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Do something besides school

Encourage your child to:

  • get a job
  • volunteer (community service matters)
  • take a class 
  • apply for a summer program
  • play a sport
  • join a club
  • try out for the play
  • take an elective class (TV/Media, Sports-Med, Dance, Journalism etc..)
  • do something beyond video gaming - learn how to code.

Parent resources

Tips for 9th - 10th grade Parents: 

  • Expose you kids to different college campuses - In the Bay Area we have a variety of different types of campuses.  I recommend looking at a small CSU such as Sonoma State, CSU Stanislaus or CSU Monterey Bay.  For a large CSU check out San Jose State. For a UC go visit Davis or Santa Cruz (everyone has been to Berkeley). For private schools check out Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College.  
  • If you are going on a trip out of the area or out-of-state look at some colleges while you are there.  You do not have to go on an "official tour" but you can drive by and get out and walk a round.  Get a feel for the campus.  Buy a tee shirt. 


Tips for 11th grade Parents: 

  • Your job as the parent is to do the financial aid homework for your kids. That means you are looking on the Financial Aid pages of college websites and looking for their Net Price Calculator or MyinTuition app to see what your family cost may be. It is important to have an honest conversation about what you can afford and what you can't before they fall in love with a $70K university. 
  • If you are going on a trip out of the area or out-of-state look at some colleges while you are there.  I recommend going on "official tours" for juniors. Your child should register online beforehand.  You can also listen to the "information sessions" they are  often will give some tips on the application to that school.  Get a feel for the campus.  Eat in the dining hall if you can. Buy a tee shirt. 
  • Out-of-State private colleges and universities will often host local evening and weekend information sessions in the Bay Area.  If your child is interested in a particular school and you are not able to visit the campus encourage your child to get on that schools email list.  They will often get a notification if an Admissions Rep is hosting something in our area. 
  • Visit a broad range of schools - If you are in Boston please don't just tour MIT and Harvard!  Boston University, Northeastern University, Boston College, Wellesley College, Brandeis University, Babson College, Tufts University just to name a few. 


Tips for 12th grade Parents: 

  • Please encourage your student to apply broadly - this means CSUs as well as UCs. This means UC Riverside & UC Merced.  
  • Think beyond Stanford and the Ivies!!  Check out my Private College tab and notice the variety of schools represented. Notice that there is only one Ivy represented and there is a reason why I chose that Ivy. 

WUE Western Undergraduate Exchange

  • Students who are residents of WUE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.
  • The WUE reduced tuition rate is not automatically awarded to all eligible candidates. Many institutions limit the number of new WUE awards each academic year, so apply early!
  • WICHE members include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Popular out-of-state universities who DO NOT participate in WUE: University of Oregon, Oregon State, University of Washington, Colorado University - Boulder.  They all have scholarships available for out-of-state students but they are academically competitive so apply early.

WUE Schools that I love! Remember that once you leave California it will be hard to find the same level of diversity on all of these campuses.  

Recommended reading

"How to Survive the College Admissions Madness" Frank Bruni - New York Times article

"The Choice" New York Times Blog





CTCL  College that Change Lives by Loren Pope  Mr. Pope sought to change the way people thought about colleges by dispelling popularly held myths and challenging the conventional wisdom about college choice. (Myth: A degree from an Ivy League Institution is the best predictor of success after college)

Highlighting a few Unknown Colleges from the CTCL list:

  • McDaniels College in Westminster, MD

    • Opportunity and flexibility are the hallmarks of a McDaniel education. We offer courses of study in more than 60 areas, including pre-professional programs and teaching certification. Don’t see a major course of study that appeals to you? Self-design your own. Below is how you can make the most of your four years here.

    • Build your own Education -  model at McDaniels

    • Video

  • Earlham College in Richmond, IN

    • Selective, private liberal arts college offering a challenging intellectual experience in a collaborative and cooperative atmosphere.

    • Test Optional

    • Video

  • Willamette University in Salem, OR

    • Willamette is a premier, co-educational, residential, private liberal arts university founded in 1842 — the first university established in the western U.S.

    • The campus, located across the street from the Oregon State Capitol.  Access to internships, policy and law-making research opportunities.

    • Offer Dual Degree Programs - Business Management (3+2 BA / MBA) & Law (3+3 BA /JD)

    • Why Willamette?