Posts Tagged ‘admissions factors’
For many students, the SAT and ACT college admissions exams can be daunting. Although there are other things that universities look at as part of their admissions factors, a good score can make your college application stand out. If you have a smartphone, there are a number of applications that can help you prepare for the tests to give yourself the best possible chance of earning a high score.
Most apps that are available focus on specific parts of the exams. For example, you might feel confident in your math skills but could use some help with the vocabulary sections. The SAT Remix application, which is also available for some regular cellphones, offers users vocabulary lessons set to music. The software could help you brush up on your word skills, and features more than 300 of the most commonly missed words on the SAT.
Another useful app for improving your vocabulary is ACT Vocab Prep. This application sends you two words often featured on the ACT every day, complete with the Greek roots of the words and how to use them in sentences. Prefixes and suffixes are also featured, as well as a weekly word review to help you go over what you learned during the week.
For students who need a little help with their math skills, the SAT Math application from Adapster is a must-have. As well as providing a series of math problems for you to solve, it adapts to your learning style. For example, if you're great with fractions but not so good at angles, the app remembers questions you get wrong and bases future questions around your level of ability. The software also explains the reasoning and methods behind correct answers, helping you grasp how to solve similar problems on paper.
Michael DeRosa's 411 Prep: SAT Math app is another useful tool to add to your studying repertoire. Designed personally by DeRosa, an SAT tutor, this app features more than 500 math-based flashcard problems, their solutions and principles to solve them, and up to 2,600 different answer combinations.
There are literally hundreds of apps available to help you take the SAT and ACT with confidence. Before downloading any of them, check their pricing – some are free of charge and others are free for a limited time before a subscription or monthly fee is required.
As part of reforms to the college application process in Illinois, some seniors may be required to take the ACT exam twice in order to meet college admissions standards, reports the Huffington Post.
State officials decided to remove the written part of the ACT exam last summer in order to save $2.4 million per year. However, some colleges may require students filling out college applications to submit a written composition, which could mean that some seniors in Illinois might have to take the exam twice. Some colleges, such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have amended their admissions factors to accommodate students.
"We believe [the written part of the ACT] may be an obstacle for some students, so [we] are no longer requiring the test," said Robin Kaler, a spokesperson for the university, as quoted by the news source.
According to the Chicago Tribune, only two of the 11 states currently administering the ACT to 11th-grade students – Michigan and North Carolina – require a mandatory written test.
If you're unsure of your prospective school's admissions factors, check with your adviser before submitting a college application.
In today's challenging economy, finishing your degree is more important than ever. However, for some students, their initial choice of college may not be working out quite the way they thought it would. What do you do if you like your degree program, but want to earn your qualification somewhere else? A recent article in the Huffington Post by Rebecca Joseph, an associate professor at California State University, outlined some tips for students who are thinking of transferring to another school.
If you want to transfer to a different college, the first thing that Joseph recommends is looking at schools that had previously accepted your college applications when you first applied. Although some schools may require you to resubmit another application, some won't. Think about contacting these schools as your first step.
Although there's not much you can do to change them after the fact, your senior-year grades are really important. The better your senior GPA, the better your chances are to successfully transfer to another institution. Likewise, your freshman grades should be as good as they possibly can be. If you're unhappy at your present college, strong freshman-year grades could place you in a much better position if you want to transfer.
It may be useful to keep a calendar of the various deadlines at the schools you're thinking of transferring to. Depending on the college, application deadlines for transfer students can vary substantially, and keeping a visual record of when to submit your applications by can help make the process seem more manageable. Just as early applicants can stand a better chance of successful admission in your senior year, the same is true of many transfer applicants. The sooner you apply, the better your chances could be.
Although transferring can be demanding when you're trying to focus on your studies, planning and hard work are just as important as they were when you were filling out your original college applications.
"After I listen [to students who want to transfer], I begin to talk to them about the need to have short- and long-term goals," Joseph wrote. "I remind them that, unfortunately, transferring during and after freshmen year means that they must be doing the best they have ever done academically and be involved on and off campus."
