The deep end of the waitlist discussion

Parke Muth is a former associate dean of admissions at University of Virginia and an independent college counselor. In his most recent blog post, he gives one of the frankest, most thorough discussions of the admissions waitlist—what it means, why colleges use them, and how to determine your odds of being moved to a yes. This […]

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Sustainable givers

In a past post, I shared the most important lesson in Adam Grant’s wonderful book Give and Take: the “Givers,”—those who pay more attention to what other people need than what other people can offer them, who are generous with their time, energy, skills and ideas and want to share them with people who can […]

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The training starts now

Parents of high school underclassmen, imagine if you spent the next year (or two years, or three years) feeding or even initiating your student’s desire to go to the senior prom with any member on the short list of the class’s most popular kids. Maybe if we get you the right clothes, she’ll be more likely […]

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A different March Madness

The folks at Challenge Success just released their spring newsletter, which includes an archived piece, March Madness, from co-founder Madeline Levine about how to create a supportive environment for students who have received college rejections. And I particularly appreciated this advice: “Instead of crying over rejections, we should be celebrating acceptances with our kids in […]

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Make things happen

Susan Cain’s recent New York Times piece calls attention to “the glorification of leadership skills, especially in college admissions,” something that leaves many kids “jockeying for leadership positions as résumé padders.” She proposes at the end of the article: “What if we said to college applicants that the qualities we’re looking for are not leadership skills, […]

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Writing before meeting

If you’re an executive at Amazon and you want to pitch a new idea to your colleagues, you’ll have some writing—and they’ll have some reading—to do. Here’s what often happens in your typical meeting. Someone has an idea, maybe one they haven’t taken all that much time to think through, and they share it with […]

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Five examples parents can set for kids

One of my college planning themes is that parents are always on stage. Your kids are learning from your behaviors even if you aren’t intending for those behaviors to be teaching moments. And beyond the obvious ones like “Don’t lie, cheat or steal” and “Be nice to people,” there are plenty of opportunities for parents […]

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Your style of play

I got a lot of nice feedback—from students, and from parents about their students—in response to my post about playing the game right. Having a deep passion for whatever you do, sports related or not, makes you a happier, more interesting, and more successful person. Soccer player Tobin Heath is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a two-time Women’s […]

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Better for parents, too

I write often here about the dangers of overparenting, of doing for your kids what they can (and I would argue, should) do for themselves. Overparenting sends your student the message that you don’t have confidence in their abilities to succeed without you. It teaches them to sit back and wait for Mom or Dad […]

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