college Archives - Merit Educational Consultants

Colleges are struggling to make decisions on whether or not they’re going to have fall term on campus or online. Seems that about 30% of the incoming freshmen are waiting to make decisions about which colleges to attend based on whether or not they’ll start college on campus. Many parents are leery of spending over $60,000 for an online college experience for their kids.

On the other hand, colleges, like businesses, have been hit hard by shelter-in-place orders, and they need student tuition to stay afloat. While they want to protect their faculty and students from the coronavirus, they know students (and parents) don’t want to pay full tuition for online classes. That’s why several colleges are planning on a half-and-half solution.

With this new proposal, colleges will open for fall semester/quarter on campus. This gives students the opportunity to get out of the house and back on campus where they can have fun and get the full college experience. Parents will pay tuition, room and board, and travel expenses just as they had expected. Colleges reap the financial security they need for this term.

There will be no fall break (like spring break) in October for colleges that normally have them. Colleges worry that students will be exposed to the coronavirus at home and then spread it around campus when they return. Each college will set up social distancing protocol to meet their local requirements.

Then, the Friday before Thanksgiving, the students pack up their dorm rooms and head back home for the rest of the semester/quarter. That way they enjoy the holiday with family and friends, and then their courses all transfer to online sessions. The benefit here is that they’ll have already completed midterms and have a good grasp of each class’s protocol so switching to online classes should be seamless.

Colleges fear that the second wave of the coronavirus will wreak havoc on campus and it will be best for students to be safely at home after Thanksgiving and through winter break. Nobody is speculating about what may happen for winter or spring terms yet. Uncertainty seems to be the only constant here.

This is the buzz I’ve heard about a new fall term scenario on college campuses. It offers something for the students/professors and the college bursars. There are many options and colleges will be making announcements about fall term in the next few months.

Source

May 21, 2020

On campus this fall – online after Thanksgiving?

Colleges are struggling to make decisions on whether or not they’re going to have fall term on campus or online. Seems that about 30% of the incoming freshmen are waiting to make decisions about which colleges to attend based on whether or not they’ll start college on campus. Many parents are leery of spending over $60,000 for an online college experience for their kids.

On the other hand, colleges, like businesses, have been hit hard by shelter-in-place orders, and they need student tuition to stay afloat. While they want to protect their faculty and students from the coronavirus, they know students (and parents) don’t want to pay full tuition for online classes. That’s why several colleges are planning on a half-and-half solution.

With this new proposal, colleges will open for fall semester/quarter on campus. This gives students the opportunity to get out of the house and back on campus where they can have fun and get the full college experience. Parents will pay tuition, room and board, and travel expenses just as they had expected. Colleges reap the financial security they need for this term.

There will be no fall break (like spring break) in October for colleges that normally have them. Colleges worry that students will be exposed to the coronavirus at home and then spread it around campus when they return. Each college will set up social distancing protocol to meet their local requirements.

Then, the Friday before Thanksgiving, the students pack up their dorm rooms and head back home for the rest of the semester/quarter. That way they enjoy the holiday with family and friends, and then their courses all transfer to online sessions. The benefit here is that they’ll have already completed midterms and have a good grasp of each class’s protocol so switching to online classes should be seamless.

Colleges fear that the second wave of the coronavirus will wreak havoc on campus and it will be best for students to be safely at home after Thanksgiving and through winter break. Nobody is speculating about what may happen for winter or spring terms yet. Uncertainty seems to be the only constant here.

This is the buzz I’ve heard about a new fall term scenario on college campuses. It offers something for the students/professors and the college bursars. There are many options and colleges will be making announcements about fall term in the next few months.

Source

April 2, 2020

Did You Know That Not All Scholarships Are Renewable Each Year?

Did you know that many scholarships disappear after freshman year? Make sure that the scholarship is renewable each year for 4 years to cover you throughout your undergraduate education.

