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Graduate School to Ask Applicants’ Sexual Identity

October 29, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

The Graduate School at Northwestern University will join Elmhurst College, the University of Iowa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a handful of law schools as it begins asking applicants about their sexual orientation.

According to The Graduate School, this question has been added to its application to gain a clearer understanding of the school's community and to better serve all in the school. “It's important for us, but also for others to move in this direction, as well," said school dean Dwight McBride in a statement. "If we don't ask the question, we are not building a data archive and, therefore, have no way of knowing what the needs of our populations and subpopulations in our communities are – beyond guessing and anecdote." It's important to note that answering the question will be optional and will specifically ask whether applicants self-identify as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. (Northwestern University does not pose the question on its undergraduate application.) For now, school spokeswoman Josie Whetstone said LGBTQ groups on campus have greeted the news without criticism, most likely because it’s an optional inquiry. (For more of this story, click here.)

What are your thoughts on more universities asking students about their sexual identity? Do you think it's necessary or beneficial to the LGBTQ community? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Dartmouth to Ban Hard Alcohol and Pledging Process on Campus

February 20, 2015

by Suada Kolovic

Long gone are the days when pledging to a fraternity was about a bond and brotherhood that lasts a lifetime. More recently they have become synonymous with hard-partying, high-risk drinking and despicable hazing rituals. Well, Dartmouth's president is taking a stand: Last month, Philip J. Hanlon announced sweeping changes aimed at curbing dangerous behavior on campus, saying the school will ban hard liquor, forbid pledging at fraternities and sororities, and require all students to undergo a four-year sexual violence prevention program.

The major overhaul, called "Moving Dartmouth Forward," came from recommendations of a special committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni. The new alcohol restrictions, which will begin this spring semester, ban the possession or consumption of alcohol that is 30 proof or stronger and increase penalties for students caught with hard liquor. The changes will also tackle how fraternities induct new members: Moving forward, they will be prohibited from pledging. And in addition to the required assault-prevention training, the college will create an online "consent manual" that will include information designed to reduce ambiguity about what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to sexual behavior. "If in the next three to five years, the Greek system does not engage in meaningful, lasting reform, and we are unsuccessful in sharply curbing harmful behaviors, we will need to revisit its continuation on our campus," Hanlon said. (For more on this story, head over to the Chronicle.)

What are your thoughts on the changes Dartmouth is imposing on Greek Life? Do you think it will sway dangerous behavior? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And if you're interested in learning more about adjusting to campus life and the college lifestyle, check out our Resources section. While you're there, conduct a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com for a complete list of scholarships that are personalized to you!

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UMass Amherst Bans Iranians from Certain Grad Programs

February 17, 2015

by Suada Kolovic

In an increasingly competitive job market, more and more students are considering graduate school as a means to achieving their goals. With that being said, the decision to go is not one to be taken lightly. These programs require a lot of time, work and effort to complete. So if you're still interested in pursuing a post-baccalaureate education after serious consideration, there are a few other obstacles to consider: cost and aid available, job placement and being barred from certain programs due to your nationality. Wait, what?

According to The Boston Globe, the University of Massachusetts Amherst will no longer accept Iranian students into its graduate programs in chemical, computer and mechanical engineering, along with the natural sciences. But why? The university cites as the basis for its decision U.S. sanctions on Iran, which make Iranian citizens ineligible for visas if they seek higher education in preparation for careers in Iran’s energy sector or any field related to nuclear power. After the policy received nationwide criticism, UMass Amherst removed all reference to its graduate program policy from its website. "We recognize that our adherence to federal law may create difficulties for our students from Iran and regard this as unfortunate," the university said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "Furthermore, the exclusion of a class of students from admission directly conflicts with our institutional values and principles. However, as with any college or university, we have no choice but to institute policies and procedure to ensure that we are in full compliance with all applicable laws." (For more on this story, click here.)

What are your thoughts on UMass Amherst’s sanctions on Iranian students? Do you think it’s fair or irrational? Do you think other prestigious universities will follow suit? Or do you think UMass Amherst will reverse its stance in the coming weeks? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And if you’re seriously considering graduate school, head over to our After College section. While you’re there, don’t forget how expensive a graduate degree can be. Conduct a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com, where you’ll get matched with scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities that are unique to you!