According to eHow.com, careful planning is also vital for calculating how many credits you can successfully transfer to a new school. Although you may qualify to transfer many of your existing credits to a new college, some schools may have different admissions factors for the major you want to study. Contact your prospective schools with plenty of notice to find out exactly how many credits you are eligible to transfer, and which classes you'll have to take in order to qualify.
In today's challenging economy, it's more important than ever for college students to have a solid grasp of mathematics. To address problems with its struggling remedial math program, a community college in Rockville, Maryland, has changed the way that math education is delivered, reports Inside Higher Ed.
Officials at Montgomery College decided to approach math using an "emporium" style of teaching to improve completion rates at the school. Now, math classes at the community college are delivered in workshop-style computer labs, a significant shift from the traditional lecture format of math courses at the school.
These classes were redesigned because many students enrolled in traditional remedial math programs become discouraged and subsequently drop out, negatively affecting completion rates.
"The issue of remedial math is the key for the completion agenda," Louis Soares, director of the postsecondary education program at the Center for American Progress, told the news source.
Officials at other schools, such as the California State University system, have adopted similar approaches. According to Mercury News, Cal State recently introduced an Early Start program to improve the number of students successfully completing remedial math courses.
If you're enrolled in a math program at a community college, make sure you study as hard as you can. Solid math skills and high test scores in numeracy can be major college admissions factors at some universities.
If you're in your senior year and are considering filling out college applications, you may be wondering what a weighted GPA is. Some colleges ask for this information as part of their admissions process, but what does it mean?
The difference between weighted and unweighted GPAs is how schools calculate student achievement based on the difficulty of the classes. For example, you may be taking some Advanced Placement (AP) classes as part of your final year. These classes are intended to prepare you for college-level material, and are more challenging than regular courses you might take during your senior year.
To reflect the difference in the difficulty of AP and regular classes, schools assign different values to each grade. A student who earns three B grades in regular algebra class may not have the same GPA as a student who achieves three B grades in AP algebra, since it is naturally harder to get a B in a more challenging class. The difference may not be much, but a weighted GPA will reflect the increased difficulty of the course material.
For example, an A grade at AP level is worth five points, whereas an A grade at regular level is worth four points. The difference in value applies for other grades, with AP classes offering an additional point per grade. So, a B grade at AP level is worth four points, and a regular B is worth 3 and so on. This means that, on the traditional 4.0 GPA scale, it's possible for a student who gets all A's in advanced classes to achieve a GPA of 5.0.
Unweighted GPAs are calculated simply by the number of points earned by a student, regardless of the difficulty of the class. Things can get a little confusing when schools offer A+ grades that are worth 4.3 points, but students who receive these grades will still achieve a standard GPA of 4.0 on an unweighted scale, no matter how hard their classes are.
Although some colleges may ask for your weighted GPA as part of their admissions factors, many will not take this into account when assessing your application. Weighted GPAs can sometimes be used to determine class rank, but again, many schools will not use this information to determine whether your application has been successful.
Above all, regardless of whether your prospective colleges require it, you should study as hard as you can in all your classes. When you're filling out college applications, make sure to check whether they require you to submit a weighted GPA.
Officials in Indiana have revised the way that funding to schools based on their effectiveness is assessed, reports Inside Higher Ed.
Under the new initiative, colleges throughout the state will receive various levels of federal funding depending on how many students reach specified "credit thresholds." Two-year colleges will be funded based on the number of students achieving 15, 30 and 45 credit hours, and four-year schools have to meet 30 and 60 credit hour thresholds to meet the criteria to receive state funds.
Other criteria that will be taken into account are admissions factors for low-income students and those from ethnic minorities, the number of students who graduate on time, and how many individuals earn degrees in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – majors.
"We need more quality, more volume, more at-risk degree completion, and we’re placing a premium on some high-impact degrees," Teresa Lubbers, state commissioner for higher education, told the news source.
States such as Missouri are considering introducing similar incentives. According to The Republic, an education task force recommended earlier this week that colleges in the state be rewarded for improving graduation rates.
If you're thinking about filling out a college application, look into the graduation rates of the schools that interest you.
