Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cornell Admission Statistics

Cornell was founded in 1865 and is a member of the Ivy League. It is a liberal arts college located in Ithaca, NY and boasts many distinguished alumni. The size of the undergraduate class is typically around 13,000 students while various graduate schools add another 6,000.

Cornell - Fall '08
Applications: 33,073
Accepted: 6,834
Entering: 3,183

20.66% acceptance rate
46.6% of those accepted to Cornell choose to attend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

State Schools vs Liberal Arts Colleges

State Schools

  • Often offer a better selection of majors
  • Most state schools are notorious for wild parties
  • Tuition is lower, especially if you are classified as in-state
  • Large classes make it easier to sleep in one or two days each week
  • Many state schools offer first rate educations. Graduates of the University of Maryland, University of Virginia, and University of Michigan all do very well after graduation.
  • If the state school isn't a "brand name" school, one might have a hard time finding a job
  • Sometimes, bureaucracy can leave one feeling more like a number than a student
  • The environment at some state schools can aptly be described as anti-intellectual.
Liberal Arts Colleges

  • Liberal arts colleges often streamline students towards graduate schools
  • Your professors will know you by name, the liberal arts experience will ensure you understand class material.

  • Tuition is often in excess of $30,000 per year, and when housing and food costs are included they can cost $50,000 each year.
  • Be prepared for small classes where participation is mandatory
  • Many liberal arts colleges are lacking (or don't even have) engineering programs or programs in the hard sciences.

Financing Your Education: Grants and Scholarships

Financing college can be a daunting task in this day and age; many are overwhelmed with the options for funding their education. There are many options available in the form of grants, scholarships, federal student loans, and private student loans. In this article, I will focus on Grants and Scholarships.

Grants and scholarships are essentially free money for college students. The money can usually go to any number of expenses including tuition, housing, books, and food. For the first several semesters of my undergraduate education, I enjoyed the benefit of a scholarship which paid for my books each semester. Although it was only several hundred dollars, that was several hundred dollars less I had to earn each semester working a part time job.

There are many ways to go about finding a grant or a scholarship, here are a few:

Government Searches
Although sometimes government websites can be cumbersome, Student Aid on the Web - is an invaluable resource to use when trying to find money for school. At, you can create a profile and search for scholarships that way or, you can search by the type of scholarship you want. This is among the best ways to start your search.

Minority and Non Traditional Scholarships
If you are a member of a minority group, there may be scholarships available for you. Many good students forget to play on what sets them apart when looking for a scholarship, and one thing that may set you apart is your race. Other attributes that may set someone apart might be disabilities, age (non traditional students), sexual orientation, or whether or not you have been adopted. Try every angle when searching for college scholarships.

Academic Scholarships
If you are a good student, one whose GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and extra curricular activities are above and beyond the average at the school you are applying to, you may be awarded an academic scholarship. While this may be a possible strategy at lower ranked schools, most of the hardest colleges to gain acceptance to don't hand out many of this type of scholarship.

Scholarship Guides
There are many scholarship guides which purport to offer you better information than government searches for a fee. Do not sign up for guides which cost money. Most if not all of the scholarships I have come across didn't require a fee to apply for. There are, however, some free scholarship guides which do quite a good job of matching one with an appropriate scholarship.

Science and Engineering Colleges in the Northeast

In this video, US News and World Report visit and talk about what to look for in top rated engineering schools.

These schools are discussed:

  • MIT
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic
  • Clarkson University
  • SUNY-Environmental Science Forestry.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

SAT test taking tips and strategies

SAT test taking tips

The SAT test plays a very important role in determining whether or not you will get accepted into the college of your dreams. Doing as good as you are capable of on this test is very important. Here, we will take a closer look at some of the things that you can do in order to help ensure that you get the SAT test score that you can potentially earn.

1. Go to bed early and eat a healthy breakfast the night before the test. Both of these things are very important. If you go to bed late, chances are that you may end up falling asleep during the SAT test or having slow responses, both of which will not help you earn the best score. If you do not eat breakfast, chances are that you will end up going hungry. Even eating a donut is better than eating nothing, although you should try to eat a healthy, well balanced breakfast.

2. Prepare for the SAT test beforehand. If there are any classes at your school which offer SAT preparation methods, then you should be sure to take it. You can also buy books and computer programs which will offer you examples of the types of questions that you would most likely find on the SAT's. This will help provide you with a good idea of what you should be sure to expect on the test. Taking advantage of all of these things will help ensure that you are well prepared for the SAT tests beforehand.

3. Never leave a question on the test blank. Since there will be a choice of which answer you should choose, taking a guess at what the answer is will earn you a better score than if you leave your answers blank. If you have four answers on the test to choose from, you will have at least a twenty-five percent chance of getting an answer right than if you were to leave the question blank.

