“In these agonizing months between the completion of college applications and the arrival of the first envelopes in the spring, many high school seniors and their parents are speculating about whether the economic downturn will harm their chances of admission to one of the nation’s top colleges and universities. And a few well-to-do parents I know have even confessed their hope that hard times and declining endowments may have improved their children’s chances of admission, as colleges look for full-paying freshmen.” (Steven Brint, Sunday, January 10, 2010)
So what does this mean for you? I mean how many of us have $20k laying around, every year, to pay for college? Not as many as who certainly don’t. This means that parents need to be especially frugal, it means that students will have to work that much harder to find the right college fit for them. It means that parents and students will have to start early and have to be honest with each other about their hopes and expectations. If you family cannot afford an Ivy Education, be real about that! Don’t hold that expectation so high that you increase your college debt for no good reason!
Choosing the right college for you may be the best decision you can make, there are tons of great colleges that no one talks about, and you’ll probably find that you can afford them better!
Focus Nathan, Focus…
Princeton Review’s Best 373 Colleges for 2011
The Princeton Review releases its annual college guidebook, “The Best 373 Colleges: 2011 Edition” (Random House / Princeton Review, $22.99). The book will go on sale tomorrow.
Some of the ranking factors are:
· Best Career Services – Northeastern University (MA)
· Best Classroom Experience – Mount Holyoke College (MA)
· Most Accessible Profs – U.S. Air Force Academy (CO)
· Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University
· Most Liberal Students – Hampshire College (MA)
· Most Politically Active Students – American University (DC)
· Least Religious Students – Sarah Lawrence College (NY)
· Happiest Students – Brown University (RI)
· Lots of Race/Class Interaction– University of Miami (FL)
· LGBT-Friendly – Emerson College (MA)
· Top Party Schools –University of Georgia
· Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)
· Everyone Plays Intramural Sports – University of Notre Dame (IN)
· Best Athletic Facilities – University of Maryland – College Park
· Best Town-Gown Relations – Clemson University (SC)
While parties are definitely a part of the University life, it’s rather dumb to pick for example the University of Georgia, just because it is allegedly the school with the best parties. If you are more interested in drinking, you could pick Providence for the most hard liquor on campus or Ohio University for the most beer on campus. This list looks to me like a lame attempt to make some third class schools look more interesting in order to lure in students.
At least I could not easily find the University of California, Los Angeles or Ivy League schools like Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. At least one of the Ivy League schools, Brown University, is on the list.
For many students, writing their college essay is one of the most challenging parts of applying to college. Here are some tips to help you get started with your college essays.
Think of your essay as your chance to have a personal conversation with the admissions committee. Use it to convey information that does not appear elsewhere in your application and remember that the primary purpose of your essay is to give them a reason to take you.
Your essay should reflect who you are: your personality, your goals, your passion for learning, and your level of maturity. Focus your essay on a specific event which has had a major impact on your life, rather than trying to provide a broad rehash of all of your accomplishments. Admissions officers want your essay to “resonate,” so that who you are comes across consistently in the various parts of your application. They want your essay to be thoughtful, persuasive, and tie into your academic and extracurricular passions.
Writing your college essays will probably be unlike anything else you’ve written! Nearly everything assigned in your English classes is geared to keeping the author out of the writing, while the focus on your college essays is totally YOU, putting across some of your core values, personality traits, important experiences, etc. It’s a sea change, but when you “get it,” you’ll be able to take off and write those essays!
When writing a college essay, it’s the execution, not the topic, that matters. There are some topics best avoided: death of a pet or the tour of Mongolia are two, but keep the following in mind: Write about what interests you; forget about what might or might not interest the reader. Trust that your enthusiasm will be reflected on the page. Engage and entertain your audience – make him or her want more. Know your topic thoroughly. If it has to do with cars, for instance, know the difference between the transmission, alternator, and manifold. Keep it loose and relaxed, and always entertaining.
If you can say something that will make the reader say, “Me too!” as he finishes reading your essay, you have succeeded. Don’t fear your audience. The reader of your essays is probably not some crusty old gatekeeper looking for a reason to deny your application, but a fairly recent college graduate who is looking for a lively, interesting essay written by a person they would like to invite to attend their college. Be your lively, interesting self!
One method to find essay inspiration is to create a list of little known facts, facts only you would know. Brainstorm a list of your favorites; your likes and dislikes; unusual events you have experienced; issues, images, or stories that affect your mood; etc. Review your list and see if you can weave your insider information into a portrait of who you are. Or find one fact/event you can build on to reveal a new aspect of yourself. Remember to keep the essay positive and do not repeat information given in your application
For the next few weeks, get a small notebook you can easily carry around. Every day, act as a reporter and make free form notes on what you see, smell, feel and think about. Chances are, you’ll find at least one good essay idea in your notes!
When brainstorming topics for personal statements, look for the unexpected, something that someone who knows you would be surprised to learn about you. Use the first paragraph to describe a moment, creating through words a visual that draws the reader in. The following paragraphs can roll back in time and explain that image, the photographic moment. Try to write an essay that is multidimensional in what it reveals about you. When all of the above can be woven together, it’s usually a home run for the student – something they are proud of, a story that’s a blueprint for who they are now and how they will live their life.
You may have your essay completely figured out in your head—or an idea or even (gulp) nothing at all. But you just can’t get started. That’s because the part of your brain that’s saying, “I hate essays! I need a perfect first line! My idea is stupid!” is working overtime. Try this trick: If you usually write on screen, switch to pen and paper. If you use a notebook, switch to your computer. Write your name or “no clue what to write” or whatever comes to mind, over and over. Before you know it, you’ll be writing that essay!
Still haven’t hit your theme? Here’s the question I ask my stumped students: If I took everything away from you, everything – stuff, family, personality traits, your dog – what ONE thing would you never allow me to rip from your life? Why? Happy writing!
Nothing screams, “I wrote my essay the night before!” to an admissions committee more than glaring typos and grammar mistakes. But if you’ve rewritten and read through your essay a zillion times on screen, your eyes may trick you. For better focus, try this tip from professional editors: Print out your essay and read it backward, placing the eraser tip of a pencil under each word. Then read through your work from the beginning for sense and style. Finally, ask someone you trust—a parent, teacher, counselor, or friend– to proof your essay, too. Now you’re ready to hit “Send”!
This blog is intended to provide you with knowledge and me with fulfillment. Right now I work a job that I love to do simply because I get to counsel students all day long in how to develop their life and how to grow personally and professionally. Like any good citizen of the world, I would like to do more however for the good of humanity, and for the glory of God. So as I post and write and write and post, I hope to provide you with information that you may actually like to hear and I hope I can provide a service to you that will benefit your quest for personal growth and help you plan for college and life in general.
I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I am more than happy to answer your college questions; from funding to career planning, I am happy to help you light your path and get you where you want to be. Thanks for reading and good luck!
Many scholarship programs are available for students especially those who have shown remarkable talents during their high school years. These programs aim to provide financial aid to deserving students who are experiencing financial hardships and challenges in pursuing their college degree. (Read More)
By: Allan Tan | 22/11/2009