Work on you daily character and you can enter the school of your choice!
What is Character?
A dictionary definition of character is: "the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual."
That is exactly what schools are looking for. They want to know you -- your mental and moral qualities. Many students get A+ grades and perfect or almost perfect test scores, but what about their distinctive mental and moral qualities--their character?
Most people accept moral values from people around them and never even think of building their own character. They also absorb mental qualities and habits by osmosis, by mimicking others, or go by whatever works in the moment. There is no technology out there that helps them build it. But that is about to change.
Angela Duckworth, is the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, a New York Times best seller, and Founder & CEO of the Character Lab. According to her, there is now overwhelming scientific evidence that character strengths are as important as IQ and socioeconomic status to academic achievement and well-being. Although character strengths are known to be malleable, surprisingly little is known about how to cultivate them intentionally. The key word here is intentionally.
Prof. Duckworth categorizes three distinct clusters of character strengths. They are 'Strengths of Heart', 'Strengths of Mind', and 'Strengths of Will'.
Most people do not focus on working on their character. Yes, it is actually work. You might have heard of the phrase 'character building', but how do you do that?
How to Build your Character?
In order to build and strengthen your character, you have to know what to focus on. We will follow Angela Duckworth's clusters and discuss on how to work on your character.
1. Strengths of Heart
These are the "emotional" strengths. They help you relate in positive ways to events and people. Examples of this strength are expressing gratitude and having purpose.
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful to opportunities, abundance, good fortune and kindness of other people.
Those who demonstrate gratitude—and those who don’t—see life differently. Individuals demonstrating gratitude tend to emphasize language related to gifts, blessings, fortune, and abundance. Individuals who don’t demonstrate gratitude, on the other hand, tend to focus on deprivation, deservingness, regrets, lack, need, scarcity, and loss.
How do you cultivate gratitude? According to psychologist Martin Seligman, if you write three good things that happened to you each night before going to bed, it will increase your happiness. It inculcates gratitude about the good things in life you already have. Try the exercise yourself and see what happens.
Parents: Write three good things that happened to you each day and share them with your teen. Sharing good things is a great way of building a bond with your family.
Teens: Try the exercise and share it with your family. I know you want to watch Youtube or be on Instagram/Snapchat, but take some time to share three good things with your family.
2. Strengths of Mind
These are the "intellectual" or “thinking” strengths. They enable a fertile and independent life of the mind.
Curiosity is a strong desire to learn or know something—a search for information for its own sake. It’s also about leaving your mind open to possibilities and being honest about what you do and don’t know. Curiosity is an important aspect of learning because it is a source of motivation.
Most kids are naturally curious. Unfortunately, by the time most children hit their teens, their curiosity diminishes and they become 'I know it all' types. This attitude stunts growth and achievement.
How can you flex your curiosity muscle? Yes, it is a muscle like anything else!
Teachers: Curiosity is contagious. If you are curious so will your students. Ask open ended questions, who, what, how, when and why. Don't just lecture or give facts. Try the following.
Teens: Be curious about things around you and not just Instagram or Snapchat. Ask your family to take a trip to a new place. Learn a new skill.
Zest—also referred to as vitality—is an approach to life that is filled with excitement and energy.
Zest is about exhibiting enthusiasm and feeling energized. But zest doesn’t need to be loud—a quiet, introverted artist can approach her latest project with zest, even if she is alone in her studio.
Most kids have enthusiasm for something. Unfortunately, as kids grow older, the zest for life often gets diminished because of negative feedback, fear of what others think, fear of failure, and pressure from peers and family.
How can you increase or maintain your zest?
Teachers: Did you know that zestful teachers are better at their jobs? Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, be zestful. Try these:
Teens: Actively participate in your classes, do more sport, sleep well, and be curious.
Guest post by Anna Salieva, a Hillview Prep student
If you’re planning on studying some form of an art major, you may be considering going to an art school. But is it really that much better? Both art schools and universities have their own advantages when it comes to studying your art major. Here’s what you need to know.
