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List of 5 news stories.

  • The College Admission Blind Taste Test

    I grew up in the 1970s and '80s in what was a war-torn America. Cola wars that is. I was from a Pepsi family and though I had friends from Coke families, that doesn’t mean I understood their misguided preferences. To be honest, I don’t know why we were a Pepsi family, it was just always how it had been. It was what we knew and we were loyal to our brand. Then came the Pepsi Challenge where representatives from the cola company would set up a table in a public location and administer a blind taste test to passers-by. After sampling both brands without the label, one was asked to choose the soda that tasted the best. Convinced that I was uninfluenced by marketing, tradition or peer pressure, I accepted the challenge....
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  • The Perfectionist's Guide to the College Essay

    The glow from the laptop reflects off his forehead as he stares at the screen, paralyzed by panicked perfectionism. The Common Application essay prompts are neatly copied onto the blank document, taunting him with possibility. His young mind races from topic to topic, each of which he dismisses immediately. The championship soccer game…cliché. His meaningful relationship with his deceased grandfather…overdone. The first time he received a grade below an “A” on an English paper...trite....
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  • Education's Opiates: Prescribing Selective Colleges

    Parents, high schools and colleges are feeding an addiction of sorts— abetting an epidemic of perfectionism and expectation while promoting a “high” of status and prestige. After two decades of working with young people in college admission, it is increasingly apparent that driven by fear and uncertainty, we are “overprescribing” achievement and ambition while jeopardizing the health and wellness of our children. The parallels between selective college admission and the drug crisis are frightening and though not as immediate or severe, the impact of resume building—doing more and being more—is serious all the same....
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  • Parenting the College Applicant as an Admission Dean

    How do dentists feel when they are at the dentist? Is it as miserable as it is for the rest of us, or is it easier because they know the routine? I wonder about this phenomenon more generally, including my own profession, college admission counseling. What is it like to relinquish one’s role as the expert—comfortable, or will I squirm like every other parent? Is it enlightening to see one’s profession from another perspective or terrifying?...
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  • A College Admission Revolution

    Independence Day—it is a day on which we celebrate freedom from tyranny and oppression. It is an opportunity to commemorate a successful revolution and recall the importance of self-rule. It has also become a chance to take a mid-summer break and enjoy festive connection, appreciating good food and good friends. Unless of course, you are a rising high school senior, in which case, you now must confront the growing threat of college admission creep....
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