Early Decision Notification Dates 2018-2019

You’ve completed your Early applications, and now you’re playing the waiting game. When do you find out if you’ve been accepted? We’ve got all of your Early Decision/Early Action notification dates for the Class of 2023 right here:

 Georgetown University

Georgetown University

Amherst College - December 15

Babson College - Mid-December (Early Decision) / January 1st (Early Action)

Barnard College - Mid-December

Boston College - December 25

Boston University - December 15

Brandeis University - December 15

Brown University - Mid-December

Cal Tech - Mid-December

Carnegie Mellon University - December 15

Columbia University - Mid-December

Cornell University - Mid-December

Dartmouth College - Mid-December

Duke University - December 15

Emory University - By December 15

George Washington University - Mid-December

Georgetown University - December 15

Hamilton College - December 15

Harvard University - Mid-December

Harvey Mudd College - December 15 (decisions mailed)

Johns Hopkins University - By December 15

Middlebury College - Mid-December

MIT - Mid-December

New York University - December 15

Northwestern University - December 15

Notre Dame University - Mid-December

Pomona College - By December 15

Princeton University - Mid-December

Stanford University - By December 15

Swarthmore College - By December 15

Tufts University - Mid-December

Tulane University - December 15 (Early Decision / January 15 (Early Action)

University of Chicago - Mid-December (both Early Action and Early Decision)

University of Michigan - By December 24

University of Pennsylvania - Mid-December

University of Virginia - January 31

Vanderbilt University - December 15

Washington University in St. Louis - Mid-December

Wellesley College - Mid-December

Williams College - By December 15

Yale University - Mid-December

Expect these dates to change as December approaches. We’ll do our best to update dates as they become available.

6 Math Formulas to Know Before Taking the ACT

_J1_0801.jpg

For many students, the ACT math section is the final frontier on the journey to their dream score. While the section can sometimes feel daunting — those word problems can go on forever — there’s some easy prep that can save you some time and earn you some major points. By far, the one thing that makes the biggest difference for my students is getting familiar with the most common formulas. Because the ACT math section is relatively short (just about a minute per question) and you don’t get a formula sheet, knowing these formulas can be the difference between feeling like a champ after your test and leaving the test center scratching your head. Here are my top six formulas to know before the ACT:

1. Special Right Triangles

One of the first things I ask my students to memorize. For some people, the meaning of life is happiness, or success; for the ACT, it’s special right triangles. It feels like half of the geometry problems are really just triangle problems in disguise, so knowing the sets of side lengths (or angles) that always make perfect right triangles definitely comes in handy.


2. Area of a Trapezoid

This one might seem a bit random, but there’s always at least one trapezoid problem on the ACT, and it’s an easy way to guarantee yourself a point. It’s also one of the easiest to memorize, since it’s so close to the triangle area formula.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 11.22.57 AM.png

Watch out here- sometimes you’ll be need to find the height, where the Pythagorean Theorem (or your knowledge of special right triangles) will be a big help.

3. Distance and Midpoint

Two very popular questions in coordinate geometry:

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 11.24.44 AM.png

...are easily solved when you have the equations for distance and midpoint between two points. (there’s also a nifty program, Points, that can do this for you- know the formulas, but don’t be afraid to take advantage of the technology!).

4. Slope of a Line

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 11.26.02 AM.png

Slope. Gradient. Rise over run. A slope by any other name works just as well- as long as you remember that your change in Y always goes above your change in X.

5. Slope-Intercept Form of a Line

Speaking of slopes, remembering how to find the slope-intercept form of a line is a must. While the ACT doesn’t play as many tricks as other, similar tests (see: SAT), one thing the test writers love to do is hand you an equation that looks like this:

...and ask you for the slope. Proceed with caution! Most students pull the coefficient off the X (in this case, that would give us C), but this only works when your line is in slope-intercept form:

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 11.27.45 AM.png

2x + 3y + 6 = 0

3y = -6 - 2x

y = -6 -2/3x

Here, it’s evident that the answer is actually D. My advice? Anytime you get an equation that looks like this, rearrange it so it’s in slope intercept. You’ll still be able to plug and chug if you need to, and you’ll save yourself one of those.

