Wednesday Weekly Reader: 4 Stories

News from the college search / admissions / finance front.

1.  Relish High School. As I wrote yesterday, today is the first day of Mod Squad Pete’s senior year. Thanks to Cappex, who’ve provided five reasons to appreciate high school.

So let me play devil’s advocate with you because it’s likely you’re going to ignore your parents’ pleas to you to “not grow up too fast.” But hey, don’t grow up too fast. Sure high school can seem lame because everyone’s telling you what to do and you’re just like, so over it. But, let me try to convince you why you shouldn’t let yourself get too over it too quickly.

2. Don’t Believe the Myths You Hear About College. Thanks to Penn State student Emily Grier, writing for USA Today’s College blog, as she offers the perspective of a college student busting myths high school students hear about college. A few opposing views speak up in the comments; great read for high school seniors (hear that, Pete?).

Picking a college is the biggest decision of your life.

Let’s be honest: Although it completely seems true during your senior year of high school, picking a college probably isn’t the biggest decision you will ever make in your lifetime (kickin’ in the front seat or sittin’ in the back seat?…now there’s a big decision). It took me basically an entire year away at school before I finally realized this. Meeting people who didn’t end up at their first choice schools (and were convinced their lives were over because of it), will eventually convince you otherwise. For anyone who didn’t get into their dream school, you’ll probably figure out (if you haven’t already) that you’re where you’re meant to be.

3.  Completing College. Dr. Michael Kirst, writes on his College Puzzle blog about an older, but still relevant, report on what students can do to increase their chances of completing a college degree. Here’s the link to the brief article. Below is the advice offered:

Advice for students on how to improve chances of college completion

  • Do not delay college entry after high school. Stay continuously enrolled, do not stop out.
  • Attainment during second academic college year is crucial –can recapture academic momentum and complete “gate-way core courses.”
  • Earning four or more credits in summer—positive contributor to degree completion, so enroll all year around for some credits
  • Part-time attendance hurts a lot in terms of completion probability
  • Remediation seems to help completion in four-year, less so in two-year.
  • Withdrawal or repeating courses without penalty is big negative in terms of completion
1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Henry David T...

Image via Wikipedia

4.  The Value of the Humanities. The debate over the worth of college in general still roils across the mass and social media, a more specific debate over the value of a degree in the humanities churns through higher ed reports, and now the question is raised:  Is there any value to teaching the humanities to the poor and / or homeless?

In many ways, the debate over the value of the humanities has been shaped by those who have a lot—affluence, one or more degrees, prestigious positions, and the privilege of voicing their opinions via newspapers and blogs.

But what might those who have relatively little say about the value of Plato, of poetry, of postmodernism? If you’re poor, can you still learn something from Henry David Thoreau? If you’re homeless, can you still find meaning in a Baroque painting?

Antioch University‘s Bridge Program (in California) provides humanities courses, free of charge to low-income adults. Kathryn Pope, the program director, recruits students at shelters, community centers, and rehab facilities. This fascinating article relates the tangible and intangible benefits the students gain. Great story.

Any thoughts? What have you read?

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