Summer 2015 College Overnight - Boston

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: BY TASNIA, GRADE 12

What's your first impression on MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)? I could probably prove you wrong. Most people might doubtlessly think that MIT exclusively concentrates on math and science; some might not even bother to apply to MIT because they assume that MIT has a small variations of majors. Here's a captivating fact about MIT: this amazing university certainly provides different humanity programs to their students, and it's mandatory for them to take humanity courses. Also, MIT students are permitted to pursue higher education in majors that MIT doesn't dispense, from Harvard University, but still earn MIT credit. MIT students aren't only restricted to the Boston area. They offer their students a program called 'MISTY,' which provides study abroad opportunities. MIT has one of the best study abroad programs in the country. 

Bostonians know MIT as 'Boston Tech,' which was the original name given to it when it was founded in 1861. MIT students are well-known as hackers. Although, getting accepted to this college is very difficult, MIT is one of the rare colleges that offers full financial aid to international students. MIT students don't necessarily have to go to class every day; they can even take the classes online. MIT was absolutely my favorite part of the Boston college trip. 


The information session and tour at Harvard College was an extremely pleasant experience. To begin with, the information tour became less nerve-wracking because of the informal attitude by the speakers. The information session had three speakers, all of whom came from different backgrounds and high school experiences. All three individuals stressed enjoying your high school experience and making the most of opportunities presented to you; this led to a much less stressful time at Harvard. The three speakers also gave helpful advice unrelated to Harvard itself. For example, SAYA! students found out that the college application process can be completely free and fee waivers can be abundant, but one has to ask for them.

After the information session, the speakers divided SAYA! students into small groups to tour the campus. Students viewed the library and the dorms and walked around campus at length. The tour guides were very friendly and responsive to all questions. Overall, the visit to Harvard College broke many stereotypes regarding the school and presented the school in a new light.


University of Massachusetts-Amherst: BY JANNAT, GRADE 12

With no research done beforehand, I was pleasantly surprised when SAYA! reached our destination: University of Massachusetts. With a total of 29,000 students and 90 different majors to choose from, the amount of diversity in this school left me awestruck. The classes are fairly small with an average of 36 students per class. The professors assist students, which is really important because the transition from high school to college is tough and we can use all the help we get. 

Our whole tour was informative but one fact I found funny was that for study abroad, the college allows you to go anywhere in the whole country. Idaho, for some reason, is the one state you can't go to. With that being said, you can study abroad for two whole semesters. When it comes to actually applying, there is a great emphasis on recommendation letters. The admissions office does not look at your financial information. There is a whole other office dedicated to that so the admissions officers keep an open mind to all the applicants. One thing to keep in mind when applying isknow is that you cannot choose "undeclared" if you're undecided on your major, you have to chose exploratory so you can look through all the different options one by one.

Amherst College: BY SUKARNA, GRADE 12

Amherst College is one of the schools I considered going to and being able to visit the college was an amazing experience.  One of the things that stood out to me was their social life. It seems that it’s very convenient to socialize considering they have so many things to do on campus. Amherst College also has an amazing museum. Their historical background is really motivating, considering that most of the artifacts are found from students that attended the college itself. In addition, Amherst is associated with other colleges such as UMASS and Hampshire, which gives the school a wider range of interaction. 

Another key point that stood out is the fact that Amherst is a need-blind school. My family wouldn’t be able to pay the annual tuition for this college but knowing that if I were to get into Amherst, that wouldn’t affect my chances of being accepted is amazing. I feel like great schools such as Amherst have many things to offer but it makes it even better knowing that you can go to a really great school and still potentially be debt free. I realized on this trip that financially it might be cheaper to go to this school rather than just a CUNY school back at home.


Because it is five miles away from the heart of Boston but in between the suburban towns of Medford and Somerville, Tufts University is the place for everyone. Tufts is an incredible academic institution. For starters, it has an amazing engineering program, which you can transfer into, even if you don’t get accepted straight out of high school. Tufts produces 25% of engineers of color nationwide, something I feel is very important. Although engineering is a big part of the university, 4,200 students attend the College of Arts and Sciences, while only 800 students enter the engineering school. Tufts also has graduate schools for medical, dental, and veterinary education.

While informing us about all of these programs, the admissions officer also mentioned their study abroad programs. Something that I found compelling about the university was that they are a liberal studies school with a very rich research background. It really is a place where you can get the best of both worlds. I was enchanted by the thought of Tufts in France, where I study by the Alps for the summer. There are ten programs across the world, in beautiful countries like Chile, Ghana, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, and more. Students are required to take a language to influence global awareness; the school believes that it is important for students to be fluent in a language and culture other than their own.

There were two things that I especially loved about Tufts: their history and their vibe. The institution was created by Universalists to promote inclusion, tolerance, and social justice; a place where the liberal arts and research could coexist in harmony. The school allows you to do research across majors, because they are honestly looking to build scholars. After visiting, I could tell that Tufts is the place for me, an institution that teaches people to think rather than to regurgitate information.

The vibe at Tufts is liberal, intellectual, and thoughtful. As the admission counselor said, it's a place where there is no air of competition. Rather, students collaborate to create beautiful things. It’s a place for academically curious and interesting people. The institution is kind, with need blind admissions to cover 100% of student demonstrated need.