New York Times

Talking to Students about Staying Healthy

We talk to our sons and daughters about testing and essays and big schools vs. small but we often forget to talk to them about staying healthy through the process and beyond into college -- from taking care of themselves by getting enough sleep to always carrying their insurance card. Pediatrician Perri Klass has an excellent piece in today's New York Times, College Prep, This Time for Health, about the important conversations parents and students need to have about making wise health choices and getting help when it's needed. And high school is not too early to start having these conversations. We talk to our children about doing their best in the classroom and on a playing field. Don't forget to teach them to tune into their health and do their best there, as well.

Media Madness: More Panicky Reporting on College Borrowing

There was more panicky reporting on the subject of student debt last week in the New York Times article, A Generation Hobbled By the Soaring Cost of College, an installation in the newspaper’s Degrees of Debt series that purports to examine the implications of soaring college costs and the indebtedness of students and their families.

As Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson of the Chronicle of Higher Education reportThe New York Times made a huge statistical error in their overwrought article about higher education borrowing on Sunday. They reported that 94 percent of bachelor’s graduates leave college with educational debt. The correct number is around two-thirds. Few people will see the correction tucked into Wednesday’s Times – certainly not nearly the number who saw the lead sentence on the web version “Nearly everyone pursuing a bachelor’s degree is borrowing money …”.

National Candidates Reply Date

Today is the day! Students must formally notify one college that they are accepting its offer of admission -- and seal the deal with a deposit check. Congratulations! But, of course, the school year and your college admission process are not quite over... You may still need to forward the results of your AP exams, deal with housing and even roommate selection at your chosen school for next year, and finish your senior year strong. Remember, acceptances are conditional and your entire senior year is important to colleges. For a good summary of the steps you will need to keep in mind beyond today's decision, check out the excellent May Checklist for Seniors at The New York Times' Choice blog. And we want to add one more item to that check list -- a warning against double depositing. Sending a deposit to more than one college to keep your options open is unethical and may result in both colleges rescinding your admission. See our recent blog post on double depositing here.

BigFuture, the College Board's New Website

The College Board, the not-for-profit organization whose programs include the SAT, AP tests, PSAT/NMSQT, and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, has launched a new website for high school students that includes a college search function, a scholarship search tool, and an action plan program for the application process. Click on the links to see what the Chronicle of Higher Education and New York Times' The Choice blog are saying about BigFuture. And let us know your thoughts about this new resource...

Charlene Aguilar, Lakeside School

Charlene Aguilar is Director of College Counseling at Lakeside School, an independent day school for grades 5 through 12 in Seattle, Washington.  A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, Aguilar has worked both sides of the desk in college admissions during her career.  She began as an admissions counselor at her alma mater in Santa Barbara and served as Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission at Stanford and Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Santa Clara University.  For ten years prior to coming to Lakeside, she was Director of College Counseling and Dean of the junior class at Castilleja School, an all-girls independent school in Palo Alto, California.

The Standardized Test Cheating Scandal

In the wake of the Long Island, New York, standardized-test cheating scandal, Jacques Steinberg at the New York Times' Choice blog has posted an informative dialogue with Ray Nicosia, director of testing integrity for the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT.  Twenty students now face charges of fraud and impersonation in a scandal encompassing both the SAT and ACT. The students either paid others to take the tests for them or impersonated students in taking the tests.  In Questions for the SAT’s Top Cop, Steinberg and Nicosia discuss the testing service's security measures as well as how students -- and even parents -- can report irregularities or suspicions of cheating.

Jennifer Delahunty, Kenyon College

This month, we have turned the interview tables on Jennifer Delahunty of Kenyon College to ask her our 5 Questions for the Dean. In addition to her work as the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the 1600-student Gambier, Ohio, campus, Delahunty is a well-known writer on all things admissions. (Full disclosure: we have been lucky enough to participate in one of her editorial projects!) In 2006, an op-ed she penned for the New York Times on gender issues in admissions, To All the Girls I've Rejected, went viral. It's just one example of the honesty and transparency that she brings to the admission process in all that she does.  Join her here to gain some of her trademark insight into Kenyon -- the classroom, the campus, and the admission office -- and some of her sage advice for parenting through the process.