Archive for the ‘College Admissions’ Category
Although it's important to study for the SAT, some students find it difficult to find the motivation to dive into a stuffy study guide or vocabulary test. However, reading novels can be a great way for students filling out college applications to build their vocabulary and enjoy a gripping story as they do so.
Every so often, a book is published that captures the imagination of the public in a way that few stories do. For several years, the tale of boy wizard Harry Potter filled this role. Now, The Hunger Games, the story of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark's struggle to survive in a bleak, post-apocalyptic future, has become incredibly popular. As well as offering readers a thrilling storyline and memorable characters, The Hunger Games could help students filling out college applications expand their range of words before they take the SAT college admissions exam.
Language website dictionary.com has even launched a vocabulary word game based on the popular trilogy of novels, which can help students learn the meaning of words featured in both the books and the SAT exam.
However, even if dystopian struggles for survival aren't your thing, there are plenty of other books to give your brain, and vocabulary, a workout. SparkNotes has published a range of fiction novels designed not only to help you prepare for the vocabulary section of the SAT, but also enjoy some great stories.
The series deals with a variety of topics, all while teaching readers new words and helping them memorize them in preparation for the SAT. One of the titles, Busted, tells the tale of Kim Stratford, an undercover cop who infiltrates a high school in the hopes of busting an illicit drug ring. Head Over Heels focuses on the life of high school socialite Francesca Castarelli, a senior who falls in love with her SAT tutor. One of the more innovative titles, Rave New World, centers on the dark future of the year 2157 and the story of a law enforcement official who falls in love with rebellious raver Ally Fayre.
Reading can be one of the best ways to build your vocabulary, as well as learn how words are used and the basic rules of grammar. Some students might find that reading stories such as The Hunger Games could be one approach to studying that may be a little more interesting than poring over study guides.
In order to increase the number of 25 to 34 year-olds with bachelor's degrees in Idaho, education officials are trying to make the college application process simpler and more straightforward, reports the Magic Valley Times-News.
By the year 2020, officials in the state want to almost double the percentage of the population with degrees from 31 to 60 percent. The proposals are part of larger nationwide initiatives being promoted by nonprofit organization Complete College America.
According to the official website of Complete College Idaho, there are several strategies in place to prepare younger students to fill out college applications and begin their higher education experience.
Firstly, career guidance will be offered in middle schools to get kids thinking about what they can do with a college degree. High school students will also be subject to more rigorous curricula to encourage them to take Advanced Placement classes. As well as these measures, more practical programs and certificates are to be developed by community colleges throughout the state.
When you're doing a college search or choosing a major, think about your employment prospects after graduation. Although it's important to pick a degree that interests you, consider the kinds of jobs you'll be able to apply for when you finish your degree.
As the days grow longer and the nights get warmer, the nation's attention focuses on March Madness, or the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Men's Division 1 Basketball Championship. This year, as well as providing sports fans around the country with some exciting action from the court, the Big Dance also highlights the importance of student graduation rates, especially among student athletes.
While some coaches are more concerned with the performance of their point guards and forwards on the court, others have just as much interest in how many of their players graduate after the competition. According to The Washington Post, Shaka Smart, basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University, receives $4,000 for each player who graduates soon after no longer being eligible to play, and $2,000 for players who successfully complete their studies within a year of being ineligible to play.
The news source reports that there can be a variety of reasons for athletic graduation rates to differ from the figures of regular students. For example, the University of Connecticut, last year's March Madness winners, has the lowest athlete graduation rate of any school in the Big Dance, with just one in four players earning their degree within six years. However, officials at the school say that many such athletes are recruited by professional basketball teams before they graduate, which skews the results.
Every year, the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport compiles a list of how each school in March Madness shapes up in terms of its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR). The study highlights how the NCAA is working to improve athletes' performance off the court by introducing higher APR thresholds for teams to be eligible to play in the postseason.
