Different voice, same advice

One of the risks of posting this blog every day is that advice can sometimes lose its oomph when you hear it too often from the same source. It’s the reason many parents who bring their student to Collegewise tell us, “I’m his mother—he won’t listen to me [about how to get into college].” Vanderbilt’s Carolyn […]

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Seek “vuja de”

“Déjà vu” describes the feeling that you’ve been here before even when experiencing something new. “Vuja de” is the opposite. You’re doing something familiar, something you’ve done many times before, but the experience feels brand new. Coined by the late comedian George Carlin, he described vuja de as “the strange feeling that none of this […]

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Bring your heart to it

Since founding Collegewise in 1999, I’ve hired over 60 people who became Collegewisers, the vast majority of whom had—or continue to have—successful runs during their time here. They didn’t all follow one path to get here. Some were admissions officers before Collegewise. Some were high school counselors. Some joined us from careers that weren’t even […]

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Broad recognition vs. broad impact

One way to stand out in college admissions is to achieve broad recognition. The student who played violin at Carnegie Hall has achieved broader recognition for his musical abilities than the first chair in the school orchestra has. A national champion debater has broader recognition than the student who won the county competition does. “All- […]

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The opportunity of a lifetime

As we all take a moment today to honor those men and women who died serving our country, I invite students and parents to consider how many of those soldiers never had the chance to go to college, and how many parents watched their kids go to war, not move into a dorm room. Treat […]

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Six years later…

FearInTheMail

Six years ago, I wrote this post about a college admissions advising firm sending families a letter that I and many other counselors believed preyed on the fear that’s become so common in college admissions. Six years later, they’re still sending out the very same letter, which can only mean that it’s effective at driving […]

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Self-starters

There’s one type of person that groups, organizations, businesses, and yes, colleges can’t ever get enough of: self-starters. There are tasks to get done, new things to try, problems to fix, and improvements to be made. Everyone else is missing them, otherwise they’d be happening now. What a great opportunity. No audition, application, nomination, election, […]

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