August 21st, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Emory University employees released false school ranking data

By John Martin, CNN

(CNN) - For about a decade, Emory University employees released false data that was used to determine college rankings, Emory President James Wagner disclosed last week.

The university employees responsible for releasing the data no longer work for the Atlanta university. Here's how the data was fudged, according to the university's website: Instead of reporting only the scores of enrolled students, it included data from students who were admitted, but decided to attend college elsewhere. The university also didn't include data from the bottom 10% of its students.

For the past two years, Emory has ranked 20th on U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges guide. That intentional omission of SAT and ACT scores, GPAs and class rankings might have made Emory's student body look better on paper, but it didn't have much of an impact on the magazine's rankings.

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Filed under: College • Ethics • Policy • video
August 21st, 2012
01:00 PM ET

School to valedictorian: No apology for speech, no diploma

Kaitlin Nootbaar, the valedictorian at Oklahoma's Prague High School, joked during her graduation speech that she'd so often changed her mind about what she wanted to be, she now answers, "How the hell do I know? I've changed my mind so many times." Her quote mirrored a scene in a "Twilight" movie and the audience applauded. Kaitlin is about to start college on a full scholarship.

But when she went to pick up her diploma, the school principal said he wouldn't release it until she wrote an apology letter - administrators were upset by her speech, CNN affiliate KFOR reported.

CNN's Anderson Cooper weighed in, too, on The Ridiculist: "If this is our future, then nobody's getting diplomas because we're all going to hell in a handbasket."

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Filed under: Graduation • Issues
August 21st, 2012
12:40 PM ET

Coach overcomes homelessness, paralysis and inspires others

By Ashley N. Vaughan, CNN

(CNN) - When it comes to winning, Coach Beverly Kearney, University of Texas head women's track and field coach, knows how to get the job done.

With a coaching career spanning nearly three decades, she has won seven NCAA championships and coached 12 Olympians. In 2007, she was inducted into the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame.

Needless to say, Kearney's athletes are known to get results.

"They would say that I'm tough. That I believe in being the best you can be at all times," she says. "I am going to demand their best, and I am relentless at it."

But for Kearney, success means more than coming in first place. Her goal is to make others successful beyond the finish line, so she founded the Pursuit of Dreams Foundation. Designed around Kearney's coaching philosophy, the nonprofit strives to connect young men and women with needed resources to realize their fullest potential.

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Filed under: College • Impact Your World • Sports • video
And the biggest party school is...
West Virginia University was listed No. 1 on both the "Party Schools" and "Lots of Beer" lists released by the Princeton Review.
August 21st, 2012
09:26 AM ET

And the biggest party school is...

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - Perhaps right now in Morgantown, West Virginia, they are raising a glass, or rather a mug, to celebrate their No. 1 ranking from the Princeton Review.

Not as the best university for academics, but because West Virginia University was named the best party school in the United States.

The 22,000-plus students there like to let some steam off every now and now, according to the survey, which asked questions of 122,000 students, about 325 per campus at 377 college campuses.

All the schools on the top 20 list have more than 15,000 students, save for DePauw, which came in at No. 12, and No. 19 University of Maine.

"The schools on this list are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs," West Virginia said in a news release. "But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility."

West Virginia also topped the "Lots of Beer" list while Providence College was No.1 for "Lots of Hard Liquor."

Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, led the "Stone Cold Sober" list.

See the full list of party schools

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Filed under: After High School • College
My View: Making the jump from high school to college
August 21st, 2012
04:00 AM ET

My View: Making the jump from high school to college

Courtesy Andres JimenezBy Omar Jimenez, Special to CNN

Editor’s note:  Omar Jimenez of Kennesaw, Georgia, is a sophomore in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is going into his second year of training on the Northwestern basketball team.

(CNN) – The time has finally come to venture off to college. The emotional roller coaster of excitement and apprehension is a common theme for students and parents alike.

College is not just a place of higher learning but a preview for the real world. The social and academic environment is completely different from that of high school, making the transition tough for some students. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five keys to making the jump from high school to college and landing squarely on both feet.

Responsibility

Honestly, just being responsible goes a long way. There are opportunities to have great social lives in college, but no one will be happy if it comes at the expense of academics.  The key is to find a personal balance between having fun and doing schoolwork.  The real responsibility comes from being able to make these decisions without the seemingly endless parental nudges given throughout high school.

Personally, I always find that getting work done before hanging out with friends is the best route to take. It is definitely a drag to force yourself to sit down and knock out all your work, but it makes the reward of finishing for the day that much more worth it.

Studying

Being responsible will take you pretty far in college, but what about the schoolwork? Isn’t there a lot to keep up with? Everybody says, “Don’t fall behind on your assignments,” but it is much easier said than done. Instead of focusing on a broad goal such as not falling behind, break it down into more manageable pieces.
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Filed under: After High School • College • Voices