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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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How to make calm application progress

I just might turn this past post built around Patrick O’Connor’s “What to Say When Your Students are Freaked About College Apps” into an annual September share here. O’Connor’s recommendations on how to make continuous application progress without over-planning, or worse, procrastinating, are both simple and sensible. And I can’t imagine any college applicant who […]

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When less is best

More activities More commitments More hours More scheduling More time, more energy, more drive, etc. Is it actually leading to better results? Are you finding more success, more enjoyment, and more impact as a result of all this “more?” If not, what would happen if you did less? What if you pruned those activities that […]

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Update on our Common App Guide

Common App Guide Cover

Since its release just one week ago, over 1300 students, parents, and counselors have downloaded our Collegewise Guide to the Common Application. It’s the most comprehensive instruction you can find, written by a team of our counselors and former admissions officers who’ve collectively evaluated thousands of Common Apps, as well as helped hundreds of their […]

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Monday morning Q&A: Applying undecided

Emily asks: How should students who are applying with an “Undecided” major answer the “Why this college?” essay prompts? First, Emily, you should know that there’s nothing wrong with applying as an undecided major as long as you apply to colleges that offer it as an option. There are plenty of students who aren’t yet […]

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