The Importance of “Demonstrated Interest”

If you didn’t see it already, check out this article in the New York Times.  It explains well why “demonstrated interest” is one of the new buzzwords in college applications.  (And it also reaffirms why I make my students work so hard on their “Why this college?” essays!)

The article also does a great job of showing that there’s no real benefit to applying to more than seven or so schools.  If you do your research and choose your school well, it will all work out.  Don’t kill yourself on essays or spend a fortune on applications to schools whose acceptance rate hovers at 10%.  Learn to write better (and I’d love to help) and enjoy your senior year!

Excellent Advice for Senior Parents

admission imageValerie Strauss, whom I interviewed for my last piece on academic stress and advanced classes for Arlington Magazine, quotes another article with great information and advice for senior parents.  I found the information about actual college costs to be fascinating too.  Listen to this:

“For example, the cost of attending Pennsylvania State University runs about $30,000 a year for in-state students. At Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia, it’s nearly twice that, yet Swarthmore ends up being less expensive for most students, according to one of our stories that used Tuition Tracker. How could that be? The answer is that Swarthmore is among the private liberal arts schools offering hefty discounts, bringing down the average cost to even less than taxpayer-subsidized Penn State’s.”

Really? Wow.  Read the whole article here.

Touted by The Washington Post …

I’m incredibly pleased that the renowned education reporter, Jay Mathews, has called my article on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes “one of the best pieces ever on high school academic pressure.”  I worked long hours interviewing sources, poring through data, and crafting a balanced and thorough article.  Here are Mathew’s comments, and here’s my article in Arlington Magazine.

I’m also thrilled that my article may have an impact on parents and students who often sacrifice sleep and sanity for uncertain rewards.

The Joy of “Getting All the Lovely Words Just Right”

Tomorrow I start coaching my first students of the 2014-15 College App season.  It may seem early, but I’m thrilled that they’re getting a head start and will have — at least — their 650-word, Common App essay completed before the hectic senior year starts.  Most of my students are so used to scripted writing with very specific expectations — think AP exams and DBQ’s — that they don’t realize they can have fun with their college essays.

Writing your college essay should be a process filled with insight and the joy of “getting all the lovely words just right,” as dear old Professor Cronin used to say.  The essay can be a pause in the academic rush, a moment to take a breath and reflect on who you are and who you want to be.  All colleges want students who are capable of reflection and growth. All colleges want students who can identify and share the moments that define them.

It is an honor to coach my students to express such true and lovely words.

Interested in pursuing a STEM career?

The blog, Collegewise ,which is written by professional college consultants, can be a great source of information and sanity for students approaching college and their parents. I haven’t read the whole guide (here) — my kids haven’t leaned toward STEM careers so far — but it looks very thorough and helpful.

Also, I will be coaching rising seniors over the summer on their college essays. Getting the largest one — the 650 word Common App essay — done over the summer is a fabulous idea and will significantly reduce your first semester stress.  Email me or send me a message to find out more or reserve a date.  I promise it won’t hurt.

Happy writing!