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Advice from the Class of 2017
Accepted at College? Don't kick back yet!
Avoid the siren call of college prestige
The Gig Economy
Has your junior started writing college essays yet?

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College Talk Blog

Advice from the Class of 2017

As my students near graduation, I ask them what advice they are giving younger siblings and friends who are currently juniors and sophomores. The Class of 2017 agreed that the most important advice they are giving the classes of 2018 and 2019 is toSTART THE COLLEGE PROCESS EARLIER!

Most members of the Class of 2017 encountered surprises. The most common surprise they reported was how competitive college admission has gotten. Many of them thought a 3.75 GPA and a 1250 SAT score would be enough to get them admitted wherever they wanted except the ivies.

Accepted at College? Don't kick back yet!

This is the week by which students are supposed to make a decision. May 1 is the accept or reject an offer deadline nationally. The exception will be for students on a wait list for a college. Their decisions could come as late as July.

Students who do not officially accept an admission offer by May 1 at most colleges, will lose the admission offer and any scholarship money that was attached to it.

There is more work for students to accomplish during the same time period.
  • register for orientation
  • sign up for any needed placement tests

Avoid the siren call of college prestige

"Should we choose the well-known, prestigious college above all others?" is a frequent question from parents of high school juniors and seniors. Parents wonder if their soon-to-be college student will have better employment options at graduation if their college diploma has a highly-recognized, high profile college name on it. They also wonder if spending $60,000 per year will yield more success than spending $20,000 per year. The answer is no in most circumstances.

While the reputation of a college is important, what a student does while in college is even more important in terms of future career success and earnings.

The Gig Economy

What are you hoping to prepare your pre-college student for? Hopefully professional skills that are adaptable in a fast-paced, changing world. Current pre-college students can't count on one professional position or even a series of professional jobs to support themselves. They need to be able to roll with the new gig-economy.

The gig economy is one of adaptability, planning and awareness of what skills the student has that could be valuable to others. Students often have jobs but they increasingly also often have alternate gigs going on at the same time.

Has your junior started writing college essays yet?



It may seem early to think about college essays but now is the time to write them. Spring break is a great time to think about content. Writing a little each week can break this large task into small pieces.


Is your junior clueless about where to start? A personal statement of about 500 words is a great place to start. The personal statement is about personal history. Students can demonstrate who they are and how they got that way through a life event or a series of related activities. The essay should be a conversation that introduces them to the reader.