Here are some red flags to watch for:

  1. One-time scholarships for visiting the college campus or interviewing with admissions officers
  2. Others require that you maintain a certain GPA or other codes of conduct
  3. Colleges could replace a grant (free money) with a loan after freshman year when the students have higher federal student loan limits
  4. Family finances change: siblings graduate from college or move out of the family home (increases parents’ ability to pay)

With a 4-year undergraduate degree costing between $100K-$300K, make sure that you can afford to complete your education BEFORE you start. Meet with your financial aid officer to discuss your financial aid offer. Because college tuition increases about 3% each year, consider how you plan to pay for tuition, room and board, and other expenses.

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March 6, 2020

UC Schools May Drop SATs and ACTs Requirements

Over 1000 colleges give students the option whether or not to declare their SAT or ACT scores with their college applications. Now the University of California is considering dropping the standardized test requirement for their admissions process at their 9 campuses.  This is a highly controversial subject that comes on the heels of the admissions scandal where wealthy families paid proctors to cheat by giving their children unfair advantages.

Requiring SATs or ACTs has 2 problems: (1) These standardized tests do NOT identify students who will do well in college; and (2) Wealthy students who are average or even below average can receive excellent scores when their parents pay thousands of dollars for SAT or ACT private prep tutoring, which makes gives the rich students an unfair advantage over poor students.

The real problem colleges face is determining which students will be successful at their institutions. Grade point averages (GPAs) vary from school to school. In wealthy school districts where classes are taught by teachers who often hold advanced degrees, they often succumb to grade inflation due to an onslaught of demanding parents. On the other hand, in poorer school districts where they struggle to keep good teachers, these teachers burn out quickly when faced with students functioning several grade levels below average and often don’t have the foundation to learn the concepts. An “A” in one school could be a “C” in another.

Maybe the honest way for students to apply to colleges and for colleges to determine whether a student will be successful is to have a college application day where every student in the nation fills out the application form, writes their essays, and organizes their resumes in the school auditorium. Teachers and counselors could assist the students and answer questions as proctor the application day. That way, the colleges evaluate the students based on their own work and all students receive the same support and guidance. Just a thought…

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March 5, 2020

Gap Year Projects

What’s the Rush to Go to College?

After 12 years of elementary, middle, and high school, why are kids so anxious to go straight to a 4-year college, and then possibly grad school? With the pressures they face to get top grades, study for SATs/ACTs, volunteer, and do extracurricular activities, kids burn out and lose focus on what and why they’re doing everything. I believe that when kids take a GAP YEAR to find what it is students are interested in and get involved, they’ll make smarter decisions about their future careers and where they want to live. They’ll also BE HAPPIER!

This one or two-year period gives students time to pursue a project – something they’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to do it. They can build a tiny house, they can lead others on an expedition, they can offer relief to victims of climate disasters, and more. Kids need to feel useful – either as part of a team to help others or as an individual doing a project to start something on their own. They can also start a business!

College will always be there and they’ll probably get into a better college if they take a gap year to show their interests and passions. Many other countries require that kids give a year or two to support their military so they build patriotism and camaraderie. Some religions require students to do missionary work before starting college or moving on to the adult world.

While I have concerns about pushing kids into the military or missionary work, I do strongly believe that all kids can benefit from taking a breather from the stress of getting into top colleges and doing a project to benefit society or help them figure out what they really want to do when they grow up.

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February 28, 2020

New Podcast: Sethumadhav Perumalla

In today’s podcast, TEDx speaker Sethumadhav Perumalla talks about his new book “Trumpists: The Art of the Tweet”.  It’s a great interview that covers a lot ground, including how Generation Z responds to misinformation, and how this affects our democracy and our future.

To listen to today’s podcast, find GakkoMom on iTunes and subscribe to it, or listen below:

February 28, 2020

College Tuition ROI

With the skyrocketing cost of college tuition, you may be wondering what the return on investment (ROI) is today. The average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree, will earn about $78,000 per year compared to just $45,000 for those with a high school diploma. The ROI is about 14%, which is considerably higher than the typical 8-9% investors expect from the stock market and other investments.

