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Is Early Decision Right for Your Kid?

Let’s start with what Early Decision is and how it’s different from Early Action. 

 

Early Decision (ED) is binding and if accepted the student must withdraw all other applications. Early Action (EA) is not binding and the student is free to apply to other colleges and does not have to accept the EA offer until May 1st.

 

I’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, having a wise Early Decision (ED) strategy is critical to students getting admitted to their first choice schools. For years, with a few exceptions, ED offers students the best possible admissions odds.

 

In college admissions, especially in early round admissions statistics. For example, just...

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Why October Matters for All High School Students

Most kids have been in school for a month now - if not more - and should all be “settled” into a routine that includes waking up early, staying up later than we want them to and, of course, contemplating the all-important college admissions question:

“What should I be doing now, to get into college later?”

Every month or every year of high school counts towards having more or less college options. Whether it’s grades or activities or visits or essays, high school students who want selective schools are putting in the work now. 

Is your kid putting in the work? 

If you have no clue on what your child should be doing this month as it relates to getting into...

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Beware of Rejective Colleges

Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Duke, Brown, Northwestern, Vanderbilt……

These names are the most familiar in our culture about being the best and for many of us, the places where we want our kids to go. 

Why?
Because they have tons of money, lots of resources and wealthy, well-connected alumni for our children to network with. We want to pave the road of success for our kids and wear a badge of honor for all the sacrifices we have made for them. 

How do I know this?
Well, one, I’ve been working with parents and students for 25 years with the college admission process and many have told me as such, but I’m also a parent of a senior in the class of 2022. I will...

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Make Sure Your Kid Meets Deadlines

11th and 10th-grade students (and sometimes 9th) often take PSAT in October. Make sure your school registers them by: this Wednesday, September 15th

https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/k12-educators/psat-nmsqt-dates

 

The Fall ACT and SAT are often taken by seniors who need one or two more cracks at it. 

October ACT registration date is: September 17, 2021

October ACT test date: October 23, 2021


December ACT registration date: November 5, 2021

December ACT test date: December 11, 2021


November SAT registration date: October 8, 2021

November SAT test date: November 6, 2021


December SAT registration date: November 4, 2021

December SAT test date: December 4, 2021

...

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3 Things To Do To Make Sure Your Child Succeeds in High School

As parents, we all have a lot on our plates. Now that the school year is starting, we’re juggling more than we were 60 days ago. While routine is good, we cannot allow the schools that we send our kids to dictate their futures. We must step in, be present, ask questions and be clear of what we want as the end goal of the high school experience for our children. Yes, health and happiness trump all, but we also want to make sure our children have college options and in order to do that we must do the three things below.

#1 Review the classes and understand the sequence of courses for upcoming years
Too many parents are frustrated at the beginning of their child’s senior year when they learn...

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Why English Teachers Are Not College Essay Experts

Hard truth: college essays and “school essays” are very different. High school students are taught to write essays with a thesis, body paragraphs to prove their points and a conclusion which revisits the thesis in summary. This is not what a college essay should look like. 

A college essay is a story. It’s a slice of your kid’s life when they share something important about who they are. It’s not an autobiography of their 17 or 18 years of life but rather a small sample of an event on which they learned something that they believe will travel with them forever. 

Not all English teachers know this. 

Most English teachers have never worked in college...

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1 To Do for Parents for Each High School Class

I’ll keep this one very simple and easy. I’m sure many of you have long “to do” lists for the school year. I know I do. Instead of making your life harder, I want to make it easier and offer only one thing. Here goes. 



Class of 2022 

Make sure your kid is writing their essay(s). This is not an easy task and it’s critically important given that many schools do not need standardized testing this year. I’m offering an essay writing course that can help them to brainstorm and revise AND I will read the essay and offer constructive feedback. Click Here To Learn More



Class of 2023

What’s the plan for testing? ACT or SAT? When and how are they prepping?...

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3 Tips to Get Your Kid Going with Their College Applications

If your kid is self-motivated and reading all the instructions on how to complete their applications and essays, consider yourself blessed. It takes mental strength and stamina to decipher all that needs to be done for the college process and execute it at a high level. For the rest of us, we need help. Tips to figure out how best to help our kids to help themselves.

Here’s three to start. 

Carve out time for them
Discuss exactly when they’re going to work on their applications and essays and make it non-negotiable. I think an hour or two three days a week during the month of August is solid. 

 


Help them with their Common Application
Actually sit down and review the...

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5 Best Websites for College Admissions Information

As a parent of a high school student, my son and I both bombarded with email and mail from colleges. Where does this all come from? It comes from colleges and agencies buying our information from college testing agencies such as the SAT and ACT. It can be overwhelming but since I’ve been in this profession for over 20 years, I can at least steer my son (and my wife) to the resources that I think offer good perspective and information.

Here are five of my favorites: 

www.collegescorecard.ed.gov/

www.collegeconfidential.com

www.collegexpress.com

www.collegedata.com

www.youvisit.com

Hopefully these help you to get started. If you want more information, let’s connect for a 60-minute...

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When Writing a College Essay, Document, Don't Create

Writing a college essay is hard. Very few students go into the writing process “pumped” to sit in front of a computer to tell a story. It's part laborious, oftentimes frustrating and occasionally embarrassing. The most common thing I hear is “I don't know what to write!” and then it becomes my job to help the student to brainstorm and believe in the idea that we have thought of together. 

Know what's far easier? Documenting life. Instead of trying to devise some cleverly creative epiphany that they think will change the landscape of college admissions and help them get into the college of their dreams, students should simply share what has happened in their lives or what...

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