Prep for college or prep for life?

Who’s developing traits that will benefit them later in life? The student who loves math, or the student who asks for extra credit so he can get the A? The student who volunteers at the homeless shelter because she feels fulfilled serving others, or the student who’s there to fulfill her community service requirement? The […]

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How much should you save for college?

If you’ve ever wondered how much a parent should save for college, Mark Kantrowitz spells it out in his latest piece which, not surprisingly, includes all the math to back up his claims. The only potential downside is that it’s pitched to new parents who have the luxury of saving and earning compound interest for […]

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The teen today and the adult tomorrow

Last week, I was surprised to run across a student I tutored for the SAT over 20 years ago while I was still in college. I remembered him well, at least what he was like at age 17. Affable, relaxed, and engaged, he rested comfortably as a B student in high school who was a […]

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Your value is their value

University of Virginia laudably goes out of its way to point out that they are not one of those schools that admits single-digit percentages of students and that the activities they value on an application may not mirror those of their more highly selective collegiate compatriots. But I can’t think of a selective college that would […]

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Acknowledging without catastrophizing

It’s often difficult for college counselors to find the sweet spot between allaying and indulging families’ negative emotions around the college admissions process. Years ago, a parent told me that both she and her daughter were “just devastated” by a denial that had arrived from Stanford. I wondered how long I could patiently listen and […]

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Reasonable expectations

Richard Thaler is a professor of behavioral economics who won the Nobel Prize in 2017 for his work to prove that people are predictably irrational and make choices counter to economic sense. On the latest episode of the Freakonomics podcast, he spoke about whether winning the Nobel has made him noticeably happier. “… I absolutely […]

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Good intentions + earnest effort

I love the juxtaposition of mistakes and reassurance in Brennan Barnard’s latest piece, “Parenting The College Applicant As An Admission Dean.” First, we learn the variety of mistakes that even deans of admission have made with their own children during their families’ college processes. Had the article stopped there (and I’ve seen others like this […]

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