College Application Rates are the Highest while Acceptance Rates are the Lowest in History. Got Rejected? This is What You Need to do.
It is crazy out there in the college world.
College application numbers for the Class of 2021 defied expectations, setting records at many universities. The number of application for the Class of 2022 is expected to be even higher. While there are record number of applications, the acceptance rates at Ivy Leagues and other top ranked universities have tanked. Well, it makes sense. They have a limited number of seats, so if there are more applicants the acceptance rates will drop. Simple math.
Cornell University got more than 47,000 apps and said accepted only 12.5%. The University of Pennsylvania got more than 40,000 applications, including both early and regular apps, and they admitted only 9.15%. The acceptance rate is the lowest in UPenn’s history. Brown received their highest number of applications with 32,724 and accepted a record low of 8.3%. Yale University accepted the largest freshman class in its history of 2,272 (normal class is 2,000). They got a record of 32,900 overall applicants — both early and regular decision applications — and accepted only 6.9%. Harvard University received 39,000 apps and accepted only 5.2%. Princeton University accepted 6.1% of over 31,000 applications. At Columbia University, early applicants set a new record – but accepted only 5.8%. Stanford University was the most selected: Out of a record 44,073 applications, they accepted a mere 4.65%.
Even state colleges are tougher to get in today. San Diego State University and Cal State-Long Beach are currently among the most competitive, with acceptance rates around 34%. And California Polytechnic accepts about 30% of applicants.
The internet and the common app makes it easier to apply -- and in some cases spam. People are just applying for the sake of applying hoping that they get in. This makes it harder for good students to get in. There are strategies to stand out. For example, this is what Eni did.
Anyway, you worked hard and applied to a good school, but got rejected. Your plan A failed. What can you do now? If you are in California, you can do 2 things (other states may be similar).
Before you got asking for a letter of recommendation for your high school or college application, think about what you are trying to accomplish with them. What is the purpose of a recommendation?
What do you want your letters to do for you? There can be many purposes. One, it could be highlighting a character trait that is admirable in you. It is like endorsing you as a person. Two, it can personalize your application and tell a story about you as a student and as a person.
Your grades, test scores, and activities highlight your accomplishments as a student, but they do not paint a complete picture of you as a person. Letters of recommendation can go beyond your scores and help you come to life in the eyes of admissions officers. Recommendation letters can speak to your academic potential, character traits, and personality, as well as about how you've connected with others in the school community over the past few years.
2. Who do you ask
Ask recommendations from two types of teachers. The first is the one you have built good rapport with. You interacted with her as a human being. Talk to them about how they see you as a unique student. Can they judge the essence of what makes you unique? If so, you know this is the teacher who can speak about you as a human being and help you stand out.
The second one is more technical in nature. For example, if you want to take computer science or math, and you excelled in math in school and took computer programming as well, ask the math or the computer science (or both) for a recommendation. Remind them how well you did in their classes and show any projects you have done using what you learned in their classes.
Guest post by Anna Salieva, a Hillview Prep student
From the first year I came to St. Francis, the biggest thing that stood out to me was how much interests have a place to shine on campus. And it's easy for a freshman to find a place where they belong. While there are many stereotypes about Catholic Schools that incoming students are afraid of, the biggest truth I've come to find over my three years at SFHS is it's rich, diverse, accepting atmosphere. Saint Francis is a college preparatory school. Its academics are challenging, its teachers are effective, and its students are incredibly talented. And among the hard academics and busy student lives, Saint Francis students all have their own activities and clubs.
There are more than 60 clubs on campus, ranging from Baking Club to programming workshops, and all demonstrate the dedication students put into their interests and work. There are fourteen different Varsity teams, for men and for women, to participate in, and diverse visual and performing arts programs. Here, a choir student can easily be on the tennis team, and work in Robotics as well.
Guest Blog by Anna Salieva, a Hillview Prep student
When it came to animating the hit Disney movie Tangled, the biggest challenge animators had on their hands was hair. Rapunzel, the main character of the movie, was supposed to have 70ft of hair that would weight a total of about 60lbs. There was no way Disney could have animated that much hair to look realistic and be able to do as much as it did in the movie. That's when Dr. Ward, a PhD from UNC Chapel Hill came in. Her speciality? Animating realistic hair.
Hair simulation is difficult. An average human head has about 100,000 strands of hair. The simulation could reduce that number to about 173 - since hair that's grouped together tends to act one certain way. There are a lot of formulas for a single strand of hair, what its physical parameters are, and how it will react to outside forces.
