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The College Try

List of 10 news stories.

  • 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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  • 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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