6. SOHCAHTOA

Not really a formula as much as it is a mnemonic device, but an essential one, especially on the second half of the test. Most of the right triangle trig questions on the test are pretty straightforward— just remember to double check which angle you’re using when you’re figuring out your opposite vs. adjacent sides.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 11.28.38 AM.png

P.S. don’t forget- tan can be rewritten a fraction (sin/cos)!

These formulas are a great start for anyone starting their ACT math prep, or a good refresher for anyone looking to bulk up on some math knowledge mid-program. Learn these, and you’ll be flying through the math section in no time!

Why Reading Will Benefit You When Applying to College & Beyond

It is quite clear that we live in a digital age where our minds are often inundated with information from platforms like Facebook and Instagram and also from text messages we receive from family and friends. We spend a great deal of our time responding to notifications, time that we could otherwise spend devoted to old-school, deep reading. I get it! In fact, I am sometimes guilty of it myself getting carried away by such distractions (and I even enjoy it). However, I think it is important to note the difference between the texts found in a book or informative article and the text messages found in your phone. I favor the former and here are a few reasons why:

Julia reading 9 .jpg

Engaged reading can only improve your SAT/ACT scores

First, as many of us know, the current college application process involves more than just completing a set of courses in high school and achieving a certain GPA. It means preparation for standardized tests like the ACT or SAT. It means proving your intellectual strengths. For the ACT or SAT in particular, building the habit of engaged reading is crucial to see progress not only in the verbal sections of the ACT/SAT but all throughout. I see this all the time with my students. In fact, various studies show that deep engaged reading is actually connected to cognitive progress over time. This cognitive progress can help you overcome the reading section of the ACT/SAT, give you exposure to new vocabulary and new ideas, and even give you new forms of reasoning to solve that super complicated math problem.

Colleges want to know that you’re reading

Second, aside from standardized tests, colleges and universities admire students who go out of their way to delve into readings of their interest. So much so that often colleges and universities might ask for your favorite outside readings (not assigned in your English class) on their applications. Columbia for example asks “List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year” in one of their 2018-2019 supplement prompts. Boston College asks “Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?”. Both of these questions provide an opportunity to show that you strive to become more informed in areas that interest you. Reading in this case becomes an advantage during the application process. You can use a book to talk about your passions and values or how a book pushed you to explore a certain subject.

You’ll understand the world better

Finally and most importantly, reading is a tool to learn greater empathy. I read an article recently that asserts this: words serve as a vehicle that transports you through someone else’s perspective. When you read deeply and meaningfully, you come across characters that are just like you. You also get exposed to others that are completely different than you. But reading is so intimate that you are often looking through the eyes of a character whether understanding their struggle or celebrating their success. In fact, different parts of our brain that have to do with emotion activate as we read about the life of a character. As the article pointed out, when we are deeply engaged with a story our brains mirror the actions and feelings of the characters. When we read, we exercise our brain to process new ways of forging relationships between ourselves and others. You have the opportunity to gain more sophisticated ways of understanding the world.

You might favor reading quick posts on your phone because it requires minimal effort. However, keep in mind that with minimal effort comes minimal rewards. You might be slowing your test preparation progress. You might be giving up an opportunity to increase your reading speed and comprehension. You might be giving up an opportunity to understand the thoughts and feelings of someone different.

What I would encourage is instead for you to choose to participate in deep reading. Pick an area that you like, something that interests you, and research a book related to it. If you still have a hard time finding a book, come to any of us at LogicPrep and we will gladly help you.

Reading makes us smarter, more informed, and more empathetic. These characteristics will be highly valued as you apply to college and even beyond. Why not start building them now? You want to go into college showing maturity through empathy and also demonstrating that you can handle the volume and complexity of college-level reading material.

Flu Season Reminders

Guys, I know it’s the beginning of the season where we all stay in, drink hot chocolate, and binge watch Netflix -- but do you also know what time of year it is? Flu season.

