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Sports scholarships

Wow, this looks cool: Look up who gives scholarships for which sports.  

For example, here is golf. 

1,328 schools sponsored varsity level Golf teams during 2014:
                Athletic Scholarships Average Athletic  
  Number Number of teams Varsity Athletes (1) Average team size limit per team ** Scholarship (2)
Division  of Schools Men’s Women’s    Men       Women  Men’s Women’s    Men       Women     Men       Women 
NCAA I               319               300              263               2,988               2,242            10              9                4.5                    6  $        14,234  $        15,373
NCAA II               248               231              181               2,431               1,416            11              8                3.6                5.4  $          5,770  $          7,024
NCAA III               311               293              184               3,180               1,424            11              8                     -                     -  $                   -  $                   -
NAIA                177               170              146               1,695               1,065            10              7                    5                    5  $          6,529  $          7,084
NJCAA               193               189                54               1,423                  267              8              5                    8                    8  $          1,800  $          2,170
Other Divisions                  80                 73                40                  575                  224              8              6                     -                     -  $              332  $              446
Totals            1,328           1,256              868            12,292               6,638            10              8      $          5,675  $          6,319

Coalition app essays are here and the world rejoices

The Coalition quietly released essay topics this week. So, unless you were a student who checked on the student page every day, you would not know it. So much for signing up for notices…They want students to get a head start on it and helpful suggest they can even save it to the locker…only that does not yet exist. Without further adieu, here is what the Coalition wants to know about you:


The prompts for the 2016-17 application year are:

  • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  • Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  • Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  • What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  • Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Good topics?

  • Well, number 5 is a return to what the common app had for years. 
  • Number 4 makes me wonder how a teen will answer it. It is not like they have been teenagers in another time. 
  • Number 3 seems a flip on the common app prompt number 3.
  • Number 1 and especially 2 seem to tip the hat to the Turning the Tide Report  

The language of the Coalition is a lot more direct than the Common app. Each essay topic average 19 words each whereas The Common app prompts clock an average 33 words each. While the common app clearly states a maximum of 650 words, the coalition has not defined how long the ssays should be and which of their 93 members will require it…



Advice on UCAS Personal statement

One group is finishing their process, a new group is beginning. And hopefully they will not begin the same way as so many others:

Of over 700,000 candidates who applied to university last year 1,779 began their personal statement: “From a young age I have (always) been..” and most of these continued “interested in” or “fascinated by”.

“For as long as I can remember I have…” was used by 1,451 applicants

“I am applying for this course because…” by 1,370 applicants

“I have always been interested in…” (927)

“Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…” (310)

“Reflecting on my educational experiences…” (257)

“Nursing is a very challenging and demanding (career/ profession/ course)… (211)

“Academically, I have always been…” (168)

“I have always wanted to pursue a career in…” (160)

“I have always been passionate about…” (160).

UCAS released these top 10 lines in hopes the list “would encourage students to use language that makes them stand out in their personal statements.”

“Go beyond school” Urges Woz

Steve Wozniak has sage advice for all people, but especially for teens. 

“But even in school, if you love something like mathematics, instead of working the assigned problems, do all the other ones too. Just decide, this is something I really love in life. I’m going to go a little further than school wants me to.”

And Mentors:

“They looked at things I could do and saw the things that I liked and wanted to do but were outside of the normal school,” he said. “Look for mentors that want to help you in other places in life and take advantage of it when you can. Don’t turn down something that’s given to you.”

Game changer? And other unanswered questions about the Coalition Application

The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success has launched…almost…any day now. Like a freshman telling his history teacher that he will turn his term paper, just as soon as he finishes his bibliography, the coalition keeps hinting that a really great thing is coming.

 After following the various news stories and trying to guess both what the coalition is and why it might be important, I wonder if  I can just ignore it for a year. Tantalizing tidbits emerged. The mantra of increasing access for poor teens is clearly a noble one. So what if Amherst, Rice, Stanford, Davidson and Ponoma have already shown us they can do this with the existing application. In fact those five schools are so good at it they are vying for a million dollars.  

