10 colleges with the most generous financial aid to int’l students

This this article from CBSNews.com lists the ten colleges with the most generous financial aid for international students.  There are other useful links in the article.

When looking at U.S. colleges, financial aid and scholarships are always a major concern for international students.  It’s very important to look at the financial aid that is posted on the websites and informational materials, and to ASK QUESTIONS.  Remember, that sometimes funding is available, but information about that funding is not necessarily easy to find.

Two other tips we hear frequently are 1) to try to ask for more aid after you receive your first financial aid offering (it can’t hurt) and 2) to NEVER stop looking for funding sources.  Even when you are in your senior year of college or your final year of graduate studies, you can still find sources of funding, big or small, that can ease the financial burden on you and your parents.

For more information, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/educationusakorea, or on the web at http://www.fulbright.or.kr/xe/scholarship for our scholarship posts.

Contact us at usec@fulbright.or.kr with your questions!

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Bloomberg article: China Beats U.S. for Korean Students Seeing Career Ticket

More and more Korean students are choosing China as a destination for educational and employment.  Whether they are earning a degree in the country or pursuing language studies, China is widely accepted by students as a pathway to future (if not the immediate present) success.  In the last decade in Korea there has been a sharp rise in the number of Chinese language academies or hagwons, and even foreign language high schools have cohorts of students who specialize in Chinese.

Clearly, Koreans are keenly aware of the importance of China in Korea’s future, and they are getting ready.

Take a look at this article from Bloomberg News for more information. 

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Changes Coming to the SAT and ACT

Will you be taking the SAT in the next few years?  If so, stay updated with EducationUSA and other sources on the changes to the SAT, ACT, and other tests coming soon!

Take a look at this article from the New York Times for more information.

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Minnesota State University, Mankato Honors Student to Attend UNESCO Leadership Program

We received this news from Mr. Thomas Gjersvig, Director of International Student and Scholar Services at MSU, Mankato.  We thought this would be something great to show how wonderfully Korean students are doing all over the U.S.!

Check out the article! http://www.mnsu.edu/news/read/?id=1375818692&paper=frontpage

Congratulations to Ms. Ina Pae on your achievement and for being such a fine representative of Korea!  Best of luck to you!

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East Asia leads the world in business funding

We got word of this article from NAFSA news.  Check out this article from the Times Higher Education that reports that Korean companies invest nearly $100,000 per scholar for research–the largest investment per scholar in the world!

The investment in education in South Korea starts early and continues well into the university years.

Let us know what you think: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/east-asia-leads-the-world-in-business-funding/2006387.article


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USCIS Scams Targeting International Students

We have had recent reports of scams involving calls appearing to come from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Please advise your students against sending money to people they do not know, or to confirm that they are dealing with a legitimate business or group.

The following links from the USCIS website can help against scams like the ones we have heard reported recently:

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Special Olympics focuses on South Korean view of disabled

As South Korea wraps up the Special Olympics in Pyeongchang today, we congratulate the athletes on representing their countries proudly!  Opportunities for the disabled and remains an issue in Korea, but one many are hoping to affect positively through exchanges of scholars, ideas, and students.  A recent visit by Dr. Judith Heumann, efforts by local schools and institutions and even U.S. universities such as Gallaudet University, show that times may be changing, and EducationUSA is ready to help be a part of that change.

We at EducationUSA are always happy to hear about opportunities that might be available for Korean students.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at usec@fulbright.or.kr if there is an opportunity you would like to share with us.  Enjoy the article!

Source:  Northwest Asian Weekly (http://www.nwasianweekly.com/2013/02/special-olympics-focuses-on-south-korean-view-of-disabled/)

Special Olympics focuses on South Korean view of disabled

By Sam Kim and Ahn Young-Joon
The Associated Press

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — South Korea began showing off its new snow sports mecca with the opening of the Special Olympics on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Pyeongchang, the once-sleepy hamlet in the mountains east of the capital, will also host the Winter Olympics in five years.

