Maureen McRae Goldberg of Occidental College Answers 8 Questions

February is Financial Aid Awareness month. As students and families research financial aid, fill out the FAFSA, and assess their options this month, we asked Occidental College's Director of Financial Aid Maureen McRae Goldberg "5 Questions." And she graciously answered eight for us.

Occidental College is a private liberal arts school located in the oak and eucalyptus covered hills of Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood. Designed by Rose Bowl architect Myron Hunt, the campus' stucco and red tile roofed Spanish Colonial architecture covers 120 acres. No surprise then that Occidental has been the setting for more than 80 movies and television shows -- from the Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers to Star Trek III, as well as Glee, Parenthood and Arrested Development. It has also been a feature film stand-in for the real-life college campuses of Stanford and Princeton.

The College Search for Students with Asperger's

College-bound students with Asperger's syndrome face special challenges. Educational psychologist Jane McClure joins us this month to discuss those challenges and how they can be met successfully. Read on for her advice about college visits, easing the transition from high school for such students and more:

You have probably heard the term “Asperger’s” since the diagnosis has become increasingly common over the last ten years.  Asperger’s syndrome (or Asperger disorder) is an autism spectrum disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests, according to experts James McPartland and Ami Klin. Physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language may also be present.   It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of language and cognitive development and is sometimes described as “high functioning autism.”


Many students diagnosed with Asperger’s are very bright and are eager to attend college.  But they may have struggled at various times throughout their academic careers with behavioral, social, organizational or other issues.  Some students continue to have a very rough time during high school, while others have gained an understanding by that time of how they are “different” from other students and have learned how to cope with their uniqueness. 


College Admission Hits the Road

College Admission is hitting the road...

Robin Mamlet will be speaking this week at the College Board Annual Forum in Miami, Florida, with the College Board's Shelley Arakawa, Derrick Kang of the Mid-Pacific Institute, Todd Abbott of RuffaloCODY, and Jarrid Whitney of CalTech.

Christine VanDeVelde is headed to California, where she will speak to students and parents at Menlo-Atherton High School and Mountain View-Los Altos High School.


Diversity: My "Aha" Moment

The role diversity plays in college admission is complex, sometimes divisive, and often not well understood by students and parents. It is receiving renewed attention in the wake of the Supreme Court’s agreement to hear a case challenging the University of Texas’ admission policy, which will effectively consider whether affirmative action should be eliminated.

Why do colleges value diversity? Is it a worthwhile goal? What are its implications – pro and con?

Today, we begin a new series bringing you stories of what diversity has meant to deans of admission, educators, public figures and others – their personal “aha” moments with the subject.

Jarrid Whitney, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at California Institute of Technology, begins this exploration, touching on a moment in his own undergraduate experience that addresses a side of this issue many students of color may experience as they progress through their college careers. We think his personal and poignant response will resonate with students and families of all races and on all sides of the issue of affirmative action.  Here is his response:

What Role Does Diversity Play in Admission Decisions?

As we speak at high schools across the country, we are often asked by students and parents about the role that diversity plays in college admission. As it happens, we are also in the midst of renewed attention to affirmative action, including whether students from some races are actually penalized in the admission process. Jarrid Whitney, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at California Institute of Technology, joins us today to guest blog about the role diversity plays in the admission process in his experience:

Admission Committee Scenario: