On August 14, 2017 Ivy College Prep, LLC published the following article on the Gig Economy. It portrayed a dystopian world of little job security and artificial intelligence ready to cut needless humanity out of the economy wherever and whenever possible.
Since then, the two Oxford academics responsible for the paper that launched the notion of relentless automation of jobs, Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, have stated this take on their research was incorrect. Supposedly their research indicated that ‘47% of current American jobs (including those in office administration, sales and various service industries) fell into the ‘high risk’ category.’
A good way to gain a sense of how to approach this type of essay is with samples of essays that have successfully addressed this question. Here are portions of successful essays to give you a taste of some effective approaches.
There are no wrong approaches as long as the essay matches your interests with what the school is offering in a particular major. Make that connection well and you’re well on your way.
An essay prompt found often on applications is ‘Why us?’ Why do you want to come here and what will you do once you arrive?
One of the best ways to attack this question is to learn as much about the college as you can to really gain a sense of the place. If you can’t do this don’t waste the college admissions office time, and more importantly your own, by writing generalities about the school’s size, location or reputation.
About forty miles west of Boston, past Framingham, the starting line for the Boston Marathon, right off the I-90, is Worcester, Massachusetts. Contained in this town of 168,000 citizens are 38,000 students attending nine schools. While it’s not Boston, it shares in Boston’s rich fabric of higher educational institutions, including the medical school for the University of Massachusetts, and a branch of MCPHS (the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), whose main campus is in Boston.
Imagine going to college without sitting in a 500-seat lecture hall, or working on problem sets alone in the library until the wee hours, or writing mind-numbing papers after a couple of meetings with a marginally engaged professor.
Instead, consider being part of a team experimenting on methods of capturing carbon dioxide and storing it deep beneath the earth in carbonate minerals. Students want challenges: projects that introduce them to problems that have no clear answers, and that require experimentation and exploration. This is why colleges are offering extensive experiential learning.
Hot off the press! We've had a chance to review the Fall 2018 admissions data released recently by the University of California and thought it would be helpful to summarize it and share our key findings.
Overall freshman admission rates are up for non-residents and down for residents as the University of California continues to settle on a new normal that accommodates a larger mix of out of state and international students. If you're an out of state or international student, pay close attention...there continues to be a window of opportunity to take advantage of favorable odds at several UC campuses.
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.