While all five are inaugural members, one wonders how putting another platform in front of students helps decrease the stress? The common app has already increased the number of colleges a typical student is applying to. The percentage of students submitting seven or more applications has risen from nine percent to 22 percent since 1990. The common app actually limits a student to twenty. The Coalition has no limits. While virtually all the colleges in the coalition will take an application fee waiver, they have not actually designed one for the students. But, you know, there is still time.


Don’t worry. It will be ready. Along with the application essays. Wait? There will be different essays than the common app? Anyone? Hello?



So it looks like, just maybe, there will be different essays. So we are simplifying the college process by increasing what they write? Wait a minute…not quite fair. Because you see some colleges may decide not to ask for an essay…or an extra essay (Am I really the only one that is having trouble following this?). Instead they could say send us a video from your lockers. Or a grader writing sample (like that freshman term paper that you got in 6 days late). Or you playing the bagpipes because nothing says I am college material like I play the bagpies.




They give college scholarships for this?


You see this is all in their 50 Gig locker that every kid gets for free. 50 Gigs? Seriously? That’s like 25,000 songs. Or 10 movies.  Not that we are condoning file sharing. Just what are they thinking kids will be putting in this thing? Well they said graded writing samples. This document is currently 1 MB, including the cartoons. That means I could save this like 50 thousand times. Oh I probably need space for my bagpiping video. I mean I could just put it on Youtube for free and entertain the world at the same time, but I get it. You want me to post work I am most proud? Work that shows my development as a student. Seriously, that ten grade Rolaids lab in Chemistry will help you understand me better as a a humanities candidate? My 9 grade Julius Cesar test I aced will showcase how I get the bard? Perhaps the pastel of the fox I did as a freshman art would be  a good thing? I mean both my mom liked it and the principal wanted to buy it (his nick name was the fox—mom won for some reason, crushing my professional artist dreams).

And I get to share. Unless they ask me to share in which case…And I can share it with anybody and my nosy counselor has no idea who I am sharing it with. I mean my private agent/ ghost artist needs freedom to create, right? And of course my counselor is so excited about uploading her letter of rec and my transcript to my locker so I can send it…to as many (well 90) colleges. Take that application limits. Application limits are so un-American. I mean how can a college tell they are getting better unless they can deny reject, waitlist more students. And  of course the counselor cannot see my resume in which I may have embellished my accomplishments—everyone does it right? Thank good ness they are not making the college counselors verify anything I am submitting. That may work for the British, but not us Americans.

In fairness, the Coalition is partially aimed at overworked counselors with huge caseloads. Not the 8500 schools already using Naviance (which may sort of work with Version 1.0…or not). It allows counselors to track their students, much like Naviance, well at least for the 90 schools, not the thousands. But naviance costs a lot of money and the Coalition is free, like the common app is free. But the coalition has the locker, which is also free like Goggle docs is free.

The college admission folks who are in the know are far more excited about the locker than any counselor I know. Clearly they understand that it will house tools that will transform counseling. Essay writing help? Career development tools? Financial literacy? Goal setting? Self awareness? SAT/ACT prep? Well this is version 1.0. Perhaps in version 2. Actually, it is not really version 1.0. It is not even Beta. It is conceptual…or perhaps private beta. Apparently 65 counselors are involved in advising, so we counselor should not worry too much. Even though we are worried…161 have signed a petition calling for more details and a proper beta test, carefully studied before releasing.


Some have noted that the driving forces in admission are idealistic, which is wonderful.

Clearly they are designing the application system they believe will work for them. They got burned badly by the common app’s redesign. They really should have complained to…themselves. After all, the common app is a membership organization. The fact that the board and executive director were not particularly responsive. So now they have taken their ball and gone to play a new game. One they are making the rules to as they go along, but don’t worry counselors, we will let you know, in plenty of time, like in August. You know when the kids are starting their applications. And you can play with the locker in April. Oh, wait it is April. Well not early April…or mid April…Late April.

And feel free to ask questions to someone, somewhere. We will answer them. Sometime. Maybe.

I have asked the questions and I am waiting. Will Dix asked the questions and is waiting. Hamilton Gregg asked the questions (and he was a panelist on webinar).

