Fear of (scholarship) displacement

The New York Times opinion piece “The Catch 22 of Applying for Private Scholarships” shares one student’s frustration with “scholarship displacement.” If you win private scholarships (also known as “outside scholarships”) from companies, churches, non-profits, etc., many colleges reserve the right to reduce your need-based financial aid award accordingly. For example, if you win a […]

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Why not?

Last month, I shared that my firefighter college friend sent me his department’s proposed “Mission and Values” statement for some editing feedback. I gave him some, along with a completely rewritten version that came right out and said what I thought they were trying to say, without all the formal just-like-every-other-mission-statement speak (you can see some […]

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Is there a better way?

You don’t have to hold a leadership position to see and suggest a better way of doing things. Our local community center runs a “Toddler Gym” every Saturday morning. For a small membership fee, parents can take their kids to an indoor basketball court loaded with toys and mats and miniature vehicles and let them […]

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The freedom of college

When we ask Collegewise students what excites them most about college, “The freedom” is one of the most common answers. And I’ve found with most kids that this isn’t code for “The freedom to act irresponsibly and do whatever I want all the time.” For most, it’s the freedom from the imposed structure, the lack […]

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Learned decision making

Kids learn to make good decisions by actually making decisions. Whenever possible and reasonable, let kids choose. Classes, activities, hobbies, colleges, etc. Sometimes there’s a compelling reason to make the choice for them. But learned decision making is a compelling reason to let them choose.

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Expecting more from—and for—kids

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Last month at their annual parent education event hosted by Challenge Success, over 900 parents showed up to explore two questions: (1) How do we love our children unconditionally and still hold them to high expectations? (2) How do we protect our children while letting them learn life lessons? For those of us who weren’t […]

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Not so lonely at the top

Last Friday, I posted “How you score with people” to remind high school students that the relentless measurement and reward of individual achievement so embedded in the college admissions process isn’t necessarily reflective of what it takes to be successful in the real world. What prompted that post in the first place—and the larger message […]

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If this activity were made illegal…

Students, make a mental list of your activities that includes everything you choose—but are not required—to do. Now pick one and imagine that a state law was just enacted making that activity illegal. Would you be disappointed, or secretly relieved? Repeat the process with each activity and remember that you don’t need a law to […]

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Private counselors: Are you a “mandated reporter”?

Private counselors, have you ever wondered if you’re considered a “mandated reporter”? It’s a question that’s come up frequently at Collegewise, one that I thought I’d answer here for others in our private counseling profession. Mandated reporters are required by law to report “child maltreatment” to the proper authorities, usually the police or Child Protective […]

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