Archive for April, 2012

Do I have to be Jeremy Lin to get into Harvard?

Editor’s Note: This article is the third in our four-part series Demographic Factors in College Admissions

The answer: Not quite.  But the admissions process at top tier universities may be more skewed than you think.  Asian-Americans in particular are facing seemingly insurmountable odds in their quest to gain acceptance to elite universities.  In fact, as Daniel Golden reveals in a recent Bloomberg article, an Asian-American has filed a lawsuit, accusing Harvard and Princeton of ethnic discrimination.  While universities have denied such practices for years, it is an established fact that being of Asian descent (particularly Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Indian, and Pakistani) drastically influences an applicant’s chances of admission.  If your son or daughter is Asian-American, read on to learn how ethnicity will factor into his or her college application. Continue reading ‘Do I have to be Jeremy Lin to get into Harvard?’

Interpreting STAR Test Results

Every year, public school students in California are tested through the Standardized Testing and Reporting program, commonly known as STAR testing.  Parents receive their child’s results, which slot that child into one of 5 categories: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, Below Basic, and Far Below Basic.  Most parents perceive a child’s scores falling in the Advanced range as excellent, scores falling in the Proficient range as good, and scores falling in the Basic, Below Basic, and Far Below Basic ranges as potential causes for concern.  But those labels—Advanced, Proficient, Basic, etc.—can be deceiving.  Because many people have false conceptions about STAR testing, this article aims to help college-bound students and their parents interpret STAR testing results. Continue reading ‘Interpreting STAR Test Results’

Is a Montessori School Right for Your Child?

Montessori schools have grown in popularity. What began as schools focused on pre-school and kindergarten have evolved into elementary, middle, and even high schools. Is the increase in availability a good thing? Is a Montessori school right for every child?

Continue reading ‘Is a Montessori School Right for Your Child?’

How to Optimize Your Status as a Legacy for College Admissions

Editor’s Note: This article is the second in our four-part series Demographic Factors in College Admissions

It is no secret that legacies, or applicants who already have familial ties to a college, are afforded a significant advantage in college admissions.  In fact, according to a study conducted by Harvard professor, Michael Hurwitz, legacies generally experience a 23.3% increase in their probability of admission.  Primary legacies, or students whose parents attended the institution as undergraduates, possess an even greater statistical advantage.  Through the data that he gathered from 30 highly selective colleges, Hurwitz found that primary legacies get a 45.1% statistical boost; whereas secondary legacies, or applicants with looser affiliations with the school (like a parent who attended its graduate school or a sibling, uncle, or grandparent who attended as an undergraduate), can tack on an additional 13.7% to their chances of being admitted.  Read on to learn more about how your student’s legacy status can impact his or her chances of admissions.

Continue reading ‘How to Optimize Your Status as a Legacy for College Admissions’