Want to improve access colleges? Hire more people from poor backgrounds:

Support initiatives like University of Southern California’s College Advising Corps

My questions, some of which are starting to be answered

  1. Will the coalition app talk with naviance? Please say yes. Many of us?our wedding to Naviance as it helps with our workflow. If kept separate it?adds one more element. Parchment is the same back bone of Naviance edocs. 
  2. What security measures are in place to certify schools? I worry that?someone could clone my school and submit documents fabricated to look like?my school. Unless there is a control built in, it will happen. It sounds like Parchment knows?
  3.  I am unclear of parental access and controls? Can parents see the kids?stuff? Can they add stuff?
  4. I am concerned that the search function focuses on the same narrow?lines that too many other existing services (Size, location, Major). Is a tool being developed that would actually help kids narrow down what sort of experience they want to have?
  5. Is the coalition app open to non us citizens? Sounds like yes. 
  6. Drop box is blocked in China. Will the coalition website work in countries such as China? How is this being checked? Not just China but other firewall countries like Iran, Venezuela etc. 
  7. How about test prep linkage? At least the SAT and ACT question of the?days. Many of the coalition applications require testing. Seems like if?your aim is to make it all accessible, then better take care of all parts.
  8. What about supplementary parts of the app like Slideroom for artist? Does this replace that?
  9. You showed a SAT range. Is this common data set information? While that is useful it is even more useful to have specific school information. 
  10.  will the essay prompts be the same or different that common app?
  11. is the coalition app asking about disciplinary infractions?
  12. When specifically can we see the application—especially what questions you are asking?
  13. Can a student use the locker and share with colleges but apply via common app?

College admissions is not as much broken as it is conflicted. Get more poor kids into elite higher education slots, but keep the Alumni happy. Find the best and brightest, but make sure we have a winning football and basketball team. Challenge kids to take a rigourous course load, but not that rigourous. To contribute to their communities authentically and show us you mean it so we can value it, but perhaps not as much as your SAT and ACT scores, even if those are flawed. But above all else, get them to apply

If the coalition for application stress must go forward, I offer some solutions:

  1. Have an opt in button for schools that want to take a more active roll in supporting the student in their process. I imagine this would work like the UCAS system. Kids can apply one of two ways: Through a center or through their own means. I, as a school, can become a center by filling in some details. This would also solve the problem of fake schools. Now the bosuness from the college standpoint is I can actually see what the kid sends you. We have even take it a step further and have me, as school counselor, validate the claims the student makes. This would go a long way in fixing the system. For overworked school counselors, they can opt out and the system can be used as the admission folks currently conceive it.
  2. Limit the number of applications. Force the choice up front. Loading up shotguns is not helpful. Both the UK and Korean strictly limit the number of colleges a student can apply to. While I think 10 is more than enough, some might feel a little more room is needed. Fine. 90 is too many. And under the present system, this does not stop the kid from applying to 20 more common app schools and a whole bunch of other places that use their own system. The UK even takes it a step further and only allows a students to apply to one of two elite universities (Oxford and Cambridge).
  3. Six months is what is needed minimum for proper lead time for schools to work with this. Ideally a year. Coalition you are taking the exact same plays from the common app that you so detested. Some call it arrogance.  So why not do this: Release the locker now. Release that application in a year. Scale it. Perhaps the three Coalition app exclusive users become the beta testers.
  4. Develop a more robust college search engine. I bet the search engine is the same as everything else out there. It focuses on misbegotten elements we now lump together with fit. This system needs to focus on values. Why do you want a alrge college? How will be in a city serve you?
  5. Get strategic partnerships embedded into this system. Specifically:

a.     Test preparation

b.     Self discovery tools Like the Values in Action Character assessment tool.

c.      Career development tools.

d.     Essay writing tutorials and support. What is all 90 colleges committed to finding 100 students on their campus to provide, for free, essay feedback through the system. Say 40 hours each. That’s 360,000 hours of real help.

Now that would actually improve success. As for affordaibility…that is a whole other issue. 






