In the News

What Happens When a College Admits Too Many Students?

Every year college admissions go through a very interesting phase called the summer melt- a time when a percentage of students drop out even after paying the enrollment deposits. A recent study found that most students that do drop realize that they can't pay for college, or that their scholarship didn't go through making it impossible to attend. Colleges are well aware about this phenomenon and factor that percentage in when they send out applications. But what happens when everyone that you accepted plans to come? 

This is the horror that UC Riverside faced this year. A surplus of over 1,200 students accepted their offer to the California based university out of which 499 students' acceptances were rescinded. This is largely unusual but a rising trend. As incomes are fluctuating, and acceptance rates are rising, students are choosing to stay in their safety and reach schools because of the financial burden it promises to reduce. UC Riverside has issued an apology even though it still has a surplus of over 800 for its 7,000 student freshman class. This isn't the only university that has overestimated the number of students it can take. Carnegie Mellon did it in 2015, Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health the following year, as well as UC San Diego. 

For Riverside, the next steps would be to find ways to accommodate so many students. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education said that the university plans to invite students to spend their freshman year abroad, find local students to commute to school instead of staying in dorms, and even send students to community college for a year with a promise that the subsequent three years will be at Riverside. These are problems for large public schools no matter how prestigious and something that high school students should factor in when choosing colleges. 





Green Card in the US: New immigration bill may make it easier for educated Indians to stay

While the US is tightening up its borders with increasing security, travel bans, and reduced H1-B work visa offers- a new bill in known as Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act might be changing the residency situation for Indian students studying in the United States. The act wants to begin a point based system much like the Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) program where young, educated, skilled, and english speaking immigrants would be preferred over people who claim residency because of their family. 

While its only a bill, the new point system would greatly help Indian students planning to study in the US with getting a green card. Here are some points criteria that seem beneficial: 

  1.  Good undergrad education: An applicant with a US high school diploma or the foreign equivalent gets one point; a foreign bachelor's degree earns five points, while a US bachelor's degree earns six points.
  2. Further Studies: A foreign master's degree in STEM fields earns seven points while a US master's earns eight points. A foreign professional degree or doctorate earns 10 points and a US equivalent earns 13.
  3. Age: Those aged 18 through 21 gets six points, ages 22 through 25 gets eight points, and ages 26 through 30 get 10 points.
  4. English Proficiency: Points are also given out for English proficiency, as determined by standardized English test. Anyone with less than a 60th percentile proficiency gets no points, those between 60th and 80th percentile get six points, someone in the 80th to 90th percentile range earns 10 points, those with a 90th percentile proficiency or above earns 11 points, and someone in the 100th percentile range earns 12 points.
  5. Job offer: Five points are awarded if an applicant has a job offer that will pay at least 150% of median household income in the state where he or she will be employed; eight points if pay is 200% of median income, and 13 points if it's 300% the median.

IF (which is a big if) this bill passes, A young Indian between the age 26 to 30 who has just wrapped up a Ph.D in U.S, is proficient in English, and who has a job offer of about $ 160,000 per year or more (approximately three times the national median income) would be a shoo-in for one of the 140,000 employment-based Green Cards the U.S issues annually. This bill does seem like it will help both the US economy, save Trump's message of foreigners taking away jobs, and most importantly be an amazing return on investment for an education from the US.