Waitlist Wisdom


It used to be that at the end of each application season students got thick envelopes that signaled their acceptances, or thin envelopes that dashed their hopes. With most…

Protecting Your Family Against Digital and Identity Theft


My 24-year-old graduate-student son recently had a terrible experience that offers many lessons to college-aged students and their parents. As a nice, smart kid who typically…

High School Course Selection


As an admission officer at a very selective college, perhaps the most common question I had to field was this: "Will colleges care more about my grades or about the rigor of my…

Going Off to College


With no test preparation, college applications or school schedules to worry about, the summer after senior year is a wonderful moment of liberation! Thinking about the adventure…

Planning Your Summer with College in Mind


Are you a high school student (or the parent of one) who is wondering how best to spend your summer? What do colleges expect high school students to do during their school…

College searching: what information matters and why


This summer rising seniors and juniors are actively researching colleges in order to plan trips and identify the schools to which they may want to apply. These are indeed…

On writing your college essay


As we enter July, rising seniors should be giving serious thought to the college application. Many of you will not find this a happy thought, since starting the essay seems so…

History as a college major?


Recently the History Department at Rice University offered a class on "Methods and Theory in History," aimed at introducing history majors to the demands of upper division…

Almost there: the academic performance of accepted students


With March well on its way, many high school seniors have either been accepted into Early application schools or are beginning to receive acceptance letters from their Regular…

14 Tips for good college visits


With spring break ahead, many families are planning campus visits with their juniors and sophomores.  Demonstrating your interest to a college by visiting the campus is a good…