Posts Tagged ‘college admission’
After students were caught cheating on their SAT college admission exams in New York, legislators have proposed that this should be a felony crime, reports The Washington Post.
The suggested laws were proposed by Senator Kenneth LaValle earlier this week. Students caught paying other students to take their tests for them would be prosecuted as felons, while forging tests would be a misdemeanor. Other measures suggested by Senator LaValle include more rigorous photo identification of students taking the SAT to avoid instances of cheating.
"I would say to you that we’re in a new era," said LaValle, as quoted by the news source. "There are new rules, and if we need to use legislation to spell that out more clearly, we’ll do that."
According to Fox News, the students who were caught cheating paid other people to take their tests for them. Students were paid between $500 and $3,600 to take the SAT or ACT exams for others. The news source reports that officials suspect that as many as 40 students were involved, but that they cannot prove it for some of them.
Cheating on any exam, especially a college admissions test, is never a good idea. Doing so can seriously harm your academic future. Studying hard and achieving good grades honestly is always the better option.
Inside Higher Ed‘s Ryan Craig recently penned an article about implementing the same principles the Oakland A’s general manager, Billy Beane, used to form a better baseball team on, ahem, valuing colleges. It’s called Moneyball, or in this case, Moneycollege.
The concept of ”moneyball” was that Beane hired and fired his players based on statistics that, although reliable, were generally being ignored by the Old Boys’ Club in favor of less reliable facts and mere opinions.
So how does this relate to college?
Well, Craig argues that just like baseball in the recent past, higher educations focuses on “what’s easy to measure.” In baseball, values of players were assigned based on many superficial “numbers”–height, physique, age, speed of pitches, you know, all the pretty things in life. In higher education, Craig says we’re basically focusing on the equivalent to what they were wrongly concentrating on in baseball: research, rankings and real estate. These are all countable measurements and easily comparable. But unfortunately, those don’t even come close to the measurements that should be taken into account like, uh, student learning and student outcomes. Duh. Aren’t you curious to know how your college ranks in getting its students hired and happy and healthy following college graduation?
While so many schools are pouring energy into these antiquated measurements, like how many big buildings they have or how much research their faculty can produce in the smallest about of time, they are ignoring what is actually occurring in the academic landscape. States are cutting their budgets, people are afraid to go into debt for an education they’re afraid isn’t worth the reward, and more and more people are taking their education online.
Just like Billy Beane was struggling with a paltry budget to create a World Series-winning team, colleges with small budgets are in the same boat. How can they compete in this game of rankings if they don’t have the research, rankings and real state of colleges with bigger budgets? Well, maybe in the future they’ll be able to beat the system by playing moneycollege. If they can gather the data showing the right stats–students on-base percentage, or in academic terms, student success rate, who knows how the higher ed game can change.
Which college statistics are most important to you?
Completing a college application often involves providing a lot of different information. With universities asking for so much as part of a college application, it can be difficult for prospective students to figure out which parts of the application carry more weight with college admissions officials. Which parts of the college application are the most important, and why?
One thing that college admissions officials will pay close attention to is the courses you've taken. Although nobody expects you to have it all figured out by the time you enroll in a degree program, they will want to see some thought behind larger career goals. Maintaining a sense of direction in your elective choices shows college admissions officials that you're at least thinking about how they fit into your long-term plans.
The grades you've achieved are also very important. Again, nobody is expecting you to maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA, though if you can, it'll look good on your college application, but you should work hard and strive to achieve the very best grades you can. Your GPA is more important than your SAT and standardized test scores, because grade point averages demonstrate a progression of academic achievement over time, as opposed to how you did on the day of a test. That doesn't mean you shouldn't study hard for your SATs, but test scores are becoming less important to many colleges than they used to be.
Letters of recommendation will be examined closely. Think carefully about who you want to approach to write a letter of recommendation. Your teachers are obvious choices since they know you well, but you should also think about asking your principal, student adviser or the president of any after-school clubs or societies you may belong to. Whoever you ask, your recommendation letters should reflect well on you as a person and as a student.
Your essays and personal statement are two of the most important aspects of your college application. They provide you with the opportunity to tell the college admissions adviser who you really are, what you want, and where you're going. Don't write overly formally or try to impress the college admission officer. Be yourself, write clearly and expressively, but avoid writing in a voice you wouldn't ordinarily use.
With colleges receiving more college applications than ever before, some seniors are feeling the pressure of submitting the "perfect" application to maximize their chances of being accepted to prestigious universities.
Between visits to college campuses, numerous college admission essays and multiple application forms to fill out, students are finding the process overwhelming. Time management is becoming increasingly important to many seniors.
"Our senior class is one of the most competitive in the school’s history, so I definitely feel an intense pressure to make my college applications as impressive as possible," Sahba Seddighi, a senior at Farragut High School in Tennessee, told the school newspaper.
According to an article in USA Today, talking to your parents and asking them for advice is a great way to reduce the stress of completing a college application. Adults can be much better at managing busy schedules and handling many responsibilities at the same time. Discussing potential stress with your parents can help make the process less intimidating and overwhelming.
More than anything else, don't stress about the pressure itself. Accept that the process is complicated, and approach each stage of the application one step at a time. Manage your schedule effectively, and talk to your parents if the pressure begins to overwhelm you.