Many art schools don’t require you to submit your test scores and GPA, and instead evaluate you solely based on your talents. This may give you an advantage in getting in, if you feel like your skills greatly outweigh your academics. However, if you are a strong student all around, but may still want to show that off to your colleges.
Art schools have many more options when it comes to artistic majors. Whether you’re planning on majoring in animation or environmental design, without a doubt a school that specializes in art will give you many more fields of study to choose from, unlike a standard university, which will have a much smaller art department and only a handful of majors.
In an art school, everyone you know is an artist. Surrounded by like-minded people, it could be extremely easy for you to make friends, and what better place to get advice and inspiration than from the hundreds of other artists surrounding you every day of your life? Exchanging ideas and asking for help on your projects and portfolios is extremely. Not to mention the sense of spirit you feel around people who have the same passions and ideals.
However, there are many more benefits from going to a regular university.
Diversity: not everyone may be an artist, but so what? You are surrounded not just by painters and designers in your regular classes, but by scientists, mathematicians, engineers, writers, critics, historians, athletes. Having such a great diversity around you can help you not only in terms of inspiration, but life skills as well. Communicating and spending time with all kinds of people will fill up your internal reserve of ideas even more. Life is the best place to gain inspiration from, and such a great diversity can inspire you and give you even more ideas.
You get more options in terms of career. If you plan on taking a double major, a university can give you much more options in what you can study. If you’re planning on being an interface designer, computer science is a good major or minor to be interested in. If you want to be a writer and illustrate your own books, a double major or a major and minor combination of illustration and creative writing will definitely interest you. Art schools may have more options in terms of art, but a big university will have more options open for you in general.
Whether you choose an art school or a university to study in is up to you. Just know all the benefits of both and choose wisely.
Guest post by Anna Salieva, a Hillview Prep student
One of the biggest challenges you face in high school is applying for colleges. Yes, it’s exciting. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s nerve-wracking to talk to your parents about it. The most important part to remember about this stressful time is to be smart about what colleges you’re applying to, and not simply doing what the people in your life want you to do.
Being smart about your college list means to understand where your chances are in getting into all of them. You should always have one or two backup colleges, just in case the worst case scenario happens, but make sure the colleges you pick for that position are ones you wouldn’t mind going to. If you’re picking backups for the sake of backups, you’re just going to be disappointed if you end up going to one of these schools. If the academic requirements are lower than what you are capable of, find other aspects of the college that you may enjoy. It may be their clubs, or their sports, or their campus, but if there’s something in that college that draws you in despite the low average GPA, apply to that one.
Being smart also means that your list is balanced. Having 90% of your picks be Ivies or other exclusive colleges will only lower your chances of getting into any of them. If you want to apply to an Ivy, do that, but most of your applications should be to schools that are at your level, or “target schools”. If your GPA matches their average, or is slightly below that, what you’re looking at is a target school. These schools will give you a good challenge when it comes to academics, but are less likely to burn you out than an Ivy is.
Visit your colleges. You may thing your first choice is the college of your dreams, but when you get into it, you realize that the dorms have no air conditioning. Now, this may not deter some people, but others will be very disappointed. Researching every aspect of college life is important when it comes to picking your college. And seeing the environment and the people that go there may greatly impact your decisions when it comes to picking it.
Finally, don’t let peer pressure influence your decisions. Talk to your parents about your college list, but don’t be a doormat at apply to only the colleges they want you to. Remember, it is your life you are deciding, not theirs. Do your best to strike a compromise if your idea and their idea of colleges are disagreeing. College applications are a stressful time to everyone, but getting support and encouragement from your family will greatly help you in the process.
Thomas Frank has some good advice on how to stop falling behind on homework. He has a 3 step method to help you stay on track. We are summarizing his views below and adding our own perspective to it, so do read the blog and not just watch the video!
1. Calendar and to-do list: organize and keep it up to date
Put you stuff outside of your head into an external system so your brain does not have to worry about it. This is excellent advice given by productivity experts like David Allen, who advises us that the mind is for having ideas, and not for holding them. If you want to learn more, read his seminal book on Getting Things Done.
Start early in the semester. Take the syllabus and schedule and transfer it to your calendar and to-do list. Keep on adding assignments and to-dos on your task management system. You can either use a paper calendar/to-do system or an app on your phone.
