Five tips to help you manage change

If you’ve ever had to deliver news to a group about a coming change, you know how much potential there is for people to be skeptical or even outright unhappy. Maybe you work for a school that’s instituting a potentially unpopular policy change. Maybe you’re a student leader who has to tell your constituents that […]

Read More >

Take a risk

From pediatric psychologist Dr. Kate E. Eshleman’s “Taking a Risk: What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?”: “There is always the chance that taking a risk will end in failure, but failure, in some form, is inevitable. If you operate too much within your comfort zone, you will develop an expectation that you […]

Read More >

What’s happening with class rank?

As I’ve written before, the class rank debate rankles a lot of high-achieving students and their parents. Whether or not a school assigns a numerical ranking to each of its graduating seniors is a decision that almost always leaves some high-achieving segment feeling as if they’re now at an admissions disadvantage, no matter how often […]

Read More >

Real life is dramatic enough

One of the surest ways to turn a college essay into a cliché is to inject drama that wasn’t actually there in the moment the events occurred. Here’s an example: I swallowed my fear as we plunged down the icy rapids under the watchful command of our river guide. It sounds more like a trailer […]

Read More >

Do the things that matter

Jason Fried’s “Ignorance Got a Bad Rap” is preaching to business owners, but I’ve seen the same behavior from families during the college admissions process. “I think a lot of folks are spending way too much energy trying to know it all. They’re trying to be over-informed. Soaking up every piece of advice. Following every […]

Read More >

How to stand out to colleges

Pick one thing from this list where you see an immediate opportunity. 1. Fix something that’s broken. 2. Lead people waiting to be led. 3. Help someone who needs it. 4. Do something that needs to get done. 5. Learn a lot about something that interests you. 6. Solve an interesting problem that doesn’t have […]

Read More >

Five ways marketing works in college admissions

AA

Many families are under the impression that kids can and should be marketed, packaged and pitched to colleges. They’ve heard that applicants need a hook, that applications and essays should be polished, and that a student can be engineered to deliver what the customer—in this case, the student’s most desirable colleges—wants. They believe that like […]

Read More >

Five reads on leadership & college admissions

Leadership is one of the most misunderstood traits in the college admissions process. That fundamental misunderstanding is why students who are thriving at their part-time jobs, in their after-school art classes, or in their martial arts training will ask if their lack of leadership will hurt their admissions chances. It’s why so many kids start […]

Read More >