Wed05252016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dimens...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

Resident of Los Altos 
August 18, 1920 - May 11, 2016 

Ernie died peacefully at his home, just a few months short of his 96th birthday. 

Ernie had an amazing life, born in Germany he and his family fled the Nazi's soon after Kristal...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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Play the odds when applying to colleges

Thousands of high school juniors will visit prospective colleges during spring break.

One of the most important considerations in deciding which to visit is to make sure that the list is balanced in regard to acceptances. This means being ruthlessly realistic when comparing students’ statistics to those of the institution’s acceptance rate. Students should assign each college they are considering a designated slot based on the following categories.

• Highly Likely – or “Goodies” – schools. Assigned to schools for which the student’s statistics fall in the upper 10 percent of accepted students and the acceptance rate is above 40 percent. These are schools where the student is likely to get goodies – scholarship money, leadership opportunities and honors programs invitations. This is true for the 3.0 GPA student as well as the 4.0 student. Putting a student at the head of the class opens up many options.

Important note: A school below a 30 percent acceptance rate can never be a Highly Likely. Even if the student is in the top 10 percent, the odds are just not in his or her favor. So, if the student is a perfect 4.0 and scored a 2100 on the SAT, he or she is still not a Highly Likely for a school like UCLA, with a 22 percent acceptance rate.

• Likely schools. Assigned to schools for which the student’s statistics are in the upper 25-30 percent and the schools maintain an acceptance rate of 30 percent or higher, keeping the odds in the student’s favor.

• Possible schools. Schools in this category must meet one of two criteria: The student is in the middle 50 percent of their statistics, or the student is in the top 25-30 percent but the schools have less than a 40 percent acceptance rate. In other words, these are schools for which acceptance is highly unpredictable and could go either way for any given student.

• Reach schools. This category also has two ways schools can be assessed. The first is a school where the student’s statistics fall in the lower 50 percent of accepted students. The second is for schools with less than a 30 percent acceptance rate, even if the student is in the upper 10 percent. Again, statistically the odds are against the applicant.

• Lottery schools. Schools with under a 15 percent acceptance rate fall in this category. These schools regularly deny acceptance to students with perfect statistics. While there is a direct plan they employ in building their classes, it may seem arbitrary and like winning the lottery to any accepted student.

A balanced list should chart like a bell curve, including at least two highly likely, two likely and three possible schools. Additional selections can be located anywhere on the curve. Exactly how many total schools are on the list is the student’s choice, but I strongly recommend no more than 15. No one ever adds Highly Likely or Likely schools to their lists. And, adding more Reach and Lottery schools does not enhance the student’s chances of being admitted to any given school. In fact, I have found that the return on investment based on the time spent writing supplements and paying fees is negative beyond 15 applications.

Another way to assemble the list: Students should pretend that they are going to Las Vegas and playing the odds. Say you’re going to apply to 10 schools and you have 10 chips to play. You can only play each chip once, you can only place one chip on a school and (here’s the tough one) you must walk away with at least one winning chip.

Given these rules, would you bet all of your chips on tables having only a 30 percent payout? I would hope not. So book your tickets, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Hollis Bischoff earned a graduate certificate in College and Career Counseling from UCLA and is a college admissions adviser at Strategies 4 Admission LLC. For more information, call 209-0272 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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