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Applying to College

My Commencement Address for This Year's High School Graduates

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 08.12.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Those same classmates are swearing college will be different, that they'll be more focused and organized -- but that's only a hope, when what they really need is a plan. Be strong. Be you. Let the crowd pass by without you.

7 Cool College Programs You Might Not Know About

| Posted 06.03.2013 | Teen

By Sammie Levin Between filling out the Common App, mustering up the courage to ask your English teacher to write you a recommendation letter, and ...

Dare to Do -- Take a College Counseling Class This Summer

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.29.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

This is a tough time of year to be a school counselor. You are giving every free moment to life at school, running the awards assembly, putting the final touch on next year's schedules, calling parents to tell them graduation will have to wait until summer school's over.

College Is Pricey and Irrelevant. Really?

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.17.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

The college experience can't be fully be realized if the only way students meet is through a screen, or rushing to get credentialed to be a better worker. College is more than learning a trade; it's also about learning to be a better person.

An Open Letter to High School Juniors

Ana Homayoun | Posted 07.10.2013 | College
Ana Homayoun

I am not going to tell you everything is going to work out like you want it to, and I am not going to tell you that everything will be fine. What I will say is this: Millions of people have survived the college admission process, and you will too.

Visiting a College Campus in Summer (or Fall, or... )

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.09.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Campus visits are a key part of college planning, even in the summer. Here's a quick review of the college visit ground rules, with a few special summer tweaks.

Colleges Still Looking for Seniors--and Offering Cash!

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.07.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

There's still ample time to apply to colleges eager for your application. Every year, the National Association for College Admission Counseling releases a Space Availability Survey in May.

Applying to College? Four Things Juniors Should Do Now

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.03.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Given this frenetic level of activity, this probably isn't the time to be talking about fall -- but there are a few autumnal things to put on the smartphone, personal planner, or family fridge.

How Many Detroit Grads Can Go to College for Free? All of Them

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.26.2013 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

Free college for every single one of Detroit's high school graduates. The beginning of business as usual.

I'm Only A Shophomore And Am Already Overwhelmed

Morgan Levy | Posted 06.23.2013 | Teen
Morgan Levy

Looking at the other grades counting down the days until summer, I am envious. While they are all off on exciting adventures, nearing exciting portions of their lives, all I am feeling is apprehension. My summer? A mountain of summer work.

To (All) the Girls Who Rejected Me... an Ode to Suzy Lee Weiss

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.22.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Like me, millions of 40-something men, with prom season approaching, are looking back at our high school years, and asking themselves how they failed to get the most attractive, witty, and charming girls to date us. It's simple: For years, they -- we -- were lied to.

The Most Important Interviews Of My Life

Alberto Rangel | Posted 06.22.2013 | Teen
Alberto Rangel

It was a snowy Saturday afternoon, and I was walking through downtown Chicago, heading to an interview, and I was nervous. For starters, the interview was for Harvard! And second, I was lost!

I Can Tell You Now -- Their Essays Were Meh

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.19.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

This is the second year in a row college admissions officers have told me that application essays, as a group, were pretty disappointing. They use phrases like "they're writing too safe" and "we appreciate the effort," but what they mean is clear; they were given celery when they were looking for steak.

'I'm Ready To Live In A Dorm Room And Survive On Ramen!'

Anangie Martinez | Posted 06.17.2013 | Teen
Anangie Martinez

College is the first major step in life after high school, and the anticipation is killing me. I never thought I'd say this, but I am ready to live in a closet-size dorm room and survive on Ramen.

The 4 Stages Of Rejection

Emily Truong | Posted 06.15.2013 | Teen
Emily Truong

Unlike choosing between spending two hours on painful calculus problems and watching The Vampire Diaries, this decision will be incredibly, unbelievably difficult. But wherever I go, I will be happy -- even if it's not Yale or Columbia.

Is The Stress Really Worth It?

Reema Kakaday | Posted 06.12.2013 | Teen
Reema Kakaday

In 10 years, no one will really care how many AP classes you took, whether your high school GPA was a 3.4 or a 4.3, or how well you did on your SAT. People care about the kind of person you are, and how you treat him or her and the ones around you.

Applying to College: How to Make the Most Out of a College Fair

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.12.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

You'll get some solid information on which colleges are road trip-worthy, and some solid information about yourself as well -- truly a dynamic duo.

Better College Options? Michigan's Legislature Can Help

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.03.2013 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

A major breakthrough was announced last week to help low-income students attend college. The news gives educators and policy makers an opportunity to right a devastating wrong that has derailed the college dreams of many of Michigan's students.

How To De-Stress During Those Last Few Weeks

Alberto Rangel | Posted 06.02.2013 | Teen
Alberto Rangel

During this period of uncertainty, taking a break helps keep me from getting overwhelmed by the waiting. Most of the time, I read. This helps me relax and forget (for a little while) about all homework and scholarships and decision letters.

So Accept Me, Maybe?

Emily Truong | Posted 05.30.2013 | Teen
Emily Truong

Maybe I shouldn't have joked that I wanted to be an actuary partly because I heard it was a great career for people who didn't consider themselves too social. Had I pronounced Anna Karenina right? Had I shown my love for Yale clearly enough?

Why I Framed My College Rejection Letter

Marc Rinosa | Posted 05.29.2013 | Teen
Marc Rinosa

I'm not going to graduate as the valedictorian or the salutatorian of my class. Heck, I'm not even graduating in the top 20 percent of my class. But to me, just being able to walk the stage, take that diploma, and leave as a high school graduate -- that is success to me.

Making The Most Of Our Last Moments

Toshe Ayo-Ariyo | Posted 05.28.2013 | Teen
Toshe Ayo-Ariyo

I finally have time to fully enjoy high school life -- but instead of making me sad or afraid to leave, it's just making me even more excited for all of the experiences that are in my future. For now, though, I'll soak in every moment of these last few weeks while I can.

'I Just Want To Go To College Already!'

Anangie Martinez | Posted 05.27.2013 | Teen
Anangie Martinez

I just want to go to college already! I want to walk through the quad, make my own schedule and be freed of teenage angst. I want to listen to a lecture by a world-renowned scholar. I want to study abroad in Paris and drink café au lait. But alas, I'm still a high school senior.

How To Survive 'The College Wait'

| Posted 03.25.2013 | Teen

By Maddie Bourque Senior year of high school is, without question, extremely stressful. With early decision deadlines as early as November 1st, the...

How to Read Financial Aid Offers

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 05.20.2013 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Since paying for a college education is like buying a new car every year for four consecutive years, understanding what you're getting into is a must. Here's how.