LogicPrep is no stranger to the consequences of flu season, and I am sure you aren’t either. So we can all agree that it’s one of the worst parts about fall and winter (the jury is out on snow). Nevertheless, there are measures we can all take to insure we all enjoy our time inside willingly, and not because we are glued to our a tissue box.

 Get a flu shot or take vitamins to prevent flu

Cover Your Mouth

I know I sound like an annoying mom right now, but this is important. Try to cough and sneeze into your elbow, please. I get it, sometimes you’re blindsided, but it definitely will not kill you or anyone else to try. And in the unfortunate event that you sneeze into your hand, please see #2.

Wash Your Hands

This is also just a basic rule of thumb. Wash your hands before and after meals! Another way around this is to use Purell. If you are ever at LogicPrep and need to do either of these things, please see one of our three bathrooms. Better yet, we also keep hand sanitizer in every room!

Try Not to Share

This one is hard for me because I am a huge food sharer. I love sharing food with my friends and vice versa. I understand though that there’s a time and place for everything, and maybe flu season is the time to be a little more selfish.

Don’t Wait Until You’re Sick

I didn’t recognize the importance of taking my vitamins (and health) seriously until I got into college. While I do not want to make this an advertisement for Emergen-C or anything of the sort, drinking your orange juice will only help you in the long run. Don’t wait until you feel the tickle in your throat -- take preemptive measures like getting the flu shot or taking vitamins to help strengthen your immune system in order to keep the sickness at bay.

In high school, the dorms, and even here at the LP office, you’re interacting with so many different people that there’s no time to think about germs. But a little bit of conscious effort is more than enough to keep you healthy, I promise. And please always remember that if you are feeling sick and cannot make it in, no worries! You have five days to reschedule, and trust me, we want you to feel better soon!

Using Eyeballing to Solve Equations

Hand taking notes 2.jpg

When I began teaching ACT Math four years ago, I primarily emphasized teaching students the “mathematical” ways of solving questions — that is, solving questions in ways that their math teachers would be proud of. As a math major, I felt — and still do — that it’s important for students to understand the concepts underlying the math that they’re doing. While I still encourage a conceptual understanding, I’ve also learned that -- on standardized tests like the ACT and the SAT -- students benefit most from having multiple ways to solve any given question. In fact, these tests routinely reward creative solving-problem. To that end, one surprisingly powerful technique that test-takers can use on the ACT Math — one that typical math teachers would probably not approve of — is eyeballing.

Take a look at this math question, taken from a real ACT, as featured in The Real ACT book, test 2:

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 11.00.54 AM.png

This question can be solved in multiple ways:

The standard “math” way to solve it is to recognize that the two angles on the line are supplementary and so must add up to 180 degrees. We then set up the equation (4x + 6) + 2x = 180, and solve to get that x = 29. Since the question is asking for the measure of the smaller angle, which is 2x, we then double this to get (D) 58 degrees.

Another approach to the question is to approximate the measure of the smaller angle by simply eyeballing it: it looks to be slightly more than 45 degrees. We then go to the answer choices. The figures on the ACT Math are drawn roughly to scale, so what answer choices can we eliminate? Well, (A), (B), and (C) are all far too small. We can also eliminate (E) because we know that it’s possible to set up an equation to solve for the smaller angle.

Interestingly, for this particular question, eyeballing the figure to arrive at the answer is actually faster than solving the question algebraically. In addition, eyeballing avoids a common mistake students make when solving this question algebraically. That is, many students set up the equation and correctly solve for x, finding that x = 29. They forget, though, that the question is asking for the measure of the smaller angle (which is 2x), and they choose (C). (Note: Solving this question algebraically is still great as a primary strategy and can be done very quickly if you’re comfortable with the algebra.)

While eyeballing can be helpful, it should be thought of more as an extra tool rather than as a primary problem solving-strategy. The technique is only relevant for questions with figures, and, even on such questions, it often can’t be used by itself to narrow down to one answer. However, it 1) can be the most efficient way of solving certain questions, 2) will often allow you to eliminate at least two answers on many other questions if you need to make an educated guess, and 3) provides a way to double-check your work if you solve the question using a more standard math approach. For example, in the question above, if a student decides to solve the question algebraically, he or she can then quickly glance at the figure to see whether the answer makes sense given the scale.