Some of the tasks will pile up. Establish a review day during the week and go through your to-do list and check them off and decide when to do what is not done.
2. Break down the tasks into smaller chunks
And set deadlines for each chunk! Do this consistently and your work will be more manageable and you won't fall behind. Break down your studying as well as tasks. Don't put off things. Just do them in small chunks and do them consistently.
Breaking down your projects into smaller pieces also helps you in getting started because it is doable. Also, set a deadline for your first micro task the day you got the assignment. This way you can get started when the project is fresh in your mind. This way you can deal with procrastination.
3. Work every day to stay sharp and on task
Try to do something every day. This will give you continuous momentum and help deal with resistance and motivation. To help with this idea, find a time and place where you can do your work. This is quite important. For example, I don't like to work in public places. I don't know why, but I don't. I like to work at home or at a place where I can personalize my setting. You need to find places where you like to work. And then the time. What times you will do your homework? What times do you like to read interesting material related to what you have learned in school? Etc.
Many students have several activities besides studying and doing homework. Find out what works for you. Maybe going to a tutoring service, like Hillview Prep :-), may give you the space and time you need to work on your assignments. Plus, you can get instant help from a tutor.
4. Find a solution if you are falling behind
Well, you will occasionally fall behind. It could be an illness, unanticipated events, unplanned activities, tasks and activities taking longer than you expected, etc. In such cases, accept the reality and find a solution. Maybe, come to a tutoring service, like ours, during the weekend or after school. We also offer bootcamps and online classes.
Guest post by Anna Salieva, a Hillview Prep student
Is your class grade shifting to a B- because of poor test scores? Is the material just not sinking in? Do you have to spend too much time late at night studying? Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid stress and get those straight A’s you want in your grade book.
Hope you found this helpful and good luck getting those A's! Contact the Hillview Prep team if you need help in getting A's in school and in learning faster, testing smarter and scoring higher on the SAT and ACT.
A dictionary definition of character is: "the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual."
That is exactly what schools are looking for. They want to know you -- your mental and moral qualities. Many students get A+ grades and perfect or almost perfect test scores, but what makes them unique and stand out?
A child’s personality and character have always been important to the independent school admission process, but they did not have a tool to measure the character skills a student is developing or has already developed.
A tool is now available. It is called The Character Skills Snapshot, which is a new online assessment that provides schools with a more holistic view of your child. It measures your child’s character skill development and is meant to complement more traditional assessments, such as the SSAT, the ISEE or the HSPT. The Character Skills Snapshot gives admission teams richer holistic information and illuminates areas where their school can help your child grow, thrive, and shine.
Why should you care about the Character Skills Snapshot? Remember that one of the reasons you want your child in an independent school is an education that focuses on instilling character values and encouraging personal growth.
Schools know that a complete picture of your child contains much more than grades and test scores. That’s why they are asking your child to take The Character Skills Snapshot as part of their application. It will give them richer information about your child, and show them areas where they can help your child grow.
Admission teams will use the information provided from The Character Skills Snapshot to complement ISEE or SSAT test scores, interviews, grades, letters of recommendation, and other information.
The Character Snapshot
Snapshot was designed by test experts and independent school admission professionals to measure eight skills they deemed important when considering applications: intellectual curiosity, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, resilience, self-control, open-mindedness, and social awareness.
If you need help in applying to private high schools and/or want help on preparing for the ISEE and/or SSAT tests, please feel free to contact us. We offer high school admission consulting and ISEE/SSAT test prep.
The 2018–19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is now available! If you plan to attend college between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, you should fill out your FAFSA form as soon as possible. Before you rush to fill it, read this blog to make sure you don’t make one of these common mistakes:
1. Not Completing the FAFSA Form
Here are the top reasons why people don't complete it:
It does matter. For one, contrary to popular belief, there is no income “cut-off” when it comes to federal student aid. You can always get an unsecured loan. Also, the FAFSA form is not just the application for federal grants such as the Federal Pell Grant, it’s also the application for Federal Work-Study funds, federal student loans, and even scholarships and grants offered by your state, school, or private organization. If you don’t complete the FAFSA form, you could lose out on thousands of dollars to help you pay for college. It takes little time to complete, and there are “Help and Hints” provided throughout the application.