Tuition aid is available annually for eligible full-time employees to help cover education costs that have been approved by the company. In addition, AT&T has partnered with Udacity for tech training. You can get a Nanodegree in Front End and in Full Stack Web Development.
2. BANK OF AMERICA
Bank of America reimburses eligible employees up to $5,250 for job-related courses or to fulfill a job-related degree program. - See more at: http://careers.bankofamerica.com/us/working-here/benefits-advantages.aspx#tab-life-management-benefits
Baxter’s Educational Assistance Program invests in employee growth and professional development by reimbursing up to $5,250 per year for undergraduate courses at accredited institutions. A separate program, that requires management approval, provides tuition assistance for graduate coursework.
4. BEST BUY
You can receive up to a calendar-year maximum of $3,500 for undergraduate and $5,250 for graduate-level course work. See Best Buy’s tuition assistance program for more details.
The BP educational assistance program will reimburse eligible full-time employees for up to 90% of educational expenses as long as certain conditions are met.
6. COMCAST Employees of Comcast can be reimbursed up to $5,750 per year for undergraduate and graduate educational expenses. The company also has its Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, which awards students more than $1,000 per year.
7. Home Depot
The company offers Tuition Reimbursement to associates after 90 days of service. For salaried: up to $5,000 • Full-time Hourly: up to $3,000. 50% of the cost of tuition, books and reasonable class registration fees for approved course(s).
The JetBlue scholars program covers the cost of JetBlue-approved online courses. Employees who have worked for JetBlue for at least two years and have at least 15 college credits are eligible for the program.
The tuition reimbursement program at Publix covers individual courses, occupational/technical programs and some undergraduate programs. Any associate who has worked for at least six months and works an average of 10 hours per week is eligible to receive up to $3,200 per year with a maximum of $12,800 of tuition reimbursement, with approval from a manager. To receive tuition reimbursement for a graduate degree, you must get higher approval.
Up to 100% reimbursement of tuition costs for Company-approved college courses. Scholarship program for children of employees, which awards a $3,000 renewable scholarship to up to ten recipients each year.
A template for human beauty is found in phi and the pentagon
Dr. Stephen Marquardt has studied human beauty for years. He has performed cross-cultural surveys on beauty and found that all groups had the same perceptions of facial beauty. Plus, he analyzed the human face from ancient times to the modern day. What did he find?
He discovered that beauty is not only related to phi, but can be defined for both genders and for all races, cultures and eras with the beauty mask which he developed and patented. This mask uses the pentagon and decagon as its foundation, which
Nancy Yi Liang is a unique designer. She brings code to life by converting code into physical objects like dresses. This is the future of custom made dresses. Her blog walks us through all the steps from the first sketch to the final product: the amazing, customized dress. Her project plays with perspective and digital manufacturing techniques like sewing simulation, 3D modeling, laser cutting.
Nancy starts with sketching the design on paper. Yes, paper is still important. Next, she moves into the digital domain to create an accurate 3D model of the wearer. Nancy uses Make Human, the free and open source software to create realistic 3D humans.
Next, she uses Marvelous Designer, which allows you to create beautiful 3D virtual clothing. From basic shirts to complicated dresses, Marvelous Designer can virtually replicate fabric textures and physical properties to the last button, fold, and accessory. This allows Nancy to design the cutting patterns, and then shows her how to drape the
1. Testing is Good!
When they hear the word “test”, most students react with angst and dread. Who wants to take a test? Well, mostly nobody. But did you know that testing is the best way of learning? According to Drs. Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski, testing is better than re-reading.
Often, closing the book and testing yourself on whether you can solve the problem or recall the information you think you understand, will speed up your learning at this stage. You often realize the first time you actually understand something is when you can actually do it yourself. Actively recalling information is a great way to burn it into long-term memory.
2. Start Early
The simplest way to improve test results is to start studying well ahead of time. This will get material into your long-term memory, where it has staying power. But don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, break studying down into manageable pieces. And then use the spaced learning technique: review it the next day, and then a few days later and so on. Another value of starting early is to find out whether you need help before it’s too late.
3. Understand the Test
Ever studied the wrong material or missed a key section? There’s an easy way to prevent this: Ask your teacher for guidance, or for standardized test, find out what material they cover in the tests. Create a table of contents for what you think will be covered in the test and then find out:
Fashion designers use a lot of math. They use addition and subtraction to find out if they will make a profit on the clothes they make. The profit on a piece of clothing is the amount of money earned from selling it minus all the costs of making it. For example, let’s say a designer makes a dress. She buys the fabric for $70.00.
