The ACT organization has announced a major change to their policies beginning next September.
ACT has offered online testing in other countries, and will do so domestically some time next year. Availability will depend on when testing centers can be equipped with the required computer hardware to support the online tests
First, a student will take a full ACT test, just like today. Afterwards, in September or later, they can take a retest consisting of one, or two, or three of the multiple-choice sections. The section retests will only be offered on the National ACT testing dates and only at the online-equipped testing centers.
If the student has accommodations approved, such as extended time, this will also be available for the section retests.
ACT will not limit the number of retests the student can have. There's no word yet on the pricing of the testing.
Along with the section retesting policy, ACT will begin issuing a superscored report. Superscoring takes the highest score from individual sections and averages those to make the composite. ACT will send superscored reports to colleges, and will include information about all the testing events that created the score; so colleges will know whether the superscore came from one sitting or multiple sittings or section retests.
There's still much to be made clear between now and next year, such as which testing locations will become online-equipped and when. So stay tuned for additional information when it becomes available.
Centre College, in Danville Ky, is not well known outside of that part of the country. But Kentuckians know Centre as a premier college experience. My friend from KY says that if one wants to become governor of Kentucky, one goes to Centre, because they produce leaders in many fields. After I got back home, I looked into some of the superlatives of the college. The Alumni Factor is a book and website that publishes ratings and rankings of top colleges. Their rating are based almost entirely on surveys of alumni and measure outcomes of the college experience, rather than inputs like SAT scores, high school GPA, college wealth, etc. Some of the 15 factors are Intellectual Development, Social and Communications Skills Development, Preparation for Career Success, Value for the Money, Average Income of Graduates. So, here are The Alumni Factor’s top 20 colleges in the country, and you can see where Centre ranks.
Our briefer addressed what Harvard is looking for in students:
– “Excellence of the academic record is obvious”. Other factors will determine which of the stellar students gets in.
– The student needs to articulate what they want to do, in college and beyond, if they know. Harvard expect that the essays will make a good case. So they require an interview to “get past the spinning”. They want students who can get along with other people, respect others’ boundaries, will have a sense of belonging and group membership, who respect diversity, and are very nice people. This will hopefully describe 3/4 of the student body.
– There is also room for a minority of students who may be gifted academically or artistically or have a singular excellence of some sort – and these students may be admitted is spite of having a peculiar personality
– Competition in the sciences is fierce – stronger than in the arts and humanities.
Harvard is diversifying like never before. They want their student body to reflect the diversity of the country’s population.
Bentley University, in Waltham MA, may not be well known in the Southeast, but in New England, Bentley is known for business education with a strong mix of liberal arts courses included. The campus is an attractive collection of Georgian Colonial buildings and nice landscaping that reminded me of Christopher Newport. Waltham is located about 10 miles west of Boston, so students have ready access to the city. The college has 4264 undergrads and 1304 grad students.
Brandeis was founded in 1948 to provide an elite college for Jewish students. Its founding was supported by Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein and Abraham Maslow. It continues to fulfill that need, but Jewish students now make up less than half of the college’s 3600 undergrads and 1700 grad students. Brandeis boasts of research funding that is third in Massachusetts, after Harvard and MIT.
Tufts is beautiful! The campus sits on a hill overlooking Boston’s suburb, Medford. The buildings and trees are stately and venerable, and the grounds are well-maintained. On public transportation, it’s 15 minutes to downtown Boston, and five minutes to Harvard Square. The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering occupy the Medford campus; together they have 4000 undergrad and 1700 graduate students. Tufts has multiple other campuses housing graduate level schools of medicine, dental medicine, law and diplomacy, biomedical sciences, nutrition sciences and veterinary medicine. But at the Medford campus, it’s like being at a medium-sized liberal arts and sciences and engineering college.
The College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Mass, is located on a steep hill overlooking the city. Students making the trek between the dining hall at the bottom to their dorm at the top will get their exercise for the day. The campus is beautiful, and registered as an arboretum.
There are 2877 students, all undergrads. Over half of students are Catholic. The college is led by the Jesuits, and the religious influence is said to be somewhat greater than at other Jesuit schools. But daily mass is not required.
The Fiske Guide says about Clark: “If Clark were located an hour to the east, it would have become the hottest thing since Harvard.” Clark began in 1887 as an all-graduate university on the German model, but has evolved into a mostly-undergraduate college with 2262 undergrads and less than 900 graduate students. Clark calls itself the smallest liberal arts residential university. All professors do research. Psychology and geography, which were emphasized when the university opened are still strong and nationally renowned programs. Psychology is the largest program. The American Psychological Association was born on the Clark campus. When Sigmund Freud came to the US, he came to Clark University. The geology program has awarded more PhD’s than any other college in the US and has four members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Students looking for a relatively small, undergrad-oriented college where they can study engineering or other technical majors do not have many options to choose from. But Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) may fill the bill. WPI has 3893 undergrads and less than 800 grad students. The college emphasizes collaborative, project-based academic work. It’s the only test-optional technical college, as of this writing.
