The Answer Sheet: how to get into college


Posted at 02:09 PM ET, 04/17/2014

Bad behavior in college: Not just at Dartmouth

Most schools face issues with problems of alcohol and sexual assault. But what are schools doing about it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:09 PM ET, 04/17/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Life

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/11/2014

One unconventional factor to consider when choosing a college

Graduating from college with good grades may no longer be enough to get a job -- so students now choosing a college may want to consider this.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/11/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College

Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 04/01/2014

Can we stop obsessing on the Ivy League?

There are plenty of great schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:32 PM ET, 04/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/01/2014

Comparing college costs: a primer

It’s easy to get it wrong. Here’s how to get it right.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College costs

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 03/21/2014

A defense (of sorts) of the SAT

A college admissions counselor takes on the critics.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 03/21/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 04:21 PM ET, 03/19/2014

A different way to give college admissions tests

It’s not the way the ACT and SAT are given.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:21 PM ET, 03/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 01/24/2014

The latest bad fad in higher education

Enrolling low-income students should not become some kind of selective higher education “Hunger Games.“

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 01/24/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 12/26/2013

A sweet video: Young man with Down syndrome opens college acceptance letter

He’s going to a non-degree program at Clemson.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:39 AM ET, 12/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 12/12/2013

College Board’s effort to have ‘fun’ by sending cow stickers to schools falls flat

The stickers were meant to poke fun at a PSAT question.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 12/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Board

Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 11/25/2013

Unusual college essay questions for 2013-14

‘What does #YOLO mean to you?’ and more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:49 AM ET, 11/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 11/14/2013

A new college theology course on Bruce Springsteen

It’s how he is being studied that is interesting.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:48 AM ET, 11/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Curriculum

Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 11/11/2013

Fraternity pledge loses testicle in hazing stunt

Why do colleges and universities allow fraternities and sororities to haze their pledges?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 PM ET, 11/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Life

Posted at 04:45 AM ET, 11/11/2013

Why colleges shouldn’t check online life of applicants

More admissions officers are looking online. A counselor explains why he thinks it isn’t fair.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:45 AM ET, 11/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 02:23 PM ET, 11/07/2013

Christian college’s student leader ‘comes out’ as atheist

The admissions starts an online conversation in which he is both praised and attacked.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:23 PM ET, 11/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Christian College

Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 11/04/2013

Stanford’s strange kissing tradition and 5 other unusual college customs

Stanford’s event involves a full moon and people who don’t know each other.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:23 PM ET, 11/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Traditions

Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 10/20/2013

Everything you think is important in college admissions apparently isn’t

Does any of the information and writing students submit have much meaning?

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:39 PM ET, 10/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 10/15/2013

Online Common Application problems lead colleges to push back deadlines

A new version of the online application has had multiple problems.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:27 PM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions

Posted at 10:38 PM ET, 10/08/2013

Georgia Tech investigating 'rapebait' e-mail

The offending e-mail was reportedly sent to members of a fraternity and then went viral.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:38 PM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Life, Fraternity On Probation

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 10/02/2013

How to be a college ‘resimuter’

Here’s what resimuters are and what they do.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Campus Life, College Life

Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 09/26/2013

Why the new SAT scores are meaningless

Why colleges and universities shouldn’t depend on test scores for admissions purposes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:41 PM ET, 09/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions, SAT ACT

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 09/10/2013

Why U.S. News college rankings shouldn’t matter to anyone

Another year, another set of college rankings from U.S. News & World Report. What do they really mean?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:12 PM ET, 09/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Rankings, Even Though They Do

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 09/04/2013

The new variables in the college drinking culture

Why college drinking may be more dangerous than ever.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 09/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Are Kids Wilder Today?, College Life

Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 09/03/2013

Obama’s newest bad education idea

President Obama's newest education reform idea, aimed at making college more affordable, is a plan that on its face seems helpful to families but isn't.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:47 PM ET, 09/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  But It's Well-Intentioned, College Affordability, Higher Education

Posted at 12:29 AM ET, 08/23/2013

Transcript: Obama's remarks on college affordability plan

Obama announces his plan to rate colleges based on certain metrics and link financial aid to the ratings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:29 AM ET, 08/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Affordability, In Buffalo, N.Y, President Obama

Posted at 04:03 AM ET, 06/26/2013

A setback for racial justice

What is the impact of the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in college admissions?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:03 AM ET, 06/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Supreme Court, Supreme Court college admissions ruling

Posted at 11:31 AM ET, 06/15/2013

Race vs. class in college admissions: A false dichotomy or not?

The Supreme Court will soon hand down its verdict in a case that challenges racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas. Here's a look at the issues.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:31 AM ET, 06/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions, Supreme Court, Supreme Court to Rule

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 06/10/2013

Where the National Security Agency isn't so secret: Schools

It has programs for kids of all ages, including internships for high school and college students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 06/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  K-12 and College Programs, National Security Agency

Posted at 09:27 AM ET, 05/24/2013

A college graduation with 60 speakers

None of them can be long-winded.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:27 AM ET, 05/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  An Unusual Tradition, College Graduation

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 05/22/2013

The college 'preparation gap' in a single graphic

There is a "large gap" between how high school teachers perceive their graduating students' readiness for college and what professors expect freshmen to know.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 05/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Readiness, It's Big

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 05/21/2013

Quiet protest staged at Teachers College graduation

Some students quietly protested the choice of speaker Teachers College. Here's why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:15 PM ET, 05/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Controversial Speaker, Teachers College

Posted at 09:33 AM ET, 05/11/2013

Hispanic high school graduates pass whites in college enrollment rate

A new analysis showd that Hispanic high school graduates have passed whites in the rate of college enrollment.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:33 AM ET, 05/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Enrollment, New Report

Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 05/03/2013

More than 200 colleges, universities still accepting students for fall

Here are some of the college and universities still taking students for fall.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:44 AM ET, 05/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Across The Country, Admissions, College Admissions, In D.C., Maryland, Other States, Virginia

Posted at 03:54 PM ET, 04/09/2013

How much do college students really drink?

After a false alarm at the University of Virginia that dorm rooms were being raided for alcohol, the question arises: How much do college kids really drink? Here is more than you may want to know about the subject.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:54 PM ET, 04/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Are Schools Swimming in Booze?, College Drinking

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 04/05/2013

Can we stop talking about who got into which college?

Here's a rant about the college admissions process -- and the intense discussion about who got accepted where.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 04/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions, Tina Fey's Movie Isn't Helping

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 03/26/2013

College admissions madness may ease: study

The other March Madness is underway as high school seniors learn whether they have been rejected or accepted to their schools, as a report suggests the craziness may be easing in this decade.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:47 AM ET, 03/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions, The Other March Madness

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 03/01/2013

A 'most embarrassing moment' college admissions poem

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:33 AM ET, 03/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions, College Applications, College Essays, Not Your Usual Essay

Posted at 04:56 PM ET, 02/26/2013

SAT exam to be redesigned

The famed SAT college admissions exam will undergo a thorough redesign by the College Board, which is calling the effort an "ambitious effort" to "better meets" the needs of students and schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:56 PM ET, 02/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Aim: 'Increase Value', College Admissions, SAT

Posted at 04:57 PM ET, 02/04/2013

350 out of 4,150 college presidents sign gun control letter

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, appearing today with college presidents, students, administrations and mayors to demand congressional action to curb gun violence, said Congress needs to be forced by Americans outside Washington D.C. to do the right thing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:57 PM ET, 02/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  And Who Didn't?, College Presidents, Gun Control, Who Did and Who Didn't

Posted at 04:34 PM ET, 01/03/2013

NYU's 2 1/2-week for-credit winter term (where you can study 'Jersey Shore')