Acceptance rates for this year–class of 2016

Harvard RD 1119 out of 32868 (3.4%)
Stanford RD 1318 out of 36175 (3.6%)
Yale RD 1177 out of 26793 (4.4%)
Princeton RD 1109 out of 25074 (4.4%) (1237 waitlisted=4.9%)(rej=90.6%)
Columbia ED/RD 2193 out of 36292 (6.0%)
Penn RD 2326 out of 33156 (7.0%)
MIT RD 829 out of 11253 (7.4%) (437 waitlisted)
Brown RD 2250 out of 29360 (7.7%)(~133 deferred accepted=7%)(~1000 waitlisted=3.4%)
Pomona RD ~566 out of 7190 (~7.9%)
Northwestern RD 2690 out of 32077 (8.4%)
MIT EA 656 out of 7767 (8.4%) (4776 deferred=61.5%) (2175 rejected=28%)
Duke RD 2501 out of 28600 (8.7%) (49 deferred accepted=2.9%)
Vanderbilt RD 2526 out of 28700 (8.8%)
Dartmouth RD 1682 out of 18748 (9.0%)
Stanford REA 745 out of 7822 (9.5%)
Johns Hopkins RD 2539 out of 25188 (10.1%)
Bowdoin RD 687 out of 5918 (11.6%)
Tufts RD ~2168 out of 18152 (~11.9%)
Cornell RD 4939 out of 40084 (12.3%) (4572 waitlisted=11.4%)(rej=76.3%)
Swarthmore College (ED/RD) 963 out of 7,717 (12.5%)
Georgetown EA 892 out of 7027 (12.7%) (remainder deferred=87%)
UC Berkeley (OOS) 2734 out of 21213 (12.9%)
Middlebury RD 1042 out of 7866 (14.2%)
Boston University ED2 ~245 out of 1721 (~14.2%)
Harvard SCEA 918 out of 6173 (14.9%) (4673 def=75.7%) (464 rej=7.5%)
Williams College RD 960 out of 6397 (15.0%)
Barnard College ~1131 out of 7071 (~16%)
Georgetown RD 3276 out of 20002 (16.4%)
USC 8920 out of 54100 (16.5%)
Harvey Mudd ED1/ED2 ~77 out of 464 (16.6%)
Yale SCEA 795 out of 4662 (17.1%) (53% def) (29% rej)
UC Berkeley (IS) 8363 out of 45,773 (18.3%)
Princeton SCEA 785 out of 4229 (18.6%)
Middlebury College ED2 60 out of 318 (18.9%) (40 def=12.6%) (218 rej=68.6%)
Pomona ED1/ED2 ~177 out of 914 (19.4%)
Georgia Tech RD ~3206 out of 15,659 (~20.5%)
Brown ED 669 out of 3030 (22.1%) (1905 def=62.9%) (456 rej=15.0%)
Penn ED 1335 out of 5762 (23.2%)
Duke ED 813 out of 3455 (23.5%) (1663 def=19.2%)
UVA RD (OOS) 2442 out of 10,465 (23.33%) (deferred accepted=21.4%)(wl=15%)
Vanderbilt ED1/ED2 ~800 out of ~3390 (23.6%)
UVA EA (OOS) 2955 out of 12308 (24.0%) (3005 def=24.4%) (6348 rej=51.6%)
Hamilton College ED/RD 1317 out of 5434 (24.2%)
Dartmouth ED 494 out of 1927 (25.6%)
Kenyon College ED/RD 1688 out of ~6400 (~26.4%)
Vassar College ED1/ED2/RD 1943 out of 7306 (26.6%)
Cornell ED 1338 out of 4882 (27.4%) (1153 def=23.6%) (2391 rej=49.0%)
Pitzer ED1/ED2 ~118 out of 423 (27.8%)
Georgia Tech EA 4424 out of 14861 (29.8%)
Bowdoin ED2 ~77 out of 256 (~30.1%)
Notre Dame EA 1610 out of 5321 (30.3%) (818 def=15.4%) (2893 rej=54.4%)
Johns Hopkins ED 584 out of 1929 (30.3%)
Boston University ED1/ED2 ~1050 out of 3421 (~30.7%)
Boston College EA ~2700 out of 8600 (~31.4%)
Tufts ED ~663 out of 2070 (~32%)
Bowdoin College ED1 207 out of 614 (33.7%)
UVA RD (In-State) 1782 out of 5193 (34.3%) (deferred accepted=21.4%) (wl=15%)
UNC EA 6948 out of 19842 (35.0%)
Northwestern ED 1061 out of 3022 (35.1%)
Amherst College ED 180 out of 454 (39.6%)
Middlebury College ED1/ED2 398 out of 954 (41.7%)
George Washington RD 10101 out of 24168 (41.8%)
Williams College ED 246 out of 585 (42.1%)
Davidson College ED 207 out of 458 (45.2%)
Boston University ED1 ~805 out of 1700 (~47.4%)
UVA EA (In-State) 2237 out of 4460 (50.2%) (1060 def=23.8%) (1163 rej=26.1%)
University of Georgia ED 7500+ out of 14516 (51%+)
Middlebury College ED1 338 out of 636 (53.1%) (74 def=11.6%) (224 rej=35.2%)
George Washington ED 841 out of 1373 (61.3%)
University of Maine RD (OOS) 7803 out of 10,062 (77.5%)
University of Maine RD (In-state) 3600 out of 4134 (87.1%)

