Archive for November, 2009

Be Aware of College Scams

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

6 Scams That Target College Students

By Kim Clark , US News & World Report 

Operating on the theory that it takes a thief to steal from a thief, a group of Internet scammers has been targeting students who illegally download music, books, and video.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has reported on an apparently bogus collections agency that sent out letters to Bucknell students demanding $500 to settle the students’ alleged illegal scams

That’s a new twist on an old strategy of targeting college students. Prosecutors say there are at least six common scams students should watch out for:

1. Fake scholarship promises: The Federal Trade Commission warns against advisers and Web services that charge big fees in return for help locating scholarships.

2. Dodgy student loans: U.S. News‘s Kim Palmer documented how some students have been misled by official-looking documents that were really ads for expensive loans.

One silver lining of the recent economic downturn is a reduction in expensive private loans and lenders. But the FTC says students still need to make sure they stick with low-cost, legitimate education loans. The best deals, says the Project on Student Debt, are the federally backed student loans such as the Perkins (which charges just 5 percent in interest) and Stafford loans. (more…)

College’s Overcrowded

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Two-Year Colleges, Swamped, No Longer Welcome All


Sonja Taylor applied to LaGuardia Community College this summer with every expectation of being admitted. She planned to study business, bringing her closer to her dream of owning a restaurant.

But her application arrived in August, after the college had closed the floodgates because of a surge of interest from prospective students. So Ms. Taylor, 20, became one of thousands of students shut out this fall as most of New York City’s community colleges were forced to abandon their all-are-welcome admissions policies for the first time.

crowded college“Enrollment has been growing steadily, but this was a tidal wave for us this fall,” said the college’s president, Gail O. Mellow, pointing out that the student body had risen by almost 50 percent in the past decade. “I’ve never seen anything like this. We used to pretty much be an open door.”

Historically, the city’s six community colleges, which are part of the City University of New York, have taken applications until about a week before the start of classes, allowing time for students to apply for financial aid, get immunized and register for classes.

But this year, all but one of them had to close admissions earlier.

LaGuardia stopped accepting applications on July 30. The Borough of Manhattan Community College stopped in late June, while Bronx, Hostos and Queensborough Community Colleges cut off applications in the first half of August. Kingsborough Community College did not change the application period. (more…)

Advising in College

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

In business ROI means return on investment. Part of your tuition payments to colleges should include substantive guidance in academic and career planning. Will your young scholar get that direction? A few years ago, the University of Pennsylvania published a helpful article addressing the state of college advising among the Ivies as well as the broader college community.

Of course, much of it depends on how pro-active the student is. But this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education points out the importance of academic advising in college. This is why we want our students to research and compare the differences in each college’s advising and career services departments. Using the AAA method ensures that they will have a greater awareness of those often overlooked college departments before they commit to attending on May 1 of their senior year. 

Getting In and Dropping Out

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Colleges Move to Organize Retention Efforts

By Beckie Supiano

Colleges are organizing their efforts to improve retention, but the resources they are using may not be equal to the task. That’s the assessment Jerome A. Lucido, vice provost for enrollment policy and management at the University of Southern California, shared at a session of the College Board Forum in New York this past Friday.drop in and out cartoon

The session used data from a survey conducted as part of the College Board Study on Student Retention in partnership with the Project on Academic Success at Indiana University at Bloomington and the Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice at the University of Southern California, which Mr. Lucido directs. The researchers hope their study of institutional practices will provide a base line for analyzing which retention practices are effective.

Connecting colleges’ retention efforts to their results can be difficult, said Mary Ziskin, senior associate director of the Project on Academic Success, because “institutions that have low retention rates tend to put more efforts into retention.”

The survey was sent to 1,484 colleges nationwide, of which 442 responded. It built on the results of a pilot survey conducted several years ago. (more…)