"There was some good news to report," Richard Lapchick, author of the report, said in a statement. "There was a slight improvement in the graduation rates for 2012. The number of teams below the APR cut score decreased. We need to raise the bar and move toward 60 percent being the acceptable standard for the APR. The NCAA has started to do that by raising the APR minimum score to 930 in the future."
If you're an athlete hoping to compete in March Madness in the future, don't neglect your academics, especially if you're on an athletic scholarship. You might lose your funding if you don't maintain a certain GPA or graduate within a specific time period.
The way that community colleges determine how many students successfully complete their degrees is set to change to include transfer students, reports The Washington Post.
Under the new guidelines, recommended by the Department of Education, students who transfer to another school after earning at least 30 credits at a community college will be counted in that school's graduation figures. The changes will also include students who take three years to finish their programs instead of two.
These adjustments could make it easier for students who are considering filling out college applications for two-year schools to get an idea about how many individuals finish their studies.
"If you consider transfer to be a successful outcome – and many community college people say their job is to get the student into the four-year college – then the graduation rate has to rise," Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, told the news source.
Elsewhere in the country, legislators are looking at ways that community colleges can improve graduation rates. According to Cal State News, two-year schools in California should be given more oversight powers to make sure community colleges are working toward improving the number of students successfully earning their qualifications or transferring to four-year schools.
For many students, it's tough to balance college, part-time work, family responsibilities and – just maybe – maintaining a social life. Finding work after graduation can be even more daunting, especially if you're studying a major with a lot of competition for jobs. Finding a mentor in college can be a great way to ask questions, learn from someone else's experiences and get some perspective on what to do when you graduate, but how do you find a college mentor?
The first thing to remember is that it's never too early to start looking for a mentor, even if you're still filling out college applications. In fact, the sooner you start, the more likely you are to establish a relationship with someone in the industry you want to work in. Also, forming these kinds of connections early can help shape your academic path, making it easier to stay focused on your goals.
Speaking of objectives, it's important to know what yours are before you look for a mentor. Sure, it's great to have someone to answer your questions, but what do you want to get out of a mentor relationship? Are you looking for guidance about electives? Help with networking? What about where to actually find jobs in the field you're studying? Knowing what you want to accomplish can help you find someone suitable to be your mentor, and make sure that you're not wasting anyone's time by asking irrelevant questions or heading in the wrong direction.
Whatever you're hoping to get out of having a mentor, don't be shy. Even if you're still filling out college applications or doing a college search, start reaching out to people in your prospective field. Send polite emails to companies you'd like to work for, asking if any employees or managers have a few minutes they could spare to talk to you. Although you should always be polite and courteous, you should also be tenacious – don't give up, and be patient. Forming relationships and professional connections can take time.
Use the power of social media to your advantage. Follow people on Twitter, like company's Facebook pages and use sites like Pinterest to increase your online presence in your field. Twitter and Facebook can be excellent ways to make informal connections. Again, if you take this approach, have an objective in mind so you stay on-track and don't waste time.
Finalists of the White House's Campus Champions of Change Challenge have been announced by officials.
Organized last fall, the competition invited college students from across the country to come up with ways to use existing resources to tackle America's most pressing social problems. After selecting a shortlist of finalists, the White House opened up the ideas to a public vote to determine the victor. Winners will attend a special event at the White House, as well as feature in MTV show The Dean's List.
"All Across America, college and university students are helping our country out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world," said President Barack Obama in a statement. "I hope this challenge shines a light on their efforts, and inspires Americans of all ages to get involved in their communities."
Ideas selected as finalists include a permaculture initiative by Ryan Harb at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; a student food pantry organized by Julia Lyon at the University of Arkansas; and a homeless food drive spearheaded by Thach Tak Nguyen at the University of California-Los Angeles.
If you're thinking of filling out college applications, there are a variety of ways you can help your school and local community, including campus volunteer programs. Ask the admissions advisers at your prospective schools about extracurricular activities when you're doing a college search.