As a final example, consider this question, again taken from a real ACT, as featured in The Real ACT book, test 4:

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 11.01.03 AM.png

This question appears among the last 10 questions of an ACT Math section. At this stage of the Math section, many students are pressed for time and/or are unsure of how to solve certain questions using standard math approaches. In situations like this, when a student needs to make an educated guess, eyeballing can come in handy.

The question asks for the height of the building. Based on the given length of the shadow, which is 24 yards, and given the scale, we know that the height of the building is slightly more than 24 yards. We can use this to eliminate (F), (G), and (H). In a situation when we might need to guess, (the correct answer is (K)), we’ve very simply and quickly increased our chances.

Let us know if you ever use the eyeballing strategy on the ACT!

LogicPrep's Favorite College Application Essay Prompts (and How to Answer Them)

We asked our team of experts to share their favorite (or least favorite!) college application essay prompt and how they recommend responding. See their advice below!

_MG_9524.jpg

Andrew

Washington University in St. Louis: Tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity and compels you to explore more. It could be an idea, book, project, cultural activity, work of art, start-up, music, movie, research, innovation, question, or other pursuit.

Andrew’s tip: A question like this is great because it's inherently exciting. There's no implied expectation to start with some wild hook or pithy remark. Really, the best way to start with this kind of question is just with free brainstorming, or even going back-and-forth with a friend. Imagine: what kind of class would you read in a course catalogue and go nuts over? Or start listing out some of your favorite (or just recent!) classes, books, movies, etc. and start spitballing: what grabbed you? Once you've filled a half page (or more!) with everything that jumps to mind, start rereading your notes. Do any immediately lead you to ask another question? These cascading questions can be a great sign that you really have an interest to describe here.


David

Villanova University: Describe a book, movie, song, or other work of art that has been significant to you since you were young and how its meaning has changed for you as you have grown. 

David’s tip: I love this one because it allows you to both revel in a work of art or pop culture you've loved as a kid and also show the tools you have now to look at it with more adult eyes. I recommend going back to something you loved before you were, say, 7. Because all great works you love as a kid have so much more there waiting to be explored!


Eli & Julia

University of Virginia: What’s your favorite word and why?

Eli’s tip: This is a great chance to be creative and really stand out in the process - think outside the box!

Julia’s tip: This prompt allows you to fill in the cracks of your application with whatever aspect of your personality you feel hasn't been addressed elsewhere. Is the rest of your application quite serious? Choose a silly word (like my personal favorite, "guacamole" -- it's impossible to say without smiling). Are you bilingual? Choose a non-English word of significance to you. A language nerd? Choose something with an interesting etymology, like "clue". Still can't come up with anything? Then work your way backward: pick a story that you want to share with your Admissions Officer, and come up with a word that will serve as a segue allowing you to tell your tale.


Fausto & Marjorie

Common Application: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Fausto’s tip: This question gives you an opportunity to acknowledge a time when you struggled and overcame a challenge. By reflecting on challenges and setbacks, you will demonstrates courage, perseverance, a sense of maturity and self introspection. Think of an obstacle that resulted in an "aha" moment. Show how that obstacle was transformational - what did you learn? how did you change?

Marjorie’s tip: This is actually my least favorite prompt. Like any prompt, the “lessons we take” from setbacks or failures can result in a good essay, but so often it’s a trap!  Students set up artificial “challenges” wherein other students misbehave (e.g. in a homophobic, misogynist, or racist manner) and, having witnessed this behavior, they confront the “challenge” of what to do about it! This results in a judgmental rather than an introspective narrative. Or worse, the student addresses an authentic setback or failure...but dwells on actual failure resulting in an essay leaving what might best be characterized as a “Wah wahhhhhhh” impression rather than a positive impression on the reader.


Grace

Stanford University: The "write a letter to your roommate" essay.

