Posts made in February, 2012

Spotlight: University of Colorado at Boulder

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Colleges & Visits | 0 comments

Spotlight: University of Colorado at Boulder

This fall I had the opportunity to tour the University of Colorado, Boulder and attend a football game. Boulder is a national research university in one of the most beautiful settings I have encountered. The students are very outgoing and spirited. To top it all off, the campus and surrounding area have over 80 miles of walking and biking paths, 50% of the students ski and snowboard and the town of Boulder is one of the best college towns in America. Below are the most interesting things I learned about Boulder on my visit.

  • There are many different honors programs including the Kittredge Honors Program and Engineering Honors Program. The General Honors Program is offered to the top 10% of applications- last year average GPA of 3.8, 1300 on Math and Verbal and 29 on the ACT.
  • Boulder has incredibly strong programs in business, science, engineering and digital arts. Some interesting majors are : Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Integrative Physiology, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Speech, Language and the Hearing Sciences, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, and a minor in Technology, Arts and Media. It is possible for students to change schools and majors once on campus. All students can apply to participate in UROP (undergraduate research opportunities) which provides funding to undergraduate students to conduct their own research.
  • 95% of Boulder students are employed or in grad school 6 months after graduation. Boulder also has many famous alumni like the Co-founder of Apple products and the founder of Crocs.
  • Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek teaches underclassmen physics for non-physics majors and Boulder has sent more people into space than any other university.
  • Boulder students are very engaged in community service. Students can participate in programs like Puksta Scholars, INVST Community Studies and my personal favorite the Public Interest Internship Experience where students investigate ways to solve community problems.
  • This year’s Incoming class has 5,600 and with 45% of students from out of state. Besides Colorado, a large number of students come from California, Illinois, Texas and New York. One of the major complaints about Boulder for CA students in the cost, but Boulder is trying very hard to increase the amount of merit aid to students. They have a Chancellor’s Achievement Award of $20,000 over 4 years for the top 25% of applicants and a President’s Scholarship of $55,000 that is offered to the top 1-3% of applicants.

I have tons of interesting material from Boulder in my office, as well as the IB/AP Equivalency Chart if you want to know how your hard work is transformed into college credit. All you have to do is ask!

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University fabricating SAT scores?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in SAT & ACT | 0 comments

University fabricating SAT scores?

To keep up to date on what is going on in the national landscape of college admissions, I often visit the New York Times “Choice Blog.”
Recently there was an article about Claremont McKenna College fabricating their SAT numbers in an effort to move up higher in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The article goes on to explain how different universities manipulate, hide or delete data in an effort to look more prestigious and selective.

What I want families to take away from this article is that the value of a university cannot be reduced to the selection criteria of the U.S. News and World Report. Instead of thinking in terms of what colleges are “good” colleges based on rankings, I challenge families to talk about what it means to do “good work” in college. Once you lay that out on the table the next question you can ask your student is, “what do you need in order to produce you best work and how can you make the most out of your college experience?” Students may need inspiring teachers, diverse perspectives, interesting topics, hands-on projects, service learning or cross disciplinary connections. Challenging students to think about what factors have helped them in the past to achieve success can be a much more interesting and illuminating discussion than where a certain school ranks in the U.S. News and World Report. It can also bring students closer to understanding the college environment that will be best for them.

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Summer Time: Volunteer, INTERN, WORK or LEARN

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in Application Process | 0 comments

Summer Time: Volunteer, INTERN, WORK or LEARN

It is never too early to think about your summer plans. I challenge you to do something over the summer that furthers your thinking about potential major(s).

Check out the following websites for ideas:

Teen Inc is made for teens by teens and highlights summer programs and even provides reviews.

Read the article, “Planning for a Productive Summer” on Enrichment Alley and then search for potential ideas or options.

If you are interested in doing community service go to www.dosomething.org or www.volunteermatch.org

I have many other resources in my office, so if you are interested, just ask.

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