Start at zero

Students, if you’re constantly feeling frantic, overscheduled, and just plain too busy, try using zero-based budgeting to allocate your expenses of time. Traditional budgeting presumes that whatever you spent money on last quarter or last year belongs in your new budget. If you spent $500 last year on your cell phone bill, you assume that […]

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Back-to-school tips for parents and students

Parents, as your kids head back to school, consider investing 50 minutes listening to this interview with Denise Pope (senior lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education and co-founder of Challenge Success) about how to raise well-balanced kids who are engaged in their learning. If you’d prefer the bullet-point version, here are Challenge Success’s “Top […]

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On intellectual humility

Some of the most desirable traits a student can demonstrate during high school aren’t measured by a grade or test score. And in fact, some might even seem confusingly at odds with boosting college admissions candidacy. Intellectual humility is a prime example. Students receive the message early in their high school careers that intellectual strength, […]

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The days are long, but the year is short

As a parent of two children under five, I’ve found that some advice I hear from other parents is sound in principle but difficult to follow in practice, especially when those with older children remind me: “Enjoy every moment.” “Soak it in. It all goes by so fast.” “The days are long, but the years […]

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Scorekeeping

In my life before Collegewise, I worked for a test preparation company that, while preparing students for standardized tests, was also an outspoken critic of the exams. As the CEO used to say, “We judge a test by the behavior it inspires.” I’ve never met a student who was more intelligent, curious, kind, thoughtful, or interesting […]

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What can you do without asking?

If you decided to surprise your family tomorrow morning by cooking breakfast, my guess is that you wouldn’t need to ask for permission first. Even if you burn the toast beyond recognition, it’s hard to get angry with someone for doing something so nice. The thought and the resulting generous action are what count. If […]

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Beginning anew

One of the best things about New Year’s Day is the feeling of renewal. It’s a fresh start, a year full of possibility, a chance to press the reset button and really do things right. Let the New Year’s Resolutions begin. A new school year is a similar opportunity, for both students and parents. The […]

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It was 20 years ago today…

It’s a day of nostalgia and excitement for me, as it was exactly 20 years ago that I officially started a little business called Collegewise. I knew I had the knowledge to help families make more informed college planning decisions, but that’s as far as the vision went at the time. The birth of Collegewise […]

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Intentionality

Zingerman’s Deli is one of my favorite businesses, and yet I’ve never tasted one of their sandwiches. They’re highly profitable, with their community of businesses earning over $13 million in annual revenues. They’re consistently innovating, always looking for new ways to get better. They boast a fantastic culture with employees who care. They even write, […]

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Investment initiative

I graduated with some impressive business experience considering I was a 22-year-old who’d yet to work a real full-time job. In my four years of college, I’d recruited, interviewed, hired, managed, and on one occasion had to fire, employees. I’d drawn up marketing plans. I’d talked down angry customers. I’d written advertising copy, pitched ideas, […]

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