In Defense of the Liberal Arts

The perfect storm of rising college costs and the continuing crisis in the economy has once again called into question the worth of a liberal arts degree. At first glance, this seems to be a valid response. Unlike degrees that prepare students for a specific career path after college, the liberal arts, which include the study of literature, mathematics, and the sciences, focus more on developing critical ...

Getting Your Books without Breaking the Bank: Some Advice on Buying Textbooks

While it is impossible to put a price tag on a good education, the incidentals to getting that education, such as tuition, room and board, and books, can seem overwhelmingly high. Textbooks can cause a great deal of sticker shock, and depending on the student’s major and course load, one semester’s worth of books can cost over a thousand dollars. Luckily, the internet has made it much easier to ...

Up Close and Personal — Writing the College Essay

Although your transcript and standardized test scores let the admissions committee see your academic achievements, the college essay gives them the opportunity to get a better sense of who you are beyond your role as a student. Because of this personal component, the college essay should have three essential elements. First, it should convey who you are as a person - your insights, your values, and ...

Follow One Student’s Study Abroad Experience

If you are considering studying abroad in college or if you want to get a better idea of what a study abroad program is like from a student's perspective, be certain to check out this blog by a student from UMass Amherst. Besides giving a taste of her experiences in Oxford through the UMass study abroad program, this blog also has some helpful links and advice on how to prepare for a semester abroad. ...

The Clemson Scandal Begs the Question: How Reliable are College Rankings?

Despite the protests of many colleges that rankings in publications like U.S. News & World Report are unimportant, a recent scandal illustrates that some schools can be even more grade-obsessed than their students. In the latest ranking of national public universities by U.S. News & World Report, Clemson University, a public university in South Carolina, obtained the position of 22, up from ...

Smart Teens Read… What Are You Reading This Summer?

Reading - to most people, it might seem like the antithesis of a summer vacation activity. However, in many ways, summer is the perfect time to catch up on some leisure reading and to read books, articles, and web sites that might help you in the upcoming school year. With this in mind, here are some of our reading suggestions (get our full list of suggestions at the new Educational Advocates blog and ...

More than Fashion Advice & Packaging: Reactions to the “New York Times” Article

Recently, the New York Times ran an article about an independent college admissions consultant who held a free fashion show featuring supposedly ideal outfits to wear to a college interview. So far the article has garnered over 200 comments. While many of the comments specifically addressed the sartorial choices of this particular consultant, a number decried the very concept of independent college ...

A Networking Approach for College Freshmen

by Mitch Bornstein, Ph.D With the troubling headlines that 80% of 2009 college seniors are graduating without a job, parents of incoming 2009 college freshmen are increasingly anxious about the job market their children will encounter when they graduate.  They know that grads lacking direction or job search skills are at a huge disadvantage competing for entry-level jobs, which are down by 22% this ...

Beyond the Naked Roommate: Dealing with Roommate Woes

In the past few weeks, the Boston media has been focusing on a murder of an alleged marijuana dealer in a Harvard University dorm. The boyfriend of a Harvard student is being held on charges related to the planned robbery and murder of this young man. While many young people on college campuses regularly use and buy pot, not too many think about the fact that marijuana dealers interact with larger ...

Financial Aid and Loan Offers – Evaluate Carefully

By now college-bound seniors should have received their award letters from the colleges of their choice. Remember that both grant awards (which is outright money that does not need to be paid back) and loans are listed on the same letter. Also keep in mind that loans are not financial aid. For this reason it is critical to review the loan terms and interest rates being offered very closely. Families ...
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