Conducting research in high school provides experience that often translates to the college level. For some career paths, research is mandatory. Specifically, if you are applying for a combined degree, such as a BS/MD program at Northwestern Medical Honors, or the Brown PLME program, your credibility as an applicant is bolstered by any science related research projects performed during your high school years. Such programs as BUGS at USC, or RISE at Boston University (https://www.bu.edu/summer/high-school-programs/research/), which offers both internship and practicum summer tracks, present opportunities for high school students to build college level research inquiries and skills.
Straight-A students from some of the best high schools in the country become unhinged at the thought of crafting a 600-word essay in response to such a prompt: “Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you. Describe that influence.” (Recent Common Application, Question #3). It’s not surprising-- very few students learn the craft of essay writing. It’s become such a neglected art that Harvard, among many of the most selective schools, now requires all its undergraduates, without exception, to take an expository writing class. Knowing that the state of essay writing is in the doldrums, what might you do to attack this very daunting task?
With the average student loan debt in 2017 ranging between $20,000 and $25,000 and the amount of outstanding student loans exceeding $1.5 trillion nationally, it’s becoming imperative for students to understand basic financial literacy before they graduate and have to set budgets to pay back their share of this growing debt load.
Mahir Jethanandani’s California high school offered only a few classes related to business and finance – disciplines he was interested in exploring. So, he turned to massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered through Coursera to learn on his own.
“It came with an extension of knowledge and fundamental concepts that I felt improved my understanding of subjects that I claimed that I loved” but didn’t have much exposure to, says the 18-year-old. MOOCs also led him to explore other disciplines he was curious about, including law and neuroscience.
To take your independent reading game to the next level, consider selecting books that take center stage on university lists. The following books have been recommended to current classes at UMass Amherst, Duke, Stanford, USC, Washington State, and Occidental College. Pick up one and see what you’re missing. You might just become addicted.
To Tina Ellerbee, a former college swimmer, it was apparent when her 11-year-old daughter Allison Goldblatt began besting Tina’s collegiate times and qualified for the Junior Nationals that Allison was on track to swim on a NCAA division 1, Top-20 team.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, (SLO) nestled on the California coast, lives and breathes its motto, its core philosophy, ‘Learning by Doing,’ in engineering, business, architecture, viticulture, and all newer majors such as statistics. Classes emphasize activities and discussions, lab and field work, hands-on projects, and collaborative work experiences.
With the shock waves from the William Rick Singer admissions conspiracy still reverberating from the set of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and the walls of PIMCO to the water polo office at USC and the women’s soccer room at Yale, it’s as good a time as any to assess the role of financial influence on college admissions.
At the end of December of last year, Alex Roa, an undergraduate researcher at UCLA, pulled together a well-reasoned set of arguments as to why one should never be shamed by attending a community college. In fact, from a standpoint of return on time and money and personal growth, community college might just be the best payback.
The current medical school system in the US makes it quite expensive to become a doctor. According to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) the median current debt of graduating medical students is just under $200,000 and the doesn’t include debt incurred as an undergraduate. Compound this with the opportunity costs, not joining the workforce until many are in their early 30s, and the debt burden truly is substantial.
Any place that has the Banana Slug as its mascot will either attract or repulse. At the University of California Santa Cruz, for those who are allured, there is distinctly a countercultural element, initially signaled by the Banana Slug, that is better developed as one explores what the campus has to offer.
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the inventor of the Internet, has a full portfolio of high-tech ventures from accelerating molecular discoveries for new medicines, coatings, and dyes to Adaptable Navigation Systems so users (particularly the military) can navigate should GPS based systems get jammed or are not available because of geography.
Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and a graduate of Harvard’s Law School and Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and outspoken conservative who lost his bid for the Senate in 2016, ran with 3 others for positions on Harvard’s Board of Overseers, the college’s second highest governing body, under the banner: “Free Harvard, Fair Harvard.”
Getting into college is a major challenge. Yet, once in, prepare to work hard to uncover your capabilities and apply yourself. College can be a fabulous launching pad to a successful career or a series of careers.
However, if college plans are not set and thought through, a student can easily get derailed:
On average only 67% of students will return for sophomore year.
