The Post Drop-Off Blues

In the past two weeks, eager college freshmen and their parents packed boxes for shipping or loading into the trunk of the car. There was most likely a trip to Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond for dorm essentials, or possibly to REI for pre-orientation wilderness trip gear. Inevitably, moms or dads shed some tears while saying goodbye to their college matriculant—or on the long drive home where they could veil their tears.

Some parents are surprised at the depth of the sadness they…

Every Essay Counts! How To Tackle the “Why This College?” Prompt

Many colleges ask a variation on the “Why do you want to attend our college question?” Their goal is to determine how well you know yourself and their college, if you have interests and ideas about what you want to gain from your college experience and to see if you are a good fit for the school. Keep these tips in mind as you write your “Why Us?” essay.

1. Be interesting.  Students applying to a popular Washington D.C. college often send us a first draft to this type of question with a lead…

Book Review: Fraternity by Alexandra Robbins

If you are considering Greek life in college (or if your child is), Robbins’ latest book takes a deep look into fraternity life at three different (not identified) campuses. By profiling different students in their journey through the rush process, and their experience as “brothers,” Robbins shows how significantly the experience can vary not only from one campus to another, but also from one house to another at the same college. She covers the risks—substance use disorder,…

How Not to Write an Admissions Essay: Pitfalls You Can (and Should) Avoid

There are many ways to write a college admissions essay, and students’ approaches range from the meticulous (pre-writing, outlining, and then writing) to the more free form. While we have offered advice on how to write the admissions essay, giving you advice on what to do is only part of the story. Here are some things that you should avoid when writing your college admissions essay (or any essay for that matter):

1. Writing Too Much – The Common Application main essay has a 650 word…

A Call for Help May Be The Secret To College Success

Why is asking for help so hard? The expectations of college are much different from high school. Students are in class less often and are expected to study independently. There are no parents around reminding them to do their work or get a head start on the paper.

This is a particular challenge for students who have relied on tutors, a learning center or other academic resources during high school. For students with learning differences, organizational or other challenges, the…

Unusual College Majors That Might Just Fit You!

Check out this list of off-beat majors. There might be something here you never even imagined you could study in college.

Entertainment Engineering and Design 

Do you love roller coasters? Do you wonder how Aquatica Orlando built its new 60-foot Ray Rush raft ride that ends in a plunge down a waterfall? Do you find yourself sketching ideas for a new Star Wars galaxy attraction? Then maybe a career as a theme park engineer is in your future. University of Nevada

Growth and Structure

Five Tips for Generating College Essay Topics

The main college essay in the Common Application is often referred to as a personal statement. Why personal? Because the essay should help the reader gain insight into who the student is as a person. It’s an essay that should be introspective and reflect what is meaningful to you. 

Before you turn to the empty document on your computer screen to start writing, it is essential that you spend some time thinking—about your life, your values and the memories you hold dear. Keep in mind…

Top 5 Experiences For Getting The Most From College

You’ll be off to college before you know it. You spent so much time thinking about applying, so now it’s time to think about what you will do once you arrive on campus.

Here are five essential experiences for your college years:

1. Join An Activity. Did you know that the number one initiative a student can take to ensure their happiness during freshmen year of college is to join an activity? This is backed up by reams of research. So get yourself to a club fair or log into the clubs and organizations…

Spotlight: Chicago Colleges

I recently toured five Chicago colleges as part of the Independent Educational Consultant’s Association conference. Here are profiles:

Lake Forest College is a small liberal arts college located in a beautiful town 30 miles north of Chicago. Its safe residential campus has a beach within walking distance, and its easy access to Chicago via commuter rail is very appealing to Lake Forest’s growing student body of 1550+ students. One outgrowth of this unique situation is a recent…

Tips for Getting Started on the Common Application

Before 1975, every college had a separate paper application that needed to be individually hand written or typed and sent via snail mail. The Common Application was introduced that year to provide a single application that could be completed once and sent to all schools.

The Common Application has come a long way since then, and now includes nearly 900 college members’ individual questions and supplemental essay requirements. Among the schools newly accepting the Common…

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