Salve Regina is located in posh Newport RI. Tourists come to the neighborhood to visit the mansions overlooking the bay. And Salve is located right next to one of the most famous, The Breakers. In fact, many of Salve Rigina’s campus buildings are substantial former homes that have been donated to the college.
The University of Rhode Island, in Wakefield, claims to have “the most beautiful campus on the coast”. Over half of the 14,000 undergraduates are from out of state.
As with most state universities, many majors are offered. Nursing, pharmacy, and engineering are the most competitive and students need to apply early. The average GPA for pharmacy is 4.1, with average ACT 29. The ability to transfer into pharm or nursing, once enrolled, is minimal.
Providence College is a Catholic college with 3800 undergrads, located in the city about 2 miles from Downtown. PC is the nation’s only college or university operated by the Dominican Friars.
The student population is 75% Catholic; students must take two theology classes and civics; attendance at mass in not required. There seems to be a strong sense of community on campus. There are no fraternities or sororities.
If you’re looking for a vibrant major university, located in a city but with great access to the outdoors, Utah merits your consideration.
The University of Utah makes a good impression on a visitor. The campus is modern and attractive. It’s located in Salt Lake City, a vibrant and modern city, but the back side of campus sits against the base of the Wasatch mountains and there are hiking and biking trails galore. And speaking of biking, Salt Lake City may be the biking capital of the country – bike paths and bike lanes are everywhere.
Ohio State is the biggest of the Big Ten, with 38,000 undergraduates and another 10,000 graduate students on the main Columbus campus. Until recently, there was only room for freshman in the dorms, but USU is now adding 11,000 beds so that freshmen and sophomores can live on campus. The football stadium seats 107,000. Other numbers are equally impressive: 19 colleges, 10,400 courses, 175 undergraduate majors.
Ohio Wesleyan, in Delaware, Ohio, has 1730 undergraduate students. The college has 86 majors, including strong ones in journalism, fine arts, zoology (think Jack Hanna at the Columbus Zoo), biology/premed and cross-discipline studies. Many students double-major or take a minor.
Denison University is a selective liberal arts college with 2250 students in Granville Ohio. Its beautiful campus and strong academics make it popular with students from many states. 70% of students come from outside of Ohio and 7% are international. Denison has strong retention rates, freshmen to sophomore, as well as strong graduation rates.
A trend at liberal arts colleges is for students to be able to choose their courses. Not at St. Johns. In fact, every student takes the same classes. The curriculum consists of the study of 200 texts from the original authors, ranging from Aristotle to Einstein. There is no need to choose a major; everyone’s degree is in the Liberal Arts.
The University of Maryland in College Park sits on 1200 acres. The core of the campus offers handsome Georgian style buildings with white columns. The location is just a few miles outside DC and even inside the beltway. The campus has a stop on the DC metro, so students can get to downtown as well as make connections to Amtrak.
Goucher College, in Towson, Maryland, is an excellent liberal arts college. Founded as a women’s college, it went coed in 1987 and is now close to the 60/40 female/male split that is typical at our undergraduate institutions. Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter on campus only 20 years after the college was founded, and the college ranks among the top 50 in turning out students who obtain Ph.D.’s in the sciences. A biochemistry and molecular biology program has been recently added.
When most people think of Johns Hopkins they think of medicine and premed for the undergrads. And it’s true that premed is a major part of the undergrad college. But, Hopkins also offers international relations (it’s an easy Metro ride to DC), engineering (including bio-medical!), and many liberal arts majors. We were told that its a third engineering, a third sciences, and a third humanities.
Visit to US the Naval Academy, May 5, 2015
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the US Naval Academy educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The entire campus is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings, and monuments. Approximately 1,300 “plebes” enter the Academy each summer and enroll as midshipmen. A small percent are citizens of other countries, sent to the academy by their home government. The program includes academic work leading to a bachelor of science degree, military leadership training, and mandatory participation in athletics.
The National Institute of Certified Educational Planners issued the following:
June 28, 2016 Local Professional Earns Prestigious Credential
Perry Youngblood of Youngblood College Consulting in Southern Pines is part of a growing group of educational consultants and school counselors in the nation to earn the designation of Certified Educational Planner (CEP).
Up to now, parents interested in financial aid have had to fill out the federal FAFSA form in January of the student’s senior year using income data for the immediate prior calendar year, even though in most cases the parents had not completed their tax returns. However, for seniors who will enter college in 2017, their eligibility for need-based aid will be based on their family’s income from 2015 (the prior-prior year), rather than from the immediate prior year (2016). The new FAFSA will become available October 1. Since tax returns for 2015 will have been filed already, families can simply have the IRS data retrieval tool move their income data electronically from their tax return to the FAFSA.
At our Higher Education Consultants Conference last week, we heard an interesting panel discussion from faculty of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music who discussed how students should plan and prepare for auditions. The three faculty were one each from instrumental, voice, and drama/musical theater. Some advice applies to all three areas; other points differ among the artistic areas.