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The growing cluelessness of of business insider rankings

WIth ranking seasons well underway, Business Insider is carrying a series of “best colleges for…”. I read with both interest and trepidation. Take the latest article, best colleges for working in finance, which distills the colective wisdom from 1000 business insider readers. They come up with this obvious piece of advice: 54% say study busines sif you want a succcesful career in finance. Except they contradict themselves by creating a list of colleges that really do not have much focus on business. In fact, of the top 10 colleges on their list, only one, Upenn, offers a degree in business. Cornell offers Hospitality Management and Applied Economics Management, which I guess you could argue is basically the same thing. Of the second ten, 6 offer business, and one has a certificate of business. 

Still it does make you wonder. Even more so when you compare with Linked In which actually analyzes peoples job titles in their profiles to determined the colleges that produce financers. 

 

University

Linked in Ranking

Business Insider ranking

University of Pennsylvania

1

9

Yale University

2

2

Georgetown University

3

11

Princeton University

4

6

Columbia University

5

7

New York University

6

15

Duke University

7

4

Harvard University

8

1

Cornell University

9

10

Dartmouth College

10

8

University of Notre Dame

11

21

Wake Forest University

12

NR

Villanova University

13

NR

Boston College

14

19

Wellesley College

15

NR

Amherst College

16

23

Brown University

17

23

Lehigh University

18

NR

Rice University

19

NR

Carnegie Mellon University

20

NR

 

Getting the best letters of recommendation

Letters of recomendation play a key role in the college acceptances. But how to get the best one from your teachers? Scouring the world wide web, I found some of the best ideas: Collegeboard has a good article to explore on getting powerful letters of recommendation.

Other great sources:

Want to live on campus? Check out these colleges

FORBES TOP COLLEGE Dorm Capacity Frosh Soph Junior Senior
Cooper Union 21% X      
University of Texas, Austin 22%        
University of Washington 28%        
University of Wisconsin, Madison 31%        
University of California, Berkeley 34%        
University of Southern California 34% X X    
University of Florida 36% X      
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 39% X      
University of Virginia 44% X      
Jonhs Hopkins University 48% X X    
University of Notre Dame 50% X      
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 52% X X X X
Lehigh University 52% X X    
University of Maryland, College Park 52% X X    
University of Chicago 53% X X X X
Northwestern University 56% X      
Whitman College 56% X X X X
Santa Clara University 56%        
University of California, Los Angeles 57% X X X  
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 58% X      
Emory University 58% X X    
New York University 59% X X X X
Unviersity of Pennsylvania 65% X      
Macalester College 65% X X    
DePauw Unniversity 65% X X X X
Washington and Lee University 66% X X X  
University of Rochester 68% na na na na
Tufts University 68% X X    
Reed College 68% X      
Georgetown University 69% X X X  
Villanova University 69% X X X  
Carnegie Mellon University 71% X X X X
Rhodes College 72% X X    
Georgia Institute of Technology 73% X X    
Columbia University 76% X X X X
Colorado College 76% X X X X
College of William and Mary 77% X      
Occidental College 79% X X X  
Boston College 80% X X X  
Brandeis University 80% X X    
Boston University 80% X X X X
Grinnell College 81% na na na na
Brown University 81% X X X X
Vanderbilt University 81% X X X X
Wake Forest University 81% X X X X
Skidmore College 82% X X X X
Duke University 85% X X X X
Rice University 85% X      
Trinity University 86% X X X X
Bucknell University 87% X X X X
College of the Holy Cross 87% X X X X
Scripps College 87% X X X X
Dickinson College 87% X X X X
Dartmouth College 89% X X    
Claremont McKenna College 89% X      
Wheaton College 89% X X X X
Carleton College 91% X X X X
Barnard College 91% X X X X
Oberlin College 91% X X X X
Trinity College 91% X X X X
Yale University 92% X X X X
California Institute of Technology 92% X      
Williams College 93% X X X X
Davidson College 93% X X X X
Bates College 93% X X X X
Wofford College 93% X X X X
University of Richmond 93% X X   X
Swarthmore College 94% X X X X
Smith College 94% X X X X
Colgate University 95% X X X X
Lafayette College 95% X X X X
Bryn Mawr College 95% X      
Pomona College 96% X X X X
Connecticut College 96% X X X X
Bowdoin College 97% X X    
Vassar College 97% X X X X
Hamilton College 97% X X X X
Middlebury College 98% X X X X
Colby College 98% X X X X
Harvey Mudd College 98% X X X X
Franklin and Marshall College 98% X X X X
Sewanee–University of the South 98% X X X X
Cornell University 99% X X    
Denison University 99% X X X X
United States Military Academy 100% X X X X
Haverford College 100% X X X X
Wellesley College 100% X X X X
Wesleyan University 101% X X X X
Washington University in Saint Louis 101% X X X X
Centre College 101% X X X X
Mount Holyoke College 102% X X X X
United States Naval Academy 104% X X X X
Kenyon College 105% X X X X
Amherst College 106% X X X X
United States Air Force Academy 113% X X X X
Union College 117% X X X X
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 129% X X X X
Princeton University 131% X X X X
Stanford University 157% X X X X
Harvard University 178% X X X X
Sources: IPEDS, 

