Tracking Admission’s Yields

Tracking Admission’s Yields

One metric for keeping score on the vibrancy of a college is its yield rate: the percent of students who have been accepted who do, in fact, attend. 

In 2014, Harvard edged out Brigham Young University by 0.1%, to enjoy the highest yield in the country. BYU, which has been the yield champion in several prior years, accepts slightly fewer than half of those who apply, has a 19:1 student/faculty ratio, and tuition and room and board under $13,000. Great education, great football, and access to the Wasatch National Forest enable it to get 80% of those accepted to come.


The Critical Role of Recommendations

The Critical Role of Recommendations

To gain admission to a four-year institution outside the University of California, or California State University systems, will require recommendations. Generally, one of these recommendations will come from your high school guidance counselor, and usually, two, or possibly three teachers.

Go Midwest Young Man

Go Midwest Young Man
Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune in 1871 told RL Sanderson, a correspondent, to go West, ‘where men are wanted, and where employment is not bestowed as alms.’ Had Mr. Greeley been around today, and the question was finding solid educational opportunities, he might well have altered his direction to the Midwest.

Using the Universal College Application (UCA)

Using the Universal College Application (UCA)

The UCA application site, https://www.universalcollegeapp.com/, went live on July 1st; feature-rich, stable, reliable, dependable and efficient—UCA launched a full month before the Common Application is scheduled to flip on the switch.

Yet before you rejoice or yawn, let’s recapitulate last year’s launch of the Common Application’s new version called CA4.

Getting Oriented—the First Year Transition

Getting Oriented—the First Year Transition

While attending orientation might seem insignificant, it can influence the friends you make, the classes you select, and, most importantly, your attitude when the classes begin in the fall.  

A lot of students get apprehensive about attending orientations; they especially fear the awkwardness of meeting future classmates, upper classmen, or faculty. It is better to think of orientation as a stress-free introduction to a new institution and its numerous departments, clubs, and resources.

The Value of Collaborative Learning

The Value of Collaborative Learning

Learning is more effective when done collaboratively. In generations past there was a taboo about working in groups; school work was supposed to be done individually. Research from Richard Light of Harvard unequivocally indicates that students working collaboratively learn more effectively, and are far more likely to achieve their academic goals (such as graduating from college and attending graduate school). His study, which consisted of in-depth interviews with over 1,600 college students, found virtually all struggling students shared one key trait: they tended to study alone. Collaboration can be the difference between a lackluster performance and a fully engaged student.

School Year Plan—Why the Type of School Year Plan might be important to you

“The Sizing up Survey” in the Fiske Guide to Colleges asks a number of preference questions to help students figure out good college matches: location, setting, size, cost, athletics, extracurricular, public vs. private, campus culture, academics, and ‘other factors.’ Unfortunately, in certain areas, especially ‘academics’, many students not only don’t have any answers, they don’t even have a clue what they’re looking for, nor do they have much time to contemplate what an ideal learning experience might be. One area to get a grasp of ‘academics,’ beyond whether the school has general education courses, a core curriculum, or distribution requirements, is to know how colleges divvy up their school year, and how these various divisions might jive with learning styles.

Maine-lining the Liberal Arts: Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Colleges Considered


  • Why these schools warrant consideration
  • Similarities and differences
  • The Maine reasons to attend

If Pomona College is a school of interest, then you should consider three comparable schools in Maine: Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby. The three share Pomona College’s size, liberal arts orientation, and strength of science and humanities curriculum, while maintaining their unique charm, programs, and historical roots.

Each of these colleges has around 1,700 students, no graduate students and all their classes, which average between 16-30 students, are taught by professors. The student to faculty ratio is 10:1. Their campuses are gorgeous and, considering the number of students attending, spacious. Bates is the smallest with 109 acres—yet it abuts the Morse Conservation Area which adds another 574 acres. Bowdoin’s 205 acre campus contains over 124 buildings; it also owns a 118 acre island. Colby is over triple the size of Bowdoin, with 714 contiguous acres. None allow fraternities or sororities. Each of their cost of attendance (COA), full retail—but note all have generous financial aid comprised of scholarships and grants, is $53,000 a year, and standardized test are ‘test optional,’ though virtually all applicants submit either ACT or SAT scores.  The three are a lot alike, though they’re each quite different.