It's not too late to sign up for New York University's two-week January term, where visiting and already-enrolled students can enroll in business, arts and sciences courses and earn up to four college credits. The course selections are interesting.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:34 PM ET, 01/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Degrees, Variety of Courses

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 01/03/2013

New College Board chief cites 'problems' with SAT

Guess who thinks there's more than one problem with the SAT? David Coleman, the man who was recently selected to run the organization that owns the SAT, says he has issues withthe essay section. Here's a look at Coleman and what else he said.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:23 AM ET, 01/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Admissions, College Board, Expect Changes in Test, SAT, Sees 'Revision'

Posted at 11:08 PM ET, 11/28/2012

Colleges that don't require SAT or ACT: New survey

A new survey of accredited colleges and students shows that more than 800 admit all or many students without requiring SAT or ACT scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:08 PM ET, 11/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  ACT, College Admissions, More than 800, SAT

Posted at 03:49 PM ET, 10/10/2012

The ‘right’ college major can mean big bucks, according to Census data

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that people who took certain college majors (think engineering) wind up earning more than $1 million more than those with other majors (think education) over the course of a career.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:49 PM ET, 10/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College majors; Lifetime Earnings, Compensation

Posted at 08:23 AM ET, 01/24/2011

JFK's Harvard application: 'Lackluster' applicant

John F. Kennedy's 1935 application to Harvard College is now online, and it shows him to be something less than a superlative applicant.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:23 AM ET, 01/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  History | Tags:  college application, college essays, harvard application, harvard college, jfk, jfk anniversary, jfk application, jfk documents, jfk library, john f. kennedy, joseph p. kennedy, kennedy family

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 01/20/2011

Harvard’s unofficial early admissions process

Harvard University doesn’t have an official early admissions process, but some students still learn before everybody else whether they are being looked on with favor by the admissions folks. Meanwhile, the current early admissions seasons is the toughest ever for some schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  college admissions, college admissions process, dartmouth university, early action, early admissions, getting into ivy league, harvard admissions, harvard university, how to get into college, ivy league, ivy league admissions, university of michigan, yale university

Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 01/14/2011

The astrology college story

There are a lot of schools that teach astrology, but only one ever received permission from a state to award degrees to its students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:04 AM ET, 01/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  astrological schools, astrology, astrology college, astrology schools, kepler college

Posted at 06:31 PM ET, 01/10/2011

Duncan: Arizona community college did what it could with suspect

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that the community college that forced out the suspect in the Arizona shooting rampage because he was disruptive did what it could in handling the young man, and he asked how the young man was able to get a gun.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 PM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  arizona community college, arizona shootings, gabby giffords, gabrielle giffords, giffords, jared lee loughner, loughner, pima community college, shooting suspect, the washington post

Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 01/10/2011

How colleges can identify depressed students

One out of every four or five students who visits a university health center for a routine cold or sore throat turns out to be depressed, but most centers miss the opportunity to identify these students because they don’t screen for depression, according to new research.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:40 PM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Research, Research, Research | Tags:  depressed students, depression, depression and college, northwestern university, research on depression, screening for depression, students and depression, university health centers

Posted at 01:53 PM ET, 12/14/2010

College Board promotes holiday gift of ... test prep!

You can stop worrying what to get your teenager for Christmas. The non-profit College Board has a suggestion: test prep!

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:53 PM ET, 12/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  christmas gifts, college board, college board and sat, sat, sat test, sat test prep, test prep, test prep courses

Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 12/11/2010

Colleges start revealing early admissions decisions

High school students around the nation who applied to early-decision programs at colleges and universities are starting to learn their fate ahead of the usual Dec. 15 “reveal” date.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:49 AM ET, 12/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, early admissions, early decision

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 12/08/2010

Schools eligible for 2011 John Lennon Scholarship

The John Lennon Scholarship Program created by Yoko Ono is now accepting applicants from a certain group of schools. Here they are.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:40 AM ET, 12/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  Appalachian State University, Bard College, Belmont University, Berklee College of Music, Birmingham-Southern College, Brown University, California State University Northridge, Carnegie Mellon University, Catawba College, City College of New York, Clark Atlanta University, Colorado State University, Columbia College (Chicago), DePaul University, Drexel University, Elmhurst College, Emory University, Florida State University, Full Sail, Georgia State University, Harvard University, Hunter College, Indiana University, Ithaca College, Lehigh University, Loyola University (New Orleans), Michigan State University, Middle Tennessee S. University, Millikin University, New England Conservatory, New York University, Northwestern University, Oberlin College, Purchase College (SUNY), UCLA, University of Alabama, University of California Los Angeles, University of Cincinnati, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Florida, University of Houston, University of Idaho, University of Memphis, University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of North Alabama, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of North Texas, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, Wilkes Community College, Yale University, john lennon, john lennon scholarships, menc, national association for music education, yoko ono

Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Early college admissions applicants: Have a Plan B

Early decision applicants are on edge waiting to hear if their first choice college accepted them, but they should be preparing in case the answer is "no."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:10 AM ET, 11/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applicants, college applications, early action, early action vs. early decision, early decision

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/26/2010

Report on college attendance crisis for black males exaggerated

The education crisis for African-American males is a serious concern, but, as one education activist, we shouldn't make it worse than it actually is. One piece of data that recently became big news was widely misunderstood.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Achievement gap | Tags:  achievement gap, african-american males, attendance crisis, black males, college attendance and african american males

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/19/2010

A plea to college interviewers

Two high school college admissions counselors write about problems with some college interviewers and the false hopes they can give to applicants.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applications, college interviews

Posted at 12:01 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Report: Rise in college applications hurts low-income students

A new report concludes that the dramatic increase in college applications over the past 15 years is creating a rise in selectivity that will reduce opportunities for more low-income, first-generation students in all levels of higher education, including community colleges.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:01 AM ET, 11/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  arms race, college admissions, college admissions competition, college applications, college arms race, national association for college admissions counseling

Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 11/14/2010

Be careful of 'snap apps' in college admissions

If your home life revolves around the college application process at the moment or will someday, you should know about “snap apps” to avoid being fooled.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:34 AM ET, 11/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applications, getting into college, snap apps, vip applications

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 11/13/2010

So you want to be a professor? A laugh/cry video

Here's a sad/funny video showing an optimistic student in conversation with her realistic (some would say jaded) professor about going to graduate school and becoming a humanities instructor.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 11/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  college professors, college recommendations, getting a phd, grad school, graduate school, humanities, studying the humanities, video, you tube

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 11/04/2010

College admissions’ dirty little secrets

A college admissions advisor warns parents not to let their kids find the school first and then figure out how to pay for it because "students whose parents can 'write the check' stand a markedly better chance of getting admitted, all other factors being equal.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 11/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  admissions process, college admissions, college applications, college tuition, financial aid, guest bloggers, sticker price

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 11/03/2010

Why so many bright kids fail to launch in college

Nationwide, there is a large and growing group of bright kids whose brains aren’t wired right for a demanding college routine. The strategies and supports that worked in high school when they were living at home are not adequate to the new demands that college places on the executive functions of the brain.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 11/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  SAT scores, add, adhd, college dropouts, college freshmen, college graduation, college work, executive functioning, graduation rates, high school, higher education, landmark college, learning disabilities

Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 10/28/2010

New college rankings based on quality, cost

The folks at Kiplinger.com, which offers financial advice, did some numbers crunching and came up with their list of the best values in private universities and liberal arts colleges, taking quality and cost into consideration.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:13 PM ET, 10/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  best values in education, caltech, college costs, duke, harvard, higher education costs, kiplingers, kiplingers best values, mit, princeton, private schools, rice university, swarthmore college, total college costs, yale

Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 10/27/2010

Ivy League students 'out' kids who don't donate to senior fund

How's this for obnoxious? Student volunteers at Dartmouth College and Cornell University, using lists given to them by school administrators, are “outing” students who have not donated to senior class gift funds.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:38 PM ET, 10/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education | Tags:  cornell university, dartmouth college, fund raising, ivy league, senior class, senior gifts

Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 10/26/2010

Safety schools matter in college admissions

A college admissions consultant advises kids applying to college to think hard about safety schools. They may be the most important schools on any individual’s college list.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:01 AM ET, 10/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applications, getting into college, safeties, safety schools, what's a safety?

