Monday, December 31, 2018

Freshmen Experience World Before Moving On Campus

What do Prince William, Prince Harry and Malia Obama have in common?  They all did a “gap year” before heading to college.  Their activities during this year included travel to Australia, Africa, Lesotho, Belize, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.  Taking a year to travel, pursue academic (or non-academic) interests, and delve into volunteer work before settling into college is not a new concept.  But, often, this is a luxury for children of wealthy families as it costs considerable money to support oneself, even while pursuing noble causes. 

Colleges are now looking to expand the gap year opportunity to students of lesser means.  Duke University, this year, sponsored a few dozen students who presented compelling gap year plans.  The money came from a half-million-dollar donation by a couple of philanthropists (who happen to have a daughter attending Duke) who plan to ultimately contribute $10 million to permanently endow the Duke gap year program. The couple also has a son who attends the University of Pennsylvania where they have made a comparable offer.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

High School Seniors Still Have College Options

If you’re a high school senior, with hopes of attending a great college in the fall, all is not lost if you have not yet applied to, or gotten accepted to, your dream college.

While the application deadline has passed for all of the Ivy League colleges, and many other elite institutions, there are more than 500 colleges whose application deadlines for the 2019-2020 academic year fall on or after January 15th.  There are also about 200 colleges that have a “rolling admissions” policy, which means they review applications until they have accepted enough students to fill their class. 

While this is not the ideal time for college-bound students to begin the application process, those who find themselves in this boat – due to procrastination or any other reason – should follow a few guidelines.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Impact of an Ivy League or other Elite Degree

Economists, as well as the public in general, have long debated the issue of whether or not it really matters where a student attends college. Statistics clearly cite the financial impact of attending, and graduating from, college as increasing one’s lifetime earnings by approximately $1 million.  But there is often controversy as to the importance of an “elite” degree.

An article published this month in “The Atlantic” reports that parents in the U.S. currently spend about half a billion dollars each year on independent education consultants whom they hope will help their children gain admission to the country’s most elite institutions of higher learning. (This figure does not include money spent on SAT prep, private tutoring, or travel to visit colleges.) These parents are targeting the eight renowned Ivy League colleges/universities, as well as a handful of other extremely competitive schools, for their offspring.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Lure of Entrepreneurship –- Prepare to Be The Boss

Students who hope to be entrepreneurs have two options, according to the December 2018 issue of Entrepreneur magazine.  They can start their own business and learn as they go, or they can attend a college with a strong program in entrepreneurship.  Those who choose the latter route should carefully research their options, as there are many programs with an extremely impressive track record.

The University of Michigan is ranked  #1 by Entrepreneur due to the strength of its “Center for Entrepreneurship.”  The University has more than 4,500 students enrolled its 68 entrepreneur-related courses.  Most impressively, its graduates in the past five years raised $20 million to launch more than 800 startups.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Identify and Get Accepted to Your Ideal College

Students in search of the perfect college all have a couple of criteria in common.  They want a college that offers a great program in their major of choice that will put them on track for a well paying career.  They also want a college to which they can likely gain admission. 

There are many tools that students can use to identify colleges that offer a strong program in their chosen field.  U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” for example, lists the colleges and universities with the most reputable programs in various areas of business: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Insurance/Risk Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Supply Chain Management/Logistics, and others. It does the same for various areas of engineering: Aeronautical, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical. There are also a host of websites that list the top colleges for a gamut of other fields.