Self-starters

There’s one type of person that groups, organizations, businesses, and yes, colleges can’t ever get enough of: self-starters. There are tasks to get done, new things to try, problems to fix, and improvements to be made. Everyone else is missing them, otherwise they’d be happening now. What a great opportunity. No audition, application, nomination, election, […]

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Try generosity

Generosity is a great way to make an impact and stand out. And while sharing money or material things is one way, you can also be generous with your time, effort, energy, patience, focus, etc. What would it take to lead your teacher to conclude that the class is better with you in it? What […]

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Big idea payoffs for groups?

Many students, parents, and counselors have likely sat through a meeting dedicated to “brainstorming”—everyone is invited to share ideas with the group, then discussion and debate ensue, all in the hopes that you’ll get that one great new idea for raising funds, recruiting members, solving an existing challenge, etc. Some of these meetings include guidelines […]

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What happens to valedictorians?

From Time Magazine’s recent article, “Wondering What Happened to Your Class Valedictorian? Not Much, Research Shows”: “Karen Arnold, a researcher at Boston College, followed 81 high school valedictorians and salutatorians from graduation onward to see what becomes of those who lead the academic pack. Of the 95 percent who went on to graduate college, their average […]

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Wandering generality vs. meaningful specific

Too many students approach the college admissions process the same way: They take the classes they’re supposed to take, but they don’t have a favorite subject or teacher. They join clubs and hold leadership positions and do community service driven not by a sense of joy or commitment, but by the notion that it’s what […]

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Is college admission fair?

College admission decisions often don’t make sense to outside observers. Why is one student admitted over another? How could the seemingly perfect kid be denied? How can a student be accepted at one school but denied at another statistically less selective? The entire process can seem arbitrary, and even unfair. This new post from the Georgia Tech Admissions […]

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Life grades on a curve

A recent Atlantic article, “The Ethos of the Overinvolved Parent,” made the rounds in our counselor and admissions officer social media groups yesterday, generating frustration with the reality but also a fair amount of understanding, especially from fellow parents, about why it’s so hard to let go. Stacy, the mother interviewed for the article, argues that […]

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