Author Archives: Jake Cacciapaglia

Carnival of College Admissions

This is the first time goSwoop has hosted the Carnival of College Admissions.  I hope you enjoy all the links that the participants have shared.


I spent a majority of last week working out of the office vs. the typical Boston cafe circuit.  I thought it would help me concentrate.  I consciously decided not to fire up Pandora, Tweet Deck, GMail, multiple Gchat windows and stay away from the steady flow of people looking for a seat with an outlet.  My conclusion; I think I may be a lost cause.   Elizabeth King from Elizabeth Online had some advice for students on Building Concentration for Testing, so I tested it out.  You should too!

If  you are suffering from information overload there are some really helpful tools that can help.  I don’t know about you, but I personally only really want to consume content that is relevant and I care about.  Two really helpful tools you might want to try that have reduced information overload for me are  Google Reader and using an RSS feed to read your favorite blog.

It’s summer and many of us will inevitably spend a lot of time in front of our computer screens which may call for a little inspiration at times.  Sarah Scrafford put together a list of 100 Incredibly Inspiring Blog Posts for Educators that is sure to provide you with a few laughs and give you the boost of motivation you need.

Choosing a Program: CIS, MBA & Medical

Below you will find links to programs students should consider pursuing.  Sarah Scrafford from Computer Colleges recently posted an article on 100 Open Courses on Computer Information Systems and Security.

Adam Markus, the Graduate Admissions Guru, talks about why ranking matters and what to consider when looking at the Rankings For the 41 “Top 20” MBA Programs Worldwide.

For students who are unsure of what program to pursue, The College Planning Coach offers a great perspective on Important College Admission Step: A Surprising Career Opportunity for Michigan Youth using the lack of physicians in the state of Michigan as a case study.

It’s all about the Benjamin’s:

Our economic situation has forced us all to think much more about fiscal decision making and that reins true for decisions about paying for college.  The Smarter Wallet outlines Paying for College: How To Pay For School On Your Own.  The article lists out the opportunities you should explore when deciding how to pay for college.

With four year college tuition prices increasing, you might expect students protest for a tuition freeze, right?  Guess again, Mark Montgomery authored an article about University students pushing for Tuition Increases.

Traditionally students who can not afford full tuition at a four year institution consider attending community college because it is much less expensive.  But before exploring that route you should check out  the article written by Maria Garza from Wiser Side of Life who helps us understand The Hidden Cost of Community College.

Peter Baron from Admissions Quest shares an article titled Steady Application Numbers- Increased Aid Applications: Confirmation of what we’ve been hearing.

And alas, there are always scholarships for those students who are motivated.  This week we’re sharing an article by College Degrees to build awareness that Distance Education Programs Offer Scholarships.

Other Cool Articles:

It is always good to see which celebrities have invested in a solid education.  Check out 10 Hot Celebrities Who Got their MBA or Business Degree MBA Info.

Check out an aticle by Ruoall Chapman on Everything you need to know about how to Make Online Beats.

Are you a big documentary film watcher?  Check out the 15 Best Websites for Free Documentaries by Ace Online Schools.

Add a book to your reading list on Studying Success in Education: Jay Mathews? Work Hard, Be Nice.

Photo by: William K. Daby


Technology and International Student Recruiting Meet-Up #3

logo_821Tech & Int’l Student Recruiting Meetup #3 was held this evening at Suffolk University and there was a lot to cover after last month’s cancellation due to heavy snow. However, April showers did not hinder the dedicated from showing up tonight.

It was great to hear from the admissions recruiter and social media specialist from Bentley University on how they are integrating social media in int’l student recruiting. Search Marketing Specialist from iProspect shared valuable insight about establishing a strategy to measure SM initiatives.  And we discussed process mapping to gain a better understanding of where prospective students and their parents are living on the web and how to engage with them more effectively with social media tools.

Thanks to everyone who came despite the rain, hope to see you all next month. Big thanks also to George Comeau and Suffolk University for providing a great location and space for us to meet.

