Archive for the ‘Student News’ Category
This morning I read an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal written by a high school senior addressing all the colleges that rejected her. You’ve read it too, right? If not you can read it here. Recently it’s been hard to read a paper, magazine, or my favorite blog without coming across a headline reading “Gen Y: Is there anything good?” or “Gen Y: Entitled, Lazy, and Can’t Pay Attention.” As a recent college grad (just off the job-search I might add) I can’t help but find these statements offensive, and I think to myself “Where are they getting these stereotypes?” Well, thanks to Suzy Lee Weiss, I think we know now…
Really, I understand how frustrating college applications are. I even understand what it’s like to be rejected from your #1 school. Even your #2 or #3…or #5 school…especially in the face of some unquantifiable trait like “diversity.” But as a graduate from UIC, a school that boasts “diversity” before “top research institution,” I can tell you that few of the people I knew would have fit into the profile you’re describing, Ms. Weiss. And when “they” tell you to “be yourself,” they’re not kidding. Colleges need to know who you are, what you’re all about, and that you would be a good fit for their school. Not only the other way around.
So I tell you, Ms. Weiss, and all other seniors both accepted and rejected from your dream schools, be yourself. But not only that, be proud of yourself and be accountable for yourself. Keep in mind what sets you apart from everyone else. Diversity isn’t only about your race or religion or extracurricular activities – it’s about what makes you different from the other 10,000 students who applied to your college program, internship, or job. It’s not only colleges that will tell you to “be yourself.” This is a theme that you will experience for the rest of your life – I can tell you it will also be part of your job search – so get used to it.
In the meantime, I beg you, fellow Gen-Yers, to do some serious introspection before you go sending articles off to the Wall Street Journal on behalf of the rest of us.
Vicki Jurkowski is a proud member of Gen-Y and Online Marketing Analyst at Cappex. Her passions include abstract algebra, west coast swing, and reassuring Baby-Boomers that Millennials can be trusted to take over the world one day. She graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago in December 2012 with her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics.
It’s a well known fact at this point that colleges are made up of more women than men, but a new study indicates that out of high school students interviewed, women are also more likely to want to go to college! According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 96% of female high school seniors wanted to go to college, and only 90% of men said they did. In addition, 80% of female high school seniors spent time researching the college of their choice, while only 68% of male students indicated the same. In all racial and ethnic groups, women were also more likely to graduate college.
The reasons behind this data are unclear, but it has certainly generated some discussion on the comments board. One individual pointed out that it’s been proven time and time again that women mature at a faster rate than men. Women may just be more interested in jumping back into the books immediately after high school and setting forth on the roads that take them to their careers, where men may not be so hasty.
Another idea was that education as a whole is feminine, noting that K-12 education has predominantly been taught by women, and that until there’s a noticeable increase in male teachers, the education system will be a turn-off to men. Men simply don’t have enough positive male role models in school growing up to keep them around. This is an interesting point. For hundreds of years, colleges remained male-only institutions. Can thirteen years of being taught predominantly by women really be enough to feminize something that had been masculine for so long?
Another individual pointed out that with college no longer guaranteeing a job, and with thousands of dollars being placed in student debt, men can’t really justify going to college anymore. This has become a more popular mindset in the past few years as the economy struggles, but it’s arguable as to whether men in particular are more likely to have this point of view.
The article also mentions that women are more likely to receive financial aid. This brought up questions of male discrimination in higher education.
While it has not been mentioned in the discussion, it’s safe to say that women have more pressure than ever to succeed. Women studies often point out that in addition to the old stereotypes that called for women to take pride in their appearance, their families, and their household, women now have to live up to the men’s stereotypes of being independent and financially successful as well. This leads to a whole generation of high school and college women who see their perfect future as fitting in a size 2, with a loving family, beautiful house, and a wicked-awesome job that scores them the big bucks! It’s a lot to live up to, and could contribute to why so many women are so invested in their academic futures.
