Issue 12: UPenn (2/2), The ABC’s of Merit Scholarships
Exclusive Insider Interview: University of Pennsylvania, Admissions Interviewer
And that’s easier said than done. I was not the hardest working kid myself. I was able to escape by my intelligence and I did not learn a good work ethic as a kid. So I’m cognizant of people that are too much like me at the same time. But as far as your extracurriculars, I say encourage your kid to find something he actually likes rather than force him to do things they don’t, because that matters. If you’re a master violinist, like you’re the lead first violin in a major orchestra, that’s got to mean something, right? Even if you don’t love it, that’s still a pretty damn impressive accomplishment that will stand out.
But at the same time if you’re just kind of indistinguishable as far as your extracurricular activities, we have grade inflation that we’re seeing, we also have extracurricular inflation where everybody seems to be doing like 25 different activities.”
Dear Socrates Q&A
“I want to become a pilot. Which college should I attend?”
Hey Henry, if you only want to be a private pilot flying recreationally, you actually don’t need to go to college. But it sounds like you might be looking into piloting as a career, which means having a Bachelor’s degree would give you a leg up. Just having a degree, however, is not enough. You will need to get the requisite commercial license, medical certificate, logged flight hours, and FCC radio license, among others.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Airline pilots typically need a bachelor’s degree in any subject, along with a commercial pilot’s license and an ATP certificate from the FAA.”
We checked real-time job postings in today’s market and saw what they’re looking for. Here’s an example of a job description from SkyWest, a regional airline that serves North America.
Next, let’s take a look at UPS, a global carrier but not a passenger airline. We found this job posting just this week, so it’s as up-to-date as it can get.
You should be looking for universities or colleges that grant Bachelor’s degrees, particularly in subjects like aviation and aeronautics, as that will relate directly to your desired career as a pilot.
In the U.S., there is not just one institution that prepares students for a career as a pilot. In addition to identifying the schools with the program you’re looking for, you should also consider where you stack up academically against the average applicant, assess your ability to succeed and thrive in that college environment, and really evaluate the costs of attendance.
The truth of the matter is that there is no ONE college that will guarantee you a job in your chosen career. Furthermore, just because you want to do something, doesn’t mean the gatekeepers (admissions officers) think you’ll be a good fit!
Without knowing your academic profile, here are a few schools for you to look into — with a list of 3 follow-up steps to evaluate them. Continue to read which schools made the cut for an aspiring pilot and the 3 questions to answer as you’re applying! →
Former Tufts and Brandeis University admissions officer Jane S. Shropshire conducted a webinar to train college consultants on the ins and outs of merit scholarships. SocratesPost attended the hour-long session and got The Skinny for our readers curious about paying for college.
Here are some of the questions we got answers to:
- How do merit scholarships differ from need-based aid?
- Can I still get scholarships if I’m waitlisted?
- What types of schools are most likely to give me scholarships?
- Do I need to apply separately for the funding?
- Should I apply Early Decision if I’m intent on going to a college that will award me a merit scholarship?
- Can I take a gap year before starting college and use my scholarship after a year?
- What are some examples of non-need based scholarships?