Monday, August 13, 2018

Summer Launch of the “Common App”

Back in 1975, administrators from fifteen colleges got together and decided to create one application that students could use to apply to any or all of their colleges. This was the birth of “The Common App” which, as of 2018, is accepted by more than 800 colleges and universities across the United States.  More than one million students are expected to use this year’s Common App – which went live with its latest updates on August 1st – to apply to more than four million colleges and universities.

The Common App is an online application that asks a series of questions in several categories, including: parents’ educational history and current employment, students’ SAT/ACT/AP test scores, senior year courses, high school activities, and intended college major.  There is also an essay of 250 to 650 words that is required by the majority of Common App colleges. Students, this year, have a choice of seven essay topics, one of which states, “Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.” So the topic options are truly limitless!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Elon Musk Inspired by Internships

Students who want to follow in the footsteps of Elon Musk would do best to seek out an internship.  Elon Musk actually did three internships on the early steps of his road to success, first gaining experience with a summer internship at Bank of Nova Scotia, and later doubling up with a daytime internship at Pinnacle Research Institute and a nighttime one at Rocket Science Games.

To this day, interning within your preferred industry is considered to be one of the most important things a student can do.  According to a 2018 Job Outlook survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), it’s often more important than your college major or GPA.

New Jersey colleges are well aware of the importance of internships and most work hard to provide students with such opportunities. The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) reports that nearly 80% of its business students complete at least one internship or cooperative experience (paid, for credit work temporarily replacing classes) during their college days.  The college attributes this, in part, to the reason that more than half of its business students have one or more job offers in hand by the time they graduate. The companies with which TCNJ students launch their careers include: Bloomberg L.P., Citibank, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Madison Square Garden, Target, Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) Morgan Stanley, NBC Universal, Tiffany & Co. and Trenton Thunder.

Monday, July 30, 2018

August SAT Exam is Extremely Popular

College Board is once again offering a summer SAT exam, building on last year’s success when the SAT was administered in August for the first time in decades. But interested students should sign-up soon if they hope to take the August 25th SAT, prior to the start of their new school year, as they are already in a “late registration” period with a final deadline of August 15th.

Having eliminated the January SAT exam, and replaced it with an August exam, College Board believes it is providing numerous benefits to the approximately two million students who take this test each year.  Summer is a popular time for students to prepare for the SAT, without the pressures of school, homework and afterschool activities.  By taking the exam in August, students have the opportunity to put their newly acquired SAT strategies and skills to the test without waiting until October – which they had to do prior to last year.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Colleges Nationwide Feature Amazing Amenities

If you haven’t stepped foot on a college campus in many years, you probably won’t believe your eyes.  Many “dorms” are in the form of suites and include kitchens with upscale appliances, living/dining rooms, and maid service to keep everything clean. The food often rivals, or surpasses, that offered in restaurants in students’ hometowns and includes a host of ethnic varieties as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options.  The recreational amenities often mimic those found at resorts.   

Are colleges spending their endowments and treating students to these amenities? Absolutely not.  College costs continue to rise and the average student loan debt continues to increase, reaching $39,400 for last year’s graduating class.

But even in the face of rising student debt, colleges defend their spending as a marketing tool to help them attract students. The National Bureau of Economic Research confirms that colleges do indeed draw more applicants by spending large sums of money on facilities and amenities.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Choose Ideal College for Specialized Major

A college education is certainly intended to expand students’ knowledge in many areas of life.  But it’s also meant to prepare students for careers that will likely be the focus of their lives for decades after they graduate.  So, in choosing a college, students should carefully consider which institution would best prepare them for the particular career of their dreams. 

Students who are fascinated with self-driving cars, and want to pursue an education in this field, would do well to consider Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science school.  Some computer vision graduates at this Pittsburgh-based university are being offered starting salaries as high as $200,000.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Ideal High School Timeframe

Students (and their parents) often wonder what they should be doing during each year of high school to avoid the stress of an anxiety-filled senior year.

The truth is that much can be done during the early part of freshman year to set students on the path of success. Colleges admire students who show longevity in their activities, so the sooner students identify their clubs, sports, volunteer work, or other activities of passion, the longer they have to build a track record of accomplishments.  Freshman year is the perfect time to take on a new musical instrument or sport that might make a student particularly attractive to colleges.  A demonstrated commitment to volunteer work could earn a 50% to 100% tuition scholarship to The College of New Jersey which seeks “Bonner Community Scholars” and expects 300 volunteer hours each college year.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Top College Board Resources for College Planning

According to its website, The College Board is “a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.”  It was founded more than 100 years ago -- back in 1900 – and its membership association today is made up of more than 6,000 educational institutions.

If you ask students about The College Board, they’ll tell you it’s the organization responsible for the SAT exam as well as all of the Advanced Placement tests.  In last year’s graduating class, close to 2 million students had taken the SAT at least one time.  That’s because it’s a key admission criterion of most competitive colleges, and also plays a significant role in determining the amount of merit scholarship money awarded by most colleges.