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 10/25/2010

College fees: Not just for books and athletics

Fees aren’t just for books, student clubs and athletics anymore. Schools keep coming up with different ways to squeeze money out of their students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:50 AM ET, 10/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  college costs, college fees, freshman orientation, health center, health insurance, late fees, late registration, library fees, parking fees, registration fees

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 10/14/2010

The PSAT/National Merit test: What you should know

What you should know about the PSAT if you have a high school student.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 10/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  National Merit, National Merit scholarships, PSAT, PSAT prep, Princeton Review, SAT prep, college admissions, college scholarships, scholarships, test prep

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/12/2010

Teaching college kids to 'pilot their own helicopter'

Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov writes that colleges make a mistake when they urge parents to drop their kids off at college and quickly drive away. The trick is to strike a balance between too much parental involvement and too little.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life, College Life, College Life | Tags:  adjusting to college, college admissions, helicopter parents, marvin krislov, oberlin, oberlin college, parents, university of michigan

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 10/06/2010

Paper applications for tech schools: a harbinger?

A college counseling director finds an unusual applications twist: Technological universities using paper applications.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:08 AM ET, 10/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applications, college counselors

Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 10/05/2010

Jill Biden, Obama host summit on community colleges

Jill Biden, a longtime community college instructor who happens to be the country's Second Lady, hosts the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:45 AM ET, 10/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Community Colleges | Tags:  community college summit, community colleges, dropout rates, graduation rates, jill biden, obama, president obama, white house summit

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/30/2010

Why kids shouldn't take SAT, ACT too early

Increasing numbers of high school students are taking the SAT or ACT college admissions test in the fall of their junior year. They shouldn't. A college admissions consultant explains why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Bruce Vinik, Bruce Vinik, Bruce Vinik | Tags:  act, college admissions, sat

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 09/29/2010

The new risk of plagiarizing college essays

There is a technology called Turnitin for Admissions, introduced late last year by iParadigms LLC, that can detect plagiarism in college application essays from numerous sites on the Internet. It is a version of Turnitin, which is used in thousands of academic institutions around the world to detect plagiarism in academics.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 09/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  cheating on college essays, college admissions, college essay plagiarism, college essays, how to write an essay, writing college essays

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 09/23/2010

Should colleges stop legacy preference in admissions?

A new book on legacy preference in college admissions says that almost three-quarters of elite national institutions grant legacy preferences in admissions and that the advantage children of alumni can receive is often significant -- even if schools say otherwise.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 09/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, ies, legacies, legacy preference, should legacy preference be dropped

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/17/2010

How the ACT caught up with the SAT

For more than 80 years, the SAT has been the nation’s dominant, standardized college admissions exam. This year – for the first time – as many students in the high school class of 2010 sat for the rival ACT as took the SAT. How did it happen?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  act, college admissions, crossing the finish line, fairtest, sat, sat act, sat or act, sat vs. act, standardized tests, test-optional colleges, test-optional schools, writing section act, writing section sat

Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 09/13/2010

Student loan default rates increase -- especially at for-profit schools

The national student loan default rate is rising, according to new statistics released today, and students who obtain loans to attend for-profit loans are more likely to default than those in non-profit institutions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:37 PM ET, 09/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  college costs, for-profits and students loans, loan default rate increases, student loans, students and loan student rate

Posted at 03:18 PM ET, 09/10/2010

Skipping college to save money? Oh please

A hedge fund manager, Formula Capital President James Altucher, is quoted in a Washington Post article today as saying this: "You’ve been fooled into thinking there’s no other way for my kid to get a job . . . or learn critical thinking or make social connections.” Really now. How many people, do you suppose, he would want to hire?

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:18 PM ET, 09/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  James Altucher, benefits of college degree, formula capital, is college overrated?, price tag of college degree, s, what is a college degree worth

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/02/2010

How to help your child adapt to college life

An expert in first-year student transitions gives advice for parents to help their child freshman successfully make the transition from high school to college. The tips, in fact, are useful for all college students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  adapting to college, college freshmen, es a, first-year experience, transition and high school and college

Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 08/21/2010

As he heads to college, a freshman looks back

A University of Virginia freshman from Fairfax County looks back as he heads today to start his life in college.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:59 AM ET, 08/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  a charmed life, adam turay, college clases, college freshmen, new school year

Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 08/01/2010

Common App for college admissions is live online today

The 2010-11 Common Application for colleges and universities is live online today, meaning that summer vacation is ending for thousands of rising high school seniors who are will now start seriously on their college admissions journey.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:53 AM ET, 08/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  applying to college, college admissions, common app, common application, getting into college

Posted at 03:24 PM ET, 07/20/2010

A how-to-get-through-college book for parents

The author of "The Naked Roommate" has written a book about college life but not for kids. Rather it is for the parents, who are now more involved than ever in their child's college.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:24 PM ET, 07/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  college and homesickness, college freshman, college life, harlan cohen, parents and college, the happiest kid on campus, the naked roommate

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 07/17/2010

Harvard profs dropping final exams

Hundreds of Harvard professors have stopped giving final exams and there is some thought that they have been “going the way of the dodo” for years. Are final exams necessary?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 07/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning | Tags:  FAS and harvard, final exams, final papers, harvard college, harvard drops final exams, harvard university

Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 07/16/2010

The education of 'Twilight's' Edward Cullen

Someone has to correct an error made (in another publication) about Edward Cullen's education. That someone is going to be me.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:46 PM ET, 07/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature | Tags:  edward cullen and college, edward cullen and high school, edward cullen and medical degrees, edward cullen and school, gail collins and palin, gail collins and the bad news bears, levi and bristol, levi johnston and bristol palin, robert pattinson and edward cullen, twilight, where did edward cullen go to school

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 07/13/2010

Say 'no' to college admissions creep

A college admissions consultant argues that too many high school students are starting the college admissions process too early.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 07/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  bruce vinik, college admissions, college admissions creep, college admissions process, college applications, juniors and SAT, when to start the college application process, when to take the SAT

Posted at 10:11 PM ET, 07/09/2010

College students hitting books less, study shows

Add this to the common lament that things aren’t the same as they used to be: College students are apparently not studying anywhere nearly as much as they used to.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 PM ET, 07/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  college life, how much do college students study, how much do students study?, leisure college, research on studying, students studying less, study hours decline, studying and college

Posted at 03:53 PM ET, 06/24/2010

Gulf oil spill spawns new college course

It didn’t take long for the diastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to become the focus of academics: The University of Minnesota has created a new course called “Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010” that will be offered this fall.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:53 PM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education | Tags:  Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill, college course on ol spill, consequences of oil spill, deepwater horizon oil spill, effects of oil spill, environment and oil spill, gulf oil spill, researching oil spill, studying the oil spill, university of minnesota, university of minnesota and new course

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 06/24/2010

Advice from a student campus tour guide

A student college tour guide gives you all the advice you need for a successful visit.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:45 AM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  advice on visiting a campus, campus visits, college admissions, college campus visits, planning a college visit, scheduling college visits

Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 06/24/2010

Choosing public higher ed for the right reasons

The president of the University of Buffalo writes about why families should choose public higher education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:44 AM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  SUNY system, benefits of public education, best schools in SUNY system, choosing a college, college admissions, college applicaitons, getting into college, how to pick a college, university of buffalo

Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 06/24/2010

College Tour '10 resumes (with links)

For rising high school seniors, the frenzied college admissions season is about to begin -- if it hasn't already. And our College Tour '10 resumes. Here are links to student and parent impressions of schools visited this year. Send us your own.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:40 AM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  College Tour '10, admissions process, campus visits, college admissions, college admissions process, college essay topics, college essays, college visits, common app, common app essays, common applicaiton preview, common application, common application essays, deciding on colleges, how to write a college esssay, the best college essays, visiting campuses, visiting colleges

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 06/16/2010

Minorities drive biggest jump in college freshman enrollment in 40 years, study says

Hispanics and other minority students drove the largest rise in freshman enrollment in the last 40 years at the nation’s 6,100 four-year post-second institutions from fall 2007 to fall 2008, the first year of the recession, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center. But the enrollment boom was concentrated in certain states and highly focused on a very small number of the largest colleges and universities.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 06/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college enrollment, freshman college enrollment, freshman enrollment jumps, freshman enrollment rises, pew enrollment study, pew research center, pew study on college enrollment

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/15/2010

College Admissions: Business as Usual

A college counseling director writes that the seemingly mysterious process of college admissions is actually very familiar to anyone in the business world.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 06/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college admissions process, college application process, getting into college

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 06/12/2010

Stop timing the ACT and SAT

It's way past time for the College Board and the ACT Inc. to stop timing their exams. Kids should be able to take as much time -- or as little -- on the test as they want.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:15 AM ET, 06/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  SAT and ACT, SAT and ACT, SAT and ACT | Tags:  act, college admissions tests, college board and extended time, extended time on act, extended time on sat, fairtest and sat, how long is the act?, how long is the sat?, how to get extended time, howard gardner and sat, sat, sat and act, time limits on act, time limits on sat, timing the sat, which test is longer

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/09/2010

Do colleges superscore ACT and SAT equally?

With tens of thousands of rising high school seniors getting ready to take the ACT on Saturday, it’s a good time to review the issue of superscoring college admissions tests. How does it work?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 06/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  SAT and ACT, SAT and ACT | Tags:  college admissions, college admissions tests, college application process, sat and act, superscoring, superscoring act, superscoring sat

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/07/2010

Student sex mag at unlikely school: U of Chicago

This item might not be worth reporting if it involved another school. But a student-run sex magazine at the University of Chicago, which has long had the unfair reputation of a school where fun goes to die, rates a mention.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 06/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  chicago sex magazine, college life, sex magazine, sex on campus, university of chicago, vita excolatur, vita magazine

Posted at 02:31 PM ET, 06/03/2010

College awareness: How much is too much?

How old should children be before they are asked to start worrying about going to college? Eight years old? Ten? Thirteen? Fifteen? How about 5?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:31 PM ET, 06/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  college readiness, college readiness week, kalamazoo and obama, kalamazoo school, kalamazoo school district, newsom and savings account, obama's 2020 goal and college, san francisco and kindergarten savings account

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/03/2010

Problem seen with admissions process to U.S. service academies -- Vinik

College admissions consultant Bruce Vinik explains why applicants to the U.S. service academies have a tougher admissions process than everybody else.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 06/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Bruce Vinik, Bruce Vinik, Bruce Vinik | Tags:  college admissions, nominations to service academies, u.s. air force academy, u.s. naval academy, u.s. service academies, west point

Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 05/29/2010

Gender gap in higher education growing -- report

In less than a decade women will account for 59 percent of total undergraduate enrollment and 61 percent of graduate enrollment at the country’s colleges and universities and already have a dominant presence at every degree level, a new government report shows. But women still remain severely underrepresented in certain fields, the report shows, and young adult males still have higher median earnings than young adult females with the same levels of education at every degree level.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:01 AM ET, 05/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  condition of education, condition of education 2010, female enrollment, female enrollment in higher education, gender and enrollment, higher education, male attainment and college, male enrollment, male enrollment in college, participation in higher education by gender, women and higher education

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/28/2010

Today's college students less empathetic -- study

Are college students as nice as they used to be? Apparently, no, and modern technology may be partly to blame. A new University of Michigan study shows that today’s college students are not as empathetic as they used to be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  analysis on empathy, are college students empathetic?, college students, college students and empathy, college students and university of michigan, study on empathy, u michigan study on college students

Posted at 02:24 PM ET, 05/26/2010

Ann Curry gives wrong commencement speech

NBC reporter Ann Curry delivered a commencement address at Wheaton College in Massachusetts over the weekend, but thought she was talking to the student body at the Illinois institution of the same name.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:24 PM ET, 05/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  ann curry, ann curry and speech, ann curry gives wrong speech, commencement speech, wheaton college, wheaton college and commencement and speech, wheaton college commencement, wrong commencement speech, wrong speech

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/25/2010

Many colleges over-enrolled for fall

Many colleges and universities across the country suddenly have a good problem: They are over-enrolled for this fall and are scrambling to figure out how to accommodate the extra students in classes and dormitories.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college enrollment, enrollment at schools, freshmen class, schools that are overenrolled

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 05/20/2010

Obama’s mistake with technology in ed reform

The Obama administration's plan for rewriting No Child Left Behind makes the mistake of relegating technology – a catalyst for all educational reform efforts for the 21st century – to just an “additional, cross-cutting priority.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:15 AM ET, 05/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Technology, Technology | Tags:  blueprint for reform, obama and blueprint for reform, obama and mistake, obama and nclb, obamas, teachers college, teachers college at columbia university, technology in education, technology in schools

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 05/19/2010

Top searches for graduation information

People are burning up the Internet looking for information about graduation. Here are the top searches.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 05/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Student Life | Tags:  Yahoo! graduation searches, Yahoo! searches, college graduation gifts, gifts for graduates, graduaiton quotes, graduation announcements, graduation cakes, graduation cap, graduation clip art, graduation dresses, graduation gifts, graduation invitations, graduation parties, graduation party ideas, graduation searches, graduation songs

Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 05/18/2010

Adult student penalized for one curse word

The largest community college in Mississippi barred a 30-year-old student from a speech course because a professor became upset when the student uttered one curse word after class was over.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:54 PM ET, 05/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education | Tags:  cursing at college

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 05/18/2010

Colleges should tell students odds of getting off wait lists

Colleges that insist on maintaining waitings lists that are longer than the phone book should tell students their odds of eventually being accepted.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 05/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, waiting lists

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 05/18/2010

Getting started on 2010-11 college applications

Any high school junior who wants to get a head start on college applications now can look at a preview of the entire 2010-11 Common Application.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 05/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applications, common application, common apps

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 05/16/2010

Princeton Reviews takes down ad claims

The Princeton Review test prep company has voluntarily agreed to stop making certain advertising claims about how many points it can help students improve on various school admissions tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 05/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  Kaplan and ads, Princeton Review, Princeton Review and ads, claims by Princeton Review, claims by test prep companies, college admissions, getting better scores on tests, improving test scores, standardized tests, test claims, test prep companies

Posted at 02:22 AM ET, 05/16/2010

A 94-year-old woman earns college degree

How’s this for inspirational? Hazel Soares, a 94-year-old great grandmother, earned her bachelor’s degree in art history this weekend at Mills College in Oakland.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:22 AM ET, 05/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  94-year old earns degree, Mills College, college graduation, hazel soares, second oldest woman earns degree, second oldest woman graduates from college

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 05/14/2010

Don't rush to link teacher evaluation to student achievement

The president of Teachers College at Columbia University writes about the problems with President Obama's proposal to link teacher evaluation to student performance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 05/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  National Standards, National Standards, National Standards | Tags:  No Child Left Behind, Teachers College, guest bloggers, linking teacher evaluation to student performance, value-added measures

