Keeping Perspective on Selective College Admissions

Theresa, a dear friend whom I haven’t seen in ages, called me the other day.  We talked for a long time.  Her son is a sophomore in high school.  As his doting mother, Theresa is in a lather about his prospects for college admission. As we hadn’t spoken in quite a while, Theresa asked me […]

State Universities vs. Private Colleges–A Professor Reflects

During a recent visit to the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, I caught up with an old friend, Professor Bill Worden. He is now a professor of Spanish and director of graduate studies. Bill was educated at elite private institutions in the Northeast (Dartmouth, Brown), but he teaches at a large, public […]

Large State University vs. Small Private Colleges–Which Is Best?

As I traveled around the Deep South last week visiting colleges, I was happy to feel some of my old stereotypes melt away. To be sure, southern colleges reflect their geography and the culture of people of the region.  But academically speaking, there are many fantastic schools, excellent students, talented professors, innovative programs, and beautiful campuses.  […]

More College Rankings: Best Global Universities

The Times Higher Education in the UK recently released its rankings of the top 200 universities in the world.  Seven out of the top 10 are American universities.  Can you guess which ones are near the top of the list? I did my  undergraduate work at number 54, earned my doctorate at number 157, was […]

Colleges Discuss the Inherent Weaknesses of ACT and SAT Tests

The big show at last week’s conference of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling was a report by NACAC examining the role of SAT and ACT tests in the college admissions process.  Essentially, the report called upon colleges to look more carefully at the role of these tests, and called into question their true […]

Class Size and Student-to-Faculty Ratios: What the Statistics Don’t Tell You

When a client asked me the other day about the importance of student-to-faculty ratios, I got to thinking about other supposed indicators of educational quality. The other oft-cited statistic when visiting an admissions office is “average class size.” As with student-to-faculty ratios, the size of the classes at a college is assumed to reflect the […]

More Volleyball at Colorado Crossroads

This weekend I’ll be back at the Denver Convention Center dispensing Great College Advice to volleyball players and their families participating in the Colorado Crossroads national qualifier volleyball tournament. It’s great fun talking to families about obtaining sports scholarships, the differences between NCAA Division 1 and NCAA Division 3 (see my post here), and how […]

Columbia Joins the Bandwagon and Changes Financial Aid Policies

Columbia University announced today that it was joining its Ivy League sister institutions in revamping its financial aid policies to make the University more affordable for the middle class. Families with incomes of less than $60,000 will pay nothing. Families with incomes of less than $100,000 will see a significant increase in the amount of […]

Division I vs. Division III: Sports as a Job, or Scholar-Athlete?

Today I spent another fun-filled day at the Colorado Crossroads volleyball tournament in Denver, where nearly 10,000 volleyball players are participating in this national qualifier event. Parents were steadily coming up to my booth at the tournament (where I was, of course, dispensing some great college advice) to talk about their concerns. The topic of […]