Were I to attempt to enroll in my alma mater, Northeastern University, I wouldn't have the proverbial snowball's chance of gaining admittance.
That's because, arguably, Northeastern is America's hottest college or university. In fact, N.U. is white hot. But, before I support my claim, allow me first to disclose that, yes, I was recently named one of Northeastern's 100 most successful alumni in the school's first 100 years and, in the interests of full disclosure, yes, my firm is providing strategic counsel to the school.
So, with that taken care of, ponder these facts:
– Northeastern's cooperative education model (or, co-op, as its better known) is in HUGE demand. That's because co-op neatly blends real-world research with work experience in a student's chosen field of study (as a journalism major, for example, my co-op jobs included working as a news clerk at The New York Times, an on-air reporter at WGCH Radio in Greenwich, CT, and a news writer at CBS News Radio in Boston). So, N.U. grads enter the workplace with a HUGE competitive advantage over their peers from Harvard, Stanford or NYU.
– The real-world experience translates to full-time job offers after graduation. Indeed, as Sue Shellenbarger noted in her Wall Street Journal column last week, fully 50 percent of N.U. grads were offered full-time gigs from one of their co-op employers in 2011. Only 18 percent of college grads across the nation scored full-time employment during the same 12-month period!
– Since University President Joseph Aoun took the reins in 2006, Northeastern has risen a breathtaking 42 spots in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report rankings of America's best colleges and universities. N.U. was just ranked 56th in the nation. Were I a Billboard Magazine editor, I'd have added a bullet next to the school's ranking. It's zooming to the top.
– Two former Northeastern drop-outs, who later returned to earn degrees at the school, just donated $30 million each to endow a new school of business. How often do drop-outs pony up $60 million to their former school?
– Last, but not least, the school has become a veritable bastion of academic rigor. The average S.A.T. score of 2,800 students admitted this past spring was a stunning 1361. It was 1230 in 2006. And, I'm embarrassed to share the S.A.T. score the 'old' N.U. let this blogger slide by with when they green lighted me way back when. BTW, those 2,800 students were selected from a total applicant pool of, drum roll please, 44,206. The latter number is up well over 15 percent in less than two years.
It all adds up to two realities:
1.) My alma mater is a best-in-class example of what the future model of colleges & universities will look like, and…
2.) I wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in h*ll of getting into the school today.