According to Harvard, prior to the start of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), fewer than 20,000 students applied for admission. This year, nearly 40,000 students applied to Harvard.
One big reason is the availability of financial aid by the HFAI. According to Sarah C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “The majority of Harvard students receive need-based aid, and their families pay an average of only $12,000. Students are not required to take out loans.”
Since launching HFAI in 2005, Harvard has awarded nearly $1.6 billion in grants to undergraduates. Over that time, Harvard’s annual financial aid award budget has increased more than 114 percent, from $80 million in 2005 to more than $172 million in 2016.
College admission committees want to know who is getting into their college. It is just like anything else. You want to know who is coming to your house. Right?
GPAs and test scores helps them determine how well you are doing academically and the probability of how well you will do in college, but they also want to get to know you beyond that. They want to learn your character, your interests, like, how you spend your time outside of the classroom, how you would deal with a challenge, etc. They are interested in getting to know your personality and the life experiences you may have had up until this point. They also want to learn why you are interested in going to their college. They want to learn from your teachers or counselors their perspective on who you are as a student and human being. They can’t get all that information from numbers: GPA and test scores.
Admission to top colleges is ultra-competitive. They are many, many qualified students who are applying to top colleges—from all around the world. Colleges do not have spots for all of them. Many students have excellent grades and test scores—some perfect grades and test scores. So they have to use qualitative measures such as essays, projects and letters of recommendations to make distinctions among the many excellent candidates.
In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.
A perfect essay appeals to both systems. Here are two steps to write your perfect college essay.
Why the Power of the Pen can Make You an Invincible Learner
Cognitive neuropsychologists, Audrey van der Meer and Ruud van der Weel, from the renowned Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), are experts in the field of how technology and learning intersect. They have studied the differences between using a pen and using a keyboard and how it impacts learning and they have some fascinating insights to report.
Does long-hand note-taking using a pen deepens the mind’s ability to retain and process information?
That is the question the researchers asked and carried out a two-month research project with students. Their project aimed to find out whether note taking by typing versus note taking with a pen would bring about differences in brain activity, thereby affecting a student’s ability to learn.
After spending more than seven hours in school, five days a week, most students are given homework. Although homework is viewed by most educators and parents as an essential component of reinforcing what has been taught in the classroom, for most students homework is a chore that often frustrates and angers them.
How can you help your child with homework frustration? Following are some tips. Find out which ones will work for you and your child.
What if you could hack your brain to be brilliant on demand?
Research has found that the surge of brilliance you experience is when high-performance hormones dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin floods your brain.
How do you do that? You just have to ask yourself the following questions.
Responsibility And Timeliness
Clark Brigger, executive director for undergraduate admissions, Penn State University, tells his kids, “Do not wait for the deadline to submit your applications.” Admissions officers see a huge spike in applications when the deadline comes around. That's when the procrastinators send their applications in. It is to your advantage to get ahead of the crowd, according to Brigger.
Think strategically. Thing about the poor admissions officer. She has to read thousands of applications. If you get yours in early, the reader may be more relaxed and in a better mood at that point in the process. You also show that you value their time and are responsible.
In today's fast paced world, we are told to move fast, read fast, do fast. We are supposed to be like superman — fast.
However, reading fast is not necessarily a good thing. It does not benefit your brain and increases stress. According to the Wall Street Journal, a growing movement of 'slow readers' is taking place around the world. Slow reading advocates want to return to the focused reading habits, before Google, smartphones and social media started fracturing our time and attention spans.
There are many benefits to reading slowly and not rush through the text.
1. Microsoft Surface Tablet: The Best Digital Pen & Paper
We use Microsoft's Surface tablet, the closest emulation to a pen and paper. You can take faster notes, share material quickly, and organize more efficiently.
What ever happened to the classic pen and paper? The tactile experience of writing letters.
You can write directly on webpages with the Surface Pen, which is a delight to use. The Surface Pen feels like a real pen. We like the sensors on it and feels like you are using a real palm. It also recognizes your palm, so your palm does not interfere with writing. You can quickly switch between lines and graph paper. Cut and paste is seamless.
How do you determine the popularity of a school? According to US News there is a concept called, 'yield'. The yield is the percentage of students who enroll at the school after being admitted. A higher yield typically indicates a school's popularity and desirability in a student's eyes and is often associated with a "first-choice school," experts say.
“I am absolutely, unequivocally and categorically scared to enter the college admissions process. And chances are that if you are a rising high school senior, you are too. In the increasingly competitive milieu that is college admissions, no college is a “safe school.” Acceptance letters from dream schools couldn’t be more hard found, nor rejection letters more prevalent.”
Following is a list of students' concerns:
You put in the hard work and have the grades and SAT/ACT scores to get into your dream college. So do tens of thousands of students from all over the world! How do you stand out?
The admission committee decisions and their processes are not in your control. You cannot change them. But you can stand out and influence them by using your personal statement to shine and demonstrate the value you will bring to the college.
The key word is 'value'. It is not about your awesome grades and scores. That is a given and is used to filter out candidates. You have to figure out ways to stand out and get in. One way is take the subject SAT and demonstrate your interest in your field (assuming you know that). Another way is to write a great personal statement. We suggest you do both.
How do you communicate your value?
Noticing that nearly 150,000 edX learners (in 2014) were high school students, edX announced its high school initiative addressing the crucial need of college readiness gap.
Studies show that nearly 60 percent of first-year U.S. college students are unprepared for postsecondary studies. This readiness gap between college eligibility and preparedness is costly not only to students, but also to families and institutions.
MOOCs are offering courses from top high schools, secondary schools and universities to help students prepare for Advanced Placement (AP®) Exams and CLEP® Exams, as well as introductory-level courses to help you get ahead of the game. Examples are edX specially designed courses and FutureLearn's special collection of courses targeted to help students prepare for university.
How can MOOCs help you?
Given the escalating cost of college schooling, an increasing number of grandparents are pitching in to pay for college fees for his or her grandchildren. Given their flexibility, 529 plans are the top choice for grandparents. However, they can complicate a child’s chances of qualifying for financial aid.
The problem arises when students receive money from the 529 plan. That will appear as income in the student’s name, which must be reported on the FAFSA, which reduces the amount of financial aid. Note that FAFSA, the financial aid form that most colleges require when a student applies, is also required to be updated every year he or she is in school.