An Inside Look at Admissions That Make or Break Student Acceptance

Monmouth College LogoStudents have been to applying to more colleges than ever. As a result, many colleges have actually seen increases in their number of applications. Ironically, this increase comes at time in which many regions across the United States are graduating fewer seniors. Private and Public colleges alike, are seeing increases in the number of applications they receive. Some flagship state universities now have admission criteria that reflect some of the most selective private colleges and universities.

It seems as though students have hit their limit with the number of college applications they complete. The majority of students now apply to 7-10 schools and that number has remained consistent over the past few years. Tools such as the Common Application and its growing popularity have contributed to the rise in applications. However, applications fees, essays and supplemental documents may be the reason why students are generally reluctant to apply to more than 10 schools.

I like to advise students that no one is going to care which schools you applied to and how many of them accepted you. They should not apply to Ivy League schools just so they can say, “I applied to Ivy League schools.” Future employers will only care about the college you did attend. Students should spend a lot of time up front researching colleges, just as anyone about to make a large investment would. Then they should apply to schools meeting their criteria, not someone else’s.

Not all colleges operate the same way when it comes to the admission process. Some have Early Decision or Early Action deadlines in which they hope to secure top students early through a loosely binding process. Many of Regular Decision deadlines occur in January, with review of applications taking place only after that date. An increasing number of colleges have adopted Rolling Admission, in which applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis usually without any deadline for consideration. NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) recently released on their website a list of over 200 schools still accepting applications after May 1st, the National Candidate Reply Date. Every year there are students who start their college search late and think applications deadlines have past. Although students should begin seriously researching colleges during their junior year, it should be known that just because one school’s deadline has passed it does not mean all others have as well.

There are vast differences between large and small colleges. The two of the most striking differences are the residential life and classroom experiences. For obvious reasons it much more difficult to build a close-knit community among 20,000+ students than it is at a small, residential college of 1,300 students like at Monmouth College where I work. Additionally, smaller colleges typically have no Teaching Assistants, small class sizes (average of 15 at Monmouth College) and low student to faculty ratios (12:1 at Monmouth College).

Monmouth College is an ideal place for students seeking a broad classroom-based education, great co-curricular opportunities such as Study Abroad and ways to explore leadership opportunities. Over 90% of Monmouth students live on campus and 99% of them received a scholarship or grant. Faculty know students by name, provide them with their cell phone numbers and invite them over for dinner at their homes. Monmouth College has been a great investment since 1853 and continues to be with 99% of our 2013 graduates reporting employment or enrollment in a graduate or professional program within six months of graduation.

This post was provided by Phil Betz, Director of Admissions at Monmouth College, who was a guest on College Smart Radio “Tackling the Runaway Costs of College” on May 31st, 2014.  Listen to this broadcast on YouTube here.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Online Learning vs. Traditional Education: What’s Right for You?

Trident University LogoTrident University International (Trident), recognizing both the changing needs of its students and the employers that hire its graduates, is introducing its first new programs since 2011. Students can choose a path of either Bachelor’s or Master’s of Science in Leadership degree starting in this year’s summer session beginning on July 7th. Registration is open now.

These programs utilize the most current leadership theories and are taught using tried and true pedagogical methods. Students will have the opportunity to build on their current managerial skillset, as well as learn new theories and practical approaches. With a focus on the development of critical thinking skills, the tools provided to students in these degree programs will give them a professional edge, whether they are working their way up the corporate ladder or strengthening their resume as an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

“People ask “Are leaders born or made”? I’ve never met a “born” organizational leader who hasn’t gone through the life experience, studies, and work with others that it takes to make a leader.” Dr. Stefan Hanson, Program Director, B.S. in Leadership, Trident University

Roles requiring managerial leadership skills, which are currently in high demand, have grown at 4.5% over the past decade and are expected to generate an additional 410,000 jobs by 2020. Despite this, there are few options to meet that demand in the private online space. Several industry segments have the need for professionals who have mastered these skills, including management of companies and enterprises, professional scientific and technical services, computer systems design, and state and local governments at the national level.

