College Navigator

Researching a College: Grinnell a Case Study

The better you know prospective campuses, the better you can figure out which might fit in with your postsecondary expectations. If you don’t have any or few expectations formed as yet, doing some research will get your thoughts of college into motion.

A good place to begin a search is with guides such as Fiske, Princeton Review, The Ultimate Guide to America’s Best Colleges, and the Yale Daily News Insider’s Guide to Colleges. Many high school counseling offices and public libraries have these on their shelves.  The ubiquitous Fiske Guide to College contains a useful questionnaire for  the size, location and academics & extracurricular you might prefer.  

Supposing you narrowed your interests down to small liberal arts colleges with a solid track record of academic achievement, you might begin looking at such schools not only in California, but in the Midwest, the East, and possibly the South. Chances are one school that will pop up is Grinnell College in Iowa.  Right after Carleton, it’s one of the top liberal arts colleges in the region.  

From the guides you’ll learn it’s small, 1700 undergraduates and mandates a 1st semester writing tutorial modeled after the writing program at Oxford. With the assistance of a faculty advisor you may begin to design a major, or select among the 500 courses within 26 different majors across 11 concentrations.   

A quick analysis of the financial aid offerings can best be found at College Navigator, which is the website of the NCES, and has exact information on the average financial aid packages offered in the recent school year. Of the recent round of admits, 93% received financial aid with the average package of $31,000. Grinnell has an endowment of $1.83 billion, which until 2011 was run by Warren Buffett; on a per student basis, this is one of the wealthiest colleges in the country.   Now we’re off to the races to learn all we can about the alluring corn fields of Grinnell.

One source that I have found useful is Wikipedia. Its Grinnell write up is engaging—especially regarding Grinnell’s history. The College’s namesake, Joshua Grinnell, an abolitionist minister, was told by Horace Greeley in 1846 to “go West young man”. He did and established the college, which later moved to its current home in Grinnell, Iowa.  Most of the alumni and faculty perished in the Civil War, only to face a Cyclone in 1882 that wiped out the campus.  

Looking at Grinnell’s own website you’ll find ‘Grinnell at a Glance’, which is a flood of facts: 9:1 student to faculty ratio, 7th nationally in the percentage of PhDs per graduate, 15th for graduating female PhD earners, 11 Fulbright’s garnered in 2014, and  51% of Grinnellians have an advanced degree 10 years after graduation.

While many consider Division III athletics unexciting, over a third of Grinnell students participate in varsity athletics. Moreover, Wikipedia describes how Grinnell plays its own brand of basketball: continual full court press and a full line change every 35-40 seconds (like hockey). One of the Grinnell stars, Jack Taylor, scored 138 points in a 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible; he is the only NCAA basketball player ever to have two 100-point basketball games to his credit.

The college has the wherewithal to recruit the best faculty (its professor average rating is 3.83 on Rate My Professor.com) The resources of the Burling Library alone, with its 1 million volumes, its bathroom graffiti (officially encouraged), Jungle Gyms and Amoeba Tables, Media room with over 7,000 documentaries and 22,000 audio recordings, exemplifies the weirdness yet abundant resources Grinnell offers it students.    

With a few college guides, a computer or Smartphone to access College Navigator, the Grinnell website, Wikipedia, and Rate My Professor, we’ve discovered a lot about Grinnell. If you’re drawn to a place that nurtures original thought, action and is capable of channeling idiosyncratic behavior, Grinnell warrants consideration.

Knowing a College Well: An Exercise with Bucknell University

Any time is an ideal time to ‘test drive’ a college. Even though the bulk of your undergraduate years will be spent inside the classroom and library walls (at least they better be), knowing the campus and the community where you’ll be spending at least the next four years, possibly longer, is important. A good exercise to help you explore a school you’re serious about is to pretend you’re already there.

To begin, let’s choose a college. If you’re thinking of engineering, or chemistry, and have a penchant for liberal arts programs as well, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania might be of interest. We’ll want to gather as much information as possible by touring its website, http://www.bucknell.edu/x19.xml, reviewing its course catalog, http://www.bucknell.edu/catalog.xml, researching its core requirements, and looking at its admissions rates (28% of applicants admitted last year), which can be readily found on the College Navigator site. 

The next step is to imagine you’re in Bucknell, nestled in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, a town rated 15th in the 100 best, small towns in America. You are now living in one of the five college-owned apartment buildings and you’re finishing up a meal at the award-winning Bostwick Cafeteria, which offers local produce and lots of healthy and vegetarian options. You might take a stroll among the 450 secluded, hilly acres overlooking the Susquehanna River, walking by one of the 100 buildings, the recently constructed, $8-million, Breakiron Engineering building. The place has the feel of a country club, which isn’t too surprising as it’s the sixth most expensive university in the country.

Now it’s time to choose your courses and consider which of the 50 majors and 60 minors are of most interest. If it’s chemistry, there is a lot to consider: a chemistry major with a minor in biology, or possibly a combined chemistry major with a liberal arts degree, which is a five-year program. There are a lot of options.  The university has writing requirements (all students are required to successfully complete three writing courses) and lots of undergraduate research opportunities; Bucknell will supply a stipend of $2,500 for the most promising ones.

Exploring the academic environment in greater depth, we discover Bucknell is comprised of two undergraduate colleges: Engineering (650 students), and Arts and Sciences (2,900 students). Additionally, Bucknell has no core curriculum, though the College of Arts and Sciences offers a “Common Learning Agenda” that consists of 6 courses of questionable efficacy. The student/teacher ratio is 10:1, not bad (and not too surprising in light of the generally small class sizes: 93% of the classes have fewer than 50 students.). Furthermore, the quality of the professors is high. 60% are tenured, and virtually all have terminal degrees (PhD).  The leading departments are engineering, computer science, accounting, economics, and chemistry. The acclaimed professors include Tristan Riley in sociology, Eric Tilman in chemistry, and Nancy White in Economics. You can do a fairly thorough examination of a portion of the faculty at ‘Rate My Professor.com’, http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SearchSchool.jsp.

Finally, the acid test of this exercise is to produce a concise list of the pros and cons of the school, preferably on one sheet of paper.

What have you actually accomplished with this exercise? Undoubtedly, it will hone your expertise on each college you review. Moreover, when you encounter Bucknell’s supplemental application essay question, ‘What are the three most important things Bucknell's faculty and students should know about you?” you can use your knowledge to create a convincing picture of your taking advantage of its resources. Should you interview at the school or with alumni, you’ll be well prepared. In fact, examining any school at this level gives you the knowledge that few applicants have. The admissions office will certainly be impressed by your knowledge, and awareness of the college equates to a high interest level.

The school will know you’re serious, that you care, and that you’ll probably be a dedicated member of its college community. It’s a good way to gain acceptance. It is an even better way to gauge your interest—and that, after all, is what this is all about.

The Financial Aid Award Appeal Process

  • Don Betterton, former Princeton financial aid officer, on appealing
  • Act quickly, there is little time
  • Financial Appeal
  • Competitive Appeal

Usually along with your offer of admission comes your financial aid letter. Some schools, like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, however, send a link to have you log on to their financial aid site to view your financial aid package. Whether paper or digital, the key question is: does the financial package offered allow you to attend without incurring painful debt?

Last year, I had a number of students who were admitted into some of the top liberal arts colleges in the country: Reed, Whitman, Occidental, and Vassar among them; yet, their joy of being accepted was soon forgotten by financial aid packages that did not adequately address Need (as you might remember: Cost of Attendance (COA) – Effective Family Contribution (EFC) -which is calculated from the FAFSA form-= Need).

As an example, if you’re planning to attend Bryn Mawr, its COA is around $56,000; let’s assume your EFC is $17,000, then your ‘Need’ is $39,000. In its financial aid package Bryn Mawr offers you $19,000 in grants and scholarships and in loans $5,800. There is still a gap in your Need of: $39,000 - $24,800 = $14,200.  When you go to College Navigator, you notice that Bryn Mawr, in grants and scholarships, on average, awards around $27,000. You’re hoping that it might be more generous with your package. Since the Bryn Mawr website states that it will attempt to satisfy need ‘with a need-based Bryn Mawr grant’ you’re hoping that you might be able to obtain more aid. It’s time to engage in the financial aid appeal process.

Appealing a financial aid decision, or asking for ‘reconsideration of the original award,’ occurs often. Colleges usually hold back 10-15% of scholarship/grant monies in a reserve for appeals. Don Betterton, a former 30-year veteran Princeton financial aid officer, wrote an article on the appeal process, http://www.simpletuition.com/pay-for-college/plan/financial-aid-award/the-financial-aid-appeal-process/ ; well worth reading though many of its highlights follow.  

Rule number 1: get the appeal process in motion as quickly as possible. You need to be done before the May 1st deadline. The contact number is likely on the award document you received; call and ask politely (always be polite throughout the process) the procedures you need to follow. Sometimes issues can be handled by phone, though be prepared to send the office more information to validate your claims. Betterton, however, strongly suggests meeting, in person, with the financial aid department. Assuming that flying to Bryn Mawr is not possible, arrange to have a phone discussion with an aid officer, the higher ranking the better.

