Recent Blogs

50-50 College Highlights: Arcadia, Lake Forest, and Champlain

Arcadia University CampusIf study abroad is an absolute must have, check out Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. Their MAPS are majors that require an academic year of study abroad which includes Global Media Studies, Global Legal Studies, Sports Psychology, and Sports Management. Study abroad is offered as part of its First Year Experience. They have several study centers abroad including Italy which is certified by the Italian authorities for higher education. Even their accelerated three-year degree programs include study abroad and an internship. + Read More

50-50 College List Highlights: Simmons College, Truman University, and Millsaps College

When looking up information for the 50-50 College Profiles, I’m always impressed with the variety of programs and opportunities available if you just take a little time to look. So I’ve decided to do a quick summary of the highlights of the schools I reviewed this week.

Duquesne in Pennsylvania offers a five-year Bachelor/Masters in Social and Public Policy. Through its Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, students can get a certificate or Masters in Forensic Science and Law, a certificate in forensic nursing, or a Master of Science in Nursing on the forensic track. Watch out for costs, however, 16% of freshman had non-federal students loans with an average of over $11,000. + Read More

Beyond College Rankings: January Terms, Interim Terms, and Winter Terms

Picture of globe in front of chalk board

Once you get past making sure a college has your potential major, there are all kinds of ways of distinguishing colleges from each other besides college rankings. There are the obvious ones such as cost, rural versus urban, size, and location. But there are some that can significantly affect a student’s college experience that many have never heard of, much less considered. One of them is the 4-1-4 calendar.

The what calendar?

Sometimes referred to as a January term or winter term, it is a short-term that takes place between the fall and spring semester in, you guessed it, January. + Read More

Are college grad rates “bad data?”

Speadsheet with college data/
What data are you supposed to use?

There is a guest post on College Inc by Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, arguing that college graduation rates are bad data.

No, they aren’t.

To crib from the gun rights advocates, the information isn’t bad, it’s how it’s being used that is bad. For some reason, Ms. McGuire seems to think that people are using graduation rates to decide if Harvard or Trinity Washington is a better school. + Read More

Free College Baseball Conference Profile

Improve you chances of getting recruited to play college baseball.

There are over 1,100 colleges that offer baseball programs. If you’re serious about playing baseball at the college level, you need to start finding the ones that best fit your athletic and academic abilities as well as your wallet.

Sign up for these free profiles and each week receive a college baseball conference profile that includes:

  • College Size
  • Operating Expenses per Baseball Team
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A coach can’t recruit you to play college baseball if he doesn’t know you exist. And you can’t let the coach know you exist if you don’t know his college exists.

What easier way is there to learn about college baseball possibilities than an email with a college baseball conference profile delivered weekly to your inbox? And it’s free.

50-50 College Profile Email

Primate scratching his head.
Where do I even start?

Starting the college search can be bewildering. Where do even start looking? Harvard’s supposed to be good, right? Or maybe you’ve heard good stuff about your state flagship university. And then there are those college rankings by magazines.

Any of those places is an acceptable starting place. The important thing is to make sure you start comparing those schools with other schools so you can decide which characteristics are important to you. But there are over 1,400 four year colleges in the United States, which schools do you compare?

As you start the process, you may not even be sure what size college you’re looking for, much less what majors it should have. And if you’re like most families, the parents are more interested in starting the process than the student.

So here’s an easy way to get started. Sign up for my free 50-50 College Profile email. Each weekday you’ll receive a profile of a college that has a minimum of a 50% graduation rate and accepts at least 50% of it’s applicants.

As I’ve discussed in other posts, I think it’s very reasonable to start with graduation rates–that is the point of going to college right? I use the four year graduation rate for private schools and the five year rate for public schools.

A 50% admissions rate means that any student that is serious about college has a reasonably good chance of being admitted. It also means that stronger students may find more merit aid available to them.

Also, I actually use 49% since rates can vary by several percentage points each year and I wanted to make sure to include as many colleges as possible.

These schools range in size and location. In each profile, I include a few items that distinguish the school which may give you reason to investigate further.

Sign up for the email and you’ll start building your knowledge of the various options for colleges in just 30 seconds a day. Save the ones that might be interesting to you, delete the rest.

It’s easy and it’s free. Just use the form below and start receiving the profiles.

It must be the Tiger Mother’s fault

Armadillo playing piano
Typical tiger parenting?

In her essay, “The Ivy Delusion,” Caitlin Flanagan has an interesting perspective on “the real reason the good mothers are so rattled by Amy Chua.” Amy Chua is the author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” which I haven’t read. It seems that many have taken the book as being about how Chinese parents are better at raising their kids than Western ones which is why so many Asians get into Ivy League Schools. Chau says that is what it was supposed to be about but “instead, it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how I was humbled by a thirteen-year-old.” That part doesn’t seem to make it into the book reviews.

So what does this have to do with picking a college? Well, according to Flanagan, “good mothers” (as opposed to Tiger Mothers) are finding their children are losing their spots at the Ivy’s to children of Tiger Mothers. And they’re not happy about it. After all, the colleges their children attend are a reflection on their parenting abilities and they would never subject their children to such harsh Tiger parenting.
+ Read More

Sarah Lawrence Education-Priceless?

Stuffed animal holding credit card
A "Priceless" Education

Forbes has listed Sarah Lawrence College as the most expensive in the country and its president, Karen Lawrence, just wants to explain:

Views: Why We’re No. 1 – Inside Higher Ed

One of the problems with “most expensive” lists of any kind is that they assume a uniformity of product or service. In fact, though, Sarah Lawrence differs from other institutions, even liberal arts colleges, in fundamental ways. For example, our faculty have twice the one-on-one contact time with individual students as faculty at other prestigious institutions, including liberal arts colleges.

She doesn’t really give any specifics except stating that the average financial aid award is over $34,000. She talks more about the “handcrafted” education and the “transformative” experience.

Look, I’m all for Liberal Arts Colleges and am a big believer in their purpose. My husband and I will soon be shelling out serious money so our son can go to a private liberal arts school.

But I believe that numbers have some meaning. Let’s take a quick look at CollegeResults.org and the 25 schools in the “Similar Colleges” group for Sarah Lawrence. This data is from 2008 but I doubt the general rankings and magnitudes have changed much. Ultimately Lawrence is less than $2,000 more than five other colleges in the group. Of these six schools, Lawrence doesn’t offer the most institutional grant aid at $25,827; Trinity College is on top with $28,525. Lawrence’s four year graduation rate of 63.5% beats two of the schools but is lower than Trinity College’s 81.2% and Skidmore’s 77.9%.
+ Read More

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