February 2013

  • Can Your Son or Daughter Finish College Online without Returning to Campus?

    Barry Lenson

    It’s not often that a post on this blog is written for parents. Today, however, let’s explore a question that more parents seem to be asking lately . . . “How can my kid finish up online and earn a degree at the college he [or she] was attending until recently?” Usually parents only ask this question when they, or their kids, encounter some kind of problem. I heard this question from one man, for example, who lost his job and had to ask his son to drop out of a small, expensive private college. I also heard it from a woman whose daughter had to withdraw from a state university because of her health problems. Unfortunately, there is no easy, “one size fits all” answer to the question, because different students need to compl ...

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  • How to Ace the SAT Essay: StraighterLine interviews Dr. Les Perelman

    Barry Lenson

    Les Perelman, Ph.D., recently retired after spending 26 years teaching writing at MIT. He is still affiliated with that institution, where he is now researching ways to improve students’ writing skills. Perelman is no fan of the SAT. He believes that the test’s writing section and essay are essentially useless – completely unable to help colleges identify students who can write well. You can get a sense of his views if you read Dr. Perelman’s Essay Writing Tips online, or Fooling the College Board, a post that Scott Jaschik wrote for Inside Higher Ed. Perelman was also interviewed for an article in The New York Times last April about how easy it is to fool the computerized essay-scoring software that is now being developed by the ...

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  • Thomas Edison State College Wins Praise in New York Times

    Barry Lenson

    At StraighterLine, we already know that Thomas Edison State College is a terrific college that offers great courses and exceptional value. That’s why Thomas Edison is one of StraighterLine’s Partner Colleges. Now, our “open secret” isn’t a secret anymore, because more and ambitious students are discovering Thomas Edison State College and the unique educational value it represents. And just this week, Thomas Edison was extensively profiled in “Adults Are Flocking to College That Paved Way for Flexibility,” an article by Tamar Lewin in The New York Times on February 24th. The article profiles several students who have obtained degrees from Thomas Edison, despite their busy lives and professions. One of them, Pilar Merc ...

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  • The College Board vs. StraighterLine: Which Works Harder to Help You Finish College?

    Barry Lenson

    If you’re a student who’s visiting the College Board’s website for the first time, you’ll probably feel like a little kid who just wandered onto the set of Willie Wonka. There are so many products that look just so delicious. There are AP tests that could save you time and money by eliminating the need to take some college courses. There are also CLEP exams that promise just about the same thing. Which program should you grab and gobble up first? But how much can the AP or CLEP programs help you out? And would StraighterLine courses offer you a better way to earn college credit, save money, and get a faster start on college? Let’s take a closer look. What Are AP Exams? The Advanced Placement (AP) program is made up of two ...

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  • How to Find Yourself by Taking College Courses

    Barry Lenson

    Does anybody still talk about “finding yourself”? A couple of decades ago, I recall, people talked about it all the time. It was a Jack Kerouac/Ken Kesey/Woody Guthrie kind of thing. You headed out across the plains with a guitar or an old car (your choice) and somewhere out there, you found yourself. Going to college was another popular way to find yourself. You went off to college and then sometime around your sophomore year, you had to call your parents and announce that you had discovered yourself.  Your discovery could be practical (“I am majoring in accounting”) or hazy (“I am love”), but you had to come up with something, or your parents thought they were throwing their money away. If you Google “find yourself ...

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