But the arrival of 3,000 intellectually disabled athletes from around the world has also spotlighted South Korea’s long-criticized treatment of the disabled, who for decades were kept out of sight and out of the mainstream.

About 5 percent, or 2.5 million, of South Korea’s 50 million people are either physically or intellectually disabled. Among them, about 7 percent are intellectually disabled, according to government statistics.

South Korea classifies the physically and intellectually disabled on a scale of one to six, based on the severity of their disability. The government says the system guarantees fairness in determining what support each disabled person should receive.

Critics, however, call it a human rights violation, arguing the classification grades bodies “like meat” and stigmatizes the disabled in a society already that disdains them. They also say the six-step breakdown of disability is ineffective in meeting the diverse individual needs of the disabled.

Many workplaces in South Korea still shun employing the disabled, and South Koreans are largely indifferent to the roadblocks that keep the disabled from entering society.

“The classification determines your social status in South Korea if you are disabled,” said Jeong Jong-hwa, a professor of welfare studies at Seoul’s Samyook University.

In a 2009 study, the poverty rate for the disabled in South Korea ranked fourth-highest among 27 developed nations, while government spending for the disabled was the second-lowest among 30 developed countries surveyed, according to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development.

South Korea’s bid to host the Special Olympics was launched after former lawmaker Na Kyung-won — herself the mother of a child with Down Syndrome — attended the Special Olympics in the U.S. state of Idaho in 2009.

Na said she was dismayed that South Korea’s Special Olympics team was competing with almost no support from the government.

“South Korea boasts a world-class economy, but what I saw in Idaho showed where we stood in our welfare policy for the disabled,” Na said in a written interview.

Taking the project on as a personal mission, Na lobbied to improve support for sports for South Korea’s intellectually disabled. She will host the opening ceremony of the eight-day Pyeongchang Special Olympics as the games’ chief organizer.

Conservative ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye’s victory in the December presidential election, and her platform of sweeping welfare policies, has given some hope to those who want to abolish the classification system. Park’s policy blueprint on her campaign website says there’s a need to either reform or abolish the system.

Park takes office in late February.

The games take place as worries persist that the resort hosting both the Special Olympics and the 2018 Winter Games may go bankrupt this year if the government refuses to extend the expiration of bonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars spent building the venue.

Na said she also extended an invitation to North Korea.

However, she said she never heard back from Pyongyang. The two Koreas have been divided by a buffer zone guarded by U.N. forces since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. (end)

Associated Press writer Sam Kim reported from Seoul, South Korea.

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College Rankings: a Guide to Nowhere (from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

At EducationUSA, we talk a lot about the importance of “fit” when choosing a college or university.  Students must think not only about big name schools, reputation, or rankings, but more about what makes a them right for the school and what makes the school right for them. It is understandable why a student and parents are so enamored with famous schools, but with an open mind and a little more research, sometimes they can find an even better educational experience.  See this article on rankings from the Chronicle of Higher Education on some issues related to rankings of institutions of higher education.

Source:  http://chronicle.com/article/College-Rankings-a-Guide-to/136863/

January 28, 2013

College Rankings: a Guide to Nowhere

Jon Krause for The Chronicle

By Debra Houry

This month high-school seniors have been frantically submitting their college applications for the January deadlines. Students aspire for acceptance into a reputable college, yet how do they determine which one is the best for them? Many of them turn for guidance to U.S. News & World Report and other resources that rank institutions.

Unfortunately, those “one size fits all” rankings, which are influential to both students and institutions, are often poorly designed and untrustworthy.

In November, George Washington University disclosed that it had been inflating class-rank data for the past decade, which resulted in its own inflated ranking in U.S. News. It was the third institution last year to admit to providing inaccurate and inflated data. The other two, Claremont McKenna College and my own employer, Emory University, reported inflated SAT scores. And there are most likely many more instances of data falsification.

