Archive for the ‘College acceptance’ Category

How to Showcase Your Diversity in Your College Essay

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

200394126-001College campuses are striving to increase the diversity of their classes each year, believing that diversity enhances the multiple perspectives that a liberal arts education develops, as well as expanding knowledge and preparing students for life in a global community.

So what does this mean to you? This information can be used as an advantage in your college application; it is crucial that you demonstrate that you’ll bring something unique to campus and help create a microcosm of our diverse planet. (more…)

Choosing a College

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

College girls

Every college admissions representative talks about ‘fit.’ To be honest I struggle to understand what this means. As far as I am aware colleges admit as diversely as they are able to… So what does it mean to be a good fit for a college? Is there a small liberal arts college prototype? Do you have the Harvard look? (more…)

The Truth about Picking a Major

Friday, August 15th, 2014
SAT Questions

Picking a Major

Some people will tell you that you should major in what you’re proven to be good at. Other people will ridicule these people before telling you that college is the chance to explore your options and take classes in areas you never even realized existed. Avid Harry Potter fans will spout some rubbish like ‘the major chooses the student’ and you can just go ahead and ignore that. You, of course, choose the major. But that process may well be as difficult as getting magic out of a stick.

There is something quite overwhelming about being told to pick one subject. Most students have multiple academic loves in their lives and narrowing down isn’t easy at all. There may be a few interesting anthropology classes on offer but if – as is likely the case – a student is unacquainted with the field of anthropology they may be hesitant for GPA reasons or because they think it’s a better bet to stick with what he or she knows. Perhaps you’ve taken many English classes and have been repeatedly told you’d be great as an English major. This may well be true. But what if that Anthropology class awoke some crazy desire to do something else? You never know until you try, and a liberal arts education is the perfect time to start trying. Around 50% – 70% of US college students change their majors for quite possibly this reason. In high school we’re unable to have the breadth that encompasses subjects like Anthropology, Environmental Science or Linguistics because there’s so much ‘core’ information we have to learn first. So most students head on in to college with a predestined Biology orientated mindset before realizing they actually love Anthropology more. Don’t feel pressured to have a major in mind when you enter college. Spend your time just flitting from class to class and get a feel for what it is you’re truly passionate about.

It’s probably not a good idea to major in something only because you think it will make you money on graduation. Bear in mind that college generally means dedicating yourself to four years of studying. If Economics looks real useful but after the first class you hate it, don’t take it. Try Physics or a language or theatre. Find your interests and pursue them. Never feel pressured to have to take something.

The first year at least of college should be about finding new interests you never before were able to explore. So many people end up changing their fields of study because their high school never taught psychology, for example. There can be literally thousands of classes on offer each year, and it would be far too limiting just to focus on those that you’re already used to.

By the time sophomore year comes, things may seem a little clearer in terms of major selection. Or they may not. Either is absolutely fine because there’s still time. Choosing a major is more often than not a long process that can take years to work out. Fortunately many of the education people in charge get that, which is why the system can accommodate panicky indecisiveness as well as it does.

One of the more common reasons people have for pre-selecting a major before arriving at college is for grad school. If a student wants to be a doctor then I guess majoring in English makes the MCAT a little trickier. But apart from a small number of areas like medicine, the rest aren’t particularly concerned what you studied at the undergraduate level. In fact, graduate schools often accept students who didn’t major in that particular field of study. There are Business school students who majored in English and Drama school students who majored in Sociology. It’s not so much about the major as it is the skills you learn and can transfer at the next stage, be it graduate school or employment.

Ultimately, college should be the one time in your academic career to experiment as freely as you can. Take risks, explore more options and discover new passions you otherwise wouldn’t have known. Don’t feel like you need to have an idea of what to study as soon as you set foot on campus. Just enjoy the single word stamped across your transcript that captures your pursuit of new realms of academics: ‘undeclared.’

Standardized Tests: A Bit of Historical Perspective

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

From China to US

SAT Subject Tests

As we know, we live in a world of standards, from professional certifications to IQ tests. If you’re serious about entering the military, you have met the ASVAB. If you’re reading this and English isn’t your mother tongue, you’ll likely have encountered TOEFL. And of course, there’s the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, and on and on. These college assessment tests find themselves as part of a long tradition in the West, one originally imported from the East. (more…)

The Online Life of the College Applicant

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Facebook logo

Are colleges spying on me?

For some seniors, an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend is only the second most worrisome audience of their Facebook profile. They realize that university admissions officers are peeking into their online life as well. Of course, the short answer to the question posed above is: No. Colleges do not spy, and it would be a stretch–and probably an unhelpful one–to compare their activity to that of the Frumentarii or the Cambridge Five. And no, they’re not stalking you either. (more…)