Is your child ready to start their college essay? (Part 3)


Use the rules below and you’re on your way!!!!

  1. Start Early

Starting early buys you the luxury of revising and rewriting the essay. You can write it, put it away for a few days, then take a fresh look at it later. Walking away and then coming back brings a fresh perspective to the work -- without the pressure and stress that comes with a time crunch. 

  1. Brainstorm.

Starting the essay can be the hardest part.  Brainstorming about your personality traits and defining your strengths is a good place to begin.  Your goal is to reflect about who you are as a person.  Don’t think of it as bragging.  Think about it...

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Is your child ready to start their college essay? (Part 2)


Use the rules below and you’re on your way!!!!

Be specific.  Keep your focus narrow and personal by figuring out how the question relates to your personal qualities and then taking a specific angle. Make sure everything you write supports that viewpoint. But don’t adopt a preachy tone. College admission officers don’t want to be lectured on rainforest destruction. Instead, tell them how you became interested in environmentalism.

Use the active voice. This is a challenge for all writers. As a matter of style, writing in an active voice energizes an essay. Avoid the passive voice. Word processing programs often provide assistance...

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3 Keys to Writing an Awesome College Essay (Part 1)

I have been teaching essay writing for twenty years and before I get too deep, I want you and your child to know the basics first. The personal statement should reveal something important about them that their grades and test scores cannot. Try to help your child to answer these two essential questions:

#1: Who are you? 

#2: What’s important to you? 

This is not easy and it’s not necessarily fun. Teenagers struggle with identity and sharing parts of their lives. They need help. 

PLEASE share the blog below with our child. It’s written to them. 

STEP 1: Be yourself.  You are 1 of 1. Write in your own voice.  Write what you feel, not what you think the...

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Why Teacher Recommendations Matter Now More Than Ever

One of the most important parts of the college application, especially now that standardized test scores are not always required, is the recommendations that teachers write for their applicants. There are several different reasons why these recommendations are vital and can set an applicant apart from the pack.

Here are some key things you and your child need to know about teacher recommendations. 

Recommendations should come from core subjects: English, math, science, history, and foreign language. Why? Because these are classes that are usually part of a required curriculum in college.

11th Grade teachers tend to be the most popular teachers to ask for letters of recommendation, but that might...

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Your High School Guidance Counselor Needs To Do More (5 Questions to Ask)

Whatever you call the school counselor at your child’s high school -- guidance counselor, college counselor, etc -- please know that they are an integral part of the college application process. A few elements of their job are: 

  • to offer college advice to you and your child

  • weigh in on the selection of courses for each year

  • write a school counselor recommendation on behalf of your child

  • send the transcript

  • communicate with colleges about your child’s application and interest

Some school counselors do this better than others, and usually, it depends on their caseload of students. 

As a parent, you should attend any college preparation presentations that your school...

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Are resumes necessary for high school students?

The short answer is “yes.” Some schools always ask for it and expect it (Cornell and Washington University in St. Louis). Every year, colleges tell me that they want to see that kids are engaged. Studies have shown that children who take part in after-school programs can enjoy the benefit of an academic boost. In fact, such studies showed that students who took part in regular after-school programs performed better academically than their peers who did not attend after-school activities. 

Time management is key
Students who take part in extracurricular activities are taught how to effectively manage their time. This is an excellent way to teach time management and help students learn...

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Class of 2022 : How to Avoid "Senioritis"

Class of 2022!!!!!

Don’t do it…….
YES, I encourage all of my students to celebrate their acceptances and keep their eyes squarely focused on the goal: a college education. But there’s a problem going on that everyone needs to be aware of: slacking off from high school is recipe for disaster as well as a sign of immaturity.

The colleges that have accepted young adults, older teenagers, not kids who cannot discern right from wrong. Yes, mistakes can happen and adjustments can be made, but be the person and student who applied three or four or five months ago - the one “College X” accepted - follow these simple rules:

Put in the work. Every coach, tutor, teacher and...

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Summer Ideas for Teens

Volunteer. Yes, community service is still “in,”  but it’s now  called “civic engagement.” Regardless of the name, it’s the right thing to do, as long as it’s genuine. Being a giver is always en vogue, thus encouraging (forcing?) your kid to share his/her abilities and talents with others will be noticed on their application and offers a talking point for interviews and essays.


Earn a (summer) living. Work is for the worthy. Students need to know what it means to be somewhere everyday and report to someone. Showing commitment and responsibility is a sign of growth and maturation. As your child enters young adulthood, these are crucial...

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College Admissions Advice: What you can do now to help your child later


Figuring Out Freshman Year

Here are some tips. Please share with your kids!

  • Start to document activities, academic and extracurricular accomplishments, summer and work experiences.

  • Focus on time management skills: When will you do homework? How much time does it take you to complete homework thoroughly? What are you doing with your free time?

  • Discuss summer opportunities (e.g., a job or a summer course) with your school counselor and parents and research them on your own.

Strategies for Sophomore Year

Has your child taken the PSAT yet? Pre-ACT? Does your school offer either one or both?


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March Madness Can Make Colleges More Rejective

I am almost certain that after winning the NCAA men's football championship last year, the University of Georgia will have its largest applicant pool ever. Many schools reap the benefits of more applicants when their men's sports teams do well. Within our company we have seen a spike in applications to Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, UVA and Northwestern. Why? Because, as one student told me, “that’s where the smart jocks go.”


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. 


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