Princeton University

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.

Fred Hargadon on College Admission and the Dodecahedron

Last week Fred Hargadon passed away. Hargadon worked in admissions at Swarthmore, Stanford and Princeton. In any room where college admissions people meet, there will be Fred Hargadon anecdotes. (We have several in our book!) He was a great communicator, with a dead aim for the college application process, conveyed with compassion and a wry sense of humor.  His acceptance letters from Princeton famously began with the single word "YES!," a phrase now carved in stone in front of Princeton's Hargadon Hall, the dormitory named in his honor.

Joyce Smith, executive director of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, recently shared a letter Hargadon wrote to prospective students and we'd like to share it with you. You have to love a letter that citesThe Phantom Tollbooth, Harry Potter's sorting hat, SAT scores and becoming bilingual. 

Here's one of our favorite pieces of advice:

Admission: The Movie

Check out the latest trailer for Admission, an upcoming movie starring Tina Fey in the role of a Princeton University admission officer. Admission is based on the book of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz, who has said she has had a college admission fixation since she was rejected by Yale in the late '70s. In researching her book, she worked part-time in admissions at Princeton for two years. But the key to Fey's character Portia came to her in a conversation with former Middlebury College dean Bob Clagett. According to Korelitz, "... it took an interview with Bob Clagett, Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College, to give me my first real insight into the character who would become Portia. Was there, I asked Dean Clagett, a personality type you tend to see in people who chose to work in college admissions? I’m not sure what I expected. Judgmental? Bossy? Sadistic? But whatever it was, his actual answer was utterly arresting. He said: 'We’re all such do-gooders.'" The book is terrific. The movie opens on March 8.

Princeton joins the Gourmet Guide

Check out the latest addition to the Gourmet Guide. The best sweets, late night restaurants, nouvelle cuisine, and -- most important -- coffeeshop to be found in the environs of Princeton University. The little town of Princeton, we are told, has more ice cream shops per capita than any other place this world traveling alum reviewer has visited.