Students Value and Affordability

Myths About Attending College: Part I

College costs are out of control! Middle-class students will be financially ruined by going to college! Only the wealthy can afford a good liberal education! The hype about college costs has generated many myths about higher education, and has driven them deeply into the collective consciousness—where they are wreaking havoc with parents and students trying […]


Season’s Greetings

Every semester the Freshman Chorus at St. John’s (in which ALL freshmen take part) gives a concert for the community. As a reminder of the beauty and wonder of the holiday season, please enjoy a few minutes of musical refreshment. Happy holidays, and best wishes for the New Year!

Beginnings Students

Finding a Place in a New College Community

How do students know when they fully belong to a community? It is different at different colleges. At St. John’s, as a student once told an inquisitive visitor, it happens around the time all the Freshman read Plato’s Republic, between eight and ten weeks into the first term. I don’t know whether all our students agree, but […]


Human and Superhuman: High School Transcripts, Ivy-League Admissions, and a Life Worth Living

I keep hearing from parents of high-school students that preparation for going to college is putting far too much pressure on their children. They say that their kids need A+ academic averages, outstanding extracurricular activities of many different kinds, excellent performance on all standardized tests, extremely impressive admissions essays, and maybe even an attention-grabbing video or two! […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education Students

Technology in College Admissions

In two recent articles, the Washington Post‘s higher-education writer, Nick Anderson, wrote about high-tech solutions for the perennial dilemma of college admissions officers: How will students find us? (See and It turns out, Anderson reports, that Big Data is trying out a possible solution for this problem. By adapting the sort of questionnaires […]

Choosing St. John's Liberal Education Seminar Students

A “Bigger-than-me” Experience

The tech revolution has made instant gratification so easy that young people now seem addicted to the “me” experience—that is, doing or making anything that maximizes personal pleasure, rewards, or positive feelings. So writes Steven J. Tepper ( in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. Tepper contrasts the “me” experience with the “bigger-than-me” experience, which seeks to […]