*Update: As of February 18, 2015, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has reversed its decision to bar Iranian students from some of its graduate programs.

Comments (177)

UMass Amherst Bans Iranians from Certain Grad Programs

February 17, 2015

by Suada Kolovic

In an increasingly competitive job market, more and more students are considering graduate school as a means to achieving their goals. With that being said, the decision to go is not one to be taken lightly. These programs require a lot of time, work and effort to complete. So if you're still interested in pursuing a post-baccalaureate education after serious consideration, there are a few other obstacles to consider: cost and aid available, job placement and being barred from certain programs due to your nationality. Wait, what?

According to The Boston Globe, the University of Massachusetts Amherst will no longer accept Iranian students into its graduate programs in chemical, computer and mechanical engineering, along with the natural sciences. But why? The university cites as the basis for its decision U.S. sanctions on Iran, which make Iranian citizens ineligible for visas if they seek higher education in preparation for careers in Iran’s energy sector or any field related to nuclear power. After the policy received nationwide criticism, UMass Amherst removed all reference to its graduate program policy from its website. "We recognize that our adherence to federal law may create difficulties for our students from Iran and regard this as unfortunate," the university said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "Furthermore, the exclusion of a class of students from admission directly conflicts with our institutional values and principles. However, as with any college or university, we have no choice but to institute policies and procedure to ensure that we are in full compliance with all applicable laws." (For more on this story, click here.)

What are your thoughts on UMass Amherst’s sanctions on Iranian students? Do you think it’s fair or irrational? Do you think other prestigious universities will follow suit? Or do you think UMass Amherst will reverse its stance in the coming weeks? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And if you’re seriously considering graduate school, head over to our After College section. While you’re there, don’t forget how expensive a graduate degree can be. Conduct a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com, where you’ll get matched with scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities that are unique to you!

*Update: As of February 18, 2015, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has reversed its decision to bar Iranian students from some of its graduate programs.

Comments (177)

Colleges that Produced the Most Current Members of Congress

February 20, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

With college on the horizon for high school seniors, students with political aspirations should understand that it's never too early to start making the right connections. And what better place is there to start than by attending the college that boasts 47 elected officials currently on Capitol Hill? (Curious as to which school I’m referring? None other than Harvard University, of course.)

With twice as many members of Congress counted as alumni, Harvard just might be the college for those with governmental ambitions. Georgetown University scores a distant second with 20 current members of Congress, followed by Yale University with 18. Check out the list below to see what other colleges might better your chances at making your political dream a reality:

For the complete list, head over to FindTheBest.

Comments (1)

10 National Universities Where Most Students Live on Campus

November 27, 2013

10 National Universities Where Most Students Live on Campus

by Suada Kolovic

If you’re a high school senior, you’ll be faced with a major decision in the coming months: choosing the right school. And while there are myriad factors to consider when making your decision, campus housing can be a crucial piece of the puzzle. For the most part, students are required to live in campus housing during their freshman year while upperclassmen tend to live off-campus in apartments. The reason: Most larger universities just don’t offer enough on-campus housing to accommodate their entire undergraduate populations. Yet, that’s not always the case because some prominent institutions with large endowments offer housing for all undergraduates.

According to an analysis of student housing data provided by the U.S. News & World Report, students at many of the country’s top ranked schools opt to remain on campus until they graduate. Of the top 10 national universities with the highest percentage of students living on campus, five are Ivy League institutions. Check out the complete list below (schools are ranked by the percentage of their undergraduate student body living on campus).

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. California Institute of Technology
  4. Columbia University
  5. Stanford University
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. St. Mary's University of Minnesota
  8. Yale University
  9. Dartmouth College
  10. Vanderbilt University
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Colleges that Produced the Most U.S. Presidents

November 14, 2013

Colleges that Produced the Most U.S. Presidents

by Suada Kolovic

With college on the horizon for high school seniors, those with lofty political aspirations should understand that it's never too early to start making the right connections. And what better place to start than by attending the right college that already boasts a total of six presidents and four vice presidents. Which university is that, you ask? None other than Harvard University. Considering their reputation as one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, producing the most commanders-in-chief may not be the shock of the century but you might be surprised by the fact that Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and Eureka College in Illinois produced as many presidents as Georgetown University and the United States Naval Academy. Curious as to what other colleges might better your chances at becoming the next POTUS, check out the list below:

For the complete list, head over to FindTheBest.

