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Having trouble letting go?

24 May

If you are a parent and are struggling with the prospect of letting your high school senior go, this is a great book–The Joy of Letting Go by Vicki Caruana.

Give yourself a graduation present! It’s been a hard year, mom and dad! But he/she has made it! You’ve made it! And the future is bright for you all!

God bless!


Consider applying to a private college

9 Nov


Biola University in LaMirada, CA, has a new library and many other new facilities.

Biola University in LaMirada, CA, has a new library and many other new facilities.

While the window of application opportunity may be closing for some public universities after this month, most private universities are still accepting applications. There are many advantages to attending a private college:

  • Smaller class size
  • Opportunity to get to know your professors better
  • Better chance of getting the classes you need
  • Greater likelihood of being able to design a major of your own
  • Higher chance of graduating in four years — in fact, some four-year private universities guarantee this
  • And even though the tuition costs are significantly higher than those of public universities, often the private colleges have huge endowments from their alumni, so that you can get large scholarships and university grants. Because you can most likely graduate in four years (if you don’t mess around!), the overall cost may be the same as that for a four-year college.The oldest of our four children attended Biola University in southern California. There she got a leadership scholarship, was able to live in the dorm for as many years as she wanted, made wonderful friends, got a great job as an assistant to the English department’s dean, and received an excellent recommendation that got her a job teaching immediately after graduation. Our out-of-pocket was no higher than that for our other three children who attended public universities.

    Give private colleges a chance! Apply and see how the financial aid might play out.

    Any good news out there? Where have you been accepted to college thus far?

Use the Common App for private schools

31 Oct

The perennial #1 liberal arts college, Williams College, uses the Common Application.

A former student of mine recently graduated from the perennial #1 liberal arts college, Williams College (Williamstown, MA). 

Now that you have probably finished your state school college applications, you most likely are now focused on getting applications done for the private colleges on your list. These are often due by the end of December–but check the deadlines and calendar them diligently!

You may have already discovered that most private colleges use The Common Application; in fact, almost 700 colleges utilize this form of application. Go to

You will find that you are able to complete just this one application for several different colleges, with the possibility, though, that one college’s essay requirement may be different than another’s.

In regard to the personal essay, you will write no more than 650 words on one of the following five topics:


  • A background, identity, interest or talent that is meaningful to you.
  • Lesson from a failure.
  • A time you challenged a belief or idea.
  • A problem you’ve solved.
  • An accomplished that signified your transition from childhood to adulthood.

Your high school will be notified to send a counselor’s report and grades — but you will want to stay tuned in to make sure they are submitted on a timely basis. Additionally, letters of recommendation may be required by your colleges. Request those early in the process, as it takes up to an hour to prepare a good one.

If you have questions, Common App technical support personnel are available 24/7.