The word ‘negotiate’ is not popular among the financial aid officers (for obvious reasons); instead use a term such as ‘discuss’ or ‘clarify’. There are two kinds of appeals, financial and competitive.

Financial is the far more common. The appeal focuses on the need to reduce the EFC number. In short the school is too expensive and a family cannot incur ridiculous debt loads for their student to attend. In most cases a family will need to supply necessary supporting documents: income taxes, list of assets, special circumstances…anything that will sway the counselor to reduce the EFC.

The other is a competitive appeal. This is usually reserved for private schools. Public schools usually give their best offers up front: few have the resources to negotiate. Generally, the most selective schools have policies that allow them to counter competitive offers (and have the scholarship resources to compete). In all likelihood, the school you approach will want to see copies of the other schools’ financial award letters,

The financial aid office will never give you a worse financial package as a consequence of an appeal. If anything, you’re going to be better off, or the same as you were before you entered into the discussion. Furthermore, according to universitybusiness.com, ‘…the yield on admits who appeal is typically higher than the overall yield on the class.’ Your appeal, in other words, shows your strong interest in the school, and your interest in saving money. I can’t think of a better way to bond with your first choice college. 

The Financial Aid Award Appeal Process

재정보조상금에 대한 재고요청 절차

  • 전 Princeton 재정보조관(Don Betterton)의 설명
  • 서둘러라!
  • 재정 재고요청
  • 경쟁적 재고요청

보통 입학제의와 함께 재정보조 편지가 온다.  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo와 같은 대학은 재정보조 싸이트에서 여러분의 보조자료들을 볼 수 있도록 알려준다.  편지이든 링크이든, 중요한 질문이 있다: 재정보조가 빚지지않고 대학에 다닐 수 있게 해 주는가?

지난해 필자의 학생 중에서 명문 인문대학: Reed, Whitman, Occidental, Vassr 등에 입학허가된 여러 명의 학생들이 있었다.  그러나, 재정보조 정도가 필요(재학비용:COA-가족보조: EFC)=필요: FAFSA에서 계산됨)를 채울 수 없음을 깨닫고 기쁨도 잠깐 이었다고 한다.

예를 들면, 만약 Bryn Mawr에 진학한다면, COA는 $56,000이다.  여러분의 EFC 가 $17,000이라면, “필요”는 $39,000이다.  Bryn Mawr에서 $19,000을 그랜트와 장학금으로 대출로 $5,800을 제공한다면, $39,000-$24,800=$14,200 이다.  그러나, College Navigator에서 Bryn Mawr을 조사하면, 평균 재정보조는 $27,000이다.  그러므로 대학에 좀 더 요구할 수 있다.  Bryn Mawr대학에서도 ‘필요에 따른 Bryn Mawr 그랜트’를 제공한다고 웹싸이트에 나와있다.  그러므로 가능한 일이다.  이제 재정보조 재고 요청을 할 시간이다.

재정보조 결정에 재고를 요청하거나, ‘상금에 대한 재고’를 요청하는 일은 종종 있다.  대학들도 장학금의 10-15%를 재고요청에 대비해서 마련해 두고 있다.  Don Betterton (전 Princeton 30년 재정보조 베테랑)이 이 절차 (http://www.simpletuition.com/pay-for-college/plan/financial-aid-award/the-financial-aid-appeal-process/)를 밝히고 있는데, 읽을 가치가 있다.

규칙 1: 가능한한 빨리 액션을 취하라.  5월1일 전에 해야 한다.  어디로 연락을 취해야 하는지는 상에 나타나 있다.  전화를 한다면, 공손하게 (전 과정을 공손하게 해야 한다) 말해야 한다.  여러분의 정보를 확인하도록 해야 하지만, 전화라도 가능하다.  Betterton은 가능한한 직접 찾아가라고 권한다.  그러나 Bryn Mawr까지 날아가는 것이 불가능하면, 담당관과 전화로 하지만, 높은 위치의 담당자와 해야한다.

재정보조 담당관과 상의할 때 ‘협상’의 단어는 맞지가 않다, 분명한 이유가 있어야 하기 때문에.  그대신, ‘상의,’ ‘명확히하기’가 맞는 표현이다.  또한 두 종류의 재고요청이 있다: 재정과 경쟁.

먼저, 재정보조는 다반사이다.  재고요청은 EFC를 줄이는 것이다.  정말 대학이 너무 비싸고, 가족들이 이 모든 빚을 떠맡을 수는 없기 때문이다.  대부분 가족들은 필요한 자료들을 제공한다: 수입, 자산들, 특수 상황등등….하나라도 재정보조를 받아서 EFC를 낮출 수 있는 사항들.

다음은, 경쟁적 재고요청이다.  일반적으로 사립대학에 맞다.  공립대학은 보통 최대한으로 제공하므로 별로 재고를 요청할 여지가 없다.  대부분의 명문대학들은 경쟁적 제공(장학금 제공에서도 경쟁력을 가지려 한다)을 제시한다.  그래서 다른 대학에서 제공한다는 재정보조상금에 대하여 알고자 한다.

재정담당관이 재고요청 때문에 재정제공을 낮추는 일은 없다.  어쨌든 더 좋아지거나, 아니면, 그대로 이다.  더욱이, universitybusiness.com에 따르면, ‘….재고요청을 한 경우, 대부분은 평균보다 높은 수확이 있다.’  다시 말해, 여러분의 재고요청은 그 대학에 대한 강한 관심을 보이는 것이며, 돈을 아끼려는 느낌을 준다.  필자로서도 대학선택에 대한 강한 의지로 보여진다.

A Question of Financial Aid

  •         Using College Navigator to find Cost of Attending
  •         Using College Navigator to compare quality of your financial package
  •         A Word about Parent Plus Loans-Avoid

As your acceptances begin to pour in, it’s critical to review each school’s financial aid package. The best way of evaluating the offers is by placing them on a spreadsheet, or a big piece of paper, and writing down the following information for each of your schools:

Line 1: The Total Cost of Attending (tuition + room & board + books + any fees + any projected travel) [COA]

Line 2: Your Effective Family Contribution (calculated by the FAFSA form) [EFC]

Line 3: Your Need (calculated by: Line 1 – Line 2)

Line 4: The detailed financial package you’ve been offered.

The above is the fundamental financial aid formula. If you hate formulas, please read on anyway; the information might prove useful.

Now, let’s go line-by-line using Georgetown University as an example. Starting on Line 1, the cost of attending [COA], can be found in College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/: type in ‘Georgetown,’ and click on the tab, “Tuition, Fees, and Estimated Student Expenses.” You’ll discover that tuition for 2010-2011 is $40,203, books and supplies $1,184, room & board $12,798, other fees $2,340, and, assuming you’re traveling from California to get there, possibly several times during the year, it’s safe to estimate travel costs at $2,100. The total COA for Georgetown is $58,625.

Line 2, effective family contribution, [EFC], is calculated from the information that you’ve entered on your FAFSA form. If you’re not yet a senior, you can estimate your EFC by going to finaid.org (http://www.finaid.org/calculators/scripts/estimate.cgi) or the College Board, and enter your information into its EFC calculator. Obviously, you want to have your EFC as low as possible.  For the sake of this example, let’s say your EFC is $17,000.

Line 3, your need, is calculated by subtracting line 2 from line 1. This amounts to $41,625.  Now you will see just how much of your ‘need’ has been covered by Georgetown. The good news is Georgetown is need blind and fully meets the need of US applicants. So let’s assume that Georgetown has offered you scholarships and grants amounting to $25,000 for freshman year, with the balance in work/study $2800, and loans, $13,825.  Staying in College Navigator, click on the tab, Financial Aid. You’ll find the number of students who received financial aid in 2010 is 910 students.  58% of the class received $26,794, in grants and scholarships, on average. Georgetown has given you a package that is pretty close, though you still can make a case for the additional $1,794. Now, on Georgetown’s need amount, there is no $2,100 in travel; you’ll have to negotiate with the financial aid office to get them to offset that cost. Subtracting those amounts from the $13,825, you’re now at $9,931. On College Navigator you’ll find that the average amount of student loan aid is $6,727. You’re only $3,204 apart.

A word about loans: If you must take out a loan you’ll want a federally subsidized Stafford loan or Perkins loan, if at all possible. These loans have low, fixed interest rates and the interest doesn’t start ticking until you’re finished with college (and can be delayed should you go on to graduate school).  Avoid Parent Plus loans no matter what the situation. Parent Plus is a full recourse loan (meaning the lender can get its money back anyway it sees fit, placing a lean on your house, garnishing your wages…), is not dischargeable, which means even if you declare bankruptcy the loan will not be dismissed and will continue accumulating interest and fees, and can potentially destroy your credit rating before you take one step into the workforce. (If you wish to learn more about the dangers of Student Loans please refer to Debt Free U by Zac Bissonnette, p. 61-97).

Congratulations, you’ve done a good job evaluating your Georgetown financial package. When negotiating your financial aid, treat it no differently than buying a car. You want to negotiate the lowest price possible through whatever grant and scholarship monies are available. Better still, you know they want you, after all they accepted you and they want the best yield (# students matriculating/# students accepted) percentage possible—it helps with their US News ranking. Negotiate hard, and go Hoyas.

