23 January 2015

White House Proposes Taxable Withdrawals on 529 Plans

Posted in Perspectives

nytThe Obama Administration is proposing a significant change to 529 college savings plans—to make withdrawals taxable.  

Of course, this would apply only to new contributions, but regardless this feels like a terrible policy move for advocates of affordable education.

Check out this New York Times article for more insight and perspective.

20 January 2015

10 Things the College Admissions Office Won't Tell You

Posted in Perspectives

marketwatchHere's an article from Daniel Goldstein at Marketwatch entitled, "10 things the college admission office won't tell you."  It attempts to shed insight on topics such as grade inflation, essay authenticity, perceived exclusivity and need-aware admissions.

Click here to read the article

15 January 2015

Financial Aid for the Middle Class

Posted in Perspectives

wsjSeveral colleges are now attempting to cast a wider net with respect to financial aid.  The beneficiary: the middle class.  

This article from the Wall Street Journal outlines some of the initiatives being taken by public and private schools throughout the nation to earmark more grant aid to families earning between $65,000 and $150,000 per year.

Click here to read the article.

09 January 2015

Here's One Way to Get Early Admission Into College: Be Rich

Posted in Perspectives

Bloomberg-LogoThe title of this Bloomberg/BusinessWeek article leaves a lot to be desired, but it does correctly point out that affordability issues can often prevent applicants from applying to binding early decision programs because they won't be able to shop around for the best financial package.  

More importantly, the article does reinforce our strong belief that every rising senior needs to consider the possibility of applying early given how favorable the admission rates can be.  It may not always be appropriate—tools like College Kickstart can help you figure this out—but it should never be ignored. 

Click here for the article.

06 January 2015

Insights from Duke's Dean of Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

forbesRising seniors and parents—here's a great video from Forbes Magazine featuring Christophe Guttentag, Duke's Undergraduate Dean of Admissions.  It's entitled, "Who Gets Into Top Colleges and What Makes The Difference" and you'll find it chock full of interesting insights from the inside.

Click here to watch the video.

19 December 2014

Department of Education Unveils College Rating Plan

Posted in Perspectives

DoEThe U.S. Department of Education outlined its framework for rating colleges in a report issued earlier today, as reported by the New York Times.  It plans to group schools into one of three categories: high-performing, low-performing and those in-between.

The article is interesting for two reasons: first, it provides a preview for how the government plans to assess college performance, and second, it's an instructive example of guarding against "false precision."

Click here for the Department of Education College Ratings Framework release.

Click here for the New York Times article.

09 December 2014

Essays That Worked

Posted in Essays, Perspectives

johnshopkinslogoHere's an excellent posting from Johns Hopkins University on essays that worked.  Unlike the previous posts that focus on tips, this article provides seven actual essay examples submitted by applicants and commentary from the admissions committee on why they worked.

08 December 2014

5 Reasons Why Not to Stress About College Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

hercampuslogoHere's a student's perspective on the college admissions process, courtesy of Katherine Varga for  Bottom line: don't panic, you're going to be fine.

08 December 2014

Art of Writing College Essays

Posted in Essays, Perspectives

todayshowlogoHere's a video segment from the Today Show featuring Jacques Steinberg, former New York Times senior editor and author of The Gatekeepers.  It's about the art of writing college essays and he provides some examples of what works and doesn't and why.  Though the segment is from 2010, it should be of help to those of you trying to figure out how to best convey your thoughts on paper. 

06 December 2014

Tips for Writing an Effective Essay

Posted in Essays, Perspectives

College board logoHere's another useful set of tips for writing an effective application essay, this time from Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University, courtesy of the College Board.


01 December 2014

College Kickstart and Naviance

Posted in Your College List, Perspectives

Turning data into action

naviance-thinkingaboutYou've used Naviance to come up with a list of colleges you're thinking about.  Excellent!   

Now what? 

In this age of single digit admission rates and $75 application fees, it's no longer as simple as "just apply to them all."  

College Kickstart helps you make the leap from "colleges I'm thinking about" to "colleges I'm applying to." Read on to find out how we turn the data you've collected into a sensible and actionable plan.


01 December 2014

Inside the Admissions Process at George Washington University

Posted in Perspectives

washpostFor those of you interested in getting some insight on how colleges make admission decisions, here's an interesting article from Nick Anderson at The Washington Post.  It's from March of this year, but it provides a glimpse of the admission process from the inside at George Washington University.  

11 November 2014

Keeping Perspective on College Admissions

Posted in Perspectives


Between your school search, bolstering test scores and GPA, and figuring out how to get in, it's all too easy to get caught up in the craziness of college admissions.  Here's a great blog post from Kim Hunter, the former Associate Director of Admissions at MIT, about the importance of maintaining perspective. 

Click here for the post.

27 October 2014

Berkeley High Jacket Reviews College Kickstart

Posted in Perspectives

berkeleyhighjacketInterested in a student perspective about College Kickstart?

Here's an article by Hanna Weiler from Berkeley High School.  Hanna is a senior and writer for the school paper, the Berkeley High Jacket.  


24 October 2014

9 Essay Tips to "Wow" College Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

USA Today logo 2012Having a tough time getting rolling on your college admission essays?  

Here are nine tips on putting together essays that "wow" from USA Today.

Click here for the article.


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