University of Southern California Scandal

USC News, USC Scandal, University of Southern California Scandal

USC is in the news right now — for not the right reasons (photo credit: Bestweekevr).

The University of Southern California is in the news of late and it’s not the kind of news the university would prefer to be making. No, it has nothing to do with the impending release of alumnus O.J. Simpson. We saw where you were going with that. Rather, USC’s dean of its medical school, a world-class ophthalmologist by the name of Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, was involved with methamphetamines. Puliafito, who prior to his exit from USC had served as dean of USC’s medical school for a decade — boosting its national ranking and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the school — is bringing quite a bit of unwanted attention to the Pasadena, California-based university.

As reports Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina for “The New York Times” in a piece entitled “At a Moment of Success, U.S.C. Is Rocked by Scandal,” “Now the university is under intense scrutiny over the circumstances of Dr. Puliafito’s exit from the school’s leadership and whether the administration deliberately turned a blind eye to problems with a prodigious fund-raiser. The unwanted attention is rippling beyond the campus to Pasadena, a suburb with long and deep ties to U.S.C. When a police officer responded to a call at a Pasadena hotel where a woman had apparently overdosed in front of Dr. Puliafito, the officer found methamphetamines in the room, but he did not file a report for months. There were no criminal charges. The Pasadena city manager said last week that the episode ‘reflected poorly’ on the city and police department.”

Do our readers think this scandal will have an enduring impact on the University of Southern California? Will it hurt the school’s reputation? Will it be similar to past scandals involving the university’s football team? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.

2017-2018 Tufts University Admissions Essays

Tufts Essays, Tufts Admissions Essays, 2017-2018 Tufts Essays

This is what Tufts looked like back in 1854.

The 2017-2018 Tufts University admissions essays consist of three prompts — one 50-100 word essay and two 200-250 word essays. Of course, when a highly selective college like Tufts asks you to write between 50-100 words, do you write 50 or 100 words? You write 100 words. Duh. Use all of the real estate you have to make your case, to present yourself in the most compelling way possible to admissions officers and to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on the school to which you’re applying. All things being equal, are admissions officers going to choose the candidate who demonstrates precisely how she will contribute to a university or a candidate who isn’t so sure how she’ll contribute to life on campus? You decide.

For the 2017-2018 Tufts essays, applicants must answer in 50-100 words the prompt which reads, “Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” So, yes, that’s a Why College essay. Tufts even wrote, “In short: Why Tufts?” For the second prompt, applicants are required to answer the prompt that reads, “There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today.” So it’s quite similar indeed to the University of Michigan’s famous community essay.

For the final prompt, applicants to Tufts must respond to one of six questions in 200-250 words. The questions read as follows:

“A) It’s cool to be smart. Tell us about the subjects or ideas that excite your intellectual curiosity.

B) In a time when we’re always plugged in (and sometimes tuned out), tell us about a time when you listened, truly listened, to a person or a cause. How did that moment change you?

C) Celebrate the role of sports in your life.

D) Whether you’ve built blanket forts or circuit boards, produced community theater or mixed media art installations, tell us: what have you invented, engineered, created, or designed? Or what do you hope to?

E) What makes you happy? Why?

F) Artist Bruce Nauman once said: “One of the factors that still keeps me in the studio is that every so often I have to more or less start all over.” Everyone deals with failure differently; for most artists failure is an opportunity to start something new. Tell us about a time when you have failed and how that has influenced your art practice.”

Have a question about the 2017-2018 Tufts University admissions essays? Post your question below and we’ll be sure to write back.

2017-2018 University of Michigan Admissions Essays

Michigan Essays, UMichigan Essays, UMichigan Admissions Essays

The UMichigan admissions essays for 2017-2018 have been released (photo credit: AndrewHorne).