재정 보조에 관하여

  •        College Navigator에서 학비 계산하기
  •        College Navigator에서 재정 보조 비교하기
  •        Parent Plus Loan 절대로 피해라

이제 합격의 소식이 들리기 시작하면, 재정 보조 제안을 비교 분석하는 것이 필수적이다.  가장 좋은 방법은 큰 종이나 계산 종이 위에 각 대학의 정보를 적는 일이다:

첫 줄: 재학 총 비용 (등록금+숙식비+책값+기타 비용+여행비)[COA]

둘째 줄: 가족이 댈 수 있는 금액(FAFSA양식에서 계산) )[EFC]

셋째 줄: 부족부분(첫줄-둘째줄)

넷째 줄: 제안받은 재정보조 제안

이것이 기본적인 재정 보조 공식이다.  이 공식이 맘에 안 들어도 끝까지 읽으면, 유용하다는 것을 알게 될 것이다.

먼저, Georgetown University를 예를 들어 한 줄씩 계산을 해보자.  첫 줄 계산을 위해 College Navigaor (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/)에서 COA를 계산하자.  ‘Georgetown’을 치고, “tuition, fees, and estimated student expenses”의 탭을 클릭하자.  그러면, 2010-2011년도의 등록금이 $40,203이고, 책과 학용품이 $1,184, 숙식비용이 $12,789, 다른 비용이 $2,340이다.  만약 캘리포니아에서 간다면, 년간 오고 가는 비용을 계산하면, 여행비용을 $2,100으로 잡고, 총 COA는 $58,625가 된다.

다음, 둘째 줄의 가족이 대는 비용 (EFC)를 계산하면, FAFSA에서 계산하거나, 졸업반이 아니면, finaid.org(http://www.finaid.org/calculators)나  College Board에 개인정보를 넣으면, 알 수 있다.  최소한의 EFC를 계산하는데, 대략, $17,000이라고 하자.

셋째 줄의 필요부분은 첫 줄에서 둘째 줄을 빼면, $41,625가 된다.  이 금액을 어떻게 대학이 제공할지를 살펴보자.  좋은 소식은 Georgetown은 이유를 따지지 않고 미국 응시자에게 보조를 한다는 사실이다.  그래서 대학이 $25,000을 장학금과 그랜트로 준다고 하자. 그리고나서 work/study로 $2,800을 받고, 대출을 $13,825를 받는다면 해결이 된다.  College Navigator에서 Financial Aid를 찾으면, 2010년도에 910명의 학생들이 재정보조를 받았음을 알 수 있다.  58%의 학생이 평균 $26,794를 장학금과 그랜트로 받았다.  여러분도 이런 제의를 받는다면, $1,794만이 부족이다.  그러나 Georgetown은 여행을 위한 $2,100에 대한 보조는 없다.  이제 여러분은 재정담당을 찾아가서 협상을 해야 한다.  그래서 해결이 되면, 이제 $13,825에서 빼면, $9,931만 남는다.  College Navigator을 보면, 평균 학생대출보조는 $6,727이다.  그러면, 이제 $3,204만 남아있다.

대출에 대한 한마디: 대출을 받아야 한다면, Stafford나 Perkins 론을 받도록 해야 한다.  이 대출은 이자율이 낮고, 고정되어 있고, 대학을 마칠 때까지 이자율이 오르지 않는다(대학원을 간다면, 더 연기된다).  어떤 상황에서라도 Parent Plus 대출은 피해야 한다.  이 대출은 상환대출 (반드시 갚아야 하며, 주택에 차압이나 월급의 차압도 가능하다)이고, 피할 수 없고, 파산을 선고해도 이자율도 계속 올라가고 직장을 시작하기도 전에 여러분의 크레딧을 잃게 한다 (만약 이 위험에 대해 더 자세히 알고 싶다면, Zac Bissonnette의 Debt Free U 의 P. 61-97참고바람).

여러분이 Georgetown의 재정보조를 잘 평가해보았다면, 축하를 보낸다.  이것은 여러분이 차를 살 때와 다르지 않다는 것을 명심해야 한다.  그랜트와 장학금으로 최대한 낮은 비용을 내도록 협상해야 한다.  도한 일단 입학제안을 받으면, 대학이 좋은 입학률을 위해 US News의 등급에 필요하기 때문) 여러분을 필요로 한다는 사실을 염두에 두고 협상에 임해야 한다.  잘 협상하여 Georgetown 재학생이 되길 바란다.

 

Knowing a College Well: An Exercise at Bucknell University

The summer is an ideal time to ‘test drive’ a college. Even though the bulk of your undergraduate years will be spent inside the classroom and library walls (at least they better be), knowing the campus and the community where you’ll be spending at least the next four years, possibly longer, is important. A good exercise to help you explore a school you’re serious about is to pretend you’re already there.

To begin, let’s choose a college. If you’re thinking of engineering, or chemistry, and have a penchant for liberal arts programs as well, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania might be of interest. We’ll want to gather as much information as possible by touring its website, http://www.bucknell.edu/x19.xml, reviewing its course catalog, http://www.bucknell.edu/catalog.xml, researching its core requirements, and looking at its admissions rates, which can be readily found on the College Navigator site. 

The next step is to imagine you’re in Bucknell, nestled in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, a town rated 15th in the 100 best, small towns in America. You are now living in one of the five college-owned apartment buildings and you’re finishing up a meal at the award-winning Bostwick Cafeteria, which offers “local produce and lots of healthy and vegetarian options.” (Fiske Guide to Colleges 2010, page 83). You might take a stroll among the 450 secluded, hilly acres overlooking the Susquehanna River, walking by one of the 100 buildings, the recently constructed, $8-million, Breakiron Engineering building. The place has the feel of a country club, which isn’t too surprising as it’s the sixth most expensive university in the country.

Now it’s time to choose your courses and consider which of the 50 majors and 60 minors are of most interest. If it’s chemistry, there is a lot to consider: a chemistry major with a minor in biology, or possibly a combined chemistry major with a liberal arts degree, a five-year program. There are a lot of options to consider.  The university has writing requirements (all students are required to successfully complete three writing courses) and lots of undergraduate research opportunities; Bucknell will supply a stipend of $2,500 for the most promising ones.

Exploring the academic environment in greater depth, we discover Bucknell is comprised of two undergraduate colleges: Engineering (650 students), and Arts and Sciences (2,900 students). Additionally, Bucknell has no core curriculum, though the College of Arts and Sciences offers a “Common Learning Agenda” that consists of 6 courses of questionable efficacy. The student/teacher ratio is 11:1, not bad (and not too surprising in light of the generally small class sizes: 93% of the classes have fewer than 50 students.). Furthermore, the quality of the professors is high. According to the ISI On-line College Guide, http://www.collegeguide.org/index.aspx, the professors like to teach, over 60% are tenured, and virtually all have terminal degrees (PhD). The faculty does teach all the classes.  The leading departments are engineering, computer science, economics, and chemistry. The acclaimed professors include Tristan Riley in sociology, Eric Tilman in chemistry, and Nancy White in Economics. You can do a fairly thorough examination of a portion of the faculty at ‘Rate My Professor.com’, http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SearchSchool.jsp.

Finally, the acid test of this exercise is to produce a concise list of the pros and cons of the school, preferably on one sheet of paper.

What have you actually accomplished with this exercise? Undoubtedly, it will make you an expert on each college you review. Furthermore, if you encounter the question about ‘Why Bucknell?” on the application, you won’t have any difficulty pulling together your facts. Should you interview at the school or with an alumni, you’ll be thoroughly prepared. In fact, examining any school at this level gives you the knowledge that few applicants might have. The admissions office will certainly be impressed by your knowledge, and awareness of the college equates with a high interest level. The school will know you’re serious, that you care, and that you’ll probably be a dedicated member of their college community. It’s a good way to gain acceptance.  

대학을 알자: Bucknell University

여름은 대학을 시험 운전처럼 알아보기 좋은 시간이다.  물론 여러분이 대학 진학 후, 강의실과 도서관에서 시간을 보내야 하지만 (좋은 일이다), 여러분이 4년 혹은 더 길게 보내야 될 캠퍼스와 그 동네를 알아보는 일은 중요하다.  대학을 탐험할 때는 마치 이미 그 대학에 있는 것처럼 생각하는 것이다.

먼저, 대학을 선택하자.  만약 공학, 화학, 그리고 인문학의 애호가라면, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania 가 흥미를 끌 것이다.  다음, 대학의 웹싸이트 (  http://www.bucknell.edu/x19.xml), 과목 카탈로그 (http://www.bucknell.edu/catalog.xml ),와 College Navigator 싸이트에서 알 수 있는  중요 요구조건들, 합격률 등 가능한 많은 정보를 수집하도록 한다.