CB: Higher Education: Overview and Up-Close Look

Download presentations. 

GAP Year

With decisions lurking around teh corner, some students are rethinking their fall plans, perhaps to take a year off instead. But what to do during your GAP year? Phillips Andover keeps an impressive set of links

Want to go to some far flung corners? Try Thinking beyond boarders offers more than just cultural and travel immersion. Their unique TBB program “immerse you in an unparalleled learning environment to examine the roots of our world’s biggest problems. You’ll determine how your talents and passions can become valuable tools in creating meaningful change.”

Go Overseas offers student centric reviews. Other helpful websites include


  • American Gap Association – As an independent non-profit, AGA is leading the industry by offering accreditation to gap year program providers that meet rigorous safety and quality standards. You can find a list of accredited programs and various other resources on their site.
  • TeenLife – Includes brief descriptions and links to program providers, categorizes them by interest area, and offers links to gap year consultants.


Other interesting programs 

Forbes Magazine on Bridge Years

13 College Majors That Actually Exist–An improved take on the buzz feed list

Buzzfeed is a fun site to visit from time to time. They often have really fun or interesting lists like 13 College Majors That Actually Exist
Except, they were kinda lazy. While they identified majors, they failed to provide one specific example of where they actually exist.
1. Surf Science
Cornwall College in England has a Surf Science and Technology Degree
2. Comedy
Emerson made news early this year when they launched a full BFA in Comedy. 
3. Therapeutic Use of Adventure
49 colleges offer some sort of degree according to the collegeboard including: University of Utah, Prescott College, Unity College, and Ithica. Many are members of the AMERICAN THERAPEUTIC RECREATION ASSOCIATION which lists 80 such programs (but at all levels). There’s even a national honorary society for therapeutic recreation majors, Rho Phi Lambda, 
4. Comic Book Art
Actually, lots of pathways exist from Illustration (74 colleges) to Sequential Art to MCAD’s Comic Book art degree to Joe Kubert School in New Jersey, the nation’s first accredited comic art school, or The Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont
5. Bowling Management
6. Logic
I did not think it was actually that unusual, but only 5 colleges offer it as a major:

7. Puppetry
Puppetry is a real thing and the fine folks at Pupeteers.Org provide this annotated list. 

Contact: Janie Geiser
The Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts was established in 1998 to allow CalArts students to explore contemporary puppetry and performing objects. This one-of-a-kind laboratory offers a framework for practical training, artistic innovation, aesthetic inquiry and interdisciplinary investigation. The center strives to combine puppet theater with the use of new technologies and emerging forms and practices that cut across traditional boundaries.

