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The College Try

List of 10 news stories.

  • 2019 College Admission Influencers

    As the end of December nears, it is that moment when we take stock of the year that was. Time publishes the Person of the Year (you go Greta) and Oxford Dictionary identifies the Word of the Year (in 2019 it is the phrase “climate emergency”...I sense a trend). Meanwhile, there is no shortage of “best of” lists, including top stories, photos, songs, and movies. As we review the year, we ask what changed and who made it happen? There is no debating that 2019 was a rollercoaster of news, scandals, lawsuits, and controversy in college admission, but who were the most influential people in the field?...
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  • The College Admission Year In Review

    Every New Year’s Eve, my father poses a question. It is simply stated, but complex in response: 
    “What was the greatest advancement or change this year?”...
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  • The College Admission ‘Deadline’

    Let us begin with the premise that nobody is getting shot over their college application. Despite what some students may think, when one applies to college is not a matter of life or death. Still, as with many things in life, there are basic expectations and rules to follow....
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  • College Admission Decisions and Sympathetic Joy

    “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” At least that is what Andy Williams’ Christmas album has reminded us each December for decades. No matter what holiday you celebrate, it is hard to deny the cheer in the air this season. Something is exciting about unwrapping that first holiday present with joy—regardless of what is inside—simply because someone was thoughtful enough to share a gift with you. We are in an era when “unboxing videos” (yes it is a thing) and reveal parties are all the rage. Whether it's opening up a new iPhone, disclosing the birth gender of a baby, announcing a new job, or celebrating an engagement, a whole industry has emerged around anticipating surprises and sharing good news....
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  • College Admission Gratitude

    This fall I had the great fortune to present workshops about college admission throughout the country. I spoke with parents, students, teachers, administrators, counselors, admission deans, consultants and other educators about applying to college, character, athletic recruiting and writing. I was constantly inspired by the depth of experience and commitment to opportunity that I found in my travels. Though the messages and themes of each workshop differed, there was one common experience in each session: gratitude....
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  • What Matters In College Admission

    A look of surprise and encouragement washes over his face and with earnest he exclaims, “You mean that matters?”
    I am sitting in my school counseling office reviewing a high school senior’s college application, and I have asked why there is no mention of the hours he spends at home after school caring for his grandfather....
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  • Image by Nikolay Georgiev from Pixabay

    The Truth About College Admissions

    Over the past year, college admission has been riddled with mistrust. We have watched as families fixate on commercial college rankings — as if they were reliable indicators of quality — while erroneously tying admission selectivity to success in college and life. Some parents have tried to buy their children’s way into college, and others have even forfeited guardianship of their offspring to cheat the financial aid system....
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  • Barnard Co-Authors Book on College Admissions

    In 2019, the stakes in college admissions have never seemed higher. With ever-plummeting acceptance rates and parents willing to pay massive sums of money to secure spots for their children at “elite” schools, many families approach college applications with unanswered questions. Responding to the current sentiments surrounding college admissions, Derryfield’s Director of College Counseling, Brennan Barnard, has co-authored a new book that aims to mitigate confusion and anxiety....
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  • Admission Deans Share Tips For College Applications

    The end of summer feels imminent—not just because the airwaves are inundated with back-to-school advertisements, but also due to the growing frequency of calls to my high school counseling office. With the school year approaching, college applications are weighing heavily on rising seniors’ minds. While colleges and universities have a variety of application plans and deadlines, many students can expect to have at least one application due by early November. Yes, this is over three months away, but the fall can be hectic with classes, sports and activities....
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  • Image by Steve Johnson from Pixabay

    Finding Common Joy In College Admission

    What are the first three words you think of when you hear college admission application? Go ahead, take a moment and write them down. I had my suspicions for how students would respond, but nonetheless decided to conduct an unscientific poll of the young people with whom I work in a variety of settings. Intimidating, lengthy, boring, hard, nerve-racking, annoying, a grind, stressful, complex, daunting, competitive, perilous, one-dimensional and terrifying—these were just a few (those that were appropriate to print) of the adjectives that emerged. Do these align with the words that you just wrote or were you more optimistic?
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