Admission

Frequently Asked Questions
INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS APPLYING FOR ADMISSION AS FIRST YEAR STUDENTS (LOWER DIVISION):

HOW ARE ADMISSIONS DECISIONS MADE?

Q.  Who decides who is admitted to the Honors Program?
A.  Applications are reviewed by the Honors Admissions committee, a committee made up of faculty and staff.  There are at least three readers of every application that meets at least the minimum admissions criteria.

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Q.  Why is the Honors Program so small?
A.  Each student admitted to the Program receives a scholarship which covers tuition and associated fees (e.g. lab fees, U-Pass fee) equivalent to the tuition “band” (currently 12-17 credit hours) at the in-state tuition rate as long as the student remains in good standing in the Program. Students in the Program are also accorded many other benefits.

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Q.  How does the Honors Program decide whom to admit? OR What qualities does the Honors Admissions committee look for?
A.  Applications are screened to determine whether applicants meet minimum standards for admission to the Program. Applications which meet minimum standards receive further screening by the Honors Admissions committee. The committee considers the high school transcript, class rank, standardized test scores, the autobiographical essay, other information in the student's application, and at least one letter of academic reference.

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Q.  What does the committee look for in a high school transcript?
A.  Preference is given to students who have completed a standard college preparatory curriculum including at least three years of a foreign language, four years of a high school mathematics including pre-calculus through trigonometry, at least three years of high school science (usually including biology, chemistry and physics), and four years of English. If an applicant's high school offers honors or advanced placement or honors courses, the stronger applicants will have taken these courses. The committee looks for students who have good grades in the courses they took.

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INFORMATION FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO HAVE EARNED COLLEGE CREDIT WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL:

Q.  I took advanced placement courses in high school. What role do these courses play in the admissions decision?
A.  Advanced Placement courses are regarded favorably by the admissions committee only if the applicant has taken or plans to take the advanced placement examination for that course. Advanced Placement courses provide a national standard for comparison of college-bound high school students and students who do well on these exams are generally successful in the Honors Program. Good grades in advanced placement courses do not always correspond to success on the exams, and hence are not as useful for predicting success in the Honors Program.

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Q.  I took college courses while in high school through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option Program. How do their courses figure in the admissions decision?
A. 

This depends on what courses were taken in college, which in high school, and how successful the applicant was in the college-level courses. Students with college credit earned in courses not generally available at the high school who have done well in these courses and have completed a standard college preparatory curriculum will receive favorable consideration from the Honors admissions committee.

Examples of such courses include but are not limited to languages not offered in the student's high school; poetry or literature classes beyond the 12th grade level; calculus based physics; courses in subject areas not widely available in high school such as sociology, psychology or economics; mathematics courses at the level of calculus or beyond.

It is possible for a student to enroll in PSEO courses and be less well prepared than if they had not done so. Typically a high school physics class is algebra based. There are college science courses which are conceptually based. Students who take these courses and do not take high school science courses are less well prepared for college level course work in science. Students who enroll in intermediate algebra are generally less well prepared than students who take a similar course in high school. Generally if similar courses are offered in high school and in college, the student should take the high school course if their schedule will permit it.

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Q.  I am a graduating high school senior, but I have almost enough credit hours through advanced placement courses and Post-secondary enrollment Opportunity courses to be a college junior. Should I apply for admission as a junior or as a first-year student.
A.  If you apply as a junior, you will be compared with other students seeking admission as juniors. Generally, graduating high school seniors will have a better chance of gaining admission to the Honors Program if they apply as entering first year students.

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CLASS RANK:

Q.  My high school does not rank students. How does this affect my application?
A.  The admissions committee will carefully evaluate the applicant's high school transcript looking for whether the student has taken and done well in the most challenging courses the high school has to offer. The committee will also consider the effectiveness of the high school in preparing students for college.

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AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY:

Q.  How does the autobiographical essay figure into the admissions decision?
A.  Applicants may choose what to write about. Generally, it is not necessary to repeat information which is provided elsewhere in the application, though explanation of unusual circumstances may be helpful. The admissions committee is interested in both the quality and the content of the applicant's writing.

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EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:

Q.  How important are extra-curricular activities in the admissions decision?
A.  The Honors Program seeks students with a variety of backgrounds, interests and competencies. Students who have demonstrated persistence and accomplishment in music, athletics or other pursuits will be regarded favorably by the admissions committee. Students must still meet minimum criteria for admission. Extra-curricular activity accomplishments do not substitute for strong academic preparation.

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LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:

Q.  What role do letters of recommendation play in the admissions decision?
A. First year students are required to submit one letter of academic reference. Students who have low grade point averages or low standardized test scores may wish to solicit letters of recommendation to provide the admissions committee with additional information which may explain why these factors are less significant for the applicant than they might be for other students. Any applicant may submit letters of recommendation. Letters should address the student's ability to do college work at an honors level.

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APPLICATION DEADLINE:

Q.  Is it too late to apply?
A.  Students who are applying for admission as first year students are required to apply by January 15th of each year.



INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:

Q.  Are international students eligible for consideration for the Honors Program?
A.  International students may also apply. The number of spots for international students is limited to about two per year, so the application process for international students is more competitive. For more information visit the Center for International Services and Program

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WHY WASN'T I ADMITTED TO THE HONORS PROGRAM?

Q.  I have always taken honors courses and advanced placement courses in high school; why wasn't I admitted to the Cleveland State University Honors Program? OR I am in the top 10% of my high school class; why wasn't I admitted to the Cleveland State University Honors Program?
A.  The Cleveland State University Honors Program is very small. Less than 2% of the undergraduate student body has been invited to participate in the Honors Program. This means that not every talented, capable applicant will be admitted. During our second year, about half of all minimally qualified applicants were admitted. During our third year the proportion of qualified applicants admitted has dropped to less than one third. Most of our applicants are near the top of their high school class and have taken honors classes in high school, so many students with these qualifications are not admitted.

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INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS APPLYING FOR ADMISSION AS JUNIORS (UPPER DIVISION):



HOW ARE ADMISSIONS DECISIONS MADE?

Q.  Who decides who is admitted to the Honors Program?
A.  Applications are reviewed by the Honors Admissions committee, a committee made up of faculty and staff. Applicants who are applying for admission to the Program as juniors may also be reviewed by a faculty member in the academic program that the applicant has chosen as a major.

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Q.  Why is the Honors Program so small?
A.  Each student admitted to the Program receives a scholarship worth $5000 per academic year as long as the student remains in good standing in the Program. Students in the Program are also accorded many other benefits.

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Q.  How does the Honors Program decide whom to admit? OR What qualities does the Honors Admissions committee look for?
A.  Applications are screened to determine whether applicants meet minimum standards for admission to the Program. Applications which meet minimum standards receive further screening by the Honors Admissions committee. The committee considers the college transcript, standardized test scores, the autobiographical essay, other information in the student's application, and academic letters of reference.

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Q.  What does the committee look for in the college transcript?
A.  Preference is given to students who have completed all or most of their general education requirements, have taken challenging courses both in their preferred major and outside of it, have begun to do more advanced course work in their major, and have good grades. We expect students who apply for admission as juniors to be ready to graduate within two years. If you have taken and done well in honors courses at the college-level, this is regarded favorably.

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Q.  I have a cumulative grade point average less than 3.5. Can I still be admitted?
A.  It is possible, but very unlikely. A 3.5 grade point average is a retention standard for the Honors Program. Students who have not achieved this standard prior to beginning honors work will generally not be admitted. In some cases, nontraditional students who earned the low grades years earlier will be considered.

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POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPPORTUNITY:

Q.  I am a graduating high school senior, but I have almost enough credit hours through advanced placement courses and Post-secondary Enrollment Opportunity courses to be a college junior. Should I apply for admission as a junior or as a first-year student.
A.  If you apply as a junior, you will be compared with other students seeking admission as juniors. Generally, graduating high school seniors will have a better chance of gaining admission to the Honors Program if they apply as entering first year students.

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AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY:

Q.  How does the autobiographical essay figure into the admissions decision?
A.  Applicants may choose what to write about. Generally, it is not necessary to repeat information which is provided elsewhere in the application, though explanation of unusual circumstances may be helpful. The admissions committee is interested in both the quality and the content of the applicant's writing.

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EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:

Q.  How important are extra-curricular activities in the admissions decision?
A.  The Honors Program seeks students with a variety of backgrounds, interests and competencies. Students who have demonstrated persistence and accomplishment in music, athletics or other pursuits will be regarded favorably by the admissions committee. Students must still meet minimum criteria for admission. Extra-curricular activity accomplishments do not substitute for strong academic preparation.

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LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:

Q.  What role do letters of recommendation play in the admissions decision?
A.  Letters of recommendation are extremely important for students applying for admission as juniors. Letters should address the student's ability to do honors level work in their chosen major. At least one letter and preferably two should be from a faculty member in the student's chosen major. Students may include letters from employers, advisors, or ministers as additional references, but at least three letters should be from faculty who can address the student's academic accomplishments and abilities.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:

Q.  Are international students eligible for consideration for the Honors Program?
A.  International students may also apply. The number of spots for international students is limited to about two per year, so the application process for international students is more competitive. International applicants will not be considered after February 15th.

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WHY WASN'T I ADMITTED TO THE HONORS PROGRAM?

Q.  I was in the honors program at my previous college; why wasn't I admitted to the Cleveland State University Honors Program?
A.  The Cleveland State University Honors Program is very small. Less than 2% of the undergraduate student body has been invited to participate in the Honors Program. This means that not every talented, capable applicant will be admitted. During our second year, about half of all minimally qualified applicants were admitted. During our third year the proportion of qualified applicants admitted has dropped to less than one third. Most of our applicants have high grade point averages and good letters of reference, so many students with these qualifications are not admitted.

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engaged learning
  • Honors Program
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 412
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Main Classroom Building, Room 412
1899 East 22nd Street
Phone: 216.687.5559
Fax: 216.687.5552
honors.program@csuohio.edu
Contact
Dr. Peter Meiksins, Ph.D.
Program Director
Phone: 216.687.5559


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