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The College Try

List of 10 news stories.

  • 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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  • 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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The Derryfield School

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