Only 19% of students finish a four-year degree in four years.
For the Class of 2015, only 14% had ‘career type jobs’ lined up after graduation, and the average student debt load for each was $35,000.
While many California students applying to private schools zero in on USC or Stanford, some adventurous applicants with a taste for a more varying climate and distinct academic challenges might turn east to such a school as Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
This year was filled with applicants applying to Yale University single choice early action (SCEA) and all were, of course, in search of information about how they might gain an edge in the application process. What this article intends to supply is as accurate a portrait of what Yale admissions is looking for in a candidate—most of which is taken directly off the Yale admissions website—
Ken Bain, a professor of history, and an ardent educator who never stops searching for a better way to educate students in how to discover the truth, published a book, ‘What the Best College Teachers Do.’ A key chapter deals with the expectations these best teachers have for their students. On page 85 he focuses on students’ ‘Intellectual Development.’ Bain actually captured this ‘inventory of reasoning’ from Arnold Arons, a physicist at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Critical thinking entails, at a minimum, a series of 10 reasoning and abilities and habits of thought:
As made clear in last month’s notes, the College Board administered in August 25th, 2018 a test that had previously been administered in China and Korea in June of 2017. Additionally, this is one of the exams that, apparently, got into the hands of many test taking companies and was intensively studied by students throughout Asia. By most standardized testing controls, if you have one set of students that have previously seen and studied the test, and another that has not, the results are in question, and the test is thrown out, and a new test issued.
In 1854 Commodore Mathew Perry arrived in Tokyo Bay and began negotiating the opening of Japan to the World. This ended of the Edo period and the downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Japan, a xenophobic and proud nation, was not willing to be sectioned off into occupied zones, subject to the whims of European, or at the time, second rate powers like the United States. So, it set into motion a massive plan to reform all portions of its civilization with the intent of becoming a world power in as short order as possible.
Over 50 years ago UC Santa Barbara created its own wave of sorts. It took a former cramped Marine barracks located next to its library and turned it into the College of Creative Studies (CCS). Placed under the guidance of Marvin Mudrick, a professor of the English Department, and a prodigy having begun his college career at 15, CCS flourished and became an institution for undergraduate independent studies, beyond what many honors programs might offer.
I keep bemoaning the challenges the College Board has faced recently with the June 2018 Math scoring and the credibility of the SAT essay; now, add one more blunder to the ever growing list: the August 25th administration of the SAT.
Since the beginning of 2018, the College Board has had its challenges.
In June, the University of Chicago joined the ranks of becoming standardized test agnostic, throwing both the SAT and ACT out of its admissions process. In addition, the number of colleges using the SAT Subject tests in admissions is down to a handful.
The competition for admissions, including early admissions, among the most selective colleges continues to be ever more competitive. While this fact is not particularly newsworthy, some of the facts behind it are.
Foremost, the number of seats available in selective schools are declining.. Looking at the Ivy League schools along with Stanford and MIT, the total admits for fall 2009 was 28,600. For fall 2018 the total number admitted was 25,360, a decline of 11% over the decade.
The test optional movement is becoming relentless.
First, the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) released a study in February 2014 showing there is no perceptible difference in academic performance between students who do and do not submit ACT or SAT scores.
Low student to faculty ratios and small class sizes are often cited when considering the quality of a school's educational experience. This year, Harvard reported a 7 to 1 student to faculty ratio, while the University of Florida reported a 22 to 1 ratio. Does this mean that Harvard's educational experience is better than Florida's?
With the number of high school graduates increasing the competition among these students for early admissions spots among the most selective colleges continues to escalate as well. One reason is that the actual number of seats available in the most selective schools remains static.
Virtually every college counselor preaches the importance of discovering something, anything, and pursuing it passionately. The earlier in one’s high school career that one discovers this passion, the better, because the longer one dedicates yourself, the sooner you might gain mastery over a hard to acquire skill that just might place you near the top of the applicant heap.
There is a tendency for many students to take ‘relevant’, pre-professional courses as they commence their college studies. After all, most want the quickest path to economic success after graduating: that is, after all, in their self-interest, which, according to Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations, is the backbone of our free enterprise system.