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May 16 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

Why I Chose Northeastern University

By Jenna Ciccotelli - May 16 2016

Unlike some other high school seniors, I was never stressed out by the college process. To me, it was what it was – where I ended up was where I was supposed to be. I felt very confident that I would find my niche somewhere, somehow, and I did, in Northeastern University.

My mom graduated from Northeastern, which was exactly what drove me away from it at first. My mom never pushed me to apply there, and I hadn’t seriously looked into the school at all, but I was certain that it was not for me. I didn’t want to be the girl that was going wherever her parents went, I wanted to chart my own path and do what was right for me.

Fast forward to t-minus two weeks until graduation, and I’m bleeding red and black. I couldn’t be any more excited to be enrolled at Northeastern and to officially be a husky. But what made me change my mind?

I knew I didn’t want to go to school in a “college town” where there was nothing around except for whatever school I went to. Growing up half an hour away from Boston, I had spent a lot of time in the city. Boston has the city atmosphere that I want to be in, while it is familiar to me so I will be comfortable from the start. I started looking at schools in Boston and thought I was in love with Boston University (seriously: I bought t-shirts for other people, not just myself. That’s a big step).

There was one thing about BU that I couldn’t get past. When you stepped out of a BU building, it was impossible to tell who was a student and who was a tourist. There is no campus, just sidewalk. I wasn’t sure what about that bothered me, but there was definitely something.

Enter Northeastern. The first time I walked through the campus, I was certain that it was the school for me. Northeastern is in the city, yet it has a campus vibe to it as well. There are even Adirondack chairs spread throughout the campus. I didn't know that multicolored chairs and grass would be so important to me when I was picking a college, but I know now that I couldn't imagine going to a school without them.

Image Credit: Northeastern University

As far as academics go, Northeastern is the perfect fit. I want to be a sports journalist, and their experiential approach to learning is perfect for my career path. At Northeastern, you can go out on up to three co-ops, which are six-month-long internships (that are most often paid!) In a field like journalism, education matters but experience is valued even higher. Being able to get this experience with real world businesses and companies such as The Boston Globe, CNN, or the Boston Red Sox while I'm still in college is a valuable and unique experience that I am thankful I will get to have.

Northeastern guarantees housing for as long as you are enrolled, which is huge for a college student in the city. I'm lucky that I will never have to worry about finding an apartment at all, let alone one that doesn't cost both of my legs and my first two children. 

Northeastern does come with a hefty price tag, and that's bad news for someone like me who falls into the ever-dreaded category of too poor for college, not poor enough for financial aid.  I got very lucky with my merit scholarships and grant money from Northeastern, and got even luckier with my financial aid counselor. After a change in our financial award, my mom and I met with my financial aid counselor at Northeastern, who was eager to help us get back what we lost and more. My college decision was going to be heavily based on the financial aspect, and Northeastern was great at helping me along the way.

I'm glad I didn't let my own pride get in my way and decided to look into and enroll at Northeastern University. I guess they're right when they say that mother always knows best.

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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