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/13/2010

Getting real about super-selective colleges

Bruce Vinik, a college admissions counselor, writes about why students who seem to be perfect in every way don't get into the school of their dreams.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  brown admissions, college admissions, columbia admissions, getting into harvard, getting into stanford, getting into the ivy league, harvard admissions, ivy league, selective colleges and applicants, who gets into harvard

Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 05/11/2010

A new source for education news, analysis

Here's a new source for the public to get news and analysis about education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:32 PM ET, 05/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Hechinger Report, Teachers College, education news

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/10/2010

How to get the right college roommate

Graduating high school seniors heading for college will soon get a questionnaire from the school of their choice about housing and roommate preferences. Under no circumstances should they take this form lightly because their freshman year is at stake.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  campus housing, college admissions, college dormitories, college dorms, college housing, college roommates, dormitories, getting a college roommate, getting along with a roommate

Posted at 09:13 AM ET, 05/05/2010

Many colleges still accepting applications

Scores of colleges and universities in the greater Washington area and around the nation are still accepting applications from students for enrollment this fall even though the traditional admissions seasons is over.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:13 AM ET, 05/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  College of Notre Dame, Hood College, Mary Baldwin College, NACAC, Roanoke College, Trinity University, UMD Baltimore, University of Virginia, admissions survey, college admissions, college applications, colleges still accepting applications, colleges with openings

Posted at 05:30 PM ET, 05/04/2010

How safe are college campuses?

Every time there is a sensational murder on or around a college campus, and school security becomes a hot issue, as it is today in the wake of the murder of a University of Virginia student by her former boyfriend, also a student. So exactly how safe are college campuses?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:30 PM ET, 05/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  George Huguelycharged with first-degree murder, college campuses and safety, college life, huegely, lacrosse murder, murder and uva, university of virginia, uva student killed, uva student murdered, yeardley and murder

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 05/04/2010

Who borrows most for college? New report

Two-thirds of students who graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree also leave with some amount of student loan debt, according to a new analysis.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:55 PM ET, 05/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  borrowing for college, college board, college board report, college costs, college loans, for-profit schools, paying for college, private student loans, student loans

Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 05/03/2010

New data on campus violence

Attackers are most likely seek out specific targets on or near college campuses because they have an intimate relationship with the victim, according to a new government report that analyzed threats and violence at schools over more than a century.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:22 PM ET, 05/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  government study on violence, lacrosse player and murder and uva, lacrosse player charged, murder and uva, murder on campus, study on violence, uva lacrosse death, uva murder lacrosse, violence on campus, violence on college campuses

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/03/2010

What makes a top college? Nobel winners? PhDs? Rhodes scholars?

A college admissions counselor questions what makes a "top college."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, top colleges

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/29/2010

College choice: Not a one-size-fits-family deal

Education counselor Eileen Wilkinson writes about why families should view a college choice as an individual consideration and not as a one-size-fits-the-family deal.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, prep matters, prepmatters, sibling rivalry, siblings and college

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 04/29/2010

What does being “college and career ready” mean?

It is one of President Obama’s key education reform goals: Ensuring that all students who graduate high school are “college and career ready” by 2020 is one of President Obama's key education reform goals. But what does that mean?

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 04/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind | Tags:  ESEA reauthorization, NCLB, Obama and education reform, college and career ready and obama, college and career ready,, what does "college and career ready mean"

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/28/2010

New study: 1 in 3 college students transfer

A new report on students who transfer from one college to another says that about one-third of students who start at a two- or four-year institution after high school wind up transferring before they get a bachelor’s degree. And it details the factors schools consider important when evaluating transfer applicants.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, important factors in college transfers, national association for college counseling, report on transfer students, transfer student report, transfer students

Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 04/26/2010

The D.C. area: Obsessed with SAT scores

If you have any doubt just how obsessed folks in the greater Washington D.C. area are with getting their children into college, you need look no further than the Washington Post’s list of best-selling books.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:05 AM ET, 04/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  SAT, college admissions, college board, official sat study guide, sat test advice, tips on taking the sat

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 04/24/2010

Senior slump: A cautionary tale

College admissions consultant Bruce Vinik writes about how hard it is for many 12th graders to focus on their school work. As May approaches, even high achieving students give serious consideration to skipping their Advanced Placement exams and heading to the beach. But senior slump is serious business to colleges. Here's a cautionary tale.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 04/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, getting into college, grades and college, senior slump, senior year grades

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 04/22/2010

Volcanic ash may disrupt college admissions process

Add one more thing that may be disrupted by the eruption of a volcano in Iceland and the ash cloud spreading above Europe: U.S. college admissions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 04/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Civics Education | Tags:  association for college admissions counseling, college admissions process, effects of volcano eruption, may 1st acceptance date, nacac, volcano and college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/22/2010

Bill Gates's college tour

Bill Gates just finished his three-day 2010 College Tour, during which he went five of the country's most elite schools and urged the brightest minds to work on overcoming the world's biggest problems. In the United States, urban education is one of those problems, but Gates's own record on school reform is hardly stellar.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Bill Gates, Bill Gates and college tour, gates foundation, gates foundation and education reform

Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 04/14/2010

College Tour '10: Tell us about your visits

Tell us about your college visits and view our map with postings from others. And learn about another way you can visit a college without actually visiting.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:04 PM ET, 04/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Tour '10 | Tags:  College Tour '10, Collegiate Choice Walking Tours, visiting campuses

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/14/2010

Choosing a college isn't about cachet, rankings

A college admissions expert advices high school seniors deciding where to go to college to throw away the U.S. News and World Report rankings, and pick the school that fits them best.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  U.S. news college rankings, choosing the right college, college admissions, deciding on a college, making a final decision

Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 04/08/2010

Kiplinger’s new tool for understanding financial aid

Kiplinger's has a new online tool to help families understand financial aid letters sent from colleges and universities.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:56 AM ET, 04/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  Kiplinger's, financial aid, kiplinger's and financial aid, money for college

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/06/2010

How to decide on a college

Bruce Vinik, a college admissions consultant, explains how best to figure out which college or university to attend--not, it turns out, like his high school friend Jim made his decision.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  Bruce Vinik, G Duke, attending Duke, choosing a school, college admissions, guest bloggers

Posted at 06:31 AM ET, 04/05/2010

Scholarships: Who gets them and why--Flagel, Part 2

Here is the second part of a primer on financial aid by Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions and associate vice president for enrollment development for George Mason University in Virginia: "No matter how incredible your academic record, you’ll likely be shocked when that kid who slept all through junior year gets a larger scholarship from the same school. How is this possible? Just remember, scholarships are awarded to help colleges and universities get the students they want to enroll, not to be fair, just, or even reasonable.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 AM ET, 04/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  andrew flagel, college costs, financial aid

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/05/2010

Merit-based aid is "to buy students"--Flagel, Part 1

Here is the first of four posts on financial aid for college, written by Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions and associate vice president for enrollment development for George Mason University in Virginia. Says Flagel: “The vast majority of merit-based aid is used, to put it bluntly, to buy students.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  college costs, financial aid, merit-based aid, need-based aid

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 04/03/2010

The illusion of ever-lower college acceptance rates

Elite colleges and universities won’t say they are bragging that they send rejection letters to almost all of the kids, but that’s what it seems like to me. But the real problem is that these super-low selectivity rates suggest something about college admissions that isn’t actually true.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 04/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:31 AM ET, 04/01/2010

The problems with double depositing: Part 2

Michael Sexton, vice president of enrollment management at Santa Clara College in California, explains why colleges and universities "strongly discourage" double depositing. For one thing, it "gums up the works on wait lists."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 AM ET, 04/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, double depositing

