The HS Counseling Conversation

By Westborough School Counselors | Agree, disagree or just be more informed.

The tough pre-college talk I wish my parents had initiated

Before I went to college four years ago, my parents and I had a “work hard in class” talk and a “safe partying” talk. But we didn’t discuss what to do if stress morphed into anxiety or depression. We should have.<p>Instead, that summer almost every conversation I had with an adult included some …

High School

Top Colleges Are Cheaper Than You Think (Unless You’re Rich)

The list price at many private colleges has reached a bewildering sum of $70,000 a year. But the real price is often vastly lower.

Prices

The Two Most Important College-Admissions Criteria Now Mean Less

When so many students have outstanding grades and test scores, schools have to get creative about triaging applicants.<p>For generations, two numbers have signaled whether a student could hope to get into a top college: his or her standardized test score and his or her grade-point average.<p>In the past …

Time to Level Up

<i>This week we welcome Communications Officer (and former Assistant Director of Admission) Becky Tankersley to the blog. Welcome, Becky!</i><p>When you think …

How to find a college you’ll love

While some high school seniors planning to head off to college in the fall already know where they are going, the next six weeks will be critical for everyone else. Final admissions offers are beginning to roll in and students have until May 1, known informally as “Decision Day,” to make their …

Would You Rather…?

Would You Rather…? Yep. This question was a big part of the Olympic viewing experience at our house.<p>Would you rather have no training and compete in …

Liberal Arts Majors Are the Future of the Tech Industry

Alexei Vella<p>College students who major in the humanities always get asked a certain question. They’re asked it so often—and by so many people—that it should come printed on their diplomas. That question, posed by friends, career counselors, and family, is “What are you planning to do with your …

The disconnect between what colleges say and what students hear

Colleges and universities today flood the mailboxes of high school students with materials about their offerings — and some students take that as a message that the school has identified them as someone who they want to admit. That’s entirely wrong, but it’s just one thing that schools say or do …

Challenge By Choice

This past August I went backpacking in Scotland with 10 first-year Tech students. Our trip was led by Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech (ORGT). One of …

Six Myths About Choosing a College Major

Many colleges ask you to choose a major as early as your senior year of high school, on your admissions application. Yet there’s a good chance you’ll change your mind. The Education Department says that about 30 percent of students switch majors at least once.<p>Students get plenty of advice about …

10 Things to Know About Getting Into Your Dream College

There’s no magic formula for getting into a selective college, but over a decade covering admissions for The Chronicle of Higher Education, I’ve picked up a thing or two. These takeaways, based on hundreds of interviews with admissions deans over the years, may help you navigate the</b> …

What Colleges Want in an Applicant (Everything)

The admissions process is out of whack. Just ask the heartbroken applicant, rejected by her dream school. Ask high school counselors, who complain that colleges don’t reward promising students for their creativity, determination or service to others. Even the gatekeepers at some famous institutions …

College & University

Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not Alright

The first time Faith-Ann Bishop cut herself, she was in eighth grade. It was 2 in the morning, and as her parents slept, she sat on the edge of the …

Mental Health

College Advice I Wish I’d Taken

I taught my first class at Columbia University’s M.F.A. program this month, and even though I’ve been teaching college writing since 1993, I initially felt a little intimidated by the school’s regal campus. That, and regretful.<p>I enjoyed going to college at the University of Michigan, an hour from …

Social Media

The Real Campus Scourge

Across the country, college freshmen are settling into their new lives and grappling with something that doesn’t compete with protests and political correctness for the media’s attention, something that no one prepared them for, something that has nothing to do with being “snowflakes” and …

Mental Health

You Got In – Now it’s Time to Lean In

Last week I traveled to Scotland on a Tech Trek trip, backpacking with 10 of our incoming freshmen. Prior to the trip, these students only knew each …

Feds Announce FAFSA Security Changes, Sparking New Worries

In response to a major security breach, federal officials have announced a change to the financial-aid application that some worry could discourage …

College Admission: Think Helicopters, not Airplanes

At a conference in Newport, RI in July, I entered my name in a raffle to take a helicopter tour. On the day of the drawing, the organizer announced …

Dear Parents, It's Time to Let Go

<i>As a college professor for 21 years at both major universities and small colleges, I have had numerous conversations with students about what they</i> …

Our Bad. Your Problem.

We had an office retreat last week. One session included a quiz on Gen Z vernacular. While our results were kept anonymous, I’m going to out myself …

Dropping Out of College Into Life

“I never pegged you for a dropout,” a family friend said when I moved back home to sleepy Owensboro, Ky., after my freshman year of college.<p>In high school I had been a stereotypical overachiever. Because my grades were good, I had little doubt that I’d excel in college. Instead, I did the opposite. …

On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Last year, during fall orientation at Smith College, and then again recently at final-exam time, students who wandered into the campus hub were faced with an unfamiliar situation: the worst failures of their peers projected onto a large screen.<p>“I failed my first college writing …

College & University

Will a college admission dean follow his own advice?

A little less than a month and a half from now, on August 1, my college admission colleagues and I will ring in the new admissions year with the …

College & University

How to Keep Your College Admission Offer: Start With Digital Literacy

Harvard has rescinded acceptance offers to at least 10 incoming freshmen who posted offensive jokes about school shootings, the Holocaust, bestiality and the death of children and minorities — among other obscene topics — to a private Facebook group.<p>The jokes were posted in the form of memes, those …

Social Media

Why I turned down my dream school for financial security

As we roll further past the May 1 deadline for college decisions, I keep seeing the requisite litany of posts about where my high school-aged Facebook friends are headed for college.<p>They filter through my news feed in colorful fanfare, from the standard announcement to the acceptance letter photo …