California State University, Sacramento
Contact:  Art Gruenberger
Puppetry has been found to be an excellent tool for the teaching of multiculturalism to children. Students will learn basic techniques used in creating live puppet theatre so they can use puppetry to incorporate multiculturalism into the classroom. Students will learn how to construct and  manipulate several styles of puppets and then use their puppet creations to perform multicultural/multilingual stories.

Sarah Lawrence University
Contact: Dan Hurlin
Sarah Lawrence University offers several puppetry courses through both it’s Dance and Theater programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Classes include Puppet Theatre-Bunraku Style, and Toy Theatre and Shadow Puppetry, and Marionette Puppetry.

UC Santa Cruz
Contact: Kathy Foley
The UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts program emcompasses Drama, Dance, and Design. Both undergraduate and graduate level classes are available and include course titles such as Muppet Magic and Monsters.

University of Connecticut
Contact: Bart P. Roccoberton, Jr.
Started in 1964 by Professor Frank W. Ballard, the University of Connecticut has presented more than 500 puppet programs since its creation. The program offers a BFA degree in puppet arts and is the only institution in the country offering masters degrees (both MA and MFA) in the puppetry.

University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii offers a Theater for Young Audiences (TYA) degree. Included in the course load are several puppet classes including Puppetry for Young Children – Methods of constructing puppets and stages with and for children 3 to 8 years of age. As well as Puppetry – History and scope of puppetry. Construction and presentation of puppets for adult and child audiences.

University of Quebec at Montreal (Canada)
DESS en théâtre de marionnettes contemporains
Contact: Marthe Adam
UQAM is proud to be the only Canadian university to offer creators of puppet theater a program specifically designed to enable them to deepen languages essential to the practice of contemporary puppet theater, and develop critical thinking skills in relation to this booming art.  The program is a 2 year certificate, and requires French language skills.

University of West Virginia
Contact: Joann Spencer Siegrist
The BFA course work includes intensive study in children’s theatre; the practice of puppetry as a theatrical art form; and educational and creative dramatic activity as methods of learning and self-development for children. In addition to a broad-based curriculum in theatre studies, students work under the direction of a faculty member to operate a complete puppetry theatre with comprehensive study in a variety of construction, manipulation, historical study, and performance techniques.

8. Decision-Making
There is a PhD over at Indiana
9. Poultry Science
20 colleges offer this degree…most near farms like that is a surprise. 
10. Auctioneering
Harrisburg Area Community College offers a two year degree, so technically not a major. So Does Warren County Career Center

11. Basic Horse Training
12. The Beatles
Sure, lots of colleges have a course or two on the Fab four, but their home town Uni, Liverpool Hope University, offers a master’s degree. 
13. Bagpipe
At Carnagie Mellon–but only 3 students in 20 years have complete the major. So you might be better off going to the college of piping. Yes, it is a real place but it operates it classes more like a business popup. 

Great advice from someone who knows

Need money for college?

There are scholarship out there,but figuring out the best approach can be tough. Business insider is featuring two stories on Kristina Ellis, a young lady that won over $500,000 in scholarships, paying for both undergraduate and master degrees. The first article offers two direct insights, that seemingly obvious, prove critical in winning awards:

The Why–”As much as possible, you need to learn what is motivating the organization’s generosity before filling out each application.”

  • What descriptive words are used to describe candidates and values? (For example, you might see such words as overcome, perseverance, ambition.)
  • Are certain themes or words repeatedly mentioned? 
  • Does the organization place a high value on community service? If so, is one certain area of community service mentioned more than others?
  • What similarities do previous winners of this scholarship share?

The Who–”Each scholarship organization also has its own definition of an ideal candidate.”

The Second article offers a 7 point plan to finding money:

1. Start planning to pursue scholarships as soon as you know you’re going to college. 

2. Get involved in extracurriculars and your community. 

3. Apply for financial aid even if you don’t think you qualify. 

4. Don’t rule out expensive private schools.

5. Become good friends with the financial aid officer.

6. Cast your net far and wide. 

7. Look for smaller scholarships at home.

Kristina Ellis authored a new book called “Confessions of a Scholarship Winner,” earning 4.5 stars reviews from 162 ratings.