Applying to college is stressful -- but you knew that. Students have a million things to worry about, from researching different programs to choosing their final list of schools, not to mention keeping up with the long list of deadlines.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Here's a list of five common things people get wrong about the college admissions process, and avoiding them will save you a lot of stress in the long run. Sound off in the comments below with any additions and share your college de-stressing tips by tweeting @HuffPostTeen!
1. Pretending to be someone you're not. Padding your resume with a million extracurriculars -- but nothing you are truly passionate about -- isn't going to help you find the college that is the perfect fit for you. Once you embrace who you are and what you love, you'll probably find that expressing yourself in your application will be much easier.
2. Not being aware of your social media footprint. Take that extra two mins and set your social media accounts to private until after the college application process is over. Do it now. Then read this piece on what NOT to post to college Facebook pages.
3. Forgetting to proofread. You're filling out tons of apps -- we get it. But do not, under any circumstances, accidentally use the wrong school's name in an essay or application. It happens more often than you would think. Buddy up with a friend and proofread each other's applications.
4. Bombarding admissions staff with emails and phone calls. It's easy to forget that there are actual human beings on the other end of the phone and Internet when you have "urgent" questions about the admissions process. Keep in mind that the people who answer your phone calls are sometimes the same people who read your application. Don't be annoying. Don't panic. And always, always check the FAQ on the website before picking up the phone.
5. Leaving your personal statement for the last minute. Your college essay is arguably the most important part of your application because it gives you the chance to tell the admissions counselors something real about you. This is why it's often daunting to get started, but try to keep this in mind: the first draft you write will not be the one you end up submitting, and it won't be perfect. But you have to start somewhere, and the sooner you start jotting down ideas, the better. The personal statement prompt on the Common Application stays consistent, so you don't have to wait until the month before it's due.
Originally Posted On: Huffingtonpost.com By: Krystie Yandoli
It’s no secret that the cost of going to college in the US has been rising—and fast. From 1982 to 2007, tuition climbed 439% while median family income only rose 147%. In the past five years it’s continued apace.
The situation is bad. But it isn’t quite as bad as many media reports portend, because grants, scholarships, and financial aid, which reduce the advertised tuition fees, are also growing fast. Just last month, the National Association of College and University Business Officers reported that colleges in the US are awarding grants and scholarships in the highest volumes ever, enough to make the average cost of school 45% less than the sticker price (paywall). The chart below shows how college costs—both advertised and actual—have changed since 2007, compared to inflation.
But why would schools offer more scholarships instead of simply hiking their prices less? According to Ronald Ehrenberg, an American labor economist, one of the reasons that tution keeps going up is that schools simply aren’t attempting to cut costs (pdf):
With long lines of high quality applicants flocking to their doors, top institutions have chosen to maintain and increase quality largely by spending more, not by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, or reallocating funds…alumni also tend to discourage institutions from cutting almost anything by threatening to withhold contributions. Perhaps it’s easier for a school to increase its scholarship fund than it is to re-jigger the budget and keep tuition flat.
In any event, the situation is still not good. The actual cost of tuition has still been rising, even as median household income has sunk and public funding for state schools has fallen--by 7% in fiscal year 2012. And, unfortunately, the financial aid that is available often isn’t going to the poorest students who really need it, but instead to those who only need a little extra to cover their tuition, since that way the school can fund more students with the same amount of aid.
Originally Posted on: Quartz By: Ritchie King
If Dawn Iacobbuci were a prospective MBA applicant instead of an accomplished professor, the MBA ranking she would most definitely consult before applying to business schools would be the annual list published by U.S. News & World Report.
Iacobbuci’s preference isn’t without deep study or consideration. As senior associate dean of Vanderbilt University’s Owen School and a marketing professor who has also taught at Kellogg, Wharton and Owen, she has just completed a major study of the reliability and validity of three major rankings: U.S. News, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and The Financial Times.
The professor, who does not have an MBA degree, looked at every full-time MBA ranking ever published by those three publications: 13 separates lists from BusinessWeek which began ranking schools in 1988 and has published updated rankings every two years; 15 rankings from The Financial Times, which began its list nearly ten years after BusinessWeek, and 27 lists from U.S. News & World Report which started rating MBA programs annually in 1987.
