May 7, 2018

You are not going crazy -- but college admission rates seem to be!  

Harvard and Stanford are both below 5%.  USC and Wesleyan are under 20%.   Places like Northeastern, Tulane, American and Bucknell take fewer than 30 percent of their applicants.

The listservs of the professional...

May 1, 2018

It's getting late in senior year, and it's crunch time!  Not for those seniors who (like almost all of my students) deposited at their top choice institution by May 1.  Those students are winding down, thinking about Prom and maybe the beach, looking forward to the last summer tethered to their chil...

April 1, 2018

It might not feel like it where you are, but Spring is technically here!  A look at the calendar (if not the snow on the ground) shows that summer isn't far behind.  Granted, it might arrive after two and a half more months of homework, reading and exams -- but it will arrive! 

Traditionally, su...

March 1, 2018

Everyone knows students have to compete for admission to selective colleges today.  More high school seniors are applying to more schools, more international students want U.S. educations, yet the number of seats available at top colleges and universities has barely budged. 

But where college we...

February 2, 2018

When you excitedly clicked on that e-mail or ripped open that thick envelope, you probably focused all your attention on the first word: "Congratulations!"  With luck, though, there was more to come, in the form of a merit scholarship.  These awards are often a kind of tuition discount, given to ent...

January 2, 2018

The internet is filled with college searchers, finders, matchers and comparers.  Just type in a few pieces of statistical data, and your perfect college list emerges!  

But does it?  While websites can provide valuable information, let's remember that statistics alone can't fully represent eit...

December 1, 2017

The world of college admissions has become increasingly complex in the last 25 years.  Students used to attend whatever college was within a couple hours' drive from their home.  Now, the US News rankings have increased awareness of institutions across the country, encouraging colleges to compe...

November 1, 2017

You’ve written four drafts, you’ve had your mother, your counselor, your teacher and your sister look it over.  You want to submit the best essay possible, but how do you really know when you’ve reached that point?  Is it finally time to declare your application essay DONE?

Ask yourself these qu...

October 1, 2017

Yield management (a/k/a marketing) officers at colleges have gotten the memo:  students like social media!  It is no wonder, then, that colleges have taken to new networks to promote their schools far and wide, without breaking the advertising budget.    Platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it p...

September 1, 2017

It's human nature: If we have a list, we want to rank it.  US News and World Report took full advantage of that tendency when it first published its college rankings in the 1980s.  While its goal might have been somewhat laudable at the time (to encourage students to consider colleges beyond their l...

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