By Sam Coren
One of the longest, fiercest college rivalries in America belongs to two of the Palmetto state's top institutions. However, the tense relationship between University of South Carolina and Clemson University pre-dates the existence of their powerhouse NCAA Division 1 Football teams. After the Civil War the seeds for the Carolina-Clemson feud were planted after University of South Carolina de-emphasize agricultural education and Clemson emerged as the state's leading agriculture college after state funding was diverted from USC to Clemson.
Despite the tense history, over the years both schools have earned well-deserved reputations for being amazing places to earn a college degree. But if you're deciding between the two you might have trouble trying to compare South Carolina to Clemson.
But you're in luck - StudentAdvisor has tons of informative college reviews on both schools written by real students and alumni to help you decide!
"I was in Clemson's Biology program and found myself at the very top of my medical school class from the start because of the preparation I received from Clemson. Also, the school has the best mix of academics and social life I could find anywhere. The students know how to work hard and play hard."
"Clemson does not make students take only general education classes freshman year like most schools. You get to take classes pertaining to your major or just for fun beginning your first semester."
"Clemson really is like a family, and its something you can't understand until you go there. People really care about you, whether that's students, professors, or administrators. It's got a big college feel with the personal attention of a relatively small school."
"Many of the general education classes have at least 200 students and it is realy hard to pay attention and get individual help from the teachers in these classes."
"I initially underestimated the competitive student body"
"Clemson can get somewhat expensive if you don't have scholarships. There are work study opportunity available, but it may not be an option for everyone."
University of South Carolina - Columbia
"the best part about USC is the campus. With plenty of historic buildings, side by side with modern ones, USC's campus is set apart from the city making walks to class safe and enjoyable in the beautiful South Carolina weather."
"the University offers lots of special things to students to help make the transition into college easier, safe, and a little smaller. Whether it's the ACE writing center, Supplemental Instruction for difficult freshman classes, or the new taxi system that Student Government runs from downtown- USC cares about its students academically and beyond."
"Many people look down on larger schools and say that the teacher/student ratio is poor and that if you were to attend a larger school the professors would not take the time to get to know you or even show much of an interest in you. This is completely false. The professors at USC are very concerned about their students and always want them to do well. USC does an excellent job in choosing its staff!
"Sometimes athletics seems to overshadow any academic achievements made."
"One of the hardest things I've had to deal with as a student revolves around course selection time. Sometimes this may mean getting stuck in a large class or being stuck at an inconvenient time or not getting in to a class at all because of the large student population."
"the athletic division is so quick to excuse inexcusable acts performed by team players. The athletes at USC are held on a pedestal which is understood because the athletic aspect of USC is most likely the most lucrative programs for the school. However, allowing student athletes to get away with crimes, poor grades and public drunkenness, without being suspended from the team is completely inexcusable."
Did you go to USC or Clemson? Tell us what you think of your school and review your college.
Photos: scmikeburton nsdis
By Purvi S. Mody
With a new school year comes another year of homework, extracurricular activities, and tests. I spend so much time focusing on high school seniors and what lies in store for them for the next year that I wanted to take a moment to focus on high school freshman. This year, high school freshmen are making the most significant transition in your academic career to date.
Many of you will be in schools larger and more populous than your middle school. You will be meeting new teachers, new administrators, and new friends. You will have infinite extracurricular opportunities at your fingertips. You will likely have more freedom than before. At the same time, you will also have more responsibility and suddenly your future is in your hands.
So whether you have already started school or the first day is coming up, here are a few tips to survive your first year of high school and put you on the right track for college!
Do not take your classes lightly.
You may have already heard that the first year of high school is the easiest year. Relatively speaking and in hindsight, that may be true, however, it should be the most challenging year that you have had thus far. Your courses will challenge you and your teachers are less likely to remind you about simple tasks and deadlines. It is very easy to fall behind if you don’t do your work. So do the assigned work and go above and beyond the minimum requirements by reading ahead or doing extra problems when concepts seem a little confusing.
Plan ahead for projects, papers and tests so that you can avoid last minute cramming. Seek help from your teachers if you need it – that is what they are there for. If you are really struggling in a class, don’t wait until the last minute to ask for assistance. No one expects you to master high school on your own!
This is the year that you will have the most free time, so use it to figure out which activities are most interesting to you. Go to Club Day and sign up for multiple clubs, and go to the first few meetings to really get a sense of what appeals to you. Don’t just join the clubs your friends are joining, either. This is an opportunity for you to meet more people, especially people with similar interests to you. Try as much as you can this year so that next year you can really focus on the activities that really appealed to you.
Start your community service.
Whether or not your school has a community service requirement, you should think about getting involved in your community now. Community service does not have to be mind-numbing, and it can include things beyond the norm. If you love to play the piano, think about how you can play at community events. If you are an athlete, think about teaching your sport to disabled or disadvantaged kids. If you are an environmentalist, come up with ways to make your school more environmentally efficient. And rather than show a few hours across multiple activities, find a couple of organizations where you can truly commit.
Design your four-year plan.
Sit down with your counselor and parents and come up with a preliminary four year academic plan. Think about which courses you must take and which courses you want to take. If you absolutely want to take AP Calculus by senior year, make sure that you are on the right math track now. If English is your forte and you want to take as many courses as possible, talk to your counselor to find out if you will be able to take additional English electives. It is really important to make sure that your courses are increasingly challenging, but also realistic.
Enjoy being a teenager.
Enjoy being in an environment where you get to see your friends every day. Enjoy meeting and learning from teachers that are passionate about their subjects. Enjoy learning about things you never knew existed. Yes, high school will be tough. You will likely have at least one teacher you don’t connect with. Friendships will evolve. But these four years will leave an indelible impression on you for the rest of your life. Good luck!
Purvi S. Mody is co-owner of Insight Education, an educational consulting firm that helps students throughout the country and internationally to achieve their educational goals. Get in touch with her via email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @InsightEduc.
Photo: Adam Pan
By Sam Coren
By now many freshmen around the US are starting to get acquainted with their first live-in roommates. Living in close quarters with your peers takes quite a bit of adjustment. For some students, it may be their first time even sharing a room with someone else. In the past we've covered some ways to kick things off by suggesting some good questions to ask your new roommate. But what are some things you should avoid doing?
To help you steer clear of college roommate problems (and a lot of unnecessary drama) here are 4 major "no no's" when it comes to getting to know your new roomie:
1. Becoming your roommate's shadow.
One sad truth about college roommates that you should accept before even moving in is that not everyone is BFFs with their roommate. Some roommates will get along like two peas in a pod, while others will co-exist the entire semester as two strangers sharing four walls. In the early days extending an invite to go grab a meal at the dining hall to be friendly is an excellent way to spark some conversation and get more familiar with the person you'll be living with for the next few months.
However, you should recognize that college is a time to meet lots of new people and you shouldn't solely rely on your roommate for all your socialization. It's important that you and your roommate have time to go off and independently start your own social circles. Don't be "that guy" who's always inviting himself along to whatever your roommate is going to by default - spread your own wings!
