Archive for March, 2010

Need-Blind and Need-Aware: Admissions Policies that Guarantee Full Financial Aid and How Those Policies Can Hurt Your Chances for Admission

Lady Justice

Justice, said to be blind as well, is sometimes able to smell money.

Adding yet another layer of complexity to the process of selecting colleges, U.S. colleges are now redefining their policies on need-blind and need-aware admissions.  Typically, certain schools maintain a policy where every student they admit will be able to attend the school without taking on too much debt (less than $5,000/4 years).  This policy requires to offer grants to admitted students who cannot pay for the cost of attendance on their own.

However, this policy can get expensive if the school admits too many financially “needy” students.  This is because the school is forced to pay for the students irrespective of whether the school can afford it that year.  To prevent budget deficits, some schools will refuse to admit too many financially “needy” students, even if those students are perfectly qualified applicants.  These schools are considered “need-aware” in admissions because financial need plays a factor in their admissions decision.

Conversely, schools that are “need-blind” do not factor financial need into the admissions decision.  “Need-blind” schools will admit students based solely on merit and only later figure out the financial aid package for each admitted student.  Sometimes, these “need-blind” schools will not be able to ensure that every admitted student can attend without taking on student debt.  Even worse, some students who claim to be “need-blind” actually end up admitting much less financial “needy” students than “need-aware” schools.

Continue reading ‘Need-Blind and Need-Aware: Admissions Policies that Guarantee Full Financial Aid and How Those Policies Can Hurt Your Chances for Admission’

Top U.S. Universities Given Permission to "Fish" in Global Markets

U.S. Studies Center Chief Geoff Garrett has confirmed that top U.S. universities are looking to increase enrollment of international undergraduate students.

“In the wake of the global financial crisis, US state universities were turning to foreign undergraduates for the first time to compensate for funding cuts, Professor Garrett told the HES.  The obvious implication is the market for foreign students will become more competitive because you will have a lot of large and high-prestige universities competing for the students,” he said.  “University of California, Berkeley, is an extremely powerful global brand and Berkeley now wants to attract a lot of foreign undergraduates.”

As well, the cheaper US dollar, plenty of student accommodation and faster visa approval times should give the US an edge. Professor Garrett said American state universities had been told “they can fish in the global market and charge the global price. That’s a very important revenue stream for cash-strapped universities.”  “That’s a big change,” Professor Garrett said. “The University of California has 10 campuses, including Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego; top-ranked universities. Until the financial crisis, they weren’t in the market.  After the crisis they will be.”

Dorm rooms like these are a major advantage to American Universities looking to attract foreign students.

US universities – unlike their commuter-based Australian counterparts – also could offer foreign undergraduates established residential infrastructure, he said.  “If you combine their brand power plus their big residential services, that’ll make them very competitive very quickly in the foreign undergraduate student market.””

Residential infrastructure?  He probably means dormitories.  American students deride dormitories and take for them for granted.  However, unlike the housing arrangements in most other countries, dormitories in the U.S. provide a safe and enriching college experience as students are required to live, learn, and inevitably grow around the student’s peers.   Though some dormitories are slightly dilapidated, all are quite habitable and better maintained than the typical housing that surround a University.  Some dormitories are quite nice and are looking to get significantly nicer.

The full article is available here.

Top U.S. Universities Given Permission to “Fish” in Global Markets

U.S. Studies Center Chief Geoff Garrett has confirmed that top U.S. universities are looking to increase enrollment of international undergraduate students.

“In the wake of the global financial crisis, US state universities were turning to foreign undergraduates for the first time to compensate for funding cuts, Professor Garrett told the HES.  The obvious implication is the market for foreign students will become more competitive because you will have a lot of large and high-prestige universities competing for the students,” he said.  “University of California, Berkeley, is an extremely powerful global brand and Berkeley now wants to attract a lot of foreign undergraduates.”

As well, the cheaper US dollar, plenty of student accommodation and faster visa approval times should give the US an edge. Professor Garrett said American state universities had been told “they can fish in the global market and charge the global price. That’s a very important revenue stream for cash-strapped universities.”  “That’s a big change,” Professor Garrett said. “The University of California has 10 campuses, including Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego; top-ranked universities. Until the financial crisis, they weren’t in the market.  After the crisis they will be.”

Dorm rooms like these are a major advantage to American Universities looking to attract foreign students.

US universities – unlike their commuter-based Australian counterparts – also could offer foreign undergraduates established residential infrastructure, he said.  “If you combine their brand power plus their big residential services, that’ll make them very competitive very quickly in the foreign undergraduate student market.””

Residential infrastructure?  He probably means dormitories.  American students deride dormitories and take for them for granted.  However, unlike the housing arrangements in most other countries, dormitories in the U.S. provide a safe and enriching college experience as students are required to live, learn, and inevitably grow around the student’s peers.   Though some dormitories are slightly dilapidated, all are quite habitable and better maintained than the typical housing that surround a University.  Some dormitories are quite nice and are looking to get significantly nicer.

The full article is available here.