So keep up your grades and get your college degrees!

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January 8, 2020

Hunger on College Campuses

I didn’t believe it when I first read it: One in five college students report not having enough food to eat on a regular basis. In America? College students? And that’s not all. One in ten students at the community colleges report not eating for an entire day.

When college dining halls fill trays of food to keep their buffets full, you know there is a lot of waste at the end of every breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours. Instead of throwing out the food, dining halls will redirect food resources to feed students who don’t have the funds to pay for meals.

The 2019 Campus Hunger Reduction Act will make sure that every college student has food to eat simply by cutting waste. Many wealthy students skip meals when they dine at restaurants or they go home for weekends or holidays. These meal credits are often lost if not redeemed within a certain time period. With the Campus Hunger Reduction Act, these lost meal swipes may be given to students who need meals. Food insecurity should not exist on campuses and it’s about time we stop overlooking it.

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December 7, 2017

Chicago, Chicago!

Just returned from a whirlwind visit in Chicago where we ate our way around the city. We started out with Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza at Gino’s, enjoyed their unique Eatily, where a medley of artisan chefs prepare gourmet dishes, and tried dozens of other specialty restaurants on just about every block downtown. Jaclyn and Alex (and Radar!) live on the 40th floor right downtown and just 1.5 blocks from Kellogg’s grad school.

We stayed in a suite with a conference table and a Murphy bed (love Murphy beds!) in their building, where we hosted a mini family reunion with Jean and Davis Tatsui-Satake. It was our first time meeting the Chicago Tatsui relatives who left California right after Pearl Harbor. Rather than be interned like the rest of the family, this part of our family moved to Chicago and has stayed there ever since. We immediately hit it off with Jean and Davis, and have already made plans to get together again this year. It’s exciting to make connections with family members, learn new facts, and hear interesting stories about our ancestors. They contributed to our genealogy database and plan to help us fill in stories and data about our Chicago family.

We also had dinner with Rob’s brother Bill and his family in the suburbs south of Chicago. Rob and Bill exchanged stories about their youth – the ones you don’t want your children to hear – except, oops Jaclyn sat there in shock with her mouth wide open as she learned about her father’s earlier days. She kept looking at me to make sure these were real stories! It’s shocking that Rob and Bill are alive today…

Jaclyn hosted a get together with her Kellogg friends (Alex, Rob, and Kelly – yup, weird coincidence!) so Rob and I could meet them. As always, we love her new friends and had a blast with them. We plan to return to Chicago in June for Jaclyn’s graduation ceremony. Time flies; and we can’t wait to get her back to California!

December 7, 2017

Checking Out Colleges In The Windy City

Packing in business with pleasure in Chicago! I joined Jaclyn in business classes at Kellogg’s MBA program at Northwestern last week.

Sitting in on one of the Top 10 MBA programs in the nation, I was intrigued and inspired by the excellence in both professors and grad students. We toured the new Global Hub on the Evanston campus where I saw students engaged in conversations and projects with fellow students.

The design of the Global Hub was quite impressive; with amphitheater social areas and modern architecture both inside and outside, it made me want to go back to college!

We also toured University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Visiting these colleges makes us better resources to our students – so we can recommend programs that meet our students’ needs, expectations, and goals. With over 4,000 colleges just in the United States, there’s a college that’s perfect for every student!

December 7, 2017

Cheating and Favoritism in College Sports

Honestly, how can colleges look the other way when their star athletes cheat and plagiarize, when other students are expelled and humiliated for doing the same thing?  What’s worse is that this rolls into a despicable arena where rape and sexual harassment are ignored when it involves athletes.  This is just wrong.  It sends the wrong message to the student body and to aspiring young athletes.

In my book, athletes shouldn’t receive any special treatment in the classroom or the courtroom.  These athletes should go into professional sports and leave spaces open on college campuses for students who really want a college education.  Period.

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