2. Talking about your religion or politics non-stop.
The modern college campus offers plenty of outlets for students to share their diverse interests and beliefs. But when you're living with someone else you have to understand that they might not necessarily share the same worldview as you. While some students have no issue having a mature, intellectual conversation about their philosophical or political beliefs, some find these subjects to be a less than desirable way to break the ice.
If it's clear your roommate isn't engaging well then it's probably a good idea to find some different things to talk about. No one wants to feel like they're constantly being preached or campaigned to at all times where they live.
3. Using their things without asking.
People have different levels of comfort when it comes to their personal possessions and space. In most cases it's best to ask permission than to assume it's ok for you to use or borrow something from your roommate. If you start using their things without asking and they will take notice chances are it will whittle away any trust they have in you.
You'll eventually learn soon enough what things are off limits vs. what can be communally used. However in the beginning of the semester it's always just safer to ask - even if it's just sending them a quick text.
4. Being inconsiderate about bringing guests back to the room.
Socializing in your dorm room is part of the fun of living on campus. However, it's important to recognize that your roommate might not always be in the best mood or state of mind to deal with your guests. Whether it's the girls from down the hall, the dude you want to ask out on a date, or some friends from class - it's always a good idea to give your roommate a heads up if visitors are coming.
In most cases your roommate will be fine with it and may even want to meet your friends. Other times your roommate might be sick or need some quiet time to study and you should respect that. If you find that you and your roommate are constantly at odds with the guest situation, you might want to consult your RA to figure out the best way to mediate the situation.
Photo: Tulane Public Relations
By Megan Kenslea
As September approaches, most students have back to school on the mind. Some schools have already started, while others are still gearing up for the new year, but either way, it's been a busy week in college news. The top headlines this week? A controversial new question on college applications, a case of Facebook oversharing, and a surprise resignation in the Ivy League, make sure to do your homework and stay up-to-date on this week's biggest stories.
Columbia College Dean Resigns Two Weeks Before Classes Begin
After serving as the Dean of Columbia College for two years, Michelle M. Moody-Adams resigned abruptly this week, just two weeks before the start of classes. In an email to alumni and donors, Moody-Adams wrote that transformations at the university had compromised her authority over “crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters.” Though Moody-Adams wrote that she intended to remain at the college for the upcoming school year, university president Lee C. Bollinger recommended it was in the best interest of the university that Moody-Adams step down immediately. Bollinger has yet to name an interim dean, although he said he will do so shortly.
Elmhurst College asks LGBT Applicants to Identify Themselves
Students applying to college have a lot of questions to answer and boxes to check on their applications, and for Elmhurst College applicants this fall, they will have one more box to check. This week, the school became the first in the nation to ask to indicate their sexual orientation on their application. While answering the question is optional, Elmhurst Dean of Admissions Gary Rold said the school's goal is to increase diversity. Sexual orientation, Rold said, "may not be race and religion but it’s an important part of who they are."
Bethany College Golf Team Strips, Gets Suspended
Your parents have probably told you to be careful about what you post on Facebook - something that the Bethany College golf team is learning the hard way this week. "A bit of fun with the lads" turned into a whole lot of trouble for senior Jac Hiscock and his teammates when they posted a photo of the team posed naked with strategically placed golf items covering their privates. Though they didn't violate athletic regulations, officials from the Lutheran school suspended the team from three upcoming tournaments and made the students take the photo down. The team appealed the decision and is awaiting officials' final decision.
Ferris Bueller's Kids Could Be College Freshmen (and other facts about the Class of 2015)
For incoming college freshmen, the Communist Party has never been the ruling party in Russia, Sears has never been a catalog, and life has always been like a box of chocolate. At least, so says Beloit College, which just released its annual "Mindset List" for the Class of 2015. Started in 1998, the list was created to "reflect the world view of entering first year students." The Class of 2015 was born in 1993 - which means Ferris Bueller could be their father, Amazon has always been more than just a river, and men have always been from Mars.
Selena Gomez Skipping College - For Now
Although some young celebrities have blazed the college trail, one teen star is saying no to college - at least, for now. With her music, television and film career skyrocketing, Disney star Selena Gomez announced this week that she will not be going to college. The teen sensation said that while she is "always open" to attending college, she has elected to hold off for now and continue working. "At the moment I'm definitely enjoying where I'm at right now and having a great time touring and focusing on that," she said.
By Sam Coren
Netflix has been a college student's best friend for a few years. Why would anyone want to lug all those DVD's to campus when you can get any movie you want in just a few clicks? The subscription movie rental and streaming service makes throwing a movie night with your friends a snap.
Getting ready to go back to school and love Netflix's special brand instant gratification? Here are some of the best college movies currently available to watch on Netflix instant streaming:
Revenge of the Nerds
MPAA Rating: R
Length: 90 min.
Revenge of the Nerds isn't just one of the best college movies of all time, but it's also one of the funniest. Taking cues from National Lampoon's Animal House, this film polks fun at frat life with slapstick laughs while following the antics of a pack of 1980's nerds. According to our Editor-in-Chief, Dean Tsouvalas, "Revenge of the Nerds is the quintessential nerd film. It was ahead of its time with its unique brand of geek chic. It's also a hoot to see all these famous actors like Anthony Edwards and John Goodman so young."
House Party 2
MPAA Rating: R
Length: 94 min.
It's hard to find a film that screams "90's" more than follow up to the original House Party 2 when Kid of Kid N' Play goes off to college. If you have a soft spot for that fun and funky brand of early 90's hip hop don't forget to check out the soundtrack. Favorite scene? A tough choice between the pajama party with Tony! Toni! Toné! and Queen Latifah's "Knowledge is Power" rally freestyle.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Length: 100 min.
A young Brendan Fraser plays a Harvard University senior with an interesting predicament. His computer crashes in the middle of writing his thesis and the only printed copy is taken hostage by a homeless man played by Joe Pesci. Even better? You Grey's Anatomy fans get to watch a young, scruffy Patrick Dempsey co-star as a bohemian radio DJ who owns a pet chicken.
MPAA Rating: PG
Length: 105 min.
The ultimate coming of age film for you seniors that will soon be transitioning from college life to the real world. This classic late 60's drama, complete with Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack, stars a very young Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock, a recent college grad with very little direction in life. After getting caught in a bizarre love triangle Benjamin is faced with trying to figure out what he wants and who he is. But the whole film isn't all gloom and doom. "The scene where Benjamin demonstrates the scuba gear for his parents is hilarious," says Thomas Moore, a recent University of South Carolina grad.
Art School Confidential
MPAA Rating: R
Length: 102 min.
If you were a fan of Ghost World, then don't miss watching Daniel Clowses' other graphic novel-turned-film, Art School Confidential. This quirky dark comedy follows a young art student who gets caught up in a murder mystery in an attempt to win an art competition. According to Alexia Lalande, a Massachusetts College of Art and Design graduate student, "The first critique scene is 100% accurate. John Malkovich's character is every art professor - brilliant, brilliant film!"
By Megan Kenslea
I’ve had the travel bug for as long as I can remember. Even as a little girl, I dreamed about seeing the world – of backpacking through Europe, tangoing in Argentina, and riding elephants in India. The list of places I want to visit is much longer than the list of places I’ve actually been, but after I graduated from high school, I slowly, steadily started to check countries off my list.
