Most of us are quite happy that 2020/2021 is behind us and, although we all experienced more than a few inconveniences during the shut down, now that we are on the other side of it, there are a few resulting changes that we can celebrate! Some of the changes I will share are changes that happened across the board with most colleges, but at least one change listed below is unique to Bryan College (as far as I know) and it is an exciting change!
- STATE FUNDING: Apparently during COVID many people played the lottery and states became awash with money that had to be allocated and, at least in Tennessee, both our dual enrollment grant and our HOPE amounts were increased! I am not a fan of the lottery, but if folks want to voluntarily give their money away and if the state wants to share that money with me, I am inclined to be a happy recipient. With these increases Tennessee students can take 30 hours of dual enrollment with us (because we offer a $200 scholarship for classes #6 and beyond) for less than $300 (plus books/fees) and out-of-state students receive a $200 scholarship per class. Email email@example.com for more information.
- TESTING: Many tests were shut down during Covid because they did not offer virtual options. The CLT is the only college exam that was able to be offered during the pandemic. I hear that both the SAT and ACT are planning to be virtual eventually. The CLT continues to be offered virtually. If you register for the CLT and use the code ‘Bryan20’ you will save 20%!
- CLEP: Prior to the pandemic, one had to find a proctored site in order to take a CLEP exam. For residents living within the USA, these exams can now be taken virtually. For those of you unfamiliar with CLEP, these are standardized exams that can earn a student college credit. Bryan College accepts up to 30 CLEP credit hours, with limitations, and they are listed at this link, starting on page 58. Some of these tests (such as foreign language) could grant a student 3, 6 or even 9 hours of credit.
- TEST OPTIONAL: It has always been my personal contention that college exams are not a good indicator of how well a student will do in college. Several of my own children earned 4.0 GPAs in dual enrollment classes, yet they tested poorly. During the pandemic many colleges went test optional and some have stayed that way. Although Bryan college has returned to using a college exam score for merit scholarships, we are technically still test optional because we have an alternative basis for merit scholarship. This will benefit the students who do not test well! Instead of using only a college exam score to determine merit scholarship, Bryan College will now us students’ dual enrollment GPA as long as they have earned at least nine credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0! My youngest three, who were at Bryan a few years ago, would have all earned top merit scholarships had this been the case when they were here. Our top merit scholarship is based on either a 29 ACT/1330 SAT/89 CLT OR a dual enrollment GPA of 3.75. To my knowledge, this is unique to Bryan College. With our lowered tuition, it certainly makes it worth your while to check out the majors we offer!
- VIRTUAL TOURS: Visiting the colleges that your students are considering will help narrow your choices and, before Covid, not that many colleges offered virtual tours. Now a days, many colleges have virtual tours on their websites. This should not replace an in person visit, but it is a great starting point when narrowing down options.
- ONLINE OPTIONS: Bryan College has offered online classes even before the pandemic. However, not all of our professors were familiar with virtual meetings, yet all of them, out of necessity, had to learn and/or improve their use of technology. Bryan offers online dual enrollment classes four times a year in addition to offering associates, bachelors, masters and a DBA online! Bryan continues to offer residential degrees as well.
As you narrow down your top college choices, check out the requirements for homeschooled students at each college so that you will be prepared to do what it takes to get accepted and, hopefully, awarded scholarships. If your student has a high GPA, but does not test very well, consider Bryan College’s option of using dual enrollment GPA for merit awards!
Here’s one more suggestion for you. If a college you are considering offers preview days, camps, clinicals or scholorship events, have your students attend. These events are great opportunities for your students to become familiar with faculty, staff, and the campus of a college. Bryan College hosts a Summer Institute in July for rising 9th graders through graduated seniors. Students stay on campus, earn an hour of college credit, a small scholarship, and they choose between one of the tracks offered. In 2023 the tracks being offered are engineering (2 different tracks), nursing, creative writing, criminal justice, martial arts, education, performing arts and photography! Bryan College also offers a scholarship event each semester for accepted, qualified seniors. This is a free event and each participant receives additional scholarship funds based on an interview with faculty.
Even though most of us will admit that living through the isolation caused by the pandemic was not what we wanted, the fact that some good changes have come about as a result, slightly redeems the time.
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