You've managed to find the college for you. You've picked your major, and have filled out a college application. If you find yourself in need of financial aid, this is the next hurdle in the college application process. Sometimes, applying for tuition fee assistance, loans, grants and scholarships can be just as intimidating as a college admission essay.
Some schools aim to make this process easier and more straightforward by hosting events to answer seniors' questions about financial aid and scholarships. One such school that recently organized this kind of event is Lyons Township High School in Western Springs, Illinois. College admissions experts and financial aid advisers were on hand to discuss seniors' concerns, help them complete paperwork and answer questions about eligibility for scholarships.
If you're applying for financial aid or a scholarship as part of your college application, ask your student adviser if there are any events or open days planned to help you. If there aren't, you could always suggest that such an event be organized.
Above all, don't dismiss the possibility that you might be eligible for scholarships or financial aid just because you think your grades may not be good enough – there are more financial aid programs out there than you might think.
Although they are less common today, college admission interviews were once a very important part of the college application process. Typically, most college don't require an admissions interview due to the large number of applicants, but depending on which schools you're applying to, you may have the opportunity to interview with your prospective college. What can you expect?
A good college admission interview can help your application stand out from the crowd. According to a recent article in Forbes, schools such as Pomona College in California state that applicant interviews are "highly recommended." Some schools may even allow prospective students to interview via the internet using tools such as Skype.
If you're concerned that your SAT scores or GPA aren't quite as good as you had hoped, a good interview can demonstrate that you have what it takes to study at your school of choice. Make sure you research your prospective university thoroughly and that you prepare your answers ahead of time. Consider why you'd be a good fit for the university, and what you can bring to the campus as a student.
If you are offered an interview and can't make it for whatever reason, be sure to inform your school – missing an appointment can have a negative impact on the rest of your college application.
The Common Application is one of the easiest ways to apply to several colleges at once. Instead of filling out numerous college application forms, college applicants can fill out a single Common App and send it to any number of the 456 member schools.
Soon, seniors will be able to apply to even more schools through the Common App, as increasing numbers of colleges in New Jersey have announced that they will accept the Common Application as part of their college admission process. Ramapo College is just one of 45 universities that have signed up to participate in the Common App program, according to The North Jersey Record.
One advantage of applying to college through the Common App is that the forms can be submitted online. In addition, your teachers and principal can add paperwork, such as letters of recommendation, through the online system, and your college admissions department can send your transcripts to prospective colleges over the internet.
Whichever way you decide to complete your college application, be sure to discuss your choices with a college admissions adviser. You should also make sure to complete your college application as soon as possible to avoid delays or complications in submitting your information.
Writing a good college application essay is one of the most important aspects of the college admission process. Many students applying to colleges find this the most difficult part of their college application, but with some careful planning and forethought, you don't have to worry, according to college admission experts.
Robert Schwartz, a college application essay expert, said in an article in the Huffington Post that one of the most important things to remember when sitting down to write your college admission essay is to remain calm. He also suggests that applicants choose to focus on significant relationships, issues of social or personal importance, or how they would would bring diversity to their college when tackling the application essay.
Martha Merrill, a college admissions and financial aid advisor at Connecticut College, told U.S. News and World Report that seniors should show college admissions officials what makes them a good candidate, not tell them. Stories and specific personal experiences make for good essay topics, and seniors should write about what's important to them as opposed to trying to impress college admissions officials.
Filling out a college application can be stressful. One aspect of the process that many students find difficult is writing a college admission essay. Not just a test of your writing skills, the essay provides college admissions officials with a better idea of who you are, your potential as a college student and what is motivating you to pursue a degree.
Many students can take advantage of workshops and events to help them write their essays. Often, high schools work together with colleges to host functions such as the one being organized by Toledo Public Schools (TPS) to help students with their college applications.
"The main thing is we need to get the students thinking about it early," Virgie Hamrick, a guidance counsellor with TPS, told the Toledo Blade newspaper. "It’s the same thing with graduation. We have to get them thinking this is not just a dream, it is an expectation."
Elizabeth Benedict, a fiction writer, wrote in an article for the Huffington Post that high schoolers who are writing their college admission essays need to focus on engaging the reader and finding their voice when trying to summarize their educational and career goals. Benedict advises seniors to begin as though they were writing an email to someone they know.
Even after the hectic college admission process is finally over, starting your freshman year of college can be a time of significant change. Moving far away from your family and friends, balancing your studies and a part-time job and adjusting to new surroundings can make some students feel depressed. These feelings are completely normal, and help is available to ensure that you don't lose sight of your goals, or fall behind in your coursework.
Many colleges offer free assistance to students who think they might be depressed, such as San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico. The university offers free depression screenings to help freshmen cope with the changes going on in their lives. The initiative coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week.
"Depression can interfere with not only a student's college life, but also with their social life, their ability to do their job effectively, how they interact with their family," Krista Rainwater, a counsellor at the college, told the Farmington Daily Times newspaper.
College officials can refer you to the on-campus nurse or medical team if you think you might need someone to talk to. Mental Health America recommends that college students plan their day to prioritize their college work. Freshmen should also participate in extra-curricular activities and discuss their feelings with a classmate or faculty member if they're feeling low.
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