Your best self on a bad day

It’s easy to show your best self when you’re getting what you want. When you get the elected position you wanted, the grade you wanted, the college acceptance you wanted, etc., you’ve got a pre-existing lift that makes it easier to be nice, polite, and grateful. But how do you behave when things don’t go your […]

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Feeling pressured to commit before May 1?

Senior families, are your acceptance letters implying—or outright stating—that waiting until May 1 to commit could somehow have adverse implications, like being left out of classes, housing, or special programs? If so, please read this past post, Do you really have until May 1 to decide? (Spoiler alert: as long as you didn’t apply in […]

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We’re hiring assistants in Southern California

We’re trying an experiment in our Southern California offices. Collegewise counselors do almost all of their own work. They don’t just meet with families, help build the college lists, and manage the application process to make sure everything proceeds smoothly and thoughtfully. They also book their own appointments, do their own follow-up with families, field […]

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Your place in their class

Cassia, one of our community organizers in Newton, Massachusetts, shared this Harvard Crimson Op-Ed, Flipping the Script on College Acceptance. Penned by Harrison Satcher, a Harvard sophomore, he sets out to argue in favor of affirmative action within college admissions. But in doing so, he also lays out why colleges’ efforts to put together the […]

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What classes should you take?

Now that many high school students are about to begin selecting courses they’ll take next fall, the folks at Challenge Success have just released their Tips for Making Wise Choices. It’s aimed at parents who want to encourage their students to choose courses that won’t just prepare them for college, but also leave them engaged and challenged […]

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When you don’t believe

In a “fit of passion,” a high school teacher in the high-performing Palo Alto Unified School District in California’s Silicon Valley penned this piece, Kids With a 3.1 GPA: It’s an Honor to Write a College Recommendation Letter For You. And I enjoyed the encouragement for those students who don’t always set the curve. “You might want […]

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On high-pressure parenting

Loyal reader George sent me this recent Economist piece, “High-Pressure Parenting,” which poses the following: “We invest far more time and money in raising our children than our parents did. [Writer] Ryan Avent wonders whether we’re doing it in their best interests – or in ours.” As often as I share advice on this blog […]

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We’re hiring in Southern California!

Our Collegewise offices in Southern California (Orange County and Los Angeles) are hiring for several positions, including college counselors and a full-time filmmaker. You can find the individual listings and all the associated information on our careers page. If you think that you or someone you know might be able to find a professional home here, […]

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Truth, or nothing at all

I called a customer service line today and was greeted with an automated message that said, “Thanks for calling_____, where delighting the customer at every interaction is our goal, because that’s what we do at ______!” 30 seconds later, a robot voice told me, “Extension 202 is not available. Leave a message.” Is there any universe […]

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Where the good parts are waiting

Imagine if you’d spent three-and-a-half years of nearly full-time preparation to secure a date to the senior prom with one particular person. It would be almost impossible not to feel enormous gravity on the day you finally make the ask. All the work and focus and dedication has come to this. Your friends are watching. Your […]

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