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Conservative Student Group Criticized for “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game

School Cancels Controversial Event

November 19, 2013

Conservative Student Group Criticized for “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game

by Suada Kolovic

In general, college is viewed as the sacred time in your young adult life where you make connections that will last a lifetime, take part in heavily heated debates on issues you're passionate about and play games where you're rewarded with a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden for “catching” illegal immigrants. Wait...something about the latter statement seems WAY too terrible and offensive to be true, right?!

The Houston Chronicle reported that students from a conservative student group at the University of Texas planned to stage a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” game on Wednesday with the hopes of sparking a campus-wide conversation about illegal immigration. The game involves participants “capturing” volunteers masquerading as undocumented immigrants. The group took to their Facebook page to defend their event and Lorenzo Garcia, the chairman of the university’s Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter, reiterated that the purpose of the game is start a debate and not to promote prejudice. We should note that YCT is no stranger to controversy: In September, they held an “affirmative-action bake sale” where there sold treats to students at prices that varied depending on their race and gender. Yikes!

University leaders have been quite vocal about condemning the planned immigration game. UT Austin President William C. Powers, Jr. said the proposed event was “completely out of line” with the university’s values. “Our nation continues to grapple with difficult questions surrounding immigration. I ask YCT to be part of that discussion but to find more productive and respectful ways to do so that do not demean their fellow students,” he added.

As this blog post was being written, the event was cancelled but what do you think about this “game” proposed by YCT? Do you find it offensive and disrespectful? Let us know in the comments section.

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Colorado State U. Adds Women’s Soccer, Nixes Water Polo in Order to Comply with Title IX

November 21, 2013

Colorado State U. Adds Women’s Soccer, Nixes Water Polo in Order to Comply with Title IX

by Suada Kolovic

Four decades after Title IX was enacted, many colleges and universities across the country still struggle with the gender-equity requirements. If you’re not familiar with Title IX, allow me to give you a brief synopsis: The law states: “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” While Title IX has had obvious positive effects on women’s education, we most often associate this law’s success within athletics but compliance with Title IX isn’t always a clear task. Take for instance what’s happening at Colorado State University: The school plans to add scholarships through a new women’s soccer team but are doing so at the expense of the women’s water polo team. If you’re scratching your head in confusion, join the club.

According to reports, the complaint against the university filed in July 2012 alleged that CSU discriminated against female athletes by falling to provide opportunities equal to those afforded to their male counterparts. The university agreed to a turnaround plan that will bring it into compliance by September 2016 but many individuals have pointed out the odd juxtaposition of a women’s sport being eliminated to comply with gender-balance guidelines. “It definitely shows that they didn’t take our sport as seriously as maybe men’s basketball or football, because they definitely wouldn’t have eliminated them,” said Alexzandrea Daley, a 19-year-old junior and water polo team member at CSU. Officials at the university have sympathized with their outrage but reaffirm that the university could not afford to keep both sports. (For more on this story, click here.)

Sure, repeated failures to comply with Title IX can jeopardize a university’s federal financial support but do you agree with Colorado State’s solution? Do you think it fair to the female athletes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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10 Med Schools That Receive the Most Applications

June 30, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

If you're actively considering a career as a physician, you're well aware of the long, rigorous and demanding road ahead. With challenging coursework and fierce competition in the forecast, not everyone is up for the challenge...but that hasn't necessarily translated into fewer students applying to medical school. According to U.S. News & World Report, medical school experts have predicted a shortage of doctors throughout the next decade but no shortage of prospective students. In 2013, total applications increased by 6.1 percent with the average number of applications at the top 10 medical schools totaling approximately 10,645. Check out the top 10 medical schools that receive the most applications for the most recent school year below:

Did your top-choice medical school make the list? If so, would you consider other schools with less competition? For more information on applying to medical school and figuring out how you're going to pay for it, head over to Scholarships.com.

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