College Pete

Is Test Optional Admissions Over? What This Means For College-Bound Teens

Is Test Optional Admissions Over? What This Means For College-Bound Teens

Earlier this week Dartmouth College, that esteemed Ivy League school located deep in the New Hampshire hinterland, announced that it would end its test-optional admissions policy starting with the incoming Class of 2029 (11th graders – that’s you!). In their announcement, Dartmouth cited new research linking performance on standardized test scores to performance on campus […]

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Our First Gift Guide For College & College-Bound Students

Happy Wednesday and Welcome to our first College Concierge Gift Guide! With Valentine’s Day a week away, we thought it was the perfect time to share some last min ideas for the college and college-bound students you love. For the past 18 years, we’ve been sharing our strategies to help you find and pay less […]

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More FAFSA delays & its Impact on College Decisions

More FAFSA delays & its Impact on College Decisions

In a normal year, the government rolls out its new FAFSA application in October. We prepare and submit the requisite financial aid document(s) on behalf of many of our students, much like an accountant prepares a tax return; and then, that information is forwarded by the DOE (within 2-3 days) to the colleges we’ve indicated. […]

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How March Madness Can Lead to Real Money in April

How March Madness Can Lead to Real Money in April

March Madness is around the corner, and with it comes my 15th annual University Generosity Bracketology. So I’m going to get right to the point. Some colleges are generous. Some colleges have strong basketball programs… …and some colleges are both generous AND have strong basketball programs. Why does all of this matter? There are two […]

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Huge Changes in Financial Aid Rules- What Every Family Needs To Know!

Huge Changes in Financial Aid Rules- What Every Family Needs To Know!

In 17 years of helping students and parents navigate the college admissions and financial aid landscape, I have personally prepared and submitted around 4,000 financial aid applications. During that time, there have been a few, relatively minor tweaks to the main financial aid application – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Well that’s about […]

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Record Setting LOW Admit Rates – What you need to know about your child’s admissions chances

Record Setting LOW Admit Rates – What you need to know about your child’s admissions chances

Today is ‘Decision Day’ for our college-bound high school seniors  (and the parents who love them). May 1 is the day that the deposits are due, and let’s just say it can be an equal parts anxiety-inducing and euphoric day. Mostly euphoric we hope, but the day can be anxiety-inducing for many because this year has been yet another record-setting year […]

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A New College Rankings System – And How to Build Your Optimal College List

A New College Rankings System – And How to Build Your Optimal College List

Faced with what The Wall Street Journal once called a ‘mind-numbingly complex’ process of evaluating 4000 universities and determining which are the ‘best’, families often turn to independently produced and widely-touted but rather dubious indices and rankings systems (yes, US News, I’m talking ’bout you). I have so many students who, when they’re first building […]

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Secrets to a Successful Financial Aid Appeal

Secrets to a Successful Financial Aid Appeal

Here’s a little something that many of our newer readers are surprised (in a good way) to learn. Unlike typical admissions decisions, the financial aid offers that accompany your admissions letters are far less final. With financial aid, you have more room to maneuver, to appeal, even (gasp!) to negotiate a stingy offer than you […]

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How To Overcome the Summer Doldrums & Do Something Positive That Will Help You Get Into (& Pay Less For) College

How To Overcome the Summer Doldrums & Do Something Positive That Will Help You Get Into (& Pay Less For) College

We’re in the 2nd half of July, which means we are closer to the first day of the ‘next’ school year than we are to the last day of ‘last’ year. And that means that too many soon-to-be 12th graders (or more likely, Moms and Dads who love them), are entering a code red, heightened […]

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What’s Next for College Admissions? A Reflection on the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Decision

What’s Next for College Admissions? A Reflection on the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Decision

I’m guessing that you’ve heard about last month’s Supreme Court decision to reverse Affirmative Action. But just in case you’ve been on an extended summer vacation sans technology (lucky you) and didn’t get the memo, the June 29 ruling effectively forbids colleges from utilizing ‘race-conscious’ admissions practices to diversify their campuses. Now as you might […]

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