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 04/01/2010

Is it okay to double deposit at colleges? Part 1

April 1st is the traditional day that colleges and universities tell high school seniors if they have been accepted or not. Those kids lucky enough to have options sometimes can’t make up their minds by the May 1 decision deadline and put down deposits to hold a place at more than one school. Should they?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 04/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college acceptances, college admissions, double depositing

Posted at 11:20 PM ET, 03/29/2010

College Tour '10 begins

Today we will start posting your write-ups about college visits you are making this spring. Read on to see what parents and students are saying about their visits to different campuses.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:20 PM ET, 03/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Tour '10 | Tags:  college admissions, college tour '10, college visits

Posted at 09:32 AM ET, 03/29/2010

Broaddus--The limits of proxies in college apps

By Henry Broaddus. While GPA is a useful shorthand for grade point average, 4.0 is merely a proxy for successful learning (and in an era of weighted grading scales, it’s usually far lower than the proxy for the most successful learning)... All too often proxies are used in order to avoid the challenge of assessing complex, often multivariate characteristics. Put a different way, the answer to the question, "Is Johnny a critical reader?" cannot be expressed as his SAT Critical Reading subscore alone.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:32 AM ET, 03/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college applications

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/29/2010

More colleges join $50K-plus a year club

More colleges are planning to charge more than $50,000 a year for tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees next year.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college costs

Posted at 06:25 AM ET, 03/26/2010

Why students get rejected from college

By Jerome A. Lucido. Step into my office for a brief counseling session on dealing with college rejection. Frankly, it’s like the tried and true break-up line: “It’s not you; it’s me.” Only this time, the line is true. The truth is that there is always a reason that colleges accept a student, but very often there is not a reason that they don’t. It’s truly nothing a student did--or even didn’t do.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:25 AM ET, 03/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 03/25/2010

When kids cheat on SAT, ACT

What happens to kids who cheat on the SAT and the ACT? Even when they are caught, not as much as you might think.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:13 PM ET, 03/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  SAT and ACT, cheating on SAT, college admissions, college admissions tests

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 03/22/2010

Obama's student loan reform -- a no-brainer

The Obama administration deserves applause by passing major student loan reform that will save billions of dollars over the next 10 years, despite efforts to stop it that sometimes were just plain silly.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 03/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs | Tags:  college costs, student loan reform

Posted at 09:44 AM ET, 03/22/2010

What’s an admissions ‘likely’ letter?

Colleges sometimes send out 'likely' letters to strong applicants suggesting that they will be admitted but not offering acceptance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:44 AM ET, 03/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/18/2010

College visits: The ‘East Coast’ thing

A loyal reader writes to ask if I am some sort of an East Coast snob, and further wonders why so many Maryland kids stay on the East Coast for college.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college visits

Posted at 04:06 PM ET, 03/16/2010

College Tour ’10: Tell us about your college visits

It's that time of year when high school juniors hit the road with their families to visit colleges and universities. We want you to tell us about your experiences, and we'll post them for readers to learn about places they don't have time to visit.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:06 PM ET, 03/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Tour '10, College Tour '10 | Tags:  college admissions, college tour

Posted at 09:52 AM ET, 03/16/2010

Latest college trend: Mixed-gender dorm rooms

Men and women are sharing dormitory rooms at about 50 colleges and universities around the country, the latest step in the evolution of dorm living.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:52 AM ET, 03/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  college dorm, college life

Posted at 03:46 PM ET, 03/12/2010

Harvard study: Are weighted AP grades fair?

By Debra Viadero. A new study by a Harvard University researcher looks at the practice of giving weighted grades to high-level high school courses, and he issues a warning about the effects on college admissions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:46 PM ET, 03/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Grades, Grades, Grades | Tags:  AP, college admissions, weighted grades

Posted at 09:13 PM ET, 03/10/2010

Virtual college fair lets students ‘visit’ schools

The country's largest virtual college fair is coming up, allowing students to 'visit' college campuses across the country and talk with school officials and current students as well as financial aid experts.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:13 PM ET, 03/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 03/08/2010

Choosing ACT, SAT scores to send to colleges: A good idea?

High school students taking the SAT and ACT more than once can choose which scores (by test date--not by individual section) to send to many colleges and universities. The question is whether it is a good idea to cherry pick the scores. It may seem like it on the surface, but there are good reasons to reconsider.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 03/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  ACT, SAT, college admissions

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/07/2010

College admissions strategies: Don't listen to friends, and more

By Angel B. Perez. Here's some advice from a college admissions dean for high school students getting ready to start the college admissions progress: Don't listen to your friends, and four more key strategies.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 03/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/05/2010

Campus visiting season begins at spring break

By Bruce Vinik. Spring break is the unofficial kick-off to the college visiting season, a season that begins with the first exhibition baseball games and ends with the NFL playoffs. The early visits of March and April are particularly important for eleventh graders because it is the first time that many of them will set foot on campuses as prospective students. Here's what to do when you are visiting a campus.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, college tours, spring break

Posted at 01:14 PM ET, 03/03/2010

Gap year planning time; Sidwell hosting gap year fair Saturday

Now is a good time for college seniors who have applied to college to think about planning a gap year before actually starting classes. College admissions directors, believe it or not, encourage kids to take a year off.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:14 PM ET, 03/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, gap year

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/16/2010

Senioritis: Minor affliction or serious disease?

By Jerome A. Lucido. This is it--your last year of high school. You’re on top of the heap and you’ve earned it. Your applications for admission are in. You may have already earned admission to one or more colleges through an early admission program. You will never pass this way again. Suddenly, it seems less serious....Your study time decreases. You drop a class or fall back from your AP courses. You party randomly, maybe even during the school day. It’s a disease without treatment. Nearly every senior gets a small case. Some get it bad. But there are serious side effects.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 02/08/2010

Any merit to National Merit program?

I have long wondered why the National Merit scholarship program had so much cache, given the criteria necessary for winning. The program is a competition in which kids become eligible if they do well on the PSAT, or Preliminary SAT test that they generally take in 11th grade. Any regular reader to this blog will know that I do not look kindly on anything in education that relies on a single standardized test score. Here is a critique of the program that I recently read and wanted to share. It was written by Jonathan Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School. This is how he starts: "National Merit status is a good example of the Platonic distinction between attractive illusion and truth."

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:28 PM ET, 02/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  National Merit Program, college admissions

Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 02/05/2010

Saturday’s ACT exam rescheduled in storm areas

Scores of testing centers where thousands of students were planning to take the ACT college admissions exam tomorrow have closed because of the massive storm marching up the East Coast. The website has a long list of sites that have been closed and will post the new date when it becomes available.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:40 PM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  ACT test, college admissions

Posted at 12:03 PM ET, 02/05/2010

College visits: real and virtual

A true story: A high school student flew to Minnesota to visit a college she was interested in attending. She went on the day after a huge, uncommon rain storm, which brought out from the ground an army of bugs that usually stay unseen. She hated the school because of the bugs. If she had gone any other day, she probably would have loved it. Moral: College visits can be a great help in helping your child decide where to go. But they can also, unfairly, leave a bad impression. And while it is useful to visit, lots of kids pick a college without ever seeing the school they wind up attending. Several readers have asked how to plan college visits with their children who are juniors (and even eager sophomores)--and some have expressed concern about the cost of traveling from city to city.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:03 PM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college visits

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/04/2010

Finding and using a private higher ed consultant

After talking to some private educational consultants--some who charge tens of thousands of dollars and some who cost a fraction of that--I began wondering how many students actually use their services. The answer surprised me. A recent study shows that among high-achieving high school seniors, 26 percent hire an independent educational consultant.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/03/2010

College acceptances, test scores: a plea for privacy

David Altshuler, a private schools consultant, urges high schools to keep private college acceptances. Why: "My child is going to a local community college because his single parent father lost his job. Does he want 'Maria Enriquez--Local Community College' up there on the bulletin board next to 'Abigail Adams--Princeton'? Probably not." The disparity in family income is clear enough in the student parking lot. There is no need to beat them over the head with this information in another form.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/02/2010

Parents' role in college admissions

I know parents who don’t get involved in their child’s college application process. And I know parents whose child doesn’t get very much involved in his/her own college application process. Somewhere in the middle is the right space in which to inhabit. Marcia Libes Simon, a private college admissions counselor to talk about the right kind of parent involvement in college admissions, offers advice on how--and how not--to help your child fill out their applications and tour college campuses.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 02/01/2010

College quotas for high schools?

