New On The Blog:
Quirky College Traditions
College students will be submitting their early decision or early action applications in the next two weeks . . . and finalizing their college list for regular decision deadlines. While quirky traditions may not be a reason for students to apply (or not apply) to a college, here are a few of my favorite traditions at some of my favorite colleges. Since many of them involve spooky themes or screams, Halloween Eve seemed an appropriate time to share.
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KS College Success Feature in College Confidential

Last month, Kate was featured in College Confidential's article "Safety Schools: How to Choose Wisely". Read the article here and see what Kate has to say about safety schools. 

Current College Chatter

Answering the Unasked Questions
How will you benefit from attending our college? What will you contribute to our college? While you may not see these questions appearing on your college applications, if you address these topics in your applications, you will set yourself apart from other applicants and make a persuasive case for your admission.

It may seem obvious, but students sometimes lose sight of the fact that colleges are academic institutions, and they are looking for people who love to learn. Someone whose idea of fun is discussing Kant’s moral philosophy will take full advantage of the opportunities for intellectual engagement in college. When admission officers read an application from a student who has demonstrated this kind of love of learning by pursuing opportunities beyond her high school classroom, they feel confident she will benefit from attending their school. 

Admission officers make assumptions about what you will contribute to their college based on what you have contributed to your high school or community. The more selective the college, the greater the impact your contribution needs to have been in order to stand out. While tutoring children who are living in a shelter for homeless families is certainly a valuable contribution, organizing a program to match every child with a mentor, recruiting other students to participate, and expanding that program to other shelters would have the kind of impact that is not very common.

If the activities you pursue have a theme, you can focus your application on that theme, which helps admission officers get a clear picture of your values and interests. When an aspiring anthropologist has volunteered every Saturday at a museum where he’s developed a program to introduce children to other cultures, taken anthropology classes at community college and spent a summer on an archaeological dig, he will be able to put together a cohesive and compelling application.

Of course, not everyone has a defining intellectual or career interest, and students shouldn’t feel pressured to choose something to pursue in depth just because it will look good on applications. In fact, balancing a scientific or technical side with an interest in something artistic is another way to stand out. A young woman who loves physics and engineering, but also writes poetry that she reads at a local coffeehouse could be very interesting to admission officers.

If you have a range of interests, spend some time during high school exploring them.  But remember, pursuing a FEW activities in depth is generally better than minimal involvement in a lot of activities.

It makes no sense to push yourself into an activity you don’t like. Since you want to find something that you can sustain for several years, it should be something you enjoy. Summer is a good time to explore your interests by getting involved in community service or research opportunities. If you can’t find an established program or internship, try creating your own. 

For example, a student who is on his school’s basketball team might combine his love of the sport with community service by organizing a program for children at a recreation center. 

Find something you love to do and any impact it may have on your college applications will just be a bonus.
 Majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies

With the political climate in the United States so divisive at this time, a major that focuses on ways to solve problems peacefully may resonate with you.  Peace and Conflict Studies focus on ways to improve the justice and peace in the world. The major analyzes universal issues such as racism, sexism, destitution, and war. The goal, of course, is to develop an ability to non-violently solve problems.

The study of this major is part theory and part experience. Some of the curriculum focuses on learning history and concepts. Students will learn about the philosophies of legendary peacemakers such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. 

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  Career Paths for Peace and Conflict Studies Majors

These careers are applicable to a bachelor's degree in peace and conflict studies because of the skills and competencies it can teach you. Some of them however, require additional education, training and/or experience.  

· Business
· Conflict Resolution
· Counseling
· Development
· Diplomacy
· Education
· Global Threat Mitigation
· Government
· Human Rights Advocacy
· Humanitarian Action
· Law
· Non-Profit Management
· Restorative Justice
· Women's Advancement

Learn More About This Exciting Career >>
 Do You Need to Submit the CSS Profile?
The bulk of college financial aid money comes from the federal government; this aid is distributed by colleges using information supplied by families when they complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), available on October 1st.  About 240 colleges, universities and scholarship programs, however, use an additional form, the CSS Profile, to gather more information in order to award their own institutional funds to deserving students.  Students applying to college should check to see if this form is required by schools on their list. Some scholarship programs also utilize the CSS Profile.  It, too, becomes available on October 1st each year. 

Keep Reading >> 
Acing that College Interview
Students who interview with admission officers or alumni from American colleges are often surprised to find that the interviewer made the process much less intimidating than they had anticipated. Interviewers are not trying to trip you up; they simply want to know and will try to determine if you are a good match with their college.  Part of the interviewer’s job is to get you excited about the school. After a good interview, a well-intentioned alumni interviewer may tell a student that the school would be lucky to have her, and it’s natural to believe that means good news is coming. Whether the interviewer is just saying that to reassure an anxious student or genuinely thinks she should be admitted, the student may be in for a major disappointment if she puts too much stock in the interviewer’s words

Keep Reading >> 

Student Journey

“I really do not have time to get involved in any clubs or activities, and besides, my parents think studying is more important,” a sophomore told me. While a student’s academic achievement is, without question, the single most important factor in the admissions review, colleges care about so much more than just grades and test scores. Whether it’s sports, the arts, community or religious activities, volunteering, or working, non-academic pursuits are not just another way to have “fun.” These activities allow students to differentiate themselves in their applications and develop skills that colleges value. After talking about this, my student was very excited about joining the mock trial club and felt empowered to explain to their parents why this was important. I love when I am able to help students enjoy their high school experience and make good decisions for their applications!

If you don't see a convenient time at the link below, email me what works best and I will try to accommodate you. I am passionate about student's having a positive college experience, and the first step in this journey is a thoughtful application process. I love speaking to parents and helping answer your most pressing questions.



Princeton admissions, English teaching, legal training and mother of two giving you the specific wisdom you need for a specific process. 

I know that parents want happy children who will be successful in college. Choosing colleges that are good matches, writing authentic essays and putting it all together in a stellar application involves so much more than just knowing a student's grades and test scores. Schedule an informational chat with me to learn more.

I invite you to join my private Facebook Group where students, parents, and independent college consultants in Montclair and surrounding communities can discuss and share information about preparing for the college admissions process. You do not have to live in Montclair to participate in this group. 

Go here to join today!

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