A Few Telling Freshman Trends

The New York Times published a very interesting article on some telling freshman trends.

In 1967, 43% of people answering the survey didn’t apply to any universities. The second largest percentage was 21% which applied to ONE university. By comparison, in 2016 21% of those surveyed were applying to 7 to 10 universities.

In 1974, 77% of those surveyed were attending their first choice university. In 2016 57% are attending their first choice.

More results in the photo below or on the NY Times website.

freshman survey

6 Common Reasons College Applications Get Rejected

Below, college admissions deans share the most common reasons why applications get rejected at their schools and offer tips on submitting a competitive application. Source: US News

1. The applicant doesn’t meet the academic threshold. The types of courses that students take in high school and the grades they receive in those classes are the best indicators of how well a student will perform in college, experts say.
Most colleges will base an admissions decision on all aspects of a student’s application and not just grades and test scores, but admissions counselors want to know that students have a strong enough foundation to handle challenging courses at their institution.
“We have a bottom floor that if they don’t achieve over a number in one of those categories, then it is an overall denial of admissions,” says LeAnn Hughes, vice president for enrollment and marketing at Illinois Wesleyan University.

2. The application is incomplete. Missing test scores, recommendation letters and other application materials will delay the review process for applicants.
Colleges are likely to ask students to submit missing pieces of their application before the deadline, but it’s better to double-check the requirements first.
“Do homework ahead of time to know what the institutions are requiring and to know what the deadlines are, because those are the easiest ways to make sure the application is reviewed,” says Heidi Meyer, executive director of admissions at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.

3. The school isn’t a good fit. Admissions officers don’t expect teens to have concrete career and academic plans, but they do want students to understand the college’s mission and have a clear idea of how the school can help them meet their goals. That means researching the institution before applying to make sure the college offers the type of education and experience that the applicant needs. Teens also need to think about what they can offer the college’s community.
“If we have a student whose essay indicates that they really want a large school experience or they write about how they wanted to major in something that we didn’t necessarily have the appropriate major to get them where they are going, we would want to have a conversation with that student,” Hughes says. Illinois Wesleyan has fewer than 2,000 undergraduate students.

4. There are too many errors. Don’t put Howard University when you’re applying to Hampton. Admissions officers may be willing to overlook a minor mistake, but submitting applications filled with typos and errors shows admissions counselors that the applicant isn’t serious about their institution, or that the applicant doesn’t have sufficient writing skills to succeed at the college, experts say.
“Make sure that you have two, three sets of eyes looking at your credentials before you submit,” says Angela Nixon Boyd, dean of admissions at Hampton University.

5.The student has a record of behavior problems. “A lot of colleges and universities pay close attention to character, and if students have had issues with suspensions or anything of that regard, that’s going to really impact the decision,” Nixon Boyd says.

A suspension isn’t an automatic reason for denial. Cell phone violations or tardiness won’t have the same impact as a history of fighting or being disruptive in class, Nixon Boyd says.
Students with suspensions on their records can explain those incidents in their application.

6. The demand is much greater than the supply. “The problem for us is that we have so many more qualified, talented, interesting people than we can enroll,” Lee Coffin, dean of admissions and financial aid at Dartmouth College, says. Dartmouth accepted about 10 percent of the 20,000-plus applications they received in 2016, Coffin says.
“We’re looking to populate the class with people who are going to complement the community that we’re trying to build,” he says. What the community needs changes from year to year and can vary in anything from academics to diversity or athletics. Teens who clearly articulate their interests, goals and potential are most likely to be considered for a spot in the freshman class.
“From a student’s perspective, the opportunity is: ‘How do I write essays that introduce my personal narrative, my aspirations, my academic interests, as clearly as I can? How do I get recommendations that introduce me to this admissions officer in a way that rounds out the letter grade or maybe the test score that is in that subject area?'”

 

UC Berkeley: What can we change in a single generation?

Berkeley is looking ahead and asking a simple question: what can we change in a single generation? From health to water, food systems to climate, energy to economic equality – visit their website for some of their research and advocacy projects that they hope will radically improve life for everyone #InThisGen.

They are asking questions like:

Remember when stress made us sick?

Remember when we couldn’t print houses?

Remember when cancer wasn’t treatable over the counter?

Remember when we worried about drought?

Go learn more about this incredible initiative!

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Stanford summer reading list

The 3 books Stanford is asking incoming freshmen to read over the summer

“The Three Books program is designed to introduce you to the experience of reading, thinking, and talking about challenging subjects as a member of Stanford’s intellectual community,” professor Noah Diffenbaugh wrote to the class of 2021.

Diffenbaugh, the faculty moderator of the program and a professor of earth system science, said this year’s theme was on sustainability and equity.

“All three of these books have had a deep impact on me and my thinking,” he wrote. “And, just as each of these books offers a sense of hope and optimism amid extremely challenging circumstances, I am optimistic that in discussing these challenges we can help each other find a sense of hope for the future!” he continued.

Want to know which books are on the list? Go to this link.

stanford book 1 stanford book 2 stanford book 3

UChicago Releases Essay Questions

The University of Chicago has long been renowned for its provocative essay questions. They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between.

Each year UChicago emails newly admitted and current College students and asks them for essay topics. Below are this year’s questions.

Essay Option 2 and 5 are my personal favorites! What are yours?

2017-18 UChicago Supplement:
Question 1 (Required):
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

Question 2 (Optional):
Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own.

