Creating a pocket of greatness

Some people believe they can’t make a difference in their organization unless they’re in charge.  They think that unless they’re the CEO of the company, or the superintendent of a school, or the president of their club, they’re not empowered to do those things that would really make their organization great. Jim Collins is a […]

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What to do if a college tells you your file is incomplete

Imagine receiving a notice in the mail that your application to a particular college is incomplete due to a missing item like test scores or a letter of recommendation.  Suddenly, this whole application process doesn't look quite as finished as you thought it was.  But if this happens, don't panic.   Admissions offices receive thousands of […]

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Two great gifts parents can give teens

I've got two teen gift ideas for parents.  Both are free and neither will be socially or technologically passe six months from now. Our system of education and the process of applying to college virtually guarantee that kids are feeling judged and evaluated all the time.  They're judged in school by how well they perform […]

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A good source for study tips and test-taking advice

I've shared Cal Newport's blog here before but wanted to point something specific out about it. Make sure you check the sidebar at the right under the heading, "Looking for Help on A Specific Problem?"  There, you'll find his blog posts categorized into subjects like, "Fighting procrastination," "Note-taking," "Organization," "Studying," "Test-taking," and "Time Management." Some […]

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Parents, it’s OK not to share

Parents at a dinner party would probably never ask you about: 1)  How much money you make. 2)  What your house is worth. 3)  What you paid in taxes this year. 4)  Sensitive medical issues. 5) Personal family problems. So, why would it be acceptable to compare your kids' test scores, college lists, and admissions […]

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Sometimes even the experts miss the point

Jacques Steinberg is the author of "The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process at A Premier College," and the editor of the New York Times blog "The Choice: Demystifying College Admissions and Aid." Unfortunately, I think he missed the point when he was on the Today Show recently discussing college essays.  One applicant wrote in the […]

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