Grace’s tip: I'd recommend answering it colloquially (without being disrespectful or crass, of course) while revealing your voice and personality, any quirks and weird fun facts about yourself, and general excitement about specific opportunities (name them) Stanford has to offer -- and how you're pumped to explore all of those things together with your roommate. 


Matthew

University of California Application: Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.  

Matthew’s tip: I love the way this question defines creativity in such a broad fashion, beyond the usual associations the term has with the arts. I'd recommend writing about an activity they don't suggest. Baking cookies? Doodling on your converse sneakers? The weirder, the better! 


Sean

Yale University: Most first-year Yale students live in suites of four to six people. What do you hope to add to your suitemates' experience? What do you hope they will add to yours?

Sean’s tip: I love this Yale-specific question because it brings back a flood of memories from my time in the residential college system. Having gone through Yale, I would advise someone who is applying to lean into the second half of the question. "What do you hope they will add to yours?" During my time at Yale, I was exposed to some truly unique people and experiences, and most of them happened in the form of impromptu trips to people's hometowns, meals they cooked, or concerts of their favorite bands. These experiences both broadened my interests and helped me make life long friends. It may sound tacky but its true, and that is one of the goals of Yale's residential college system. If you can speak to this, the admissions officers will see that you are applying for a wonderful reason: your peers.


Stuck on an essay prompt not listed here? We can help. Contact us today to get started!

How to Solve It

One of my jobs at LogicPrep is to help students prepare for the ACT and SAT. Unsurprisingly, this involves spending lots of time working on, thinking about, and discussing ACT and SAT problems. These are activities some might seek to avoid, reminders of stressful days spent in examination rooms and the fraught process of college applications. While I understand the aversion, however, I do not share it. It is not that I enjoy the cutthroat arena of standardized testing (I do not); it is simply that these tests, while imperfect, represent an opportunity to develop a skill I value deeply in myself and those around me: the ability to solve problems.

_J1_0829.jpg

In 1945, Hungarian mathematician George Pólya wrote his short text, How to Solve It, an exploration of problem solving methods drawn from mathematics but applicable in a wide variety of problematic settings. Its introduction lays out the following four-step process, to be used when presented with a new and vexing problem:

1. Understand the problem

Example:
Susie is a rising junior in high school interested in applying to a competitive university, and she needs to take the ACT or SAT. This is a problem for her because she knows little about either exam, has a very busy course load at school, and does not consider herself to be a good test taker. Her older sister Jennifer, always a model student, earned a very high score on the ACT but was still rejected from her top-choice school, and Susie worries this may happen to her.

2. Devise a plan

_J1_0843.jpg

Ex. (continued):
Susie decides to meet with a tutor her friend recommends, and she and the tutor plot a course of action together. Since Susie is swamped with schoolwork, it is important she spread out her test preparation as much as possible, so she plans to begin the process the following weekend. She schedules a mock ACT and a mock SAT at a local testing center to determine which exam is a better fit, and she schedules weekly sessions with her tutor to work on relevant math topics, as math is her weakest subject. She aims to take her first official exam in the spring, leaving open the option of taking the test again in the summer and fall.

3. Carry out the plan

Ex. (continued):
Susie finds that the ACT is a better fit for her than the SAT, since she doesn’t mind its strict time limits and actually enjoys the Science section, much to her friends’ disbelief. She and her tutor begin a thorough review of important math topics, including linear and quadratic functions, right triangle trigonometry, and systems of equations. Though she takes a couple of weeks off from her ACT prep for an important soccer tournament (which her team wins), she completes the homework her tutor assigns her and doesn’t lose momentum. In April, Susie performs well on her first official exam, but she decides to shoot for a higher math score and takes the June test as well, ultimately achieving her goal score.

4. Reflect on your work

_J2_1027.jpg

Ex. (continued):
When Susie applies Early Decision to her top choice school and is admitted in December, she takes a moment to reflect on her work over the preceding year. Though it is not her style to boast, she feels proud of her accomplishment and is glad she set aside the time to thoroughly prepare for the ACT. Starting early had been a good idea; it made her feel more optimistic about her odds of success and allowed room for unforeseen interruptions to her preparation – her victory in that soccer tournament turned out to be a nice boost to her college application, and an experience with teammates she will never forget.

