College Board

College Board

McGraw-Hill Digitizes with ONboard Series to Help Students Study for AP Exams

Did you know that almost 50 percent of students who take an AP exam are not going to pass? That certainly has to be a frustrating factoid for those test takers. If only there was something they could do in order to improve their chances of passing those tests….Oh wait, there is now, thanks to McGraw-Hill Education.

McGraw-Hill Education has a new digital program, the ONboard Series, which is an “all-digital learning solution designed to improve students’ performance in AP classes and on exams by developing the skills they need to succeed before they enter the course.” This program is just one more step on McGraw-Hill’s journey to become the leader in education innovation.

According to the Jeff Livingston, senior vice president of College and Career Readiness at McGraw-Hill Education, many of the students who take AP classes do not pass the tests because they are not prepared for the rigorous coursework and expectations that come along with the classes. This then leads to them not preparing as well as they should for the exams. Livingston says that ONboard will aim “to better prepare students for their AP courses by providing them with the skills and background knowledge they need to be successful.” Read the rest of this entry »



Net Price Calculator Helps Cure the Sticker Shock of Higher Education

When most students start receiving information about the financial costs of a higher education, they are seniors in high school. Up until that point, many are simply told that college is expensive and they should start saving, but that’s about it. Now, a new tool has been designed to help families understand how much a higher education will cost, which allows families to then begin planning on how to pay for it.

This tool is called the Net Price Calculator (NPC) and was created to be in accordance with 2008’s Higher Education Opportunity Act. Under this act, every institute of higher education that allows students to use federal aid to pay for their education must have an NPC on their website so that students can calculate the price of attending that school. Students can put in their own personal data on this NPC and the calculator shows them the net price of attending that school (tuition, room, and board included). Read the rest of this entry »



High School Counselors: Overburdened, Undertrained

college conselor with student at deskHigh school counselors are failing their students. When it comes time for students to make major life decisions, guidance counselors should be behind them every step of the way. But, to put it simply, their guidance is lacking.

However, it may not be their fault. A recent study by the College Board showed that public school counselors had an average caseload of 389 kids, while those in the low-income schools took on an average of 427. With such a heavy burden, counselors find that their work suffers and so do the students.

“Counselors are like teachers,” said Patrick O’Connor, director of college counseling at the Roeper School in Michigan. “When they have too many students, the amount of learning and personal contact goes down, and the quality of the counselor-student relationship suffers. Ideally, the ratio should be 100 to 1, but in this economy, counselors would be happy with 250 to 1, especially since ratios in some states are higher than 600.”

Not only are counselors taking on a huge work load, the survey also revealed that they have not received enough training to do their jobs. While 73 percent of those surveyed have master’s degrees, and 58 percent of them are administrators or teachers, only 16 percent said they were adequately trained for their job.

“Current counselor training programs are completely out of line with what students and parents want and need from a school counselor today,” O’Connor said.

Meanwhile the survey showed that schools were not deploying their counselors to tactically prepare students for college and the work place. A mere 42 percent said that their school believed in their ability to successfully drive students to meet their post-secondary education goals. Also, only 34 percent said that their school offered students academic planning for the future.

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College Board Releases 2011 AP Honor Roll

college board logo with acornDo you remember back in elementary school when the school would give out annual awards for various accomplishments? There was the Reading Honor Roll, the Attendance Honor Roll, the Science Honor Roll, and so many more. I had long ago forgotten about honor rolls, but I guess they are back in the spotlight.

In 2010, The College Board began releasing an annual list of schools that made it’s AP Honor Roll. In order to make this honor roll, schools must increase their students access to Advanced Placement courses and coursework. However, there is more required of schools who want to make this honor roll. In addition, they must also simultaneously maintain or increase the percentage of their students who earn at least a “3” on the exams. Schools who do this are “successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most for AP course work,” according to the College Board.

