Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Mythbuster: Greater prestige doesn’t equal greater happiness

Last week I talked about the ill-conceived notion held by many families that due to the high cost of college, they must choose only in-state institutions. Other families unwittingly believe that “all private schools are better than all public institutions.” Now that we know those are falsehoods,     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Mythbuster: Don’t feel forced to pick between Price OR Prestige

I meet with all varieties of families; some who are admittedly overwhelmed by the entire college admissions process and others who feel as if they’ve done their homework and have a pretty good understanding of what needs to be done. The commonality between them, is that when looking at colleges,     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

5 tips for getting that college essay written

OK, all you procrastinators, it’s now officially December, and with Jan. 1 deadlines looming, you really can’t wait much longer. Yes, of course, I know you can, and some of you will wait until Dec. 29 to start “thinking about” what you’re going to write. So here are some tips that I’ve     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

What NOT to say in your “Why this college?” essay

My initial advice to students writing the “Why this college?” essay often sounds like what I imagine a first session at couples therapy might be like: “I need you to verbalize what you like about this college. Tell me why it works for you; share your positive thoughts.” Students usually start     Continue Reading...

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...