The College Admissions Process 101

1. Get the best grades in the most advanced classes you can. The first thing college admissions officers look for in evaluating any application is your curriculum and grades. The most effective way to become an attractive candidate is to impress them with your coursework and GPA. If you need help […]



Prepping for the Personal Essay: Who Are We and How Did We Get This Way?

There are many ways to understand who we are. We are, for example, in a literal sense, what we EAT and drink and breathe. When we digest things, we literally take the external world and make it part of ourselves (hence the miracle of the pig, who, as Jim Gaffigan […]

Hot Tips for Writing Responses to the Most Common Supplement Essay Question on the CommonApp

Why Do you Want to Go to The University of xxxxx? Note this MOST COMMON SUPPLEMENT question asks more than what appears in writing. The question implies, what can you get out of an undergraduate experience at college xxx that you can’t get anywhere else? You should NOT lead with: […]



College Admissions Secrets for Parents and Teens: Listen to Mom’s Advice

By Kate Cryan, mom If you’re looking for an entertaining, informative, and inexpensive evening for you and your college-bound teens, head to Hall High School at 7pm on Wednesday March 12th, where Dr. Michael J. Youmans (aka Dr. “Yo”) of CollegePrepExpress will present a 90-minute “soup to nuts” overview of […]

Winning the Battle of CommonApp ’13

If you’re a high school senior, the last few weeks might have been more fraught than you’d anticipated, even taking into account that college application season is never a relaxed time. Halloween party planning or watching the Red Sox’ march to victory in the World Series could have taken a […]



Getting Your CommonApp (Almost) Done Over the Summer

Jeez, school just freakin’ ended and you’re hitting me with THIS? Take a chill, Mr. Intense—er, Dr. Intense—would you? Actually, I was going to offer YOU that very advice, especially if you have the type of parents who want your whole application done the day after your last final exam […]

4 Reasons Why It’s Important to Tell the Truth and How It Can Get You Into College

Let’s face an unpalatable truth together, shall we? We ALL lie. Yup, when occasion suits our needs, even those of us who are honest almost all the time and pride ourselves on our integrity are still prone to exaggerate, understate, omit, prevaricate (go ahead, look it up), or explicitly speak […]

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Attention Underclassmen and Parents: CommonApp 101 & Hot Tips for Extracurrics

                “Passion is no ordinary word” – Graham Parker  One of the most common words bandied about in the college admissions game is “passion,” and not without good reason. Indeed, one of the keys to writing successful applications is effectively communicating areas in your life–whether academic, athletic, extracurricular, or volunteer […]

Reminiscences of Summer Travel and Study Abroad

  It would be no exaggeration to say that my trip to France in the summer of 1980 changed my life. As a typical angst-ridden teen—with a slightly atypical penchant for Existential literature—I found myself in a funk at age 16, the promise of three months’ vacation notwithstanding. An extended […]

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4 Tips to Make Your CommonApp UNcommon

Even though many colleges have graciously extended 11/1 deadlines on account of Hurricane Sandy, many students and their parents (especially the latter) remain in get-it-done mode. While the desire to remove this stressful boulder from your shoulders is understandable, it can lead to eleventh-hour rushing, inattention to detail, and ultimately […]