The 2017-2018 University of Michigan admissions essays are out. We know, we know. You’ve been waiting with baited breath to find out what UMichigan’s essays will be for this admissions cycle and you can hardly contain yourself. Well, rest easy because at long last we’ve got these essay prompts for our readers. Exhale.

The first UMichigan essay prompt is a longtime staple for the university in stunning Ann Arbor. For there to be a University of Michigan application without a communities essay would be like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without peanut butter. It just wouldn’t seem right. The peanut butter is absolutely necessary to balance out the taste of jelly. It’s the perfect combination. For those not familiar with UMichigan’s own version of peanut butter, their communities essay, which applicants are required to respond to in approximately 250 words, reads as follows: “Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.”

The second essay is also required of all first-year applicants and the word count is 500 words: “Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?” So, yes, our regular readers know well that this is…a Why College essay. Our readers know a Why College essay when they see one, right? And, if you’re a transfer applicant, instead of answering this Why Michigan question, you’re asked to answer the following prompt, also in 500 words or less: “Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?” So, yes, it too is a Why College essay — with just a bit different wording.
Have a question on the 2017-2018 University of Michigan admissions essays? Or about applying to UMichigan? Let us know your question by posting it below and we’ll be sure to write back.

 

2017-2018 Notre Dame Admissions Essays

Notre Dame Essays, Notre Dame Admissions Essays, 2017-2018 Notre Dame Essays

Notre Dame has released its essays for this upcoming college admissions cycle (photo credit: Eccekevin).

The 2017-2018 Notre Dame admissions essays have been released by the university and we’ve got them for our readers. Applicants to Notre Dame this year will be required to answer three 175-word essays. And why is the word count 175, you ask? In honor of the university’s 175th anniversary. Duh. As the admissions office tells applicants, “It is much more difficult to have an impact in 175 words than it is in a five-page paper—show us your ability to wow in a paragraph. Be concise, be brief, but be purposeful.”

Applicants during the 2017-2018 admissions cycle will be required to answer this essay prompt: “What excites you about the University of Notre Dame that makes it stand out from other institutions?” So, yes, that’s a Why Notre Dame essay. Regular readers of our college admissions blog know that many colleges, particularly highly selective colleges, love to ask Why College questions. And why? Because they want to know that you love them. They want to know that you’ll matriculate if admitted. They want a strong yield.

Happy 175th anniversary to the University of Notre Dame!

In addition to the required first essay prompt, applicants must answer any two of the following prompts, also in a recommended word length of 175: (1) “The University of Notre Dame is a Holy Cross institution whose education philosophy has been formed around five core principles inspired by Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.  These principles, or pillars, of a Holy Cross education are Mind, Heart, Zeal, Family, and Hope, and they continue to shape our students today.  Which pillar or pillars resonate most with you? Why?” (2) “For whom are you responsible?” (3) What is one thing that you know for a fact?  Why are you certain? & (4) “Tell us about something significant that recently occurred in your community. Why does it matter to you?”

Of the four essay prompts beyond the Why Notre Dame question, which do our readers think most applicants to the university will choose to answer? We’re curious to hear from you so post your Comment below.

Dartmouth Women’s Swimming Team

Dartmouth Swimming, Dartmouth Women's Swimming, Swimming at Dartmouth

Dartmouth’s women’s swimming and diving team is facing disciplinary action from the college.

The Dartmouth women’s swimming and diving team is facing disciplinary action from the college after violating the school’s hazing policy. This past December, according to a report from “The Daily Mail,” members of the team made first-year students “organize and display a sexualized PowerPoint presentation while the group was on a training trip back in December, a claim the team has since admitted to.” Dartmouth’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traditionally rank among the least competitive of the Ivy League schools but they’ve long had a reputation for academic excellence and have never, to our knowledge, faced any discipline for such a violation of the school’s policies. It should also be noted this is only the second year in which both the men’s and women’s teams are under the direction of Coach Jamie Holder after the long tenure of Jim Wilson.