Extended Essay Questions:
(Required; Choose one)

Essay Option 1.
“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” – Joseph Joubert

Sometimes, people talk a lot about popular subjects to assure ‘victory’ in conversation or understanding, and leave behind topics of less popularity, but great personal or intellectual importance. What do you think is important but under-discussed?

-Anonymous Suggestion

Essay Option 2.
Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History… a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here: https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/academics/majors-minors.

-Inspired by Josh Kaufman, Class of 2018

Essay Option 3.
Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart! Captain Planet supposes that the world is made up of these five elements. We’re familiar with the previously-noted set and with actual elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, but select and explain another small group of things (say, under five) that you believe compose our world.

-Inspired by Dani Plung, Class of 2017

Essay Option 4.
The late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham once said “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” Tell us about your “armor.”

-Inspired by Adam Berger, Class of 2020

Essay Option 5.
Fans of the movie Sharknado say that they enjoy it because “it’s so bad, it’s good.” Certain automobile owners prefer classic cars because they “have more character.” And recently, vinyl record sales have skyrocketed because it is perceived that they have a warmer, fuller sound. Discuss something that you love not in spite of but rather due to its quirks or imperfections.

-Inspired by Alex Serbanescu, Class of 2021

Essay Option 6.
In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose your own question or choose one of our past prompts. Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun.

 

Harvard Rescinds Acceptances for At Least Ten Students

Harvard Rescinds Acceptances for At Least Ten Students for Obscene Memes

harvard pennant

There has been a lot of news over the last 2 days on Harvard’s decision to rescind offers to at least 10 students. Read the full article from The Harvard Crimson – highlights below.

Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat.

The description for the official Facebook group for the Class of 2021, set up and maintained by the Admissions Office, disclaims all administrative responsibility for “unofficial groups” and warns members their admissions offers can be rescinded under specific circumstances.

“As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character,” the description reads.

Harvard admitted 5.2 percent of applicants to the Class of 2021, accepting 2,056 of the nearly 40,000 total applicants. Roughly 84 percent of students invited to join the class accepted their offer, marking the highest yield rate in recent memory.

 

 

Taking SAT Subject Tomorrow? What Students Need to Know for Test Day

SAT Subject: What Students Need to Know for Test Day

Must Bring

  • Their admission ticket (sign in to print ticket)
  • Acceptable photo ID
  • Two No. 2 pencils
  • An approved calculator

Can Bring

  • A watch without an audible alarm
  • A drink and/or snack for the break

Do Not Bring

  • Tablets, computers, cameras, or most other electronic devices
  • Highlighters, pens, colored pencils
  • Books or papers
  • Be sure to review phone and electronic device policy.

Timing

  • They should arrive at the test center by 7:30 a.m.
  • SAT Subject Tests™ end around 9:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., or 12:30 p.m., depending on whether they are taking one, two, or three tests.

 

Campus Internationalization Award Goes To…

internationalization

One of the qualities international students seek in a university is the number of other international students and how “internationalized” the campus is. See below for this year’s Simon Award winners for Campus Internationalization.

2017 SIMON AWARD WINNERS
The Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that are making significant, well-planned, well-executed, and well-documented progress toward comprehensive internationalization, especially those using innovative and creative approaches.

COMPREHENSIVE AWARD
The Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization is granted to a limited number of institutions each year – usually no more than five. The award recognizes overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in mission, strategies, programs, and results.

The following institutions are the four recipients of the 2017 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization and three recipients of the 2017 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award.

Comprehensive Award

  • Florida State University
  • Santa Monica College
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Pittsburgh

Want to be a billionaire?

Forbes just recently published an article discussing “The Universities Churning Out The Most Billionaires

In the article they say that:

Harvard is the world’s premier university for producing billionaires. According to Times Higher Education, the institution boasts 35 billionaires in its alumni with a collective net worth of $309 billion. In fact, it has almost three times as many billionaire graduates as second-placed Columbia University. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are notable billionaires who dropped out of Harvard and among those who graduated, Michael Bloomberg is considered the wealthiest with a net worth of about $40 billion.

As mentioned above, Columbia University comes second on the list with 12 billionaires who have a total wealth of $171.7 billion. Though it can’t compete with Harvard in terms of the sheer number of super-rich alumni, Columbia University can boast the world’s wealthiest graduate in Warren Buffet. The business magnate graduated with a master’s degree in economics in 1951. Stanford University rounds off the top-three with 10 billionaires among its former students. Collectively, they have a net worth of just under $149.2 billion. The first non-American university to make the list is Oxford in the UK at number 12 with 4 billionaires among its alumni with a collective $28.4 billion fortune.

20161129_Billionaires_Universities

Double majors produce dynamic thinkers

One of the many benefits of studying abroad is the ability to double major — many universities will allow students to choose 2 majors or a major and a minor.

keep-calm-and-double-major

The Chronicle published an article a while back that has some very interesting points: Double Majors Produce Dynamic Thinkers, Study Finds

Here are some highlights:

  • Students who major in two fields are more apt than their single-majoring peers to think both integratively and creatively
  • Increasingly, education experts also want students to develop a third skill, integrative thinking. It entails learning the deeper, underlying meaning of a discipline, making connections across courses and subjects, and applying different intellectual perspectives
  • “Double majors give students the opportunity to build bridges between domains of knowledge”

Have you ever considered a double major?