Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

Archive for July, 2009

“Top Party School”
July 28th, 2009

My advice to parents and students when considering college ratings in various categories that are based on email responses…”interesting but not truth per se”.
Everything reported is probably true for some students, those who completed the survey…but an overnight stay on a Friday night will let YOU be the judge.

Exerpts from Inside Higher Education Article
Surviving the Party School Rankings
July 28, 2009

Summer means rankings season is upon us. On Monday, the Princeton Review unveiled its newest edition of the The Best 371 Colleges. Though the book has over 800 pages, one page in particular often sends university press relations staff into damage control mode — the top 20 “party school” rankings, the winner of which this year is Pennsylvania State University….
Annemarie Mountz, a spokeswoman for Penn State, was quick to dismiss the accuracy of these rankings, saying that, “This survey doesn’t have any bearing one way or the other.” When she checked Facebook this morning, she found 10 groups “pumping” other students to vote Penn State number one in the party school rankings. Her point was that the lists, which are completely based on the opinions of 122,000 students nationwide, have the potential for manipulation. On average, 325 respondents from each school take the 80-question survey, she said — that’s less than 1 percent of the total population at Penn State. For many students, attending the number one party school is a “badge of honor,” she said.

Reduced Tuition for Out-of-State Students at Western Universities
July 23rd, 2009

Background: The Commission was established in the 1950’s to support higher education opportunities in what are now the 15 member states. The states are:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming. The Governor of each state appoints commissioner (s) to serve on the board.

1. The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Students who are residents of WICHE states may enroll at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state at a reduced tuition rate. Typically, it is in-state tuition plus 50% which is less than out-of-state tuition.
2. The Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) is a similar reduced
tuition program for professional programs. For example, law school, business school and med school.
3. The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRPG) again is a reduced
tuition program for students wishing to attend graduate programs.

How do students qualify: It is important to check each university to which a student is applying. All colleges or universities do not participate. For example, Washington State University does not participate in WUE but has a
program to assist out of state students from entire country called Compass. Visiting the university’s financial aid site will give you the individual school information. Many participating schools have a specific number of these WUE spots they offer each year. For that reason, it is recommended that students get your admissions application on or before then financial aid deadline which in many cases is February 15. The criteria for selection is NOT based on demonstrated need, but often is related to minimum GPA and/or SAT scores.

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


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