Parents rank ND as No. 4

first_imgParents listed Notre Dame as the No. 4 “dream school” for their children in the Princeton Review’s annual “College Hopes and Worries” survey, marking the second consecutive year the University has held that place. The Princeton Review website states “dream colleges” are schools parents wish their child could attend if cost and admission were not contributing factors, and the 2013 list ranks Notre Dame behind Stanford University, Harvard University and Princeton University. Students ranked their own top-10 dream colleges in a different list, and Notre Dame was not included in that set. University spokesman Dennis Brown said the admissions department takes such rankings “with a grain of salt” due to differences in methodology, but this one reflects Notre Dame’s unique appeal to parents. “I think that [the ranking] reflects the basic tenets of the University: a commitment to undergraduate education, a sense of community and an ongoing commitment to faith and religious identity,” Brown said. “The combination of things that Notre Dame offers … is unusual in a lot of different ways, and some parents take comfort in that.” Notre Dame is the only religiously-affiliated school on either list, and Brown said the University’s dual emphasis on faith and academics is ideal for many interested families. “For people whose faith is important to them, the fact that you can come to a place like Notre Dame and practice your faith, … yet still at the same time get a world-class education, is crucial,” Brown said. “You can be a part of a broader University community that will pay dividends throughout your life in terms of the alumni network and the bonds created in the residence halls.” Robert Mundy, director of admissions, said it is “hard to predict” whether the ranking will affect Notre Dame’s future applicant pools, but trends in the past decade have shown parents are becoming more involved in their children’s college selection processes. “Students are ultimately making the decisions, but the influence of the parents has increased,” Mundy said. “Whether it’s generational or financial or due to another factor, parents are getting more actively involved in where [their children] apply and actually attend.” Mundy said comparing the parents’ impressions of a university to those of their children can be an interesting and informative way to interpret such a ranking. “Your parents’ impressions or expectations about your college experience are a little different than your own impressions, and I saw that clearly as I looked through the rest of the Princeton Review survey results,” he said. “It’s all about looking for different things, which depends on which role you’re speaking from. … There’s no disputing that parents have a different view [than students].” Notre Dame’s policies on aspects such as dorm life and parietals are seen differently by parents and students, Mundy said, and this may have contributed to the discrepancies on the two Princeton Review lists. “I really do believe that the nature of the Notre Dame family strikes a chord with the parents, and that’s clearly tied to our mission,” Mundy said. “Things like that appeal to parents in a different way than they appeal to students.” While he said there is no way to determine what the ranking will mean for Notre Dame’s popular perception and future applicant pools, the parents’ increased influence on their students’ college decisions make this “good news all around.” “Obviously, the students are the ones who sit down for dinner every night with their parents, and if they have a positive impression [of Notre Dame] in their minds, that can affect them either apparently or subliminally,” Mundy said. Brown said such rankings serve as “good starting points” for prospective parents and their students but are not weighted heavily in the admissions office. “College surveys are of some use, but people who are serious about their college choice are going to dig in deeper,” he said. “While we’d rather be ranked than not, at the same time we recognize that they’re … just a starting point.”last_img read more