In a letter to alumni, parents, and friends of the Dartmouth swimming and diving teams, Dartmouth Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy wrote, “I regret that I need to share some disappointing news about our women’s swimming and diving team. After team members admitted to violating the College’s hazing policy, the College’s disciplinary committee has imposed a one-year probation on the team along with a series of educational and team development requirements. In addition, I have determined that the team will not be allowed to participate in three intercollegiate meets scheduled for fall term. They will be eligible for competition beginning December 1 but they will not travel for training and will instead train in Hanover during the December break. We hold our teams to high standards and our student-athletes understand their collective responsibility to the community. The team members have acknowledged that their behavior was unacceptable and that their actions have consequences.”

The last time the Dartmouth swimming and diving teams made national headlines was when the teams were cut back in 2002 — but ultimately reinstated. The story of the reinstatement of the teams still serves as a shining example to all college athletic teams facing elimination that with a little bit of persistence and a whole lot of creativity, you just might be able to keep your team from being eliminated due to Title IX or budget cuts.

Best Universities for Your Money

College Ranking, College Ranking by Money, Best Colleges For Your Money

“Money” has published its 2017 best universities for your money ranking.

“Money,” a publication of “Time, Inc.” has published a piece that rank the best universities for your money. So which university tops “Money’s” list? The very same university that tops “US News & World Report’s” list for best universities in America, Princeton University. For those not familiar with college rankings, the rankings published by “US News & World Report” are considered, well, the kingpin of the rankings. So, Princeton, you’ve done it again.

But the universities that follow Princeton on “Money’s” list aren’t necessarily among our nation’s most elite universities and they may surprise some of our readers — and lead us to question “Money’s” methodology, which can be found here. Placing second on “Money’s” list is CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College. This might be the only ranking in the world that places Baruch right behind Princeton. Placing third is the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, one of our nation’s most prestigious — if not the most prestigious — public universities. University of California – Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, and Stanford University round out the top five, followed by UC Irvine, MIT, UC Davis, and Harvard.

In all, six Ivy League schools placed in the top fifty within the 2017 “Money” best universities for your money ranking. The two schools that didn’t make the top fifty? Cornell University and Brown University. We invite your discussion.

Williams 2017-2018 Admissions Essays

Williams Essays, Williams College Admissions Essays, Admissions Essays at Williams

Williams College happens to be one of the most beautiful colleges in America (photo credit: Tim4403224246).

It’s like Christmas, Chanukah, and Eid Al-Fitr all in one. The Williams 2017-2018 admissions essays are out. Those are Williams’ admissions essays for this coming admissions cycle. Well, blow up the balloons and uncork the champagne because we’ve got these essays for our loyal readers. Now, we know, we know. You’ve been waiting to see these essays for some time. Here we are, like Rachel Maddow teasing her audience that she had President Trump’s taxes. We do like Rachel but on that day, the tease was a bit ridiculous considering she had about a page or two of tax records that were likely leaked by President Trump himself.

Anyhow, we digress. Hey, it’s not all that much fun writing about a college’s admissions essay prompts so we’ve got to create all the fun we can!  The Williams College writing supplement, which is optional (that which is optional in highly selective college admissions isn’t really optional!), should be no longer than 300 words — which means that applicants to Williams should write how many words? Our regular readers — or even just our readers who happen to have read yesterday’s post — know this answer well. That’s right. 300 words. Applicants should use all of the real estate they can to make their case for admission to one of America’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges.

The Williams prompts (applicants are asked to answer one of the three prompts) read as follows — as articulated on the Williams College admissions office’s website:

“1. At Williams we believe that bringing together students and professors in small groups produces extraordinary academic outcomes. Our distinctive Oxford-style tutorial classes—in which two students are guided by a professor in deep exploration of a single topic—are a prime example. Each week the students take turns developing independent work—an essay, a problem set, a piece of art—and critiquing their partner’s work. Focused on close reading, writing and oral defense of ideas, more than 60 tutorials a year are offered across the curriculum, with titles like Aesthetic Outrage, Financial Crises: Causes and Cures, and Genome Sciences: At the Cutting Edge.

