Now that your Junior year is well underway, we wanted to lay out some big picture items for you and your parents to think about as you plan out the rest of your school year.
Every year, we’re fascinated to read people’s answers to the Really Short Answer questions on college applications.
For 2016-17, for example, we’re seeing those questions pop up on the applications for Yale, Stanford, USC, Princeton, UNC Chapel Hill, and Columbia, among others.
What’s a Really Short Answer question?
Have you summoned up the courage to ask a professor or an employer for a recommendation, only to have that person say, "Sure, send me a draft and I'll sign it?"
That happens a lot, mostly with professional recommenders, but sometimes too with professors. It puts applicants in quite a pickle.
Because it's so common, applicants often turn around and ask if we can help them with those recommendation drafts.
For law school success, don’t do what you’re told -- do what works
Here's a guest post from a new friend, Larry Law Law (no, not his real name, but I wish it were!):
Hey there. Do you want a first-class ticket on the express train to bad law school grades and disappointment?
Well, watch out! You will be on that train if you believe this statement:
"I will do well in law school if I do exactly what my law professor tells me to do.
There's been a lot of press about the poor prospects of many law students and recent law school graduates. As you're deciding where to put down your law school deposit, I thought this might be a good time to merge two older blog posts that still hold true today.
Wise words from the dean of admissions at Smith College:
Students have many options. Focusing on the narrow list of so-called top colleges ignores the rich diversity of the nation’s higher education choices — including community colleges, online courses, residential colleges and large research universities.
Fascinating. I get more anxiety-stricken messages this time of year than when you are working on your applications or even taking the LSAT.
Are you stressed out now that deposit deadlines are looming? You are not alone. And of course it's stressful, because you're being forced to do something that is painful for a lot people: You have to COMMIT TO AN OPTION and LET OTHER ONES GO.
Are you a non-traditional (read: older) student planning on taking the new SAT (aka rSAT) this weekend? If so, our friends at ArborBridge test prep are reminding us that there are special rules you need to be aware of, and might need to work around asap:
All of us adults who registered to take the March SAT this weekend so we could see the new test received an email from the CB [College Board] today telling us we had been booted to May instead.
Are you struggling with math? There is hope for you, and "hope" is the key word here.
I came across a great post on the Education Week blog that summarizes the findings of a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a big international organization that tracks things like math performance country by country.
Were you under the impression that the College Board and the ACT are primarily in the business of making and administering those standardized tests that drive you batty?
Actually, their real bread and butter is mining students' personal information and selling it for a lot of money.
Mindy Kaling, after being asked, a gazillion times, where she gets her confidence (from Why Not Me?):
"People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work.
If you're a high school student (or the parent of a high school student), you probably thought that the ACT is just in the business of creating and administering the ACT test, right?
Actually, they do quite a bit more, and one of their "side" businesses can affect your college applications without you even knowing it. Please read the following advice carefully:
In order to increase its profitability and market share, the ACT has been developing other "predictor" tools to sell to colleges.
As you may already know, there were problems with the June 6, 2015, SAT Reasoning test because of misprints in the instructions on some of the test booklets. It took a little time for the dust to settle and for the College Board to decide how it was going to respond. As of now, the College Board has decided to do the following:
- Score the tests without including the scores from the affected sections (the affected sections were the last reading or math section – you might have had reading last or you might have had math last, but neither will be scored).
There's an excellent article on the stage of law school education in the Washington Post: "Why Law Schools Are Losing Relevance—and How They're Trying to Win It Back."
Bottom line: "Going to law school used to feel like a no-brainer for college graduates seeking financial security. But that calculus has changed...."