Where are you going to college? Technically, this often is the wrong question to ask.
Most students seeking a bachelor’s degree attend a university, not a college. Although Americans use university and college interchangeably, they are starkly different in many respects.
When exploring your choices, it’s important to understand the distinctions.
To get you started, here are eight things you should know about colleges:
1. Colleges Focus on Undergraduates
A huge selling point for colleges is their laser focus on undergraduate education. There are no graduates students at many colleges, which means the focus of these institutions is exclusively on teaching undergraduates.
This represents a key difference from universities, where professor research and graduate education are the top institutional priorities. At universities, graduate students conduct much of the undergrad instruction as teaching assistants. Meanwhile, star professors often limit their undergraduate teaching to large, lecture-hall settings, if they teach at the undergrad level at all.
2. Colleges are Small
Many colleges have less than 3,000 students on their campuses. This prompts skeptical teenagers to believe that colleges would be too much like high school.
Smaller campuses facilitate a more intimate learning experience. The classes are smaller making it easier to interact with classmates and professors. There is a greater ability to participate in a class when there are two dozen students enrolled versus 200.
Smaller classes can lead to more opportunities to earn a better grade. When there are few students in the class, it’s easier to give quizzes, take-home assignments, essays, class participation points and extra credit. In contrast, at a large university, it can be too labor intensive to test frequently, which can lead to just two grading opportunities – a mid-term and a final exam.
Colleges also expect students to show up for class. When you are enrolled in a course of 20 students, it will be noticed if you skip class. That’s obviously not true when hundreds of students attend a class in a lecture hall........
Click below to read more from Cappex.
How can you save over $20,000 on college costs? Graduate on time.
At four-year schools, only about 40% of full-time students graduate on time, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Education.
For some students, it is because they sign up for too few courses in certain semesters and don’t earn enough credits in time. Other students can enroll in too many courses that don’t count toward a degree. In still other cases, students have to work to cover their expenses, which sometimes interferes with studies.
Such delays add up. An additional year of school in a public four-year college will cost $22,826, on average, according to the nonprofit Complete College America. Then there is lost income to consider. Students who stay in school an additional year miss out on about $45,327 in salary, on average.
All told, Complete College America estimates that an extra year of college can cost as much as $68,153.
More colleges and universities are trying to improve their on-time graduation rates. The move, some say, is a response to the rising cost of tuition and stagnating family incomes. But it also makes financial sense for the schools. When students are on track to graduate on time, dropout rates fall and revenues rise........
Click below to read the full article via WSJ
This is the time of year when plenty of super-achieving high school seniors are agonizing about their college choices.
Their parents are just as frazzled as they are.
What stresses these families is choosing between an expensive brand-name university (often on the East Coast) or a relatively affordable public university.
I’ve been getting emails from parents who are facing these very choices. Here are snapshots of their dilemmas:
The daughter of one mother was accepted into the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University, but what got the teenager excited was a coveted acceptance from New York University.
The mom shared this in her email:
She is determined to go to NYU because she thinks it's the best school and will give her all the contacts after college. She's paying for it so she thinks she can do whatever she wants, but she will have a $200K debt when she graduates in four years. Her dad and I think this is a huge mistake but she won't listen to us.
Also weighing in was a father from Southern California whose son, who is interested in sports management, got into Indiana University, University of Massachusetts and the University of Minnesota. While the dad considered it a long shot, his son applied to New York University and was accepted.
The dad works in a boom-and-bust business, real estate development, and while he has the money to pay for an NYU degree that he figures will cost $300,000, he wouldn’t be able to afford such an extravagant education for his youngest son who is just one year younger.
And then there is the mom in New Mexico whose daughter, a National Merit finalist, got into George Washington University, which was her dream college because of its location in Washington, DC, and it’s opportunities for internships. She received a $20,000 yearly merit scholarship from GWU. Her biggest scholarship haul, however, came from the University of Mississippi where she got into the honors program and received a full ride plus a yearly stipend.
I’ll reveal shortly where each students is heading off in the fall, but first here’s a brief backgrounder about college pricing......................
Excerpt from Cappex
Yes, there is such a thing as writing your college essay too early. For over a decade, my students (and their parents) have heard me deliver this refrain, and it remains true as it ever was.
At the sprightly age of 16 or 17, students are pulling from a limited set of life experiences for their college application essays; and every month of life lived offers new experiences and paths to maturity that could help them write more thoughtful and effective personal statements. Ideally, students should begin writing their essays at the tail end of their junior year or the summer before their senior year, but not before.
That said, there is no such thing as preparing to write your essay too early. Just because you shouldn’t pen your personal missive in full before the end of junior year doesn’t mean you can’t start gearing up for the task. Here are three things you can do to be better prepared when you finally sit down to tap out that admissions essay masterpiece.
1. WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THE TASK AT HAND.Most students come to the application process with little experience writing personal statements. Very few have been tasked with writing these kinds of highly introspective essays in their school curriculum and many feel uncomfortable writing at length in the first person. The college essay is also an assignment with a highly specific purpose, meant to reveal something to admissions about an applicant that may not be present anywhere else on the application............
Excerpt from USA Today College
When I give college information sessions at high schools, I’m used to being swarmed by students. Usually, as soon as my lecture ends, they run up to hand me their résumés, fighting for my attention so that they can tell me about their internships or summer science programs.
But last spring, after I spoke at a New Jersey public school, I ran into an entirely different kind of student.
When the bell rang, I stuffed my leftover pamphlets into a bag and began to navigate the human tsunami that is a high school hallway at lunchtime.