Very much looking forward to seeing you all Monday, May 18th for Tech & Int’l Student Recruiting #4.

Links from April 6th discussion:
BlueFuego – The Web in Higher Education: What’s Different?
Stanford University YouTube Channel
SXSW Education thread on Twitter #SXSWED

Technology and International Student Recruiting April Meetup

global_70354191The Technology and International Student Recruiting Meetup facilitates an open discussion about ways US college admissions offices can use the social web to more effectively engage and recruit international students.

Our objective is to share a wide variety of perspectives in a conversation that includes social media gurus, current international students, admissions recruiters, college marketing folks, entrepreneurs and web developers. We believe these conversations can help pioneer the next generation of international student recruiting and ultimately reinvent the way US colleges recruit students from around the world.

With the cancellation of the March Meetup due to snow, we have a lot to cover from the last two months in Technology and International Student Recruiting. I thought we ought to get the conversation started early to have a direction for the April 6th Meetup.

Twitter and Facebook seem to command the attention in most of the conversations I am involved in lately. The response to the new Facebook page design seems mixed. Personally, I am comfortable with it. I would be interested to hear how it has affected you. Information overload? How do you feel about having no real control over the changes that were made if you put a lot of resources into your old FB page?

Has Twitter hit mainstream status? In the social media community “so what’s next” seems to be a phrase I hear more and more often. If Twitter has gone mainstream what does that mean for us? How powerful is Twitter as a tool and how are you using it?

What about interactive video? Lets talk about how we can use qik, Seesmic, PermissionTV and YouTube.

Anyone want to chime in on the elephant in the room that is the economy? Lots of talk about reform in Higher Education with the Obama Administration. What does this all mean for US college and university international recruiting efforts?

Please join the preliminary discussion. Looking forward to hearing your perspective and seeing you all on April 6th!

We ask only that you bring a willingness to share your experience and ideas with the group. We encourage you to come with questions and look forward to having you join the conversation!


Networking & Refreshments (WHOLE FOODS)

6:30p – 8:00
Discussion (topics decided by group)
Please feel free to submit discussion topics prior to the Meetup!

8:00p – 8:30p

73 Tremont Street
Amenities Conference Center
Boston, MA 02108

Hope to see you there!

I Don’t Have Time for Social Media

“I don’t have time for social media!”

Have you heard these words come out of your mouth?

We can spend hours creating and editing blog posts, sharing links, uploading photos and streaming live video.  The many possibilities to get involved with social media can seem to be daunting and a huge time suck if there is no understanding of why we are doing all of this.

Interactive Marketing Strategist, Stephen Dill (@srdill) tells us about his initial resistance to Social Media.

(Please hold computer sideways to view this video)

After spending a little time with his mentor Aaron Strout, Stephen found Twitter to be his answer.  He could spending 24-48 writing and rewriting  ‘perfect’ blog posts, until he discovered he could produce multiple 140 character updates and maintain the level of quality on Twitter in much less time.  Twitter is not necessarily the answer for everyone, but for Stephen it made a lot of sense because he was spending so much time reworking blog posts.

Twitter facilitates millions of conversations and it is important to  understand what conversations we want to be part of and who cares about what we have to say.  If used properly, Twitter can be a real time saver  because it allows us to cut through unwanted clutter,  follow people talking about things we want to know about, and directly engage in conversations with the people who care about what we have to say.

At a recent Social Media Meetup I heard an interesting piece of advice for graduating college students. The panelist said, “If you are interviewing with a potential employer and they have no plans to using social media, run for the door as quickly as you can because that company will not survive.”

So, if you hear yourself saying “I don’t have time for social media”, the time is now to start developing a strategy, setting goals and understanding how to use the tools available to participate in the conversation!

Social Media Jungle Boston

Today I spent my afternoon at Social Media Jungle in Waltham, Ma.  As a first timer you can never really know what you are getting yourself into when you go to one of these events, especially when the title includes the word ‘Jungle’ in it.   The title was fitting!

