College Pete

It Only Takes 15 Minutes, On Average

It Only Takes 15 Minutes, On Average

Yesterday I joined a private webinar led by two admissions representatives from highly selective universities- one from an Ivy League school, and the other representing a highly selective, private, southern university. Every so often I participate in these kinds of webinars to stay fresh and to stay on top of any trends or changes in […]

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‘This is Crazy!’ What’s Happened To All The ‘Safety’ Schools?

‘This is Crazy!’ What’s Happened To All The ‘Safety’ Schools?

On the very first page of the very first book I ever wrote (ok, co-wrote) about college (Never Pay Retail For College) I referred to college admissions as being in a ‘Code Yellow’ State of Emergency. Since I’m pretty sure there were only about four people who read that book (including my mom), here’s the […]

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The ONE Course That All Competitive Colleges Want You To Take in High School

The ONE Course That All Competitive Colleges Want You To Take in High School

I have, for several years now, been tracking and recording a considerable amount of data (both anecdotal and empirical) on college admissions and financial aid decisions. And yes, I do know that I’m a bit of a geek! That notwithstanding, I do use this information to help inform my opinions and how I advise my […]

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Are As More Important than APs?

Are As More Important than APs?

Though we’re but three weeks into the New Year, it’s time for many of our teen readers (and the parents who love them) to pick NEXT YEAR’s classes. Yup, many high schools have already distributed 2022-23 course cards and the rest will do so soon. Though often overlooked or done in haste, choosing the right high […]

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Spider-Man, College Admissions ‘Decisions v Offers’, When/How To Appeal

Spider-Man, College Admissions ‘Decisions v Offers’, When/How To Appeal

My kids and I went to see Spider-Man: No Way Home last Friday night. It was pretty awesome – 2 and a half hours of non-stop blockbuster adventure – with a teeny tiny, small but important lesson for college-bound high school students. Quick PSA for those who haven’t seen it yet: This post does NOT contain any […]

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A(nother) Common App Outage – How To Avoid A College Admissions Meltdown

A(nother) Common App Outage – How To Avoid A College Admissions Meltdown

Yesterday I was working with one of my students. We’ll call her ‘Bethany’ (named changed to protect the innocent). Bethany was admittedly scrambling to submit a last minute Common Application to meet a December 1 Boston University scholarship deadline. At approximately 10:42pm, Bethany pasted her essays and writing supplements into the app, hit ‘submit’ and then […]

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What You Need To Know About What Is Happening in College Admissions & Funding, Fall 2021

What You Need To Know About What Is Happening in College Admissions & Funding, Fall 2021

With admissions and financial aid priority deadlines rapidly approaching, I’m buried neck deep in paperwork. So I was pretty excited to see Corin Porter, SUNY Binghamton’s Florida Admissions Representative, on my calendar last week. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and spending time with Admissions and Financial Aid representatives from colleges across the country. But this meeting was extra special. […]

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CAUTION: This May Infuriate You

CAUTION: This May Infuriate You

Last week I had a conversation with one of my students that made me so furious that I still can’t shake it. So I decided to write about it. Warning: Rant to follow so please don’t read if you’re easily offended. Anyhow, here’s the story. I have a student I work with, let’s call him […]

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The Importance of Relationships

The Importance of Relationships

A common question I get from parents and students alike, especially in 11th grade, goes something like this: Hey Pete, what can I do right now to improve my college admissions chances at a highly selective college? Aside from the standard answers (take rigorous classes and do well; perform well on the SAT/ACT; engage in […]

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College Planning Advice for the Dog Days of Summer

College Planning Advice for the Dog Days of Summer

For most of my life, I thought the Dog Days of Summer began in mid-August. That’s when the predictability of another sweltering hot morning, followed by yet another afternoon thunderstorm would inevitably lead me to experience a certain, strange combination of lethargy mixed with anxiety. As a child, I was, by this point in the […]

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