>Written by Marianne Kligman
Middletown, NJ – Boston College, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Notre Dame, NYU, Stanford, Swarthmore, Steven’s Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Vassar, and Villanova are just a few of the outstanding colleges which Middletown 2008 graduates are attending this fall. The class also amassed nearly $5 million in merit scholarships. Many students entered their colleges with significant college credits. Approximately 75% of the students who took AP exams scored 3 or higher last year, the minimum score, whereby, most universities grant college credit.
The total number of graduates in the class of 2008 was 740 with 394 from High School North and 346 from High School South. The class of 2008 was very successful amid a very difficult year for competitive college acceptance rates.
Middletown High School North Assistant Principal and Supervisor for Guidance, Jack Carmody comments, “The number of students applying to college keeps growing and the college admission officers have many more strong and solid candidates to choose from to fill a freshman class. With a limited number of seats to fill and applications coming in at a rate of 8 to 10 times the number of seats to be accepted, it becomes more difficult to get students accepted. Consequently, counselors, students and parents are continually working to make deadlines for priority admission, early action admission and early decision admission to increase the chances that students will be accepted into their first choice college. Consequently, our acceptance rate for our students at their first choice colleges has been very good.”
Middletown High School South Guidance Coordinator Alan Resnick was also very impressed with the results achieved by last year’s graduating class.
He states, “The Class of 2008 was a strong academic class, highly motivated to succeed to get into colleges and very involved in their community. They proved to be a well-rounded group of kids, academically, athletically and in terms of community activities.”
Most Middletown graduates continued to favor northeastern colleges; however, they also attend colleges throughout the United States and Canada including major state universities in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida, as well as The University of Toronto and Reed College in Oregon.
The cost of college also plays an important factor in a student’s college decision-making process. Many students applied to state colleges or private schools that would grant them substantial scholarships. This is evidenced by 16 students, who placed among the top 20% of their class, and chose to attend Brookdale’s NJSTARS program. This NJ state-funded program guarantees full-tuition reimbursement at Brookdale towards an associate’s degree, with a continuation of that scholarship at a New Jersey state university for a bachelor’s degree. (NJSTARS’ students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.) Middletown High School guidance personnel fear that the class of 2008 could conceivably be the last graduating class that may take advantage of this full-tuition pay program due to looming state budget reductions in education. State schools, which also proved popular with the top 20% of the class of 2008, included Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey and Penn State.
Overall, 69.2% of High school South and 40% of High School North students are attending a four-year college this year, with 24.6% and 48% respectively choosing a two-year college. In the latter category, Brookdale is the overwhelming choice for Middletown students.
The obvious economic advantage continues to be a major reason why students choose a community college over a four-year public or private institution. A one-year tuition at Brookdale costs approximately $3200 versus, Rutger’s tuition of $9500; $20,000 with room and board. Public colleges outside of New Jersey vary between $20,000 and $30,000; private four-year colleges can cost upwards to $60,000 per year.
Alan Resnick proffers additional reasons why Brookdale continues to be a popular choice for students stating, “Brookdale offers a solid academic program; it has established education connections with many four-year schools in the state. It is a good option for students who are ready for college and want to live at home. Overall, it continues to be a great academic choice for value of the program.”
For more information on the Middletown School District, please visit our website at www.middletownk12.org