Iacobbuci prefers U.S. News largely because she believes its ranking has shown greater reliability over the years and has greater validity. Her number crunching also found that every rank improvement toward the top on U.S. News yielded an additional $908.03 more on average for the school’s graduates in their first post-MBA job, significantly more than BusinessWeek‘s $605.27 or The Financial Times‘ $377.58.
“I would look at U.S. News as a result of this research,” she concludes, “partly due to objectivity of the measures and components that go into the ranking. They are less easily gamed. The Financial Times is pitched to favor the more international schools, and the BusinessWeek student poll has a good deal of variability to it. You don’t want to see schools slipping up and down and all over the place. If there is that much variance, what good can there possibly be to the ranking?”
From an academic viewpoint, variability is bad if you’re looking for consistency from one ranking to another, or as this academic puts it, “The simplest expression of reliability is that of consistency.” And it’s true that wide swings in a school’s rank over a short-period of time tend to lack credibility. That’s why Poets&Quants routinely points out the biggest changes in every ranking which tend to occur further down each list when the differences in the underlying data are slim at best.
Iacobbuci, however, focuses less on this issue than the variability in the student satisfaction poll used by BusinessWeek. “Comparing across media,” she writes, “we see that BusinessWeek varied quite a bit over its first 15 years or so, and it has become stable since approximately 2004. We can laud the U.S. News as yielding the most stable results, year to year, even from its inception.
From an applicant perspective, however, measuring the subjective opinions of the latest graduating class—which is what BusinessWeek tries to do every two years—can yield valuable information about the quality of the full MBA experience. It’s not unreasonable to assume, for example, that a school can fall down on critical elements of what makes a top-ranked MBA worthwhile, from the ability of a school to get students the jobs they want to the quality of the teaching in the classroom. Those things tend to be variable–and important to applicants.
For the latest MBA rankings, see PoetsandQuants.com for our composite list:
Originally Posted on: Linked In By: John A. Byrne
The plight of the unpaid intern is improving. Not because businesses are paying more for summer helpers, but because colleges are stepping in to pay when companies can't, or won't, compensate student hires.
Schools have long granted stipends for stints in nonprofits and the arts, where unpaid labor is common, but now they are paying the way for students to work at profit-making enterprises, including a New York money-management firm, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm and even a General Motors Co. GM -3.04% plant.
Colleges' job-placement rates have come under intense scrutiny as cost-conscious families, stung by rapidly rising tuition, want proof that universities can deliver on both academic and career fronts.
Paying the Way Some ways that colleges subsidize unpaid internships:
Washington & Lee University
Wages and stipends vary; general stipends are $1,000-$3,000. Recent employers: Chefs Feed, a restaurant app; public relations firm Peppercom
Average stipend is just under $2,400. Recent employers: Washington law and lobbying firm Williams & Jensen PLLC; Priority Capital Management
University of Richmond
Interns receive $2,400-$4,000 for up to 10 weeks of work; average stipend $3,700. Recent employers: Memorial Sloan-Kettering; Christie's
While career-services officers say they aren't thrilled to foot the bill, they need students to gain the skills and experience that will eventually get them hired.
The practice of "hiring" unpaid interns has come under renewed fire lately, with a federal judge's ruling last week that a movie studio's unpaid intern program violated labor laws.
University of Richmond has supported unpaid research and nonprofit work for years, but created more than 100 new fellowships this year for students with unpaid internships at for-profit enterprises. In all, the school awarded 300 fellowships, averaging $3,700 apiece. Employers ranged from a New York City hospital to Christie's auction house.
Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal More colleges are helping to pay when companies don't compensate student interns. Pictured, Ujjwal Pradhan, a student at Hamilton College, received a $4,800 stipend for his unpaid position at Priority Capital Management, a money-management firm based in New York.
Funding for the awards came from alumni and other donations, as the development office spread word that students needed additional support for the internships.
Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio, is enticing local employers to hire its students by covering half of minimum-wage earnings for up to 10 hours a week, or about $38.50 a week under Ohio rates.
It listed 74 internship opportunities in the latest academic year, with employers including a veterinary clinic, a Biggby Coffee franchise and PSMI Corp., a firm that handles some staffing for General Motors.
The incentive is small, and some participating firms say they would hire the students regardless of the funds, but it does put Defiance students on employers' radars.
"$40 is $40," says Sue Strausbaugh, who runs the local Biggby.
Erin Rhodes, a Defiance marketing major, is spending her summer running quality-control reports on engine blocks produced at the local GM plant, earning $10 an hour.
Ms. Rhodes, who just completed her second year at Defiance, says the data-heavy project doesn't exactly fit with her major and career goals, but she is glad to have the line on her résumé.
According to Don Schooley, a PSMI program manager, GM picks the talent, but PSMI handles payroll.
A GM spokesman says the company was aware some of the workers' wages were being paid by Defiance College.
Hamilton College received 187 stipend applications this year, up from 116 last year, for unpaid positions in government, nonprofit and for-profit enterprises.
Students must secure internships on their own—with help from the career services office, if desired—and then apply for the aid. This year, the 66 awards averaged just under $2,400 apiece.
Ujjwal Pradhan, a rising Hamilton junior majoring in economics and mathematics, received a $4,800 stipend after securing an unpaid position at New York-based money manager Priority Capital Management LLC.
Mr. Pradhan spends his days analyzing corporate bonds and compiling research reports on potential investments. He says an analyst at the firm is serving as a mentor for the summer.
The 20-year-old Nepal native says he couldn't afford to work for free, but struggled to find a paying finance internship, since most Wall Street internship programs aimed at undergraduates target rising seniors.
Hamilton's career center introduced Mr. Pradhan to Jim Ely, the firm's chief executive and founder, and offered the stipend to cover rent, food and transportation.
"It is primarily an educational program," says Mr. Ely, noting that interns don't make investment decisions or deal directly with clients.
As long as companies aren't forced to pay the trainees, critics say, they probably won't.
It is "laudable" that schools want to help all students, not just affluent ones, get ahead in the job market, says Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation. But funding unpaid jobs at for-profit employers, he says, "may actually be supporting an illegal internship, at an employer who can very much afford to pay."
The financial downturn increased the "sleaze factor" among employers, Philip Gardner, director of Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute, wrote in a recent report on unpaid internships. Employers "offer work they need done, under the guise of internships, but without pay."
Federal laws mandate that unpaid internships meet certain criteria, including that the experience benefit the intern and the employer derives no "immediate advantage" from the intern's work.
On campus and off, the tide of opinion may be turning against unpaid work.
In addition to last week's ruling that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated labor laws by not paying two production interns working on the 2010 film "Black Swan," a former intern on Monday filed suit against Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records with similar allegations regarding his 2007-2008 unpaid internship, the Associated Press reported.
A Fox spokeswoman said the company is "disappointed" with the ruling and is seeking to have it reversed. Fox is owned by News Corp NWSA -1.31% ., which also owns The Wall Street Journal.
Warner declined to comment on pending litigation.
Earlier this year, New York University students circulated a petition asking the career services office to stop posting ads for unpaid internships, calling such jobs "illegal" and "exploitative."
So far, however, schools seem unwilling to halt the practice. A recent survey from Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute found that nearly 100% of schools welcome requests for unpaid labor from government and nonprofit agencies, and upward of 84% allow for-profit companies to do so.
Originally Posted On: Wall Street Journal By: MELISSA KORN
Here are the things that MBAs that are going to be startup founders should learn about how startups -- but often don't.
1. No amount of strategic planning will ever substitute for managing your cash flow. Financial statements are great. The most important one is your bank account statement.
2. There are always more things to do than there is time to do them. Startups are a continuous exercise in deciding what not to do. You can sometimes win by just not doing things faster than your competition.
3. Sleep is that time you’re working on startup problems with your eyes closed.
4. It helps not to call people “human resources”. They’re people. And, as it turns out, people like to be treated like people. Go figure.
