The Hail Mary Reply

Hail Mary PassWe’ve all seen articles like this one from HerCampus.com. They detail the absolutely Ka-Razy things some students have done to ensure they get into the schools they most want to attend. From baking cookies to filming song and dance numbers to crafting art projects, these stories are entertaining and heart-warming.

But they aren’t always model tales to be emulated. Here’s why.

Warning: This article may seem like a bit of a downer, but it’s here to set expectations, and ultimately tell you what you actually can do.
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Monday Link Roundup for Week of 11/25/2013 Reply

P copyHi folks! I’m standing in for my colleague Ryan Hickey in putting up the link roundup this week, and here’s hoping I can leave you with some savory tidbits to tide you over until your Thanksgiving Day feast!

Because news about the higher education world is exactly like juicy, delicious, tender, moist turkey, slathered in warm, brown gravy, with a side of stuffing and sweet potatoes and…I’m going to go make myself a snack, be right back.

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Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath and Your College Decision Reply

checkmateMalcolm Gladwell is one of those writers who is always interesting to read, whether or not there are flaws with his reasoning, argumentation, or evidence. If nothing else, his books always give you something to chew over. In his most recent book, David and Goliath, he puts forward the notion that students should not necessarily go to major, prestigious universities just to take advantage of that prestige. Instead, students should go to universities where they are likely to truly and notably excel. This Business Insider article does a pretty good job of summing up Gladwell’s argument, and critiquing that argument. So what should you do when you’re making decisions between schools, both for applications and for acceptances? Where should you aim yourself?

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Fear the Book of Faces! …Or not. Reply

iStock_000001927691SmallRyan Hickey points to two articles in his Monday Link Round-up about social media and how it’s being used in the college admissions process. We’ve talked about this on Peterson’s before, too, in an article about how to use social media in your application, and in an article about how to use Facebook carefully and intelligently with regard to admissions. It’s not news that admissions officers are looking at social media when they make their decisions.

So why does it keep coming up? What do you need to know to be safe, really? How worried should you be?

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Found in Translation Reply

LettersAccording to Cnn.com, the hottest job skill is…translation. These kind of articles are always a little problematic — just because “the hottest job skill is language translation,” doesn’t mean you should drop whatever educational plans you might have had to go running after language learning. I will always emphasize that you’re probably going to be better off pursuing a skill in which you have interest, and doing it exceedingly well, than you are pursuing something in which you have no interest, and doing it poorly. (Read this post here on the Newswire for more about someone who pursued something in which he was interested and was rewarded for it, along with Ryan Hickey’s excellent breakdown of that story.)

However, it wouldn’t be prudent to ignore how important knowledge of a second language can be to your career.

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MOOCs and the Issues of Education Reply

ComputersSalon has an article up, aggregating information from a number of different news sources, about MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and their role in education moving forward. It’s a pretty divisive article that suggests that most of the effort in playing up MOOCs is coming from the profit-motivated desires of certain companies, like Coursera and Udacity.

For most people out there, what’s really important is whether or not MOOCs are useful. Do they serve students well? Do they solve the problems that students are likely to face? More…

The Most and Least Lucrative Majors, based on Research from Georgetown Reply

MoneyNPR reports on research from Georgetown University, presenting information the most and least lucrative majors in two convenient graphs. It’s useful information and it’s worth taking a look, but I’m specifically going to put the link at the end of the article, because I want to draw your attention to a few things first. More…

STEM or Liberal Arts? Reply

A new article on Forbes is all about how the need for workers who’ve studied STEM (that is, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects in college may not be as great as what we keep hearing. That’s not to say that STEM courses aren’t important! They most certainly are. What John Ebersole is saying in the article is that it’s hard to tell exactly how much need or desire there is for STEM workers, especially considering that the definition of a STEM worker isn’t agreed upon. More…

Pre-writing Works! Reply

There’s an article upon TeachingChannel.org all about “Writing to Learn.” Give it a read if you’ve got a few minutes — it’s got some good stuff! It’s directed towards teachers, but here, I’ll talk a bit about how, exactly, this relates to students and their writing, particularly in this season of college applications. More…