Bates is the youngest of the three, having been founded in 1855 by abolitionists. Located in Lewiston, a blue collar town about 35 miles north of Portland, Bates contains a mix of Georgian and Victorian buildings. Academics are intense. Students spend many hours within the Ladd library, which contains over 600,000 volumes. Virtually all seniors cap their Bates career with a senior thesis, which can cover either a semester or the full year. Bates is strong in natural science; it has lots of opportunity for undergraduate research, and has excellent foreign language programs.   Over a third of the students are varsity athletes. In a small school, it needs everyone participating to field a range of sports teams.

Bowdoin, whose alumni include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Admiral Peary, the first man to reach the North Pole, is located in Brunswick. The architecture of the campus is eclectic with Gothic, neo-Georgian, and German Romanesque buildings scattered throughout the campus. There is a strong student research emphasis along with superb departments in the natural sciences, classics, English, and Economics. Bowdoin provides a superb orientation for entering freshmen, which features hiking or kayaking, reading the same book for conversation starters, or a community service projects for those less outdoors inclined.  

Colby, located in Waterville in central Maine, sits high atop a hill with panoramic views of the city and countryside.  As with Bates and Bowdoin, the academics are of the highest caliber.  Professors are very accessible, and most of the classes have fewer than 25 students. In addition to the 50+ majors, Colby has a 3+2 engineering program with Dartmouth. Colby also has the COOT 4-day orientation program for incoming freshmen. The strongest concentrations are natural sciences, area studies, economics, English, and art. Athleticism is welcome, as over 60% of the students are active in some sport. During off-season there is the new, 200,000 square foot Alfond Athletic Center.

All three historical liberal arts campuses are focused strictly on the undergraduate, have superior departments and dedicated faculty, encourage outdoors activities and athletics, and have gorgeous campuses, excellent food and top grade housing options. Two areas where these schools might do better are in creating a solid core curriculum which would ensure topics of history and literature are covered capably (something few selective schools address with the exception of Columbia and University of Chicago) and in raising their 4-year graduation rates. All are now around 85% (which is comparable to Occidental, but quite a bit lower than Pomona College, which is over 90%). All three represent a different yet rigorous undergraduate experience, especially for a Southern California high school student.   

Maine주의 인문대학: Colby, Bates, Bowdoin대학 소개

  • 대학들의 우수성
  • 동질성과 차이점

만약 여러분이 Pomona College에 관심이 있다면, 이에 대비되는 대학이 Maine주에 세 대학이 있다: Bates, Bowdoin, Colby.  이 대학들은 포모나 대학정도의 크기이며, 독특한 매력과 프로그램에 역사적 뿌리를 갖고 있으며, 과학과 인문학이 강한 대학들이다. 

위 대학들은 1,700명 정도의 재학생이 있으며, 대학원생은 없으며 클라스틑 평균 16-30명이며, 교수가 직접 가르친다.  교수와 학생 비율은 1:10이다.  캠퍼스는 매력적이며, 재학생 수와 비교해 매우 크다.  Bates 대학이 가장 작아서 109 에이크이지만, Morse Conservation Area를 합치면 574 에이크이다.  , Bowdoin은 205 에이크로 124개의 빌딩이 있으며, 118 에이크의 섬을 갖고 있다.  Colby는 Bowdoin의 세 배가 넘는 714 에이크이다.  모두 fraternities, sororities를 허용하지 않는다.  이 대학들의 재학 비용 (물론 장학금, 그랜트, 재정 보조등이 넉넉하지만)은 년간 $53,000이다.  ACT, SAT시험은 선택이지만, 모든 응시자들은 시험성적을 제출한다.  이 세 대학들은 이와 같은 유사점이 있지만, 차이점도 크다.

