On purpose

There are some things you do (almost) every day. Brushing your teeth. Taking a shower. Checking your email or messages. There’s no debating whether or not you have time, no waiting for the right circumstance or opportunity. At some point, you just made a decision that this was something important enough to do every day. […]

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Monday morning Q&A: How many colleges to apply to?

Kathryn asks: The number of colleges that guidance counselors at our high school recommend students apply to has risen over the last decade – almost at the same pace as college tuition. This year they’re recommending students apply to 8-10 colleges. That number doesn’t seem unusual in our area (outside Boston). If the increasing number […]

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Updated advice on paying for college

Kalman Chany is a nationally recognized financial aid consultant and the author of Paying for College without Going Broke, a book I’ve consistently recommended since I started Collegewise in 1999. If you’re looking for advice on the best ways to save for college, to get the financial aid you need, and to avoid mistakes that […]

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Embracing “just fine”

I loved everything about Julie Surrat’s piece “In Praise of Mediocre Kids” except the title. “Mediocre” has such a pejorative connotation. But what she’s really preaching, and I agree with, is that we should celebrate those pursuits that make our kids happy even in the absence of extraordinary talent or achievement. No adult achieves at the […]

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For counselors: download our NACAC notes

NACAC Notes 2017

The annual NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) conference serves up some of the best, most up-to-date information about college admissions. But it’s expensive to attend, and many high schools aren’t able to send their counselors. Since 2009, our Collegewise counselors have shared with high school counselors our notes from the sessions we attended. […]

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Just (let them) make progress

Studies keep showing that helicopter parenting is bad for kids. Back off, don’t run their lives, let them fail and learn, etc. But other recommendations, like those in this article, remind readers that “…a little hovering is just right.” I sympathize with those well-intentioned parents who want to do the right thing by their kids but may […]

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Text talk is for text messages

To the chagrin of language, spelling, and grammar purists everywhere, many best practices in the art of written communication seem to be suspended when writing a text message. Rules and protocols like capitalization and punctuation slow down sending. And it’s hard for many people to justify writing 50 words if 5 are sufficient to get […]

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Enrolling now: “How to Write Letters of Recommendation”

My online course for counselors and teachers, How to Write Letters of Recommendation, is currently open for enrollment. I think you’ll find that this course has the power to transform the way you and your colleagues approach these letters. You’ll give your students an even bigger admissions lift. And you’ll spend less time writing, rewriting, […]

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Avoidable public speaking mistakes

I’m blessed to work in a company full of public speakers ranging from capable to truly great. But I’ve been cursed by years of attending conferences, weddings, and other speaking-worthy events where well-intentioned speakers repeat the same blunders. You don’t necessarily have to be a natural-born public speaker to get the job done, but anyone […]

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