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The College Try

List of 10 news stories.

  • College Apps: How to Stand Out in Eight Minutes

    A recent Wall Street Journal article on the lightning fast pace at which college admission decisions are made at competetive schools today featured Derryfield senior Caleb Richmond and advice from Director of College Counseling Brennan Barnard. Derryfield students put a lot of time and effort into a college essay that reflects who they are as candidates, and they receive a lot of guidance from Barnard and faculty advisors on how to make their essays stand out from the crowd. Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal or below....
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  • Getting (with)in: College, Acceptance and the New Year

    The new year is here, and with it, resolution season: our chance to kick a habit, be kinder, pursue a new interest, dedicate ourselves to a cause, hit the gym, the list goes on and on. As the calendar resets, it is an opportunity to start anew and to imagine what might be different. Over the years, my resolutions have run the gamut from concrete commitments like learning to play guitar or getting more sleep, to less tangible aspirations such as finding more joy each day....
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  • College Admission “Festivus”

    College counselors who work in secondary schools, and college admission officers who represent universities, are by and large affable people. We are in this field not because we revel in being “gatekeepers,” but because we love students and deeply value education and the opportunities it brings. Conversations at professional conferences are typically wide-ranging, entertaining and passionate; from football to politics; from travels to cooking; from The Simpsons to Stranger Things....
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  • College Admission Disappointment: A Parents’ Guide to the Holidays

    I can viscerally remember the excitement leading up to Christmas day as a child. My wish list to Santa would be drawn up and refined well before the first snowflake fell. Inevitably there were big-ticket items that I dreamed of, and even though I was aware of my slim odds of receiving these gifts on Christmas morning, the anticipation and hope always lingered just the same. I lacked the ability to manage my expectations to the extent that by Christmas dinner, I would often slip into a deep funk, despite the many wonderful gifts I had received. Somewhere in the excitement and yearning, I had lost perspective and overlooked the meaning of the tradition....
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  • The College Communication Disconnect

    In a recent collaborative piece with Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admission at Georgia Tech, for The Washington Post, Derryfield's Director of College Counseling Brennan Barnard explores how messages from colleges can be misinterpreted or lost in translation by college applicants....
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  • Barnard Helps More NH Students Become #collegebound

    In this piece for the Concord Monitor, Brennan Barnard talks about his work with the NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation's "I Am College Bound" campaign to facilitate the college process for local high school students who might not otherwise have considered pursuing higher education....
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  • 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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