Let's say, that the zipper costs her $5.00. She buys the thread for $3.00. She pays someone $40.00 to sew the dress. The designer uses addition to find out how much it cost her to make the dress: $70.00 + $5.00 + $3.00 + 40.00 = $118.00 The dress cost the designer $118.00 to make. Now suppose she sells the dress for $160.00. She uses subtraction to calculate her profit. She subtracts her costs from the amount she received: $160.00 – $118.00 = $42.00 So, the designer made a profit of $42.00 on the dress.
What happens if the collar is too wide? Shirt collars often have a thin strip of fabric around the edge for decoration. After making the collar, the designer notices that the strip is too wide. She must cut off some fabric from the strip. But how much?
The designer can use fractions to figure this out. She looks at her sketch and sees that the strip should be 3/8 inches wide. She measures the strip. It is 7/8 inches wide. So she must subtract the fractions:
7/8 - 3/8 = 4/8 which 1/2 inch. So she must cut 1/2 an inch of the fabric.
Two figures are congruent, when you place one over the other, the first one exactly covers the second. They have the same shape and size.
Congruent figures can make clothing interesting.
Look at the skirt shown above. It has small triangles on it. The designer made sure that all the triangles have the same size and shape. That makes the skirt pleasing to the eye.
You may not know it but knitting is very popular, especially among adult women. According to the Craft Yarn Council, 29 million, or nearly one-fifth of American women knit, and they make up 70 percent of all knitters.
According to Prof. Gresalfi, founder of KnitLab, knitting and its cousin crochet, are activities inherently filled with “rich mathematical thinking and problem solving.” One of the objectives of the KnitLab is to raise awareness that knitting is math.
How can knitting be similar to math?
A mathematician, artist and lecturer at the Cornell University, Daina Taimiņa, used a crochet hook, bright crochets and visualized very complicated mathematical concepts were only understood by highly experienced mathematicians. Using crochets, Daina has created a new way of understanding hyperbolic planes and has created a simpler way for the students to master it. Why do we care about hyperbolic plane?
An interesting story in the Harvard Gazette profiles Eni Dervishi’s journey from Albania to Harvard that began with two simple words: "table" and "chair". Fascinated by language, Eni, soon developed a passion for learning languages.
“I fell in love with languages,” she said. “Through languages I was able to see a different world. It opened my imagination to what was out there.”
Eni is from a small town in Albania. Her father had no formal education. Neither did her mother, though she returned to school as an adult. Her mother had to balance both school and house work and showed Eni with her actions that education is important.
Eni's small-town high school had no one to guide her in the application process. “My teachers hadn’t written letters of recommendation before,” she said. “I had to teach them.” When she needed to send official documents, such as transcripts, she found another hurdle. “I thought of faxing them, but there was no fax machine in my hometown.”
Despite these odds, Eni persevered and got accepted at Harvard. As you can see, Eni is from a modest background and did not have to climb Mount Everest, or take several extra co-curricular classes, or be a team captain, or, well, impress people. She followed her passion for learning languages. In addition to English, she learned some French,
Guest post by Frank Lawson
Tips for Choosing the Best Summer Camp for Your Child
For parents, choosing the right summer camp for your child is just as important as picking the right daycare center, school, or club. It’s a decision that deserves some research, thought, and planning. Though there are hundreds of summer camps across the U.S., there may only be a handful of camps in your vicinity that are right for your child. Here are some tips to make sure you choose the right summer camp.
Involve your child in the process
Ultimately you have the final say on where your child goes for summer camp, but there’s a greater chance that they’ll have a fun, productive time if they play some role in the decision-making process.
The three major choices you have when picking a summer camp are sleepaway vs. day camp, long distance or close to home, and specialty or general interest. Ask your child if they feel ready to attend a camp that’s 24/7 or one’s that’s further away from home. Don’t push it, but encourage your child to step outside their comfort zone. If your child is super into a certain sport, activity, or field of study, you may want to consider a specialty camp. If not, a general interest camp might make them feel more comfortable.
“Be certain to include your child in the decision-making process. Together with your child, explore the camp options and examine the materials the camps provide … As children become better acquainted with the camp experience and more involved in the decision-making process, they will have less anxiety about going away to camp,” suggests the American Camp Association.
How to spot good and bad camps
What are the attributes of a good summer camp? First and foremost, the camp will have a focused curriculum. You’re not paying a camp to just send your kids out to wander aimlessly in the woods. You want them to learn and to experience interesting things. A good camp will have low staff turnover and will have some sort of positive presence - whether that be online or via the recommendations of friends and neighbors.