Bates는 세 중 가장 역사가 짧고 노예폐지론자에 의해 1855년에 설립되었다.  Portland북쪽 35마일 떨어져서 노동자 마을인 Lewiston에 자리잡고 있다.  대학 빌딩은 Georgian과 Victorian 건물양식이다.  공부는 어렵다.  학생들은 60만권의 장서를 갖춘 대학 도서관에서 많은 시간을 보내야 한다.  졸업반 학생들은 한 학기 또는 일년을 논문을 쓰는데 반드시 보내야 한다.  이 논문으로 리서치의 기회를 가질 수 있으며, 또한 외국어 프로그램이 우수하다.  1/3의 학생들이 대학 운동선수이다.  작은 학교 안에서 모두가 운동팀에 참여하는 것이다.

Bowdoin은 유명 인사들인 Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Admiral Peary(North Pole을 처음으로 밢은 사람)이 졸업했으며, Brunswick에 위치해 있다.  캠퍼스 건축은 Gothic, neo-Georgian, German Romanesque 양식으로 전 교정에 흩어져 있다.  자연 과학, 고전, 영어, 경제학과가 우수하며, 리서치를 강조한다.  신입생을 위한 오리엔테이션에서는 hiking, kayaking, 또한 야외활동가가 아닌 학생들을 위한 독서, 지역봉사 프로그램 등을 제공한다.

Colby대학은 Maine 주 한 가운데 Waterville에 위치해 있으며, 도시와 시골의 파노라마의 전경으로 높은 언덕에 자리잡고 있다.  위의 두 대학과 마찬가지로 학업이 매우 뛰어나다.  교수들을 언제나 만날 수 있으며, 대부분 수업은 25명 이하이다.  50개가 넘는 전공에 Dartmouth와 함께 3+2 공학 프로그램도 있다.  신입생을 위한 COOT 4일간의 오리엔테이션이 있다.  자연과학, 경제, 영어와 예술이 강하다.  운동선수를 환영하며, 재학생의 60%가 각종 스포츠에서 활동하고 있다. 

이 세 대학들은 학부에 치중하고 있으며, 우수한 학과들과 뛰어난 교수진을 갖고 있고, 야외활동과 운동을 권장하고 매력적인 캠퍼스와 훌륭한 숙식을 제공한다.  또한 이 대학들에 있어서 뛰어난 2 분야가 핵심 교과과정을 만드는데, 역사와 문학이다 (Columbia 대학과 Univ. of Chicago를 제외하고는 명문대학들도 거의 강조하지 않음).  또한 4년만의 졸업률도 높은데, 거의 85% (Occidental 대학과 같고, Pomona의 90%보다 약간 낮음)에 이른다.  이 세 대학들은 다르지만 훌륭한 대학 경험을 제공하므로, 특히 남가주 고교생에게라면 권하고 싶다.  

Work Experience and the College Admissions Process


  •  Present any work experience on your application proudly
  •  For potential undergraduate business majors, all work experience is applicable

“All work experience—even if it’s working in a convenience store—is life experience and involves responsibility. We value all of it…”  Karl Furstenberg, Dartmouth College (How to Get Into the Top Colleges, Richard Montauk and Krista Klein, Prentice Hall, New York, p. 282)

If you have gained any kind of work experience over your high school years, broadcast it across all you applications proudly. Why wouldn’t you? Even if, as mentioned above, it is a menial job, it shows that you understand how to sell your service to others, have discipline, time management skills, a solid work ethic, and have learned something about the real world, working with people and solving—in some form or another—real world problems. Few schools discount such efforts; Dartmouth, we know, lauds them.