President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote speech at Barnard College's 120th commencement ceremony in May, according to university officials. Barnard was established in Manhattan in 1889, and is a private liberal arts school for women.
The president usually gives speeches at three or four colleges every spring. The school had originally lined up Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, to give the keynote, but she agreed to speak at a later date after White House officials contacted the school to extend the offer for President Obama to deliver the address.
"This is an extraordinary honor for Barnard and we are thrilled to welcome President Obama for this important moment in the lives of our graduates and their families," Debora Spar, president of the college, said in a statement.
Last April, the president spoke at Miami Dade College in Florida, according to the White House website. President Obama gave a speech to more than 4,000 graduates on the importance of working hard and staying focused on academic goals. The president was also presented with an honorary associate's degree by officials at the school, which is one of the largest community colleges in the country.
Although many students are preoccupied with taking the SAT and ACT college admissions exams, a good essay will also make your college application stand out. Some high school seniors are intimidated by the admissions essay, but you don't have to be. Follow these tips and submit your essay with confidence.
• Keep it focused: Nothing can kill an admissions essay faster than wandering all over the place. Admissions officials want to see that you can make a clear, concise point and stick to it through the essay. Think of it as a chance to shine, and keep your main point in mind when you're writing. Trying to cram too much into an essay can make it sound scattered or vague. Don't worry about missing out on the chance to say something – that's what interviews are for.
• Be specific: A common mistake in some admissions essays is being too vague about what you want. If you tell admissions officials you want to help people, explain why. If you're talking about how you're a team player, give examples. Don't be afraid to go into detail. Some high school seniors are put off by this and think essays should be sweeping and broad. However, admissions officials want to hear about how you handled a particular situation or what you've done, not a grand overview of your life story.
• Don't repeat yourself: A lot of students waste a valuable opportunity to show admissions officials who they really are by repeating information from elsewhere in their college application. Don't waste time repeating things that are covered in other parts of your application – it's an essay, not a resume.
• Be yourself: Another mistake a lot of students make is writing what they think college admissions officials want to hear. Avoid trying to anticipate what they want and be yourself. Not only will you find it easier to write the essay, but it will also sound more sincere and genuine, which is exactly what college admissions officials want. Similarly, if you feel strongly about a certain topic and you're worried that your point of view sounds cliché, give a specific explanation backing up your point to keep it relevant to you and your perspective.
Above all, try not to worry. Be yourself, be sincere and keep it focused. Then, all you have to do is turn in your college admissions essay confident that you've done your best.
According to two studies by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University cited by The Washington Post, many students could achieve the same academic results at community colleges by skipping prerequisite remedial classes.
These courses at community colleges cause some students to become bored and frustrated, which experts say can lead to individuals dropping out. The news source reports that three in five students attending community colleges are required to take some remedial classes, and that 75 percent of these individuals never graduate.
"We hear a lot about the high rates of failure in college-level classes at community colleges," Judith Scott-Clayton, author of one of the studies, said in a statement. "Those are very visible. What’s harder to see are the students who could have done well at college level but never got the chance because of these placement tests."
Community colleges can be great places to learn new practical skills and explore different majors. If you're thinking of filling out a college application for a two-year school, don't forget to think about how remedial classes could affect how long it will take you to graduate.
According to a new study published by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, one-third of students transfer to another college before earning their degree.
Another key finding of the report is that many students are "reverse transferring" by moving from traditional four-year schools to community colleges. Most students tend to transfer during their second year, and one-quarter of students move to academic institutions out of state. The report says that the transfer rate for full- and part-time students is roughly the same, and that this information should be used by colleges to provide students filling out college applications with more realistic enrollment figures in their promotional material.
Financial aid company SallieMae recently published a report that suggests more students from wealthier families are also choosing to enroll in community colleges due to financial pressures caused by increasing tuition.
If you're filling out college applications, think carefully about your choice of schools. Transferring can sometimes be a good idea, but it can also take you longer to earn your degree if you have to repeat some prerequisite classes. It's usually better to pick the right school to begin with than transfer later.
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