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College Preparation/Choosing a College
D.C. residents have the highest student debt in the country, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but the data also show D.C. residents paying off their loans quicker than the rest of the nation.
College-going rates could go up significantly if students in high school received counseling as freshmen, and not just when they are juniors and seniors, a new study from the National Association for College Admission Counseling says. The impact may be greatest on those in groups less likely than others to go to college. According to the report, only 18 percent of ninth-grade students - regardless of type of school or their school’s four-year college-going rate - had discussed college with a counselor.
Bill Destler, president, Rochester Institute of Technology, writes: Attempts to evaluate the quality of colleges and universities should start with the mission of the institution and evaluate the institution's success in achieving that mission (this, in fact, is what accrediting agencies do). In such a process, a community college could well achieve as high a rating as an Ivy League school, and students could choose to go where their educational needs are best matched. Unfortunately, no published ranking scheme has taken this approach.
Texas has opened a Web site, Compare College TX, which allows users to compare the state's public universities and community colleges on a range of measures, including how long it takes students, on average, to earn a degree; the average tuition and fees; and the average wages of graduates by degree level. Texas is also teaming up with the College Measures Web site to provide more-specific information on the earnings of graduates of particular degree programs.
For most applicants to selective colleges, the letters that arrived by April 1 brought an end to months of anxious wondering. But for some small fraction of those students, the tension is only now reaching its apex. They were assigned not to the relief of the yes pile, or the decisiveness of the no pile, but to the slender median of the maybe, with no idea how their application will be resolved, or even when.
In an outlook report released in January, Moody’s Investors Services reveals that nearly half of all universities have reported lower enrollment for fall 2012. Moreover, many schools have increased tuition significantly in recent years but still struggle to make ends meet. Several schools are responding by refusing to raise tuition. But some schools are taking a more visionary approach. They are rising to President Obama’s challenge for creative, innovative solutions to the problem of rising college costs.
This week on The Choice on India Ink, we’d like to draw your attention to an international college search that is taking place elsewhere in the world. Here is an excerpt from “The Trans-Atlantic College Search,” in which D. D. Guttenplan, a writer who specializes in higher education, describes how he and his daughter began their college search from afar.
At least 210 colleges and universities still have space available for qualified freshman and/or transfer students and all have financial aid to offer, according to the results of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual Space Availability Survey: Openings for Qualified Students. The survey queries NACAC member four-year colleges and universities on the availability of space, institutional financial aid and housing as of May 1, 2013. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents are public colleges, and 72 percent are private colleges. Ninety-nine percent have housing space.
The Obama administration recently launched an interactive College Scorecard to help families make smarter college planning decisions, but it gives you little guidance about the“return on investment.” I have an idea for an alternative measure to determine the ROI of a particular college. It’s a pretty simple formula that measures of the amount of private gifts given to a four year college over time, divided by its number of full time students. After all, private donations are typically an indicator of two things: how successful an alumnus is and how grateful they feel toward their alma mater.
College Confidential didn't invent the anxiety many Americans associate with applying to college, but, like a mile-high megaphone, it amplifies that anxiety 24 hours a day. The anonymous masses who converse on these message boards provoke derision from the official stewards of the admissions process. "Horrific," one high-school counselor says of College Confidential. "The futile search for the inside track," says an admissions officer. Another, borrowing Obi-Wan Kenobi's line about the seedy spaceport in Star Wars, calls the Web site "a wretched hive of scum and villainy."