You should be even more emphatic about highlighting your work experience if you plan to major in an undergraduate business program, and a lot of students are: business degrees represented over a fifth of baccalaureates awarded last year. Among the colleges that should be pleased to note your work experience (even if you’re mechanically clicking away at a register in an In-N-Out Burger) include Wharton, Emory, UC Berkeley, NYU Stern(even though the last three don’t admit undergraduates into their business programs till junior year) Notre Dame, Lehigh or Babson…

Not to belabor the point, but how in the world could anyone dream of studying business as an undergraduate without work experience? How could you begin to understand marketing, operations, accounting, let alone finance or management, without at least a passing familiarity with how the world of work operates on a first hand basis? It’s comparable to wanting to be pre-med without ever having shadowed a doctor, participated in any sort of scientific research, or worked in some capacity in a hospital. Familiarity and practice usually spark true interest; rarely is interest spontaneous. If there is no connection between what an applicant claims of interest and prior pursuits—it will be hard for the admissions office to find such an applicant credible—and that is the death knell for any application.

For the high stakes applicant wishing admission into a highly selective school, there might be some hesitation if a work experience doesn’t hint of opportunities for personal growth. Then, however, the question becomes how many work experiences for high school students allow for growth and development once basic skills have been mastered, or avail them with contacts for future job prospects in a field of interest?  Not many such positions exist unless your friends or family are extremely well connected.  There are exorbitantly expensive internships that might avail an applicant some seemingly unique opportunities, such as a two-week micro finance project in Bangladesh, but many admissions offices will see them for what they are: parent financed and packaged college essay fodder.

Obviously, if you must work to support yourself and your family, then there isn’t a college in the world that will not acknowledge your situation and respect your efforts, regardless of whatever major you’re planning to declare. Moreover, if you’re working substantial hours, colleges will not expect to see much extracurricular activity on the application.  The one thing, however, that you might try to do, in whatever job you have, is to see if you can gain any position of leadership. Even if you’re working at a MacDonald’s, possibly you can assist with scheduling, or close the restaurant, or help train. Rising from within the ranks indicates discipline, promise, and drive. Every college wants that type of person in its class.

Most jobs, certainly most jobs available to most high school students, will not be stepping stones for becoming the Chairman of Google, or even Yahoo. Most are tedious, dull, repetitive, or mind-numbing experiences. Honestly, even among the most dynamic adults, much of their work is dull and, at times, wearisome, but it must be performed and performed well—that’s why it's work. Don’t be afraid to mention your work experience on any of your applications accurately and honestly. It shows your character better than many essays and most recommendations ever will.


학에 미치는 일한 경험 

  • 어떤 일이든 자랑스럽게 제시하라.
  • 비즈니스를 전공한다면 필수이다.

 “일한 모든 경험-편의점에서 일했을지라도-은 인생경험이며, 책임감을 동반한다.  그러므로 우리학교는 높이 평가한다….”고 Dartmouth 대학의 Karl Furstenberg는 말한다(How to Get Into the Top Colleges, Richard Montauk and Krista Klein, Prentice Hall, New York, p. 282).     

여러분이 만약 고교 때 일한 경험이 있다면, 자랑스럽게 쓰길 바란다.  위에서도 언급했지만, 어떤 하찮은 일이라도, 다른 사람에게 서비스를 제공해야 하며, 훈련이 필요하며, 시간조절과 직업윤리와 실세계에서 무엇인가는 배웠으며, 사람과 더불어 일하면서 크고 작은 문제를 해결하려 애썼다는 것을 보여준다.  어떤 대학도 이런 노력을 경시하지 않으며, Dartmouth에서는 찬양을 보낸다.

만약 여러분이 비즈니스 전공을 하려 한다면, 일한 경험을 더 두드러지게 강조해야 한다.  많은 학생들이 그렇게 하고 있다.  작년 학사학위의 1/5가 비즈니스 전공이었다.  각 대학들은 여러분의 일한 경험을 높이 평가한다(비록 In-N-Out Burger의 계산대에서 계산만 했을지라도).  Wharton, Emory, UC Berkeley, NYU 대학들(물론 열거중 세 대학은 3학년까지 비즈니스 프로그램을 받지 않지만), 그리고 Notre Dame, Lehigh, Babson….등.

