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The College Try

List of 10 news stories.

  • College Admission Indigestion

    The cursor inches across the screen, ever closer to “Submit,” which squats in the corner like the portal to her future. Breathless, her face a blend of excitement and dread, she forces her hand the final inch and clicks. And it’s away: another early decision application launched into the admission cyber void. Over the past month, I have sat with dozens of high school seniors toiling over their early college applications. I watched as they laughed, cried, tweaked and obsessed over essays, forms, and procedures. Thanks to an amped up timeline, the majority of my seniors have submitted at least one application and are headed into the holidays as relaxed and carefree as I have seen them all fall. And yet their travails are far from over. Dare I tell them what lies ahead at the Thanksgiving table and other holiday gatherings?...
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  • College Admission: Repeal or Replace

    Breaking News: The United States healthcare system is imperfect—and by the way, so is college admission. Coincidentally, we know that access to both is beneficial but we cannot seem to figure out how to deliver either effectively. As private healthcare insurers compete for patients and scramble for profit, the main goal of treating illness in the most efficient and thorough way possible often falls by the wayside. Any attempt to remedy this flawed model is stymied by politicians whose pockets are lined with money from these very insurers. A similar situation prevails in the world of admission to college, but it happens more subtly, far from the halls of Congress....
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  • Applying to College: A Lifeline for Those Deadlines

    It is nearing the end of October and the temperature is rising. Not just on these eerily warm fall days, but also among high school seniors who are feverish with college admission angst as November 1st early application deadlines approach. While the leaves turn, so does the collective demeanor of once balanced and grounded young people....
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  • School and Choice

    At last my children have begun their summer reading, and this can only mean one thing… school will be starting in a matter of days! Though they both love to read, they are grumpy about literature “forced” upon them. Needless to say, my reminders that they had the choice to start earlier are not helping their frustration. Their whole middle school is reading Bystander by James Preller, a book about bullying and the importance of thinking for one’s self. Additionally each student must pick a separate book from a list of recommendations. As a result, in our house we have been talking a lot about school and choices as we approach a new academic year....
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  • Getting In [and Staying In] College

    However difficult getting into college may have been, it turns out, that may have been the easiest part of the transition to college life, admissions officials say. Inadequate preparation, unrealistic expectations and other issues that college freshmen don’t anticipate can become important obstacles to happiness and success. With about one-third of undergraduates transferring at one point in their careers and an even bigger percentage dropping out for financial and other reasons, staying in college is becoming increasingly hard for many students. So what do students and parents need to know to avoid disaster? Here is a piece offering advice from the professionals — counselors and students who have been through the transition process....
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  • Guiding the 98%: Counseling Non-Scholarship Athletes

    There is a mantra in the long-distance running community—“drink early and often.” Marathon running requires equal parts stamina and strategy, ample foresight and planning. So does the athletic recruiting process. A great deal of media attention is given to Division I athletics, with hype around early commitment, signing ceremonies, and full-ride scholarships. But what about the majority of college athletes—those who don’t anticipate huge scholarships and national attention? They need to “drink early and often” too....
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  • College the Independent Way

    Parades, fireworks, cookouts and other festivities will dominate the next few days for many Americans. With all the hoopla it is easy to forget that the Fourth of July is actually Independence Day, an event that marks something meaningful—the day, almost two and a half centuries ago, when thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. It was a time of transition when a young nation forged its own identity from oppressive British rule, a movement that required great resilience and grit. For me, Independence Day evokes thoughts about another kind of independence, that of young people breaking away from their parents....
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  • An Unusual Summer Reading List

    If you are like me, the pile of unread books has once again reached a tipping point, and the titles and subjects are broad and deep. Every year at this time I like to take this opportunity to suggest a few books for graduating seniors who will be starting the next chapter of their educational lives....
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  • Mad Men and Best Buys: Higher Education on Sale

    We will match or beat our competition’s prices! Don’t make your choice be about cost.”
    The students surrounding me at the college information session are wide-eyed and hopeful, though to me—somewhat jaded to the reality—it feels more like the sales floor at Best Buy....
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  • Sesame Street to Harvard Yard: Applying Kindness

    “Come and play, everything’s a-okay…can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?” What person—young or old—doesn’t know this song by heart? Sunny, cloud free days, sweet air, friends meeting outside open doors—a magical place where kindness is king and learning is pure. It was a simple time when we didn’t question the implausibility of a giant talking bird and it was totally normal to have an imaginary friend of mammoth proportions. We learned that even a green grouch who lives in a trashcan is deserving of compassion and is capable of showing his softer, caring side. But then came college admission....
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