So your child comes home in great despair with news that two or possibly three kids from his/her high school have already been admitted to Yale, or Chicago, or Stanford, or Virginia, or Northwestern, or Williams, or the college of your kid’s dreams. And now he/she is worried that he/she can’t be admitted because the quota is filled for that high school. That would make sense if there was a quota, but after asking dozens of college and university admissions officers, I’m convinced there is no formal quota. But there IS a different process at work.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:30 PM ET, 02/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 01/29/2010

College acceptance on display?

Now is the time that many high schools start making public--through posters, announcements, emails, websites, etc.--where high school seniors have been accepted to college. I wish they wouldn't. Here's why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:18 AM ET, 01/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:31 AM ET, 01/29/2010

AP Courses: How many do colleges want?

I’ve just started researching college admissions in depth and already I'm about to answer a question with the same response that annoys me so much from college admissions directors. (Let me apologize now.) A reader posed this question: How many Advanced Placement courses should a student take in high school to go to college? The answer: “It depends.” On what?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 AM ET, 01/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  advanced placement, ap program, college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/29/2010

AP: College admissions directors weigh in

Here are some of the responses I received from college admissions officers to a query about how many AP courses they wanted to see on an applicant’s transcript. See the post above this for a discussion of this issue..From University of Southern California's Jerome A. Lucido, vice provost for enrollment policy and management: Students are always advised to take the strongest curriculum that they can reasonably handle while pursuing opportunities for academic and extracurricular opportunities for which they have a passion. We do not advise students to design their lives around what they believe that we or any other admission office may want. This, after all, is the personal journey of each student.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  ap program, college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/28/2010

7 College admissions myths

Here are seven issues about college admissions that Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions and enrollment at Tufts University, calls "myths." He discusses issues such as whether "optional" really means "required," whether colleges check Facebook pages, whether colleges say they will only use the highest admissions test scores but really will look at the worst ones, whether coaches can actually grant school admittance to a desired athlete... and more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 01/28/2010

Top college rankings vs. endowments

When I looked at the list of top college endowments (a new report on these funds was released today) I had a nagging feeling that I had seen the same schools on a different list. Then I remembered: Many of the top 10 schools were the same as those on >U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 list of top national universities (which actually looks very similar to lists of years past). Take a look at the following lists, and then the reason I find this problematic.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 AM ET, 01/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college endowments, college rankings

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 01/27/2010

Warning to high school seniors

It is the last semester of your senior year, your college applications are in, and you may be tempted to relax. That’s fine, just don’t relax too much: Colleges DO revoke acceptances. According to the 2009 State of College Admissions report issued a few months ago by the non-profit National Association for College Admission Counseling, more than one-fifth of colleges reported having revoked an admission offer in 2008.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 01/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/27/2010

The college chase: Making a plan

Even parents who have carefully plotted every step of their child’s education can get flummoxed over the colleges admissions process. It seems overwhelming--because it is. You (and I)--and, mostly, our kids, have a lot of work ahead. The vast majority of families will not have the luxury of having someone else plan out the application process and will have to it themselves. Yes, high schools have college admissions counselors, but recent budget cuts have reduced staff, giving the remaining counselors many more students for whom they are responsible.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 01/26/2010

College gender gap stabilizing?

A new analysis shows that the gender gap in college appears to be stabilizing for every group except Hispanics after years of rising concern that the male undergraduate minority was dwindling. The non-profit American Council on Education crunched data and found evidence to suggest that the gender gap has remained stable since about 2000, when men represented 43 percent of enrollment and earned 43 percent of the awarded bachelor’s degrees. It is only among Hispanics that the percentage of females continues to grow.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 AM ET, 01/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, gender gap

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/22/2010

'Chasing' college acceptance

Many of you who have a child nearing college age (and even some of you with much younger kids) may already be anxious about the admissions process and may be wondering whether your child, who hasn’t cured cancer or started a successful business already, will get into a good school. According to a new report, it is no harder for the average and high-performing student to get into college today than it was a deade ago. Here are some of the other findings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 01/19/2010

Broaddus: Reading college applications

By Henry Broaddus. Babies, wine and retirement are among the few things left that require waiting more than three months for a result after finishing all of the preparations. For high school seniors and the parents of high school seniors, there’s another: college admissions decisions. To anyone conditioned to expect immediate responses of the sort received when placing an order on Amazon or updating a Facebook status, the delay between pressing the submit button on the Common Application’s website and learning the final outcome may seem interminable. Unfortunately, technology hasn’t yet provided a shortcut that sufficiently accounts for the merits coded in recommendations, the strength of voice evident in writing samples, or the positive grade trends that belie overall averages.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 01/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/12/2010

Costs of public vs. private college

Let’s do a little price comparison, now that Kiplinger Personal Finance has named its best values in both public and private colleges and universities for 2010. As you might expect, the sticker price difference is enormous (depending on your definition of enormous). Kiplinger, which offers financial advice, reported that 39 of the top 100 four-year public institutions of higher education charged about the same or less than the average annual in-state full price, which was $15,213. Many were a lot lower. The average total per year for a student in a private school is $35,600, according to the non-profit College Board, which owns and administers the SAT.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Costs, College Costs | Tags:  college costs

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 01/06/2010

The link between sports titles and college applications

Tomorrow night the national collegiate football championship will be decided in a Bowl Championship Series contest at Pasadena's Rose Bowl Stadium. The Longhorns of the University of Texas and Alabama's Crimson Tide will be battling for the title. What will a victory do for the winning school? Among other things, it will mean that more students will send in applications--almost 10 percent more than the previous year. It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but two brothers researched the link and found a substantial connection between college applications and success of that college’s major sports teams.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 01/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  college admissions, sports

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 12/02/2009

The grades it takes to get into college, and why an ‘A’ isn’t always an ‘A’

Let’s suppose your child is in high school and you want to know whether you should worry because: --You advised your kid that taking the most challenging courses was more important than getting straight “A”s; --Your child has a 3.1 grade point average while his/her best friend has an “A plus” average after taking much easier courses; --You want your child to go to the University of Michigan but learn from a Post education writer that more than 94 percent of the accepted freshmen in fall 2008 had GPAs of over 3.25. Yes. Go ahead and worry.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 12/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, grades

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/24/2009

Planning to spend loads of time with your college freshman home for Thanksgiving? Well, don’t.

So your college freshman is coming home for Thanksgiving, the first trip back since they packed their bags and moved away--and you have cleared your schedule to spend every waking minute with him/her. You probably shouldn’t have bothered. Most of you should be prepared to see very little of your son or daughter, who is returning to test their new selves in their old haunts.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/24/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life | Tags:  Thanksgiving, college freshman

Posted at 09:39 AM ET, 11/18/2009

Gender and College Admissions: William and Mary Dean Talks Back

Yesterday I discussed why boys have an easier time than girls getting accepted to college at some schools. Part of that post included admissions statistics for the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where boys have an easier time getting in because more girls apply. Following, William and Mary Admission Dean Henry Broaddus talks back, explaining why the school does what it does. Read it and tell us what you think.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:39 AM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  College of William and Mary, college admissions, gender

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/18/2009

A critical look at the SAT and ACT

Of all the trials facing high school students, the one that may be the most daunting is taking the SAT and/or the ACT college admissions tests. The results can determine where they attend college, making these exams, and the organizations that own them, very powerful. In an effort to better understand these tests, I had an e-mail conversation with Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest. The tension between the nonprofit College Board, which owns the SAT, and FairTest is palpable: I asked the College Board to debate Schaeffer, but it refused, saying he was not a valid critic.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  FairTest, college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/17/2009

Do college admissions officers discriminate against girls?