Imagine yourself in a tutorial at Williams. Of anyone in the world, whom would you choose to be your partner in the class, and why?

2. Each Sunday night, in a tradition called Storytime, students, faculty and staff gather to hear a fellow community member relate a brief story from their life (and to munch on the storyteller’s favorite homemade cookies).

What story would you share? What lessons have you drawn from that story, and how would those lessons inform your time at Williams?

3. Every first-year student at Williams lives in an Entry—a thoughtfully constructed microcosm of the student community that’s a defining part of the Williams experience. From the moment they arrive, students find themselves in what’s likely the most diverse collection of backgrounds, perspectives and interests they’ve ever encountered.

What might differentiate you from the 19 other first-year students in an entry? What perspective(s) would you add to the conversation with your peers?”

Tufts 2017-2018 Admissions Essays

Tufts Essays, Tufts Admissions Essays, Tufts University Essays

The Tufts 2017-2018 admissions essays have been released, which has absolutely no impact whatsoever on Tufts students studying right here in Ginn Library at the university (photo credit: Nurcamp).

What are the Tufts 2017-2018 admissions essays, you ask? Wonder no longer because we’ve got the Tufts University essay prompts for the 2017-2018 college admissions cycle so that our readers don’t have to lay awake in bed late at night any longer wonder what they’ll be. Thank the heavens.

Tufts’ essay questions for this coming undergraduate admissions cycle, as available on Tufts’ admissions website, precisely read as follows:

  1. Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” (50–100 words)
  2. There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today. (200–250 words)
  3. Now we’d like to know a little bit more about you.  Please respond to one of the following six questions (200-250 words). Students applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering should select from prompts A-E. Students applying to the SMFA at Tufts’ BFA program or the Five-Year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree program must answer prompt F:A) It’s cool to be smart. Tell us about the subjects or ideas that excite your intellectual curiosity.B) In a time when we’re always plugged in (and sometimes tuned out), tell us about a time when you listened, truly listened, to a person or a cause. How did that moment change you?

    C) Celebrate the role of sports in your life.

    D) Whether you’ve built blanket forts or circuit boards, produced community theater or mixed media art installations, tell us: what have you invented, engineered, created, or designed? Or what do you hope to?

    E) What makes you happy? Why?

    F) Artist Bruce Nauman once said: “One of the factors that still keeps me in the studio is that every so often I have to more or less start all over.” Everyone deals with failure differently; for most artists failure is an opportunity to start something new. Tell us about a time when you have failed and how that has influenced your art practice.

So if Tufts asks applicants to write between 200 and 250 words, how many words do we suggest students write? That’s easy. 250 words. Use all of the real estate every college affords you as an applicant to make your case, to try to sway admissions officers to root for you. Don’t do the bare minimum. Show each school you love them, that you’d go to this particular school — be it Tufts or whichever school to which you’re applying — above all other schools. Remember the “HBO” show “Tell Me You Love Me”? Show each school you love them. They’re insecure like that. They want to see your love.

Have a question about the Tufts 2017-2018 admissions essays? Let us know your question by posting it below.

2017-2018 Princeton Admissions Prompts

Princeton Essays, Princeton Admissions Essays, Princeton University Admissions Essay Prompts

Noticeably absent from the 2017-2018 Princeton admissions essay prompts is any reference to Woodrow Wilson.

The 2017-2018 Princeton admissions prompts have been released by the university. Interestingly, Princeton’s essays for this admissions cycle make no reference to one Woodrow Wilson. As regular readers of our college admissions blog know well, Princeton has been removing many references to the former United States president from the university after so many of its students, faculty, and alumni brought to light that Princeton was honoring a man who exhibited clear racism.

