Lessons taught at “Preparing for College Night”

I spoke to a group of eighth grade parents last week about the college admissions process they'll soon be facing as their kids move into high school.  Here are the five tips I shared with them at the end of the talk. 1. Kids should take the most challenging courses they can reasonably handle.The more […]

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Information seeking

Have you visited the websites of the colleges that interest you (or that interest your kids)?  I'm often surprised by how few families have.  It's good to be an information seeker when it comes to colleges.  You can't sit back and wait for people to hand you the information you need to find, apply and […]

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No excuses

I worked with a student who once lamented to me that the police in his neighborhood were so "bored" that they'd given him three speeding tickets in one month.  What?  You're blaming the police? Then his parents told me, "Can you believe how unlucky he is?  To get three speeding tickets in one month!" Again…what??? […]

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Moving the goalposts

Exclusivity breeds popularity.  The more exclusive the night club, the more we wish we could get inside (and the longer the lines outside will grow).  The popular kids in high school aren't necessarily the nicest or the smartest–it's the air of exclusivity that makes them popular (an air that disappears approximately two-and-a-half minutes after graduation, […]

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Can you teach it back?

The best way to learn something is to get to a point where you could teach it to someone else. When the University of California first announced their new eligibility requirements, I was asked to explain them to a group of students and parents at a local high school.  I'd already read all the material […]

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Don’t be a title collector

In their efforts to impress colleges, a lot of students become title collectors.  They're driven to accomplish things so they can list them on their resumes.  And when they apply to college, they can't wait to rattle off their list of leadership positions held, awards won, and total number of community service hours completed. But […]

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How to write a thank-you note

There are two ways to write a thank-you note.  One is to get it over with, to say the basics, keep it short, and send a quick email (capitalization optional).  Those notes sound like this. Dear Mr. Gerard: Thank you very much for writing my letters of recommendation for college.  I know that you were […]

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Who needs a champion?

In my life before Collegewise, I worked for a local office of The Princeton Review, best known as an SAT prep company.  But they prepare students for other exams, too, and for a two year stretch that immediately preceded my time there, the Princeton Review office where I worked enjoyed record-breaking enrollments in their LSAT […]

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This is how it’s done

I admit it–I've got a collegiate crush on the College of Wooster.  I've written about them before and this probably won't be the last time.  But for now, I'll hold off on my praise for Wooster and instead praise a parent I've never actually met. This is a video, presumably shot by a father, of […]

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