The morning session’s speakers included the event producer, Jeff Pulver, who spoke about the need to sometimes be vulnerable, as we learned it is not nearly as easy as it should be.  A bit later Steve Garfield spoke about ‘New Media Tools you can use to tell your story RIGHT NOW’.  I was not actually there for either of these presentations, but I was able to catch most of the conversation by tracking the #smjbos tag on my twitter feed.

I brought my Casio Exilim  ex-s10 camera along and thought I would share some of the presentations from the afternoon.

Chris Penn on the important numbers and how we should be thinking about the metrics.

Steven Dill on “Social Media Lessons Learned: From the perspective of a skeptical Online Marketer”

Steven’s Blog

Leslie Poston on ”Bringing Generations Together For Success In The New Millennium”

Leslie’s Website

Maria Thurrell & Alexa Scordato on “Social Media: Make new friends but keep the old ones.”

Maria’s website

Alexa’s Blog

Nice head fake!  You had the audience thinking this was about friendship when all the while it was really all about marketing and what genuine human interaction  can bring to a brand.

Other speakers in the afternoon session included Matthew Mamet on Video 2.0 and Mike Lanford on “The evolution of conversation.” Overall there was a interesting mix of perspectives shared on how social media is changing the way we work and live.   There is a jungle of options to choose from when we look at the social media landscape today.  The takeaway: try many, know that not all will work for you, determine what does work and go with it!

Technology & International Student Recruiting March Meetup

highres_70354191 It is Monday, March 2 and that means it is time for another Meetup.   At last month’s meetup we had a great discussion and expect more of the same this evening.  The event is intended to be an informal gathering that facilitates open discussion about web technology and international student recruiting. It is Free, we only require you to come prepared to learn, share and explore ideas about innovative international student recruiting techniques.

73 Tremont Street
Amenities Conference Center
Boston, MA 02108


6:00p-6:30p Networking & Refreshments

6:30p – 8:00 Open Discussion (topics decided by group)

8:00p – 8:30p Wrap-up

How Indian Students use Orkut to prepare for studying in the US

Orkut, Google’s social networking service is where you can find loads and loads of Indian students. Why Orkut gained such great traction in India has to do with a combination of timing and the desire of Indians to be part of a social gathering on the Web. Facebook has over 600,000 users ages 13-24 in India but still has a lot of work to do to catch up with Orkut orkut_logoamong Indian students!

Like other social networking websites, Orkut allows users to maintain existing relationships and meet new friends. Users can share photos and videos, exchange messages and invite others to join the network.  The most incredible part of Orkut that I have seen is how students use its ‘Communities’ which allow users to create and participate in forums, create polls and add events.

If you are an Indian student thinking about studying in the US it is likely that you are a member of at least one, if not many of Orkut’s user created Communities. There are thousands of these Communities under the School and Education category, some of which have tens of thousands of members.

The magical aspect of these communities is that students are extremely active in helping one another with test preparation, sharing tips, tricks, helpful links to external websites such as the GRE ghost blog and advice from their own personal experiences.

Applying for Top Universities is one Orkut community with nearly 17,000 members. In this community a forum is titled ‘Admissions to US Schools – What do u need’ and it has over 600 entries by students who are preparing to apply to the top schools in the US. In this community you can find students comparing GRE scores and information like application deadlines.

Sample Orkut Community

One group member said, “…Scores help in the preliminary elimination and in many ways they are not the yardstick to measure your success at application. It is more important to get in touch with the univ and email the profs who teach the subjects u r interested in”

Even with all of the competition from other social network giants such as Facebook and Myspace, Orkut is an undeniably valuable resource for many Indian students.  It is difficult to imagine any of Google’s services being left behind, especially when you start to think about the possibilities for integratng exiting services like Gmail, Gchat and YouTube.  If you do not yet have an Orkut account, signing up is really easy, especially if you use Gmail,  so check it out for yourself (and no one is paying me to say this).