“Take a look to your left. Now take a look to your right. One of these people will not make it to graduation.”
During your college orientation, it is common for there to be one member of academia who stands with their microphone before a freshmen audience and says this line. It’s true. According to a study done by the Chronicle of Higher Education, out of the four million students who began college in 2004, half of them did not graduate. The number of students who drop out of college continues to increase.
An article published July 31, 2012 by Jennifer Gonzalez suspects that part of the problem lies with students enrolling into school who just aren’t ready to take on the challenges of college level coursework. The article points to the use of placement tests in community colleges in particular as an ineffective tool when it comes to determining a student’s readiness for higher education.
One of its flaws is that it’s a standardized test that only focuses on math and English skills. It’s a fairly accepted idea in education at this point that these kinds of tests are not an accurate measure of one’s abilities. There are many highly-talented students who earn straight As in school that still won’t perform well on a performance test. Similarly, there are students who can score very highly on these kinds of tests but don’t have what it takes to pass a college course.
As one educator indicates in the article, it takes a lot more to succeed in college than a high test score. You could have all the brains, but if you don’t have the motivation to complete your work, or to show up to class, you won’t make it through college. You could score in the highest percentile on your SATs but be unable to pick yourself back up when you fail. You could ace an entrance test, but still have no desire to be in college in the first place! Placement tests in general are only a very narrow peek inside what a student would be capable of in college. It is suggested in the article that if anything, high school grades would be a much more accurate representation of how a student is expected to perform.
While high school grades, motivation, and persistence are all major factors that can help to determine whether or not a student can succeed at the college level, even this seems to just barely be the skin of the issue. What about one’s readiness to leave home? What about one’s ability to act in social situations? How about emotional maturity? There’s a lot of character to consider.
In addition, the level of difficulty amongst degree programs is not consistent, nor are they all taught with the same methods. What is the standard by which these students are being evaluated and compared?
This leads to the overall question: Is it possible to predict how a student will perform in college, and if so, how can this information help increase graduation rates in the years to come?
According to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, a survey conducted by Widmeyer Communication indicates that Americans are split on the current value of a college degree.
The question was, “Is a college degree as valuable as it was twenty years ago?” This would put us at 1992. Of those surveyed, 46% said a college degree is just as valuable, while 41% stated that it wasn’t. While those may seem like surprising numbers, 60% of those surveyed indicated that regardless of whether or not a college degree is as valuable as it used to be, it’s still a good investment.
Why might some view a college degree as being less valuable today than in 1992? There could be a variety of answers for this.
As of 2012, more than 30% of U.S. adults have a bachelor’s degree, which is a record in American history. As the New York Times article “U.S. Bachelor Degree Rate Passes Milestones” points out, this increase began in the mid 1990’s. So more people have a college degree now than in 1992. Does more people having a college education make it less valuable? Maybe.
On the one hand, recent college graduates looking for a job may feel like their degree isn’t anything that’s going to put them ahead of the game. With the competition all having a bachelor’s degree as well, it’s the work experience, internships, and other “add-ons” to the degree that will land you a position. In addition, as college graduates struggle to find jobs and pay off loans, many will find themselves working retail, food service, and other jobs they could have obtained without having gone to college. Based on a 2010 article entitled “The Great College Degree Scam” published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, as of 2008, out of the nearly 50 million college educated adults, 17 million were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree.
On the other hand, if getting a college degree is the bare minimum requirement for so many jobs, getting a degree is all the more important. An employer is more likely to hire someone with a college degree over someone who doesn’t have one, even for retail and food service jobs. Having a degree can also be the difference between getting promoted to management and staying where you are.
One also needs to address the personal value of a college education. Those who’ve gone to college have a wide range of knowledge on more than just their field of study. They’re often more appreciative and accepting of diversity. They’ve learned to form solid opinions and ideas based on facts. College students know how to find the answers when they don’t know them. They can respectfully debate an issue. They can hypothesize. They can dream. College students in general are well-rounded people. Regardless of whether or not they currently have a job, or what that job is, the intellectual growth and personal development that comes with a college education is invaluable.
