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The Ultimate Guide to Passing any Interview with Flying Colors

Before applying for a job it is very important for your students to brush up on their interviewing skills. The interview is typically the final hurdle for any job applicant to overcome.

For many students, this proves to be a stumbling block. Whether they have failed to prepare for the interview, or failed to practice crucial interview questions and answers, they underestimate the importance of creating a great impression.

It doesn’t matter what qualifications your students have, or how experienced they are, if they cannot impress the interviewers then they won’t be getting their dream job. has put together a comprehensive guide your students can use to brush up on on their interviewing skills. Using this resource guide, they can gain a detailed insight into how to answer certain questions, how to behave, body language and more.

Chapters include:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Formula for Success

Chapter 3: Sample Interview Questions and Responses

Chapter 4: Overcoming Interview Nerves

Chapter 5: The Common Interview Mistakes

Chapter 6: Plan B

Chapter 7: Bonus Section – How to Create an Effective CV

Here is a link to the complete guide:

How to Minimize the Cost of College Visits

One of the best ways for your students to determine if a college will be a great fit for them is to visit it while they are in High School. However, between flights, rental cars, hotels and food, the cost of visiting multiple colleges can quickly add up. To help with this issue, created a guide to help students and their parents plan ahead to minimize travel costs and maximize their experience at each campus.

Some of the tips include:

Plan ahead of time, set up appointments well in advance, visit areas most used by students, explore offsite and visit during the week when classes are in session.

Also consider using a rewards card(if you have to get credit) so some of the points can be used towards hotel stays, airlines, etc.). Another tip is to book the hotel and airfare through 3rd party sites (such as,, etc.) to save on travel costs.

The costs of visiting multiple campuses can add up but by using some of the tips they have shared your students can cut some of the costs inherent in visiting colleges you want to see before making the final decision.

Here is a link you can share with your students:

Going to College After Struggling with Drug Addiction

Drug abuse disorder has become an extremely prevalent issue throughout the United States. Young people will experiment with mood and mind-altering substances, it’s just the way it is. It is normal for teenagers and young adults to try alcohol and smoke marijuana, but when they start using in excess or start testing out other drugs they are putting their lives at risk. Narcotic substances like heroin, meth and cocaine are becoming increasingly common among high school and college students.

These drugs are highly addictive and have an extremely high rate of abuse. They can easily take control of someone’s life and hold it hostage. With time, drug addiction will take everything from the person struggling. Everything else will take a back seat, including their education. When young people become hooked on narcotics or alcohol their dreams and aspirations of attending college can be drastically changed. If they were already enrolled, but found themselves addicted to mood and mind-altering substances, it will become very difficult for them to attend all classes, study and successfully graduate.

Hopefully, the time will come when that person is able to turn their life around and start a new life free from drugs and alcohol. Once on the road to recovery, old dreams and goals will become evident again. It will start small; finding a job, finding a place to live, handle any legal issues that may have occurred. The longer one stays sober the larger their goals will become. A large portion of recovering addicts and alcoholics will look into enrolling or enrolling in a college or university.


How to Pay for College

College can be very costly, the thought of spending money on school can be overwhelming and will turn a lot of people away from pursuing their dreams. Thankfully there are resources out there to help people recovering from drug addiction to pay for college. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services of America) makes grants available through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. A grant is essentially a loan toward one’s education that doesn’t need to be paid back.  

When one pays for continuing education opportunities using a grant they will help relieve a huge amount of mental stressors. Grants don’t always have to be used for a specific college or university. Plus, they are not always based on one’s past grades and academic achievements. Different grants will have different rules and regulations that they are based upon. There are a large variety of grants available to recovering addicts/alcoholics who are looking to go back to school.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Private grants. These are usually set up in honor of those who have dedicated their lives to fighting addiction. They are also created by families of those who lost their lives due to addiction and never had a second chance at completing their education. There are associations that work with people in recovery to help them find the best resources out there for continuing their education. Some individual schools may also offer grants to those who have gone through and completed a drug or alcohol rehab center. For example, Texas Tech University offers more than 25 grants each year recovering addicts and alcoholics. They do not limit their grants to those who struggled with substances, eating disorders and some mental health issues will also make them applicable.


Student Loans

 If one is having issues getting a grant there is always the option of applying for student loans. The amount of money approved for a loan will vary from individual to individual. It is based on a few deciding factors. Of course, the cost of the school will be considered, Universities are the most expensive while online courses and classes will be the cheapest. Student loans are sometimes issued through the government and must be repaid. They usually have some type of interest rate associated with them.