다음 단계로 여러분이 미 전국 최고의 100위 소도시들 중 15위에 드는 Lewisburg, Pennsylvania의 이 대학 안에 있다고 가정하자.  그러면, 여러분은 5개의 대학 아파트 빌딩 중의 한 곳에 살 것이며, “근교 생산물의 건강식과 많은 야채를 제공”(Fiske guide to Colleges 2010, page 83) 하는 품질상을 받은 Bostwick Cafeteria 에서 식사를 할 것이다.  여러분은 이 대학내의 100개 건물 중의 하나인, 최근 800만 달러를 들여 건축된 Breakiron Engineering 건물을 걸으면서, Susquehanna River를 내려다 보는 450 에이커의 한적한 언덕길을 산책하고 있을 것이다.  이곳은 마치 컨트리 클럽을 생각나게하는 전국에서 6번째로 비싼 대학인 것이 놀라운 사실이 아니다.

이제 50개의 전공과 60개의 부전공 중에서 교과목을 선택하자.  화학을 택한다면, 여러 가지를 고려할 수 있다: 화학전공+생물학 부전공, 혹은 5년 과정의 화학전공+인문학 등 여러 선택이 있다.  또한 대학은 작문을 요구하며(모든 학생이 3과목의 작문을 마쳐야 한다), 여러 리서치 기회가 있으며 좋은 연구에는 $2,500을 제공한다.

이 대학의 학문적 깊이를 따져보면, Bucknell 은 2개의 학부 대학이 있다: Engineering (650명), 인문학(2,900).  그리고 인문대학에서는 6개의 교과목 중심의 “common Learning Agenda”를 제공하며, 핵심 커리큘럼은 없다.  학생/교사 비율은 11:1로 나쁘지 않다(93%의 학급이 50명 미만의 소규모 수업이다).  더욱이, 교수의 질이 높다.  ISI On-line College Guide(http://www.collegeguide.org/index.aspx )에 따르면, 교수들이 가르치고 싶어하는 곳으로 60%이상이 종신직이며, 전교수가 최고학벌(Ph.D.)이다.  모든 과목을 실제 교수가 가르친다.  우수 학과는 공학, 컴퓨터학, 경제학과 화학이다.  명성높은 교수는 사회학의 Tristan Riley, 화학의 Eric Tilmn, 경제학의 Nancy white 이다.  ‘Rate My Professor.com’ (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SearchSchool.jsp )에서 자세한 조사를 할 수 있다.

무엇보다 이 시험운전의 가치는 한 장 이상의 찬반론을 제가할 수 있다는 점이다.

이 시험으로 무엇을 얻을 수 있는가?  여러분은 각 대학의 전문가가 될 것이다.  만약 여러분이 ‘왜 Bucknell?’인가 질문을 받는다면, 거리낌없이 말 할 수 있을 것이다.  만약 이 대학 선배와 면접을 하게 된다해도, 자신있게 답할 수 있을 것이다.  이 정도라면 어떤 응시자도 알지 못하는 정보를 지니는 것이다.  입학심사관은 여러분의 지식과 대학 관심도를 높이 평가할 것이다.  대학은 여러분이 이 대학을 진지하게 생각하고 신경쓴다는 점에서 이 대학을 위한 헌신된 학생으로 생각할 것이다.  그런 점에서 입학을 얻어 낼 수도 있다.

 

Retention Rates: A Critical Measure of a College Program

If there were but one factor I could review to determine the effectiveness of a college or university’s program it would certainly not be the US News and World Report Rankings, or the 25 and 75 percentile SAT scores of the incoming class, or even the number of Rhode scholars, or Fulbright scholars it has graduated over the last 10 years. Instead, I’d rather see the school’s retention rate: the number of freshmen students who return for their sophomore year at the same school. Experience tells us that freshman year in college is a massive adjustment. Those schools who can guide their students successfully through freshman year are gems, because a lot of students fail to successfully make the transition in college.

The national average retention rate for all two and four-year colleges is 66%: a third of the freshman class elects not to continue its studies, or transfers to another college. At the low end of freshman retention rate are public community colleges with 54%. At the high range are state and private universities with PhD programs, at 74% and 81%.  

A good place to gain a sense of a college’s retention rate is at College Navigator, a site well worth frequenting, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/. When you go to the site, type in the name of the college you want to review, say Grinnell College (in Iowa), and then click on ‘Retention and graduation rates.’ In this particular case, you’ll find that Grinnell retains 93% of its freshman. That’s considered a high retention rate, which isn’t much of a surprise, as Grinnell is a highly competitive college; it admits 34% of its applicants. Grinnell’s retention rate isn’t quite up to the Ivy levels where: Brown has 97%; Dartmouth 98%; Cornell 96%; Columbia 99%; Yale 99%; Harvard 97%, Princeton 98%; and University of Pennsylvania 98%. As an aside, when you look at these retention rates, it’s not surprising to realize that transferring in to any of them is almost impossible—few students depart prior to graduation, so there just aren’t many openings to fill.

Examining retention rates is important when evaluating a school that’s unfamiliar. One example that I recently came across was New College, a small, public honors university in Florida. The write up in the 2010 Fiske Guide to Colleges noted New College (NCF) was much smaller than that of a ‘typical liberal arts college,’ and rated it a ‘best buy.’ Additionally, the article noted that NCF has produced 25 Fulbright Scholars since 2001, with a rigorous academic curriculum, and with 90% of the classes composed of 25 or fewer students. It sounded absolutely tantalizing. Yet, when you pull up New College’s retention information you find, it’s 82%, not horrible, but not particularly good, especially for a school this size composed of highly skilled students; worse, however, you’ll also discover that the ‘transfer out rate’ is 33% of the class, and each class has, on average, only 170 students. For a school this small to lose almost 20% of its class after the first year is troubling. If one is considering attending, one would want to know what’s going on and why is this rate so high? Realize that the University of Florida, Gainesville, a university with almost 35,000 undergraduates, has a 95% retention rate, and only a 6% transfer out rate.  

Are retention rates the Rosetta Stone in deciphering the successful schools from the average? Of course not, I duly acknowledge retention is but one statistic that indicates schools that take students to the next level. It’s not surprising that the most illustrious schools, the ones with the five-star reputations, have extremely high retention rates. Even if they were doing a mediocre job, the type of students they enlist would probably succeed just about anywhere. A lot has to do, not only with the quality of the institution, but with the quality of the student body it contains. I certainly, however, don’t discount successfully high retention rates; keeping 900 in a class of 1000 engaged and on track is a challenge.

Retention Rates

재학률: 대학 프로그램의 중요한 판단기준

만약 필자에게 대학이나 그 대학의 프로그램의 효율성에 대한 기준이 되는 요소를 물어온다면, 그 기준은 US News and World Report 의 등급이나, 신입생의 SAT 평균치나, 지난 10년간의 Rhode 장학생이나 Fulbright장학생의 숫자가 아니다.  필자는 대학의 재학률 (신입생이 다음해에 같은 대학에 등록하는 률)을 들 것이다.  경험적으로 신입생의 첫 해는 적응기이다.  만약에 대학이 신입생들을 성공적으로 안내한다면 이러한 대학들은 주옥 같은 대학들이다.  왜냐 하면, 많은 학생들이 대학에서 성공적으로 해내지 못하기 때문이다.

2년제와 4년제 대학의 전국적 재학률은 66%이다: 이는 신입생의 1/3이 대학공부를 계속하지 않거나, 다른 대학으로 전학을 간다는 의미이다.  Community college의 재학률은 54%에 불과하다.  높은 재학률을 보이는 곳은 주립과 사립대학의 PhD 프로그램으로 각기 74%와 81%이다.

대학의 재학률을 알아보기 적당한 곳으로는  College Navigator 싸이트이다. (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/).  그 싸이트에서 알고 싶은 대학을 넣으면 된다.  예를 들면, Grinnell College (in Iowa)에 대해 알고 싶으면, 그 싸이트에서 ‘retention and graduation rates’를 치면 된다.  이 대학은 재학률이 93%로 높은 재학률을 보이는데, 아이비 리그 대학은 아니지만, 경쟁률이 높은 대학으로서 놀라운 사실이 아니다.  아이비 리그대학들은 다음과 같다: Brown, 97%; Dartmouth, 98%; Cornell, 96%; Columbia, 99%; Yale, 99%; Harvard, 97%; Princeton, 98%; U. Penn, 98%.  이러한 재학률을 볼 때, 이 대학들로의 전학을 거의 불가능하다-졸업전에 대학을 떠나는 학생이 드물기 때문에 자리가 거의 없다.

재학률은 잘 알려져 있지 않는 대학을 평가할 때도 중요하다.  필자는 우연히 플로리다에 있는 작은 규모의 New College를 알게 되었다.  2010 Fiske Guide to Colleges 에 New College (NCF)는 전형적인 인문대학들보다도 작으나, ‘best buy’에 들어 있다.  또한 이 대학은 2001년 이래로 25명의 Fulbright 장학생을 배출하였으며, 우수한 커리큘럼과 함께 학급수 25명 이하이다.  감질나게 하는 곳이다.  그러나 재학률을 보면 85%로서 나쁘지는 않지만, 작은 수의 우수한 학생들인 학교로서는 특별히 좋지도 않다. 한편, 전학률을 보면 33%이며, 한 학년의 평균수가 170명이다.  이 작은 학교에서 1학년 후에 거의 20%의 학생을 잃는 것이다.  만약 여러분이 이 대학에 지망하려 한다면, 이 대학의 재학률이 왜 낮은지를 알아 보아야 한다.  반면, 학생수가 35,000명인 University of Florida, Gainesville는 95%의 재학률에 6%만이 전학을 간다.