If you want to get the most financial aid possible, fill out the FAFSA form ASAP after Oct. 1. Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and some states and colleges run out of money early. Even if it seems like your school’s deadline is far off in the future, get your FAFSA form done ASAP.
3. Not Getting an FSA ID
It’s important to get an FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA form. Why? Well, because when you register for an FSA ID, you may need to wait up to three days before you can use it to sign your FAFSA form electronically. An FSA ID is a username and password that you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites, including fafsa.gov. Do not wait! Create an FSA ID now: StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
4. Not Using Your FSA ID to Start the FAFSA Form
When you go to fafsa.gov, you will be given two options to log in:
1) Enter your (the student’s) FSA ID
2) Enter the student’s information
If you’re the student, you should choose the first option. Why? When you do, some of your personal information (name, Social Security number, date of birth, etc.) will be automatically loaded into your application. This will prevent you from running into a common error that occurs when your verified FSA ID information doesn’t match the information on your FAFSA form. Also, you won’t have to enter your FSA ID again to transfer your information from the IRS or to sign your FAFSA form electronically.
5. Not Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)
Note: The IRS DRT will return with the 2018–19 FAFSA form on Oct. 1, 2017, with additional security and privacy protections added.
For many applicants, the most difficult part about filling out the FAFSA form is entering the financial information. But thanks to a partnership with the IRS, students and parents who are eligible can automatically transfer their necessary 2016 tax information into the 2018–19 FAFSA form using the IRS DRT. It’s the fastest, most accurate way to enter your tax return information into the FAFSA form, so if you’re given the option to “LINK TO IRS” button, take advantage of it!
How America Pays For College
Students and parents equally share responsibility for paying college costs
While scholarships and grants remained the number one source of funding, the contribution from students was the highest since 2011-12, and nearly equaled the contribution from parents.
Nearly half of families use scholarships for college
Students expect to step up when it's time to pay back
Amounts spent and attitudes vary across the country
Most families expect their child to go to college, but many don’t have a plan for paying
Not all B Students are the same. Some got 'B' grades because they did not have test taking skills and/or lacked precision in their concepts. If you are a bright student and deserve to get into a great school, how do you compensate for your B grades and get into a great school?
Your grades are the most important factor that colleges use when they determine whether or not to admit you. This is even true today when there is grade inflation and close to 50% of students are getting A grades! If you get a few B grades you are going to fall behind and may not get into the school of your choice. If you still have time before you submit your college applications, we recommend you focus on improving your grades and/or taking honor or AP classes. A student who got all B’s in regular classes is going to be a much less qualified applicant than a student who got B’s in honors and AP classes. The difference will be reflected in your weighted GPA, which is what most colleges use to assess your GPA for admission.
Given the intense competition—from all over the world—you have to treat your academics almost like a sport. Just like in the 100m dash, fractions of seconds matter; the same goes for your grades and test scores, and well, even your essays. Talk to a Hillview Prep advisor on how to select the best honors or AP classes for you to boost your weighted GPA.
Test Scores Matter
Given that close to 50% of students are getting A grades, your test scores are one key way to differentiate yourself. We recommend to take both and SAT and the ACT. This way you will have both bases covered as well as be able to differentiate yourself.
And yes, you can get a great score! Remember, the tests cover material that you have already studied. If you are struggling, it is either you are not strong conceptually or are making silly errors and not pacing yourself. Our Smart Scoring System can help you improve your scores dramatically by pinpointing, very quickly, where you are struggling, and how to use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses.
Each student struggles in a unique way.
Everyone knows that homework is usually a pain, but often you may not be aware of your student's actual struggle. You have to find out your student's real challenge. Here are some ways your student might be struggling.
How do we solve these problems? Here are some solutions.
“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?
A Hillview Prep graduate, Cindy, is going to college this year! Exciting times, but she is also a bit apprehensive. We asked her what is she worried about. She said: her room mate!!