You just got a response from your dream college, and it says you are on the wait list. Disappointed?! You feel that you have lost the chance. In one sense you are correct. A wait list is a 'polite no' and the chances of you getting admitted off the waitlist are often slim. What does the waitlist decision tell you? It says you are competitive but not a standout. According to Eric J. Furda, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania:
"This waitlist decision is one saying that you're competitive in our pool, and if spots open up after the May 1 candidates' reply date, we're going to go back and take a look at your application and the other students' applications on the waitlist."
So what do you do? Do you leave the decision to chance, or can you do something and perhaps standout? Yes, you can standout and here are 5 steps you can take.
There is a raging debate in the country about the value of a college education. Partly, the rising cost of education has prompted this debate. The average cost for a public 4-year college degree is over $80,000 and for private ones are $180,000. The burden of paying for a college education, both for rich and for middle class families, has considerably increased over the past 30 years. Some families find themselves too wealthy to qualify for financial aid, but are too strapped to pay out-of-pocket for college education. This is how federal financial aid works since it is needs based. If you are in this situation, check out our blog that addresses this issue and provides a guide for action.
Plus, given globalization and the slow growth economy worldwide, competition for jobs have intensified. The rising cost of a college education increases debt levels for students, and they struggle to pay the debt for a long time.
How can we empower families to deal with the rising cost of college education? Weighing a college's value has been done using soft metrics like reputation, selectivity and alumni networks. This type of evaluation cedes all power to university admissions algorithms, committees and various pressure groups seeking favors. You may be rich enough to send your kid to the top colleges, but you are not the decision maker.
It's time to challenge the way we look at the college admissions process. We want to empower the students and their families with useful information about the value of their college education.
You are told if you are smart, you will get good grades and do really well on standardized tests. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Just because a student is smart, it does not mean she will end up with good grades. Yesterday, we had a meeting with concerned parents and their talented and smart daughter, who was barely getting by in school. She was doing well, and then suddenly her grades fell. Her parents were concerned brought her to Hillview Prep to provide her with academic and test prep support. Her father kept on insisting that his daughter is smart. We did not disagree, as after talking to her we could tell that she is a typical smart and talented girl, who has too many things on her hand. She is active both in academics and in sports, and says she is not a good test-taker, but does all her homework. She said she does not like math and is not good at it, but loves science.
Usually, when someone is good in science, they are good in math too. The problem is that students often do not know their learning style and skills they need to do well in academics and in tests. They just do things intuitively. They haven't learnt that one can be good in any subject. It all depends on learning good methods of learning. Do you know how to take control of your academic abilities? Do you know how to learn effectively?
Well, if you are smart, why are you not good at taking tests? Test taking is fundamentally a skill, just like any other skill.
“So I didn’t understand why so many of them were enrolled in the optional SAT prep section of our summer program. Why would such impressive high achievers spend their summer nights storming through a massive SAT book? Many of them already took weekend SAT prep courses back home. Did they just think it was fun to time one another on practice sets?”
A story in the New York Times talks about a student from a modest background wondering why his rich co-students were taking summer SAT prep classes.
His family and friends from home thought it was weird that he went to “school” during his summers. His fellow students saw it otherwise; they saw summer academic programs as normal and enjoyable. They approached studying for the SAT with a near-professional intensity that was alien to him.
“I realized that they didn’t just want to score exceptionally well on the SAT. They were gunning for a score on the Preliminary SAT exams that would put them in the top percentile of students in the United States and make them National Merit Scholars in the fall.”
The majority of low- and middle-income 11th graders he knew didn’t even sit for the preliminary exams. Most took the SAT cold. Few were privy to the upper-middle-class secret: To get into elite colleges, one must train for standardized tests with the intensity of an athlete.
Yes, train with the intensity of an athlete. How do you do that?
We started with students hurdled in a French classroom with a TV and lots of French words and pictures from France. The room was in a trailer, away from the main building. It faced the large field.
The students knew why they were there. They were there not to learn French but for an after school HSPT class. The students were seventh graders and even a sixth grader.
For over fifty years, academic high schools nationwide have used High School Placement Test (HSPT®) to assist with admissions, scholarship selection, and curriculum placement. The HSPT is a standardized, timed test required of every 8th grade student applying to attend a Catholic high school. It contains five sections. The first two sections measure verbal and quantitative ability. The next three sections include questions related to reading comprehension, mathematics, and the components of written language. The HSPT questions are designed to test students at their curriculum level.
Hillview Prep was invited by Carden Academy to teach HSPT to a select group of students. Carden Academy of Almaden is a co-educational, non-sectarian, independent private elementary and middle school.
You need to get at least a 32 on the ACT to get into a top school.
