Last week, we wondered if March would go out like a lamb, rewarding our fine applicants with offers of admission. Since then, we’ve been getting reacquainted with winter and the many issues associated with the college process. As you prepare to spring ahead this weekend, here are some noteworthy items.
Answering the Dreaded Question
Continuing last week’s theme about how to answer questions about college, the Wall Street Journal asks, “What’s Worse Than Waiting to Hear from Colleges? Getting Interrogated About It.” Advice to the curious: “Don’t ask about anything with acronyms (“ACTs, SATs, GPAs, UCLA, UNC”). The students’ solutions include tee shirts (“Don’t ask me about college. Thanks.”).
Speaking of UCLA, Education Dive informs us that the UC system is suggesting a 20 percent cap on out-of-state enrollment with the exception of the three top campuses, which may maintain their levels. For UCLA, that’s 22.8 percent.
Sharpening Negotiating Skills
This spring, expect to hear that accepted students and their parents are meeting with financial aid offices. The reason: financial aid packages from preferred colleges may not be as high as those from back-up choices. This week, CBS Moneywatch shared “4 Keys for Negotiating a Better College Aid Offer.” These include:
Finding out whether a college will swap loans for grants
Clarifying details of the proposed aid (e.g., work-study)
Appealing the package, including filing a form indicating change of circumstances
Asking about other scholarships that might be available
Meanwhile, parents who filed their financial aid “paperwork” early should be relieved. Today, a report explains that as a result of a possible breach, a data retrieval tool used for completing the FAFSA has been shut down temporarily by the federal government.
Wondering Where Tuition Dollars Go
Here’s an interesting piece of cocktail-party trivia: Who is the highest paid college president? It’s not the president of Harvard or Princeton . . . but rather that of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Paula Wallace earned $9.6 million in 2014. Ms. Wallace actually founded the college with
her family. SCAD now has campuses in Hong Kong and France.
Ordering APs: What’s on the Menu?
Fun fact: A student doesn’t have to be in an AP class to take an AP exam. That could mean a great deal to those with an affinity for particular subject matter who want to raise the profile of their applications. Great writers may try AP Language and Composition, and geography fans may take AP Human Geography. The deadline for ordering the exams is coming up. (Note: APs cost $93.00 each, though there are fee reductions available.) Here’s a list of all AP courses.
What Does it All Mean?
As much as we (and the media) gripe about college admissions, the fact is that entry into the majority of U.S. colleges is not so competitive. As an article in Hechinger Report revealed, only five percent of students go to “highly competitive” universities, while nine percent go to “very competitive” colleges. The article, which cites U Penn and Pell Institute information, explains that 80 percent of private colleges and just under 90 percent of public colleges accept at least one-half of applicants.
Science in the Summer
Johns Hopkins is offering numerous summer programs, which include credit-bearing 5-week courses, two-week intensive courses, and ESL. For more details check out the site. They’re pricey!
Rutgers University New Brunswick has announced two new Pre-College Summer Academies. In addition to its Pre-Engineering Summer Academy (July 9-15), it will offer the iSTEM Academy (July 16-22) and a Leadership Academy (July 23-29). These one-week residential academies offer students ages 16-18 the opportunity to learn about engineering, conduct hands-on environmental research and develop leadership skills.
Interested students are invited to attend an upcoming online information session to learn more about these academies on Thursday, March 16, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It will include a live Q&A session during this event. Contact precollegeacademies@docs.
Reminder: College Night is Wednesday, March 15, at 7:00 pm. Junior families are expected to attend. RSVP by emailing me.
Stay warm as you spring ahead!