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Applying to College

Six Words of Advice for Parents of College-Bound Juniors

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 04.10.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

It may be hard for parents to watch students struggle at first with this important task, just as it wasn't easy to watch them strike out at the plate, listen to their first violin solo or feel them let the clutch out too soon.

Don't Count on a 'Hook' to Get You Into College

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 04.08.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Interests can make for a richer college, so they can make for a richer application; but if this year's admissions decisions have taught us anything, nothing is a sure bet.

What This Year's College Results Mean to Next Year's Seniors

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 04.03.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

The smoke is still clearing after the last college notifications were sent to the Class of 2014, but it isn't too early to use this year's results to ...

What to Do When You Hear From Colleges

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 03.27.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

You have it all pictured in your head. The bell rings, you calmly open the email from the college of your dreams, and -- you're admitted! You receive the accolades of your teacher and your classmates. But remember -- that's what happens in your head, not in your school.

Defending the SAT. Really.

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 03.20.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Past changes to SAT (originally an aptitude test) have made it a little more like the ACT (an achievement test), and these new changes are likely to make it even more so. If these changes really make them alike, fewer students will take both tests, leading to less time on testing and test prep, and more time on going to school. That's a win.

Why I Can't Relax About College (Just Yet)

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 03.17.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

While trying to calm me down, my mother called this ordeal the test to become an accountant, and that it's just one of the things that I'll have to deal with as an adult. After this whole fiasco, I don't think I'm fit to be an accountant.

SAT Changes, and Advice for Ninth Graders

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 03.14.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

There's been a good deal of news about the changes to the SAT--so much news that it seems to be causing confusion among students and their parents. ...

What I Wish I Could Change About The College App Process

Ashley Castillo | Posted 03.11.2014 | Teen
Ashley Castillo

I also wish schools had a better way to communicate with applicants. Like, calling you or emailing you and telling you the next step in the process so you can be sure you're on top of things. But I guess that's just the high school student in me talking.

MCAN, Charter Schools, and Moms--I Apologize

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 03.06.2014 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

Even though I haven't tried to hurt anybody's feelings in this space, there has been an instance or two where a column made people write me in the las...

7 Things That Shouldn't Affect Your College Decision

| Posted 03.05.2014 | Teen

By Brooke Robbins College decisions are stressful—there are so many things to consider! What do your parents want? What do your friends want? But...

The Moment I Knew I Found The Perfect College For Me

Stephanie Orozco | Posted 03.05.2014 | Teen
Stephanie Orozco

After revising and editing the writing supplement with my mentors and clicking submit, I couldn't help but smile at the confirmation page. At that moment, I finally believed that I had discovered my ideal college!

Leveling the Playing Field: Curbing Cheating in College Admissions

James Werner | Posted 03.03.2014 | College
James Werner

The massive amount of information that flows through an admissions office often means that there is no time to double check the facts. The strain on resources, time and funding has led to increased opportunities for cheating.

Objections to Better Training in College Advising

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 02.27.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Readers of this space are more than familiar with my favorite topic--but in case you're brand new, here's the summary: • Most school counselors rec...

5 Ways To Get Started On College Apps Before Senior Year

| Posted 02.27.2014 | Teen

By Lily Herman High school seniors everywhere are sitting next to their mailboxes, anxiously awaiting decisions from their respective colleges. Bu...

This Is The Role Of Parents In The College Application Process

Jeannie Borin | Posted 02.26.2014 | Fifty
Jeannie Borin

It's incredibly hard to believe that our kids are heading off to college or are already there. As parents, we reflect on their growing years, our involvement at their schools, at sporting events or making costumes for their plays.

What Makes a Great College Essay

Jeannie Borin | Posted 02.21.2014 | College
Jeannie Borin

A great college essay is more than a good story.

There Will Always Be Someone 'Better' Than Me (And That's OK)

Sarah Convissar | Posted 02.18.2014 | Teen
Sarah Convissar

Though I am not a fan of high school, I feel that it is a comfort zone. It's the same monotonous routine for four years but at least I know what to expect. College signals a new chapter in my life. That excites and terrifies me at the same time.

How I Overcame A Bad Case Of Writer's Block

Stephanie Orozco | Posted 04.16.2014 | Teen
Stephanie Orozco

Now, I can see how competitive the application process is. If I would have spent winter break doing something else rather than college applications, then I am sure I would have been lagging behind in the race to get to college

Applying to College In Another Age

Jeannie Borin | Posted 04.15.2014 | College
Jeannie Borin

If universities are requesting and requiring all these components, students are entitled to know what to do and what it all means. As long as most schools do not provide the adequate guidance, admissions remains a complicated process.

Choosing a College: The First Search

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 04.15.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

"Hi Mom. Sorry I'm..." "Oh Bobby. Thank goodness you're home. I need your help." "My help? But Mom, it's..." "I know you're busy, but I can't ge...

What I Learned About Myself From Applying To College

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 04.12.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

After my winter break marathon of eight college applications, I feel as though a huge boulder has been lifted off my back. One thing I learned during this process: the best essays aren't written at the last minute. Don't do it.

Are You Relying On Strangers To Predict Your College Future?

This article was written by teen reporters from The Mash, a weekly publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools. By Bizzy Emerson, Glenbard ...

9 Non-Academic Things To Look For In A College

| Posted 02.06.2014 | Teen

By Nadia Ramlakhan It’s almost time to make your big college decision! But after you’ve spent so much time visiting and researching colleges, w...

Mr. President, School Counselors Are This Close to Being Happy(er)

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 04.05.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Mr. President, it's easy to tell you've been thinking about school counselors, and we really appreciate it. The recent White House summit on college ...

2014 Redux: Juniors' January to June College Admissions To Dos

Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz | Posted 03.30.2014 | College
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

Zowie! It's almost February of your junior year! Because college admissions officers are super-interested in this particular year, think about ways you can really shine in academics and extracurricular activities. Here are some things to think about and do now and through next June.