Having gone through several music programs and with friends still attending music programs, I can tell you that these ranking systems absolutely fail to address what is important as a developing musician seeking to make a career as a performer.
Is this a uniquely Asian problem? Intellectual laziness is a major issue here in the United States too, and students buy homework online to avoid thinking the way they download music from iTunes. But America still values those who think outside the box, originality.
Usually this time of year, we speak mostly to rising high school upperclassmen -- juniors and seniors -- who have college on their minds and are closest to the application process. Increasingly, however, we host families with students who are just entering their sophomore year.
Some of you will be making plans to visit colleges. Many of you will be doing web research on colleges and just about anyone applying to college will need to eventually answer an inevitable college essay question, "Why are you a good match?
My story of applying to colleges is a bit different than most. Not because I am some exceptional student that was accepted by every school that I applied to, but because of the sheer number of colleges I applied to.
It made me excited, not anxious. I didn't even really think to list it on my college applications while I spent a whole of time and thought questioning how "impressive" my other activities looked. And in the midst of this yearlong freak-out, I found something to call my own.
College counseling professionals guide students through their admissions process on the telephone, through email, via fax, video-conferencing and Skype. Distance does not seem to be a factor in getting to know applicants.
The last thing you want to do is make a choice you regret. College-bound students should weigh the pluses and minuses of each school equally. They should look carefully at each school. And most importantly, keep an open mind.
Approaching that process with candor, humor, and compassion, Lanita guides her students in connecting authentically with who they are as young adults and who they wish to be. She then helps them discover their best college fit based on this knowledge.
There is a popular (though not-so-new) trend among high school seniors wherein, following one student's acceptance at a highly selective school, fellow peers will attempt to figure out the reasons behind the acceptance.
My only son will enter college as a first-year student in the fall. For the most part of the last year, he, and his parents, were immersed in the college-application rat race. It is very easy to lose sight of what is really important in the college search and application process.
Where a student attends college, how much it will cost the family, and whether they end up with a little or a lot of debt depends on everyone making college finances a priority. It's never too early to start planning for how to pay for college.
Applying for college is very stressful -- not just for your sister, but also for your mom and dad. If they're like most parents I've met, who spend a lot of time and energy helping their kids, it might feel as if they are being judged.
Well, not really. I'm still a senior in high school, but I have finally gotten off the roller coaster of applying to college that I boarded as an apprehensive, but ambitious, junior. But, having finished this process, I find that I have more questions than answers.