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Monday, July 13, 2015

College Admissions: Infrequently Asked Questions

So, we all know about the frequently asked questions during the college admission season. The top three reasons are as follows:
  1. Which program has the best placement
  2. Which program gets the highest pay package
  3. Which program has the maximum scope
However, not everyone is like that. And every admission season, I do get asked unique questions, which are extremely difficult to answer. Here is a sampling of this year's questions.
  1. I have worked 80 hours a week for the last few years, and after graduation, I will have to work 50-60 hours a week. I have only four years in which I can relax. Which program/college is the easiest to get a degree in. (Can the readers help, so that in future I can answer this question. To my small mind, it seems that if one were to relax for four years, one may get to relax for the remaining lifetime as well.)
  2. Forget faculty to student ratio. Which college has the best male to female ratio. (This question gets asked pretty much once every year. And of course, I don't know the stats for any college, so I can't answer. But even if I knew the stats, I am not sure what does "best" mean. Would 50:50 be considered best, or would 10:90 be considered better. Would the definition of "best" be gender-specific, culture-specific, etc.)
  3.  A bunch of similar and yet distinct questions. Which college has the best festival. Which college has the best band. Which college has avid gamers. (I don't know. Why is it assumed that I might know the answers.)
  4. Which college is safe for my daughter. (It is not the college, but just take precautions in certain geographies.)
  5. Which is the closest airport to the college. How far is it. What is the frequency of flights from there. (I don't run a travel agency, my dear friend. But India is progressing if someone is deciding a college on the basis of ease of air travel.)
  6. What is the RoI of certain colleges. (I intend to write a separate article on this. Seeking help from my Economics friends in understanding this better.)
  7. And the award for the most unique question goes to this. I have a 3-digit JEE (Mains) rank, but not so good JEE Advanced rank. I don't want to sit in the class with 5-digit JEE rankers. Which program should I choose. In particular, should I go to a good private college, where there is no reservation and only a few students have a 5-digit rank. Or should I go to a good government college, where most general category students would have a rank similar to mine, but many reserved category students would be beyond 10,000 ranks. How do I decide which peer group is better on an average. (Don't have a peer group at all. You will be injurious to their health. Join a distance education program. They were designed for people like you.)
I also searched on Google for reasons why students attend a college, and I find this link.  (But, of course, these reasons are frequently stated, and are really not infrequently asked questions.)


Sugato Basu said...

Wow - quite funny if this was not as seriously as most junta takes it. -some of the Indian rankings have a bit more sense with some categorized on basis of employability, research productivity, faculty qualifications, and students' demand for education at the institution. To each his own!

Rajan Bhatia said...

Although i might have a different set of questions for you like why don't you allow migration from other universities in second year based on first year scores but not asking them I would certainly like to ask you whether you also agree with the notion that jee rank is the only indicator of a student's abilities.My son got 95 in PCME(95 in each subject but physical education spoiled his aggregate so he was thrown at 61000 rank.But does this system actually check the abilities of a serious student.Why should IIITD not conduct its own exam.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Rajan, Yet another exam is just that, yet another exam. Admission based on single exams are bad since someone may not perform on one day because of multitude of reasons. On the other, in the society we live in, we have to have a very objective admission criteria. We do try to give weight to things other than exam by giving bonus marks to people who have demonstrated excellence in several different things, including sports, culture, etc. At the end of the day, we just want to get 180 good students. We will change our admission process if it can be shown with some level of confidence that the changed process will bring us many more good students. That a particular admission process misses out on a good student is not a good enough reason. One has to also show that the alternate process will not miss out similarly on other good students.

Aashka Kapadia said...

Sir i have to choose B/w SVNIT EC and DAIICT ICT ..i got to know that daiict is not approved by AICTE,does it makes any difference? ..pls guide me to take a coprrect decission as soon as possible...which one is better for me...