그렇다면 재학률이 평균이상의 성공적인 대학을 표시하는 로제타 스톤인가?  물론 아니다.  필자는 재학률이 단지 학생들이 다음해에 등록하는 통계라는 것을 인정하지만, 대부분의 5성의 명문들이 높은 재학률을 보이는 것은 놀라운 것이 아니다.  이 대학들은  평범하게 일을 한다 할  지라도, 이 대학에 다니는 학생들은 아마도 뛰어나게 공부할 것이다.  그러므로 대학의 질도 중요하고, 그 대학에 다니는 학생들의 수준도 중요하다.  그러나 대학 재학률을 경시해서는 안 된다; 1000명의 학생 중에서 900명을 진학시키는 일은 도전적인 일임에 분명하다.

 

The Common Data Set, a Useful Tool

  • Its Origins
  • How to find it
  • How to use it

Do you want to find out how many students transferred to Cornell University last year? Or, how many students received financial aid (institutional and government grants) at Pomona College, and how much each actually got? Or, do you want to find out the real student to faculty ratio at Dartmouth? If you do there are two places to go to answer many of these questions accurately and efficiently: College Navigator is one (and it has been profiled by me often. If you haven’t had a chance, you really need to go to its website and take a look at some of the schools you have under consideration. (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/). This is one example of our tax dollars well-spent; it’s truly a veritable goldmine of valuable college information.

The other tool of equal utility is the Common Data Set (CDS), and it is in today’s spotlight. The CDS is a collaboration among the vast universe of colleges and universities, the College Board, Peterson’s (an eminent educational publisher), and US News and World Report to standardize, improve, and make transparent information about higher education. In essence, the CDS standardizes, into a convenient 32 page report (approximately), a huge amount of data. Each college (most colleges-a word about this shortly) makes available its information on:

  • Average financial aid award
  • Break down of loans versus grants in average financial aid packages (very valuable when you’re attempting to figure out how much grant support your application may garner)
  • % of financial need met for typical student
  • Amount of merit money (if any) for affluent students who don’t qualify for need-based aid
  • Academic profile of freshman class—including GPA and SAT/ACT scores
  • Criteria for admission
  • Undergraduate class sizes
  • Accurate faculty/student ratio
  • Cost of attending
  • Retention rate and 4-year graduation rate

The quality and quantity of information you can obtain from a school’s CDS far outstrips anything you’d find in a standard college guide, such as Fiske or Princeton Review. Better still, getting a copy of the Common Data Set is as easy as logging on your computer and Googling up: Common Data Set <Name of School>.  In many cases, the CDS, as with Pomona College, will come up as a PDF file that you can easily search. Better still, once you’ve accessed information on Pomona College, you can then turn to another CDS for, say Stanford University, and the format is identical.

When I was doing research for a student wishing to submit a transfer application to Cornell University, RPI, and Northwestern, I was able to go to section D of the CDS for each of the schools and immediately learn whether the school accepts transfers for the fall, how many transfer applicants each had, what portion were admitted, and what number actually enrolled. It also clearly explained all the items required for transfer students to apply for admission. Before the CDS became available, this type of research would require, in most cases, me to call each individual institution and pray I might find someone in admissions who actually could supply me with this information.

There are schools which, for whatever reason, don’t make their CDS available. Two I’m aware of are Washington University in St; Louis, and USC. Fortunately, Amherst College, Northwestern, Penn State, Yale, Centre College, NYU, UC Berkeley, to name but a few, do.  Brown’s CDS even includes specific numbers on its wait list in section C2: 1,500 applicants were offered a place on Brown’s waiting list, 500 accepted, and 82 made it off it. Where else can you find such information? If you don’t review the CDS for each of the colleges on your short list for the financial grant information alone, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.

유용한 도구인 CDS (Common Data Set)

  • 출처
  • 찾는 방법
  • 사용법

혹시 작년에 Cornell 대학으로 전학한 학생수가 궁금하지 않는지?  아니면, Pomona 대학에서 장학금 혜택을 받은 학생수와 실제 얼마씩 받았는지 알고 싶은지?  또한, Dartmouth 대학의 교수 대 학생 비율이 궁금하지 않는지?  그렇다면, 정답을 효과적으로 찾을 수 있는 곳이 두 군데 있다.  먼저, College Navigator는 필자가 자주 인용하는 곳이다.  아직 접할 기회가 없었다면, 꼭 여러분이 가고자 하는 대학을 찾아보길 바란다 (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/).  세금을 제대로 쓰고 있는 정부싸이트이며, 대학에 대한 값진 보고이다. 

유용한 다른 한 곳은 Common Data Set (CDS) 이며, 오늘 집중 거론하고자 한다.  이곳은 여러 대학들과, College Board, Peterson 출판사, US News and World Report를 결집하여, 표준화된 명확한 정보를 알려주고 있다.  핵심적으로 CDS에서는 표준화된 엄청난 자료의 32쪽의 보고서이다. 각 대학들은 아래의 유용한 정보내용을 담고 있다:

  • 평균 재정보조
  • 그랜트와 론을 분리함(그랜트에 대한 매우 유용한 정보임)
  • 평균적으로 학생들이 필요로 하는 재정보조률
  • 필요기준이 아닌 학생들을 위한 장학금
  • 신입생 학업 프로파일 정보-GPA, SAT/ACT 성적
  • 입학 기준
  • 학부 클라스 크기
  • 교수 대 학생 비율
  • 대학 등록의 값
  • 보유률과 4년 졸업률

CDS에서 얻을 수 잇는 정보의 량과 질은 일반 대학 가이드인 Fiske, Princeton Review를 훨씬 능가한다.  또한 이곳에서 정보를 얻는 일은 여러분의 컴퓨터에서 구글로 가서 로그인만하면 된다: Common Data Set <Name of School>.  예를 들면 Pomona 대학처럼 CDS에서는 PDF파일로 자료가 나타난다.  Pomona 대학을 조사한 후, 바로 Stanford University 로 가면 된다.

필자가 Cornell University, RPI, Northwesstern으로 전학가고자 하는 학생을 상담할 때, CDS의 D section에서 이번 가을학기의 전학생의 수, 전학 가능한 학교, 등록한 전학생의 수 등을 알아낼 수 있었다.  CDS 가 가능하지 않았을 때는 필자는 개개의 대학에 전화로 문의하면서, 답을 줄 수 있는 담당자와 연결이 되길 기도해야만 했었다.

한편, 아직 CDS에서 정보를 얻을 수 없는 대학들도 있다.  Washington University in St. Louis와 USC 이다.   Amherst College, Northwestern, Penn State, Yale, Centre College, NUY, UC Berkeley 등은 가능하다.  Brown 대학은 CDS 의 C2 section에서 대기자 정보를 포함시키고 있다: 1500명이 대기자순에 있었으며, 500명이 입학허가 되었으며, 82명은 포기했다.  어디에서 이런 자세한 정보를 얻을 수 있겠는가?  여러분의 대학 리스트에 있는 대학들을 CDS에서 찾아보지 않는다면, 본인에게 해야 할 일을 하지 않는 것과 같다.

 