Is it easier for boys to get accepted into college than it is for girls? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes, at least at some colleges. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has just begun investigating admissions practices to see if schools are favoring boys. It is starting by looking at admissions records from a dozen unnamed universities, mostly in the Washington, D.C. area, according to a recent report from Inside Higher Ed.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, gender gap

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/14/2009

The List: Naked runs, primal screams and other weird college traditions

Here is a list of some non-academic traditions at some of our finest colleges and universities. Note how many involve running naked in public, or loud screaming. Discuss and share the traditions you followed at your school. Naked Quad Run, Tufts University--Students run clotheless around the Rez Quad several times on the night of the final day of fall semester classes in December. The university provides refreshments.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/14/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life | Tags:  college traditions

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 11/13/2009

The List: 10 best college presidents, as determined by Time

E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University tops Time magazine's list of 10 best college and university presidents.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 11/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education | Tags:  The List, college presidents

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 11/04/2009

Are college admissions officers being ridiculous?

A reader reacts strongly to the notion that college admissions officers are looking for kids with a demonstrated passion for something rather than well-rounded kids. Isn't high school a time to explore?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 11/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions

Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 11/03/2009

Question 3: Do colleges want well-rounded students or those with a passion?

College admissions director explain their view about whether their seek students who are well-rounded in a variety of areas or who can show a demonstrable passion in a particular area.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:15 AM ET, 11/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  College admissions

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 11/03/2009

Question 2: What should students NEVER write in their essay?

Admissions directors at colleges across the country tell what they don't want to see in a student's application essay.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 11/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  College admissions, filling out the application

Posted at 06:45 AM ET, 11/03/2009

Question 1: How to write the college application essay?

College admissions directors respond to this: A new college admissions book, “You’re Accepted” by Katie Malachuk, advises applicants NOT to show their family or friends their college essays, and to be brutally honest about their experiences, more honest than they might be with their friends. Is that a good strategy?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:45 AM ET, 11/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  college admissions, writing the essay

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/03/2009

What do college admissions officers really want?

As you sit there filling out your child’s college applications and writing their essays--um, I mean, as you sit there HELPING your child fill out and write their way into college--you probably would love to know what admissions directors are really seeking. I asked admissions offices from coast to coast and received dozens of answers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  College admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/26/2009

30 books to read BEFORE the college interview

Take a look at this unusual list of 30 books recommended to students in Britain who have applied to Oxford and/or Cambridge universities and are preparing for their admissions interviews. How many have you read? How many do you think American college-bound students should read?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/26/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  Books, College Admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/16/2009

“The Naked Roommate” And Other Trials of College Life

True or False: “The Naked Roommate” by Harlan Cohen is required reading at some colleges and universities. You knew the answer was going to be “yes” or The Answer Sheet would not have brought it up. The Sheet was surprised to learn this, but found that it made sense after students and school administrators persuaded her to read the advice it offers for negotiating naked, smelly, noisy, and mean roommates, as well as dealing with professors, how to read a college textbook, sex, drugs, laundry, diet, and many other issues.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  "The Naked Roommate, college life

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/15/2009

Trachtenberg: When a College’s Reputation Trumps Its Quality

How one values a college education is very different from how one places a monetary value on a college’s prestige, a topic that relies more on the recognition of the school’s brand than it does on the quality of its educational program (although the two are often closely entwined). Two examples: Schools that routinely play in the NCAA’s Final Four basketball tournament receive large numbers of undergraduate applications not always correlated to the standing of their academic programs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/15/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  stephen joel trachtenberg, university reputation, value of college education

Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 10/03/2009

Counting The Layers Of a Whale’s Wax Earplugs, Robin Hood, And More

Things I Learned This Week (And Last Week Too): To find out how many years a dead blue whale had lived, you can count the layers of the animal's wax earplugs.... States aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing with education money they are receiving from the federal government’s economic stimulus....Every generation gets the Robin Hood It Deserves. The Robin Hood It Deserves? ....

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:10 AM ET, 10/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Antioch College, Blue Whales, George Orwell, Robin Hood, Tom Hanks

Posted at 08:16 PM ET, 09/27/2009

Trachtenberg: New Year’s Greetings 5770

By Stephen Joel Trachtenberg--Life on a university campus is about respect, tolerance, curiosity and understanding. It is about breaking bread as one explores differences and finds commonalities....Before matriculating, I asked the Yale admissions office to match me with a roommate as different from me as they could. I was expecting someone from a small country I had never heard about, hailing from a far-off continent, but they looked only 300 miles away and found Bill, and he was different. He is the only man I ever knew who thought the “k” in knish was silent.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:16 PM ET, 09/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  college life, stephen joel trachtenberg

Posted at 04:51 PM ET, 09/18/2009

6 Things I Learned This Week

1) Most U.S. workers with advanced math skills never actually have to put them to work in their jobs. American University Economics Professor Robert Lerman told this to a panel at the Washington D.C.-based Urban Institute this week during a discussion of whether everyone should go to college.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:51 PM ET, 09/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  AARP, Bruce Springsteen, Dartmouth College, University of Richmond, frogs, math, puncutation

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/18/2009

THE LIST: College Courses I Want to Take

Sometimes I daydream about returning to college and enrolling only in courses that I really want to take. Thanks to on-line catalogs, I designed an academic load that includes math, music, chemistry, writing, space exploration, history and physical education--with courses in tree climbing, chocolate making, videogames, stupidity and more. All are being offered this fall at colleges and universities.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  college courses, the list

Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 09/11/2009

8 Things I Learned This Week

1) America’s two richest universities--Harvard and Yale--did not come out looking so rich or so smart when it was reported that they each lost about 30 percent of their endowments last year due to lousy investments. The median college endowment...

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:25 PM ET, 09/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Sen. Tom Harkin, college endowments, insects

Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 09/10/2009

TRACHTENBERG: What Is a College Education For?

The Answer Sheet will frequently host guests writing on a range of education topics. Today we hear the voice of Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus of George Washington University, a professor of public policy and a man with many informed...

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:35 AM ET, 09/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  College Education, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg

Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 09/09/2009

WHY IT MATTERS: Porn Movie Tests University Leaders

The Answer Sheet bets that setting policy about pornographic movies is not the first thing you would think higher education administrators would be wrestling with at the start of a new year. But at the University of Maryland at College...

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:35 AM ET, 09/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  Maryland legislature, college park, free speech, higher education, pornography, university of maryland

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/09/2009

SPOTLIGHT: The Man Who Takes SAT Tests for a Living

“On the SAT, if you’re brilliant and slow - you’ll get a very average score.”--test expert Edward Carroll Edward Carroll takes tests for a living. To be precise, he takes the SAT, the dreaded college admissions test owned by the...

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  SAT and ACT, SAT and ACT, SAT and ACT | Tags:  ACT, SAT, college admissions, test preparation

Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 09/02/2009

WHY IT MATTERS: The Montgomery College Furor

There are important reasons that all of us should care about the furor at Montgomery College--and one of them involves how much of your tax dollars are going to waste. Here’s a recap of events: Brian Keith Johnson, the president...

By Washington Post editors  |  10:12 AM ET, 09/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Montgomery College, community colleges