College Decisions Are Front and Center for Class of 2015

With a plethora of colleges and universities to choose from – large, small, single sex, Catholic, HBCU, private schools, state schools  – students are taking stock of themselves in order to choose wisely. Attending a school that fits well with their specific interests and career goals is only part of the equation.

Recently several members of the Class of 2015 shared what factors led to their college decision and what they are looking forward to as they prepare for next fall.

Julian Nelson ’15, Attending Carnegie Mellon University

Julian, who is valedictorian of the Class of 2015, had a plethora of universities on his list, including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Butler, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Maryland, among others. While it may have been a difficult choice for some, for Julian it was all about finding the right fit in terms of atmosphere and affordability. He selected Carnegie Mellon because: 1) they have a very strong computer engineering program, which is in line with his intended major; 2) he will be able to continue his athletic career as a defensive lineman on the football team; 3) he was offered a substantial financial aid package; and 4) the school community is friendly and very down-to-earth.

Lesly Alvarez '15, Attending Mount St. Mary’s University

Lesly knows Mount St. Mary’s is a good fit for her, both academically and socially because the school reminds her a lot of Carroll  – it too is a tight-knight community where people treat each other like family. She can really picture herself thriving there, while pursuing a major in either international studies or psychology. When she learned that she had been chosen to receive the Third Century Scholarship at Mount St. Mary's, she was absolutely thrilled. The scholarship program provides financial support, as well as mentoring and social support, to help underrepresented students from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore earn a bachelor's degree. As she heads to campus next fall, Lesly will be following in the footsteps of her brother, Jonathan Alvarez ’10, who graduated from both Carroll and Mount St. Mary’s.

Nicholas Orji ‘15, Attending University of Maryland, College Park

Nicholas, who is salutatorian of the Class of 2015, applied to the University of Maryland as an early decision applicant. He has been interested in the school for some time. His decision to attend was very much a practical one. He was looking at schools in the state of Maryland with strong computer science programs. The University of Maryland fit the bill. And by attending a school in the same state in which he lives, he qualifies for in-state tuition, an important consideration. Because of his excellent academic standing, Nicholas will join the College Park Scholars Program, a program that provides intellectual challenges and collegial support for engaged and academically talented freshmen and sophomores. He likes the social atmosphere on Maryland’s campus and looks forward to becoming involved in various activities and athletics, including the African Students Association and the track & field team.

Courtney Bell ’15, Attending Virginia State University

Courtney has chosen to attend Virginia State University and looks forward to enjoying new experiences, new people, and a new town. She chose to attend this school based on affordability and its location – far enough away to be out of the DC area, but close enough to return home when she needs or wants to. Courtney has discovered what subjects interest her by taking elective courses like business and law at Carroll and by participating in summer programs. She has narrowed down her career goals and intends to major in Sports Marketing or Business Administration at VSU.