College admissions officers attribute the organization’s success to the simplicity of its approach to students. It avoids mind-numbingly complex talk of financial-aid forms and formulas that scare away so many low-income families (and frustrate so many middle-income families, like my own when I was applying to college). QuestBridge instead gives students a simple message: If you get in, you can go.
Yet the broader lessons of QuestBridge aren’t only about how to communicate with students. They’re also how our society spends the limited resource that is financial aid.
The group’s founders, Michael and Ana Rowena McCullough, are now turning their attention to the estimated $3 billion in outside scholarships, from local Rotary Clubs, corporations and other groups, that are awarded every year to high school seniors. The McCulloughs see this money as a wasted opportunity, saying it comes too late to affect whether and where students go to college. It doesn’t help the many high-achieving, low-income strivers who don’t apply to top colleges — and often don’t graduate from any college.
Continue reading the main story
“Any private scholarship given at the end of senior year is intrinsically disconnected from the college application process,” Dr. McCullough said, “and it doesn’t have to be.”
- The New York Times takes a look at Questbridge, "which has quietly become one of the biggest players in elite-college admissions."
posted by beisny
on Sep 16, 2014 -
One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?
Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America"
including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports
, most overrepresented job in every state
, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree
, number of billionaires in each state
, number of Starbucks locations in each state
, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress)
, fast food consumption
and exercise frequency
(detail in a weird format here
), and cavities per capita
But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop
on Aug 1, 2014 -
It's hardly breaking news, but more and more people are questioning the race to the Ivy League that in some cases begins as early as preschool. And in addition to perpetuating the increasingly-rigid class structure in the US, the Ivy League colleges are inadvertently creating and admitting students who have no idea how to really take advantage of the resources available to them. So writes William Deresiewicz in his article, "Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
" from the New Republic:
So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them. The cost of falling short, even temporarily, becomes not merely practical, but existential. The result is a violent aversion to risk. You have no margin for error, so you avoid the possibility that you will ever make an error. Once, a student at Pomona told me that she’d love to have a chance to think about the things she’s studying, only she doesn’t have the time. I asked her if she had ever considered not trying to get an A in every class. She looked at me as if I had made an indecent suggestion.
See also Deresiewicz's earlier article, "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education"
from American Scholar, previously discussed on the blue
posted by math
on Jul 23, 2014 -
”Practicing openness and making oneself radically vulnerable is not only scary, it is the opposite of what we are taught to do within the logic of the contemporary university (and society more generally). Our marginalization, meager pay and lack of job security, along with the attacks on professors by students and the administration’s refusal to back up even tenured professors, all contribute to a culture of paranoia and enmity (among administration and faculty, among tenure-track faculty and adjuncts, among professors and students). Even when we manage to maintain our commitment to our students (and we do), the university seeks to capture this affective relationship and use it to further exploit us when we ask for fair wages or better conditions with the reprimand that ‘we are doing this for the students and not the money.’ Just as the practitioners of modernity gutted the erotic and sold us the pornographic, administrators attempt to gut the material and affective conditions of teaching and sell us ‘passion.’”
Dr Priya J. Shah: "My Last Day as a Professor
posted by koeselitz
on Jun 6, 2014 -
Sometimes life seems really short, and other times it seems impossibly long. But this chart helps to emphasize that it’s most certainly finite. Those are your weeks and they’re all you’ve got.
posted by gemutlichkeit
on Jun 6, 2014 -
Who Gets to Graduate?
"If you compare college students with the same standardized-test scores who come from different family backgrounds, you find that their educational outcomes reflect their parents’ income, not their test scores."
posted by epimorph
on May 15, 2014 -
"Young Minds in Critical Condition" (SLNYT)
"Having strong critical skills shows that you will not be easily fooled. It is a sign of sophistication, especially when coupled with an acknowledgment of one’s own “privilege” … We should be wary of creating a class of self-satisfied debunkers—or, to use a currently fashionable word on campus, people who like to “trouble” ideas," opines Michael Roth, on the status quo of liberal education. Also "The case for a liberal education"
, 2014/05/09, The Boston Globe
; and, "There's Nothing Liberal About Specializing in Philosophy" The Atlantic
, 2014/05/09. Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, recently authored “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters”
, and teaches "The Modern and The Postmodern"
, offered on Coursera.
posted by polymodus
on May 12, 2014 -
Today, the UC Davis student newspaper, The California Aggie, put out its last print edition.
The Aggie has been in dire straits for some time. Ad revenue started to plummet in 2009 and the paper has been working off of its reserve funds.
Publication was cut from five days a week, to four days a week, to one day a week.
Very few of the staff have been paid at all and those who were earned around $2 an hour. Despite the print change, the paper was due to run out of money by June 2014.
Then came a last gasp, paper-saving measure: Measure 1, proposed for the winter 2014 ASUCD ballot, would add a $9.30 increase to student fees in order to subsidize the formerly independently run paper. But.... [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon
on Mar 13, 2014 -
Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says The report, "Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education," says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012...What’s more, the report says, the number of full-time faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined 40 percent, to around 2.5 to 1. Full-time faculty members also lost ground to part-time instructors (who now compose half of the instructional staff at most types of colleges)...And the kicker: You can’t blame faculty salaries for the rise in tuition. Faculty salaries were "essentially flat" from 2000 to 2012, the report says. And "we didn't see the savings that we would have expected from the shift to part-time faculty," said Donna M. Desrochers, an author of the report.
posted by mediareport
on Mar 6, 2014 -
I, Too, Am Harvard.
A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 5, 2014 -
Bloomberg has been publishing a series of articles on the misdeeds of the fraternity system
in the U.S., particularly how Greek organizations "dodge liability for mayhem at their local chapters, oppose anti-hazing bills in Congress and pressure colleges to drop restrictions on recruiting freshmen as pledges. Colleges face litigation from fraternities and the withholding of donations by wealthy alumni." [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead
on Dec 30, 2013 -
The revelation that the median grade at Harvard is an A- prompted lots of discussion, especially among Ivy-league educated journalists. Some speculated high grades reflect intelligence. Others say professors just want their students to get jobs, or, selfishly, they want favorable teaching evaluations. As a teaching assistant in the economics department at Columbia, I too inflated student grades, but for none of those reasons. I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining.
posted by latkes
on Dec 13, 2013 -
Channel C WISC
is a YouTube channel where UW-Madison undergrads from China talk about the experience of being Chinese at a big public American university, with the aim of both helping newly arrived international students understand what's going on around them, and helping American students have some sense of what's going on with their Chinese classmates. Videos include "Why Chinese Students Don't Party,"
, "Chinese Names,"
, "Pretty Chinese Women"
, "Who are the Chinese Second Generation Rich?"
, "Why Chinese Students Don't Speak English,"
and many more.
posted by escabeche
on Nov 1, 2013 -
The Course of Their Lives.
While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via
. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.
) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 19, 2013 -
"Students are told, reassuringly, that there is no such thing as failing the Accuplacer or the COMPASS. But there is: students who score below a certain number, or “cut score,” flunk the
for credit-bearing work." The consequences can be dramatic
posted by eotvos
on Apr 21, 2013 -