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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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College President Bans School-Funded Travel to Indiana

March 31, 2015

by Suada Kolovic

In response to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, San Francisco State University President Leslie E. Wong has banned all school-funded travel to the state.

The controversial legislation, which was signed into law by Republican Governor Mike Pence last week, is meant to protect religious liberty but many have expressed concern that the law will become a tool of discrimination and a way to allow businesses to turn away lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers. So far, seven institutions in the state – Ball State, Butler, DePauw, IU, Purdue, Valparaiso and Hanover – have issued statements promising to honor their nondiscrimination policies. On Monday, Wong weighed in by blocking employees and students from using SFUS funds to travel to Indiana, effective immediately. "I am dismayed, if not extremely disappointed, in the recent legislation signed into law in Indiana. It is unconscionable for this great university to spend its resources in a state that attempts to legislate discrimination of any kind," he said in a written statement. (For more on this story, head over to The Huffington Post.)

In the midst of this national debate, Governor Pence has said he would support new legislation to "clarify the intent of the law"...but is it too little, too late? What do you think of Indiana's new legislation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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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 (180)

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 (180)

Surprise Gift from UNC’s Beloved Coach Dean Smith

March 27, 2015

by Suada Kolovic

In a touching posthumous act of gratitude, beloved University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith's trust has mailed out $200 checks to each of the nearly 200 lettermen he coached with the message, "Enjoy dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith."

The letter sent read, in part: Each player was important and special to Coach Smith and when he prepared his estate plan, Coach wanted to reach out to each of his lettermen. Accordingly, Coach directed that following his passing each letterman be sent a two hundred dollar check with the message 'enjoy a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith.'

According to Sports Illustrated, Smith mentored 184 players while at UNC from 1961 to 1997, most notably, Michael Jordan. Over his tenure as a coach, his team had a record of 879-254. He retired with more victories than any other coach in Division I men's basketball history, led the Tar Heels to two championships in 1982 and 1993, to 13 ACC Tournament titles, 11 Final Fours, an NIT championship and directed the United States Olympic Team to a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Games. (For more on this story, check out The Huffington Post.)

If playing college basketball is in your future, check out our Sports Scholarship section. For even more financial aid opportunities, conduct a free college scholarship search today!

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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.

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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
Comments

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.

Comments

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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