Nov 13

Colleges are paying to get personal information on students — here’s how they’re using it to make admissions decisions

“Just as companies pay for consumer data to make informed decisions, it turns out, colleges and universities do the same, according to a report by non-partisan think tank New America.,,,

The report also explained how colleges rank students based on this data. Admissions teams individually score students’ likelihood of becoming an applicant, being admitted, and deciding to enroll, usually on a scale of 0-10 based on factors like: race and ethnicity, zip code, high school, and anticipated major, according to the authors.”  Read more by clicking here.

Nov 06

Letters of recommendation: An unfair part of college admissions

“But ironically, many of these calls for reform seem to overlook, and even re-emphasize, one of the biggest barriers to college admission at selective institutions: The letter of recommendation, which is either required or recommended by over 1,100 of the 1,943 four-year, private and public universities that grant degrees and admit freshmen, according to federal data….

I tell my own kids all the time that life isn’t fair, and I’ve even said that about the college admissions process.  But the letter of recommendation seems to make it even less so, especially when very selective institutions use the letters to illuminate nuances of character, intellect, curiosity, and special talent that help an applicant rise above the masses of otherwise similar students….

This seems grossly unfair: The letter has virtually nothing to do with the student’s performance, and a lot to do with the teacher’s ability to turn a phrase, note interesting character traits, structure a cogent series of paragraphs that tell a story, and even throw in a few instances of discordia concors to show his or her own wit and charm.  In short, it’s as much about the teacher as the student. Is that the intent?” Read more by clicking here.

Oct 30

How To Make Sense of College Rankings

Frank Bruni of the New York Times writes about rankings. “Rothwell, who is now at Gallup, conceded that even the best rankings were ‘deeply flawed.’ ‘They don’t measure learning outcomes,’ he told me, ‘and it seems to me that that’s probably the chief goal of higher education: to teach people.’…

‘We should not overlook the effort that it takes to be a serious student,’ Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California system, told me recently…. ‘You get out of it what you put into it,’ she said.” Read more here.

Oct 16

What’s The Latest? Women in Engineering and Computer Science

“Last year, women publicly asserted their place in engineering through a movement that caught fire on social media. Seeking to dispel stereotypes, they posted pictures of themselves at work with the hashtag #ilooklikeanengineer.” Click here to read more.

“This table shows the number of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and in computer science awarded in 2014-15 at colleges and universities, as well as the share of those degrees earned by women.” Click here to read more.

Oct 09

How To Maximize Your College Admissions Chances

Here is an article I’ve been quoted in, that appeared in the Long Island Herald. I hope it answers many of your questions about the college process.

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Oct 04

Removing Unwanted ACT Scores

“Many students are surprised to learn that they have the right to remove permanently unwanted ACT scores from their transcripts. From the ACT’s perspective, students own their scores, and may send the scores or delete them as they please, as long as those tests were not used to document participation in State and District Testing. Weeks or months or years after receiving an ACT score that falls below a student’s expectations, that student has the right to delete that testing record from their portfolio of ACT tests.”  Click here to read more.

Sep 25

Test Optional: Easy In Or Alternative Path?

“Colleges are putting less emphasis on standardized test scores, but that doesn’t mean the same thing for every college….

High school performance also becomes more important in the decision process for students who don’t submit test scores—with a brighter spotlight on GPA. For a few Test Optional colleges, like George Mason University, only students with a 3.5 grade-point average and class rank in the top 20 percent can submit applications without test scores….

The rule of thumb on test-optional and merit aid is, there is no rule of thumb….

Test optional doesn’t necessarily make college admission easier for anyone involved. Easy isn’t what Test Optional is about. Test Optional is about providing an alternative path for students who don’t want the ACT or the SAT to speak for them….

Test Optional opens doors for students who don’t perform as well on standardized testing, but who are academically competitive and motivated to put together a strong application for admission.” Click here to read more.

Sep 10

Subject Tests Lose Favor for Colleges

cselogoShould you take the SAT II (Subject Tests) or not?

“Several top New England colleges have joined a growing number of schools nationally that no longer require applicants to submit scores from SAT subject tests, saying the specialized exams lend little insight into students’ readiness and can work against low-income and minority students….

Although the tests are no longer required at many schools, they are still optional and in many cases recommended, a nuance many college admissions specialists said means students should still take them if they expect to score well.” Click here to read more.

Sep 06

What College Admissions Officers Say They Want In A Candidate

Admissions Officers were asked “to reveal the truth about admissions today”. For the full article, click here.

Here are some of the many points made in this interesting article:

  • “Concentrate not on being the best candidate, but on being the best person.
  • Essays can help an admission committee better understand the individual and how he or she will add to the campus community.
  • Nothing is more important than a high school transcript showing strong academic performance in a solid curriculum. We want to admit students who will persist to college graduation, so knowing that you can do the work starts with a thorough review of high-school performance.
  • I would rather a student tell me about the handful of clubs and activities they have been involved with and excelled in, rather than an exhaustive list of clubs they that they feigned interest in, kind-of-sort-of-one-day.   A student that has been a leader in one or two organizations will typically make for a better citizen on campus than a student who is already burned out before they even get to college.
  • The most important things students should do when applying to college is pace themselves and prioritize. Starting early certainly helps students with the pacing, and knowing when to put time into SAT prep versus studying for an exam versus visiting another college, for instance, is an important part of prioritizing.
  • Think about your extracurricular contribution — community service, athletics, the arts and elected leadership. What are you good at and what do you care about deeply outside the classroom?
  • Finding the right fit for you (not mom and dad) isn’t a cliche, so be yourself throughout the process. We’ll read right through you if you’re not. You can’t fake it during the admission process. If you do, you’ll end up at a college or university that’s a poor fit.
  • Students should self-advocate by being in contact with a specific representative within the office of admissions. This is one skill that will continue to serve students, not just in college planning but also through navigating their educational journey.
  • Keep in touch with us. Students who keep in touch with us themselves build better relationships with our admissions counselors. Getting to know students on a personal level is one of our most rewarding experiences and really helps us to advocate for you when it’s time to make offers of admission.

 

Aug 21

4 Behaviors That Professors Love

Too many students do not know how to network and how to develop professional relationships that can help them. This is an excellent article that works for high school students, too!

“The rapports that you create with your professors can greatly influence your college experience — both inside and outside the classroom. Cultivating strong connections with your instructors can even benefit you throughout the course of your professional career. But how do you begin to develop these relationships?” Click here to read more.

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