by Alexis Schaitkin, InstructorRead More
We’re excited to announce our selection for the 2014 Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, Powered by TechStars! For the next three months, Story To College will work from the TechStars Broadway office to develop, market, and launch the first online college admission essay course.
“The technology mentoring and knowledge provided by TechStars is incomparable,” Carol Barash, Story To College founder and CEO, explained. “Combined with Kaplan’s industry leadership in the test prep space and the intelligence and inspiration of our partner companies, this is a defining moment for Story To College.”Read More
I was cleaning up my study over the weekend, clearing the decks to write a new book about college admissions, and I found my notes from the road trip I took with my daughter in 2011, the summer before she applied to college.
“85% of the students who apply to Harvard,” I dutifully transcribed as I listened to the admissions officer, “are academically qualified. You will live here for four years, so we want to know who you are. Use your essays to show us who you are.”
The revolution in higher education is here. You can see the new configurations on many fronts: ASU’s collaboration to provide degrees to Starbucks employees; Harvard’s rush (and internal conflict) to produce an online MBA that does not challenge their offline dominance; Rick Levin, the transformational president of Yale, retiring not to a foundation or think tank but to run the next big university opportunity: Coursera. The toolbox is changing for the builders of tomorrow.
As students, you’ve been challenged to chart a course into an uncertain future. But conventional wisdom can no longer guide you through this moment of rapid change when none of the old rules apply. What majors will teach you what you need to launch a viable career in the twenty-first century? How can you prepare to solve problems that do not yet exist? The new global economy will be won by innovators, game-changers, and cross-cultural collaborators. Here are three strategies to map a path from high school to college to productive and prosperous work.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal revealed the power behind teenagers and their immersion in tech: for high school students, technology is not a set of tools to learn how to use, but a living space in which to connect. So, to all you millennial tweeters, pinners and posters: tapping and swiping may feel like second nature, but you’re pushing the boundaries of a technological universe that is new and ever-expanding.
I would not be doing my job if I did not put my scolding hat on for a moment and remind you to take down all your Facebook pictures of sex, drugs, and anything else a future decision-maker could hold against you. Whatever you put on Facebook is permanent. Forever is way too long to have any youthful indiscretions on public display.
You’re in a powerful position as the first true natives of the technological sphere, so here are three ways to use social media to your advantage and get noticed—in a good way—by colleges.
Last Wednesday night, I rushed out of the Princeton Club to catch the 8:50 NJ Transit train from Penn Station. I couldn’t find a cab, and the E train was packed and slow. By the time I reached Penn Station, the train was boarding.
I was making my way to the train, jammed in the crowd, when the strap of my bag broke. I started to slip as I reached to catch it. “Help, I’m falling,” I shouted and two men in front of me turned around. One caught me and the other saved my bag of books and papers. Nothing was broken—not even my high heels.
I ran into my friend Zev on the train and told him this story. “That’s crazy,” he said, “you should play the lottery tonight.”
But Sophie saw more than luck in my good fortune: “It’s amazing that your first response was to call for help, not to try to save yourself,” she said.
It’s taken me a long time to learn to ask for help, and I can trace most of my biggest blunders to not asking for help soon enough. If you’re like me and love to solve problems independently, that’s great, but you can’t do everything alone! Here are three areas where you’ll do yourself a favor by asking for help.
Most often, in the Princeton Review and other lists of “happy” colleges, “happy” is a euphemism for “party.” Late nights of bingeing and other uber-stupid life choices should not be the ultimate reward for winning admission to college, nor are they what anyone truly means by “happy.”
Neuroscience research reveals that no part of the get-in-and-get-sloshed approach to college makes you happy. The road to happiness winds through service, struggle, and collaborative creation; it’s not something you stumble upon at 2 a.m.
Here are 15+ colleges that offer 21st-century paths to happiness and fulfillment.
Trigger warning: if you are the type of parent who worries about every aspect of your child's college process, proceed with caution. This article will require you to rethink some of your fundamental assumptions.
Last Sunday, I was laughing about cowboy boots at a party for friends who are moving to Houston. The husband introduced me by saying, “Carol has a really unique approach to college admissions.”
I cringed as a guy nursing his second beer launched into a blame-soaked tirade about why his son didn’t get into his “dream school.”
Before starting Story To College, I was an avid alumni interviewer for Yale and Princeton. Years later, I still remember many students’ stories: the guy who said of National Outdoor Leadership School, "I threw away my mirror: the group became my mirror," and the girl from Ukraine who lived in the attic of the church where her father was the janitor.
The best interviews were honest and full of details that triggered memories and emotions. Here are 5 inside tips to make sure your interview is the one that's remembered and helps you get in:
Parents worry. We worry a lot. It’s deep in our DNA; we’re trying to get the best resources to our next generation. And since college is such a marker of future success—the college graduate earns on average $17,000 more than a high school graduate—we particularly worry about our children’s chances of getting into college. Again and again, parents ask: What will help my child get into a great college? Is my child doing well enough in school? What extracurriculars will make a difference in their college application?
And there is good reason to worry. Harvard Business School professor and education innovator Clayton Christensen predicts that by 2025 more than half of US colleges will go out of business. (When you have time, I urge you to listen to the whole talk.) Pause for a second, and take in the implications—for your child and yourself—and then count to 10 (or as high as you need to settle your blood pressure).
Now, let’s focus on a different journey, and prepare you and your child for the education, jobs and future that have not been created yet, but are coming.
First, shift out of “worry mind”—the back and forth over the same tired questions and answers—into “creative mind,” where you have the power and resources to create the future for yourself, your children, and your community.
Here are 5 things you can stop stressing about, in order to replace worry with communication between you and your child during this hectic period of transition: