Articles tagged with: College Lists

30 September 2015

Making Sense of the College Scorecard

us-department-education-logoLast week the Department of Education introduced a new College Scorecard designed to provide better insight on how well colleges are serving their students when it comes to access, affordability and outcomes post graduation.  

With nearly 2,000 data points for 7,000+ schools in the underlying database, there's a lot of information covered—some useful, some a bit outdated.  We've taken a closer look and summarized our findings for you. Long story short, for those receiving financial aid, we think it's a great way to assess the financial return on investment in a college education.  We also think it's going to be useful for identifying schools that are particularly strong in providing access to students from lower income families.

Click on Continue Reading for our summary.

22 September 2015

The New College Scorecard: NPR Does Some Math

Posted in Perspectives, College Rankings

nprHere's an interesting article/podcast from National Public Radio about the College Scorecard just released by the Obama Administration.  The data, which includes some very useful information about the cost and return of a college education at over 7,000 schools, stops short of rankings but makes it possible to create your own rankings.

NPR provides three screens you might find interesting:

  • Schools that make you money
  • Schools that make financial sense
  • Schools that emphasize upward mobility

Click here for details.

17 September 2015

Common App Extra Essay Requirements

Posted in Your College List

Update #6

commonapplogoThe Common App for 2015-16 was posted earlier today, and we've just wrapped up our analysis on the real number of short answer/essay prompts required for each school.  If you've been through this process before, you know that just because a school lacks a writing supplement doesn't mean there are no additional essays to complete.  Many schools in fact simply embed these prompts in the main application itself.

This post summarizes the prompts required for 200+ Common Application schools in our coverage universe.  Our definition of a prompt is a question that requires more than a one word or one sentence answer.  It's not perfect, but it should help you gauge the amount of writing you'll need to get through over the next few months.  It'll also help you identify schools that you can apply to without the need for extra essays!

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

14 September 2015

Gaps in Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data

Posted in Perspectives

nytHere's an article from Kevin Carey of the New York Times about the latest college "return on investment" figures released by the U.S. Department of Education.

The new data tracks the cost of an education and average reported earnings ten years out.  What's important about the data is that it is not "self-reported" based on surveys, as is the approach used by PayScale.  Instead, the government was able to match data from the student financial aid system to federal tax returns, so an accurate picture of earnings across a far larger sample is in place.

What's interesting about the data isn't that elite institutions report higher earnings. What's interesting is that there are a significant number of institutions that the payoff is far less evident, including some well-known universities and liberal arts colleges.  

Click here for the article.

 

13 September 2015

How to Measure a College's Value

Posted in Perspectives

nytHere's an interesting article by Frank Bruni of the New York Times about how to measure the value of a college education.  Everyone knows which schools are the hardest to get into, but what are the factors about a college education that really impact "fulfillment?"

Bruni previews several interesting findings from the latest Gallup-Purdue study entitled Great Jobs, Great Lives.  60,000 college graduates were surveyed along five dimensions of satisfaction—relationships, health, community, economic situation and sense of purpose—with the goal of identifying whether or not where students attended school made a difference.

Long story short, the advantages for attending elite national universities and liberal arts colleges aren't that material.  Four factors that do make a difference include mentorship, job experience/internships, deep involvement in an campus organization/activity, and the amount of debt you incur post graduation.

Click here for the article.

 

08 September 2015

U.S. News & World Report Posts 2016 College Rankings

Posted in College Rankings

usnwr bestcollegesU.S. News & World Report released their 2016 college rankings earlier today.  Nearly 1,800 schools were covered nationwide and evaluated on multiple measures of academic excellence and outcomes to produce the final rankings.

Princeton retains sole posession of the top spot for National Universities, and Williams College tops the list of Liberal Arts Colleges.  

Click on Continue Reading to see the rankings changes. 

27 August 2015

Colleges with Early Admission Plans

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission

College Kickstart Logo 200x63With your college list more or less finalized, give some consideration to early admission—many schools offer it and can be a terrific way to boost odds and minimize wasted motion.  All you need to do is apply 45-60 days earlier than you normally would. 

Here's a list of competitive 4-year institutions offering early admission to applicants.  Depending on the school, these options range from Early Decision (binding) to Early Action (non-binding) and Restrictive Early Action (non-binding with restrictions on where else you can apply).  

The first wave of deadlines is coming up in November, so take a quick look to see if any of your schools offer something worth considering. Or click here to find out how College Kickstart can help you fully capitalize on it.

10 August 2015

A Prudent College Path - Honors Colleges

nytHere's an op-ed from Frank Bruni of the New York Times about the emergence of honors colleges/programs across public universities.  Designed for academically gifted students, these programs attempt to provide more of a private college experience for the price of a public one.

It's an interesting alternative for academically gifted students to consider, especially for those concerned with affordability or those in search of target or safety schools to add to their college lists.

Here's the link to the article.

 

 

03 August 2015

Princeton Review Releases 2016 College Rankings

Posted in College Rankings

princetonreview2016Princeton Review has released its list of top ranked colleges for 2016. 

380 public and private institutions are covered and ranked across several categories based on student survey results.  Here are some of our favorites:

  • Quality of Life (Rice University #1)
  • Happiest Students (Vanderbilt)
  • Best Classroom (Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering)
  • Best Run Schools (Claremont McKenna)
  • Best Food (Bowdoin)
  • Best Dorms (Bennington)
  • Best Career Services (Clemson)

 

Click here for the press release.

31 July 2015

Top Ranked Colleges for International Relations Majors

Posted in Your College List

world-puzzleIn search of colleges and universities with strong undergraduate international relations programs?

Courtesy of Foreign Policy magazine and the College of William & Mary, we've compiled their list of top 25 programs in the United States, along with admit rate and test score data to help you locate safety, target and reach schools to add to your list.  As always, we've also included a link to each school's websites to help you explore further.

The report also calls out Chinese and Arabic as the two most important languages for aspiring international relations majors to learn, and global climate change as the most important topic to contend with over the next ten years.

Click on Continue Reading for the list, or here for the Foreign Policy article. 

30 July 2015

Forbes Releases 2015 College Rankings

Posted in College Rankings

forbesForbes released its list of top ranked colleges for 2015. 

The Forbes ranking methodology is driven by student satisfaction (25%), post-graduate success (32.5%), student debt (25%), graduation rate (7.5%) and academic success (10%).  

At the top of this year's list are:

  1. Pomona College
  2. Williams College
  3. Stanford University
  4. Princeton University
  5. Yale University
  6. Harvard University
  7. Swarthmore College
  8. Brown University
  9. Amherst College
  10. MIT

 

Click here for the full list.

22 July 2015

Colleges Where Female Applicants Have an Edge

Posted in Your College List

student-female

Question: what happens when a college wants an balanced class but has a much smaller female applicant pool to draw on?

Answer: higher admission rates for females!

Like our previous post, we looked at several popular coed institutions and searched for places where there was a 15% or greater admission rate advantage, this time for women.  The result: a list of 37 schools for qualified applicants to consider.

The list is dominated by institutions strong in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but you'll also find some unexpected names like Boston University, American University, Clark University, Connecticut College and the University of Oregon.    

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.  

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

22 July 2015

Colleges With Better Admission Odds for Guys

Posted in Your College List

student male

Question: what happens when a college wants a balanced class but has to draw on a much smaller male applicant pool?

Answer: higher admission rates for guys!

We looked at several popular coed institutions and searched for places where there was a 15% or greater admission rate advantage for male applicants.  The result: an intriguing list of 26 schools to consider.

The majority of the schools on the list are liberal arts colleges, but you'll also be surprised to see names like Brown, Pepperdine, Vanderbilt, Tufts and Yale.    

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.  

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

01 July 2015

Colleges with Small Class Sizes and Attentive Faculty

Posted in Your College List

teacher-classroom3In search of colleges with more intimate learning environments?

Look no further, we've identified 50+ schools that fit the bill.  To make the grade, each school has to have at least 70% of their classes with fewer than 20 students and a student/faculty ratio lower than 10:1.

The result: an eclectic mix of private liberal arts colleges and universities where teachers are more likely to know your name, including several institutions featuring tutorial-style or self-directed study programs.

We've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores and links to each school's website to help you explore the possibilities.

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

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