Colleges

Monday Link Roundup for Week of 11/11/13

Ever get the feeling that days are somehow sneaking past without you noticing? You know, that feeling when you look at the calendar thinking that it’s something like November 4th or so but it’s actually a full week later? That’s exactly how I felt when I started going through the news this morning, so much so that I actually double-checked the date several times. Despite my incredulousness, it is indeed already almost halfway through the month of November and by the time the next one of these link roundups rolls around, we’ll actually be closer to the start of December than the end of October. The phrase tells us that, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” but it would be equally accurate if it said, “Time flies when you’re working extremely hard.”

So with that slightly philosophical intro out of the way and a little more caffeine coursing through my veins, time to dive into this week’s relevant content. Lots of interesting stuff here, including the history of college applications, tips for dealing with interviews and extracurricular activities, and crazy application essay prompts. Read on for all of this week’s top college admissions news!

  • We’ll start off with quite the provocative headline. Time has a new article out entitled, “The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired.” I won’t spoil the whole conclusion here, but rather than a deficiency of high-level skills, author Martha White instead suggests that recent grads have problems with much more basic elements of modern professional life.
  • More news about college admissions and social media. An article from Slate says it’s “obvious” that college admissions officers investigate applicants’ social media profiles, while one from Bloomberg reminds readers that social media scrutiny goes way beyond just Facebook.
  • U.S. News provides tips for SAT and ACT test takers who are taking those standardized tests multiple times and struggling to improve their overall scores by a notable margin.
  • Here’s something I’ve never seen before and found quite interesting. Julia Ryan of The Atlantic pens a brief yet fascinating “history” of college admissions, going all the way back to the mid-1800s to see how what’s required of applicants has transformed between then and now. The New York Times also featured an article looking at college applications from a historical perspective.
  • The New York Times featured an article about “off-kilter” questions occasionally posed on college applications that try to gauge applicants’ creativity or provide a deeper glimpse into their personalities. A group of letters to the editor, including one from a co-founder of the Common App, responded to that article recently.
  • How much does selectivity and maintaining a low acceptance rate (ideally that gets even tinier every single year) matter to highly selective colleges like those in the Ivy League? According to this piece from The Huffington Post, so much that if a respected school like Dartmouth sees its acceptance rate rise roughly half a percentage point, it may bolster efforts to increase the overall number of applicants and drive down that admit rate, even if that means actively soliciting applications from students who aren’t qualified to attend such an elite college.
  • Ever wonder how someone would end up the admissions dean at a college or university? Angel Perez, dean of admission at Pitzer College, provides an insider’s look at his profession and the road he took to get there.
  • Extracurricular activities are a big part of any college application. The Huffington Post gives some tips on how to make yours look good and stand out when talking about them on your app.
  • An elite prep school in New York has published a list of what it considers the “Top 10 Factors that Determine College Acceptance.”
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