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The Do's and Don'ts for Parents and the College Admissions Process

I love my children dearly. As a father of four, there are only a few things I would not do for them to ensure their happiness. Would I choose their friends? No. Would I choose their their political affiliations? No. Would I choose their college? Absolutely not. Now remember, “choose” and “influence” are very different and I hope my model of how I live my life helps them to make wise decisions, but I would never outright choose any of the above for them.

I would, however, help them with their college application process. As a company we are knee deep with seniors and their applications and having parent involvement is critical and welcomed. Within reason. While all of us, as...

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3 Ways High School Students Sabotage Their College Process

Preparing for college demands steady effort throughout high school. However, even the most prepared of students can sometimes hurt their college chances by making simple mistakes that do not need to happen.

The college search and admissions processes should start early, and without this long-term, aerial view, many students and families students exhausted during the senior year. This can be avoided! Too often students “sabotage” their college process without even realizing it.

Below are three pitfalls that you want to avoid.

Being Dismissive of Freshman Year.

Some students think, and are even told, that freshman year is unimportant. Not true. Each year, when a college evaluates tens of...

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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, often times 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 is...

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How to Avoid "Senioritis"

If they have not heard already, within the next three weeks, seniors across the country will all know where they have accepted. Colleges use April 1 as a target date to notify all their applicants and most schools will actually release before then. Why? So they can capture the enthusiasm of their prospective student and hopefully yield them. In other words, market their school, make an offer and hope that the student (and parents) “buys”. Every school wants to win and be the student's number one. And although students can only accept one offer - and hopefully it's their true number one - senior spring can be a hard time to stay focused and finish strong.

But it doesn't have to...

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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, often times 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...

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{video} Now Let’s Scream CONGRATULATIONS!

It’s graduation season for all students in the class of 2018 and I love celebrating the accomplishments of our students. Whether it’s college, high school or even middle school, “stepping up”’ to bigger and better things is super exciting.

 

In my house, my 13-year-old son just graduated from the 8th grade last week. My little boy is going to high school! If you know me well, you know that family reigns supreme as my priority. I may be an educator, an admissions expert and an entrepreneur, but before anything else, I’m Keri’s husband and Kerry, Sai, Samara and Sydney’s dad.

 

Watch this video and laugh as my one and only son celebrates his...

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3 Things to Know About Summertime Visits and Interviews

Can we all agree that few things in life are better than summer? With the sun shining, most of us smile more, laugh more and simply enjoy our families.  With this light, pressure-free and optimistic spirit, this is the time for many rising sophomores and juniors to visit colleges and most seniors to interview.


“Will any students be on campus?”

This is the most common — and fair — question I get about summertime visits and interviews and their value. The answer is probably not, and while that may be a turnoff for some, it can be enlightening for others. College admissions offices give great tours in the summer without the pressure of marketing. They’re genuine and...

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What Parents Should Ask Their Child’s School Counselor

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 offers....

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Your Kid’s College List Should Look Like…….

No bigger question is on the mind of junior families right now than, “what should my kid’s college list look like?” Or to rephrase it: “where should he/she apply?” It can an easy question for some and a harder question for others. At this point, everyone should be at different stages of their list building.  However, there are a few commonalities that have to be implemented for every junior, and the sooner they are discussed, the sooner they can be addressed.

What kinds of schools are best for my kid academically?

Seems like a no-brainer but we find that too often social dynamics drive the college search process, and that’s foolhardy. College is school;...

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Civic Engagement vs. Community Service

Putting together a strong application for college involves more than just strong grades and SAT scores. It is dependent on a well-rounded application that paints a picture of who the applicant is. In addition to good grades, it is important to show that the applicant is more than just the numbers on the page. Sports, music, and community service are all great ways to augment strong academics; however, some people have questions about civic engagement and community service. What’s the difference? Can one activity be considered the same?

Civic engagement can be defined as working hard to meet the needs of the community. This overarching statement can leave many people looking for examples of what...

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