The biggest obstacle in my path? Financing my trips. I’m lucky enough that my parents understand my never-ending wanderlust, but I’ve had to make large contributions to most of my trips. While I’d love it if cost were no object, spending my hard-earned babysitting money on weekends in New York City or adventures in Brazil has helped me appreciate every place I see more – and, most importantly, to become a more thrifty traveler. Here are my top tips for college students traveling on a budget.
1. Get an International Student ID
If you’re like me, you take advantage of student discounts everywhere you go. But I learned the hard way that a lot of places don’t accept foreign student IDs. The International Student Identity Card is an easy way to take advantage of student-only discounts and opportunities around the globe. They also have iPhone and Android apps in over 15 languages to help you scout local discounts – perfect for students on the go.
2. Use Public Transportation
It’s easy to fall into the habit of taking cabs, especially if they’re cheaper than they are at home. But if you take taxis everywhere, the cost will start to add up. Many cities have expansive, organized, and highly efficient subway systems that rival (or even beat) your own local public transportation, so save the money you would spend on a cab and take public transportation for a fraction of the costs. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money – and acclimate yourself to your new surroundings.
3. Eat Like a Local
Local restaurant chains and American menus may be comfortable for homesick tourists, but they’re typically much more expensive. One of my favorite parts about traveling abroad is finding hole in the wall restaurants. They’re usually cheaper, plus you get to sample the local cuisine – my favorite part about traveling. I’ll try anything once, but even less adventurous eaters can find basic meals on almost any menu. If you’ll be in once place for a while, consider stopping at a local supermarket for basics like bread, crackers, and deli meats to make sandwiches for a quick meal.
4. Study Abroad
If you have the opportunity to study abroad, take advantage of it. Whatever region you choose, studying abroad will open up doors to different parts of the world. Explore local cities and neighborhoods on weekends, and travel further distances on academic breaks - if you have friends studying abroad in neighboring countries, arrange to stay with one another to save money on hostels.
Some study abroad programs actually cost less than a semester of college, especially if you enroll directly at a foreign university, so do your homework – you can put the money you save on tuition toward your travels. If you're just thinking about studying abroad don't forget to check out StudentAdvisor's Study Abroad Guide.
5. Plan Ahead
Wherever you go and whatever you do, make sure to do at least a little bit of research before you get there. Clueless tourists are an easy target for scam artists, so figure out what the conversion rate is for the local currency, and familiarize yourself with local costs (typical cab fare, meal prices and hostel rates are a good start). Other things to include in your research are hostels, restaurants, and bar prices. Guidebooks like Lonely Planet, my personal favorite, will include price ranges for places they highlight, so you can pick and choose where you want to save money and where you want to splurge.
You can be a savvy traveler on any budget. No matter the size of your wallet, try to learn at least a few words in the local language, be a little adventurous, and keep an open mind while traveling. You never know what you’ll learn – about the local culture, and about yourself. Most importantly, have fun!
By Sam Coren
Whether you're a freshman or a senior in college - it's easy to take your own safety for granted. While schools across the nation employ several tactics from private police squads to emergency call boxes - even campus escort services - in order to keep their students safe, you can't ignore the fact that your own actions play a major role.
Recently, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, released these helpful safety tips for college students. "While you can't prevent a perpetrator from committing an act of sexual violence, practical steps can be taken to improve safety and reduce risk," said Katherine Hull, spokesperson for RAINN. "It’s important for students to be made aware of these possible risks, look out for one another, use common sense and know how and where to get help if they need it."
Read over RAINN's tips and feel free to share your own campus safety tips in the comments!
1. Trust your instincts and be yourself.
If you feel unsafe, or even uncomfortable, in any situation, go with your gut. Don't worry about what others think; your own safety comes first.
2. Use your cell phone as a tool.
Make sure it's fully charged before you leave home and if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, shoot a quick text for a "friend-assist." Make a plan before you go out just in case your phone dies, so you can meet up with your friends at a specific location at a certain time.
3. Be careful when leaving status or away messages online.
Take caution when using the "check-in" feature on Facebook or Foursquare. Leaving information about your whereabouts reveals details that are accessible to everyone. Use common sense so that someone can’t track your every move. If you wouldn’t give the information to a stranger, then don't put it on your online profile.
4. Wait to let your guard down until people earn your trust.
A college campus can foster a false sense of security. Don't assume people you've just met will look out for your best interests; remember that they are essentially strangers.
5. Don't be afraid to hurt someone's feelings.
If you find yourself in an unsafe situation it's OK to lie. Make up an excuse as to why you have to go. It's better to make up a reason to leave than to stay in a possibly dangerous situation. Your safety comes before someone else's feelings.
6. If you see something, say something!
Intervene if a situation seems questionable or if someone's safety is at risk. By taking action you can prevent a crime from being committed. Remember you can also contact your resident assistant or campus police.
7. Stick with your friends and watch out for each other.
Arrive together, check in with one another throughout the night, and leave together. Think twice about going off alone and if, for whatever reason, you have to separate from your friends, let them know where you are going and who you are with.
8. Drink responsibly and know your limits.
Don't accept drinks from people who you don't know or trust and never leave your drink unattended. If you have left your drink alone, get a new one. Always watch your drink being prepared. At parties, stick to drinks you got or prepared yourself instead of common open containers like punch bowls.
9. Watch out for your friends.
If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they've had, or is acting out of character, get him or her to a safe place. If you suspect that you or a friend has been drugged, call 911. Be explicit with doctors so they can administer the correct tests.
10. Be aware of your surroundings.
Whether you're walking home from the library or at a party be mindful of potential risks. Get to know your campus and learn a well-lit route back to your dorm or place of residence. Think of a safe exit strategy. Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?
By Megan Kenslea
This week in college news, money seems to be on everyone's mind. Online, websites are finding new ways for college kids to save - from the new Amazon app that makes it easier to sell and trade in textbooks, to a daily deals site exclusively for college students, websites are jumping to provide outlets for college students to save money. Offline, a Cornell student fights her school over hundreds of dollars in internet fees she accumulated last year. And, for reasons seemingly unrelated to money, an order of nuns fired a college president, as well as the school's entire board.
Amazon Launches Student iPhone App
This month, Amazon launched its Amazon Student app for iPhone. With the app, students can do more than just check textbook prices on the popular site. The app also allows students to build wish lists, post items to sell, trade textbooks for gift cards, and even scan barcodes to check prices for any product. Another great feature? With the app, students can recieve free two-day shipping on any product for six months.
Daily Deals Site Launches - Just for College Students
With college tuition costs on the rise, Boston-based company Simple Tuition has gone one step further to help students pay the bills. On Wednesday, the company launched a college-only deals site aimed to help students cope with high living costs. Simple Tuition CEO Kevin Walker said that although deal websites are popular, there is a void in the market for student-specific deals. "SimpleTuition will offer deals at price points that are in line with a college student’s budget and provide discounts on the things they need most, the products and services they’re paying for already," Walker said in a statement on BostInnovation.com. "Student debt is a monumental problem in this country...for SimpleTuition, this is less about chasing the daily deals wave and more about leveraging that model as another way to help students save.”