Published in Forbes

Entrepreneurship incubators in the form of colleges

Want to create your own business? Head to business correct? Hang on, not so fast, at least according to Linked In and the editors of Forbes Magazine. On their 2015 Americas most entrepreneurial colleges, only 2 speciality busines schools made the list. In fact, most of these colleges do not even offer a business program. To arrive at their rankings, Forbes “ranked the country’s most entrepreneurial schools based on the entrepreneurial ratios – the total number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn, divided by the school’s student body (undergraduate and graduate combined).” They did the same for comprehsnive universities. I like their methodlogy as it focuses on what students actually do, rather than what the college says they do.I wish they provided the actual ratios so you could compare the university list with the college list. 

The granddaddy of Entrepreneurial rankings come from Entrepreneurial Magazine, a publication that should know a lot about starting a business. They outsource the porject to Princeton Review: “The survey asked school administrators 60 questions covering: their schools’ levels of commitment to entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom, the percentage of faculty, students, and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, and the number and reach of their mentorship programs. The company also asked schools about their scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies, and their support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.” While their rankings seem to make sense when you look at it, in terms of academic preparation. But do they hold up to the real world test? Of the top 24 programs they ranked, only 8 made the rgade on Forbes/Linked in rankings that actually exmine who are entrepreneurs (at least say they are in their Linked-In Profile). 

How about another list, put out by College Choice? They have rather nebulous criteria: “Through an analysis of data from Crunchbase, Angel List, public business data, and other factors (such as proximity to major metropolitan entrepreneurial ecosystems), we have brought you a list of the 50 best colleges in the U.S. for aspiring entrepreneurs.” Comparing Collegechoice with Princeton Review/Entrepeurship Magazine we see a higher levelof cross over with 11 schools appear on both lists. Only 7 schools appear on all three lists. 

 

Princeton Reivew/Entrpreneurship

Forbes/linked in

College Choice

1. Babson College

 

33

2. University of Houston

 

 

3. Baylor University

 

50

4. Brigham Young University

17

32

5. University of Oklahoma

 

 

6. Syracuse University

41

48

7. Northeastern University

13

40

8. University of Southern California

28

5

9. Baruch College

 

 

10. Miami University

36

 

11. Temple University

 

 

12. Uni. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

41

13. University of Dayton

 

 

14. Clarkson University

 

 

15. DePaul University

 

 

16. Washington University in St. Louis

 

 

17. Lehigh University

44

 

18. University of Michigan

43

8

19. University of Washington

45

16

20. Texas Christian University

 

 

21. University of Maryland

29

20

22. University of Arizona

 

43

23. Saint Louis Univers

 

 

24. Bradley University

 

 

 

So which list should you believe? Like any ranking, the key lies in the methodology: One set of criteria will review different facets. Reading beneath the text, what you should be looking for are schools that:

  • Start up money to get you going (this may be in the form of a competition
  • Provide real world mentoring opportunities so you have someone who has been there/done that to bounce ideas off of
  • A club or group that gives you the kindred spirits to support you
  • A rigourous training in critical and original thinking and problem identification

