Are some SAT/ACT dates harder than others?

This week, a local news station featured a segment with a private counselor and self-proclaimed college admissions expert who got so many of her facts wrong that it generated widespread criticism on the private Facebook group with thousands of counselors and admissions officers. The most egregious error was the advice that students should avoid taking the […]

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Game changers

A game changer is a person or thing that dramatically alters the course, strategy, or state of something. The birth of commercial aviation. The technology that killed the music industry as we knew it. The studies that showed sugar, not fat, is the real dietary enemy to our health. But opportunities for game changing—and game […]

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For retiring readers

Every year, the number of readers subscribed to my blog drops sharply after May 1. That’s exactly how it should be. When seniors decide where they’re going to college, there’s not much left to talk about with your counselor or to read about on a blog like mine. Even the college counselors understand that every year, […]

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Bounce back with three P’s

According to Martin Seligman, author and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, our ability to deal with setbacks has a lot to do with three P’s: personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence. Personalization: Is the failure or setback a fundamental problem with you? Snapping at a good friend one day doesn’t make you a bad […]

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Advise your hive

Inside the Hive

Once a month, a dedicated group of Collegewisers publishes an internal newsletter, Inside the Hive (“The Hive” is our term for our collective of Collegewise counselors). Each issue focuses on answering four questions for every Collegewise counselor: 1. What should you be doing for each grade level of your Collegewise families this month? 2. What […]

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Should you really visit colleges?

Most families who are college searching have heard the advice about visiting schools. It makes sense. It’s hard for students to commit to spending four years someplace they’ve never even seen in person. But much of the advice surrounding college visits is difficult to follow, especially if students don’t have the resources to spend on substantial […]

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Smiling is contagious

I once brainstormed a college essay with a particularly cheerful student who wrote about her practice of consciously smiling at people. She would walk through the hallways at school and smile at anyone who looked like they needed a pick-me-up—the student who looked stressed or unhappy, the new kid in school who appeared unsure, the easy target […]

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Email vs. face-to-face

According to the research cited in this Harvard Business Review article, if you need to persuade someone, asking face-to-face is 34 times more successful than asking over email. Given that the sample group (who was asking people to complete a survey) approached strangers, I don’t find it particularly surprising that face-to-face contact was more effective. You […]

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Disagree and commit

When two parties can’t come to an agreement over a particular decision, here’s a way to help make the call and move forward with everyone (including those who disagree) on board: disagree and commit. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s recent letter to shareholders, one of the principles that keeps Amazon working like an innovative […]

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