Glasgow 2014: Usain Bolt gives Games some welcome razzmatazz

first_imgThese Commonwealth Games would have carried on without him. They probably would have thrived without him. Usain Bolt admitted so himself.But as soon as the Jamaican emerged on stage to face a news conference packed with reporters and camera crews from around the world, there was a quick realisation that the remaining nine days would not have been quite the same without him.Play media Usain Bolt pleased to be at the Commonwealth GamesThere have been many who have put on a good show during the opening three days of these Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. But there has been a shortage of glamour.The arrival of Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, changed all that. Within an hour of touching down at the city’s airport, after a long-haul flight from Jamaica via Gatwick, he was facing the Commonwealth’s media.Whether the reception he received at Glasgow International was like the one Elvis Presley got at Prestwick 54 years ago, when screaming teenagers drowned out jet engines, we will probably never know. He was whisked away from the runway before any journalist could see.Bolt is competing in his first Commonwealth GamesBut Bolt doesn’t need to sing rock and roll songs or wear a rhinestone jumpsuit to add glitz to an afternoon. Black tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt in the Jamaican green and gold more than suffices. Like any theatre of worth, the lights were dimmed in anticipation of his arrival on stage, all except for a row of spotlights shining at full wattage on the table he was due to sit at. He would be seen.Cameras were rolling, photographers were snapping, saucer-eyed journalists of every Commonwealth twang filled the auditorium. He would be heard.The man himself, the six-time Olympic champion, was hiding behind a big, black curtain, sneaking a peek at his inquisitors while an organiser welcomed a captivated audience.Five children, all from a nearby running club and all kitted out in yellow and blue athletics vests, walked up a few steps to the stage. They had only learned they’d be sharing the limelight with Bolt two minutes earlier. Until then, they had been kept in the dark, their parents telling them it was top secret.And, then, with no drum rolls, no fanfare, not even a speck of dry ice, there he was, nonchalant, just eight minutes later than scheduled. Flashbulbs popped. Necks craned. Bolt remained unfazed. After all, the 27-year-old has been performing to packed crowds ever since he broke the 100m and 200m world records at the Beijing Olympics six years ago.An official started a countdown from three, setting up the most famous athlete of them all, with the children by his side, to break into his famous ‘archer’ pose.Bolt poses with mascot Clyde and five kidsPhotographers went into overdrive once more before Mike Fennell, president of the Jamaican Olympic Association, spoke. “Thank you for being here, superstar,” he said, smiling, turning to the man seated to his left. They were words that resonated with organisers, fans and journalists alike.”He has just travelled from Jamaica,” Fennell added. “So you appreciate he is very tired, but we are so happy so many of you have turned up.”Play media Bolt – The champion becomes a legendThere was a good turnout because people wanted to see for themselves that it was true, that he really was in Glasgow. It was not only excitement that filled the air but relief. It had seemed unlikely that the sprinter would be putting on his spikes in Scotland. The will-he-won’t-he questions had begun as soon as he had won his three sprint golds at last year’s World Championships.As spring turned into summer, the wait for the Olympian to make his first competitive appearance of the year continued. He withdrew from his European commitments in June and July because a foot injury had disrupted his training.”I hope to be back in competition soon,” he said in early June. But would that be soon enough for Glasgow? Would he join British track and field treasures Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill on the list of absentees?Play media Media circus follows Usain Bolt On Saturday, in a room near the north bank of the Clyde, we had our answer, although some still needed reassurance. “Will you pull out?” one journalist asked. The reply: Why fly thousands of miles and not run?We will not see Bolt showboating at the start lines of the 100m and 200m, but he will be attempting to help Jamaica add Commonwealth sprint relay gold to their Olympic and World Championships titles.Bolt confirmed he would also run the heats. “I need to get it going,” he said. There was still rust to shake off after just six weeks of training.It did not take long for the conversation to turn to kilts. It was the second question posed. Had he ever worn one? No. Would he like to try one? No.Bolt crumples at yet another strange line of questioningWhere would he be staying? The athletes’ village, but mainly in his room. “I try not to walk around too much because I tend to have to take a lot of pictures,” he explained, as if without a care.A star-struck Australian journalist asked for a selfie, gushing: “None of us are here for work, we are here as fans.” The Jamaican obliged.Twenty minutes after the show had begun, it was over. Bolt sat back, raised both arms and gave a Churchillian salute before walking to the front of the stage to shake and slap an outstretched hand or two, as if he were a pop star satisfying an appreciative crowd.There were gifts, too, although the chances of seeing Bolt wear a tartan hat with red hair around its trim are slim.He eventually left as unceremoniously as he had arrived. It had been fun, just like the Friendly Games are supposed to be. It was laid-back, just like the man himself. And it cranked up the excitement for the rest of the Games, just like it was supposed to.The questions were fired from every angle, from many different nationalities. The range of topics were diverse.Did he have an opinion on Gaza? On Scottish independence? No and no.Did he still want to play for Manchester United? Yes. How long was he in Glasgow for? A week.last_img read more