The problem is not the process. It's how we're guiding young adults.

We ask them the wrong questions. We show them that happiness is in a brand. That happiness is a checklist. This all relates to how the admissions process is executed and whether students have the opportunity--as they should--to grow from it, instead of suffering through it. I am a firm believer that the process actually helps the individual student identify, embrace and champion her strengths while preparing her for an independent, successful life ahead. Again, if the process is done correctly. What a waste when it's not. Bruni mentions community service as have many others critical of the admissions process--saying in many ways it’s another box to check rendering it useless. Doing comm

It's actually not broken: What needs to change in US admissions (& you're implicated)

None of this is a surprise. Humans have always tried to beat the system, trying to find an easy way in (or out) of a difficult process. (Think Lance Armstrong.) Rich and entitled humans have always tried to buy their way into (or out of) a meritocity. (Think our President.) None of this is new. None of this is shocking. All of it is wrong, of course. Ditto for the college admissions bribery case going on right now. Yet, those of you who say that the process is rigged, fixed, corrupt or broken are wrong. These pathetic, rotten souls who are trying to game the system (and for whom justice will be served) are not exposing what a flawed system we have. They have exposed what clearly needs t

The real (& unfortunate) outcomes of too much parental control

We’ve been reading loads of articles in the past week-- including this one from the NYTimes --about the overly involved--sometimes referred to as “snowplow”--parent in adolescents’ lives. I work with parents of this cohort everyday and see the effects--or not--firsthand of parental oversight. First of all, it’s critical to understand that this is a global phenomenon. My families--none of which live in the US--hold passports and live in countries such as India, Switzerland, China, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore … I work with and have seen parenting from one extreme to the other: on one side of the spectrum there are the parents I have never met or

US Admissions bribery scandal: My note to Parents & Students this morning

Dear Parents and Students, It's been an interesting morning that I hadn't expected but as I process and read am feeling positive. If you have not read yet, the US Department of Justice has indicted parents, counselors, and coaches in a massive scandal for buying their way into selective institutions in the US. Read the DOJ report from Massachusetts here. I'd like you to read about this case--even if you're not planning to apply to the US--as it's important and compelling to understand what is going on in university admissions (high stakes, panic, fear, ...) and how justice can eventually be served. Honestly, this is why I am pleased: we can always find rot, unfairness, unethical behaviour

How to find out if your university is "financially fit"

This topic, very on-point and one of discussion throughout international higher education--from the US and Canada to Europe and over here in Asia and Australia and New Zealand--is hardly easily evaluated by us, the consumer. The data is not readily accessible and even if it is, we have no idea what to do with it. When I used to work in higher education the P&L (profits and losses) was discussed at the Board level but rarely made it into--in an easily understood and relevant context--the hands of the consumer. You. We are at an interesting nexus in international higher education: Brexit poses questions for us on its potential impact on class sizes, quality of professors and lifespan of som

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