The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani, India, isn’t likely to appear on anyone's list of safety schools. Each year, 180,000 prospective freshmen apply to the flagship campus, and of that pool only 2600 students receive acceptance letters. According to Business Insider, that makes BITS more exclusive than any Ivy League university, or any other college in the world.
The United States is home to plenty of schools with cutthroat application processes. Less than eight percent of candidates who apply to MIT are invited to enroll, while Harvard accepts just six percent of its annual applicants. But BITS breaks that fraction down even smaller: In 2012, the institution boasted an intimidating acceptance rate of just 1.47 percent.
While college hopefuls in the U.S. have the option to pad their resumes with extracurricular activities, students looking to get into BITS have nothing to hide behind. An applicant's chances of getting in rest solely on how well he or she does on the BITSAT—the school’s very own version of the SAT. (Test-takers need to score at least 75 percent in order to be considered.)
Academics fortunate enough to join the ranks of BITS students receive a world-class education in engineering, science, technology, pharmacy, management, or the humanities. They also have the honor of following an impressive roster of alumni: President and co-founder of SanDisk Sanjay Mehrotra and founder chairman of Onida Electronics Gulu Mirchandani are some notable former students. As for the vast majority of candidates who are rejected, BITS has a few secondary campuses around India where they might find better luck in applying.
While choosing a college degree shouldn’t be entirely a matter of following the money, most students do want to know that their chosen field of study will eventually lead to a paying job. But the most valuable college major probably isn’t the one you’d think. A new study finds that actuarial science majors make the most money after graduation, according to Forbes.
To determine the most valuable college majors, Bankrate analyzed 2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey to see how many people with bachelor’s degrees were employed in a job related to their major. The survey looked at data related to 162 college majors, analyzing unemployment rates, incomes, and the number of people with higher degrees. These factors were weighted to show which jobs pay the most, have the lowest unemployment rates, and require the least schooling.
The data showed that people with actuarial science degrees—who go to on to become risk assessors in the insurance and finance industries, among other jobs—make an average of $108,658 a year, with an unemployment rate of just 2.3 percent. Compare that to people with a degree in something like clinical psychology (No. 160 on the list) who make an average of $51,022 and have to contend with a 4.8 percent unemployment rate. The study also found that actuarial science is a valuable degree because most graduates don’t go on to get advanced degrees, meaning those high wages aren’t going toward paying off grad school debt. Only 22 percent of those actuarial science students went on to get master’s degrees or doctorates.
Below are the 10 most valuable degrees and their average annual incomes. These jobs pay, on average, between $96,000 and $130,000 a year.
1. Actuarial science 2. Zoology 3. Nuclear engineering 4. Health and medical preparatory programs 5. Applied mathematics 6. Pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration 7. Molecular biology 8. Mechanical engineering 9. Civil engineering (tie) 9. Finance (tie)
And these are the least valuable, making between $40,000 and $51,000 a year, on average:
1. Miscellaneous fine arts 2. Composition and speech 3. Clinical psychology 4. Cosmetology services and culinary arts 5. Visual and performing arts 6. Human services and community organization 7. Educational psychology 8. Drama and theater arts 9. Interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary studies (general) 10. Library science
If you don’t have an interest in math and engineering, don’t be too dismayed. Plenty of those with liberal arts degrees still manage to make a living after graduation. Even if your drama degree doesn’t lead to a job in Hollywood, it isn’t necessarily a waste. But if you’re debating between mechanical engineering and civil engineering, we recommend going mechanical.
College football is usually a young man’s game, but occasionally an old timer finds his way onto the field. With this fall’s schedule finally in full swing, let’s take a look at four players who didn’t let their relatively advanced ages keep them off of the gridiron.
1. TOM THOMPSON // AUSTIN COLLEGE
In November 2009, Tom Thompson cemented his place as the grand old man of college football when he booted an extra point for the Austin College Kangaroos in a game against Division III power Trinity. Thompson, a 61-year-old graduate student at Austin, had been a backup kicker in high school, but he dusted off his kicking skills for the first time in four decades to make the big boot. The story would have been something right out of a movie if not for the final score: Trinity waxed Austin 44-10.
2. ALAN MOORE // HOLMES COMMUNITY COLLEGE/FAULKNER UNIVERSITY
Alan Moore kicked as a freshman at Jones County Junior College in 1968. At the end of the season he headed off to fight in the Vietnam War, and once his tour of duty was over Moore never managed to get back onto the gridiron ... until 2010, that is.
After getting laid off from his job in 2009, Moore moved to Mississippi to be near his grandchildren and found he once again had the urge to kick. He bought kicking shoes, built a goal post in his daughter’s yard, and started practicing. After a failed attempt to rejoin his old squad at Jones County, the 60-year-old kicker with 40-plus-yard range suited up for Holmes Community College for the 2010 season. In 2011—at age 61—Moore made the squad at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, becoming the oldest person to ever step on the field.
3. MIKE FLYNT // SUL ROSS STATE
Back in 2007, Mike Flynt told his pals that his biggest regret was getting kicked off of his college football team. When a friend challenged Flynt to do something about it, the 59-year-old grandfather sprang into action. After establishing that he still had remaining eligibility, Flynt set about rejoining the team at his alma mater, Division III Sul Ross State in Texas.
Flynt wasn’t your average 59-year-old ex-jock, either. He had spent his career working as a strength and conditioning coach at schools like Tennessee and Nebraska, so he’d stayed in shape. He ended up making the Sul Ross State squad as a linebacker.
4. TIM FRISBY // UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
When Tim Frisby tried out for the University of South Carolina’s squad in 2004, he wasn't exactly an old man. But he wasn’t exactly the typical walk-on, either. At age 39, he was a former U.S. Army Ranger who had served in the first Gulf War and in Kosovo. He had six children. (Gamecocks coach Lou Holtz joked that putting Frisby on the roster would at least boost attendance if his whole family came to games.)
Stranger still, Frisby wanted to try out for one of the fastest spots on the roster: wide receiver. Luckily, his years in the military had preserved both his NCAA eligibility and his body; Frisby still ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. In 2005 Frisby notched his first career catch, a nine-yard reception, and won the team’s offensive GPA award with a 3.6 mark in his journalism major.
The NCAA doesn’t keep age stats, but at the time researchers pegged Frisby as the oldest man to ever play Division I football. Both Holtz and his successor, Steve Spurrier, insisted that Frisby was on the team as a deserving possession receiver, not a novelty, but the man his teammates called “Pops” got to have some fun with his unusual age. He made it onto the couch for both David Letterman and Jay Leno in that first season!