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The College Try

List of 10 news stories.

  • The Danger of Romanticizing College

    We’ve all been there—love at first sight; eyes locking from across the room, that familiar rush of warmth and dizziness, the skies that suddenly seem that much brighter. It is tricky enough when our infatuation leads to unrealistic ideals of perfection in a partner, but it’s downright dangerous when we fall in love with a college this way. For high school students, this idealism is quite common as they develop romanticized expectations of the perfect school.
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  • How to Choose a College: Like a Kid in a Candy Shop

    Despite a decade of parenting, this week I made a rookie mistake. In the days leading up to the Easter holiday, I took my son into our local candy shop. With the sweet aroma of fresh chocolate and sugar taunting his senses, I allowed him to choose one item as a treat. He was paralyzed. “I don’t know how to decide,” he said—his initial excitement quickly besieged by choice. I immediately recognized the puzzled look of wonder on his face, as it resembled the high school seniors with whom I work trying to choose a college....
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  • March College Admission Madness

    Director of College Counseling Brennan Barnard relates the college decision process to college basketball's March Madness in his most recent Huffington Post blog.
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  • The College Interrogation

    Director of College Counselling Brennan Barnard and members of the Derryfield community were recently interviewed for a Wall Street Journal story about the frustration many high school seniors have with being interrogated about their college plans....
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  • Take Me to Your Leaders

    “The college invasion.” This is how my high school seniors describe the scene on our campus each fall. Admission visitors—like extraterrestrials—arrive in their rental cars with big smiles and stories of bright new worlds. Their message is always the same—“take me to your leaders....”
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  • The College Transfer Phenomenon

    Going through the college admissions process once can be emotionally wrenching—but more than a third of students choose do it again. A 2015 report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that more than a third of college students transfer and that nearly half of those do it more than once....
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  • Failing to College

    “Rejection,” she says bluntly, “that is what I’m afraid of. If I don’t get in, I’ll feel like a failure.” In a nationwide climate of hyper selective college admission, there has been a steady increase in such sentiments—an unwillingness to take risks and an alarming trend of failure-adverse anxiety....
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  • Education Is Understated

    Often the headlines lead with stories about ways in which the Granite State falls short. 

    “Kindergarten in New Hampshire isn’t Elementary” – USA Today 

    “New Hampshire Tops List for Highest Average Student Loan Debt in Country” – N.H. Journal 

    “N.H. Gives Least to Higher Education of any State in the U.S.” – Telegraph 

    These reports are all true, and we need to address each of these issues, dedicating the resources necessary to provide access and affordability, however, it is not all grim and disheartening.
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  • On Parenting, Fear, and the College Process

    In the next several months the 2016-17 college admissions season will play out, with the majority of students who have applied as freshmen for this coming fall learning which schools have accepted and which haven’t. Parents will be waiting too, many of them wrapped in fears about the future of their children....
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  • A Success Full New Year

    “Do you want to go to college?”
    Puzzled faces and uncomprehending stares greet this first question in my counseling office at The Derryfield School. It is a rhetorical question at a college preparatory school where 100% of graduates pursue higher education. It is almost as though I have asked if they like air and want to go on breathing it—utterly unconscious and invisible, not open to interrogation....
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