I’m not absolving anyone of blame, but there is an inherent conflict of interest in asking those who are most invested in the rankings to self-report data.

Furthermore, the formula used in the rankings is poor. U.S. News calculates “student selectivity”—how picky the college is—based in large part on how many students were in the top 10 percent of their high-school classes. However, the National Association for College Admission Counseling reported that most small private and competitive high schools no longer report class rank, and some public high schools are also forgoing reporting this rank to their students and colleges. But U.S. News still includes it as a category.

While the rankings themselves are suspect, U.S. News’s criteria are a disincentive for colleges to evolve. For example, they discourage colleges from selecting a diverse student body. An institution that begins accepting more African-American students or students from low-income families—two groups that have among the lowest SAT scores, according to the College Board—might see its ranking drop because the average SAT score of its freshmen has gone down.

The rankings also discourage colleges from keeping pace with the digital revolution and doing things more efficiently. For example, in its law-school rankings, U.S. News rewards higher numbers of library volumes and titles, even though the move toward digital formats should make that measure obsolete. Meanwhile, dollars spent per student are rewarded as well, so if colleges perform more cost-effectively, perhaps by using newer technologies like online learning, they are penalized.

Other ranking systems aren’t any better. Forbes, which also annually rates colleges based on value and quality of teaching, includes as part of its scoring system student evaluations from Rate My Professors (notorious for its “hotness” category). These student evaluations are anonymous and unverified, so a student unhappy with her grade or even the professor can comment.

In some systems, colleges can pay to be included. The QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings now has a “star system.” The QS star system is able to use publicly available data for some institutions, like Harvard. But beginning in 2011, the vast majority of other colleges included in the QS star system paid $30,400 for an initial audit and a three-year license for participation. A New York Times article last month highlighted how many of those paying colleges received high star marks in the QS ratings, yet aren’t rated highly in other ratings systems.

Defenders will say these rankings provide a place for prospective students to compare data from various institutions, and may get them to consider ones they were not aware of. Although the rankings do highlight information on institutions, including class size and graduation rates, they miss important measures such as student learning and the university experience. A recent survey conducted by Gallup for Inside Higher Ed reported that only 14 percent of admissions directors believed that these rankings helped students find a college with a good fit.

Students might be better off turning to reports like the National Survey of Student Engagement, which annually collects information from more than 500 institutions about student participation in programs and activities geared toward learning and personal development. At Emory, for instance, we started a program called Living-Learning Communities, which gives upperclassmen incentives to live on campus and participate in residential learning. But you would never learn about that from the ranking formulas.

Competition and colorful magazines are alluring, but we should expect the scores to be meaningfuland accurate. Emory, for its part, has developed a data-advisory committee to ensure a consistent and accurate method to report all institutional data. Other colleges should put in place similar checks of internal data validity or have external audits.

Meanwhile, ranking organizations should develop more-meaningful measures around diversity of students, job placement, acceptance into professional schools, faculty membership in national academies, and student engagement. Instead of being assigned a numerical rank, institutions should be grouped by tiers and categories of programs. The last thing students want is to be seen as a number. Colleges shouldn’t want that, either.

Debra Houry is an associate professor in the School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

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The Future of AP Testing and College Credit

Although high AP scores have traditionally translated to credits for introductory-level university courses, schools are increasingly questioning this practice. According to this New York Times article, Dartmouth College has recently decided to stop awarding credit to students with high AP scores. Is this a new trend? Will other schools follow suit? What do you think?
January 22, 2013, 12:25 pm

Should Colleges Stop Giving Credit for High A.P. Scores?


Dartmouth College, the Ivy League school in New Hampshire, has recently announced that it will no longer give college credit to students who score well on Advanced Placement tests, my colleague Tamar Lewin reports:

Elite institutions like Dartmouth have long discussed how to handle the growing number of freshmen seeking credit for top scores on A.P. or International Baccalaureate exams. Dartmouth changed its policy after an experiment measuring whether top A.P. scores indicated college-level competence.