If Susie could have done one thing differently, it would have been to worry less about her sister’s performance on the ACT and in the college admissions process. Jennifer’s experience was instructive, but it was only one data point in a sea of possible outcomes (and Jennifer’s second-choice school turned out to be a perfect fit for her). Comparing herself with Jennifer was counterproductive, for everybody is different and follows a different path in life. Susie is now more confident in her ability to solve challenging problems on her own, and when faced with life’s next major problem, she will know how to solve it: just take things step by step.

Bounty of the Bard: The Profit of Minor Insights

As many of my students know, I am a self-professed Shakespeare obsessive. His writing – plays and sonnets – might first be introduced in middle or high school as seemingly distant, foreignly-rendered text, but the reality of each line teems with vivid, living and immediate human experience. This experience isn’t something apart from what you, the student, or I, the instructor, might be familiar with – somewhere, in any given line from any work of Shakespeare’s – from the popularly known to the obscure – contains an articulation of every complex emotion that can be experienced: all one needs to do is be paying attention.

_J1_5299.jpg

How is this relevant to education practice, or test prep, you might ask? In a larger sense, our shared work toward test prep mastery is centered on self-knowledge and improvement – we strategize around our strength and perceived weaknesses to build a more confident, fully-rendered you (and the human care and reflection built throughout Shakespeare can be a key tenet of that process). 

Let’s look at this in detail: Act I, Scene I of the comedy Taming of the Shrew:

No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

  Cush Jumbo and Janet McTeer in Phylida Lloyd’s 2016 Production at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park (   Photo courtesy of the Public Theater   )

Cush Jumbo and Janet McTeer in Phylida Lloyd’s 2016 Production at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park (Photo courtesy of the Public Theater)

In the very earliest moments of the play, Tranio (the servant of a secondary character, someone to whom, in the larger scheme of narrative, we might pay little to no attention) delivers an invaluable, sharp insight of empowerment. Enjoyment, and sincere investment, is key to effective growth in any capacity – particularly academic. It’s all about finding your point of entry. Perhaps the content is key, and you readily invest in any fictional work; perhaps you’re of a puzzle-breaking mind, and analyzing and breaking the patterns of the test is your tactic of approach; or perhaps, simply, your drive to put in the work is to finish as soon as possible. Success is personal, and honest-to-goodness happiness is key.

And maybe there’s a lesson to be taken not only from the text, but also from the fashion of its use. A kernel of profundity placed within the early lines of a minor character – easy to overlook, and even easier to not give credence to when notice is taken. Shakespeare imbues every character with expansive humanity, whether central or tertiary. There is human use to this – in the attention we pay to people of all stripes who enter within our narrative – and certainly educational use, too. 

There is innate value in detail-oriented attention, and by taking in every aspect of how value is delivered to us, in Shakespeare, in life, and in the testing room, build a stronger, more comprehensive understanding as we move forward. A growing profit, indeed.

LogicPrep Ranked on Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures List 2018

LogicPrep was recently ranked on Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures list, a comprehensive ranking of U.S.-based businesses exhibiting high-performance cultures created in partnership with employee engagement platform and service provider Energage. The Top Company Cultures list has placed LogicPrep as number 36 in the small company category. LogicPrep is recognized for creating an exceptional culture that drives employee engagement, exceeds employee expectations and directly impacts company success.

At LogicPrep, we pride ourselves in being a radically different brand of college test prep, and our team members are what set us apart. LogicPrep strives to creates an entrepreneurial, intellectually curious, joyous, and compassionate environment for learning and self-discovery. This tone is set by our brain trust of tutors and advisers, whose EQs are just as high as their IQs. We are so proud of the entire LogicPrep team for being recognized for this award!

_J1_1416.jpg

“Great company cultures don’t happen by accident. They happen because leaders understand how to create excellent working environments, and how to make everyone share the same mission,” says Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine. “Our 2018 Top Company Cultures list is a great celebration of companies that are doing it right, and should serve as inspiration for everyone who leads a team."

