Saturday March 8, 2014
Minnesota's best colleges and universities represent a wide range of public and private institutions. My picks for the top 13 Minnesota colleges range from large research universities to small liberal arts colleges. You can probably guess that Macalester College, Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities are on the list. Some of the other colleges on the list may be less familiar. The schools were chosen based on factors such as academic strengths, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value, and student engagement. Check out the list to see who made the cut.
TFDuesing / Flickr
To get a partial idea of what it takes to get into these top Minnesota colleges, I've created side-by-side comparison charts of the ACT scores and SAT scores of matriculated students.
If there are other Minnesota colleges that you think deserve to be on the list, share your recommendations below.
More Top Picks by State:
Friday March 7, 2014
Best wishes to the thousands of prospective college students who are taking the SAT on Saturday, March 8th. Scores for the exam will be available online on March 27th. If you don't feel that your performance was as strong as you had hoped, don't worry too much. All of the country's most selective colleges and universities have holistic admissions; that is, they look at the whole applicant, not just numerical data. A strong academic record, a winning essay, good letters of recommendation and interesting extracurricular involvement can help compensate for less-than-ideal SAT scores.
Also remember that more and more colleges are going test-optional -- there are now over 850 4-year colleges and universities that do not require SAT or ACT scores. The test-optional schools include some excellent choices: Bowdoin, Holy Cross, Mount Holyoke, Pitzer, Wake Forest, DePaul and many others.
More SAT Information
Thursday March 6, 2014
UCSD, the University of California San Diego, frequently ranks among the top public universities and top engineering schools in the United States. And with an acceptance rate of 35%, it is one of the more selective universities in the University of California System.
Geisel Library at UCSD
Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
My assistant Marisa visited the campus, shot some photos, and put together this UCSD Photo Tour. Enjoy!
Thursday March 6, 2014
The College Board just announced some of the details for the new, redesigned SAT that will launch in the spring of 2016 (sophomore and juniors--you'll still be taking the current version of the SAT). The SAT has been losing ground to the ACT for years, and critics of the SAT frequently point to studies that show the exam better predicts a student's income level than it predicts college readiness. The new exam will better align the exam will high school curricula and with the actual skills that are essential for college success.
Here are some of the notable changes:
- Less emphasis on obscure and rarely used vocabulary words like "pulchritude" and "turpitude."
- No guessing penalty.
- The essay will be optional.
- Some math sections will not allow calculators.
- More emphasis on analyzing and synthesizing information.
- Computer-based exams at some locations.
Learn about more of the changes to the SAT here: The Redesigned SAT