Looking to get your bachelor’s degree? Cappex is a great place to search for colleges!
Up-to-date college news from this week:
College Student Pleads Guilty to POTUS Threats
A 20-year-old student at Miami-Dade College pleaded guilty this week to posting threating messages about President Obama to Facebook. Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr. might end up getting 5 years in prison for the threats. According to the AP:
“In the first post on Feb. 21, Serrapio said: “Who wants to help me assassinate Obummer while hes at UM this week?”
Then on Feb. 23, the day of Obama’s visit, the Secret Service said Serappio posted a second threat.
“If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get ur phones out and record. Cause at any moment im gonna put a bullet through his head and u don’t wanna miss that! Youtube!” the message said.
Someone who saw the posts contacted the Coral Gables Police Department and the Secret Service dispatched two agents to Serrapio’s home, where Serrapio and his mother agreed to allow a search. There they found an iPad with one of the Facebook postings on it and a cell phone with a text message from one of Serrapio’s friends who had seen the messages.
“LOL you can get in trouble for sayin’ that,” the text said.
Serrapio replied that he was “challenging” the Secret Service and also issued threats against any agents who came looking for him.
“I wanna kill at least two of them when they get here,” Serrapio said in that text.
Investigators said the only weapons Serrapio possessed were two pellet guns. He was originally charged with threatening the agents as well, but prosecutor Seth Schlessinger said that charge will be dropped.
Serrapio said during the hearing he had just completed his second year of college. He declined through Ross to comment outside court.
Senator Franken Introduces Standard College-Aid Letters Bill
Senator (and former SNL star) Al Franken (D-MN) and eight co-sponsors are introducing a bill to simplify the financial aid process. Under this bill, Colleges would have to send all students their financial aid information in a standard letter so that families would be able to evaluate their options in a simple and understandable way. According to Bloomberg:
“Colleges send letters to students they’ve accepted outlining costs, scholarships as well as loan information. The letters are often confusing and fail to differentiate clearly between awards and the money a student might need to borrow to cover tuition and other expenses. There is no federal requirement to disclose interest rates or total loan payments as there are for other types of loans such as mortgages.
The bill would establish information that must be included such as the cost of attendance, the net amount a student is responsible for paying after subtracting grant aid, expected federal loan monthly repayment amounts and disclosures related to private loans, according to the statement.”
Any news going on your college campus? Share in the comment field below!
We’ve talked a lot about college debt. About half of college grads from the last 5 years are out of work. In addition, college debt in America is nearing $1 trillion. The New York Times posted a video about student debt. It’s worth watching.
They also posed these questions:
What is college for?
Should everyone go to college?
How much do you think a college education is worth? How much would you be willing to pay?
Why have the costs of college risen so much in recent years?
How important is it to our society that college be affordable to all? How much student debt should be considered “unaffordable”?
How much of a priority should government financing for public universities be?
Do you plan to go to college? Ideally, what college, or type of college, would you like to attend? How much, roughly, will that cost?
What college costs should students and families take into account beyond the cost of tuition?
What options will you have for paying for college?
At what point does a college education paid for with loans stop being a good investment? How much debt is too much debt?
What are some ways that students and their families can lower the costs of college?
Whom do you know who is in college, or has recently graduated from college? Are they in debt? How has that debt affected their lives? (If you already have student debt, consider sharing your story with The Times.)
How financially literate do you consider yourself? Your family?
What messages about college have you gotten from your family, your community and your school?
What responsibility do colleges and admissions offices have to give students a realistic sense of what college will cost them? How might they do that?
After reading this series, what questions do you still have about paying for college? What steps should you take next to ensure you can afford college, if you choose to go to college?
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