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...

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...

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...

August 2, 2017

When starting to research colleges, some students immediately turn to the internet.   And there's no question that college websites and social media can provide up-to-date information and real-time student views of an institution.  But today I want to plead for three books (physical books!) that des...

April 1, 2017

By its nature a circle has no beginning or end, and so it is with college applications.  Just as the seniors are stepping off the merry-go-round, juniors are stepping on.  It's important to get both those endings and beginnings right.

April 1st used to be a general notification date, but many sc...

March 1, 2017

Virtual tours can be a significant way to gather information about a college a student would like to consider, particularly if it is one that would be costly to travel to in person.  Here are some tips regarding what you can and can’t expect to get from a virtual tour:

  • Use the virtual tour as a p...

February 2, 2016

Like college counselors everywhere, I have done my share of ranting against the US News college rankings. The US News algorithm measures the wrong things, leads to questionable conclusions and induces dysfunctional behavior in both colleges and applicants.  However:  it is human nature to try to fin...

January 1, 2016

Located in a beautiful suburban setting only a half-hour train ride from Grand Central Station, Sarah Lawrence College offers an intellectual enclave with plenty of connections to the outside. The campus environment is liberal, liberal, liberal, with social justice, inclusion and personal tolerance...

December 1, 2014

In America, we all talk about going to “college”.  But a majority of young people go to public institutions, often called “universities.”  What’s the difference, and how should it affect where a student applies?

The truth is, all “undergraduates” go to college.  Sometimes the college stands by i...

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