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Carnival of College Admission–Chinese New Year Edition


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Welcome to the 10th edition of the Carnival of College Admission. As always, we welcome our regular contributors, as well as a bevy of new folks.


In honor of my upcoming trip to Hong Kong to give a presentation on college admission in the US and to meet with clients, we’ll have a look at how the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Hong Kong.  What does this have to do with college admission, you ask?

Not much.  But the images are fun!

For those of you new to the Carnival, here’s the scoop.  Twice a month, the Carnival of College Admission brings you the best of the blogs that touch upon the transition from high school to college.  As you shall see, there is a panoply of presenters this week, so grab a cup of jasmine tea and enjoy what’s on offer.

College Search

Wassan Humadi is a new member of the Carnival community.  She points out that debt, student loans, lower paying jobs for college grads, spiraling tuition costs, and excessive cost of books and campus life mean that many students are graduating already buried under debt.  Her post,. Best Value Colleges and Universities in the United States posted at Al Jamiat Magazine, argues that it’s time for students to make better informed financial decisions about their education. Whether its choosing to go to an in-state college, community college for a year or two as a bridge to a 4-year institution, or fighting harder for a full or partial scholarship, there are some colleges and universities out there that are still a fantastic value.


In a much-heralded return to the Carnival, Wenchypoo reminds us that college is not for everyone in her post Rethink the Value of College posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.  It’s important to think about “return on investment” when paying for college.

Erika Collin is another new Carnival participant, and she presents 100+ Rankings to Pick Your School, City, Career, and More .  You can find Erika at

Another new participant, Jonathan Cifuentes writes about changes to admissions policies in University of California system, which he posts over at his College Admissions Help Blog.  Indeed, the University of California system as a whole is under great strain, as state funding has fallen and applications have risen.

Dave Van de Walle, a Carnival stalwart, offers his post Highlights from Sunday Night Stickam Web Chat (1/25) posted at U Sphere Blog.Dave will be the host of our March 25th edition.  Thanks, Dave!

Getting In:  The Admissions Process

We’re pleased that the folks at the University of New Haven have joined the Carnival of College Admission.  Gil Rogers offers some last minute admissions reminders for students, the most important of which is to READ the stuff the admissions office sends out to applicants.  It’s amazing how people can forget (or neglect) to read.  Appropriately, Gil’s post is entitled, PLEASE READ THIS!, which can be found at University of New Haven Blogs.

Eric Perron, one of our regulars, presents Consider Advanced Placement Studies for Admissions posted at Dream Strategy. He points out that kids who do well on the AP exams can get sophomore standing in college–a real cost savings.  Keep an eye out for our next edition on February 25, when Eric will be our host!

Lai See Packets

Elizabeth King , an SAT prep guru, presents Why Spell Check is Your Enemy posted at elizabeth online.  Her point is simple: those who can spell do better on the tests.  And how does one learn to spell?  Primarily by reading.

From myUsearch, the Honest College Matchmaker, admissions consultant David Petersam offers true stories of big mistakes real students have made on their college application. Appropriately, the post is entitled You Did What On Your College Application?, and can be found at myUsearch blog

Carleigh wonders Why A.P. classes are a hot topic today .  Seems that Maryland has been cited for having the highest aveage AP scores in the nation.  You can read more about it at Study Blog.

Many seeking admission to competitive colleges will produce a resume to include with their application. Leaving The Folks presents Avoiding Resume Mistakes wher rule number one is to avoid proofreading errors.  Leaving the Folks , which is a new entrant to the Carnival of College Admission, is the online survival guide for anyone graduating college, leaving their parents’ house, or entering the real world for the first time.

Chinese Zodiac

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Tom Tessin offers three helpful tips on Where to Find Unique Scholarships Online, which he shares with us at FCC Student Blog.

Todd Johnson points to some helpful charts that will help you figure out What Will Your College Cost You? The answer?  It really depends on the college, because some are able to offer better deals than others.  Read Todd’s post over  at College Admissions Counseling.

In the same vein, Lee Anne Hannula presents Why You Can’t Get a Loan , which points out that many students choose a college for the wrong reason, and end up paying more than they should.  Her post can be found at Student Loan Help.

