Meant to be

Most kids feel like they're attending the college they were meant to attend.  Some just take a little longer to realize it than others. Several years ago, I was invited back to my alma mater, UC-Irvine, as the keynote speaker at the freshman orientation program.  In the audience were several hundred new freshmen and their […]

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Have you got swagger?

I worked with a student once who had all the characteristics you need to get into the most selective colleges.  Perfect grades, perfect test scores, a voracious appetite for learning, an excitement about all the opportunities waiting for him in college, likeable, self-effacing, and most importantly, he had a little–just a little–swagger. I say "a […]

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A college admissions secret

Did you know that colleges love stamp-collectors?  They go just crazy for stamp collectors.  Can't get enough of 'em.      OK, I'm kidding (a little).  Colleges don't have a special affinity for stamp-collectors any more than they do any other activity.  What colleges love is passion. It really doesn't matter what your passion is–dance, […]

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Please don’t play the multiple deposit game

Seniors who've been admitted to several desirable colleges need to make some difficult decisions next month, as colleges require admitted students to declare their intention to enroll by May 1.  It can be a stressful time especially for a student who is really struggling with the decision. But whatever you do, don't try to cheat […]

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Lunch “brakes”

No one in the history of my hometown could drive from my high school’s parking lot to my family’s house faster than I could.  It wasn’t easy, safe or completely legal, but for three months during the spring of my senior year, I drove home every day at lunch to check the mailbox hoping to […]

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Knowing your path vs. finding it

20 years ago, the student body president of my high school went on to UCLA as an economics major.  He said he might want to be a politician someday, which made sense at the time.  But today, he's an emergency room physician and the Associate Medical Director for NBC Universal.  In first period Spanish, our […]

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A fundraising idea for high schools sports teams

If you're a high school athlete (or the parent of one) and your team needs funds for uniforms, travel, or new equipment, you might consider re-evaluating your usual fundraising and trying something a little different.  Instead of selling candy bars or getting businesses to purchase ads in a team directory, I think there's a huge […]

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SAT vs. ACT

Here's something my friend Paul from The Princeton Review taught a group of students and parents at "College Night" last week. Kids who like math much more than English tend to prefer the SAT.  Kids who like English much more than math tend to prefer the ACT. Why?  As Paul put it, "Because the SAT […]

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