Don't just apply to college… Position yourself.

Archive for the 12th Grade Category

How Parents Can Help–Or Not–with College Essays

How Parents Can Help–Or Not–with College Essays

“Our patience will achieve more than our force.” -Edmund Burke. Years ago, I sat in a New Jersey auditorium listening to a Vanderbilt University roadshow information session. The young admissions representative and Vandy alum was also a graduate of Delbarton, a premier local private high school, and […]

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Tips for College Trips

Tips for College Trips

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.” – Alfred Adler. A few years back, I participated in a whirlwind tour of MidAtlantic colleges, accompanying a good friend and her daughter, a rising high school senior. On the drive back, the three of us made a list […]

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Does the College Essay Topic Matter?

Does the College Essay Topic Matter?

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling. “Don’t write a sports essay. Admissions people see so many of those, and they get bored.” The above advice is often given to confused high school students, who are desperately trying to […]

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“Confessional” College Essays

“Confessional” College Essays

“Never say more than is necessary.” – Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Recently, a family returned from a university information session, confused and upset about essay advice offered by the admissions representative. “Avoid the three D’s,” she recommended. “Death, Divorce and Disease.” This cynical advice gave this family the impression […]

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College Essays: Eight Grammatical Blunders to Avoid

College Essays: Eight Grammatical Blunders to Avoid

“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.” – Michel de Montaigne. As a college consultant, I have suggested edits for thousands of essays. I am in awe of the imagination and honesty of American teenagers;  I never grow tired of reading […]

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“Why University of X?” College Essay

“Why University of X?” College Essay

“Praise us as we are tasted, allow us as we prove.” – William Shakespeare. When I work with high school students on this essay, asked in some way, shape or form in most school-specific supplements to the Common Application, their knee-jerk response is to play back obvious answers. […]

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Parents, Teens…and the Dance of College Applications

Parents, Teens…and the Dance of College Applications

Years ago, when I was studying group dynamics and family therapy at Columbia University Teachers College, I couldn’t get enough of the books by one of the institution’s most famous alums, Dr. Harriet J. Lerner. Her bestsellers include The Dance of Anger,  The Dance of Intimacy, and The Mother […]

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Preparing to Major in…the Performing Arts

Preparing to Major in…the Performing Arts

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” – Rumi. Your son or daughter is not just  a “triple threat,”  a performer who excels in acting, singing and dancing. He or she is an academic superstar as well. How can you help your teenager […]

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How to REALLY Decide on a College

How to REALLY Decide on a College

“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” – William Shakespeare. Your high school senior will be receiving responses from his or her prospective colleges by mid-March (or the first of April) and the universal enrollment deadline is the first of May. […]

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Honorable Adulthood

Honorable Adulthood

“…God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and see our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us.” – Major Sullivan Ballou. September, 1990. Our son was six months old. My husband and I were engaged in Ken Burns‘ PBS documentary, The Civil War, whenever […]

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