Republished from The Huffington Post: http://huff.to/Yb74KD UC Berkeley was my dream school. In fact, as a student at a large public high school in the East Bay, as the son and grandson of alumni, and as a young person interested in politics, the University of California, Berkeley, was one of the few schools I knew. I applied in November of my senior year of high school. That spring, I received a thin letter in the mail from the admissions office. I went to the garage to open it, to receive the good news. Maybe the small letter would inform me that the fat packet of smiling faces of my future classmates was on its way or available online? Nope. I decided to appeal the decision. I knew the odds were slim: less than 1 percent of the student body at Berkeley were admitted off an appeal. Additionally, I was under the [...]
It’s that time of year again! At the opening of the 2012 admissions season, U.S. News has released its 2012 Best Colleges rankings. The rankings are an infamously controversial guide for comparing America’s colleges nationally, regionally, and across subject areas and other special interests. This year Harvard University and Princeton University are tied for first place among national stature universities, followed by a list of other Ivy League or Ivy-like universities. But you know that’s not particularly useful. How to really use College Rankings While I enjoy the festive competition of college rankings as much as the next guy, what students need to know from the rankings is not where a school stacks up nationally, or even regionally. It’s about all the underlying data and context. “What is the best college?” is, and should be, a very subjective question. Seniors in high school should be thinking about what majors they [...]
BetterGrads College News & Views is a weekly collection of college-themed posts around the web. Our social media team, partners and guest contributors take part in providing this service to you. This week, we came across several articles related to being ready for college, what students think of the price tag for a degree, and some tips students can use when gearing up for the semester. College Preparation: ACT Scores show 1 in 4 high school grads are unprepared for college (TIME) Standardized tests are questioned by many as a legitimate measuring system for a student’s success, but this year’s ACT results are out, regardless. Nearly 30 percent fell below the college-level standards in English, math, science and reading. Is this reflective of a larger problem? Or are there other ways we can effectively test students’ college preparedness? Getting ready for college (Freelance Writer Network) This author provides a [...]
If you’re lucky enough (and brave enough) to consider a school more than 10 miles from home (You are! You can do it!), you’re going to have to visit it at least once. If you haven’t decided on a school yet, this summer is a great opportunity to explore your options. If you’ve got the time this summer, use it! Wander campuses without a guide, and see as much as you can. One way of going about this quest is to make a family vacation out of it, like I did. The younger siblings and the parents will probably drive you crazy, but have everyone climb in the minivan (so dorky, I know, I lived it), and hit the road. If you’re curious about a state or city rather than a specific school, this is a great time to visit several schools. Larger, more popular schools tend to be fairly [...]
With the college application season coming to a close, this is the question writer Jennifer Moses attempted to answer in a recent Wall Street Journal article. A video interview with Moses and the Journal’s Kelsey Hubbard can be found here. In the article, Moses outlines several expenses associated with her 17-year-old twins’ college application process: Total cost of her twins’ standardized test fees = $522 Total cost of travel, including air fare, gas, hotels, food and incidentals, for both twins accompanied by one parent each = $3,9908.23 Total cost for private college counselor = $701.25 (to date)
How I learned to love my USC family history–and still go somewhere else for college.
It’s silent, but deadly. Its victims are rendered helpless and are dependent upon a team of highly skilled individuals who can be anywhere from 10 to 3,000 miles away to resolve the matter. The victims can tweet and update their Facebook status to their heart’s content, but at the end of the day, there’s still not much they can do.
…doesn’t exist. Hollywood visions of undergraduate college often evoke historic brick buildings of lore, gently sloping campus paths lined with seemingly-erudite trees. Besweatered students rest on the grass with leather knapsacks, frisbees flying overhead. A young frat pledge hands out half-sheet flyers as students file into the dining center. With the exception of the satirical new TV series “Community,” a clear-cut stereotype of the average undergraduate college student rests comfortably in the American mindset: age 18-22, bachelor’s degree track, middle-class, full-time student, beer enthusiast, likes to sleep in. Perhaps a sprinkle of Marxism or newfound love for performance art thrown in to spice things up. But like any other demographic pool, the fish are much more diverse than your average koi pond.
Cutthroat boarding school interviews. Life-consuming college applications. A controversial essay about obsessing over getting into the “perfect college,” published in Newsweek magazine when she was still in high school. Screening thousands of college application essays (a.k.a. personal statements) through her job at Yale University’s admissions office. These are just some of the experiences that color writer Hannah Friedman’s experience with education. In 2009, Friedman published Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool, a frank memoir of her teenage years at a prestigious boarding prep high school and the ruthless college application process that created a frenzy among her senior classmates. College degree now in hand, the 24-year-old is working on her second book, which will discuss the pitfalls of standardized testing and other evaluation methods that she argues fail to help students succeed. Hannah took some time to chat with BetterGrads and lend [...]
College students have a lot on their minds these days. From balancing classwork, a job, extra curricular activities, and budding social lives, it can all become one huge blur. And sometimes, all this pressure can force students to withdraw from their university studies. And should students choose to pull out, there’s a group people beyond the students themselves who pay the price: taxpayers. That’s right, taxpayers. A new report shows that states appropriated almost $6.2 billion for four-year colleges and universities between 2003 and 2008 to help pay for the education of students who did not return for year two.