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Applying to College

White House to States: Help School Counselors Now

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.02.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

The profession that has spent decades discussing student assessment and teacher tenure must radically improve the way school counselors are viewed and able to do their work in eight weeks.

Get Ready, College: I'm Coming For You

Ashley Castillo | Posted 06.16.2014 | Teen
Ashley Castillo

The way high school is set up (or at least how mine is) lends for a very repetitive schedule. As a senior who has one month of high school left, and already knows where I'm going to college, that is exactly what I am: tired of it.

4 Things Rising Seniors Can Do This Summer to Get an Upper Hand On College Admissions

Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz | Posted 06.02.2014 | College
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

Once you've gotten some energy back, then start your summer activities, whether that's work, volunteering, summer school, something else, or more likely, a combination of several things.

So You're Going to Your Safety School... Now What?

The Prospect | Posted 05.27.2014 | College
The Prospect

The sad truth of the college application process is that few students are actually admitted to the school of their dreams. Virtually all applicants receive rejection letters and ultimately end up compromising in one way or another.

The One Thing I Regret During The College App Process

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 07.14.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

If you're still deciding between colleges, make a list! Now is a good time to slow down and look into the nitty-gritty details. Put down statistics that matter to you, like costs, student body ratios, programs or subjects that you would like to pursue.

What Getting Into My Dream School Made Me Realize

Ashley Castillo | Posted 07.13.2014 | Teen
Ashley Castillo

All I could do was yell, "I got in! I got in! Mom, I got in!" Tears of joy streamed down my face and it hugged my mother. I couldn't believe it. I actually did it.

A Plea To Everyone Asking Me Where I Want To Go To College

Lilian Klatskin | Posted 06.29.2014 | Teen
Lilian Klatskin

You will ask me if I remember you, even though the last time you saw me, I was two months old. You will ask me what grade I'm in and I will tell you I'm a junior. And it's downhill from there.

Better College Advising? In Michigan, There's a Bill for That

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.24.2014 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

April is college decision month, and it's bringing more than its share of anxiety this year. Applications are up at many popular colleges, which mean...

The Life-Changing Decision I'm Prepared To Make

Stephanie Orozco | Posted 06.22.2014 | Teen
Stephanie Orozco

I read and read, and re-read again for clarity; my eyes were slowly adjusting to the hard and truthful fact that I was staring at an early acceptance letter from Smith College

A High School where Every Counselor is College Ready

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.22.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

It' s time to make good on a debt. Last fall, I challenged America's school counselors to improve college advising in their building by requiring eve...

It's Been A Roller Coaster Of A Ride

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 06.21.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

Looking back at senior year in retrospect, it was an emotional roller coaster where I almost lost all my motivation. In December, I was so worked up with not being accepted to my top choice school. Four months later, I'm a lot calmer.

Six Words of Advice for Parents of College-Bound Juniors

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.10.2014 | 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 06.08.2014 | 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 06.03.2014 | 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 05.27.2014 | 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 05.20.2014 | 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 05.17.2014 | 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 05.14.2014 | 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 05.11.2014 | 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 05.06.2014 | 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 05.05.2014 | 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 05.03.2014 | 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 04.29.2014 | 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...