Nuns fire College President, 19-Member Board
It sounds like something out of a comedy: out of the blue, an order of nuns fire a university president and the entire school board. But that's exactly what happened at Our Lady of the Holy Cross College in New Orleans this week. In a surprise email, Sister Suellen Tennyson, the leader of the order of Marianite nuns that owns the college, dismissed its president, the Rev. Anthony DeConciliis, along with all 19 members of the school's board. Tennyson gave no explanation for the dismissal, but in a statement asked supporters to "join us in prayer for the students, faculty, staff and administration as they begin the 2011 fall semester on Aug. 27."
Cornell Student Petitions School Internet Fees
As if college tuition fees weren't costly enough, Cornell University also charges students whose bandwidth use exceeds a monthly limit. But sophomore Cristina Lara has had enough, and, along with Change.org, she's petitioning the school eliminate the charges. In a letter to the school, Lara argues that "while some students opt to partake in drug-related pastimes, other students stay in and watch movies, talk on Skype or iChat, or even just surf the Web," and should not be penalized for doing so. Although the college raised the bandwidth threshold earlier this summer, Lara continues to fight the fees on principle. In her petition on Change.org, she wrote, "with a pricetag $57,000 per year, Cornell University should give it’s students unlimited Internet usage."
By Sam Coren
Back in the Fall of 2004 when I was applying to college there was no Twitter. When I sent in my applications all I could do was email or hope some kind admissions person would answer my calls. But honestly, I was scared out of my mind to pester the people who had the power to accept or reject me from the school of my dreams.
There was a lot of smoke and mirrors about the whole admissions process when I was a silly misguided high schooler. But you kids today just don't know how good you've got it! Nowadays there are a bunch of admissions office people who have the bright idea to set up dedicated Twitter accounts to handle all those little questions and keep you in the loop.
Check out which college admissions offices are getting this social media thing "right" and follow them on our College Admissions list:
College admissions folks are always on the run. University of Oregon makes it easy to find out where they are with their @BeAnOregonDuck Twitter handle. They also do a decent job retweeting on-campus happenings from the many other U. Oregon Twitter accounts. Nice effort from one of StudentAdvisor's Top 100 Social Media Colleges.
Read student reviews on University of Oregon.
Getting a late start on college admissions is not fun. Scrambling around getting your recommendations and essays done with the clock running when most of your friends already have their college plans straightened out is stressful. Fortunately the California State University-San Bernardino admissions tweeps are there to let you know there's still time.
Go to this school? Write a review on California State University-San Bernardino.
The Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder tweeps aren't shy about getting current students and alumni involved in the fun. Frequent retweets and news stories about why people love Boulder help propsective students learn more about the campus and surrounding area.
Considering becoming a buffalo? Check out our reviews on CU-Boulder.
Drexel's admissions office is always on the lookout for prospective students that might need their help. They'll even tweet out when they're going on vacation to make sure you know where you can get answers while they're gone.
Are you a Drexel Dragon? Help prospective students and review Drexel University.
Take a quick look at the tweets from Tufts University's admissions office and it's clear that Dan from admissions loves his job. The variety of admissions stats, university news, campus pictures and conversations with other Tufts Twitter accounts makes this admissions office one of the most fun and engaging in the Twitterverse.
Thinking about Tufts? Take a look out our Tufts University reviews.
No surprise here that Johns Hopkins University, StudentAdvisor's current Top 100 Social Media College, makes an appearance. Aside from tweeting out new blogs on Hopkins Interactive, their very cool information hub, the Blue Jays in the admissions office also tweet out handy campus visitation tips. Don't forget to also follow @AdmissionDaniel so you don't miss any useful tweets straight from JHU's Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions.
The University of Washington - Tacoma admissions staff has a blast informing followers about new programs. They're also one of the few schools with a special admissions Twitter account specifically dedicated to transfer students. If you're thinking about transferring be sure to follow @UWTtransfer.
Did you attend UW-Tacoma? Write a review!
Biting your nails trying to figure out if you can get in to a certain school? LSU keeps prospective Tigers informed on their chances by tweeting out statistics on the new entering class.
Is LSU right for you? Read Louisiana State student reviews.
Waiting by the mailbox hopelessly waiting for that acceptance letter? The tweeps at Worcester Polytechnic Institute admissions office are kind enough to let you know when it's on the way.
Check out WPI reviews on StudentAdvisor.
That "how will I get a job after college" worry starts as soon as you get that high school diploma. The admissions office at Northeastern University helps you get rid of those tummy butterflies by letting prospects know the school's career services is one of the best.
Want to know which majors are the most popular at a school? The Rochester Institute of Technology admissions guys make the answer as easy as a single tweet away.
If you're having trouble making it to Indiana to visit Butler University they've got your back. Tweeting out resources to find a Butler admissions counselor near you makes it easy to find someone from the school to connect with.
For prospective students moving close to college admissions time, trying to figure out if you can get in-state tuition can be tricky. Luckily, University of Florida admissions will gladly clue you in.
By Dean Tsouvalas
Calling all journalism students! Tired of sulking over your ever-increasing tuition bill? Google and the Associated Press have come to the rescue. The AP and Google are awarding 6 students $20,000 scholarships for the best project or concept that explains how his or her strategy moves digital journalism forward. Scholarship winners also will receive a one-year Online News Association (ONA) membership and recognition at ONA’s 2012 conference in San Francisco. ONA is the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists.
According to Nilka Thomas, Google's manager of Global Diversity and Talent Inclusion, “So many students have new ideas for news, and with the right encouragement they will become leaders showcasing what’s possible through digital journalism. We hope this program with the AP and ONA encourages innovation at the grassroots level while also furthering the opportunities available for women and minorities considering the fields of computing, technology, and journalism.”
Applicants must meet the following requirements at the time of the application:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age
- Be currently enrolled full time at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. (College graduates returning to school are eligible to apply and must provide an acceptance letter from graduate institution.)
- Have at least one year of full-time undergraduate or graduate study remaining
- Have minimum grade point average of 3.0
- Be at least a college sophomore at time of application
- Be available for in-person or remote interviews with selection committee if selected as a finalist
How to Apply
Applicants must submit materials by Jan. 27, 2012 (11:59 p.m. ET). For detailed application instructions visit http://ap-google.onlinenewsassociation.org/apply/.
By Sam Coren
As the world becomes more connected, more students are considering the possibility of doing their internships “virtually.” Who wouldn’t love to roll out of bed and gain work experience in their PJ’s? Over the past decade more employers have begun to accept telecommuting as a valid working arrangement for full-time and part-time workers.
However, before you start applying for every “work from home” internship under the sun you should be smart about it. There are many cases where positions that are billed as unpaid "virtual internships" turn out to be for-profit businesses trying to get free work done rather than hire part-time help or contractors – this opens up a can of worms regarding labor law violations.
But there are instances where you can have a "legit" remote internship. For example, programmers working together on collaborative projects or students who choose to volunteer for nonprofits are cases when virtual internships can be more beneficial than traditional ones. To make sure working virtually is ideal don't forget to do your homework on the company before you officially accept your virtual internship position so you know there's nothing fishy is going on.