Officials at the University of Texas System recently announced the launch of a "productivity dashboard" to provide students, staff and regulatory bodies with a more transparent way of assessing how the schools are performing, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The new online system is the result of a unanimous decision by the schools' Board of Regents to provide more detailed information on how the university system is performing. Raising the graduation rate of the schools is another primary objective of the online tools. The productivity dashboard is part of a wider plan to increase transparency about things like admissions factors, graduation rates and learning outcomes.
Public interest and education advocacy groups welcomed the news. The Texas Public Policy Foundation released a statement calling the plan "an important and welcome recognition that Texas students and parents can no longer afford business as usual from our state's higher education institutions."
Other colleges in Texas have also taken steps towards improving graduation rates. According to the Bryan-College Station Eagle, Texas A&M University recently entered into a partnership with software developer Academic Analytics to implement software that tracks the productivity of faculty members in order to improve the quality of education provided by the college.
If you're evaluating your college decisions, tools like these might help you see how well a school is performing. Make sure to do plenty of research into the graduation rates of an institution before filling out a college application.
Despite reports of education budget cuts in states like California, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell has pledged to increase higher education spending to $100 million per year for the next two years, reports The Washington Post.
The money will be allocated to colleges based on a variety of conditions. Graduation rates, admissions factors and student learning outcomes will all contribute to how much federal funding universities receive under the new plans. In addition to making college more accessible to students, ensuring a competitive edge for the state is also a key objective of the funding increases.
"This is about [students'] future as individuals, and our future as a Commonwealth. In this competitive global economy, the more Virginia students who attend our colleges and universities and emerge with the skills and training necessary to compete for the best jobs in the 21st century, the stronger our state will be in the years ahead," said McDonnell, as quoted by WTVR News.
Of the total yearly funding allowance, more than $6 million per year will be used to increase financial aid to students, in addition to $5.8 million that will expand the Tuition Access Grant financial aid program.
When you're filling out college applications, applying for financial aid can really help reduce the costs of earning your degree. Don't forget to look into scholarships, too.
Officials at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan, recently announced controversial admission policies intended to improve the college's poor graduation rates, reports Inside Higher Ed. The new measures will likely result in lower admission rates at the university.
The news source reports that approximately 5 percent of students currently studying at the university would not have been admitted under the new admissions factors. Critics of the proposals say that students from lower-income families and ethnic minorities could be excluded from the university based on the planned measures.
"This can't be an open-access university," Allan Gilmour, president of WSU, told the Detroit Free Press. "If we're admitting people who we shouldn't admit, that isn't fair to them."
Approximately 20 percent of WSU applicants come from the Detroit Public School system. Students who are not admitted to the college will be offered a summer-long bridge program, intended to improve candidates' academic achievement in subject areas including algebra, English and basic study techniques. Individuals who achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 during the bridge program would then be admitted to the university.
Measures like the ones planned by WSU highlight how important it is to study hard in high school. More students than ever are filling out college applications, and good grades and a demonstrated commitment to your education can help your application stand out.
Although you may not have had to pass an exit exam to graduate high school, you may have taken a workplace readiness test in order to receive your diploma. According to the Huffington Post, this is becoming increasingly common in many schools.
New data from the Center on Education Policy indicates that 31 states across the country either have or are planning to introduce exit exams as part of the graduation criteria. Although not all states require students to pass these tests, 27 states are planning to introduce new exams to measure students' college and workplace readiness. At present, only colleges and universities in Georgia use exit exam scores when assessing college admissions factors.
The report also indicates that 11 states require seniors to take the SAT or ACT exams as part of their graduation policies, even though students are not required to achieve a passing grade in order to receive their diplomas. In addition, 16 states either require or offer a college-readiness exam to seniors.
"It's not clear whether [schools] will attach graduation-related requirements to these new assessments," said Shelby McIntosh, CEP research associate and author of the report, as quoted by the news source. If these tests become standard, students may be required to demonstrate that they are ready for college before they can earn their high school diploma.
Did you have to take an exit exam to earn your high school diploma? What do you think of the new measures to see if students are ready for college?
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