Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Love this post from Unigo! If college catalogs and websites are to be believed, college students spend an inordinate amount of time pointing at things. How do they find the time in their busy schedules for so much pointing? Guess Michaelangelo must have been painting college students in the Sistine Chapel!
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
I've seen a ton of posts on Twitter in the last few days complaining about college solicitation emails clogging students' email boxes. It's annoying, but still better than the three-foot stack of college catalogs I accumulated back in the days of snail mail! The good news is that these kids must have done well on the PSAT. The bad news is that once they filled in their email addresses on the test sheet, they lost control over the email deluge.
What's the answer? A college admissions dedicated email address. This is a good idea in a couple of ways. First, with a college exclusive email address, you can avoid personal emails getting lost in the college clutter. Obviously, colleges are no longer constrained by the cost and effort of mailing brochures, so they can and will inundate you with emails.
Another great reason to have a college email address is to prevent your silly/inappropriate/Biebercentric personal email address appearing on your application. It makes me cringe to see something like studmuffin15@i'm-immature.com among my interviewees' emails. Think of a more serious handle (riffing on your name or initials is great). Even better, if you've got a serious frontrunner college choice, I'd bet that IheartcollegeX@I'm-dedicated.com might make an admissions officer smile. Just don't use it for other universities!
I hope you're convinced by now. Now, just remember to check that email address regularly during admissions season. You might miss a time-sensitive missive if you only log in to the account once a month. Take a look every few days, at least to delete all of the unwanted emails. Good luck!
Friday, February 04, 2011
On January 27, U.S. News & World Report posted a self-serving blog entry claiming that a recent UCLA survey proved that students don't let college rankings influence their decision too much. The survey listed 22 factors that students could select that were very important in choosing a college, and "Rankings in national magazines" only charted at #11 out of 22, ranking behind such factors as "Wanted to live near home" and "A visit to the campus." U.S. News has always been sensitive to the assorted criticisms of its college rankings, so they are happy to point to any evidence that their rankings serve as a helpful resource rather than a negative influence on ranking-obsessed students.
But is their interpretation of the UCLA survey correct? Check out the #1 factor on the list, cited by a whopping 62% of the survey respondents: "College has very good academic reputation." A lot of nebulous factors constitute "academic reputation," but surely a given college's rank on the U.S. News list plays a role? It's all very subjective, of course. I think it's fair to say though that the U.S. News blogger calling the role of rankings a "myth" that was "refuted" by the UCLA study is bit disingenious.