4. Do not take too much time to answer one question. If you do not feel that you know the right answer, skip on to the next question. You can always come back to this question, and take a guess if you have to, after you have answered all of the other questions in the section. This will ensure that you have enough time to complete all of the questions that there are on the test, rather than missing ones which you would have known the answer to because you took too long to answer one specific question that you may end up getting wrong anyway.

5. Do not stress yourself out too much. If you are not having very good luck on the test, you should not freak out. If you do, you could end up stressing yourself out so much that you will end up doing bad on the rest of the test. The main key is to have a good idea of what your weaknesses are, and then concentrating more on these questions.

Format of your college admissions essay

I recently wrote about college essay writing tips, but today I am going to talk about what format your essay should be in.

Since writing the perfect college admissions essay is very important as to whether or not you will get accepted to any particular college or university, it is important to make sure that you send the essay which is as good as you are personally capable of. However, before you begin writing your essay, it is important to know more about what the format of the college admissions essay should be like.

For starters, it is important to make sure that you send your college admissions essay on white, 8 x 11 paper. A college admissions essay should never be handwritten, but should instead be typed using a computer program such as Microsoft Word. It should be in Times New Roman 12 pt font with 1" margins. The reason that you should use a program such as this one is because it has a built in spell checker, and because everyone else will be typing their essays. Make sure you use the spell checker.

Now that you know this much, it is okay to begin writing. The main thing that you should be sure to keep in mind is that you shouldn't just write whatever wherever you feel like it. Instead, you should have a good structural idea for your college admissions essay. Typically, choosing the five paragraph format is often the most preferable.

In the first paragraph, it is important to include a very direct, to the point thesis. You should realize that your thesis can either make or break your college admissions essay. Without the perfect thesis, the person who is reading your college admissions essay might not even feel like they should go on reading the rest of it.

The second, third and fourth paragraphs should flow from the thesis. If you are using the story telling method, chances are that these paragraphs are where you would find majority of the story in your essay. If you are discussing something else, it is important to make sure that each paragraph is filled with direct evidence that supports whatever your thesis is. Including personal feelings, thoughts and descriptions throughout these paragraphs are very important. Otherwise, your college admissions essay may not hold your reader's attention.

The fifth paragraph of your college admissions essay is the most important one. Your last sentence, especially, should really grab your reader's attention. It should be a sentence that will leave them remembering your college admissions essay long after they have read it. Most people find that playing with a twist on the thesis is one of the best ways to do this.

If you are sure to follow this structure, chances are that you will have the most success with your college admissions essay. The main key is to add as much personalization as possible, and to ensure that your essay does not seem boring. If you think it is, chances are that the admissions reviewer will also find it to be.

Tips to Writing Your College Essay

One of the most critical determining factors of whether or not you will get into the college which you have always dreamed of is the college essay that you write. While some colleges may not even care if you send a college essay, there are some colleges which mainly look at your college essay. Here, we will take a closer look at five things that you can do in order to write the best college essay.

1. Use your own style of writing. Your college essay is supposed to come from within your heart. Changing your own style of writing to another style of writing is not something which is going to look good. Chances are that it will probably sound really fake if you are trying to write in a style of writing that is not your own. One of the best ways to find out whether or not the style that you are writing in is your own is by reading your essay to yourself out loud once you have finished it. If something does not sound like it is the way that you would normally say it, then change it. Using your own writing style is one of the main keys to the most successful college essay.

2. Personalize your essay as much as possible. Share any experiences or feelings that you have which are related to the college essay that you are writing. You will want to make sure that your college essay stands out as your own. If there is another person who has the same exact qualifications that you do, you will want to make sure that your essay stands out more than his or hers. You want to make sure that it will grab the attention of the person reviewing your essay, and leave them with the memory of it even after they have read it. Personalizing your college essay, in order to make it your own, is one of the most important things that needs to be done to ensure that the college essay which you are writing is personal enough.

3. Stay focused on the topic your essay is about. Do not jump from topic to topic. You would not do it in an essay for a high school class, so you shouldn't do it for your college essay either. Staying on topic is often one of the pieces of criteria which is used in order to judge whether or not your college essay is good enough for you to even be considered for acceptance.

4. Get descriptive as possible. Once again, one of the most important things is to make sure that your college essay stands out from all of the other applicants'. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of descriptive language, especially in order to tell about the way that you felt. Being as descriptive throughout your entire college essay will make it stand out more than essays other applicants have written.

5. Do not provide too much useless information. Although it may be nice to add a little bit of background information here and there, your college essay is supposed to be an essay. This means that it should be personal, and not completely based on factual information. It is more important for you to put personal thoughts and feelings into your essay, rather than facts and statistics.