Searching for Scholarships

  • Types of Scholarships available
  • Best Scholarship Search Tools
  • Search Systematically
There’s something almost magical about hunting for scholarships. When you find scholarship listings and start adding up the numbers, it evokes the feeling of winning the lottery: $10,000 for writing an Isaac Newton essay or $2,500 for listing community service projects. It’s all very alluring, but don’t let the potential sums distract you from the realities of gaining scholarships. Playing the scholarship game requires a plan, a bit of self-knowledge, and a firm grasp of reality. Scholarships represent a nice source of money for college. The best aspect of scholarships is they’re like grants; they don’t have to be repaid. Be aware, however, that some schools, especially the most selective, might deduct scholarship winnings from grants offered.  Such possibilities make it essential to do a bit of investigation before you go on your scholarship hunt. Know the colleges you’re applying to and how they handle financial aid issues. Some of this might be gleaned from College Navigator’s financial aid section; some from the school’s website, but the real facts come by asking the admissions office directly or, better still, from a scholarship student in the previous year’s class. Next, it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of what type of scholarships are available. There are school specific scholarships. Don’t hesitate to apply for these while you’re in the application stage; if you wait till after your application is sent in, you’ll be too late. Then there are slews of private scholarships from companies, private donors, and a rash of others, which reward students for everything from academics and leadership to heritage and hobbies, to having the last name of Brown.  There are also scholarships awarded for essays and research. These are the broad range of scholarship categories most students consider. (Note, athletic scholarships are a category unto themselves requiring a separate column altogether.) This mish mash of potential sources of college scholarships immediately brings up the question of where and how can you find and obtain scholarships. School specific scholarships that are merit-based can be found at a new website www.meritaid.com; naturally, it’s always a good idea to search for scholarships at the website of each school of interest. The criteria for school specific scholarships run the gamut from academic performance to talent. Your chances improve, in many cases, if you apply with a strong transcript and test scores. Additionally, when applying, find out if the scholarship is renewable annually. Many scholarships are offered to help students achieve their goals. Consequently, you need to consider and review your own goals, take an inventory of your skills and accomplishments, and clearly consider your background. In particular think about your church, family, and even your physical characteristics (believe it or not, there are scholarships for everything from being a twin, to being taller than 6’1”). The best place to start your scholarship search is in your high school counseling office (it usually is the first place scholarship notifications are received and posted.)  Others include the employers of your parents, or relatives, churches, service organizations (such as the Chamber of Commerce or Kiwanis Club), and on-line sites. Probably the best known on-line sites are Fast Web (www.fastweb.com), Financial Aid (www.finaid.com), and College Scholarships (www.collegescholarships.org). Fast Web alone will supply you with a steady stream of prospective scholarship leads once you’re registered. Lastly, there is a cardinal rule in the pursuit and selection of scholarships: never pay a fee for applying. The trick is to find a set of scholarships that have potential, pull together your resources (essays, personal references, transcripts), and make sure you present yourself appropriately (have a decent email address, and hide your Facebook and Myspace profiles from public view). For an impactful scholarship effort, applying for 20 or more scholarships is a good idea; after all, once you assemble all the necessary resources, you want to use them to greatest effect. Gaining scholarships is hard work, planning, and effort. A systematic approach, as with most things, brings the best prospects for success. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy College Prep LLC -------------------------------------- 장학금을 찾자
  • 여러 유형의 장학금들
  • 찾는 방법들
  • 체계적으로 조사하기
장학금을 사냥할 때는 마술에 가까운 어떤 것이 있다.  여러분이 장학금 목록을 발견하고 그 금액을 더할 때는 마치 복권에 당첨이라도 된 기분이 든다: Isaac Newton 에세이에 만불, community service project에 2,500불.  매우 유혹적이다.  그러나 총액에 마음을 빼앗겨 장학금 획득을 위한 현실을 깨닫지 못해서는 안 된다.  장학금 게임에는 계획, 지식, 그리고 현실감이 필요하다. 장학금은 대학을 위한 자금줄이다.  가장 좋은 종류는 그랜트이다:  갚을 필요가 없다.  그러나, 대부분의 명문대들은 장학금 액수에서 그랜트를 제외하기도 한다.  그러므로 장학금을 사냥할 때, 이런 가능성을 미리 알아보는 것이 좋다.  대학측에 여러분이 재정보조 문제를 어떻게 할 것인지를 미리 알려라.  College Navigator의 재정보조 부문에서 정보를 수집하거나, 학교의 웹싸이트를 참고한다.  한편, 입학부서에 직접 문의하거나 전년도 장학금 수혜자에게 문의하는 것도 효과적이다. 다음, 어떤 종류의 장학금을 이용할 수 있는 알아두어야 한다.  학교마다 특정한 장학금이 있다.  응시할 때부터 문의해 두는 것을 망설일 필요없다; 아니면 신청하기에 늦을 수 있다.  회사나 개인기부자, 혹은 단체 에서 주는 학업우수자, 리더쉽, 혈통, 취미, 혹은 Brown 성을 가진 학생에게 주는 것 등 다양하다.  또한 에세이나 연구에 주는 것도 있다.  이러한 종류들은 대부분의 모든 학생들에게 해당된다(운동선수에게 주는 장학금은 별도이다).  이러한 여러 장학금을 어디에서 어떻게 찾고 받을 수 있는지 의문이 떠오를 것이다. 학교마다 상의 성격을 띤 장학금을 새 웹싸이트에서 찾을 수 있다.  학교 장학금에 대해서는 학교 웹싸이트를 찾는 것이 좋은 생각이다.  학교의 특정 장학금 선발의 기준은 학업성적에서부터 특기까지 다양하다.  만약 성적과 시험성적이 우수하다면, 많은 경우에 기회는 상당히 높다.  또한 장학금을 신청할 때 매년 신청할 수 있는지도 알아두는 것이 좋다. 많은 장학금들이 학생들의 목표달성을 돕고자 한다.  그러므로 여러분은 여러분의 목표를 점검하고 본인의 기능의 목록과 업적을 살피고 점검할 필요가 있다.  특히, 교회, 가족, 신체조건도 생각해보라(믿지 않을지라도, 쌍둥이, 6’1”이상의 키에 대한 장학금도 있다). 장학금 찾기를 시작하려면, 먼저 고교의 상담 사무실에서 시작하라(이곳이 장학금 공고가 처음 되는 곳이다).  또한 부모님 직장, 친척, 교회, 사회단체(예: Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club)를 고려하고, 온라인 싸이트를 찾아보라.  가장 유명한 곳은 Fast Web (www.fastweb.com), Financial Aid (www.finaid.com), and College Scholarships (www.collegescholarships.org) 이다.  Fast Web은 한번 등록하면 계속 정보를 제공해준다.  끝으로 장학금을 찾고 선택할 때 기본 규칙이 있다: 절대로 응시료를 내지말라. 장학금을 찾기 위한 재주는 여러분의 자료(에세이, 추천서, 성적표)를 모아두고, 자신에 대해서는 적절히 소개하도록 한다(이메일 주소마련, Facebook, Myspace의 개인정보는 감추는 것이 좋다).  이러한 노력을 쓸 때 20개 이상을 하는 것이 좋다; 일단 모든 필요한 자료를 모아두면, 언제든지 아무리 많은 숫자도 응시할 수 있다.  장학금을 받는 것은 힘든 일이며, 계획을 세워야 하고 노력을 들여야 한다.  대부분의 일에서와 마찬가지로 체계적인 접근으로 성공을 위한 최상을 결과를 가져올 수 있다.

