Rank Them Yourself

"In the Pac-10 schools, where does USC stand, academically?" That’s the question my neighbor asked me today.  And he was surprised when I told him there was almost no way to answer it.  He told me he thought that Stanford had to be "on top," followed by Berkeley and then UCLA.   But he wasn’t naming […]

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The “Weakness” Question

Yahoo posted an article for job-seekers today about how to handle the "What is your biggest weakness?" question.  College-seekers need to know how to handle that question, too. College interviewers may ask you the same question.  College applications might have sections in which you are asked to tell them if you've ever been subject to […]

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Why Parents and College Essays Don’t Mix

I received an email yesterday from the mother of a Collegewise kid.  She'd read her daughter's college essay and made "some changes," changes she said were "not drastic."  Her daughter, however, was not happy about Mom's involvement.  Now they were both upset and Mom wanted my advice about how to handle the situation. I told […]

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Not-so-complicated college admissions advice

So, what if you haven’t won prestigious awards, earned a perfect score on the SAT, or invented plutonium during your high school years?  Don’t worry.  Impressing colleges isn’t as hard as you might think it is.  Here are five college admissions tips, none of which require that you invent a radioactive chemical element. 1.  Raise […]

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August News for Friends and Family

 "Don’t get your heart set on one school when you’re applying.  You might think there’s only one school for you, but wherever you end up, that’s probably where you should be." "(Californian students) Stop worrying so much about the cold weather back east.  It’s just snow. People deal with it.  Geez!" "When you tour colleges, […]

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July News for Friends and Family

Never to be sold on EbayI always wonder if the celebrities actually visited the stores where I see their signed photos; I mean, did Jerry Seinfeld really bring his clothes to my dry cleaner in Irvine, CA?  But you don’t have to wonder if the signature on the front of this Collegewise brochure is legit.  […]

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5 Things Colleges Would Like You To Be

Good grades.  High test scores.  A rocket arm that can throw a football to a receiver who’s running a fly pattern in a different zip code.  All of those things are appealing to colleges.  But there are some qualities colleges would like you to have that don’t necessarily involve superior intelligence) or the ability to […]

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Seniors: Get Ahead While Relaxing This Summer

Seniors deserve some downtime during the summer. Relax. Soak up some sun. Eat potato chips. But if you follow these five tips this summer, you’ll be the envy of your fellow seniors later this fall when they’re running to meet deadlines and the only running you’re doing is to work off all those potato chips […]

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When in. . .San Luis Obispo

My weekend camping trip in Big Sur was interrupted by a voluntary evacuation due to wildfires.  So what was supposed to be a second night in Big Sur became a night in San Luis Obispo, and predictably, an impromptu visit to Cal Poly. I don’t expect high school students and parents to have the same […]

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