Some examples:

  • Tufts University boasts an Entrepreneurial Leaderships Studies (ELS) program specifically for undergraduates. The Tufts Entrepreneurial Network keeps students connected to on-campus entrepreneurial activities as well as to alumni, and the Entrepreneurial Society sponsors several competitions, conferences, and networking opportunities.
  • the University of California Irvine is home to the Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which offers students opportunities to immerse themselves in a culture of innovation, ideas, and best practices. One of the most popular activities at the school is the annual Business Plan Competition, which offers over $100,000 in cash prizes for the most promising startup ideas. Merage offers a BA in Business Administration with several opportunities for specialization.
  • RPI has has eight Entrepreneurs in Residence, all successful business leaders.
  • At Middlebury, The four-week immersion program MiddCore has brought in over 40 entrepreneur mentors such as Peet’s Coffee and Tea CEO Dave Burwick.
  • Thanks to $1 million from alum and VC Michael Vlock, Hampshire is shelling out $200,000 a year to student ventures.

Where are you at with your entreneurial chops? Check out Gallup’s Entrepreneurial Strengthsfinder which rates you on the 10 talents of successful entrepreneurs:

  • Business Focus: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.
  • Confidence: You accurately know yourself and understand others.
  • Creative Thinker: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.
  • Delegator: You recognize that you cannot do everything and are willing to contemplate a shift in style and control.
  • Determination: You persevere through difficult, even seemingly insurmountable, obstacles.
  • Independent: You are prepared to do whatever needs to be done to build a successful venture.
  • Knowledge-Seeker: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.
  • Promoter: You are the best spokesperson for the business.
  • Relationship-Builder: You have high social awareness and an ability to build relationships that are beneficial for the firm’s survival and growth.
  • Risk-Taker: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Universities Notable facts:

  • 9 public and 10 private higher education institutions–Complete list with links here
  • Plus one American art college (SCAD)
  • Follow a UK style to learning and instruction but education was revised so university degress now are 4 years
  • Direct entry to Law and Medicine
  • Virtually all courses are taught in English
  • School year similiar to US and UK
  • Chinese students are capped at 20%–9000 Chinese students with about 5000 other international students
  • Very familiar with IB and A-Levels; becoming more familiar with US education. Admission often based upon predicted results of external exams. 

Usefeul websites

Some Unique Opportunities

  • Savanagh College of Art and Design
  • Global Bachelor Business Degree (HKUST with University of Southern California, Boccini University)

 

 

Publicly-funded Local Degree-awarding Institutions :

Hong Kong Baptist University
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
The Hong Kong Institute of Education
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The University of Hong Kong




Self-financing Local Degree-awarding Institutions :

Caritas Institute of Higher Education
Centennial College
Chu Hai College of Higher Education
Hang Seng Management College
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Vocational Training Council
The Open University of Hong Kong
Tung Wah College
Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education
HKCT Institute of Higher Education




Institution Providing Locally-accredited Non-local Degree Programmes :

Savannah College of Art and Design




Self-financing Institutions Providing Locally-accredited Sub-degree Programmes :

Caritas Bianchi College of Careers
City University of Hong Kong – Community College of City University
HKU SPACE *
HKU SPACE Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Community College (HPSHCC)
Hong Kong Baptist University – College of International Education
Hong Kong Baptist University – School of Continuing Education
Hong Kong College of Technology
Hong Kong Institute of Technology *
Lingnan University – Lingnan Institute of Further Education
The Chinese University of Hong Kong – School of Continuing and Professional Studies *
The Community College at Lingnan University
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – Hong Kong Community College
The Open University of Hong Kong – Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education *
The University of Hong Kong – HKU SPACE Community College
City University of Hong Kong – The School of Continuing and Professional Education *
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – The School of Professional Education and Executive Development
Vocational Training Council *
Yew Chung Community College
YMCA College of Careers *

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Universities Notable facts:

  • 8 public and 8 private higher education institutions
  • Plus one American art college (SCAD)
  • Follow a UK style to learning and instruction but education was revised so university degress now are 4 years
  • Direct entry to Law and Medicine
  • Virtually all courses are taught in English
  • Chinese students are capped at 20%–9000 Chinese students with about 5000 other international students
  • Very familiar with IB and A-Levels; becoming more familiar with US education. Admission often based upon predicted results of external exams. 