So let’s say you get an offer for a virtual internship opportunity that’s too good to pass up? How do you go about setting this remote internship up for success? Michael True, The Director of Internships at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. has 5 excellent tips:
Students need to be in a physical work environment with people with whom they interact on a regular basis. They need to learn interpersonal skills, office politics, and "the good, the bad, and the ugly" of a real work situation. In other words, they need to intern in a real world context. Some would argue that, with today's technology, working alone in your dorm room is a real world context, but you understand what I mean.
If a virtual internship is set up, here are some components, which should be in place:
1. A Detailed Job Description in Writing
A clear, detailed position description which covers all expectations and which outlines what will constitute a "successful" internship.
2. Online Project Management Software
Using some type of online project management tool - Office 365, Google Docs, or something similar will allow the supervisor to go online and monitor the work which is supposed to be completed. The work is stored in the "cloud" (not on a single PC) so it is always available to those who need it to work on or review.
3. Frequent Reporting
A daily email report where the student provides information such as hours worked, challenges or problems encountered, results obtained, and any questions they may have.
4. Regular Video Meetings
A weekly virtual meeting on Skype, Gmail videochat or some similar technology. If that is impossible, then at least a phone conversation. This meeting may be used to affirm the student, correct any issues, and to catch up personally.
5. Face-to-Face Meetings if Possible
If the virtual internship is "local" - the site is not far from campus, but the employer says the student can work in their dorm room or on campus somewhere, I require employers to meet with the student in a public place like a Panera Bread once a week. This face-to-face meeting is a time for project planning, review of progress made, feedback, etc.
Have you had experience with a virtual internship? Share your story in the comments!
By Sam Coren
For years students around the world have been flocking to Northern California's Bay Area to spend their college years. And there's good reason for that: UC Berkeley (affectionately known as "Cal") and Stanford University allure some of the best and the brightest minds with good weather and world-class resources that rival their East Coast counterparts. Additionally, the proximity to Silicon Valley offers incredible research and internship opportunities for students interested in pursuing tech related careers.
But which is the right fit for you? Fortunately, StudentAdvisor has a ton of excellent college reviews on both Berkeley and Stanford. Let's see what the students have to say:
UC Berkeley Reviews
"Cal is truly a melting pot, not just racially but also in terms of mentalities. Perhaps other campuses can boast better statistics of racial diversity, but I have found first hand that they don’t matter when students take REAL advantage of any color, background, belief, idea, nationality, experience, language and of anything you can or want to add to that list, no matter the numbers. Cal Bears don’t need multitudes of different. I have found that no matter your take on the issue of diversity, on affirmative action, on equal opportunity, or on whatever the issue at hand, Bears will always make the most out of our universe."
"Students at Cal are really passionate about their studies and everyone is full of school spirit."
"only 20 minutes from San Francisco by car or subway"
"Berkeley is about understanding things from multiple perspectives and relying solely on your own perspective will produce a very narrow thought process; and hinder your performance in exams and essays."
"There are overcrowded majors and sadly enough overcrowded classrooms; and it just so happens that my two majors, Political Science and Spanish Literature, are fatal casualties to the budget fails of the UC system."
"Since there is a large student body, it is sometimes hard to get quality time with advisers and to get in small classes."
"I know a lot of students are very worried about their abilities when they arrive. I make this assertion because, the most common question a freshmen will ask is, "What was your SAT score?" It is an attempt to mitigate fears about their chances of success relative to their peers."
Read more UC Berkeley student reviews.
Stanford University Reviews
"Stanford will give you a platform to discuss your interests and an audience to hear them. The level of commitment to students is honestly astounding: you can get a job here, you can get an internship here, a research grant, etc. Neither of my parents went to university and none of us knew what to expect; three years later, I'm an honors student on full, need-based scholarship working on a thesis."
"The academic reputation of Stanford has helped people find jobs and teachers strive to know students personally and help them through any difficulties."
"The campus is gorgeous and spacious. There's quite a lot of outdoor activities to do. On a sunny day, you'll find lots of students on the lawns just playing frisbee or hanging out."
"Stanford students have the tendency to do as much as they can, and the pressure is definitely on. At the same time, there's a pretty lax attitude that really betrays the level of stress many students actually experience. We call it the "Stanford duck": looking calm on the surface but frantically paddling to stay afloat. This can be extremely discouraging and isolating as well, and oftentimes it can be difficult to snap out of that in a place where everyone is working just as hard-- if not harder-- than you are."
"A lot of the professors are usually busy with research so expect student assistants to be in the majority of your classes."
"Stanford has programs that are not as flexible for students who want to explore or want more humanities. Advising is not as good as asking professors themselves for their opinion."
Read more student reviews on Stanford University.
Photos: SiliLili cytech
By Sam Coren
It's Friday again and time for another edition of This Week in College News, a round up of the latest events and news stories happening in the world of America's colleges. This week? It's been a roller coaster for Wall Street and many industry sectors and their investors are reeling in the aftermath, including those involved in higher education. A recent update to Texas's law requiring college students to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis has school's confused on how to execute the policy. Also, more students are taking to social networks in order to find their first college roommate.
Ready to dig deeper? Read on:
The Dow's massive dips this week had many curious about its affect on college operating budgets and the ability to distribute financial aid to students. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that despite a turbulent stock market this week, institutions that have large endowments are ready to weather the change. According to Richard A. Fass, the Vice President Planning at Pomona College, "financial aid is and remains our first priority. We have not made any changes to it, and we'd be unlikely to do so in the future."
However, for colleges that rely heavily on tuition over endowments for their operating costs, the schools may take a hit if the economic conditions don't improve. According to Roger Goodman, a partner at Yuba Group, a financial advisory and consulting firm that serves universities: "If we're worried about another recession and families' ability to pay, this could be just as much of a problem for tuition-dependent colleges, especially since a lot of them are already struggling with high discount rates."
A new Texas Law mandating all college students enrolled in public and private colleges to be vaccinated for bacterial meningitis has updated a previous one which only required students who lived on-campus to be vaccinated. While the new law comes to the relief of parents, students, and public health officials, the colleges are confused on how to execute this new policy. At Texas A&M, Scott McDonald, the assistant vice president for academic services indicated that the school hasn't yet determined how they will handle students who attend class if they have not been vaccinated or submitted the necessary paperwork to opt out.
Additionally the schools are concerned with how the new law will affect students currently enrolled who have not received the vaccination. "The administrative record-keeping and follow-up by people that is going to be required for those students who don’t comply — and there will be students who don’t comply — is very expensive,” according to Wanda Mercer, the associate vice chancellor for student affairs for the UT System.
In a recent piece on the Washington Post, reporter Jenna Johnson revealed that more students are finding their first college roommates online. Adam Gang, an incoming freshman at American University, explains," realistically, even the most personal roommate-matching service can’t match Facebook. You’re an accepted friend request away from knowing someone.” American University gives new students a questionnaire and then returns a list of possible matches. Students will then take the list and research their potential roommates on Facebook.