The full list, presenting a total of 150 companies categorized as small, midsize or large companies—with 74 or fewer employees, 75-299 employees and more than 300 employees respectively— is available on Entrepreneur.com. Core insights, behaviors and attributes that have helped to shape the high-performing cultures presented by the top companies are shared alongside practices to help other companies develop their own workplace environments.

“Becoming a Top Company Cultures winner isn’t something an organization can buy,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “It’s an achievement organizations have to work for. Based on our decade of research, we have come to view workplace culture is the only remaining sustainable competitive business advantage. Great strategies can be copied, but culture cannot.”

_J1_1288.jpg

Employees took online surveys, and the honorees were determined and ranked based solely on their survey feedback scores. Each company was measured in response to 24 questions on subject matters such as connection, alignment, effectiveness, leadership and management, as well as basics such as pay, benefits and flexibility.

To be considered for the ranking, the companies must have had at least 35 employees, have been founded before Jan. 1, 2016, must be founder led (at least 10% ownership of the company),and be headquartered in the U.S. There was no cost to participate in the survey. Individual employee responses were anonymous.

To view LogicPrep in the full ranking, visit https://www.entrepreneur.com/top-company-culture.

“Campus Fiction” Books to Read Before Going to College

_J2_4757.jpg

There actually exists an entire subgenre of literature known as “campus fiction.” In fact, while I was at Princeton, they were offering a course for incoming freshman called “Student Life: The University in Film and Fiction.” While any book that involves a professor or a college student, even to a small degree, can get somewhat unfairly lumped into the category, “campus fiction,” generally takes place on a University campus and contains academia-centered plots in one way or another. And though these books are merely fiction, and (hopefully in some cases) not indicators of what you should expect on campus, they are still worth a read to get an idea of the setting. Below is just a short list of a few of the best books in the “campus fiction,” genre.

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

An extremely humorous book (albeit darkly humorous), Lucky Jim centers around a professor in a small college in Rural England who is in actuality, not so lucky at all. Attempting to secure his reputation as a scholar and lecturer, the somewhat unambitious Professor James Dixon encounters several mishaps and setbacks in the academic world. On the cover of the book’s 1954 first edition, the tale is aptly described as a “frolicking misadventure.”

The Secret History by Donna Tart

Part campus fiction, part academic thriller (if such a thing exists), The Secret History focuses on a group of six friends studying Classics at a small college in Vermont. At the outset of the book, you learn about the murder of one of the friends while at the college, as well as which one of them did it. The remainder of the novel is a rather twisted, suspenseful account of the events leading up to the murder, as well as its long term affects on the group of students.

Possession by A.S. Byatt

Named one of the best novels written in English 1923-2005 by Time Magazine, Possession does not take place on a traditional campus, but instead follows the journey of two graduate students in England as they become increasingly involved with the project of uncovering a hidden romance between two fictional, celebrated Victorian poets. Jumping between the present and the Victorian era, Possession is an inventive, addictive, and at-times metafictional story of intellectual obsession and scholarly devotion.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

On Beauty takes place in a fictional college town in Massachusetts that bears a resemblance to Harvard, where Smith was living at the time she wrote the book. The novel primarily concerns the lives of a British professor and his family who have moved to the university for the father’s academic career. Inspired by E.M. Forester’s novel, “Howard’s End,” Smith addresses themes such as the cultural differences between England in the United States, specifically in terms of attitudes toward race, class, and the value of beauty. As the title would suggest, the book deals in particular with the theme of aesthetics, both in an artistic context and in the context of human appearance and standards of beauty.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Though overshadowed by The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise is nonetheless a beautifully written, mostly autobiographical account of Fitzgerald’s time at Princeton as a young man from the Midwest. Though he ultimately left Princeton after a year, This Side of Paradise includes a glimpse into the ups and downs of his freshman year, and contains many critiques about the culture of social competition at elite universities. Fitzgerald wrote book, as the story goes, in an attempt to impress his future wife, Zelda Sayre, as a published author.