Check out our Tips

With years of blogging and two decades of counseling for college admissions, you can find some of the best ideas in the business. More »

Learn how colleges make decisions

In depth profiles from various colleges. More »

More than just the USA: Check out our posts on the UK

We also follow news from Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and more. More »

Rankings...what\'s all the fuss?

Everyone seems to be focused on who\'s number one? Who\'s the best? They forget to ask the behind the scene question or the upfront quest which one is best for me? More »

 

The book everyone is talking about

Came out on St. Patrick’s day: Frank Bruni’s Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.” 

Why does it matter? In the next few weeks, many selective colleges will trumpet their NEW record number of applications. The list will look familiar. The usual suspects keep getting more and more applications. I am curious how many have had repeated an application to an institution that had previously rejected them. Last year I had my first. But I suspect it is something becoming more common. Bruni’s thesis is in the title. The subtitle might better be anecdotes as he profiles people who were dinied by elite schools and yet ended up thriving elsewhere…both in and after college. You can read Bruni’s op-ed piece at the New York Times to get a sense of his thesis. Nick Romeo has had a chance to review the book and notes the contradictions:

His fondness for such anecdotal evidence clashes awkwardly with statistical data he includes. He cites a study by the sociologist D. Michael Lindsay that found that nearly two-thirds of a set of 550 powerful Americans did not attend institutions considered elite. But reversing the framing would produce a very different conclusion: More than a thirddid attend an elite institution, a disproportionate percentage considering that highly selective schools represent only a tiny fraction of educational options in America. He further undermines his own case by noting that over 40 percent of the incoming class at Yale Law School in 2013 and 2014 came from one of the eight schools in the Ivy League, while less than 20 percent of the class had graduated from state schools. 

Other commentaors include the NYT

Free tools for Self Discovery

Below are various free self assessments. 
Personality
Strengths

Learning styles

Majors/Career inventories

 

Free tools for Self Discovery

x

Free tools for Self Discovery

Below are various free self assessments. 

Personality

Strengths

 

 

 

 

Learning styles

 

 

Majors/Career inventories

  • See more at: http://www.internationalcounselor.org/archives/2492#sthash.aCNmgskM.dpuf

Plexuss does rankings

Not sure how long this thing has been around, but they need some serious help in defining what a good college experience is. Founder JP Novin claims “I have never been more excited about a company as I am today about Plexuss. We are in the business of changing student’s future. Nothing can be more exciting.” Except, they are actively misleading students with their poorly executed rankings:

Of course they leave out the “speial sauce” which seems like a rather key ingrediant. The rankings look familiar although it does give a boost to public universities, with 5 appearing in the top 20 (US News has 1 ), but totally punishes Liberal arts and science colleges. Williams in 219? Amherst comes in 223, but University of Massachusetts-Amherst comes in 62nd? Swarthmore comes in at 220. 

Clearly their formula is bunk. Obviously they choose measures that favor research output over the learning experience. Worse they cannot even set their toggles right to get the correct information. While QS, Shanghai and Reuters don’t even collect college data on Liberal arts colleges, US news does. They keep it seperate from the research universities for a reason. Take a look at Swarthmore, one of the serious power hitters in higher education and yet they managed to find 219 better colleges. 

While I like the idea of a super agregator, this one is not working. Obvioulsy, not only should they use the actual liberal arts measure, but the Washington Monthly ranking would probably be wise to include. While QS, Reuters and Shanghai could be included in the National Research universities, they need to be left off for the LACs. For what it is worth, here is the top 20. 

#1
Harvard University
Cambridge,MA
#2
#7
#2
#2
#5
#2
#3
#3
#7
#5
#1
#4
#1
#4
#7
#5
Yale University
New Haven,CT
#3
#6
#4
#6
#10
#21
#7
#7
#5
#24
#5
#9
#7
#12
#8
#10
#7
#23
#13

#11
#20
#37
#14
#12
#16
#31
#10
#13
#12
#67
#11
#14
#12
#19
#15
#15
#23
#44
#17
#16
#28
#45
#12
#17
Brown University
Providence,RI
#14
#13
#19
#18
#23
#59
#22
#19
#41
#70
#16
#20
#41
#68
#21

If you bill it, will they pay it? The UC’s growing trend is one of anti-out of state

When the California Legislature of the Terminator slashed funding, the universities had to find the money ffrom somewhere. Afterall a Billion dollars does not grow on trees. In 2000, the California Legislature covered about 3.8% of operating expenses, but by 2011 it had dropped to 2%. Undergraduate student fees have risen 90% from 2003 to 2007. A more detailed explanation is here, but some highlights: 

The solution is simple, but brutal. Increase student tuition and fees and cut cost by cutting Tenured track professors and limiting salary increases. 

Of course, College presidents unshackled their admission offices so they could recruit more out of state students who do a wonderful job of subsiding the costs for California Residents. 

Nonresident students pay about $23,000 more annually in tuition and fees than Californians, which would bring in $2.2 million from an additional 100 out-of-state and international freshman UC Berkeley expects to enroll in fall 2014.

The decision was “driven primarily by our commitments to maintain Berkeley’s academic excellence, access and robust financial aid programs,” Dirks wrote. “In order to sustain the excellence of our programs and the student experience, tuition from out-of-state and international students is crucial.”


