The Edge Our college admission blog

This One’s For You

by Katie Z, Ph.D September 2, 2015

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For those of you embarking on or continuing your high school adventures, I’d like to bring to your attention some of the resources at your disposal to make your college trek a little less arduous. After all, though the weather may still be nice, summer is slipping away – it’s time to turn our collective attention to all things college admissions.  High schoolers, welcome to the start of a fun and challenging academic year!  This post is for you.

Seniors - Final

 

My Top-Five Recommended Resources For Those On The Journey To College:

  1. Admitster, of course!  I know that I’m biased, but there really are some tremendous resources here for you to take advantage of – My College List; excellent projections of your chances of getting into each of the schools on your list; the What If? Engine to help you work out your best admissions strategy; the Wicked Smart Essay Reviews; one-on-one admissions consulting; and a bookstore full of great book reviews!  To register for Admitster, just click here.
  2. College Abacus –  A truly useful tool for estimating net price – a very important number in your college considerations!  Click here to learn more.  You’ll be glad you did.
  3. College App Map – I’ve introduced you to this resource before and reintroduce it today because it’s just so cool!  Click on the grade that you’re in and you’ll then be provided with a map to both the steps you should be taking at this stage in the game and appropriate apps to help you on your way.
  4. The FAFSA Community is a valuable resource for filling out your FAFSA and applying for financial aid.
  5. raise.me – Through raise.me, you can earn micro-scholarships for your high school achievements.  You should be curious about this opportunity and excited to read more! Click here.

There are a ton of college admissions resources out there, but some are duds and others are diamonds – be sure to take the time to differentiate between them.  The above list of resources is a great springboard to your college journey – enjoy the adventure!

Oh For The Love of Wisdom!

by Katie Z, Ph.D August 17, 2015

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Did you know that philosophy means “the love of wisdom”?  It’s true!  The word has Greek roots – “philo” means “love”, and “sophos” translates to mean “wisdom.”  For a modern definition of the word, look no further than the Oxford Dictionaries, which defines it as, “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.”  This definition provides a fortunate bridge to today’s blog post, which will consider the academic discipline of philosophy.  Students of philosophy ask themselves (and others) many thought-provoking questions:

Does God exist?  Who am I?  What is the difference between right and wrong?  Are our lives governed by fate or free will?  Do we have souls?  What is love?  What is art?  What is time?  What is morality?  Can we be certain of anything?  What is the meaning of life?

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I may not have answers to the above-listed questions, but I can help you to think about where you should consider applying in order to study them.  To begin with, keep in mind that there are many sub-disciplines within philosophy.  Examples of these, to name but a few, are: ethics, logic, ancient philosophy, political philosophy, the history of philosophy, moral dilemmas in medical practice, and the philosophy of science.  Different programs will have different strengths, weaknesses, focuses, resources, curriculum requirements, and approaches to the study of philosophy, but the list below is compiled of those schools that came up again and again in my search for the highest caliber undergraduate philosophy programs:

  1. Amherst College
  2. Brown University
  3. Dartmouth College
  4. New York University
  5. Northwestern University
  6. Princeton University
  7. Reed College
  8. Stanford University
  9. University of California, Berkeley
  10. Yale University

There are, of course, many more excellent philosophy programs out there and, in thinking about where to apply, remember that you should consider not only “the best” schools for philosophy (in terms of their rankings), but also the best philosophy schools for you – that is, not only academic fit (which is, of course, hugely important), but also physical, financial, and social/cultural fit.  Click here for more information on the “good-fit” matrix!

Top-Five Factors: Where To Apply

by Katie Z, Ph.D July 23, 2015

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Assuming that you’ve decided to attend college after high school (in lieu of, say, working or taking a gap year), good starting points in thinking about where to apply are attending a college fair and taking note of where different colleges stand on various indicators in lists of college rankings – in particular, keep your eye out for graduation rate statistics!

Next, consider the below Top-Five List of things that you should have on your mind when thinking about the question, “Where should I apply to college?”  Furthermore, under each item are links to blog posts that further elaborate on the consideration at-hand.

Drum roll please!

Coming in at Number 5 is …

  • The weather!  What sort of days can you expect Mother Nature to be throwing your way at your top-choice schools?
  • For more information, see Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

Number 4

  • Location, location, location!  On your mind should be considerations of student life, culture, economic health, and opportunity in the rural area, town, or city in which your school is located.
  • See Where’s Waldo? to read more about it!
  • Also, ask yourself whether you want to attend a college that’s near or far from home.

Number 3

Number 2

  • Academic fit is a hugely important criteria!  You definitely want to be academically challenged and stimulated, but you don’t want to be completely lost in the majority of your classes, drowning in the academic experience.
  • Check out Something Fishy to learn more about finding the right balance, academically-speaking.

And the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Number 1

  • Your gut feeling when you visited the college!  Did you like being there?  Did you have a good feeling about the place?  Did the school have the resources that you would expect from your institution of higher learning?  Could you imagine yourself spending four years (or more) walking the college’s hallowed halls?  Would you enjoy being part of the school’s community?
  • For posts related to college visits, I would recommend taking a few minutes to read An Exercise In Emotional Management and Fly Me To The Moon.

Keep all of the above in mind when thinking about where to apply and, at the end of the application process, I have no doubt that your college will look fabulous on you!

 

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