What's really important junior year?

Get the lowdown on grades, extracurriculars and more in our conversation with Teen Life, Dealing with Junior Year StressJunior year is important but, more significantly, it feels important because there is so much going on. Students are juggling a lot -- testing, extracurriculars, campus visits, researching colleges.  But, despite what you hear, applying to college is not rocket science. There is no secret. It doesn't require an advanced degree. Colleges aren't asking 17-year-olds to do anything that 17-year-olds aren't capable of doing.  Applying to college is like any large project, you just need to break it down into smaller manageable parts. Keep that in mind as you start this process.

Things We Love: A Video to Help You Get Over Not Getting In

Whether or not you got into your first choice school, check out this video from Allison Singh, author of Getting Over Not Getting In - A College Rejection Guide. While we haven't seen her book, we love the video. It perfectly demonstrates one of our mantras -- it's not where you go to school, it's what you do once you get there and beyond.

We're back...

Happy 2012! We're excited to be back. In this new year, we pledge to continue to provide students and families with our expert advice about applying to college, bolstered with the insights and contributions of deans of admission and high school college counselors from across the country. We'll be candid and straightforward about what the process requires, but at the same time, we really believe it's important to bring a sense of humor to it -- and sometimes even an appreciation of the absurd (some of those headlines!).

In the next few months, we'll be talking about stress, senioritis, and decisions for seniors, providing you with some sound bites for handling conversations with your peers and other parents. For juniors, we'll be talking researching schools and campus visits -- and we'll be adding to the Gourmet Guide so you'll know where to find the best burgers, coffee, or haute cuisine as you take part in this rite of passage.