“The psychology department got more and more suspicious about how good an indicator a 5 on the A.P. psych exam was for academic success,” said Hakan Tell, a classics professor who heads Dartmouth’s Committee on Instruction, so the department decided to give a condensed version of the Psych 1 final to incoming students instead of giving them credits.

Of more than 100 students who had scored a 5 on the A.P. exam, 90 percent failed the Dartmouth test. The other 10 percent were given Dartmouth credit.

An official of the College Board, which administers the A.P. program, found Dartmouth’s findings “very difficult to believe.”

Still, Dartmouth’s decision, which will affect the class of 2018, may influence other colleges and universities to make similar decisions.

Source: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/dartmouth-ap-exam/?ref=education&gwh=E70DE41C08A257D41B8EB00450BFBEBD

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Changing Training and Testing Process for Prospective Lawyers in Korea and the Effect on LL.M. Recruitment

Korean legal programs are currently restructuring the training process for prospective lawyers. Previously, the Korean bar exam was open to all applicants. However, new 2009 laws will restrict eligibility to those who have completed 3 year law programs in the coming decade. These developments will affect the recruitment of students for LL.M. programs in particular. Many law schools in the United States and EducationUSA are keeping an eye on these trends, and we will post updates as they become available.

Most U.S.-style law schools pass first evaluation

7 out of 25 receive warnings, but none determined to be unqualified

Jan 22,2013

Of the 25 newly formed U.S.-style law schools which dispatched their first set of graduates last year, 18 schools met all criteria in the first official evaluation conducted by the Korean Bar Association.

The remaining seven law schools, including Korea University, received a warning to improve their standards within a year, the bar association revealed yesterday.

Over the past three years, the Law School Evaluation Committee under the Korean Bar Association conducted a review of various criteria, including the quality of professors, curriculum, facilities and scholarship funds of the 25 Western-style law schools established by the government in 2009.

Only students who complete three years of schooling are eligible to take the new bar exam. This system replaces the former nationwide bar exam, which was open to everyone and is currently being phased out by 2018.

The seven law schools that received warnings were: Hanyang, Korea and Sungkyunkwan universities in Seoul, Kangwon National University in Chuncheon, Dong-A University in Busan, Chonnam National University in Gwangju and Chungbuk National University in Cheongju.

These seven schools can receive approval by the committee by meeting the criteria that they failed to meet this time around within one year.

The evaluation process under regulation is conducted every five years, and this evaluation’s purpose was not to rank the schools but confirm that they meet minimal standards of 29 subsections under eight categories, including admissions, research opportunities, educational facilities and school’s objectives.

Of these schools, Chonnam and Chungbuk national universities had the highest number of areas to “improve” in, such as scholarship funds that fall short of the average and substandard legal clinic budgets for Chonnam.

In contrast, law schools including Kyung Hee University received “excellent” in eight criteria, Ajou and Ewha Womans universities in six and Seoul National University in five areas. Korea University received an excellent in eight areas and one warning for professors exceeding the standard average of lecture hours. No schools were evaluated as unqualified.

Han Boo-whan, 65, chair of the committee, said, “Some law schools have been advised to address the problems that have been revealed,” through the course of the evaluation. But he added that “overall, the law schools are being managed well.”

“It is important to emphasize that these schools met certain criteria and have an opportunity to qualify after they improve in certain areas in one year’s time,” the secretariat office of the evaluation committee.

“Because this is the first evaluation, it is very much a trial run,” a National Assembly representative stated yesterday. “In the future, the evaluation process will be expanded to include the percentage of students who pass the bar examination and other criteria.”

By Sarah Kim, Kim Ki-hwan [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

Source: http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2965877&cloc=joongangdaily%7Chome%7Cnewslist1

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