말할 필요도 없이, 세상 경험이 없으면서 어떻게 대학에서 비즈니스를 공부할 수 있겠는가?  일의 세계가 어떻게 돌아가는지 모르고서 파이낸스와 경영은 제쳐두고, 어떻게 마케팅, 운영, 회계를 이해할 수 있겠는가?  정말 새도우 닥터나 과학 리서치, 또는 병원에서의 경험없이 의과공부를 하겠다는 것과 비교할 수 있다.  친숙함과 실습은 진정한 흥미에서 온다; 아니면 즉흥적인 관심일 뿐이다.  응시생의 흥미와 이전의 관심사에 연결고리가 없다면, 입학심사관은 입시생을 믿기가 어렵고 떨어뜨릴 수 밖에 없다.

명문대를 지망하는 뛰어난 응시생들은 일 경험이 개인적인 성장의 기회를 줄 수 있을지를 망설인다.  이 질문은 고교생의 얼마나 많은 일 경험이 기초기술을 닦게하고 더 나아가 이 분야에서 미래의 직업과 관련이 될 것인가? 이다.  정말 친구관계나 가족과 연관되지 않다면, 그리 많은 자리가 없다.  과도한 비용이 드는 인턴쉽은 독특하게 보이지만, 많은 입학심사관은 부모의 재정으로 꾸려진 대학에세이 용도인 것을 눈치챈다.

분명한 점은 여러분이 자신과 가족을 돕기 위해 일할 수 밖에 없었다는 점이다.  그럴 때 전공과 상관없이 여러분의 형편을 고려하지 않고 여러분의 노력을 존경하지 않는 대학은 없다.  더욱이, 상당한 시간을 일을 했다면, 대학은 많은 특활을 기대하지 않는다.  한가지 고려할 점은 어떤 일을 했든 리더쉽을 배울 수 있는 지이다.  맥도날드에서 일을 해도 시간표 짜기, 가게 문닫기, 트레인시키기 등에서 훈련, 약속, 지속을 배우는 것이다.  모든 대학이 이런 사람을 원한다.

고교생에게 가능한 대부분의 많은 일들이 Google이나 Yahoo의 사장이 되는 첫걸음은 아닐 것이다.  대부분의 일은 지루하고 재미없고 반복적이고 머리가 필요없는 경험이다.  솔직히 말해서 어른이 하는 대부분의 직업도 재미없고 피곤할 뿐이지만, 이 일이 필요하고 이루어져야한다-즉 직업의 원리이다.  여러분이 일한 것을 정확하게 정직하게 표현하는 것을 겁낼 필요없다.  이것은 에세이나 추천장보다 더 많이 여러분을 설명해줄 수 있다. 

3+2 Dual Degree Program: Engineering (BS) and Liberal Arts (BA) Degrees

3+2 Dual Degree Program: Engineering (BS) and Liberal Arts (BA) Degrees

There are a number of paths for studying engineering. If you’re resolved to be an engineer then state engineering schools (Purdue, Virginia Tech, or Colorado School of Mines) are solid choices. If you’re a cerebral genius who solves Rubric cubes blindfolded in less than 15 seconds then MIT, Princeton, Columbia’s Fu School of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon, or Harvey Mudd should be in your scope.  Even if you’re one of those rare birds who is torn between becoming the next great novelist while solving the mystery of Saturn’s rings, there are liberal arts colleges with very solid engineering programs (Lehigh University, Bucknell, Lafayette, or Swarthmore). There are even boutique engineering schools to accommodate the most discerning students: Franklin Olin School of Engineering, Cooper Union, and the Webb Institute (Naval Architectural Engineering), all tuition free, come to mind.