Posts Tagged ‘bachelors degree’

Who Are America’s Undergraduates?

Categories: College Life

diplomabiggerIn the midst of all that hype of how you’re going to get into college and pay for it, one very important question gets lost: Who is actually going to college?

Although pop culture spins it a certain way, most students are not focusing all their attention on trying to get into the most selective private colleges in the nation with hopes of becoming the next president of the United States, CEO of some conglomerate that secretly owns everything, or just desperate to live up their wealthy family’s noble legacy and tradition. The vast majority of students just want a college education to help them make a better living than statistics tell them they’d have otherwise.

The Chronicle recently published an article explaining that most college students are actually attending community colleges and public four-year colleges and that a huge portion of those students attend school part-time–a fact that is often overlooked. That’s definitely a tidbit that’s left out of the popular American conception of the “college experience.” In fact, the American “college experience” of Greek Life, football games, partying is not what the actual college experience is for everybody. Students that come from families with smaller annual incomes are not as likely to go to a four-year selective college that offers that kind of “typical” college culture.

To help us grasp what the undergraduate landscape is accurately like, The Chronicle crunched numbers from 2007-8 in two data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Here are some of the trends they found:

  • 39.4% of undergraduates attend community college
  • 37.5% of undergraduates attend public 4-year institution
  • 16.5% of undergraduates attend private nonprofits
  • 6.6% of undergraduates attend for-profits
  • 25.1% of undergraduates annual income of parents and/or independents is less than $20,000
  • 2.1% of undergraduates annual income of parents and/or independents is more than $200,000

Here is the breakdown of colleges attended by students from families earning less than $40,000:

Public 2-year – 50.0%
Public 4-year – 6.8%
Other public 4-year- 15.9%
Nonprofit research-extensive and liberal arts colleges – 1.6%
Other private, nonprofit 4-year – 7.0%
Private for-profit – 15.3%
Others – 3.4%

Do these numbers surprise you? What’s the college experience you want or have had?

5 Tips for Undecided Freshman Registering for Classes

Categories: College Life

wamcIllustrationIconIf you’re a recent high school grad getting ready for college next fall, you probably cannot contain your excitement.  College is the reason you’ve been working your butt off the last year and a half–and sometimes way longer.  You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into your college applications (hopefully just metaphorically), and in just a couple of months you will finally reap the benefits of your hard work.

Often times, college freshman are so excited about just being in college that they lose sight of their academic aspirations. There’s so many other things to worry about–your living situation, new roommate, that guy down the hall who gave you some spare quarters so you could do a load of laundry, the 15 or so a capella groups you’re auditioning for, and not to mention the football game on Saturday.

So when it comes time to register for classes, you might be thinking the following thoughts:

What should I do? I gave this college classes thing no forethought.  I’m never going to graduate.  What do I want to do with my life?!

If that’s the case, here are 5 tips to help undecided freshman decide what they should register for their first semester:

1. Get your general education requirements out of the way
Most colleges and universities require that their students take a core curriculum. A lot of times, these classes might not have anything to do with your interest or major–English majors might have to take some quantitative reasoning and biology majors might have to take a a fine arts credit. Whether or not you know what you’re going to major in, getting your gen ed requirements out of the way is a great strategy. You don’t want to have to take a physics class you’ve been dreading your second semester senior year.

2. Follow your passions
Even if you’re not sure what you want to major in, you still have subjects you’re passionate about or at least enjoy. Chances are, your genuine interests will lead you to your field of study. 

3. Choose by professor
Sometimes you don’t choose a class for the subject matter as much as you do because of the world renowned professor who teaches it. There might be a beloved or even quite famous and influential professor who teaches at your college that you have the opportunity to learn from!

4. Word of mouth
If you chat it up with upperclassman, your RA, friends of friends who go or have gone to your school, you might hear about a must-take class. It could be super interesting, it could be a great way to get a gen ed credit taken care of, just keep your ears open for what students are saying.

5. The “cool” factor
While browsing through your college’s course catalog, you might come across a class that makes you say, “Woah, they teach that here?” It could be a class about the Beatles, Harry Potter or even Star Wars. You never know! If you’re undecided, following what piques your interest is a great way to get started.

Do you have any tips for undecided college freshman? Comment and share!

7 Weird College Majors You Could Study

Categories: Majors & Minors

diplomabiggerDo words like business, philosophy, chemistry, literature, communications etc. just make you bored and want to fall asleep? Then you might want to take your college aspirations to a university that offers a different kind of major.

Take a look at these 7 out of the ordinary college majors:

1. Bowling Industry Management
This is what we’d call a turkey of a major. Learn to bowl without bumpers at Vincennes University.

2. Canadian Studies
This really shouldn’t be that weird, but it is! When have you ever learned anything about Canada in a class? It’s actually kind of sad.  If this brings a sweet maple tear down your cheek, enroll now at SUNY Plattsburgh.

3. Professional Nanny
Thinking about a theater major? This would be the perfect minor to pair with it from Sullivan University. If you write some diaries, you might even get a movie deal where Scarlett Johansson plays you!

4. Poultry Science
Bawk, bawk bawk. You are not a chicken if you leave with a degree from North Carolina State University in poultry science. You are our hero.

5. Bagpipes
It always seems like there’s one sole bagpiper marching by his lonely self on a misty hillside after the morning rain. Join his cause and the bagpipe revolution at Carnegie Mellon University.

6. The Beatles
At the Liverpool Hope University, instead of yellow school busses they have yellow submarines and instead of normal school weeks, classes are 8 days a week. Does this sound up your alley (or Abbey Road?).

7. Sports ministry
Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi offers the dream degree for folks who love youth sports and want to be ministers. It’s a combo degree that sounds like holy home run!

Is there a college major you wish existed? Comment and let us know!