The three most common college essay mistakes

For seniors who are still working on college essays, make sure you avoid the three most common college essay mistakes.  1.  Injecting deep meaning into an event that wasn't all that meaningful at the time. 2.  Claiming an experience taught you a valuable lesson you didn't actually learn, or don't seem to be using today. […]

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Don’t punish the group based on an individual

My favorite quote from one of my favorite books this year: The second something goes wrong, the natural tendency is to create a policy.  'Someone's wearing shorts!?  We need a dress code!'  No you don't.  You just need to tell John not to wear shorts again." Rework

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Don’t let fear hijack your college applications

We've noticed that a lot of students, particularly the highest achievers, hijack their applications.  They hold onto them as late as possible, claiming they want to make just a few more changes, or add a few more edits to their essays, or show their drafts to just a few more people.  Most of the time, […]

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Frozen yogurt and college admissions

If you're ever in Costa Mesa, CA, check out America's Cup yogurt in the Harbor Shopping Center.  And if Garbriel is working, get ready to be impressed. Gabriel looks like your typical teenage kid doing a fairly typical teenage kid's part-time job.  But the way he approaches his job is anything but typical. When you […]

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Making up for our gaffe

If you missed us last night on College Admissions Live for our scheduled show, "How to Make a Great Last Impression:  Improving your chances of admission after you apply," well, that's our fault.  We were there.  We recorded a show.  But we did something stupid and aired it on the channel we set up to […]

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For colleges: What if you showed instead of told?

Colleges spend a lot of time and money marketing to kids.  They all promise wonderful educations and experiences.  But when schools all make the same promises, colleges all start to sound the same.  So here's an idea for those in charge of college marketing efforts. Why not prove it to your prospective students by showing–not […]

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Five writing reminders

I had to write two very short proposals yesterday and it took me all day to do it.  I couldn't get the wording right.  I didn't like how it sounded.  I couldn't compress it into the allotted maximum number of words.  It was a frustrating exercise.  But that frustration was a reminder that good writing […]

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