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article2596255.html#storylink=cpy

 
To be fair, the UCs are not the only ones to think of this strategy:

So the only surprise has been how long it has taken for the polictians to attack this strategy, led by the govenor himself:

“It just feels that whatever used to belong to the normal people of California – assuming the Brown extended family is normal – it’s not available anymore,” Brown said during a Board of Regents meeting this week. “And so you got your foreign students and you got your 4.0 folks, but just the kind of ordinary, normal students, you know, that got good grades but weren’t at the top of the heap there – they’re getting frozen out.” (It might not be fair to deem the Brown family “normal.” Jerry Brown’s father, Pat, was governor the year Jerry enrolled at Berkeley. And after Jerry Brown graduated, he attended Yale Law School.) 

And now the state assemblymen and women want to cap out of state enrollment…and increase their tuition. It is a Field of Dreams of Higher Education. If you bill it, they will pay it. But will they? Certainly Berkeley and UCLA enjoy brand recognition right up there with Stanford, the Ivies etc. After all, UC would still be a “good bargain,” state Senate Education Budget Subcommittee Chairman Marty Block (D-San Diego) said at a news conference last month. “When students come from other states and from other countries to California, I think they are less concerned about the bargain than they are about the quality of education, and no place has higher quality of education than the University of California,” Block said. Frankly, I quest that asecrtion when almost a third of students do not graduate in four years: “UC’s four-year graduation rates for freshmen have risen significantly over the past 12 years — from 46 percent for the 1997 entering cohort to 63 percent for the 2009 cohort.” While satisfaction rates hover around 80%, “fewer seniors now state that they are very satisfied and more indicate they are somewhat satisfied.”

Who gets into Elite Colleges and Why

Christoph Guttenburg speaks from Duke’s perspective on who get’s in and why. A lengthy, but focused interview that will help any student or parent understand how the process works. Check out the video here

Quebec finally cuts the free lunch for Francophones

For three and half decades, the Frech speaking province has provided students from French speaking countries one of the most lucrative deals in higher education: They can attend a Quebec University for the same price as a Quebecois student does? Students from other Canadian provinces paid considerably more while international students paid 6 times more. The province has finally realised they are selling themselves short and have set to increase fees to Francophones to match the price of Canadians, noting correctly that is still a good deal:

“You never have to forget that French students under this new agreement will still only pay around $6,000, which is two to three times less than what other international students are paying at McGill,” Marcil said.

McGill along will see over a 4 million dollar rise in revenue. 

Imagine four years of eating meals like this…

..and the freshman 15 may be the least of your worries. 

Seriously, long gone are the days of Gruel and rubber chicken passing off for food in College Dining Hall. The Huffington Post has done possibly its biggest public service by providing the list of great college cafeterias

 

Early admit rate round up–updated

Results are starting to be posted. If you know some, let me know and I will update. 

Brown – ED – 20% – 617 out of 3016

Darmouth admits 483 from 1859–26%–a 10% increase

Columbia released but did not tell how many they took of their 3373 applications (2.3% increase)

Cornell releeased but no numbers

Duke admitted 815 out of 3180–26%

Georegetown: Of the 6,840 candidates who completed their Early Action applications by the November 1 deadline, approximately 13% were offered admission. 

Harvard – SCEA 16.5% – 977 (calculated) out of 5919–26% increase of applications

Johns Hopkins accepted 539 from 1865 applications–most ever–29%. And they mistakenly congratulated even more

MIT accepted 625 of its 6,519 early decision applicants for a 9.6% acceptance rate.

NorthwesternWith 1,011 students receiving early admission, from a pool of 2,793 –49% of the class. 

Princeton 767 students from a pool of 3,850 –20%

Stanford 743 from 7297 --their largest pool –10%

UPENN–admitted 1,316 early-decision applicants from 5,489 applicants 23.97%

Williams 244 of 593–up 7% from last year. 

Yale-admitted 753, or 16 percent, of its early applicants to the class of 2019 from a pool of 4,693. 

Still waiting to hear about:

Amherst ED1 Dec 15
Babson ED Dec 9
Bard EA by Dec 31
Barnard ED Dec 11
Bowdoin ED Dec 11 after 7 pm
Carnegie Mellon ED Dec 15
Claremont McKenna ED Dec 15
Colby ED Dec12 after 5 pm
Colorado College ED Dec15; EA Dec 18
Columbia ED Dec 11
Cornell ED Dec 11
Dartmouth ED Dec 12
Davidson Dec 15
Emory Dec 15
Georgia Tech EA Jan 10
Hamilton Dec 12
Haverford ED Dec 12
Johns Hopkins ED Dec 12
Middlebury ED Dec 6 @ 8am
NYU Dec 15
NC State First Deadline (apply by Oct 15) Dec 15
Pomona Dec 15
Princeton SCEA Dec 15
Purdue EA starts Dec 12 (rolling)
Rensselaer ED1 Dec13, ED2 Jan 17
Smith ED1 Dec 12 after 6pm
Tulane EA by Dec 15
UMaryland Priority by Jan 31
UMich EA Dec 24
UVA EA Jan 31
Vanderbilt Dec 15
Vassar ED I Dec 11 @ ~5pm
Villanova ED Dec 20
Virginia Tech ED Dec 15
Wash U (WUSTL) ED Dec 15