Often we see that some very smart kids are unable to break the barrier of 32 on the ACT and fail to get near perfect scores.
Why do smart kids fail to break the barrier? In "Patterns of Underachievement in Gifted Students", Carolyn Coil, discusses three patterns of underachievement by smart kids:
1) Does well in early grades, then underachieves more as they get older
2) Sporadic up-and-down pattern
3) No effort to go beyond the minimum
The causes of underachievement can be many. We highlight a few below.
1. Not Being Prepared
Some smart students have poor discipline and do things last minute. They are smart so they can study last minute and still do well. However, in test prep, you cannot get away with it. Poor discipline leads to poor habits which affects your scores. For example, such students make a lot of silly errors because they rush through the questions. Remember, many questions are not difficult, but if you make an error the scantron will be unforgiving. It does not know whether you know the concept or not. It only sees you bubble that you have marked. Why lose points on concepts you know really well? So prepare well.
2. Poor Strategies
We suggest not to take the ACT or the SAT in spring because your school load is quite heavy, especially if you are taking APs. Ideally, take the test in the Fall and do test-prep in the Summer. We would be happy to assist with your test preparation. Just let us know. :-)
3. Lack of Test Taking Abilities
If you are not a good test taker, chances are you have not developed your test-taking abilities. Test taking is no different than learning swimming or tennis. It is the same thing. There are certain principles and strategies that you need to learn to do well on tests. Many students do not have a well rounded approach and have no consistency.
ISEE or SSAT? That is the question!
Though both tests are accepted by most private, non-parochial schools, they are different in many ways.
An overview of differences:
Below are more details on the differences between the ISEE and the SSAT.
Are You Doing Things Differently On Test Days?
Without even realizing it, you may be doing things differently on test days than you have been while studying. Anxiety may have taken over and you may be rushing through your test and just panicking. In some cases, you may fall back to your old habits instead of what you learned for test prep. In other cases, you might forget time management and spend too much time on tough problems. And there could be many other ways how you maybe doing things differently—from not eating a good breakfast to not getting a good night's sleep.
In order to succeed on the test day, you will have to rely on your subconscious mind guiding you—the habits that you have built—because of the spontaneity of the test. You have to response to the spontaneity and the surprises of the test. Plus, given time and performance pressure, you are asking too much for your conscious mind to do. It can't and you then fall into your habits.
What can you do?
There are many students who have perfect scores on the SAT. These students come all walks of life and have taken test prep from various places, from the name brands to individual tutors. If you were to choose a test prep course, and there are lots and lots of choices today, which one should you choose? Of course, we will say choose us, but what really differentiates us from the name brands like Kaplan and Princeton and from the many test prep schools out there. In short, why would you work with Hillview Prep?
The short answer is the Smart Scoring System.
The Smart Scoring System is a learning tool. It can identify your academic strengths and weaknesses and understand your learning style. It is the ultimate guide for discovering the most effective methods and strategies that make you learn faster and succeed in less time.
The ACT Science test contains passages on a variety of scientific subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, etc. According to the Official ACT website: “Advanced knowledge in these subjects is not required, but background knowledge acquired in general, introductory science courses is needed to answer some of the questions. The test emphasizes scientific reasoning skills over recall of scientific content, skill in mathematics, or reading ability.”
We believe that reading comprehension is the key to be successful with ACT science. In addition, we believe that a review of definitions can enhance your ability to do well in the ACT Science portion. Again, we are talking here about background knowledge and not expertise.
Definitions are key in acquiring a sound background knowledge of any subject, and here is a list of concepts that you might encounter on the ACT Science section. Do let us know if you want to learn more about acing the ACT test. With our revolutionary Smart Scoring System, we can help you learn faster, test smarter and score higher on your ACT.
Many students who are preparing for the SAT confuse or do not know definitions. Definitions are critical. They help you understand and differentiate a concept from others. They also help you retain the concept in a simple way. And finally, they help you answer the question on your SAT test.
Here are the most common SAT math definitions that you should become familiar with. You will see these words throughout the SAT math test, and you have to know how to use them.
You are an excellent student. You got good grades, but you bombed the SAT. You are disappointed and still want to go to a top school. What do you do now? Here are some tips.
1. Take the ACT!
This is a no-brainer. If you have not taken the ACT, you must. It will enhance your chances of getting into an Ivy league school. Prepare for the ACT with the Hillview Prep's Smart Scoring System and get a great ACT score. The Smart Scoring Systems can quickly diagnose why you failed to obtain a great SAT score and help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Working with one of our tutors, you can use the Smart Scoring System to lean faster, test smarter and score higher.