On the Road with Betsy Woolf: Williams College

The Berkshires are a cultural haven. If I hadn’t already known that on my recent return trip to Williams College in Williamstown, MA, then my experience would have reminded me. I saw three plays in two days, plus an afternoon spent at the Clark visiting its world-class collection and beautiful and serene grounds. I could…

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How to Become a Smarter Thinker for Your College Essays

The Education Life section of the Sunday, August 6, 2017, New York Times carries a sobering story about Why Kids Can’t Write – and it seems that there are different views about how to resolve that problem – but also a more encouraging story called, Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain. The…

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First Lines: Great Ways to Start a Personal Essay

If I had my druthers (now when was the last time you heard that word?), I’d spend the summer sitting on a covered porch watching the parade of sail boats in the Long Island Sound. They may just be a line of student sailors in small sail boats but, oh, what a pretty picture they…

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Can You Get Into Grad School Even if You Go to the “Safe” College on Your List?

My answer has always been a resounding, “Yes!” But it’s often difficult to convince high school students of that. So I am often on the lookout for success stories, and I found one at the end of May in an article in Business Insider by Abby Jackson. It’s the tale of a California student, Ross…

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My Student’s Insights into Studying Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania

The feedback I received from one of my students who finished his freshman year as a Penn biomedical engineer was stellar. When I asked him whether the school conformed with his expectations, the answer was, “Really, really everything I could have imagined and more; a really positive first year experience.” He told me that his…

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What’s New in the Common Application? A Brief Outline

A Little Bit of Background * 4.5 million applications were submitted last year, with an average of 4.8 per applicant. 22 million recommendations were submitted. * Top states for students who submitted the Common Application last year were New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Ten percent of submissions were from international students. What’s New:…

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My Students’ Insights into Freshman Year at Cornell University

I recently shared student insight into freshman year at Emory College of Emory University and at the University of Cambridge. Now I am giving you a glimpse of the first year experience at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, courtesy of one of my students. What are the students like? The students are incredibly ambitious…

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My Students’ Insights into Freshman Year at Emory University and the University of Cambridge

My students, as well as their parents, become valued members of my family, and I love to hear about students’ experiences in college. Over the years, I have asked students to share their insights about freshman year in particular. Following are some excerpts from what students have told me about their first year experiences at…

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On the Road with Betsy Woolf: Four London Universities

An education in London is a bit different than an education in the States. First of all, “university” is only three years. And there is a degree of independence, as universities in the city itself do not necessarily feature lodgings in the immediate vicinity. Of the four schools I visited this trip (I’ve been to…

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What Makes a Leader?

I love to take the train. Either I get to catch up on my sleep or on my reading. The other day on MetroNorth to NYC for a lunch meeting with reps from two southern colleges, I got to do the latter. And something that Thomas Friedman wrote about a golf game and leadership resonated….

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