This year, 367 school districts made the list. The schools came from 45 different states in the USA and six provinces in Canada. Pennsylvania had the most districts who qualified for the list (34). New York and Massachusetts tied for second place with 30 districts each.

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Public College Tuition Jumps Nearly Eight Percent

piggy bank moneyThough it is still cheaper to go to a public university than a private one, a recent spike in college costs this fall is narrowing the gap between private tuition and public tuition.

However, this narrowed gap is nothing new. Over the past ten years, public school tuition has increased at an annual rate of 5.6 percent, while private schools have increased at an annual rate of three percent.

The average public in-state tuition rose nearly eight percent this fall. That’s an increase of between $555 and $7,605. As for private schools, their cost went up 4.5 percent, or $1,164 to $27,293, according to a College Board report called “Trends in College Pricing.” Read the rest of this entry »



Real Benefits to Earning Your Higher Education

studyingDo you ever wonder if these four years of college are ever going to be worth all the study/all-nighters/expense/lack of a social life/work/every other bad thing you can think of about college? Is it really worth getting up at 6:00am to make that 7:00am chemistry lab? What about the rising cost of tuition? There are many things that could discourage you from pursuing a higher education. Is it worth it? Experts say yes.

According to a new study by the College Board, “workers with a college degree earned much more and were much less likely to be unemployed than those with only a high school diploma.”

In 2008, this study found that the median earnings of workers with a bachelor’s degree were $55,700. Workers who had only earned their high school diploma made $21,900 on average. Women who have earned their bachelor’s degree earn 79 percent more than those who only have their high school diploma; for men, it was 74 percent more. Read the rest of this entry »



U.S. Ranks 12th in Higher Education

No longer is the U.S. the leader in higher education for young adults, according to a recent College Board report. The U.S. ranks 12th place in prevalence among adults ranging from ages 25 to 34 with college degrees.graduation rates

Canada is in the lead for having 55.8 percent of the country’s population obtaining at least an associate’s degree. The U.S. lags behind at 40.4 percent. While the report focuses on younger adults, the U.S. ranks sixth when older adults are configured into the study.

The report also focuses on state ranking. The District of Columbia ranks highest, with a completion rate of 62.2 percent. Maryland ranks 12th at 38.6 percent, while Virginia ranks 17th, at 36.5 percent. Read the rest of this entry »



College Tuition on the Rise

dollar signIf you have been in college for a few years, I’m sure you have noticed that tuition keeps getting just a little bit more expensive every year. I know I sure have noticed it. It seems like colleges keep finding some reason to increase tuition and fees every year. I thought maybe I was just being unrealistic, but unfortunately, I wasn’t.

A report released by College Board on October 20, 2009 showed that college tuition and fees have indeed been increasing. This year, public universities have raised annual tuition and fees by 6.5 percent. That means that the average student is paying $7,020 per school year! That’s quite a hefty price, but not nearly as bad as what private school students are paying. Although the average annual tuition for private universities only increased by 4.4 percent since last year, these students are still paying $36,273 per year.

Why are college tuition and fees skyrocketing when we are in the middle of a national, economic recession?

Read the rest of this entry »



Are 8th Graders Really Ready for College Board’s RediStep Tests?

Are 8th graders ready to study like this for a College Board test?

I remember sitting in a huge high school auditorium, nervously watching my teacher pass out scantrons. Everyone had at least two #2 pencils and several layers of clothes to take on and off, depending on when the A/C kicked in. We weren’t allowed to leave the room for any reason because it might allow us to cheat. We were taking a test in high school that could possibly get us college credit hours. It was nerve wracking!

I took my first College Board AP test when I was in 10th grade. I was terrified! I couldn’t eat the day before and during the exam. I couldn’t sleep. I was trembling throughout the exam. It was bad.

Recently, College Board announced plans to extend this terror to 8th graders. The test would be called RediStep and allow these middle school students to earn college credit through a test. However, due to the economic condition of many schools across the nation, the plan was postponed until 2010.  Read the rest of this entry »





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