Room mate? We asked. Cindy said, yes. We asked her why is that a big concern? She said that the room mate gives her the creeps. She does not like her at all. We asked her how did she meet her room mate. And Cindy said it was via roomsync.com.
This app is a great idea, and we asked Cindy how did she pick her room mate. She said it was the room mate who picked her! Cindy said she does not like her room mate's personality and other things. We asked her why didn't she just say 'No'??
And that is the problem. Too many people are afraid to say 'no'. They think saying 'no' is hurting other people. In fact, nothing can be further than the truth. A 'no' protects you. It gives you time to consider your decision. A hurried 'yes' is the worst decision you can make.
Since you will be living with someone for at least a year in your freshman year, you should take the time to get to know people. Roomsync is great, but you should take time to get to know the person. Do a Skype call. See the other person in action. If possible, even go meet the other student and her family.
Technology can speed up finding things and making connections. However, it does not necessarily help you make a good decision. Don't be seduced by technology.
What will Cindy do? We don't know, but we have some tips for you to find a good room mate.
In a previous post, we talked about one of the greatest fear some students have in going to college. This post will discuss the second biggest fear in college. Can you guess what it is?
We have a student at Hillview Prep who is a good student but is apprehensive in going to college. She is going to a great school, one of her top choices, but she is nervous.
She is nervous about doing well in school.
This is a very common concern, and it is definitely not misguided. The expectations in college are much higher than in school. Often bright students underestimate what it takes to succeed in college and simply burn out. A lot depends on your high school background. For example, we have a student who did not take any programming courses in high school. For college he chose electrical engineering, and in his classes he encountered C++. He crashed. Some of his fellow high school friends had no problems because they knew Python and/or Java. The student also struggled in other courses despite being an 'A' student in high school. He needed to do some courses to bridge the gap from high school to college. He didn't know that there was a major gap in knowledge between high school and college that he needed to bridge. So he crashed and burned. He left his college and went to a community college, where he is taking courses that amount to bridge courses.
Then there are kids who got top grades in high school and earned high SAT/ACT scores. In college, they continue their hard work, but somehow fall behind. There are several reasons. Students struggle to wake up in time for class, procrastinate on long-term assignments, and neglect to do their work without the kinds of reminders and cues that their parents and school teachers used to provide. Unlike high school, where performance is closely tracked, in college you just have mid-terms and then the final grade. Often, professors in big universities are better researchers than teachers, so students struggle and have to learn everything on their own.
If you are struggling in college, or are concerned about how to approach college, here are some tips to do well.
A Hillview Prep student is going to college this fall, to UC Davis. She is a good student, talented and makes her own money working during the summer. She knows what she wants. She is becoming more and more independent. She is exciting about going to college, to pursue her passion of what she wants to do in her life.
Yet she is apprehensive about college. Can you guess her two big fears?
Her two big fears are not making friends and not getting good grades in college.
We will address her one big fear in this blog post: not making friends. Here are 7 tips to make friends in college.
1. Be yourself.
Many self-conscious students are afraid to be themselves. Often, they fear what people think of them. Maybe they will be rejected by their peers. That is a big error and will cost you angst and grief. Don't care about what others think of you. You should focus on your values, what is important to you and you will find people in college you share your interests and personality. Also, often you may be attracted to people with a different personality. If you are an introvert, you may enjoy the company of an extrovert, and vice-versa.
Our student at Hillview Prep is an introvert. She does not like approaching people. Well, you don't have to do much. Just be yourself and the right people will come to you. The only thing you have to do is go mingle with your peers.
2. Make the dorm your second home.
Dorms are filled with other college freshmen going through similar experiences. Reach out to them and just say hello, even if you are shy. Just say hello. You will be surprised what reaction you will get. You will find many are eager to make friends too and share the same fear of not making friends like you do. Some will be rude or just reject. This may not be a bad thing, since they are either not the right fit for you, or they are reacting out of fear. Say hello again to them later, and they may reciprocate.
The Hillview Prep student loves to bake. We suggested she should bake cookies. People would come like bees to honey!!
Highly successful people know there are 1,440 minutes in every day and there is nothing more valuable than time. As legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller said, "To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute."
