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An interesting read that discusses how higher ACT/SAT scores can have a significant impact on how much you pay for your child’s college tuition. Adam Platt, the author and executive editor of the Twin Cities Business, writes, “A better ACT translates directly to merit aid.”: "Choosing a college: A game you can't afford to lose"

Students and parents--interesting link to what Harvard itself says it is looking for: "What We Look For"

Check out this NYT article entitled, "They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets."  I am continually shocked by how little kids understand the ramifications of posting things on twitter/facebook/etc. Be careful!

Want to know what NOT to do during your summer vacation? Allen Grove, an writer on the college admissions process, put this together:

Of course, summer can't be all work and no play, and it's important to find a balance between having fun and being productive. Colleges don't expect to see you pulling 60-hour work weeks and 3,000 hours of community service in one summer. But just in case you missed the boat, here are ten great ways you can completely waste your summer vacation:

  • Breaking the world record for most consecutive hours playing Call of Duty.

  • Memorizing the lyrics to every song on Billboard's Top 40 (this will not convince any college to "call you, maybe.")

  • Hosting the 74th annual Hunger Games in your backyard.

  • Marathoning all five seasons of Toddlers and Tiaras.

  • Trying to hit 10,000 followers on Twitter.

  • Averaging 14 hours of sleep per night.

  • Tanning until you're at least six skin tones darker.

  • Watching cat videos on Youtube.

  • Testing every theory the Mythbusters have ever busted.

  • Becoming the next Vincent Van Gogh of Draw Something.

I came across this and thought I would post it for everyone who is going through the college admission process and those who are beginning to think about it:

"Students commonly want to know what part of the college application “carries the most weight.” The truth is, there are many parts to your application, and together they help us discover and appreciate your particular mix of qualities. Academic criteria are important to Yale’s selective admissions process, but we look at far more than test scores and grades. Every applicant brings something unique to the admissions committee table. Perhaps one application stands out because of sparkling recommendations, while another presents outstanding extracurricular talent; maybe your personality shines through a powerful written voice, or maybe your keen mathematical mind packs more punch. Our goal is to assemble a diverse, well-rounded freshman class, and that means admitting exceptional individuals of all types. You may find this answer unsatisfying, but we assure you that it is true: the part of the application that carries the most weight is different from applicant to applicant. This section of our website aims to help you submit the very best application possible. We asked admissions officers to weigh in with their own thoughts on each topic and we have compiled their responses below. We know that the application process can be confusing, daunting, even overwhelming, and we hope this page proves helpful as you compile your applications, not only to Yale but to every school on your list."

Thinking of having music on while you study? According to Davidson College, background music significantly impacted reading comprehension scores of more than 300 students from five public junior high schools. The students switched between a quiet study hall and another where music was playing. Testing was conducted over a period of two days, and three-quarters of the students showed significant declines in reading comprehension scores when listening to music when compared to their scores recorded after testing in a quiet setting.


I highly recommend Dr. Leonard Sax's book "Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences." I think that parents would find it quite helpful in how it explains differences between boys and girls in the classroom environment. A top college counselor in the twin cities also recommended that I read Sax's work, so I'm passing this along to any of you who are interested! I know so many of my clients’ parents are voracious readers!

One quote that resonated deeply with me about the mission of education:

The great mission of education is to enable every child to fulfill their potential, to discover that corner of the field of knowledge they can call their own.”

Leonard Sax

One thing I take from this article is that Minnesota's high school students ought to explore the SAT as well! The ACT is NOT for everyone and not looking at the SAT is a huge mistake. Ask me about how to choose between the two tests.

"Minnesota leads again on ACT"
Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 22, 2012

Minnesota again posted a strong showing on this year's ACT college admissions tests, according to results reported Wednesday. The state ranked first among the states in which at least half of graduates took the exam. Here, 74 percent of graduates took the exam, earning an average composite score of 22.8. Minnesota has led the nation for seven consecutive years, according to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Other states scored higher but had a smaller slice of students participating. For example, Massachusetts students earned an average composite score of 24.1. But just 23 percent took the test. Nationally, this year marks the first class in which more than half of high school graduates took the ACT test. Until now, the rival SAT has been taken by most students.

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