CRS Report for Congress : Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: Background, Federal Policy, and Legislative Action

RL33434.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Report Updated March 21, 2008

The report states, “In a recent international assessment of 15-year-old students, the U.S. ranked 28th in math literacy and 24th in science literacy. Moreover, the U.S. ranks 20th among all nations in the proportion of 24-year-olds who earn degrees in natural science or engineering.”

Life at UC Davis: From The Hills of Dublin to the Flats of Davis « OneDublin.org

Life at UC Davis: From The Hills of Dublin to the Flats of Davis « OneDublin.org

Key things learn from Kevin’s experience:

  • A world of freedom is probably the hardest part about college life.
  • You are in class a lot less.
  • You become your own supervisor.
  • There is no one to tell you what to do or when to do it.
  • When you are in high school, every day is (more or less) the same. When you come to college, every day requires you to create a unique schedule, and you have to keep to that schedule and remember what time you need to wake up and what time you need to be places.
  • With time management, you actually have more time to yourself.
  • No one (except maybe your more responsible friends) will tell you to do your homework or study.
  • No one will remind you about assignments, you have to take total control of your responsibilities and time.
  • You have to manage everything, or no one will even make you go to class.
  • You have to manage your budget.
  • You need to be aware of what you are doing, how you are spending your time and money.
  • You need to seek out any help you need because it won’t be spoon-fed to you.
  • If you are failing all of your quizzes in chemistry, no one will have a meeting with you and your parents talking about what can be done to help you.

K-12 is all about fitting in. You learn to fit in socially, you learn to fit in academically, you learn to become part of society, you learn what is and what is not okay, you learn how to interact, you learn how to make friends, you learn how to fit in.

In university, you learn how to stand out. You learn how to take control of your life, you learn how be academically individualistic, you take chances, you stand out. In the real world, you don’t get a job by fitting in, you get a job by standing out.

Collegewise: Insight from a different kind of dean

Collegewise: Insight from a different kind of dean

A good example on what may impress a college.

Any admissions officer would be impressed by your desire to learn more and your drive to become a master.

Find something that interests you, something you really enjoy.

Your path to mastery will teach you a lot.  And it will make you more interesting to everyone, including colleges.

Paying for College (When you haven’t saved enough) – Steve Cohen – Admissions – Forbes

Paying for College (When you haven’t saved enough) – Steve Cohen – Admissions – Forbes

Financial Aid is Available

It absolutely helps to befriend a live person in the financial aid office early in the process.

The Relationship Between Admissions and Financial Aid

Admission decision is completely separate from the family’s ability to pay for it — the process is known as need-blind admissions.  Look for that phrase on the college’s admissions web page.  Every school is candid about its process.  If a school is not need-blind – wealthier schools typically are – asking for financial aid can have a small negative impact on a kid’s chances of admission.

“Expected Family Contribution”

Let’s say you earn $150,000 and have $150,000 in non-real estate assets.  Your expected family contribution will be $19,500 per year/child for private college; and $25,400 per year/per child for public universities.

Colleges “Meet the Need”

Read on a college’s website – that the school tries to meet all demonstrated need.  Or you’ll see a statistic about the percentage of need met.

The Financial Aid “Package”

The financial aid package is typically comprised of three things: scholarships (or grants;) loans; and work study.  Work-study is typically less than 10% of the overall tuition charge, and involves Sam taking a campus job – in the dining room, the library, etc.

Merit scholarships – to attract academically-talented kids to their campus

Scholarships are outright grants and do not have to be repaid. It is essentially a discount off the college’s list price.

The loans come in a variety of forms and sources, with many emanating from the Federal government.  Stafford, Perkins, subsidized, unsubsidized.

The Process

There are four basic steps:

  1. Tell each college you want to apply for financial aid.  Typically the admissions application has a box to check off.
  2. Submit whatever college-specific forms the school demands.
  3. Complete the on government’s online FAFSA form.
  4. Complete the College Board’s CSS Profile forms.  (Most private colleges require this special application to be eligible for financial aid from that school.)  One submission to the College Board covers multiple colleges; but a separate fee has to be paid for each.

Your kid has to complete her own FAFSA; you will have to get multiple passwords and PIN numbers; and you’ll be navigating through several look-alike, non-communicating government websites.   And make sure you have every tax document you submitted last year when you complete the forms.

Meeting the Expected Family Contribution: Parent Loans

Parent Plus loans are government-backed, moderate-interest rate loans that are made to the parents while Sam is in college.  They don’t have to be repaid while she is in college.

Private Counselors