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8.  Match the student into the system.

Here is where the entire enterprise comes together. 

 

In Section 2, (2), above, we checked that the student has enough power to give the enterprise reasonable chance of success and that we are not just moving ahead on fantasy.  In (3) we have a statement of the student’s own personal goal or goals, as individualized as possible.

Now, keeping an eye on cultural issues, (4)
…. and not losing control to advertising or ‘agents’, (5)
…. and remembering how the US system is organized, (6) 
…. we think of where the student may best fit (7). 

If she wants a rather rare major, the process involves finding out which places offer such a major.  If she looks for a fairly common program, then how much weight to give to prestige, how much to great academic power, how much to quality undergraduate education?  There may be additional preferences, such as small school, mountain location, easy access to a hub airport, etc.  Rankings, school websites and maps all make this step an interesting exercise.

Recognizing that there may be unexpected turns in the road, smart people look far ahead, at college as the beginning the career path, that is, how to begin at BA level for best move toward graduate school or professional school or special certificate or return home for a job.

Graduate school should be part of the early thinking for many students.  Academic stars need graduate degrees to develop to their fullest.  Also, graduate degrees are desirable because of their far greater leverage in the job market.  Graduate degrees also dilute the pressure about prestige because an MA from Middle University can compete where a BA from Prestige College isn’t even eligible

As you learn the websites of your chosen list, you will face some, perhaps all of these:

Prior school record    References 

SAT/ACT                       Interview 

TOEFL                           Essay

Personal statement (http://www.albaspectrum.com/Articles3/Misc2/02424.html is  helpful)

Resume of community service and leadership; extracurricular activities

Other special requirements for international students. 

Once the application has been filed, waiting begins.  It’s good to remember that, often, top students are not selected. Why not?  Because top universities seek to have a diverse a group of students that reflects some sort of balance, among domestic and foreign, and among races, cultures and national origins. Thus, persons of African origin and of Native American origin are often in short supply, while Asian students are in oversupply.  So, if you are not admitted, never say, “I failed.”  Probably someone else just fitted the college’s desired mix better.

What if the assessment in (2) isn’t good, say weak English, bad gaokao, etc.? For the such youth, it’s quite true that gaokao can be avoided, and there’s easy admission at community colleges in the US.  But if the student is not good at gaokao, and isn’t developing, why imagine he’ll be good in an entirely strange higher education system that’s conducted in a foreign language?  

Pigs do not fly.  There is no easy back door to the top.  I met a student who could not do a good gaokao and had very weak English.  An ‘agent’ had sold the family the idea of going to a 2 year college, learning English, then doing 2 years at the college and then transferring to a nearby top world university.  Fantasy must have said, “A top US degree for our not-so-bright boy!  Wonderful!”  The family was told, “Other students do that.”  However, they should have also been told, “Yes, any student may start at community colleges in the US system.  But (in California) successful transfer requires 60 qualifying semester hours; less than 1/3 of transfer applicants are admitted, and with approaching perfect grades.  And the Community College may not have dormitories, making the living arrangements uncertain.”  Although it’s illegal in the US, ‘agents’ pocket 15% of the first year’s tuition.  With that incentive, they are now selling the supposed ‘easy path to strong degree for modest students’ by the thousands.  That makes Chinese students a key income source for many US community colleges.  To me it’s a dangerous, risky path. 

In summary, ‘agents’ and poor colleges will continue drive the massive outflow of students to the US for a while longer.  But we all should note that inflation of higher education costs in the US has become so large that even President Obama has openly proposed disciplinary measures.  The Economist recently wrote, “…the problem is not that too many of them [Chinese students] will come, but that on the contrary they will start to decide that it’s not worth the money and stay home.”

While the overseas education fad peaks and ebbs, I think there will always be a place for the bright, purpose-driven Chinese student in the US.  With sufficient success factors, a clear idea of the specific goals of the individual student and care with cultural issues, market forces, understanding of the US system, informed selecting of schools, a student can match into the system with minimal risk and with strong chances of success.  Good luck!

 

 

【词汇点津】

enterprise['entəpraiz]  

n. 企业,事业心,进取心,干事业

例句:

He works in a privately owned enterprise.
他在一家私营企业中工作。

eligible['elidʒəbl]  

a. 可以选的,具有被选举资格的,合格的
n. 有资格者,合格者,适任者

例句:

He is not eligible to take part in the game.
他没有参加比赛的资格。

incentive[in'sentiv]  

n. 动机
a. 激励的

例句:

Incentive scheme is boosting production.
奖励机制推动着生产的发展。

ebb[eb]  

n. 退潮,衰退
vi. 潮退,衰退

例句:

The tide ebbs and flows twice in 24 hours.
潮水每24小时涨落两次。

 

 

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