Amanda Fornecker offers up a piece with lots of good reminders about the importance of getting the FAFSA done right, and getting it in early in her post, The Supply and Demand of Financial Aid fount at College – U. Got It?.

Lora Lewis is yet another Carnival Newbie (get this woman some cotton candy!), and she offers up a great post that explains the basics of the FAFSA.  Every parent should read her post at Paying for College: FAFSA Fundamentals found on Lora’s blog,  Keys to College.

And, last but not  least in our burgeoning financial aid section (“It’s the economy!”), Mariana Evica from the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation offers some last minute advice on filing for financial aid.  See her post, entitled Last Chance FAFSA Assistance. We’re glad to have you and the CSLF on board, Mariana!  Want to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl with me?

Boarding Schools

Peter Baron, an expert on boarding schools and our heroic host of the previous edition of the Carnival of College Admission (didn’t see it?  go here!) presents Interim Grades & Your Boarding School Application posted his Boarding School Blog. Brian Fischer, who is a regular feature on the AQ Boarding School blog, points out that is always best to do whatever the admissions office wants…if you are really serious about your application.

College Life

Yet another new participant in the Carnival of College Admission is John from ESN, who shares his secrets of  How to Get Straight A?s in College (with Minimal Effort) .  His tips are straightforward, but it’s amazing how many students don’t realize that they have it in their power to improve their own performance.  See John’s post at Universities and Colleges.

Peach Blossoms

Jen Himottu, star student blogger over at Worcester Polytechnic Institute,  presents Tour Guide Season posted at True Life: I’m a WPI senior…. We loving having a student perspective at the Carnival…keeps us all young!  Jen explains how one is chosen to be a tour guide at WPI.  Very helpful info!

Karen Chenoweth, writing for the Britannica Blog presents Impatience with Bad Teaching.  Let’s face it:  there is an awful lot of bad teaching going on at all levels of our educational system.  It’s one thing when the education is free, or at least inexpensive.  But what do we do when we are paying $40k per year, and the instructor is lousy?

Edvisors presents A new CampusX Community for Colleges Students to Network posted at College Admission Guide College Search Advice. This is a new community on Ning, and is worth a look.

Dawn Papandrea, one of our Carnival Regulars (I think she is addicted to roller coasters!)  presents CollegeSurfing Insider: 7 Things to Do After You’ve Been Laid Off posted at CollegeSurfing Insider.  Dawn points out that even college students need to avoid complacency in this economy, because younger hires may be the first to be laid off if a company’s income drops.

The folks over at Unigo have been writing about the college dating.  I should have read this stuff decades ago…might have improved my social life in college.  Check out their site at


Graduate Schools

Adam Markus is an independent admissions consultant specializing graduate business programs.  Adam tells us what to do if you are waitlisted for Business school in 2009. His post is Waitlisted? Now what? can be found on his blog, Adam Markus: Graduate Admissions Guru.

Jared Maloney is a “fad buster:”  he sheds light on assumptions and popular attitudes that may be plain wrong.  In this post, he advises against the rush to law school that may be a product of the ecnomic downturn.  See if you agree with him by reading  Fad: Law School posted at Fade That Fad.

Online Colleges

OnlineCollege presents Walden, and 99 other Free Online Books posted at Universities and Colleges.

Heather Johnson presents a post that doesn’t deal so much with online colleges as with online, open source courses in her post 101 Free Open Course Classes to Learn How to Build ANYTHING posted at Best Universities.  Whether you’re looking to supplement your own classroom instruction or just insatiably curious, have a look at these resources.

Ornamental Orange Trees

Other Cool Stuff

Alvaro Fernandez presents Learning about Learning: an Interview with Joshua Waitzkin posted at SharpBrains. Here you can catch a brain in full display.  This stuff is really cool!

Cort Johnson of goSwoop gives advice to admissions offices on how to use communications tools to recruit students, especially international students.  Check out this enlightening post on the goSwoop blog.


Well, that wraps it up for this 10th edition of the Carnival. Our next edition will be open on March 25th, when our host will be Dave van de Walle over at Usphere. You can submit to the next edition by filling out our handy submission form.  For the archives of past editions, please see our official home page.

As always, we welcome your comments, your suggestions, and your continued support of this online blogging community.

See you next time!

Mark Montgomery
College Coach

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