Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

Archive for January, 2010

Waiting Lists/Flying Standby: Make Alternate Plans
January 28th, 2010

The papers have been filled with discussions of waiting lists at UC’s since the Regents meeting last week. Waiting lists are not new to colleges/universities, they allow universities to avoid the risk of too many seniors accepting their offers which wrecks havoc on dorms and class size. They are new to the UC’s driven by reduced capacity and budgets.
Historically, not many seniors are accepted off of the waiting list because admissions officers “guess” right with their targets for freshman admissions.
As you can see waiting lists for colleges are much like standby lists for airlines–great for the airline and sometimes good for the passenger who happens to want to fly on an unexpectedly open flight . For private colleges/ universities that report their admissions off of the wait list it is typically 1-3% of those on the waiting list.
I hope that Seniors and their parents who are placed on a waiting lists for one or more UC will recognize that much like flying standby your acceptance requires an unexpected opening at one of the all very, over-crowded and under-funded UC’s…not likely. Make alternate plans.

Biology Class to Change for “New” AP: Tail Wagging the Dog?
January 28th, 2010

Jay Matthews reports in the Washington Post today that AP tests are being redesigned to move away from fact-based content tests to tests of mastery of concepts. http://www.washingtonpost.com/
The first test to be changed is Biology. Necessarily high school curriculum will be adjusted. …and perhaps how colleges treat AP credit depending on their preference for students to have a strong fact base.
A voice tells me I don’t like “The College Board” (whoever they are) driving education decisions. Is the tail wagging the dog?..once again.

Only 48% of Cal State Students Graduate in 6 Years!?
January 27th, 2010

Los Angeles Times reports today that the Cal State University system currently graduates 48% of its students in 6 years. Graduating only 48% of its students in 4 years is unacceptable.

52% either never graduate or graduate in their 7th or 8th year.

PARENTS AND STUDENTS do the math…the cost of a Cal State education will likely exceed that of a private school. 65% of students at LMU graduate in 4 years.

To address the problem the Cal States are considering reducing the number of general education requirements and not allowing students to change majors easily. These changes and more online audits of student credits is hoped to raise graduation rates to 54% BY 2016 (raise it 1.25% each year..) Cal State officials are putting the blame on the students. First, all students should be required to take general education requirements given the likelihood of changing careers five times. Second, no help for the students who know their major but there is no space–ie nursing. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT INROADS INTO THE LOW GRADUATION RATES IS MORE CAPACITY, MORE CLASSES AND MORE GUIDANCE.

Class of 2014: Be Nice to Your Friend with a 4.5 GPA, Rejection Is Tough
January 16th, 2010

Applications are up to both public and private universities! Space available at California’s public universities and community colleges is down. Space available at private schools remains constant.

The UC system reduced enrollment of California-resident freshmen by 6 percent, or about 2,300 students, and is expected to shrink enrollment further this year even as a record number of applicants applied for admission for fall 2010, said Nina Robinson, UC  Director of student policy. YES, you read it right cut 2,300 PLUS more!

CSUs are mandated to cut enrollment by 40,000 students statewide over two years, despite having a record number of applications. Bernard Vinovrski, California State University, Fresno, associate vice president of enrollment services, said Fresno State has received 10 percent more applications this year, despite having a shorter enrollment period.

On the private side for the sixth consecutive year, Princeton University has set a record for students applying for admission, with 26,166 applications received for the class of 2014 which will be comprised of 1200 freshmen which translates to 4 in 100 applicants being accepted. The number of applicants for next year’s freshman class represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s record of 21,963 completed applications for the class of 2013. This will be the year when 4.8 GPA, concert pianist and ASB President is nothing special.

ADVICE: YOUR LIST SHOULD INCLUDE SCHOOLS OUTSIDE OF CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK AND MASSACHUSETTS. APPLY TO NO MORE THAN¬† TWO HIGHLY COMPETITIVE SCHOOLS IF ANY. AND GO OUT AND FIND THOSE GREAT SCHOOLS THAT HAVEN’T YET GOTTEN ON THE NATIONAL RADAR…START BY LOOKING IN THE MIDWEST.

Perhaps most important for the entire family, the Head Start College program paces students to complete their applications by Thanksgiving.

MEREDITH REYNOLDS

PO Box 1401
La Canada, CA 91012
818.952.2414 phone
818.952.2432 fax

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