Usefeul websites

Some Unique Opportunities

  • Savanagh College of Art and Design
  • Global Bachelor Business Degree (HKUST with University of Southern California, Boccini University)

UK

Korean University points:

  • There are 43 national and almost 180 private universities and universities.
  • 376 official HE institutions that support 3.7m students and 60,000+ academic staff. This includes 179 private four-year universities, 43 national universities, polytechnics, cyber-universities and other types. Two-year and three-year Junior colleges number 149, with a student population of 770,000 and 12,500 faculty. In 1970 there were 160 HE institutions serving about 200,000 students.
  • SKY Univerities are the most presitigous (Souel National, Korea U, Yonsei). In 2010, it was reported that 46.3% of high government officials and 50% of CEOs of major financial industries were graduates of SKY universities. Also, over 60% of the students who passed the 2010 Korean Bar examination were graduates of SKY universities.

 

Links

 

Unique aspects

Songdo International Development area: State University of New York (SUNY) will open in March 2012 and George Mason University in September 2012. Ghent University 

 

Your SAT and ACT test scores may matter more than just in admissions

As more and more colleges go test optional, we see even a great emphasis from the students on test preparation. While the SAT was originally concieved as a scholarship talent search to identify students who could be superstars but did not come from the typical background of the day, it morphed into the defacto entrance test for many colleges (along with the ACT). Many of us have told students that the test score does not matter beyond admissions. No employer will ever care. Sure, ever so often stories appeared about famous people’s test scores.

Celebrity

SAT Score (out of 1600)

College Attended

Paul Allen 1600 Washington State University
Will Smith Rumored to be perfect None
Ben Affleck Almost perfect Occidental College, University of Vermont
Bill Gates 1590 Harvard
Ben Bernanke 1590 Harvard
Bill O’Reilly 1585 Marist College
Ryan Fitzpatrick 1580 Harvard
James Woods 1579 MIT
Ben Stein 1573 Columbia
Kesha 1500 None
Scott McNealy 1420 Stanford
Natalie Portman 1400+ Harvard
Al Gore 1355 Harvard
Stephen King 1300s University of Maine
Meredith Vieira 1300s Tufts University
George W. Bush 1206 Yale
Derek Jeter 1200 University of Michigan
John Kerry 1190 Yale
Courtney Cox 1150 Mount Vernon College
Amy Tan 1100s Linfield College, San José State University
Kobe Bryant 1080 None
Scarlett Johansson 1080 None
Bill Clinton 1032 Georgetown
Peyton Manning 1030 University of Tennessee
Alex Rodriguez 910 None

It did not matter that some of these scores are impossible, like James Woods 1579, this was just for entertainment. But the SAT did not really matter after colllege. Only now, a start up will factor your SAT/ACT score when it loans you money. Upstart sees value in your test score along with what college you went to and your history of employment. So would Bill Clinton with his impossible 1032 get a loan at favorable rates? Of course Bill should probably avoid borrowing money with his better half running for President. 

 

Upstart is hot, according to Business Insider: “It’s issued more than 8,700 loans worth a total of $125 million in the past year, with about $20 million coming in June alone. Considering it targets millennials between the ages of 22 and 34, and most loans are below $35,000, it’s not a bad growth rate.” 

Update: A Florida law in the the making will reward teachers for their SAT scores. 

What it costs to study where…

According to an infographic created by Forbes based on student fess (this excludes tuition)

The information is culled from a report by the bank HSBC. I cannot find anything more recent than September, 2014. The more interesting document I found has to do with parent ambitions, which was just released froma survey of over 5000 parents in 16 countries. Some key insights:

Colleges That Require the PROFILE Financial Aid Application

The Folks at DIY College Rankings have a useful list of colleges that reuqire the CSS Profile when appling for financial aid. 

Colleges That Require the PROFILE Financial Aid Application
(Download PDF version)