Avoidable public speaking mistakes

I’m blessed to work in a company full of public speakers ranging from capable to truly great. But I’ve been cursed by years of attending conferences, weddings, and other speaking-worthy events where well-intentioned speakers repeat the same blunders. You don’t necessarily have to be a natural-born public speaker to get the job done, but anyone […]

Read More >

Find your fun

One of the worst symptoms of the college admissions arms race is the disappearance of downtime, frivolity, or anything else that can’t be directly connected to a college admissions advantage. Kids stop being kids and spend all their time resume building, measuring the worth of every potential choice with, “Will this help me get in?” […]

Read More >

One chapter

I flew to England last week to attend my brother-in-law’s graduation from Oxford, where he and 300 other overachievers from around the world earned their MBAs. Not surprisingly, the people I met were an impressive collection of varied successes. I met a 23-year-old Rhodes Scholar who was already earning his second master’s at Oxford. I […]

Read More >

How to hit the FAFSA ground running

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the starting point to apply for need-based financial aid, becomes available October 1. And while most colleges have admission application deadlines that fall later (many in 2018), the sooner you file your FAFSA after October 1, the better. This Wall Street Journal article shared two great tips […]

Read More >

Two upcoming free webinars

Students, parents, and counselors, we’ve got two excellent free webinars coming up featuring four of our Collegewise counselors who’ve collectively read tens of thousands of applications during their time as admissions officers at Harvard, Stanford, Caltech, University of Chicago, and Colorado College. Click into the links below to register. We hope to see you there. […]

Read More >

What kind of parent involvement helps?

In the largest-ever study of its kind, researchers at Duke and UT Austin found that parental involvement in their kids’ educations, such as meeting with teachers and helping kids with homework, not only fails to improve academic performance for their kids, but also can even hinder it. But the study, which a 2014 issue of The […]

Read More >

Monday morning Q&A: Choosing a private counselor

Ai asks: What are the most important qualifications that a family should consider when hiring a college admissions counselor? I started writing a reply and experienced déjà vu. Sure enough, here’s my answer to this very question written seven years ago.  All of that advice still stands, and I encourage you and any other readers […]

Read More >

Standing out starts at home

The consistent references to “your child” in Challenge Success’s “Top Ten Back-to-School Tips to Help Your Child Thrive” might cause some high school parents to pass by the advice. But I don’t see a single one that doesn’t apply when you swap out “child” for “teen.” Parents, remember that you, more than your teen’s school […]

Read More >

Be a fixer

Hollywood has given us several shows and movies about “fixers.” Part crisis managers, part publicists, part real-life superheroes, these fictional fixers are in high demand when politicians, celebrities, or even regular folks find themselves in a real jam (or a scandal) and need someone to swoop in and make the problem go away. Their work […]

Read More >

How grandparents can help pay for college

If you’re fortunate enough to have a generous grandparent who’s willing to help pay for college, please consider Mark Kantrowitz’s advice on the topic here. In fact, failure to do so could result in a considerable hit to your eligibility for financial aid. Kantrowitz stays true to his form here and isn’t making any recommendation […]

Read More >