The Bachelor’s or Master’s of Science in Leadership programs resulted from years of research, managed by Dr. Simcha Pollard, Dean, College of Business Administration and College of Information Systems. Approval from accrediting bodies, such as Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC), depended on many factors, including the employability of future graduates from these programs. Both programs received approval from WASC, the body that reaffirmed Trident’s accreditation in April 2013 for 7 years.

As Trident’s demographic diversifies, the university remains committed to student success through the development of degree programs that appeal to a diverse population while preparing these students for careers in the modern world. With the B.S. and M.S. in Leadership, current and future managers can hope to gain the skills necessary to handle growth, increase productivity, and manage conflicts in an ethical way in the modern professional environment. The B.S. in Leadership offers concentrations in Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Criminal Justice Administration.

About Trident University

Founded in 1998, Trident University International (Trident) is a leading online post-secondary university serving adult learners. Trident developed the Trident Learning Model, which employs case-based learning in an online setting to teach real-world relevant critical thinking skills to enhance student’s lives and careers. Trident offers high-quality bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, led by a qualified faculty team, over 90% of whom have doctoral degrees. Visit, Trident’s Facebook page, or call at (800) 579-3197 to learn more about Trident’s wide range of program offerings.

These two blogs were originally posted to Trident University’s website.  Andy Vaughn, CEO & President of Trident University was a guest on College Smart Radio “Tackling the Runaway Costs of College” on May 24th, 2014.  Listen to this broadcast on YouTube here.

The Way We Learn Now

Danny King and Alan Heppenstall, the founders of Accredible

Danny King and Alan Heppenstall, the founders of Accredible

Today, with the thousands of courses that students can take online, it’s hard to believe that 30 years ago, we didn’t even have the Internet. It’s exciting to think that you can literally learn anything you want now with a world-class education right at your fingertips. These expanded opportunities for learning inspired my co-founder Alan Heppenstall and me to create Accredible. Both of us knew that there were plenty of resources online for programmers to learn, but since the inception of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the opportunities to learn about anything—from artificial intelligence to art history—are absolutely unparalleled. That’s exciting stuff!

What we’re trying to do with Accredible is revolutionize how people view and define what it means to be educated. Education is expanding beyond the classroom, so it only makes sense that our view of education expands as well. Degrees from traditional universities are incredibly valuable and won’t be replaced, but the systems we have to acknowledge learning—diplomas, degrees, certificates—don’t quite address an increasingly popular way of getting an education, one that millions of people are opting into: MOOCs.

With the rising cost of education, pursuing some combination of MOOCs or other skill-building platforms can help students gain credits to graduate early or simply gain much-needed skills for industries lacking talent. Unfortunately, with traditional CVs, there’s no place to list the coursework you complete through MOOC platforms like Udacity, Coursera, edX, NovoEd, FutureLearn and other amazing online learning platforms like Khan Academy, Saylor, Treehouse, along with so many others. On Accredible, you can create a knowledge profile and fill designated “slates” of your courses or skills with evidence of your learning.

And think about it—no one stops learning after getting a college degree! People need a way to document and validate their continuing learning journeys, and we’re paving that way with Accredible. We’re all about enabling people with intrinsic curiosity and passion to keep learning and actually be able to share their growth with the world. It’s hard to question the time invested and the depth of learning when the course notes, quizzes, projects, videos, and even pictures with classmates at meetups are right on the screen. Additionally, you can collect endorsements, which are like mini-recommendations, from professors and classmates to build even more credibility around a body or knowledge.

Along the way Alan and I have learned a lot about edtech and the other amazing heroes who have pioneered online and alternative education paths—we are so inspired by how they’ve opened the doors of education up for everyone! It’s been so rewarding to see so many people pursuing their learning and publishing their progress online—from passionate violinists to future entrepreneurs, Accredible users prove that education from all walks and paths is powerful, transformative, and inspiring.

Cheers, to always learning more!

Alan Heppenstall & Danny King, founders of Accredible, were guests on College Smart Radio “Tackling the Runaway Costs of College,” on August 16th, 2013.  Listen to this broadcast on YouTube here.