Jessie's Blog

admissionsONPURPOSE

The Battle I Won But Lost Anyway

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In the summer of 2005, we were renovating our home. One of the countless decisions that had to be made amidst the chaos of that project was whether or not to add a cable hook up in each of the three children's bedrooms. As a family, we had cable and we were keeping cable, but in my mind, hooking up the kids' rooms was a non-starter: "NO WAY! They'll be hiding in their rooms, by themselves, not learning how to negotiate the remote to decide between The Dukes of Hazard and The Six Million Dollar M…

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Does "Test-Optional" REALLY Mean Optional?

The pandemic has college admissions offices scrambling. They have long relied on test scores as one of the key variables they use to evaluate candidates, yet according to FairTest, two-thirds of colleges surveyed in October 2020 had been forced by our collective circumstances to adopt some blend of the test-optional or test-blind policy. 

MOST parents and students I speak with LOATHE standardized testing. Feelings aside, most still have questions about how to navigate this portion of the admi…

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The Essential Self and Right Fit

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What Do the Essential Self and the Right Fit Have in Common? 

The short answer: Everything.

The long answer is, well, longer than that, but we think it’s worth reading about, thinking about, and considering seriously.

Sociologist Martha Beck proposes that each of us has two selves that form the basis of our operations: a “social self” and an “essential self.” In Finding Your Own North Star, Beck lists the behaviors of these selves: The “social self” is avoidance-based, conforming, imitative, …

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Prepped and Polished Episode #231 — Talking Shop with Alexis

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Recently I got a chance to talk shop with nationally-recognized testing expert, Alexis Avila. He asked me to share what I thought were the best strategies to MAKE THE MOST OF THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS DURING QUARANTINE.

Click HERE and use the coupon code, PREPPEDANDPOLISHED, to get full access to online mini courses at our "College Admissions Made Simple" Virtual Academy. 

Listen to the podcast HERE

Watch the Video Interview HERE  

@preppedandpolished @compassU #authenticfutures #hellop…

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I Hired Jessie Sophomore Year!

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Jessie has been helping and supporting my triplets since sophomore year! We started with her at that time because the kids were looking to get additional advice (besides just that of their guidance counselor at school) as far as helping them with their schedules and deciding how many Honors and AP classes to take. She helped us in those early days with class selections, tutors, and SAT/ACT prep recommendations.

Then moving on to junior year, by that time she knew my kids well and were able to s…

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"It Must Be Hard to Be a College Admissions Consultant Right Now"

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Saturday, I was volunteering at our local ski area, handing out awards for the kids’ costume race. (Thing 1 and Thing 2 had performed a smashing dance, tapping away in their ski boots. My Cat in the Hat was concussed and sullenly left for home to avoid bright light.) That concussion, and the admissions scandal… plus another dozen or so other things that had come up that week had rattled me. But it was the scandal that really stuck, especially when another parent approached me to half-jokingly sa…

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Your App's EQ — Is It Loud and Clear? It Had Better Be.

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A recent cluster of articles (see links below) about a pending lawsuit challenging Harvard’s admissions reminds us of the importance of evaluating an application honestly before a student hits SEND. We can sometimes get so bogged down by the IQ of the application (e.g., test scores, GPA) that its EQ -- its intangibles -- falls by the wayside, or is, at best, an afterthought.

Let me begin with a few examples. But first, keep in mind that once most 17-year-olds cough up a rough draft or answer a …

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Navigating the Launch of Our College Graduate

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Beginning the process of letting go of Bryn at UChicago's Orientation 4 years ago. Check out that grip!


Bryn, our oldest, is graduating this weekend from UChicago. Natalie, a college junior, has just returned from Spain and is in the midst of a hard-earned internship at the local hospital. Aaron will be wrapping up his finals and preparing for a ski camp in Oregon, which starts the day after Bryn’s graduation. Mary will still be in school. And my mother, recently widowed, is in the midst of ha…

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Would you like to be paid $40,000 for turning off social media for an hour?

Delia came to me struggling with a low GPA and a desire to get into a BSN program. She knew her grades were not competitive for these programs. She said she was trying.  (Read Delia's full story here.)

I leaned toward her and smiled. “You’ve been trying very hard. I can see that. I want you to try one thing. Would you be willing to be paid $40,000 for turning off social media for an hour?”

“Sure, I mean, it can’t hurt, right?” she responded, dubiously.

“Turn your phone and all social media off whil…

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Does The Drop-Off Get Any Easier?

Aaron and I. September 2017. Move in day at Stratton Mountain School. #gosms #skifastaaron Photo Credit: Dad

 

Does it get easier? clients and friends will ask, referring to the school drop-off.

We have four children: boy (23), girl (20), boy (13), girl (11).W call them the Bigs and the Littles. (But only one husband!)

We’ve done the drop-off, the send-off, the lugging of rugs and small fridges and the fret of bedding with three so far for a total of nine times. And, did it get easier? Well, yes an…

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