COLLEGE APPLICATIONS: MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
Students start to sweat when reading "Application Numbers Soar for Class of 2016" and "A Record Year for William and Mary Undergraduate Applications," and other similar headlines. Their anxiety increases as they wonder if they will be able to be admitted anywhere. Most news articles and blogs focus on the highly visible colleges and fail to report that the average admission rate for U.S. four year colleges and universities is 66 percent, as reported in the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) annual "State of College Admissions" report.
The reason for the eye-popping application increases at some colleges is not because of a larger population of college bound students but simply because students on average are filing more applications. The NACAC report cited that the percentage of students nationally who submitted seven or more applications reached 25 percent in 2010, up two percentage points from a year earlier.
For stress relief, students should apply to a wide range of colleges based on the best fit for them, not on the headlines or ranking and ratings. Tools like College Navigator and UCan provide robust filters to research the options and to help create a starting point for the college search. Be sure and visit the CTCL resource page for additional links.
CONSUMER REPORTS AND THE EDUCATION CONSERVANCY: COLLABORATION FOR COLLEGE GUIDANCE
A non-profit organization dedicated to helping students, colleges, and high schools overcome commercial interference in college admissions, The Education Conservancy has helped produce Find The Best Colleges For You in partnership with Consumer Reports.
Funded by the Lumina Foundation, they surveyed and interviewed more than 2,500 students, educators, and advocates to understand what information was most important in deciding where to attend college.
The guide reflects the outcomes of that research and tries to help students fully explore their college options. It offers a strategy for developing a list of schools to consider, based on input from students and experts and explains how that information might help them better understand how to conduct an informed comparison of colleges.
ANTIOCH COLLEGE EXTENDS FULL TUITION HORACE MANN FELLOWSHIPS
The Antioch College Board of Trustees announced the extension of the Horace Mann Fellowships to all students admitted for the next three years. President Mark Roosevelt stated, "We don't want economics to be an impediment to a high-quality liberal arts education."
"By providing four year, full-tuition scholarships, we make attending Antioch College a realistic option for the best and brightest students, regardless of their family's economic situation."
In addition to full-tuition scholarships for all four years, Horace Mann Fellows will have the opportunity to be mentored by the College's alumni; work with members of the College faculty and staff to design the infrastructure for a shared governance system; and have a voice as advisers to the president, Mark Roosevelt, himself an education reformer, teacher and political activist. They will get real training in policy-making and in cooperating with people of different ages, who have different experiences and backgrounds from their own.
The fellowship gets its name from Antioch College's first president who, in his final address as president of the College, gave Antioch its enduring mission: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."
COLLEGE RANKINGS DON'T MEASURE THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers examined the U.S. News and World Report College Ranking edition in his New Yorker magazine article "What College Rankings Really Tell Us." Not much, is his conclusion.
"A ranking can be heterogeneous as long as it doesn't try to be too comprehensive. But it's an act of real audacity when a ranking system tries to be comprehensive and heterogeneous. There's no direct way to measure the quality of an institution, so the U.S. News algorithm relies instead on proxies for quality and the proxies for educational quality turn out to be flimsy at best."
Reed College and St. John's College have refused to participate in the USNWR rankings on the same principle: Rankings are not a measure of the quality of the educational experience and they foster marketing practices which are harmful to the college admission profession. Read their statements by clicking on the college links above.
CTCL 2012 PROGRAMS ANNOUNCED
The dates and locations for the 2012 CTCL national program series "How to Choose a College That's Right For You" have been chosen and will soon be announced on the Events link at ctcl.org.
The series will commence in the Northeast on May 20, 2012 in the Washington, D.C. area and conclude in Boston on May 23.
The remaining sessions will take place in late July and August with the kick-off in the West on July 28 in Seattle and Portland, followed by the South on August 11 in Houston and Austin, and includes a return to Birmingham, AL.
The Midwest series in late August, will start in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, August 25 and will include a long-awaited return to the Detroit area.
As always, all of the CTCL programs are free of charge and open to the public.
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