Photo: Anna Briggs
By Brandon Wlosinski
Throughout the history of college life, one thing seems to be the driving force behind study sessions, long nights, and social gatherings. That is music. However, unlike our predecessors in the collegiate arena, we are now able to hit the books with tools far greater than they could have ever imagined. From the power of the internet and from hotly contested lawsuits, we are seeing the rise of streaming music, that is, music that is played from a web browser, at anytime and anywhere. This has given us access to libraries of music that we would never have seen before, and as such, music tastes are becoming more ranged and diversified.
But which of these services are right for you? Here's a rundown of four of the most popular streaming music services that the College Info Geek team can't get enough of:
Grooveshark focuses on presenting the user with the ability to search for music and create customized playlists, which can be saved to a user account. There is also a radio feature, but it is extremely limited to basic genre selections, though it can give a person a slightly wider view of music. Grooveshark’s basic features of playing music, making playlists, and basic radio come free and do not even require singing up (though your playlists are deleted after you exit the browser if you do not have an account). You can pay $6 a month to get an ad-free Grooveshark, or $9 a month to get ad-free and a mobile application for your smartphone to stream music from anywhere you can get a data connection.
One of the drawbacks of Grooveshark, however, is its user interface, which is very Flash heavy, as are its ads. I have noticed on some machines this can cause quite a bit of lag at times and the site can go down if your Flash player crashes. Load times and smoothness of song-to-song playing can bet affected by this, which is unfortunate for people with lower than average connections. On the other side of the ads though, they do not in and of themselves interrupt your listening, so there is a slight advantage to other sites like Pandora.
Grooveshark, in essence, is a service for people who know what they want. If you are looking for a somewhat quick and simple site, Grooveshark may not be for you (You may want to stick to Pandora or Last.fm). I had to spend a nice chunk of time developing my playlists, and I had to know exactly what I was looking for. In the end though, its free library-building features and wide selection of songs allows Grooveshark to be a heavy favorite in my book.
Spotify is a player that seems to be in the same vein as Grooveshark. It allows for users to create playlists based on simple searches. Like Grooveshark, it is fairly specific in its searches, so you need to know what you are looking for. It does give you some networking capabilities.
However, for its similarities to Grooveshark, Spotify seems to outdo Grooveshark in some key ways. For one, the player is a desktop application that is very similar in style to iTunes. This allows for a generally smoother experience and overall better UI. The downside is that the free version has some really annoying ads that basically lock up the player until they are done. You can also add your own files into the player, which is nice if you already have an extensive library.
If you are looking for an even better experience though, it has the standard pricing. $5 will get you an ad-free experience, whereas $10 will get you a the nifty ability to download your music and play the songs while offline. Having the player application makes it a more streamlined experience.
Last.fm is one of the original music radio streaming sites. It is very similar to Pandora in its features and method of playing music. You can search by song, band or genre to create a radio station that will play songs similar to that search item. You can save these. Last.fm is a free service, and is paid through mainly by ads that appear in the site and during playtime.
One thing I’ve noticed is that is a bit of difference between Pandora and Last.fm is that Last.fm seems to pick up on the style of some of my more obscure music. A test I use as a general rule is the band Trocadero (a Red vs. Blue fan favorite, check them out!) who are relatively lesser known. Last.fm not only knew who I was looking for, but was able to provide me with alternatives that fit the soft rock feel that Trocadero is known for.
One very unique aspect of Last.fm is that if you are in the US, UK, or Germany, there are no subscription services. Everything on their site is free if you live in these countries, which is a fair contrast to everything else on this list which will usually offer at least an optional subscriber section. This even extends to the mobile application which comes on Droid, iOS, Xbox, and Windows, as well as other platforms. However, if you do live outside on of these three countries you will need to pay for the radio service.
Many people have heard of Pandora and millions now use it every day. Pandora is a music streaming service in which allows a user to generate customized radio stations, which can be made to search for music according to genre, artist, album, and even song name. The program will then play songs that it finds are similar to the radio station’s name. You can then rate the songs on whether you think it matches your station or not, which helps to further refine the station. Pandora is a wonderful tool that you may want to use if you are not sure of exactly what you want to listen to, but you have a vague idea of what you want.
Pandora is a free online application that is powered by ads that play in-between songs, much like a radio station. You can also download the Pandora Mobile app for free, which is a huge advantage to a number of the services on the list. However, there are caveats. One is that if you are a user of the free version of Pandora you are limited to the amount of times you can skip a song, which is 6 skips per hour per station and 12 skips per day across all stations. While the need to skip songs goes away as a station gets more refined, the only permanent way to get unlimited skipping is to upgrade to the paid for service Pandora One, which comes with a price tag of $36 per year ($3 per month essentially), though included with this is a better grade in music, no advertising, customizable skins, and a desktop application.
In conclusion, there is no clear winner in the realm of online music providers. What I hope this article shows is that we are moving into a new age of music access and listening. We are no longer limited to physical media or even ownership of music. There are a number of free applications with the ability to upgrade and paid sites with unique features and interesting experiences. Hopefully, this guide gives a better idea of some of the top choices and what to expect from each.
Brandon Wlosinski is a 4th year Architecture student at Iowa State University, an IT intern, and an avid improv comedian. He’s also a writer at College Info Geek, a blog that helps students be awesome at college. By the way, if you’re looking to win a copy of Adobe CS5, check out the contest they’re running!
Photo: Chris Campbell
By Sam Coren
College entrance exams are the bane of just about every high schooler in America. Between your regular coursework, after-school activities, and all the assorted craziness of being a teenager, do you really want to think about another test? To help you get through one of the most anxiety-filled times in your high school career we've compiled the registration, late registration, and test dates for each SAT and ACT exam for the 2011-2012 academic year.
If you're just getting started with preparing for the SAT or ACT be sure to keep these test and registration dates handy. Pop them on your Google Calendar, put this post on the fridge, write them on your forehead - whatever you need to do so you don't forget!
SAT Test and Registration Dates 2011-2012
|October 1, 2011
||September 9, 2011
||September 10 - 21, 2011
|November 5, 2011
||October 7, 2011
||October 8 - 21, 2011
|December 3, 2011
||November 8, 2011
||November 9 - 20, 2011
|January 28, 2012
||December 30, 2011
||December 31, 2011 - January 13, 2012
|March 10, 2012
||February 10, 2012
||February 11 - February 24, 2012
|May 5, 2012
||April 6, 2012
||April 7 - April 20, 2012
|June 2, 2012
||May 8, 2012
||May 9 - May 22, 2012
Register for the SAT at CollegeBoard.com
ACT Test and Registration Dates 2011-2012
|September 10, 2011
||August 12, 2011
||August 13 – 26, 2011
|October 22, 2011
||September 16, 2011
||September 17 – 30, 2011
|December 10, 2011
||November 4, 2011
||November 5 – 18, 2011
|February 11, 2012*
* Test centers in New York do
not administer the February exam
|January 13, 2012
||January 14 – 20, 2012
|April 14, 2012
||March 9, 2012
||March 10 – 23, 2012
|June 9, 2012
||May 4, 2012
||May 5 – 18, 2012
Register for the ACT at ACTStudent.org
By Sam Coren
Love making the world a better place in your spare time? Looking for scholarship opportunities that promote student volunteerism? National Student Day, sponsored by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), will take place October 6th, 2011 to celebrate social responsibility by college students. To reward students who demonstrate volunteerism NACS is running an online contest with prizes ranging from a $3,000 scholarship to and iPad.
