subscribe

What should I do come the beginning of September regarding college (Worcester Polytech)?

I originally got wait-listed to WPI a little while ago, but I recently made a website to persuade the admissions people to letting me in (wpi-should-let-me-in.com), so they gave me admission to their January term.

I'm still on the wait-list for the Fall term, but in the case that I don't end up there in the fall, what would you suggest that I do from September to the end of December? I've been thinking about working somewhere and doing night school at Harvard Extension school or some community college so that I don't start off too behind from everybody else (I live in Newton, about 10 minutes west of Boston). Thanks!

Be well,
posted by speek to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, the networking and programming classes I took (in 2000) at Harvard Extension were absolutely top-notch, so that's not a bad decision. If you have the cash to travel, though, do that!
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:19 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Harvard Extension School is a very good option while you wait on WPI, thanks to the great faculty and the hundreds of classes to choose from. I was a graduate student at the Extension School from 2003 until earlier this year, but had lots of contacts with undergraduates and blogged extensively about the various HES programs. I recommend that you check out Thoughts on the ALB program: "The best undergraduate education possible" and also read some of the posts by the blogger at ClueHQ, which is written by an undergraduate at the Extension School who has an interest in information technology.

I live in Newton also. While there are lots of commuting options parking can be a pain ... I usually parked on Mt. Auburn street near the hospital and walked about 15 minutes to class, or parked in one of the garages near the Charles Square hotel (the nightly rate was about $12).

Good luck,

Ian Lamont
posted by Ian Lamont at 10:36 AM on April 25, 2008

If you take classes somewhere else, be sure to first get in touch with whoever makes the decision at WPI on which outside classes to give credit for.
posted by overhauser at 10:40 AM on April 25, 2008

as a current worcester resident, i can say that you're certainly coming to an interesting town. have you thought about coming here and doing some volunteer work for a few months? this is a really affordable place to live, you'll get to know the city, maybe meet some of your classmates, and there are a lot of opportunities to help out here. plus, volunteer work always looks good on your applications- it's probably what got me into med school.
posted by genmonster at 10:55 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: Are you planning on going into the Robotics program at WPI? (I saw it mentioned on your wicked clever site - nice work, my man!) You might consider contacting someone in that department (or whoever is in charge of the department/path you want to be a part of) and posing that question directly to him/her. A class or two at the Extension School certainly sounds like a great idea - I haven't had that experience, but the reports I've heard from friends are uniformly positive - but definitely follow overhauser's advice and verify that any course you take will transfer to your WPI requirements. I know that lots of people find it useful to already have some of the basic requirements (English 101 & the like) already crossed off their list. (That's usually in the form of the high school AP exam, but the end result is what matters.)

If you decide against taking classes in favor of working or volunteering, you might still do some independent study with MIT's Open Courseware or one of the many similar freely available self-study college course material. (Again, you could inquire of someone at WPI as to which courses might be of the most benefit to you.) Contacting people at the school has the added benefit of establishing yourself as someone who is taking this opportunity seriously, and will be a definite asset to the school and whatever department you settle in. You've obviously already struck a major blow for being creative in your pursuit of your goals, so keep coming at them with that attitude and you'll certainly go far at WPI and beyond.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 8:43 PM on April 25, 2008

You could take courses at a local community college nearby (Quinsigamond Community College). Or you could do 1-2 full years there then transfer into WPI. When I was at WPI, for summer school the registrar's office was pretty persuasive in pushing students to take courses there versus on campus where it was crazy more expensive
posted by Jimmie at 7:40 AM on April 26, 2008

« Older Environmentally friendly, people unfriendly?   |   Remote X11 desktop on OS X Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.