Monday, October 29, 2018

NJ Students Tend to Leave Garden State for College

New Jersey is known for its “brain drain,” with more than 30,000 high school graduates heading out of state for college each year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  And it’s not making up for the loss, as only about 4,000 out-of-state students head into New Jersey for college.  This made New Jersey the state with the largest net loss of students in the nation last year.

By contrast, neighboring Pennsylvania, a much larger state with many more colleges, saw only 16,000 of its students leave for college. At the same time, it attracted close to 32,000 out-of-state students, many from New Jersey, giving it the largest net in-migration of students in the country.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Secrets of Getting a “You’re Accepted!” Letter

An “Education Life” supplement published by the New York Times featured a cover stating, “Admissions is unfair:  Here’s why.”  Surrounding the cynical title were clues as to the criteria that might swing a college applicant to the acceptance or rejection pile. 

Before slumping into a depression, college bound students should take comfort from the fact that the vast majority of colleges accept at least half of their applicants.  In fact, U.S. News & World Report lists 100 colleges and universities that accepted between 95% and 100% of applicants for last year’s freshman class.  Included are many “specialty” schools, such as the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA, and Boston Architectural College in Boston, MA.

It’s the world famous institutions that, each year, collectively reject hundreds of thousands of students who could actually thrive at their schools.  This scenario plays out not only at all of the prestigious Ivy League colleges and universities, but also at other popular institutions.  The 2018 acceptance rate was 15% or lower at Johns Hopkins University, Amherst College, Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, Duke University, University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a host of other schools.

Monday, October 15, 2018

November Vacation Days Ideal for College Tours

Early November brings a break from school for New Jersey students.  Some districts close for Election Day, most close for Teacher Convention Days, and a few close for the entire week.  Students who anticipate attending college in their future might want to put these “vacation days” to good use.

Almost every college offers weekday tours, usually each morning and afternoon.  Visiting colleges and going on official tours is the best way for students to figure out exactly what they are looking for in their future dream school. With more than 300 colleges and universities within one hundred miles of Central New Jersey, students have a wide variety of options to choose from and can easily begin their college search without embarking on a lengthy road trip.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Early College Apps Increase Chance of Acceptance

What greater holiday gift is there for a college bound student than to receive a fat acceptance letter, or a congratulatory email, from a college of choice? But in order to have a chance of getting such good news by the holidays, students typically need to submit their college applications by the early deadline of November 1st or 15th.

Students can apply to as many colleges “early action” as they like and, if accepted, they are not required to attend.  They actually have until May 1st (National College Decision Day) to make their final choice. This differs from an “early decision” application that can only be submitted to one college and binds the student to attend, if accepted.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Why and When should students take the PSAT exam?

High school students throughout the country will soon be facing the PSAT exam, but many don’t understand its significance.  Students and parents often believe the “P” in PSAT stands for practice and that the test is merely a trial run for the all-important SAT exam.  In reality, the “P” does not stand for “practice,” or anything else, and it is so much more than a student’s first attempt at a college entrance exam.

Another name for the PSAT is the NMSQT, which does stand for something – National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.  High school juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT are on the official route of entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program. Fifty thousand high scoring students will ultimately qualify for program recognition – which carries considerable prestige.  Of these students, two-thirds will receive Letters of Commendation, but will not be awarded scholarship money.  One-third of these students will qualify as Semi-finalists and will move on to compete for a National Merit Scholarship which will ultimately be awarded to 7,500 students.