"For years, college students have been volunteering across their campus community and beyond," said NACS Director of Public Relations, Charles Schmidt. "From cleaning up a local park to serving as a Big Brother or Big Sister, they have taken time out of their busy schedules to perform selfless acts without seeking recognition. We felt it was about time to applaud these students for their efforts, which is why we came up with National Student Day."
On Oct. 6, college stores throughout the United States and Canada will host an array of events in their stores to celebrate and promote social responsibility. These events will consist of giveaways, parties, contests, and more.
To be elibile for National Student Day prizing you must:
- Be a full-time or part-time college students attending an undergraduate institute located in the United States or Canada in pursuit of a bachelor's or similar degree.
- Be a legal resident of the United States, including the District of Columbia, or Canada, and and be above the age of majority in the jurisdiction where you reside at the time of entry.
- Have access to the Internet, a valid e-mail address, and a valid student identification card.
How to Apply
Students can submit their story or video of social responsibility on www.nationalstudentday.com. Stories will be voted on by their peers and the 10 most popular will win.
By James Jackson
When I was a freshman three hours away from home, living on campus was like a fairy tale. With no one peering over your shoulder, you’re free to come and go as you please. As a freshman and a sophomore that was perfect, meeting new people, party- hopping, but after a while it became a chore, especially when the alarm beckoned at 8am after only three or four hours of sleep. This is when I started living off campus and the all the things in life I considered normal quickly returned.
The Pros of Living Off Campus in College
Peace. Ever try to write a paper in the comfort of your own room with German techno music blaring from across the hall? I have. And let me tell you, as a severely introverted individual with a loathing for loud noises, it’s not fun. I’ve long since moved off campus and it was the best possible move for me. Get a couple of quiet roommates, and get some work done, it’ll be like a library in there.
It allows you to lead a more regular life. If your name isn’t Asher Roth, you’ll have to graduate one day. And going from dorm life to work life, I imagine, can’t be natural, and most people need a transition period before heading out to start real life. Living in an apartment off-campus can be that transition period, because it alleviates the stress of ripping and running around the campus all day, and allows you put those quarters for the washing machine to better use, like handing them over to the cashier after you tell her what pump your car is occupying.
The Cons of Living Off Campus in College
Travel. Back and forth, back and forth. As high as gas prices are and I still live about 30 minutes from my own campus, but however inconvenient this may sound, I wouldn’t have it any other way; it just won’t work for everyone.
Disconnect. A huge drawback from being off campus is being disconnected from the daily activities that help make up the “college life” that so many of us have pictured in our heads. I think every college student should know what its like to have their plate filled with a variety of social activities, and staying too far off campus makes that much more difficult.
Landlord. If you’ve never been a resident in an apartment complex, let me tell you firsthand, the rules are more stringent, because more than likely you will live among regular people, with regular jobs that go to sleep at a reasonable hour. And dealing with a landlord, beyond common pleasantries is no fun. Having been kicked out of an apartment for a number of noise complaints in my late teens, I will tell you that finding another place to live with little to no money to your name on short notice is the opposite of a good time.
The lease you sign prior to moving in outlines everything you need to know. You are entering into a business contract that tells you when to pay, how much, what you can and can’t do, and the consequences of the “can’t do” section.
First two or three years, stay on campus and soak it up, but I would advise leaving that behind junior or senior year. That will give you some time to “grow up” before you’re sucked into the current, soul-crushing work environment that sadly, the majority of us will enter.
James Jackson is a finance student at Winston-Salem State University. James is also a tech assistant at a law firm and writer of anything that sparks his curiosity. You can follow this increasingly curious mind on Twitter or shoot him an email at jamesjacksn[at]gmail.com.
Photo: william couch
By Sam Coren
The following editorial reflects the opinions of the author and not all of those at StudentAdvisor.com.
As StudentAdvisor's Content Manager I have my eyes glued to everything happening in the world of college news. So when I got word of Forbes's latest Top 200 Colleges list I couldn't help but to go find out which schools they consider to be the best in America. At the top of their list for the second year in a row was Williams College, a small private liberal arts school in western Massachusetts. Despite its steep sticker price, Forbes notes that Williams boasts one of the highest four-year graduation rates in the country, a slew of Rhodes and Marshall scholarship recipients and an alumni base of high-earning professionals.
While it's hard for anyone to disagree that this college is an exceptional place to earn a your degree (just check out our student reviews on Williams College if you're skeptical), I couldn't help but be utterly disappointed with where my alma mater ranked on the Forbes list. But it wasn't a feeling of buyers' remorse that came over me when I saw Northeastern University sitting in the #534 spot. It was a feeling of complete disgust that their ranking methodology penalized Northeastern for having a world-renowned co-op program.
If you're not familiar with what a co-op program is, it's an official internship program organized by the school so that students can alternate periods of full-time work experience with a traditional classroom education. Because Northeastern students can elect to take up to 3 of these 6-month internships during their college career, the majority of Huskies graduate in five years, not four.
Since someone at Forbes decided that 17.5% of a school's ranking should be based on four-year graduation rates, Northeastern tanked on the list. This is a crushing blow for a school that has transformed itself from a little known commuter school for engineers into a powerhouse research institution that's shifting the higher education paradigm.
So if you're the parent of a college-bound student who's now second guessing Northeastern's worth based off this new list I encourage you to reconsider your opinion. Do yourself a favor and check out the Northeastern reviews on StudentAdvisor from real students and learn more about how the school's co-op program has changed our lives.
And as for Forbes? We're Northeastern. We're no stranger to being the underdog.
By Sam Coren
Ever wonder what it would be like to spend your internship doing something a bit more philanthropic? Every summer college students elect to spend their semester breaks doing good work at nonprofit organizations all across the country. While sometimes these positions are unpaid, the experience these students gain can be invaluable when they go to begin their post-college careers.
This week on StudentAdvisor's Internship Spotlight we caught up with a college student who's currently interning at a nonprofit organization that actually helps other nonprofits. Learn more what it's like to be an intern at The Center for Effective Philanthropy, based in Cambridge, Ma. and San Francisco, Ca., below:
Major and Class Year:
Economics and Religious Studies, Class of 2012
What does the company do?
The Center for Effective Philanthropy is an organization that uses data collection and research to enable high-performing funders. The company uses a variety of assessment tools (like a grantee-perception report, staff-perception report, comparative board report, and strategy landscape tool) to provide foundations with an accurate, impartial, and comparative view of their impact in the field, community, or with specific organizations.
Since its inception 10 years ago, CEP has seen foundations make drastic and meaningful changes in strategy and granting policy to attain greater levels of efficacy (“more bang for your buck” – if you will).
What's your position there?
Intern - Office of the President
Can you tell us about a typical day on the job?
I am fortunate to have a great amount of variety in my days at CEP and have had the opportunity to work in several different program areas. My work in programming, communications, and development has been to create publications and videos of coverage from our May 2011 conference. Additionally, I am analyzing the web metrics for our website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages to prepare a report for the staff in how they may use these social media outlets more effectively.
