When great parenting = great managing

The increasing complexity of the college admissions process can occasionally leave parents unclear as to what they should be doing to best support their kids. Yes, we all know to take care of them and to love them unconditionally. But when does supporting them become over-parenting? When does backing off become disengaging from their lives? When does encouraging […]

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Looking for “need-blind” colleges?

“Need-blind” colleges are those that make admissions decisions without considering—or in many cases, even having knowledge of—whether or not a student will require financial aid to attend. If you’re a family who’s concerned not only about paying for college, but also that your financial need could somehow be held against you in the admissions process, financial aid […]

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Know-it-alls vs. learn-it-alls

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella originally read Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success from the context of his own kids’ education. But one of the ideas stuck with him so much that he’s tried to inculcate it through the Microsoft culture: be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all. As Nadella describes in this interview: “The author […]

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When should you take the SAT/ACT?

Our friends at Compass Education Group have a great post that answers one of the most basic college planning questions: “When should I take the SAT/ACT?” Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to download the PDF. Also, College Board is offering its first August administration of the SAT this year. If […]

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First, peel the garlic

I enjoy cooking. But I really do not enjoy peeling garlic, especially for a dish that needs more than a clove or two. It takes too long. Some bulbs are just uncooperative. The paper goes everywhere, it sticks to the knife, some always clings to the garlic like a life preserver, etc. I love what […]

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Rest easy, and work hard

One of the pieces of college planning advice I feel most strongly about is one many people just don’t believe—get a job. Plenty of high school kids get part-time jobs, but too many families think the only way a job could possibly impress a college is if it’s a high-profile internship, a start-up later sold […]

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Hitting reset

One of the best parts of college that’s waiting for you if you want it is the chance to hit the reset button. It can be difficult to reinvent yourself in high school even if you really want to. You become known as the drama kid, the jock, the brooding musician, etc. If it’s the […]

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For graduation speakers

A student who will be delivering her high school graduation address emailed me last week asking if I had any advice. As is often the case with a blog I’ve written every day for nearly eight years, that advice was somewhere, and not so easy to find, back in the archives. If you or someone […]

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Where’s the handbook?

When someone new joins your club, organization, team, counseling office, etc., how do they learn how things work? Do you have a process to teach them what you stand for, how you operate, who does what, etc.? If not, you might take a look at the employee handbook that Basecamp, the software company, recently made […]

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