5. No amount of academic theories on efficient pricing will prepare you completely for what people will actually do. Finding the “optimal” price is really hard. In the meantime, remember that a sub-optimal price is a lot better than no price at all. Without a price, you don't have sales. Without sales, you don't have a real business.
6. Price discrimination (in an economic sense) is a wonderful thing. Except that it often ignores the real costs in terms of organizational complexity. Every time you add a new product or product option a small part of your company dies.
7. There are an infinite number of ways to spend money on marketing. You have no idea what’s actually going to work. The idea is to experiment broadly and learn lessons cheaply. On a related note, no amount of MBA marketing classes will prepare you for the day that you have to produce leads in order to close sales. As it turns out, marketing is about more than product feature matrices and the right shade of blue for your logo.
8. To recruit the best people, fair compensation and equity are only a start. Company culture and a demonstrated passion for your vision is hugely important. Oh, and your vision should be on the larger path to truth, justice and overall goodness. For an example of a pretty good slide deck on culture, check out Culture Code.
9. There’s a lot of value to being likable. Good things happen when people like you. When people like you, bad things have less of a chance of being fatal. I advise being likable. That’s why I advise against being an investment banker after getting an MBA. (I also advise against being an investment banker before getting an MBA). No disrespect to investment bankers. Some of my best friends were investment bankers at one time.
10. Advanced game theory is exceptionally useful. Basic game theory is dangerous — because it assumes that you’re dealing with a bunch of rational “players”. It’s like trying to design a real car that’s going to be driven on a theoretically frictionless surface, with no air resistance and no idiots on the road.
What are your top startup lessons learned that even the top MBA schools don't teach?
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Dharmesh Shah
When do you know it’s time to leave your current job? You are offered a dream job with twice the salary? (This one is easy: Take it!) Or you hear rumours of another round of restructuring/rationalising around the corner? Your new boss is a nightmare to work with? You need to notice the signals and respond appropriately to help yourself move on.
When it's a company problem - If layoffs are happening across the board or within your department, you know it’ll be your turn. If there is a takeover in progress that promises to eliminate jobs, start networking and explore other options. Company relocation, a downturn in business prospects, or simply tightening up budget can leave you unemployed. When you see these signs, start updating your resume and get it out of the door.
When you're in the wrong place - More reasons for change: You are misemployed. Your manager steals credit and has subordinates take the blame. Your co-workers are sabotaging your projects. You find the environment too hostile for you to succeed. Any of these situations would suggest that you need to change your job.
When you stop loving your work - While there are a million external factors, the most important reason to consider a career move is when you stop enjoying what you do. You are drawing a decent salary, your boss is close as a friend but you still feel miserable about going to work everyday because it’s not exciting to you anymore – this is the sign. You need to rethink about what really ignites you and start to have conversations to see if there are opportunities internally and externally.
When you're overworked - You work 14 hours a day and come back to office during weekends. Your productivity level is low and can’t seem to get things down. You feel exhausted, frustrated and angry all the time. Suddenly you realise even your family complains about you. If your job brings you so many problems and it even affects your personal life, a change needs to be made. Making a list of pros and cons can help you identify what you like about what you do and what you don't like. It will also provide information you can use in talking to your supervisor about changing your responsibilities or role.
What you need to do
Start planning for a change while you are still happy in your current role. Take advantage of all the opportunities you're given to develop new skills, network with other people. Ideally, you will leave only when you have another job. In case you don’t, stay on top of your finances and have 3 to 6 months’ salary set aside for the rainy days. When you leave, give your employer a verbal and a brief written notice, and be gracious and diplomatic. Emphasise that this is your choice, a golden opportunity you cannot afford to miss. Even if your company or boss is the worst in the world, you don’t want to burn the bridges as you never know when or how paths will cross again.
Originally Posted On: morganmckinley.com By: Fiona Zheng
By the time you’re an adult operating in the working world, you should have absorbed the message that you need to think before you speak. Still, some employees haven’t and others don’t understand just how bad some of the things they say come across to others.
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