Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Figuring out how much college is going to cost

Please don’t be one of those parents who encourage their students to apply to loads of colleges and universities with no regard to how much it is going to cost. Parents who tell their children, “we’ll figure it out after you get in” are setting themselves and their children up for     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

What you need to know about financial aid for college

Many college applications are signed, sealed and submitted, and now it’s time to move onto the serious stuff: money. Who doesn’t want to get the very best education at the very lowest price? Timing has a lot to do with the price tag you’ll pay. There are two basic financial aid forms: the     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

10 most common college application mistakes

There’s no wiggle room for stupid mistakes when some colleges are receiving over 30,000 applications and acceptance rates can be in the single digits. It’s true that not every school is as selective as those in the Ivy League, but gaffs that cause an admissions person to ask “what were they     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

How to fight writer’s block on college essay

We should all sympathize with high school seniors right now. Besides juggling all of the traditional teenage stuff, they’re being asked – in their words, not mine – to write the most important essay of their life. And it isn’t just one essay. Depending on the colleges a student is applying     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Find colleges that want you more than you want them

Don’t feed the frenzied fever of the college admissions process. Families often get caught up in the high stakes of college admissions competition. If you’re willing to look beyond the super-selective top tier of colleges, you’ll find that colleges need you more than you need them. A survey     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Think twice before taking ‘early decison’ college route

Before you hit submit for that Nov. 1 Early Decision (ED) deadline, consider this: Early Decision is binding. That means that if you are accepted, you MUST go. That’s a great option if the college you’re applying to is your dream school and you are 100 percent certain you can see yourself on     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

5 ways to avoid a cringe-worthy essay

You want your essay to be the one that is passed around the admissions office – or not. It’s a little bit like the difference between being famous and infamous. We all know that a sincere, well-written essay that provides insights about how the student has matured is occasionally shared among     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

7 Tips for the PSAT/NMSQT

On Wednesday Oct. 15, high school juniors and many sophomores will get their first taste of standardized testing for college when they take the PSAT/NMSQT. That’s a lot of letters. It stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT/NMSQT is co-sponsored by the     Continue Reading...