So what’s been removed from Princeton’s admissions essay prompts? The nation’s service essay, one that read, “‘Princeton in the Nations Service’ was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded in 2016 to ‘Princeton in the nations service and the service of humanity.’ – Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princetons president from 1902–1910.”

Woodrow Wilson no longer makes an appearance in Princeton University’s essays for admission. No surprise there.

The 2017-2018 Princeton essays read as follows: (1) Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (Response required in about 150 words.) (2) Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (Response required in about 150 words.) (3) A Few Details – your favorite book and its author, your favorite website, your favorite recording, your favorite source of inspiration, your favorite line from a movie or book and its title, your favorite movie, two adjectives your friends would use to describe you, your favorite keepsake or memento, your favorite word
And then there’s a fourth, long prompt that read as follows: “In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application or the Universal College Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no fewer than 250 words). Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application or Universal College Application.
  1. Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.
  2. ‘One of the great challenges of our time is that the disparities we face today have more complex causes and point less straightforwardly to solutions.’
    Omar Wasow, assistant professor of politics, Princeton University and co-founder of Blackplanet.com. This quote is taken from Professor Wasow’s January 2014 speech at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Princeton University.
  3. ‘Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.’ Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and director of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, Princeton University.
  4. Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay.”
Engineering applicants will also be required to respond to a 300-500 word essay prompt “describing why you are interested in studying engineering, any experiences in or exposure to engineering you have had and how you think the programs in engineering offered at Princeton suit your particular interests.”

2017-2018 UChicago Essay Prompts

UChicago Essay Prompts, University of Chicago Essays, UChicago Admissions Essays

The University of Chicago’s 2017-2018 admissions essay prompts are as creative as ever.

The 2017-2018 UChicago essay prompts are out. Applicants to UChicago will be required to answer: “How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.” So that’s a Why Chicago. The next question (which is optional but that which is ‘optional’ in highly selective college admissions isn’t really optional!): “Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own.”

And then students must choose from one of the six extended essay questions, which read as follows: (1) “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” – Joseph Joubert. Sometimes, people talk a lot about popular subjects to assure ‘victory’ in conversation or understanding, and leave behind topics of less popularity, but great personal or intellectual importance. What do you think is important but under-discussed? (2) “Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History. (3) Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart! Captain Planet supposes that the world is made up of these five elements. We’re familiar with the previously-noted set and with actual elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, but select and explain another small group of things (say, under five) that you believe compose our world.

(4) The late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham once said “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” Tell us about your “armor.” (5) Fans of the movie Sharknado say that they enjoy it because “it’s so bad, it’s good.” Certain automobile owners prefer classic cars because they “have more character.” And recently, vinyl record sales have skyrocketed because it is perceived that they have a warmer, fuller sound. Discuss something that you love not in spite of but rather due to its quirks or imperfections. (6) In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose your own question or choose one of our past prompts. Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun.

As regular readers of our college admissions blog know well, the University of Chicago has a proud history of offering an extensive application — with long essays that need to be tailored to, you guessed it, the University of Chicago. Prefacing the UChicago essay prompts themselves, the admissions office writes, “The University of Chicago has long been renowned for its provocative essay questions. We think of them as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions. They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between. Each year we email newly admitted and current College students and ask them for essay topics. We receive several hundred responses, many of which are eloquent, intriguing, or downright wacky. As you can see from the attributions, the questions below were inspired by submissions from UChicago students and alumni.”

In a sea of highly selective colleges that want to do all they can to encourage students to apply, to boost their application numbers and invariably lower their admission rate (all in an effort to boost their all-important “US News & World Report” ranking), the University of Chicago stands in defiance of this trend. The University of Chicago wants students who love them and what better way to prove a student loves them? They have to write lots of essays just for UChicago — essays they really can’t get much mileage out of with other schools. We salute the University of Chicago for their continued defiance, for daring to mandate that their applicants answer such extensive essay prompts.

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