Posts Tagged ‘us news rankings’

Great Colleges for Less-Than-Great Grades

There’s a good percentage of us out there who are intelligent and capable people, but just zone out when it comes to standardized testing.

Who really cares about sine and cosine jargon or the grammatical errors in an article about the evolution of the dung beetle?

And then there are those semesters where you just can’t get the grade you want. Maybe something’s going on at home, you’re totally stressed during basketball season, you slept through first period 60% of the semester, whatever it is, sometimes there are circumstances that hold us back from getting the grades we’d hope to get.

But, even if you’re not the most enthusiastic test taker, or have gotten a couple of low grades here and there, there are still grade-A colleges that ranked highly in the 2012 US News Best Colleges that specifically take into account a student’s entire application and not just their grades.

Straight from US News, here are those schools:

1. Fordham University 

2. Pepperdine University 

3. University of Connecticut  

4. Purdue University – West Lafayette 

5. Southern Methodist University

6. Syracuse University

7. Michigan State University 

8. University of Iowa

9. Baylor University

10. Indiana University – Bloomington  

Are you thinking of applying to any of these schools?

To Ignore or Not to Ignore College Rankings

Categories: Admissions Advice

Anything that comes in a list of best to, uh, less than best, is fun. I’m not quite sure about the science behind this, but I’m pretty certain somewhere down the line the answer to all war will be solved by producing a massive “Best Of List” to captivate the world’s attention and distract from war for centuries.

The rankings that caught our attention this week came from U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings. They’re certainly fun to look at, to compare and contrast, and see who’s winning the race. But, in reality, is the college ranking system really all that accurate or dependable?

Of course, the schools that made this year’s 2012 top 10 colleges ranking are undoubtedly superb schools–Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc. (you can probably fill in the rest yourselft)–but is there any such thing as the one, singular best college in the nation for every student?

Of course not.

There’s also something that smells a little fishy with the rankings. According to Michael N. Bastedo’s column in the Chronicle, the percentage of responders to the U.S. News survey is declining every year.

On top of this, there is a clear conflict of interest in how the rankings are produced. A huge percentage of the survey takers are college admission folks. Why would college leaders want to give positive evaluations to their competition? It’s like asking you to vote for your opponent in the student body president election.

Another issue is that rankings don’t necessarily mean that much despite the amount of significance we place on them. There are so many schools that are overlooked because they’re not as well known, a lot smaller, in stranger places, whatever the case may be, that leads them to be overshadowed year after year in the college rankings.

If you’ve created a profile on Cappex and connected with your college matches, you were probably pleasantly surprised at how some of your college matches are schools you had never heard of before.

So, yeah, rankings are super fun to look at. And I bet it doesn’t feel too badly to make the top ten list. But, when it comes down to choosing a college, college rankings barely skim the surface of how good school will be for you and your career.

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How important are college rankings in your college decision? Leave a comment!

10 Colleges Most Likely to Lead to Grad School

mortarSome students have the foresight to see past their undergraduate college searches and onto their graduate school careers. Does going to a certain undergraduate college give you a better opportunity of going to graduate school?

That correlation is tough to tell, but U.S. News recently surveyed 1,756 undergraduate programs to find out what percentages of their undergraduate classes were heading on to grad school. The study found that an average of 25.5% of students attended graduate school within a year of graduating college. There were some schools, however, that seemed like outliers…

Here are the 10 colleges with the highest percentage of students who go on to graduate school:

1. Yeshiva University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees:

2. SUNY College–Old Westbury
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 78%

3. Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology (NY)
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees:

4. Hawaii Pacific University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 75%

5. SUNY College of Technology –Delhi
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 75%

6. Waldorf College (IA)
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 75%

7. South Carolina State University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 70%

8. Southern Connecticut State University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 70%

9. Missouri Western State University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 66%

10. Georgetown College (KY)
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 65%

Are you thinking about grad school during your college search? When’s a good time to start? Leave a comment below!