I have also been involved in an initiative to prospect new potential funders for CEP. In the finance department I have aided the implementation of new online reporting software. For the assessment tools team, I help with coding, cleaning, and analyzing data from our most recent round of Grantee Perception Reports. Finally, I have been assisting our president, Phil Buchanan, in researching the history of nonprofits and business for an essay he will be publishing. My days here usually consist of a variety of these tasks, as well as attending staff meetings and listening to CEP guest speakers.
What have you learned so far during your internship?
Prior to working at CEP, I had had very little exposure to the nonprofit sector and was largely unaware of the enormous size and impact of the 90,000+ foundations in the United States. I have learned the extent of problems of efficiency, capacity, and accountability that plague nonprofits and the inaccurate stereotypes that exist surrounding these issues.
Foundations are often criticized for having a lack of clarity in strategy, disinterest in regard to funding outcomes, and being slow to change as economic and social demands changing. It is heartening to hear of all the foundations that have used our services in hopes of achieving their mission, yet important to remember how much work still needs to be done to make the sector as effective as possible.
What are your career goals, and how will your internship help you achieve them?
While I struggle to identify a clear-cut plan for my career—where I want to go, who I want to be, how I want to get there—I know that my definition of career success combines personal achievement with a visible impact on an area in need of development, reform, or change.
I have loved my exposure to the nonprofit sector through this internship and hope that I will spend most, if not all of my career, working for mission-driven organizations striving to develop solutions where private markets and government policies have failed. Working at CEP has given me exposure to the world of foundations but also to the scores of nonprofits striving to banish mediocrity and deliver innovative and effective resolutions for entrenched social problems.
Photo: Center for Effective Philanthropy
Every year the Ivies and other prestigious private schools in the northeast are overrun with applications and interest from students they do not have room for. But let's face it - there are plenty of wonderful schools where you can earn your degree and not have to deal with terrible weather for most of the academic year.
This year there are several colleges and universities in the southern US that have gone a long way to increase their popularity and put themselves on the national map. Here are just a few of them:
Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX
Prospective students across the country are increasingly seeing themselves fashioning purple and white come fall. Texas Christian University has never seen more interest. Last year, not only did TCU win the Rose Bowl and announce it was moving to the Big East Conference, but the admissions office also saw more than 19,000 applications for 1800 spots. TCU has seen a 300 percent jump in applications over the past 10 years and is now the second most selective school in Texas behind only Rice.
In July the cover story of Fort Worth Magazine touts TCU as the hottest school in Texas. “The number of folks visiting our school is up 54 percent from last year,” said Ray Brown, dean of admissions at Texas Christian University. “We are also seeing a lot more students sending us their test scores. Last year at this time we had received 15.9 percent more test scores than we did the year previous. That 15.9 percent increase ultimately led us to a 36.1 percent increase in applications.”
Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, TN
Nestled atop the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, this small private liberal arts college made a splash on the national stage by announcing it was reducing tuition and fees by 10 percent. Sewanee’s announcement was made after the deadline to submit applications for this fall’s class, but University of the South officials say they have seen increased interest. Since the February announcement campus visits are up more than 60 percent prior to the last year. The incoming freshman class at Sewanee is the institutions largest at 430 students.
Last year the class was roughly 400. “That increase is likely due to more than one factor, but we believe the tuition decrease did indeed have an effect on families’ college decisions,” said Lee Ann Afton, dean of admission and financial aid at Sewanee.
Meredith College in Raleigh, NC
Meredith College is an all women’s college within walking distance to North Carolina State University continues to gain popularity. One way to gauge admissions is through yield – the percentage of students that are offered admissions and enroll. Meredith continues to have a very strong yield with more than 40 percent of those offered admission to the college accepting. The national average is below 30 percent. “Interest at Meredith is growing, said Daniel Green, associate vice president for enrollment management at Meredith College. “We have seen a 44 percent increase in inquiries and expect a large class in the fall between 410-415 students.”
Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, FL
Saint Leo University, a non-profit Roman Catholic institution with a physical campus in Saint Leo, FL and a virtual campus that offers extensive online educational opportunities through the Center for Online Learning, will see one of the largest classes the history of the institution. That credit can be given to a number of factors at Saint Leo including a 30 percent spike in commuter students and a 100 percent increase in international students. “Saint Leo is really having a terrific year,” said Scott Rhodes, associate vice president of enrollment at Saint Leo. “First time in college students have increased 14 percent over last year and we are 50 deposits ahead of last year.”
Don't forget to check out college reviews of these schools and more on StudentAdvisor!
By Sam Coren
New England is known for having one of the highest concentrations of colleges and univeristies in the US. Compared to hustle and bustle of Boston, which draws thousands of students from all over the world, many students prefer to study in the more serene setting of Maine. And it comes as no surpise since the state has many world-class institutions to choose from. While Northern Maine is sparsely populated, students who attend colleges in southern Maine get the benfits of beautiful scenery, small city life in Portland, and easy access to the rest of New England.
Considering liberal arts colleges up North? Check out some of StudentAdvisor's college reviews for some of Maine's top ranked liberal arts colleges:
"Bates has a great community feel with outstanding academics. The faculty is above exceptional. Most students study abroad. I don't know that I've ever met a Batesie that doesn't LOVE Bates!"
"One of the best liberal arts colleges I could have sent my daughter to. The college had small class sizes, excellent faculty, and a great campus"
Read more Bates College reviews.
"Fabulous international focus and rigorous academics. The libraries on campus are stunning."
"The professors are phenomenal and are very personable, this is directly correlated to the size of the campus."
Read more Colby College reviews.
"Ranked sixth among Liberal Arts, it is the best arts institution. It gives the best foundation for art students."
"a beautiful campus located in coastal Maine. The college has a strong reputation and excellent academics."
Read more Bowdoin College reviews.
By Sam Coren
August is here and you know what that means? Time to start thinking about what to bring to college! That's right - the clock is ticking for this Fall's new freshmen class. Parents who haven't sent off a child for college yet are scrambling to figure out what to get.
But don't panic - StudentAdvisor is here to help! Last year our College Dorm Room Essentials guide gave thousands of people a game plan for that much anticipated college move-in day. This year we wanted to take it to the next level and give students and their parents a guide to creating the best possible dorm space with our newly released Ultimate Dorm Living Guide.
What's in StudentAdvisor's Ultimate Dorm Living Guide? Hundreds of dorm room items tested and approved by real college students. For students of any budget, we've organized this new guide so you can transform that tiny dorm room into the cleanest, coolest, and most comfortable spot on campus.
We also wanted to make planning the big move much easer by assembling the The Ultimate College Dorm Room Checklist. Love music? We've invited our friends at College Info Geek to give us the lowdown on the best headphones for college students.
But it's not just about what to bring to college. We've invited About.com college expert Kelci Lynn to divulge her tried and true dorm life transition tips. Find out the secret to dealing with difficult roommates and why it's crucial to get to know your resident advisor.
So what are you waiting for? Go check out the new Ultimate Dorm Living Guide!