We've all heard of grade inflation, but how about grade forgiveness and grade distortion? “A 4.0 does signal something significant, that that student is good. A 3.7, however, doesn’t. That’s just a run-of-the-mill student….”
Wow… it’s been a wild couple of days in the wake of the federal indictment against parents, sports coaches, a phony admissions consultant, and phony SAT/ACT proctor. It’s the Justice Department’s largest ever college admissions prosecution.
Well, not surprising, we have a few things to say about that. A lot, actually. Here’s the latest.
I'm pre-ordering this book, VERY excited to read it:
Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
The title alone is a great reminder not to conflate your whole identity with where you do or don't get into college (or grad school for that matter). My immediate reaction is this, and it's something I've been mulling over for some time now:
One of the real downsides to the current "holistic" approach to elite university admissions in the United States is that the schools give the impression that they're evaluating you (judging you) *as a human being*.
There's a myth out there that you have to do a lot of fancy internships and extracurriculars in order to be attractive to admissions officers at elite schools.
That is FALSE.
Yes, that deserved all-caps.
Anna, I am an Iraq veteran and I have read that military service is anywhere from "extremely valuable" to law school admissions to something akin to any other job. What is your take? Is there anything I should do to highlight its strengths while also countering its possibly negative connotations?
As for another, more specific question: I am struggling with whether to include my platoon's "number of enemy captured/killed" on my resume.
Copying and pasting from Wikipedia in your college papers may seem totally normal to many college students, but this NYT article ("Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age") makes clear that (1) there is a casual attitude among many students about what constitutes plagiarism, and (2) copying and pasting and "borrowing" language is still considered plagiarism by any self-respecting university.
I love hearing from applicants with whom I crossed paths in years past. Here's an update I just received from a soon-to-be JD. It's a great reminder not to tack on graduate degrees willy-nilly, but to think hard about how a more general degree (like an MBA) stacks up against more specialized ones.
In my last email I told you that I was considering getting a MBA because of my interest in working for the Justice Department or the SEC.
How much do things like determination and grit correlate with future success? It's a big question, and one that intrigues me as a former admissions officer. After all, the gatekeeping function of admissions is to scour all these imperfect proxies (some might say tea leaves) to try to predict the future success of all those wonderful applicants.
On that subject, a recent article by Amanda Ripley in the Atlantic Monthly caught my eye.
In a previous post we discussed the general rules to follow when assessing when and how to disclose a criminal issue in your background.
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Law schools generally open the floodgates for applications around September 1. Last year, the top-10 law schools began accepting applications between September 1 and October 1, with final submission deadlines scattered throughout the spring.
There's obviously a lot of material to put together in order to submit your application.
Jon Hodge is the owner of Strictly English TOEFL Tutors.
I ask all our clients when they begin studying for the TOEFL, "what schools are you applying to?
Having trouble finding a summer job? It seems as if everyone is, from high schoolers to lawyers-in-training.Â This Sunday's New York Times has an interesting article on the unemployment issue facing teenagers and college students.
Among the sobering statistics:
- 24% unemployment for 16- to 19-year olds (up from 16.1% last year)
- 21% decline in internships available to college students versus last year
A psychologist quoted in the article opined:"[T]here is something to be said about sitting out on a warm evening and looking at the starsÂ â€”Â theyÂ needÂ moreÂ ofÂ thisÂ contemplationÂ andÂ self-evaluation.
To add to the list of things that can keep you from practicing law: taking on so much debt that you can't pay it back and get dinged by the bar committee.
Today's NYT has an astonishing story about a 47-year-old who started at Hastings Law School back in 2000, decided to throw in a master's degree, and then found himself trying to carry student loans of $230,000.
I'm enjoying a fascinating blog posting in the NYT about the value of a master's degree. Highly recommended.
A number of economists and education researchers say that the student debt problem, while real, has been overblown by the press and loan-forgiveness advocates, and that most students do not graduate with too much debt
But the debate presents difficult questions for young people, who face the most difficult economy since the Great Depression.
Could you tell me if schools gives applicants time to visit if they are admitted from the waitlist or hold category? Also, when do they make this decision?
Some schools give an option to visit (or at least give you a little time to decide), while others will give you only a short window to accept or decline the offer.
These are not the happiest times to be coming out of law school or business school. An article and a blog posting in today's Wall Street Journal jumped out at me:
"Recession Batters Law Firms, Triggering Layoffs, Closings" is a sad post-mortem of the once-venerable San Francisco law firm Heller, Ehrman, which closed its doors last year.
A huge thank-you to law professor Paul Caron for shining a public spotlight on a big problem.
Professor Caron has highlighted some astonishing bits of a recent podcast from a meeting of law school admnistrators:
AALS Committee on Research Program (Jan. 9, 2009), Citations, SSRN Downloads, U.S. News, Carnegie, Bar Passage, Careers: Competing Methods of Assessing Law Schools (podcast):
Bill Henderson (Indiana):
- 25:55: At 50 law schools, 20% of the students are either unemployed, flunked out, or are unknown, yet the ABA and LSAC disavow the use of data to rank law schools.
I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who works (as I do) with lots of twenty-somethings. When we got around to the gratuitous praise to which Gen Y/the "Praise Generation" has become accustomed (phony praise that inflates their sense of achievement and rewards them for process rather than outcomes), he had this observation to share:
On all of this, I'll point out that, having worked with a literally never-ending stream of recent college graduates--half of everyone is 22 in my world--I notice that the people who consistently are the best to work with are ex-elite athletes.