College Research on the Web

  • College Navigator Useful for the Basic Information
  • Unigo.com gives us a Community of Reviews to Consider
Among the many college information websites, several, such as the College Navigator, from the National Center of Educational Statistics,  http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ with its extensive enrollment and financial aid information, and the College Board site http://www.collegeboard.com/student/csearch/index.html with its college selection tools and college major research information, are stalwarts. Of course if you're interested in a specific school, its website is a good starting point. Many have links to the school's newspaper, student blogs (one of my favorites is a Dartmouth blogger who explains everything from study abroad opportunities to Dartmouth's "D-Plan", take a look at http://johnatdartmouth.blogspot.com/ ), curriculum details, and the biographies of key faculty.  There is, however, a new site worth checking out: Unigo.com (www.unigo.com). Even though it's still in beta, its videos alone can give a prospective student a real sense of the school and the students who attend it. That, however, barely touches the surface. Walter Mossberger, in his review of Unigo.com in the 20 February 2009 Wall Street Journal, called it a "college-information resource built for the age of You Tube and Facebook." (http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20090218/unigocom-gives-everyone-a-say-about-college-picks/ 23 February 2009). Besides a lot of videos, Unigo.com contains forums for general questions you might have about the admissions process and specific questions about a campus. The site has student sponsors on 300 campuses actively soliciting and posting reviews, interviews and information. Founded by a 26 year-old, former publisher of college guides, Unigo.com now claims to have over 15,000 student/contributors. Best of all, because the site is supported by advertisers (don't worry, ads don't interfere with the user experience), Unigo.com is free. The site contains an easy-to-use, powerful search engine, which can quickly access the information you need. If you're more traditional, and want to search for articles on specific topics, you might want to begin by scanning the topics in the left hand column categories on college admissions, financial aid, internships and jobs, college life, or study abroad. If you do a search over Reed College in Portland, Oregon, you'll come across: 79 student reviews, 19 photos, and 27 videos. On the Reed initial screen is a summary of the school: "While the workload will drive most students to the brink of insanity, the academic environment at Reed is extremely supportive..." After the summary you'll find a review, compiled by the editors at Unigo.com, which pieces together portions from the student reviews. At the bottom are pertinent quotes from various student reviews. It's also easy to get basic information about the school in the 'school statistics' section for each college. It contains information on admissions, the student body composition, and when to apply. There is also a quick ranking of the college (from 10, the highest, to 1) by: professor accessibility, culture, intellectual life, campus safety, and several others. The screen also supplies a list of similar colleges that you might want to consider. The site is not perfect by any means. College coverage is still limited; just over 300 colleges are covered. There are over 3,400 four-year institutions, so it's less than 10% of the way there. As yet, you cannot generate side-by side comparisons of schools. What it does deliver, is current student evaluations of schools in a lively forum of photos and videos. You can also band together with like minded students to review and talk about various schools. If you're considering one of the schools well-represented on the site, like Yale for example, you owe it to yourself to view some video-interviews of current students talking about everything from the recent election to social life. They tell you a lot about a cross section of the students on campus, and what these students consider important. Outside of a personal visit, I can't think of a better way to get a truer sense of a campus. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy College Prep LLC -------------------------------------- 인터넷에서 대학 조사하기
  • 기본 정보에 유용한 College Navigator
  • 대학 환경에 대한 정보를 주는 Unigo.com
많은 대학정보 웹싸이트 중에서 많은 등록인구와 재정정보가 뛰어난 교육 통계 센터의 College Navigator( http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator) 와 대학선택 도구, 전공찾기가 우수한 College Board 싸이트는 단연 돋보인다. (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/csearch/index.html).  물론, 여러분이 특정 대학에 관심이 있다면, 그 학교의 웹싸이트가 좋은 출발점이다.  많은 학교들이 학교신문, 학생 블로그, 자세한 교과과정, 교수진의 이력을 싣고 있다.  (필자는 다트머스 대학의 해외교환 프로그램이 D-Plan을 자세히 소개하는 Dartmouth blogger: http://johnatdartmouth.blogspot.com/를 애용한다).  한편, 새롭게 등장한Unigo.com (www.unigo.com)도 참고할 가치가 있다.  이 싸이트는 아직은 2위이지만, 재학생들과 학교에 대한 진면목을 보여주는 비디오를 담고 있다. Walter Mossberger는 Wall Street Journal (2월 20일 2009)에서 Unigo.com에 대해서”You Tube and Facebook세대를 위한 대학 정보 공급원”으로 평가했다. (http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20090218/unigocom-gives-everyone-a-say-about-college-picks/ 23 February 2009).  비디오 뿐만 아니라, Unigo.com은 대학입학 과정과 캠퍼스에 대한 특정질문이나 일반적 질문들을 위한 포럼의 장도 있다.  300개의 캠퍼스가 활발하게 참여하여 논평, 인터뷰, 정보를 싣고 있다.  26세의 전 대학가이드 편집장에 의해 만들어진 Unigo.com은 15,000명 이상의 학생/후원자들이 참여한다고 한다.  무엇보다도 이 싸이트는 광고(별로 방해가 되지 않으니 안심할 것)에 운영되므로 공짜이다. 또한 이 싸이트는 필요로 하는 정보를 쉽게 찾을 수 있게 편리한 search engine을 이용한다.  여러분이 특정 주제의 기사를 찾고 싶다면, 왼쪽 칼럼 부분에서 대학입학, 재정보조, 인턴쉽과 직업, 대학생활, 해외공부에 대해 찾을 수 있다. 만약 Reed College에 대해 알고 싶다면, 학생 79명의 경험담, 19개의 사진, 27개의 비디오 자료를 찾을 수 있다.  이 대학의 첫 장면은 대학을 잘 말해 주고 있다:”대부분의 학생들이 학업에 지쳐있을 때, Reed의 공부환경은 절대적으로 후원적이다….” 그 다음에는 Unigo.com 편집자들의 논평이 학생들의 논고와 함께 나타난다.  아래 부분에는 학생들의 논고의 인용문이 나타난다. 또한 각 대학의 기본 자료는 ‘학교 통계자료’ 부분에서 찾을 수 있다.  입학의 정보, 학생 구성원, 응시시기 등을 담고 있다.  각 부문별 등급도 알 수 있다: 교수접근도, 문화, 지적생활, 캠퍼스 안전도, 등등.  같은 화면에서 유사한 대학의 리스트도 제공하고 있다. 물론 이 싸이트도 완벽한 것은 아니다.  대학 수가 제한적이다:  300개 정도의 학교를 싣고 있다.  4년제 대학이 3,400 개 이상이므로 10%에도 못 미친다.  또한 여러 대학을 나란히 비교할 수 없다.  그러나, 재학생의 논평과 사진과 비디오는 귀한 자료이다.  그러므로 학생들의 실제 이야기를 참고할 수 있다.  예를 들어 Yale에 관심이 있다면, 재학생이 최근의 투표에서 사회생활까지 직접 인터뷰한 비디오를 볼 수 있다.  그래서 여러분이 대학에서 일어나는 여러 가지에 대해 알 수 있으며 학생들의 생각을 엿볼 수 있다.  실제로 방문하지 않고, 캠퍼스의 감각을 익히는 데 이보다 더 좋은 방법은 없을 것이다.

Dealing with the Costs of College

  • The Art of Leveraging your application
  • Don't hesitate to negotiate financial aid packages with colleges that have accepted you
Tuitions are slated to rise over the next years as public schools feel the pressure of state government belt tightening, and private schools encounter a drop off of funds. One remedy might be to apply to the service academies , which will cover all your costs and pay you a monthly stipend, or attend tuition-free schools (with some, such as Deep Springs, actually picking up all costs) .  Or, if you're lucky enough to gain admission to the most selective schools, you might find some incredible blue light specials: Stanford is eliminating tuition completely for students from families earning less than $100,000; Dartmouth & MIT are eliminating tuition for students from families earning less than $75,000; Harvard is implementing a descending payment scale for families earning less than $180,000. For families earning between $120,000 and 180,000, only 10% of their income will be paid to cover tuition; under $60,000, the family pays nothing. If, however, these alternatives do not fit into your college plans, don't despair. Now is a good time to start thinking about how you're going to leverage your application in the world of financial aid. No matter where you are in high school, there is one cardinal rule: get the best grades possible, and study for your standardized tests. Many schools, such as University of Nevada, Reno, award scholarships based on combinations of high standardized scores and GPAs. The higher your grades and test scores, the more options you will have to leverage your application Next, you need to apply to a lot of schools.  Look hard for schools where there might be a shortage of candidates with your type of qualities. If the school needs male trombone players, and it's a school of interest, get your application in.  Don't fall in love with one school and decide that you're going to apply Early Decision: if you do get in, your efforts to secure grants will be hampered. The admissions office does not have to negotiate very hard with you. It will, of course, give you enough to make attending affordable (or you can withdraw from the commitment), but the word 'affordable' has many definitions. Next, determine the total cost of attending each school on your list. One quick way to do this is to use College Navigator (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/), which contains 'estimated student expenses' and detailed financial aid information. Knowing your student expenses, you then deduct your grants and scholarships to determine your out-of-pocket expenses. You also need to know, should you be offered any scholarships, what are the requirements to get them renewed for each year you attend. Some schools offer substantial grants for freshman year. Once in, however, the renewal of these scholarships sometimes becomes extremely difficult. Also be aware of how long it will take to get your degree. For example, if you're attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and planning to study engineering, in all likelihood it's going to take 5-6 years to get your degree, not the standard 4. Again, you can find out about retention and graduation rates on College Navigator. This fact needs to be considered when negotiating your financial aid package with the admissions office. The key to this exercise is to get a mix of colleges interested in your application. You want them to feel the heat of competition. Then, you want to compare their offers. Sure, Yale's director of student financial services, Caesar Storlazzi, will tell you Yale, "does not match awards from other schools." Yet, if you've been accepted, Yale wants you. Consequently, Mr. Storlazzi adds, "(after) seeing the copy of an award from another school (it) often enables us to review the Yale 'needs analysis' and ask questions of the family to help us in reviewing our calculation of the parents' contribution." (US News and World Report, September 7, 2007, "How to Leverage Your Aid" by Kim Clark)   In other words, they're ready to play ball. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy College Prep LLC -------------------------------------- 대학 학자금 다루는 방법
  • 대학원서 활용의 예술
  • 입학된 대학과 재정보조 협상을 주저하지 말라
대학 등록금이 공립은 주정부의 재정압박으로 사립대학은 기금의 삭감으로 앞으로 몇 년간 계속 올라갈 것이다.  한가지 처방은 군복무 학교에 지원하는 것으로, 학비와 월 생활비까지 보장받는다.  아니면, 등록금-무료 대학(Deep Springs 대학에서는 모든 비용이 무료)에 다니는 것이다.  아니며, 운좋게도 명문대학에 입학하는 길이다.  아래의 명문대학들은 믿을 수 없는 밝은 빛을 비추어 준다: Stanford는 연소득 10만불이하의 가정의 자녀의 학비무료: Dartmouth & MIT에서는 연소득 7만5천불 이하의 가정의 자녀 학비무료; Harvard에서는 연소득 18만 이하의 가정의 학비를 비율로 삭감, 즉 12만에서 18만 소득 가정은 수입의 10%를 학비로 내지만, 6만이하의 가정은 전혀 학비를 내지않는다. 한편, 위와 같은 대안들이 여러분의 대학 계획에 들어있지 않더라도 너무 실망할 필요는 없다.  이제부터 재정보조를 위하여 여러분의 원서를 어떻게 활용할 것인지 생각해야 할 시기이다.  어느 고교에 재학 중이든지 한가지 주요한 규칙이 있다: 가능한한 좋은 학점을 받기와 표준고사 시험준비이다.  많은 대학들 (예: University of Nevada, Reno)은 학점과 시험성적을 합하여 장학금을 준다.  학점과 시험점수가 높으면 높을수록, 학자금을 받아낼 수 있는 선택은 많아진다. 다음, 많은 대학에 응시할 필요가 있다.  여러분과 같은 자질을 가진 응시자가 적은 학교를 애써서 찾아라.  만약 대학이 남자 트롬본주자를 필요로 하는데, 여러분이 맞다면, 원서를 넣어라.  한 학교에 집착해서 얼리 디시젼으로 응시하지 말아라: 합격이 되면, 그랜트를 받으려는 여러분의 노력은 무산될 수 있다.  이때, 입학사정실은 여러분과 협상할 필요가 없다.  물론 여러분이 대학을 다닐 수 있도록 도울 수 있지만, 돕는다는 의미도 다양하다. 다음, 여러분의 리스트에 있는 각 대학의 전체 비용을 계산하여라.  알아보는 빠른 방법은 College Navigator(https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/)이다.  대학에 드는 재정보조 정보와 ‘평균 학생비용’이 나와있다.  전체 비용을 알고서 그랜트와 장학금을 제하면 개인 지불비용을 알 수 있다.  또한 만약 여러분이 장학금을 받게되었다면, 매년 받기위한 자격도 미리 알아두는 것이 유용하다.  그러나 한번 받으면, 계속 받기란 매우 어렵다. 또한 학위를 받는데 걸리는 시간을 염두에 두어야 한다.  예를 들면, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo에서 공학을 공부한다면, 4년이 아닌 적어도 5-6년은 걸릴 것이다.  College Navigator에서 재학과 졸업률을 알아 볼 수 있다.  이런 사실도 재정문제와 더불어 고려되어야 한다. 이런 과정의 열쇠는 대학이 여러분의 원서에 흥미를 갖게 하는 것이다.  여러분이 대학이 경쟁을 느끼게 만들 수도 있다.  그 다음 각 대학들이 제공하는 장학금을 비교하는 것이다.  Yale대학의 학생재정담당관인, Caesar Storlazzi는 ‘다른 대학에서 제공하는 장학금과 상응하는 상이 없음’이라고 할 수 있다.  그러나, 여러분이 합격되었다면, 예일대에서는 여러분을 원한다.  그래서 Mr. Storlazzi는 “다른 대학이 제공하는 장학금을 살펴보고, 경제지원 ‘필요성 분석’을 위하여 가정환경을 분석하고 부모님의 재정능력을 고려할 수 있다”고 덧붙였다.  다시 말해, 여러분은 게임을 할 준비를 해야 한다.