U.S. Senators Consider Green Cards for International Graduate Students

With health care presumably taken care of, Congress can now turn their attention to immigration.

U.S. Senators from both political parties are recognizing America’s broken immigration policy and its urgent need for highly educated immigrants.  Senators Charles E. Schumer (D.-N.Y.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R.-S.C.) made a proposal this week to offer electronic green cards to international students who receive a Ph.D. or M.S. in the STEM Majors.

“Ensuring economic prosperity requires attracting the world’s best and brightest. Our legislation would award green cards to immigrants who receive a PhD or master’s degree in science, technology, engineering or math from a U.S. university. It makes no sense to educate the world’s future inventors and entrepreneurs and then force them to leave when they are able to contribute to our economy.”

Since the proposal has at least some support from both parties, it is likely that this legislation will pass in some form or another, probably within the next few years.   Is this timeline too uncertain for you to base your education plans on?  Probably not.  Getting a Ph.D. or M.S. in one of the STEM majors is never a bad idea if you ask me.  Click on the link below to see the list.   Even those set on a career in Business have STEM options such as Actuarial Science or Statistics, majors that will be increasingly popular in the Finance and Insurance industries.

Continue reading ‘U.S. Senators Consider Green Cards for International Graduate Students’

Virtual College Fair Starts on March 24-25

CollegeWeekLive.com is an on-line event that lets students and parents chat via text and video with hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide without leaving their computer.  This is a wonderful opportunity for international students to speak to admissions officers directly without having to fly to the U.S.  The first event of the year is this week on March 24-25.  Below, I have listed the schedule for the rest of the year.  Mark your calendars!

Virtual Open Houses

Dedicated days which showcase a specific college or university. Includes live video presentations and virtual booths on topics such as admissions, financial aid, student life, and academics

DATE EVENT HOURS (EASTERN)
MARCH 2010
Wednesday & Thursday, March 24-25 CollegeWeekLive SPRING 10 AM to 10 PM
APRIL 2010
Thursday, April 8 The University of Alabama in Huntsville TEXT CHAT
Friday, April 9 University of California, Irvine Non-California and International Students VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, April 10 The University of California, Riverside VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Monday, April 12 University of California, Santa Clara TEXT CHAT 6 PM to 10 PM
Tuesday, April 13 University of Florida VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, April 14 University of California, Santa Clara TEXT CHAT 6 PM to 10 PM
Thursday, April 15 University of Miami VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE 3 PM to 9 PM
Tuesday, April 20 Mount St. Mary’s University TEXT CHAT
Wednesday, April 21 University of California, San Diego VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, April 22 Texas Tech University VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Friday, April 23 University of California, Irvine  California Students VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Tuesday, April 27 Washington State University VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday April 28 Long Island University Brooklyn-Campus International Students
TEXT CHAT
9 AM to 11 AM
Wednesday April 28 Long Island University Brooklyn-Campus Domestic Undergrads
TEXT CHAT
7 PM to 9 PM
Thursday, April 29 Wright State University VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
MAY 2010
Thursday, May 2 University of Northern Iowa Juniot Day TEXT CHAT 2 PM to 6 PM
Friday, May 3 Iowa State University College of Design
Thursday, May 6 CollegeWeekLive FLORIDA DAY 12 PM to 10 PM
Friday, May 7 University of California, Santa Clara TEXT CHAT 6 PM to 10 PM
Sunday, May 16 University of New Haven VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, May 18 CollegeWeekLive TEXAS DAY 10 AM to 10 PM
Saturday, May 21 University of California, Santa Clara TEXT CHAT 6 PM to 10 PM
SEPTEMBER 2010
Thursday, September 23 CollegeWeekLive TEST PREP
NOVEMBER 2010
Wednesday & Thursday, November 3-4 CollegeWeekLive FALL

Admissions Process at MIT Gets Personal

Confirming its reputation for innovation, MIT has recently revised its admissions application.  MIT is now allowing applicants to submit links to personal websites and blogs in order to tell a richer story of their life to the admissions committee.  This is great news for students who feel that their grades and test scores are not sufficient indicators of their intelligence.

Students must be careful, however, as blogs, websites, and facebook profiles have also been known to hurt applicants.  But great opportunities always come with great risks,  and students should not hesitate out of fear of failure.  The best strategy is to start a blog now and have an experienced advisor check the blog before submitting it for application.  You can even go back and edit or delete questionable blogposts.  And finally, as with everything, use your best judgment!

International Students Urged to Fill Out U.S. Census

Fill it out please.  No schools will be funded without it.

Fill it out please. No schools will be funded without it.

University administrators nationwide are urging international students to fill out a U.S. census report in order to boost the populations statistics of their home counties.  Higher population attracts more funding and political representation for the district.  Sensing some reluctance on the part of international students, administrators want to assure students that the results will not be used to violate privacy nor will it be very hard to complete since it is only ten questions.

Another great outcome of this census survey will be a clearer idea of where international students are studying at in the U.S., which means it will be easier to see which schools like international applicants.  So please, fill it out.