A tale of two visits: Swarthmore College and McGill University

Two college visits that I made this year seemed like a study in contrasts.  In February, I visited Swarthmore College, in leafy, quiet Swarthmore, Pennsylvania – a suburb of Philadelphia.  In April, I visited McGill University in Montreal, a bustling, cosmopolitan, and bilingual city in Quebec Province in Canada.  I love both schools for different … Continue reading A tale of two visits: Swarthmore College and McGill University

FAQs about the college interview

Sometimes families have individual questions that may interest others.  This blog post - largely from the chapter on college interviews in my book, The Thinking Parent's Guide to College Admissions - addresses a few of those. My son's admissions office interview at his first-choice college lasted 30 minutes, but his classmate's lasted an hour.  Why would one … Continue reading FAQs about the college interview

Preparing for the college interview

Your child should spend time researching a college in preparation for an interview, whether the interview will take place on campus or in your local area with a graduate of the school.  School websites provide extensive, detailed information these days, including sometimes full course catalogues by major.  I also love The Insider's Guide to the Colleges that … Continue reading Preparing for the college interview

Do they really nail the windows shut?…What to expect in a college interview

In anticipating college interviews, many students work up the level of dread that I did in my junior year of high school when somebody spread a rumor that admissions officers at a highly selective school - to see how students would react under pressure - asked them to open a window that had been nailed … Continue reading Do they really nail the windows shut?…What to expect in a college interview

The college interview: “optional” and “recommended but not required”

How do you know what "optional" and "recommended but not required" mean when it comes to college interviews?  Are schools telling you that the interview is optional but then penalizing you behind closed doors?  Probably not. Generally, admissions offices are pretty good about letting you know how they use the interview as part of their … Continue reading The college interview: “optional” and “recommended but not required”