News from the college search / admissions / finance front.
There are far more stories available right now than I have the space to feature here. I see a ‘clean out the file’ post coming in the future, with one line descriptions and links. On to today’s stories…
1. Education Week‘s College Bound blog writes about an alternative to the Common Application (which has 456 participating colleges this year), is the Universal College Application. The UCA has only 60 participating schools, but offers some significant differences if your desired college is on their list. Here’s one:
One feature that sets UCA apart is the ability of students to include a link to their online content—a YouTube video, website, social-networking page, or news article. This solves a headache for colleges that get thousands of CDs and videos mailed into admissions offices for review, says Reiter.
2. Is Mod Squad Pete ready for his close-up? Suzanne Shaffer, who blogs at Parents Countdown to College, writes here about colleges accepting video applications. She offers tips to the students considering this option.
The thought of a video application may seem odd to many of you, but the advantages of doing an application through video are numerous. A traditional application doesn’t allow the student an opportunity to truly show off their originality. Also, through a video submission college representatives are able to see how the student looks, sounds, and presents themselves. Video applications are the wave of the future and students need to prepare themselves for the possibility of having to present themselves to college representatives through the use of video.
Four schools are now encouraging students to send videos instead of essays. According to Newsweek about 5-10% of the applications sent to the four schools include videos. The four schools include Tufts, George Mason, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and William and Mary. Some of the videos submitted have gained thousands of views on YouTube.
3. From Daniel DeVise, who blogs on education for the Washington Post, here is an updated look at StraighterLine, which offers basic 100-level college courses for $99 a month. A recent survey shows positive feedback from StraighterLine students, as opposed to a reporter’s view after taking a course in Econ101. The students compared StraighterLine courses to other online courses they’d taken and community college courses.
StraighterLine students tend to be older and otherwise more diverse than traditional college students. And most have attended two or more colleges; they tend to view college not as a campus so much as a collection of credits. To Smith, that is the future of higher education.
4. The Huffington Post reported recently that, “Seven out of 10 undergraduates surveyed at 13 college campuses said they had not purchased one or more textbooks because the cost was too high.” Hat tip to Dr. Michael Kirst at The College Puzzle, Stanford University.
“Students recognize that textbooks are essential to their education but have been pushed to the breaking point by skyrocketing costs,” said Rich Williams, Higher Education Advocate for U.S. PIRG in a release. “The alarming result of this survey underscores the urgent need for affordable solutions.”