Tag Archives: college

I recently had the pleasure and privilege of presenting an SAT and ACT strategy session to a group of young adults. This in itself is hardly unusual, as I’m basically always teaching teens, except for when I’m training adults. The particularly awesome aspect of this engagement was that these 75 students were located in Nigeria, as part of a week-long bootcamp organized by EducationUSA. This non-profit network supported by the U.S. Department of State promotes U.S. higher education to international students and supports those students through the application process. The globe-spanning distance separating Zoom participants was the only truly remarkable aspect of this seminar. In all other ways, the students asked the same questions and shared the same concerns as any U.S. high schooler, excepting, perhaps, the concerns about TOEFL/IELTS testing and passport concerns. Rest assured, teenagers everywhere struggle with timing on the reading sections of the tests and worry…

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College is definitely, at least in most cases, a pricy proposition. Attending community college or earning substantial scholarship awards can defray the financial costs of college, but higher education demands a considerable time commitment as well. Considering just how much college students (and their families) invest in higher education, questions about the return on that investment only make sense. Any attempt to evaluate potential ROI from attending college requires the juggling of a variety of complex terms along with a stomach for uncertainty. College major alone dramatically influences potential earnings after graduation. What other factors should smart shoppers consider? Net Price Net price is the average cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, and living expenses, minus aid received from all sources. Net Present Value (NPV) The net present value is how much a sum of money in the future is valued today. This metric includes costs,…

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Is Sal Khan the most respected individual in education today or just one of the most respected individuals in education? The founder of Khan Academy, the gold standard in academic training videos, has done more to “provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere” than, well, anyone, anywhere. While Sal’s been busy launching yet another free academic resource, he recently shared his thoughts on testing, test-optional admissions, and equity in an insightful interview with THE Journal. Here are some of his more salient points along with some editorial commentary: THE Journal: Is the SAT still relevant, now that many colleges and universities have made test scores optional for admission? SK: When I talk to admissions officers, behind closed doors, they will tell you that making tests optional did not remove the need for them to get a signal of college readiness from applicants. The reality is that savvy students continue…

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Often, we focus so much on high stakes tests that we fail to recognize them merely as intermediate steps to a larger goal. The SAT and ACT, for example, matter quite a lot, but mainly only for students striving for their choice of four-year college. And while we sometimes miss the big picture, the test makers always keep that test-to-college connection firmly in view. This, in a nutshell, explains why ACT, Inc. provides ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. The College Readiness Benchmarks are the minimum scores in each section of the ACT associated with a 50% chance of earning a B or better and approximately a 75% chance of earning a C or better in the corresponding college course or courses. ACT English is associated with introductory English Composition classes. The ACT Benchmark for English is a scale score of 18, which is approximately 39th percentile. ACT Math is associated with…

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People who aren’t involved in education might be surprised to learn what an ever-changing field it is. We’re always learning new things about learning, and teachers are always switching up their techniques to find out what works best. One approach to teaching that’s making waves in schools around the country is the “flipped classroom” model, which literally turns traditional teaching methods on their head. Conventional education is based largely on Bloom’s Taxonomy, which you might have seen represented as a pyramid with simple, concrete goals at the bottom and abstract, complex tasks at the very top. Classrooms traditionally devote instructional time to the bottom of the pyramid; that is, relaying basic facts and testing for recall, and leave the critical thinking and formulation of original ideas for students to complete at home. But in 2012, high school chemistry teachers Johnathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams argued that this is completely backwards,…

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While most applicants expect to earn a Bachelor’s degree in four years, more than half will fail to do so. In fact, fewer than two-thirds of students manage to finish even within six years. Considering how quickly the cost of college has been increasing, those extra years of college come at a tremendous cost. What kind of questions should high schoolers and their families be asking when considering why students don’t complete college in four years? Why does finishing a four-year degree on time matter? What academic issues keep students from finishing college on time? What credit and career planning issues keep students from finishing college on time? What role do or should colleges play in facilitating on-time completion? How can parents prepare high schoolers to finish their degrees on time? To understand both the massive scope and potential solutions to this common problem, I spoke with Rochester-based educational consultant…

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