Healthy tension

Parents, the next time you’re tempted to ask your teen, “How are your college applications going?” Consider replacing it with this exercise: 1. Ask, “How are you doing?” 2. After the likely reply of “Fine,” ask, “How are you really doing?” 3. Simultaneously with #2, radiate a sense of safety and concern rather than panic […]

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Real world attitudes

There are two problems with perfect GPAs, perfect test scores, MVPs, student body presidents, and most other accolades that can be listed on a college application: none are universally attainable (genes dictated I could have been a competitive miler in high school) and almost none of them translate easily into the adult real world. Yes, […]

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Better posture

“Will this be on the test?” and “Tell me what to do” work occasionally in high school. But that approach is working less often and less reliably every day in the real world. As often as you can, approach the things that matter to you in high school not by looking for a right answer and […]

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Don’t make today a cliché

Thanksgiving can mean radically different things for different families. But for those of us who will be gathering around the table with our loved ones today, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to slow down, to step away from our buzzing phones and gadgets, and to take some time to thoughtfully consider just how much we have […]

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Looking for colleges with no-loan policies?

The inimitable Mark Kantrowitz has not only put together a list of more than six dozen colleges in the US that have no-loans financial aid policies for low-income (and some for even middle income) families, he’s also listed the AGI (adjusted gross income) on which the policy is based for each school. It’s hard to […]

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Learning door-to-door

An 8th grader from a local middle school knocked on my door over the weekend selling holiday wreaths as part of a school fundraiser. She probably had no idea that the simple act of attempting a task so many of today’s kids outsource to their parents was about to make me the easiest sale of […]

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More helping, less hurting

It’s not easy for parents to offer helpful support to kids while simultaneously stepping back to allow them to drive their own lives. If you’d like some advice from experts on how to achieve that delicate balance, Join Collegewise counselors and fellow parents Kirsten Hanson-Press and Julie Simon at the following free webinar: How Parents Can […]

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There’s a better way

This video of cyclist Michael Guerra sums up pretty much all of the recommendations I make on this blog. And it’s also a good reminder of how we should approach anything important. He didn’t break established rules. He didn’t cheat. Not sure it’s so safe for him, but he didn’t appear to put anyone else […]

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Financial aid beyond the basics

Many of the best practices to pay for college are fairly easy to comprehend. Save as much as possible (preferably in a 529 plan). Apply for need-based financial aid. Don’t refrain from applying to colleges out of your budget (you might get aid to help), but don’t ultimately attend a school that will put you […]

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