You must master your minutes to master your life — and your academic life. Mastering your minutes does not mean counting or keeping score of each minute, but it means what you do with them, how you study and what you study. You can spend an hour and not learn much, while you could just spend 15-20 minutes and learn a lot.
We developed the Smart Scoring System to help you learn faster, test smarter and score higher. It compresses the time it takes to prepare for a test.
Many students Take too many classes, and therefore have too much homework. School can become burdensome. Often, students reread what they already learned in school. At other times, the instruction was not clear or not clear to them, so they spend time floundering. The Smart Scoring System can figure out what is going on really quickly. Do you understand the concept? Are you making silly errors? Are your using poor reading skills? Are you using keywords? Etc.
If you are falling behind in homework and at school, try the Smart Scoring System. Contact us to learn more how it can help you.
If you are feeling competitive pressure the Smart Scoring System makes you a better learner and a superior tester in a shorter time. Often competition creates focus, but if you do not have the right tools, you will lose your focus rather quickly and fall behind. The Smart Scoring System can quickly evaluate your strengths and help use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses. You can then learn faster in a shorter amount of time, thereby gaining an advantage over your peers. Plus, you will score higher in your tests. Contact us to learn more.
Everyone has 24 hours, but athlete students have to juggle between athletics and academics. There is no more time available. According to The Los Angeles Times, an average teenager spends about 3.5 hours a day just on homework. Athlete students in particular have a major challenge in balancing athletics and school work. They may find themselves unable to keep up with both athletics and academics, and sooner or later one of these two will suffer. The students will continue to try to balance the two, and frankly, there is no such thing as balance!
Take the case of Sasha, who plays volleyball and hopes to get a scholarship for college. She practices volleyball 20+ hours a week on top of school and homework. She has the same hours as everyone else, but her work load is much more than others. How can she make the best use of her time to excel in both sports and academics?
Do you love Pixar movies? Do you want to do computer animations and work on cool projects like Pixar movies? If so, you should read this blog.
If you are a good physics and math student, you will have no problem with animation. Interestingly, according to Tony DeRose, Pixar's Senior Scientist, computer animation models objects at greater scale and detail than even physics. For example, a big challenge in animation is quickly generating smooth curves with high fidelity.
For years, in both computer animation and video games, researchers mapped 3D objects with polygons. But the problem with polygons is that at close detail, you can see every one of them — a fatal problem when the illusion depends on ignoring individual frames and pixels. The trend has been is to replace polygons with parabolas, curving surfaces that are continuous at arbitrary levels of detail. But you still need to define these curves quickly to match a finite number of points or planes. So mathematicians have worked to develop different methods for quickly generating smoothly curved surfaces. These are typically called subdivision surfaces because of how they're calculated, by repeatedly splitting and averaging the midpoint of a line.
Today more high school teachers are handing out A's. They have a stack of A's to give out. You should be delighted with your A's. You can show it to your family, your friends, your neighbors. They will give you an attaboy or an attagirl and you will be tickled pink. You will feel you own the universe.
A fool's gold?
Recent findings show that nearly half of America's Class of 2016 are A students, up from 38.9% in 1998 to 47% in 2016. Yes, half of your classmates have an A grade.
According to Michael Hurwitz of the College Board, the folks who bring you the SAT, and Jason Lee, a doctoral student at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, the rise of the A average is "really stunning." Interestingly, in the same period, 1998 to 2016, the average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale.
Recent research suggests that the problem isn’t just showing up in high school. Even in colleges, most popular grade is now an A, according to Stuart Rojstaczer, a former Duke University scholar and founder of the website GradeInflation.com.
Does this suggest that all these A's on your report cards are just a fool's gold?
USA's public high schools are graduating a record number of students: the graduation rate is now 83%, according to federal statistics. But that's not always translating into success: more college diplomas and good jobs. A recent study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that just 56% of college students complete a four-year degree within six years of entering college. For students who start at two-year colleges, it's even worse: Just 29% earn a degree within three years.
So if half of students are getting A's, why are they failing? And what can you do about your situation?
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