Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

17 Best Public High Schools

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We’re used to seeing rankings from U.S. News & World Reportbut they’re usually all about colleges.  Today, we’re sharing with you U.S News’s list of America’s top American high schools! These are the country’s top-performing public high schools that serve both high and low achieving students in developing basic proficiency as well as college-level readiness.

The rankings were created from a three-step process. First, they determined whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state by looking at reading and math results for all students on each state’s high school test.

Second, they looked at whether the school’s least-advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in the state.

This third step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students by computing a “college readiness index” based on the school’s AP or IB participation rate and how well the students did on those tests.

Check out the 17 best Gold Medal public high schools:

1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Alexandria, VA
100.0 College Readiness Index
3.95 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index (a measure of the distance from statistically-expected performance using a relationship between poverty and a state performance index)
16.3 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap (difference between the school’s disadvantaged students’ proficiency rate and the state average for similarly disadvantaged students)

2. International Academy
Bloomfield Hills, MI
100.0 College Readiness Index
2.52 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
Not Available Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

3. Whitney High School
Cerritos, CA
100.0 College Readiness Index
2.40 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
49.3 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

4. Oxford Academy
Cypress, CA
100.0 College Readiness Index
2.56 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
49.3 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

5. The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG Magnet)
Dallas, TX
100.0 College Readiness Index
2.88 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
27.8 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

6. Newcomers High School
Long Island City, NY
100.0 College Readiness Index
1.60 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
22.0 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

7. Pacific Collegiate School
Santa Cruz, CA
100.0 College Readiness Index
1.61 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
Not Available Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

8. The School of Science and Engineering Magnet (SEM)
Dallas, TX
100.0 College Readiness Index
3.64 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
31.9 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

9. BASIS Tucson
Tucson, AZ
100.0 College Readiness Index
1.95 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
Not Available Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

10. International School
Bellevue, WA
100.0 College Readiness Index
2.11 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
Not Available Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

11. High Technology High School
Lincroft, NJ
98.9 College Readiness Index
1.00 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
Not Available Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

12. Academic Magnet High School
North Charleston, SC
98.2 College Readiness Index
2.80 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
46.9 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

13. IDEA Academy & College Preparatory
Donna, TX
97.7 College Readiness Index
2.97 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
24.5 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

14. Pine View School
Osprey, FL
96.8 College Readiness Index
3.06 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
Not Available Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

15. Design and Architecture Senior High School
Miami, FL
96.7 College Readiness Index
2.56 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
47.3 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

16. KIPP Houston High School
Houston, TX
95.7 College Readiness Index
3.81 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
30.3 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

17. Stanton College Preparatory School
Jacksonville, FL
95.6 College Readiness Index
2.51 Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index
48.1 Disadvantaged Students Performance Gap

High school students don’t generally have a say in where they go to high school, but it’s still interesting to see the rankings. You DO, however, have a choice of where you can go to college. Find your match on Cappex!

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Friday College Town Hall

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In Friday College Town Hall, we post a question about college or education, and you leave an answer in the comment field.

Today’s question comes from the National Association of Colleges Admissions Counseling:

During the Fall 2008 admission cycle, the average number of college admission offers revoked by colleges was 10. The most common reason that colleges rescinded admission offers was final grades.


While “Senioritis” is often thought of a common and even humorous condition, do these numbers change your opinion on that matte? What do high school seniors need to realize about their second semester?



Have a thought or an answer? Leave a reply below.

We’ve also asked our @Cappex Twitter followers to chime in! Here’s what people are saying on Twitter:

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5 Need-To-Know Tax Tips for Newbies

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It’s completely annoying and nobody likes it, but you, unfortunately, owe the government a portion of your income. Usually, what you owe in tax is withheld from your income throughout the year. You need to file a tax return to know if you overpaid or underpaid your taxes. If you happened to have overpaid, you get a refund (yay!!!!). If you underpaid, you have to pay the balance by April 15th (yuck).

There are tons of details to fret about inbetween, but for now, here the basics of need-to-know tax tips for first time filers:

How to know if you should file a tax return:
If you are depositing checks into your bank account from any kind of job, no matter how big or small, you should file a tax return. The tricky part for young people, especially college students, is determining whether you’re claimed as a dependent by your parents. So know that just because you and your co-worker have almost identical circumstances, you may have to file differently.

You may not be required to file if you don’t reach the minimum gross income. For example, for 2011 the minimum gross income for a single person under 65 was $9,500. There are a lot of variables to consider, however, even if you don’t take in the minimum income, your employer may have withheld taxes. If you don’t file, the government will just keep that money!

What do you need to file?

If you’re an employee, your employer will generally mail or hand-off your W-2 to you. The W-2 is prepared by your employer at the end of the year and is a report of your paid wages and taxes withheld. The information on the W-2 is sent to the IRS and the Social Security Administration.

What do I file with?

To actually file your taxes, you will need to fill out one of three forms:

  • 1040EZ: This is the most basic form. And just one page (huzzah!). To choose this form you need a taxable income of less than $50,000 and interest income of less than $400. This form is for the single ladies and men out there with no dependents (party!!!). There is no section to itemize deductions or deduct IRA contributions.
  • 1040A: This form has a bit more body to it, allowing for more flexibility in income sources and requires a taxable income of less than $50,000. Again, you cannot itemize deductions but CAN deduct IRA contributions (401K schtuff).
  • 1040: This is the mother of all forms and is required if your income is more than $50,000.

Generally speaking, the 1040EZ is probably a fine choice for most students. But, if you’re not quite sure and have some other sources of income and deductions, there’s always the other two choices.

When do I need to pay?
April 15th. Yeehaw.

Getting Help
If you’re a first time filer, the good thing is that you probably don’t have too many moving parts to deal with…unless you happen to be an 18 year old mogul. But still, it can be a bit confusing. The IRS actually now has a 24/7 toll-free number (s 1-800-829-1040) to help answer questions about taxes. You can also find more info at

 What’s usually not taxable? That’s right, scholarships. (But always double check).

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