Penn Dropping Essay Portion of SAT Test

Editor’s note: The original headline has been changed to reflect that Penn won’t require the essay portion of the SAT Writing test.

Remember way back in — oh, has it been 10 years already? — 2005, when the College Board created an uproar by adding a new essay-writing component to its longstanding Verbal and Math SAT tests? A spokeswoman for the Board at the time said the move was made in response to demand from colleges and businesses, who hoped that “writing will become more of a priority across the United States.”

Now the University of Pennsylvania is creating its own little uproar by announcing that as of next year, it will no longer require applicants to submit scores from the essay sections of either the SAT or the ACT. Dean of Admissions Eric Furda told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the decision was one that had been “carefully considered”: Read more »

One Philly College Makes Forbes’ Top 10 List

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Well, Forbes has published its 2015 list of the Top Colleges in the U.S., and it’s bound to cause some consternation among status-conscious grads hereabouts, given what New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has called these rankings’ “quasi-biblical power.” Alas, the only local school to crack the Top 10 was Swarthmore, weighing in at number seven. (True, Princeton stands in fourth place, but we can never quite decide whether it’s “local” or not.)

For the curious, here are the Top 10 in order: 1) Pomona College; 2) Williams College; 3) Stanford; 4) Princeton; 5) Yale; 6) Harvard; 7) Swarthmore; 8) Brown; 9) Amherst; and 10) MIT. In case you’re wondering, these are Forbes’s all-around rankings, based, it says, in this “new age of return-on-investment education,” on “outcomes.” Factors taken into account include low student debt, student satisfaction, and four-year graduation rate.

Other local schools in the top 100: Read more »

Local Author Pens Debut Novel About Post-Graduation Blues

jenni fink sentenced to lifeMoorestown native Jenni Fink’s debut novel, Sentenced to Life, reaches out to the millennial generation and assures us we’re doing just fine. “I tried to think about what real life is right now and just put it into words so people can relate to it,” Fink explains. College graduates are all too familiar with the pressure of finding a job, getting married and having kids, but Fink seeks to calm these universal anxieties in her novel.

Sentenced to Life is a story of a young woman who gets a brutal wake-up call after receiving her diploma and moving back home. The book addresses relatable issues like changing family dynamics, rekindling past relationships and facing an uncertain future.

In anticipation of her book reading this weekend at James Oliver Gallery, I spoke to Fink—a graduate of the University of Arizona—about life after college and society’s unrealistic expectations of post-graduates.

Read more »

BizFeed: The 10 Best Philly Colleges For The Money

1. Best Colleges for the Price

The News: Money magazine has determined which colleges deliver the most value. It looked for schools that deliver “a great education, at an affordable price, that helps students launch promising careers.” Money used 21 factors in three equally weighted categories — educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings — to rank each school.

Here’s how Philly colleges stacked up: Read more »

Penn Ranks No. 1 in Return on Investment for Business, Economics Careers

Wharton Penn

With student loan debt reaching crisis levels and the debate around the value of a college education boiling over, students and parents are becoming more practical when evaluating colleges. So which college provides the best return on investment for a business career? The University of Pennsylvania, according to a new study.

PayScale’s 2015 College ROI report surveyed more than 1.4 million bachelor graduates around the nation, and calculated ROI by factoring each college’s costs against expected future income. Penn costs $234,000 over four years, the study said, but delivers a 20-year net ROI of $979,000. Upon graduation, Penn grads (in all careers) “earn an average of $77K” the study says. Read more »

In Campus Sex Assault, Rights of Victims, Accused at Odds

Though Columbia University president Lee Bollinger denies an intentional snub, he did not shake Emma Sulkowicz’s hand when she — carrying a dorm mattress — walked across the stage during that university’s College Class Day a few weeks ago. The mattress was the site where Sulkowicz says she was raped by a fellow classmate, Paul Nungesser, who also walked the stage that day.

Sulkowicz, by carrying her mattress as the symbol of the weight of the crime she says she endured, has quickly become the face of women speaking out against sexual assault on college campuses, forcing a conversation about privacy and process and who should bear the burden of a rape claim.

The answer to that question remains somewhat unclear — leaving us, in the meantime, with some ugly fights. Read more »

College Grad Hiring Blitz Hits Philly


Anybody who graduated college in the past seven years should be jealous of the class of 2015. Just a few years ago, college grads were freaking out about not being able to find jobs. This year, they should be planning on living life outside of mom and dad’s house because the job market is wide open — especially in Philly.

Consider these numbers: The National Association of Colleges and Employers says employers plan to hire 9.6 percent more new graduates this year and job openings are up 50 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, CareerBuilder reports that 65 percent of employers plan to hire recent college grads this year, up from 57 percent last year. One third will offer higher pay than last year, and 1 in 4 will pay $50,000 or more.

Read more »

BizFeed: Amtrak Lawsuits Face $200M Hurdle

A crime scene investigator looks inside a train car after a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

After Tuesday’s Amtrak crash, expect plenty of lawsuits, but law states that damages will be capped at $200 million. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

1. Lawsuits a Certainty After Amtrak Crash, But Damages Capped at $200M

The News: In the wake of the Amtrak train crash, expect a slew of personal injury lawsuits against the company — especially considering that the train reportedly went double the speed limit and that Amtrak’s CEO said the company takes “full responsibility.” The first lawsuit comes from Amtrak employee Bruce Phillips who says he suffered brain trauma, body injuries and emotional stress, according to NBC10.

Read more »

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