The Most Essential Interview

To effectively brainstorm topics for college essays, students must be interviewed by an experienced advisor, who not only knows the college admissions process, but applies their experience within the context of an anxious teenager seeking to define their life’s vision.  When teens query themselves in some me-talking-with-me, thinking exercise, they will unwittingly dismiss ideas, not connect one event to the…

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College essay writing often requires an (re)education in the art of Autobiographical writing

Every year, I remediate high school seniors’ and transfer applicants’ writing process. After elementary school, few teachers explicitly teach the writing process. Instead, teachers assign scripted “Essays”, hemming students into following a rubric (or risk a lower grade), based on a narrow prompt, replete with requirements of specific numbers of quotes or citations, and strict word limits.  Students make few…

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Describing Extracurricular Activities In Digital College Applications Can Be An Exercise in Frustration

Students commit hours of their lives, year after year, in organized activities afterschool and on the weekends. (Their parents, as chauffeurs/Uber drivers, coaches, snack providers, co-chairs of every fundraiser, etc, equally spend years of their lives as their kids’ support team.)  Thus, at the moment of capitalizing on their efforts, as part of the online college application activities & awards…

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Completing Online College Applications Can Be More Complicated Than Expected

Self-reporting classes and grades on a digitalized college application may seem straightforward, yet the first challenge is families take a crash course in edu-speak.  Block schedules, quarters, semesters, trimesters, one grade, two grades, three grades per class require precise manipulation of the standardized digital format so students accurately report their academic history. However, the actual form where students self-report their…

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The Risks of Applying Early Decision

Many students as well as their parents believe that if they apply Early Decision they have an “advantage” given the higher admit rate over regular decision. However, given Early Decision is a binding choice, where students MUST enroll (legal but is it constitutional?) If admitted, considering the pros and cons therefore is prudent.  While the percentage of students admitted from…

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Candid Conversations Before College Life Commences 

The late summer for a first year college student is often a frenzy of purchasing all the trendiest dorm accessories, while trying to soak in every last minute with friends who will soon walk their own path. Parents trade insider tips about medical/first aid kits and all the legal documents, like health care directives, for their newly christened adult children. …

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College Degrees Offer No Economic Guarantees

As executives at tech giants, like Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, announce hiring freezes and layoffs, the technology sector may not be the stable and growing industry with ever-lasting employment opportunities that many students and their parents have been promoting. To add insult to injury, new computer science grads (aged 22-27 years old) already encounter competition for jobs,…

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Full Circle: Early Decision is Regular Decision Again and The College Admissions Rat Race Continues Unabated 

Tulane University admitted two-thirds of their Fall 2022 class, through Early Decision, essentially transforming early admissions into Regular Decision. If Tulane is setting a trend (our base case) or will remain an outlier in college admissions (not likely), depends on whether students and parents continue to apply early admissions believing in their worth as candidates or (more likely) gaming the…

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The College Admissions Guessing Game

The subjectivity of college admissions, combined with the unpredictability of the future, parents and graduating high school seniors, are making (sometimes) educated guesses about college often imbued with expectation and clouded by emotion regarding the value—often complex to define—of a college education. To value a college education, families must be as candid as possible. Additionally, each family member must willingly…

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Quote: Steve Jobs

Freedom Comes From Within, Not By Attending College

Often, teens seek freedom, as a primary reason for attending college. To which, their parents nod knowingly, smiling slyly, complicit in their teen’s seeming act of rebellion, believing that a college education is a coming of age into the freedom of adulthood. However students and parents should reflect on what it means to be free, and free of or from…

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JUST THE FACTS

A college acceptance isn’t a cure-all, get-out-of-jail-free card, where untold riches and lifelong prosperity are as plentiful and readily flowing as red cups filled from a college party keg. Instead:  FACT: 37% of all students transfer colleges at least once in a six year period. FACT: 33% of first year students don’t re-enroll for the second year at the same…

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College Admissions Mis-Information

Although hearsay, defined as: “information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate”, is not admissible in any court of law, every day, every year, families make complex educational choices, consequential for their children’s prosperity, based on the hearsay, passing as truth, circulated along The Parent Network, distorted with each retelling, which may have been a selective assertion in the first place. …

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Is Demand for College Education Cooling?

In questioning the affordability of college, more families are asking, “Is the value of a college degree concomitant to the price?” However, despite annually increasing discounts on college tuition, 54.5% in 2021-22, thus improving college affordability for a wider swath of families, college enrollment continues dropping. As previously discussed in our series about the already shrinking middle class, increasing tuition…

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Colleges Are Still Accepting Applications for Fall 2022

“Never say never” is as true in college admissions as anywhere else. Despite popular belief, many college admissions officers are still seeking students for Fall 2022 enrollment. So, for recent Class of 2022 high school grads as well as transfer students, still seeking a college for Fall 2022, here’s the most updated list of “College Openings”.  Every year, incoming and…

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