CURATED ARTICLES OF INTEREST: COLLEGE ADMISSIONS & AFFORDABILITY
Texas Admissions Data, as compiled by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. Extensive and up-to-date information relating to admissions, costs, financial aid/scholarships, and deadlines associated with all Texas institutions of higher learning. Though it's listed here under Admissions, keep in mind that it includes considerable information about financing higher education in the state of Texas.
Texas A&M Changes Automatic Admission Policy 2021: Beginning 2021, students can only receive automatic admission by being in the top 10% of their high school class (previous policy allowed students in top 25% with certain SAT/ACT scores to be automatically admitted)
Reality of Admissions to UT-Austin: Not necessarily news, but expected projection is that admission to UT-Austin will remain a challenge for many Texas residents (and vanishingly small for out-of-state students)
Plummeting Admissions Rates Call for Rethinking College Admissions Process: arguments for reform on the institutional side, namely a two-tier application process designed to alleviate work and stress for students and admissions readers by having students only submit objective data points in the first threshold, then requiring more subjective submissions (essays, interviews, resumes) for a smaller pool of applicants.
Why Hire a College Consultant: Great general-interest article detailing what college consultants can provide for families and students and suggesting questions to ask and consider when searching for a consultant
State Schools Seek Geographic Diversity: increasingly large numbers of state universities are recruiting students (not just athletes) from out-of-state, often sweetening the pot with scholarship/grant aid that brings the cost down to in-state rates. Public state schools are now valuing geographic diversity within their student body every bit as much as private universities.
Socio-Economic Diversity Scores: charts certain colleges with a preponderance of students from the top 1% rather than the bottom 60% in terms of socio-economic advantages
Balancing the Class vs Balancing the Budget: In-depth picture of the competing interests in college admissions: improving socioeconomic diversity on the campus (which correspondingly strengthens the school's academic profile) while also meeting the school's revenue targets. Tough illuminates the underlying factors driving each of these cross-purpose goals and spotlights one AO's efforts to address the root causes that shore up vast inequity in higher education opportunity in America.
Social Media & Admissions: Many schools do review a student's social media accounts as part of the holistic admissions process. They may also rescind offers of admission in light of inappropriate social media posts.
Meritocracy Myth: examination of the myriad ways beyond Operation Varsity Blues scandal and crimes that college admissions remains stacked firmly in favor of the wealthy
The Real College Admissions Scandal: Student body presidents from UCLA, USC, Stanford, and Yale write a searing indictment of the myth of meritocracy and the realities that disfavor students from disadvantaged backgrounds and neighborhoods, starting with the foundational inequity resulting from funding public schools from property taxes. The students advocate reforming school funding, eliminating SAT/ACT scores from the college application process, reducing or eliminating legacy admissions, and increasing targeted outreach by elite universities into lower-income communities.
MoneyBall Strategy to Find Good Value Colleges -- opinion piece from the author of Who Gets In and Why. Selingo notes that too many students overweight their application list with sellers (schools that don't need to offer any merit aid or out-of-state discounts to have a high yield) and neglect to include the buyers, which are often a great value and offer a superb education at a fraction of the cost. He includes a great infographic that spotlights comparisons of sellers versus buyers.
How Paying for College is Changing Middle-Class Life - opinion piece from the author of Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost. Zaloom hits the high points of her research for Indebted, focusing on how escalating costs and attendant debt loads are squeezing not only young adults but also their parents.
What College Admissions Offices Really Want -- excerpt from The Years that Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us by Paul Tough: college admissions officers walk a fine line attempting to balance the pressing need for tuition revenue to keep the college afloat against an institutional desire for racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity in admissions decisions. Too often, financial considerations force AOs to admit more affluent students, mostly white, to meet the institution's projected revenue targets
UT-Austin Expands Texas Advance Commitment to provide full tuition to students whose families have AGI of $65,000 or less and up to half tuition for students whose families have AGI of $65,000 - $125,000 per year.
The Rice Investment: Rice University expands its needs-based financial aid program to provide full tuition grants/scholarships to students whose families have AGI of less than $130,000 per year and up to half tuition grants or scholarships for students whose families have AGI of between $130,000 - $200,000 per year.
College for All Texans outlines the 60X30TX plan of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: that by 2030, 60% of Texans ages 25-34 will have a college degree. The College Costs tab allows families to compare the stated cost of attendance for all degree-granting institutions in Texas (community colleges, and public and private 4-year universities).
Ivy League Financial Aid is entirely needs-based, though some Ivy League schools will offer some grant aid to students whose families make up to $250,000 per year.
How I Know You Wrote Your Child's Essay -- College admissions officers (and college consultants) can easily spot when a parent's voice has crept into student essays, and that is rarely a positive for the student's admissions outcome. The student's authentic voice is what they want to hear
NCAA ATHLETIC RECRUITMENT
University of Texas Athletic Scholarships -- Football, basketball and volleyball get the lion's share of full-ride athletic scholarships, while other sports apportion considerably smaller amounts among recruits.
The Case for Liberal Arts Degrees -- synthesizes interviews with employers and statistics to make a compelling case for the career flexibility afforded by liberal arts degrees
Liberal Arts Majors Fare Better than Business School Grads - Highlighting statistics that indicate that while STEM-field graduates still enjoy a significant advantage in post-college employment stability, liberal arts degrees may stand students in far better stead than a business school degree
Critical Thinking Skills in High Demand - Employers want to hire graduates who have a firm foundation in critical thinking, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, teamwork, writing and speaking. As automation and digitization accelerates, the "softer" human skills become more valuable to employers.