Rosen: Think Backward About Your College Choice

Everyone's college goal is not the same. For some students it's about experiencing college life—football games, intellectual conversations, living on campus, being away from home for the first time. For others, it's about the desire to learn about a particular area—be it art history or advanced mathematics. And for others still, it's a means to an end—a path toward a career. Many students give too little thought to what it is they really want out of college, and what kind of university can best meet their needs. And few consider whether colleges are able to meet their end of the bargain.Basing your college choice on a desired outcome can be a constructive way to approach the college-applications process. At some schools, curriculum developers actually use a process known as "backward design" to create courses by starting from the desired outcome. In other words, the curriculum is shaped and coursework selected on the basis of how well it permits a student to achieve their desired...

A Guide to the 2010 Newsweek-Kaplan College Guide

By the time you reach the point of applying to college, you may feel that you've heard way too much advice from your parents, your teachers, your guidance counselors, your neighbors—even that guy who graduated from your high school three years ago whom you ran into at the movies last week. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about where you should apply, what you should study, and even what you should write in your essay. If you can stand it, here's one more piece of advice: forget everything you've heard, at least for a moment, and think about the most important person in this process: you. What do you want out of college?It's a simple question with a very complicated answer. In fact, it's the theme of this 14th annual edition of the NEWSWEEK-Kaplan College Guide. Instead of focusing on different types of schools, we began by imagining different types of students and finding an environment that would work best for each one. Veteran education reporter Jay Mathews has assembled a...

Bennett: Who Should You Be in College?

Where should you go to college? you have nearly 1,500 colleges and universities to choose among—and that counts just the accredited four-year institutions. The list gets longer still (much longer) if you include community colleges and other accredited institutions that offer two-year associate's degrees. How do you choose when the choice seems to matter so much?"Is it really my choice?" you may ask yourself. "Don't I have to get in first? And isn't it hard to get into the best colleges?" True, of the 1,500 there are 100 or so that are highly selective—that have so many applicants clamoring to get in, only a lucky minority gain admission. But is one of these the best college for you just because many, many others want to go there, too? There is very little evidence that these highly selective colleges provide a more effective education to the students who do gain admission than these same students would have received elsewhere. You need to make a right choice for you, not a choice...

How to Develop a Strategy for Taking the SATs

Let's recap the good news—you now have more flexibility when it comes to your SAT scores and what colleges will actually use to evaluate your application. Ideally, this takes some of the anxiety out of the test-day experience and helps ensure you get a chance to showcase your best performance to the admissions committee.But with this new set of choices, many students are reporting anxiety over how to think through this decision—should they send one score? All scores? Some scores? Which scores?The first thing to keep in mind is that most colleges genuinely want to use your highest test score. In fact, most colleges have adopted the College Board's Score Choice policy, which allows students to selectively submit their score(s). Even many schools that have "opted out" of Score Choice have suggested that they will continue to "super score" students' test scores (i.e., take the highest sectional score from each test and combine them). This means that if you're applying to a school that...

Why I Let Go of My Ivy League Dream

Reaching is great, but be careful not to overlook a less-well-known winner. The more pragmatic choice might just turn out to be your ideal one, too.

Five Great Health Sites

Researching a health condition online? Don't get sucked in by poorly run, out-of-date sites that might scare you with misinformation—or discourage you from proven treatment. Bookmark these pages for all your health and medical questions. Still have questions? Find these sites and more on the Medical Library Association's Top Ten List. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCleveland ClinicAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansMayo ClinicMedline Plus (from the National Institutes of Health)—Lisa Jones

A Green University

Abu Dhabi's revolutionary new eco--school looks to a future beyond oil.