Just before I reached the parking lot, someone tapped me on the shoulder.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” a student said, smiling through a set of braces. “You dropped a granola bar on the floor in the cafeteria. I chased you down since I thought you’d want your snack.” Before I could even thank him, he handed me the bar and dissolved into the sea of teenagers........
(Excerpt from NY Times)
The goal of parenting teenagers is to raise fully functioning adults by 18 years old. The age is predetermined by the legal system that declares a person an adult at that age. Therefore, regardless of the emotional maturity of person, they need to be equipped to accept adult responsibility at 18.
The problem is that most parents forget this detail unless a teen is already engaged in defiant behavior. Then parents tend to use the approaching 18 year old as a feared deadline. Other parents want to delay “adulting” by treating their teen as a larger ten year old. But the transition from childhood to adulthood should be an exciting time.
Becoming an adult is a process and should be a time of pride for both the parent and the child. It is a time for the new adult to “leave the nest” and learn to fly, trusting that the things they have been taught will be sufficient to lead a productive successful life. Here are the areas that should be addressed.
This time of year, thousands of college applicants await e-notices and auspiciously sized envelopes from schools, under terrible pressure from their parents, friends, teachers, and fretful inner-monologues. To this anxious lot, I offer some advice, which comes not only from a bit of experience, but also a bit of empirical research: just chill out, okay?
Many parents and students think there is a world of difference between the lifelong outcomes of (a) an A-minus student who gets into, say, Princeton, and (b) an A-minus student who applies to Princeton but “only” gets into some less selective school, like Penn State or the University of Wisconsin. They assume that a decision made by faceless adjudicators in Ivy League cloisters will mark the difference between success and failure in life.
There are two important things to say about this stress. First, to put the anxiety into context, the kids applying to these schools are already doing quite well. Seventy percent of 29-year-olds don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and the majority of BAs are earned at non-selective schools that accept a majority of their applicants. Many of the people applying to selective colleges have already won life’s lottery.
But if that doesn’t ease the nerves of the 40,000 people waiting on Stanford or Penn, here is a more counter-intuitive—and even heartening—conclusion from economics. For most of these applicants, it simply doesn’t really matter if they don’t get into their top choice, according to a paper by Stacy Dale, a mathematician at Mathematica Policy Research, and Alan Krueger, an economist at Princeton University.
These researchers tracked two groups of students—one that attended college in the 1970s and another in the early 1990s. They wanted know: Did students attending the most elite colleges earn more in their 30s, 40s, and 50s than students with similar SAT scores, who were rejected from those elite colleges? The short answer was no. Or, in the author's language, the difference between the students who went to super-selective schools and the students with similar SAT scores who were rejected from those schools and went to less selective institutions was "indistinguishable from zero.”.............
(Excerpt from The Atlantic)
Standardized tests take on a whole new meaning in high school, with the SAT and/or ACT being huge components in the college application process. With the SAT coming up on April 5, I talked with Matthew Pietrafetta of Academic Approach, a test preparation and tutoring company with locations in Chicago, New York, and Boston. He offered his expert advice on what parents can do to get teens ready for the SAT and ACT.
His wisdom is applicable to both those taking the test next week and those who are still a few years off.
Between Us Parents: In an ideal world, what does the parent role for a child preparing for the SAT look like to you?
Matthew Peitrafetta: Parents play a tremendous role in trying to build purpose. Teenagers can get a little cynical and not see the purpose. If purpose is built through compliance or authoritarian rule, there isn’t intrinsic motivation.
Most successful students are intrinsically motivated. Those are character traits developed way before 16 and 17, so building purpose around learning and performance and having that be very positive is the principle role that the parent is involved in.
Parents are involved in the psychology of our children and how they approach achievement. Parents need to be positive as they encourage their kids to be their best.
For 20 years I've been meeting with families to go over practice test scores and have seen a lot of different tones set by parents. My favorite is when parents ask their kid, “What do you make of that?” It empowers the child and makes it a constructive conversation about the learning process and not just looking at the test as an anxiety-producing right of passage that's part of getting into a certain college..................
(Excerpt posted from: ChicagoNow)
A high school student's visit to the college of their choice is one of the exciting parts of their journey to college. It can be pretty exhausting, but it is also a lot of fun. This can be done formally or informally. The most important thing is that students learn as much information as they can from each school so that they can make sound comparison and decision.
Here are a few tips for high school students who need to make the most of their campus visits.
Attend official campus tours
Official campus tours, according to The Seattle Times will make the students feel and experience what it is like to be a college student for a day. There are some tours that offer surprising benefits like a scholarship.
Visit a diverse selection of schools
Students must visit different public and private colleges. This will help them discover more amazing things they would not be expecting from these schools..........
(Excerpt posted from: University Herald)
Imagine you’re going on your first college visit. You’re stopping by the admission office. You’re touring the campus with a student who walks backwards—backwards!—the entire time. You’re trying the food. You’re...you’re…
Well, you’re not exactly sure what else you should do. And why would you be? Visiting colleges is not an activity that lends itself to practice. It’s more like on-the-job training. The good news is that you’ll learn as you go along. You’ll be more prepared for your second visit because you’ll know what you wish you had done on your first. The even better news is that there are some terrific resources to help you plan a successful college visit in advance.
This post isn’t one of them.........
(Excerpt posted from: HuffPost)
This blog is meant to share information, resources and tools. Some are original works by staff at NTHS and others are republications of useful posts. These republications, the authors and any comments do not represent North Tahoe High School, it's staff or TTUSD (or it's opinions/beliefs).