Wednesday Weekly Reader: 5 Stories

Recent news from the college search / admissions / finance front.

1.  I provided some tips yesterday for the 2011-2012 Common Application (now available on line). Here are 5 more tips on dealing with the 2012 Common App, via Aristotle Circle.

Customize the future plans section for each school.  This section asks about your intended major and interests. Be sure to be specific about a program that is currently offered at the school you are applying to. It is best not to generalize in this section, schools will otiose if you pick a major that they don’t offer.

2.  Allen Grove, writing for, provides an extensive list of extracurriculars. When Mod Squad Pete is working on applications and can’t come up with anything he’s done(!), this is perfect for jogging the memory.

Extracurricular activities are simply anything you do that is not a high school course or paid employment (but note that paid work experience is of interest to colleges and can substitute for some extracurricular activities).

3.  Unigo, via US News Education, dispells a number of myths about the admissions process here.


Image via Wikipedia

Myth #3: Colleges won’t care if I’m a few days late.

Don’t count on it! Though some colleges may accept your application, we’ve seen colleges reject applications that were sent late. It’s a risk on your part and not the kind of action that shows that you are the top student they are looking for. Be mindful of deadlines and aim to get your essays done over the summer so you can submit applications on time.

4.  Here’s a miscalculation I know Pete doesn’t want to make:  applying to a “Reach” college, thinking it is a “Match.” This one also from Allen Grove:  6 Cases in Which a Match School is Really a Reach School for College Admissions.

Every year, some high school students find that they’ve been rejected by all the colleges to which they applied. In many cases, the problem can be traced to some miscalculations when choosing schools. The standard advice most students receive is to apply to a mix of safety, match and reach schools. However, in these six cases, what seems like a match might actually be a reach.

Inside Higher Ed

Image via Wikipedia

5.  Finally, an important read from the financial front:  how much debt will it take to get a degree at any particular college?  Inside Higher Ed provides a look here on a recent report on the ratio of debt to degree for profit, non-profit, private and public colleges. My link will take you to the story; see within where Inside Higher Ed provides a link to the actual Education Sector report in pdf form. It’s worth downloading, only 13 pages long and compellingly readable.

As concerns grow about student debt and college completion, colleges and universities have been ranked in any number of ways: by sticker price, net price, cost to the taxpayer, graduation rate, default rate and more.

Now a new study is trying to combine some of those measures, taking debt loads and dropout rates into account to determine the amount of debt taken on for each degree issued.

Any of this useful? Please let me know. What have you read?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Wednesday Weekly Reader: 5 Stories

  1. Pingback: Another college admissions stage completed: Pete has options | Dr. StrangeCollege or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Journey

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