What are the Actual College Retention Rates for our Leading Universities

What are the Actual College Retention Rates for our Leading Universities

According to a news item posted in the October 5th Korea Daily, "almost 1 out of 2 Korean-American students attending America's top universities drop out." This news arose from a doctoral dissertation by Samuel S. Kim, presented at Columbia University in late September. His dissertation was based upon a longitudinal study (a study that tracks a group of individuals over a relatively lengthy period of time) of 1400 Korean students enrolled at 14 universities (all the Ivies, Amherst, Duke, Stanford, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis) between 1985 and 2007.

College Preparation Primer for a Fall 2008 9th Grader

  • High School Demographics 2012
  • How to Start Preparing for the Ivy League
  • How to Start Preparing for University of California
  • How to Start Preparing for California State University
If I was about to start the 9th grade in a California high school this fall, and was contemplating my college possibilities, the first thing I would want to know is what will the demographics be when I graduate in 2012? (Congratulations to any 9th grader who does this under her own power.) In 2012 there will be about 3.1 million high school graduates nationally. That compares to over 3.3 million that graduated last June, as part of the class of 2008. Further, within California, the number of graduates in 2012 will be 375,000 (March 2008, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). This figure is slightly less than the number of high school graduates this year, which is just over 388,000 (By the way, this year the number of California high school graduates peaked.) Consequently, good news, gaining admission into college will be less competitive in 2012 than it is now. In any case, the question at hand is how best to prepare for college? Let's start by setting our sites on a highly selective private college; probably the best first step is to get a copy of the Common Application and examine the various questions and categories it contains: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/DownloadForms.aspx. If there is a specific campus or two that is strongly attracting our attention, we should get their supplements (if they are using the common application-many do, such as Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Amherst-but there are holdouts) and start going through the mental exercise of how would we like to see this application filled out at the end of our four years of high school. If we're thinking of applying to Yale or Stanford, it's probably a good idea to have all our standardized tests done before we start our senior year. If we're a serious candidate for one of these two schools, we should plan to apply Early Action Single Choice (with an application deadline of November 1st). If we're now thinking about preparing to attend a UC campus, the following link, http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/general_info/uc_reviews/freshman_app.html , tells us the raw admissions requirements (a-g courses, electives, tests, etc.) to gain entry. Naturally, there is a wide berth between gaining admission into UC Merced and UC Berkeley. So, as 9th graders, it's important for us to take as challenging a curriculum as our school offers, do well, make sure our standardized test scores place us well above the 50 percentile at the target UC, and to have a solid extracurricular activity that we'll develop over our four years of school. This is the standard refrain, but a very honest one nonetheless.  If you wish to get an even better sense of the admissions statistics for the UC System, campus by campus, check out www.StatFinder.ucop.edu. There are several websites that are very useful for gaining a sense of how to apply to the Cal State schools: CSU Mentor, www.csumentor,edu, and College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/. CSU Mentor is the site for all admissions information for the 23 campuses that compose the Cal State system. College Navigator is an invaluable tool for gaining the most current information on almost any college or university in the US. For now, we'll concentrate on CSU Mentor since, if you go to the following link: http://www.csumentor.edu/planning/high_school/subjects.asp, you'll find a high school course planner and suggested courses and activities by grade.  Getting accepted into the Cal States, by the way, is very formulaic. If you have the grades and scores you're in. If not, possibly a year or two at community college will allow you to re-apply. Is there any magical insight to give a 9th grader a decisive edge over similar candidates? Not really. Consider the process a marathon, not a set of brilliant tactics that cast a candidate head and shoulders above the crowd. The key is to learn, to become curious, to get passionate about some activity, to really get to know whichever colleges interest you, and then to figure out your best match. There are no real blue prints. The excitement is in creating your own. Ralph Becker Founder, Ivy College Prep, LLC --------------------------------------- 올해 9학년을 위한 대학준비 입문서 2012년의 고교 졸없생 통계학
  • Ivy League 준비하기
  • UC 준비하기
  • Cal State 준비하기
필자가 올해 9학년으로서 대학준비를 시작한다면, 먼저 2012년에의 인구통계학을 알아 볼 것이다.  9학년이 이것에 관심이 있다면 축하할 일이다.  2012년에는 전국 고교졸업생이 310만 명에 달한다.  2008년 졸업생은 330만 명에 달했다.  가주에서는 2012년 고교 졸업생은 375,00명이 된다 (March 2008, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education).  이 숫자는 올 졸업생 388,000명보다 약간 적은 수이다(올 가주 졸업생이 최고치였다).  결과적으로 2012년에는 올해보다 경쟁률이 낮아질 것이다. 그러면, 대학을 준비하는 가장 좋은 방법은 무엇인가?  먼저, 명문대를 목표로 시작하자; 아마 첫 단계는 Common Application 한 부를 구해서 각 분야별 다양한 질문들을 점검하는 일이다: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/DownloadForms.aspx.  만약 한 두 군데 특정 캠퍼스가 관심을 끈다면, 보충자료도 살펴본다 (Common Application을 사용하는 경우에- Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Amherst대학도 해당됨).  4년 뒤에 이 원서에 어떻게 채울 것인지를 머릿속에 그려본다.  만약 Yale이나 Stanford 지원을 생각한다면, 12학년 전에 모든 시험을 마치도록 계획을 세운다.  이 두 대학을 정말 지망하려 한다면 Early Action Single Choice (11월 1일 마감일)를 미리 계획해야 한다. 만약 UC를 계획한다면, 웹싸이트 http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/general_info/uc_reviews/freshman_app.html 에서 입학자격 (a-g 과목, 선택과목, 시험 등)을 알 수 있다.  한편, UC Berkeley와  UC Merced까지 폭넓은 선택이 있다.  그래서 9학년들은 어려운 과목에 도전하고, 표준 시험에서 상위 50%이상을 유지하고, 4년 동안 특별활동을 개발해야 할 것이다.  이것은 기본적인 규칙이지만 또한 정직한 과정이다.  UC의 각 캠퍼스를 자세히 알고자 하면, www.StatFinder.ucop.edu . 를 참고할 수 있다. Cal State 대학들에 대해 알고자 하면, CSU Mentor, www.csumentor,edu, and College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/를 참고하면 된다.  CSU Mentor는 23개의 캠퍼스의 입학 정보를 담고 있다.  College Navigator는 미국의 각 대학의 최근 정보를 알 수 있는 곳이다.  CSU를 자세히 알고자 할 때, http://www.csumentor.edu/planning/high_school/subjects.asp 에서 고교 과목 선정과 학년별 특별활동  제안을 살펴볼 수 있다.  CSU의 입학은 필요한 과목과 성적이 있으면 가능하다.  아니면, 1-2년뒤  community college에 가서 다시 응시하면 된다. 비슷한 9학년 응시자들을 위한 묘수가 있는가?  없다.  마라톤을 생각하자.  어떤 기발한 기술이 필요치 않다.  열쇠는 배우고, 호기심을 가지며, 특정활동에 열정적이 되는 것이다.  그리고, 정말로 여러분이 어떤 대학에 관심이 있으며, 여러분과 가장 잘 맞는지를 알아내는 일이다.  특정 청사진이란 없으며, 스스로 만들어내는데 있다.