Scholarships for Addicts

What about those with no ability to pay back a student loan and are having issues receiving a grant? A scholarship is another option for recovering addicts to pay for school. This is usually based on past academic performance and that individuals financial need. Similar to grants, it is a possibility to find college scholarships that are offered specifically to recovering addicts. Hope for Addiction offers $1,000 awards, but anyone applying must prove their sobriety to claim these scholarships. This is usually done using a urine or blood analysis and by presenting some type of proof that they attended a rehab or attend step based meetings. There are tons of community colleges, many of which offer scholarships to nontraditional students who are trying to go back to school.


Decoding the Cost of College – The Case for Transparent Financial Award Letters

New America and uAspire have teamed up to create a comprehensive report that sheds light on how financial aid award letters keep students and families in the dark and offers solutions to better inform students about college costs and financial aid.

For the report they analyzed thousands of financial aid award letters and found not only that financial aid is insufficient to cover the cost of college for many students, but also that award letters lack consistency and transparency. As a result, it is exceedingly difficult for students and families to make a financially-informed college decision. While solutions for tackling the cost barrier may be complex, solutions to improve award letter terminology and formatting are well within reach.
Through a quantitative analysis of over 11,000 financial aid award letters, they found that students who receive a Pell Grant are still left to cover a significant gap—an average of nearly $12,000. The gap persisted even when students made cost-saving decisions about where to attend (public versus private colleges and universities) or where to live (at home versus on campus). Given that financial aid falls short, clear and consistent communication on award letters is critical. After a thorough qualitative review using a subset of 515 award letters from unique institutions, they emerged with seven key findings:
Confusing Jargon and Terminology
Of the 455 colleges that offered an unsubsidized student loan,  they found 136 unique terms for that loan, including 24 that did not include the word “loan.”
Omission of the Complete Cost
Of the 515 letters, more than one-third did not include any cost information with which to contextualize the financial aid offered
Failure to Differentiate Types of Aid
Seventy percent of letters grouped all aid together and provided no  definitions to indicate to students how grants and scholarships, loans, and work-study all differ.
Misleading Packaging of Parent PLUS Loans
Nearly 15 percent of letters included a PLUS loan as an “award,” making the financial aid package appear far more generous than it really was.
Vague Definitions and Poor Placement of Work-Study
Of institutions that offered work-study, 70 percent  provided no explanation of work-study and how it differs from other types of aid.
Inconsistent Bottom Line Calculations
In our sample, only 40 percent calculated what students would need to pay, and those 194 institutions had 23 different ways of calculating remaining costs
No Clear Next Steps
Only about half of letters provided information about what to do to accept or decline awards ,and those that did had inconsistent policies.

Based on these findings, they presented seven policy recommendations, calling on federal, state, and institutional parties to create systems-level change. Here is a link to the complete report:

The 7 Steps Your Students Should Take to Pay for College

Dealing with paying for college can be one of the most stressful parts of family financial planning – it’s no easy feat trying to save money, figure out exactly what you’ll have to pay, and plan for the possible need to take out loans. Families that have more than one child who wants to go to college have an even harder time paying for those educations.

The best way to pay for college is to plan as early as possible while taking advantage of free scholarship and grant money – and making sure no deadlines are missed.

Taking the 7 steps below will ensure your students are on the right path to funding college. Here are those tips you can share with them from

1. Calculate the Estimated Four-Year Cost

Whether you’re taking a one-year vocational course, getting started with a two-year degree at a community college, or jumping right into a university program, you need to sit down and realistically figure out what your college options are going to cost you.

Colleges vary a lot when it comes to the cost of yearly tuition, books, housing, parking, and other fees. Fortunately, every school provides those costs on their website. Simply go to each of your prospective schools’ websites and take note of how much each of these things are expected to cost.

Then factor in things like:

  • Costs for commuting, parking, and trips to visit home
  • ​Entertainment expenses
  • ​Extracurricular acitivities
  • Anything else you can think of that you will need to pre-plan for

There are online calculators available, but the best and most accurate way to sort this all out is to do it yourself and include as many details as possible in your budget.

Having at least a rough understanding of how much you’d have to pay for each of the schools you want to go to is a necessary first step in planning for college costs.

2. Fill Out the FAFSA

If you’ve filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before, then you already know what a headache it is to complete. If you’ve never heard of it before, the FAFSA is simply the application that each college student in the country needs to fill out in order to be eligible for federal financial aid – like grants that don’t need to be repaid, work-study funding, and low-interest loans for both parents and students.

If the FAFSA isn’t filed, your only loan options for the next academic year will be in the private sector – which typically come with much higher interest rates than federal student loans. The FAFSA is also necessary for a lot of other purposes, like university-specific scholarships and grants.

Completing the FAFSA is one of the most important parts of this process, because it helps provide students with the most options. The application period opens in October of each year and closes June 30 of the academic year (although states and schools also have their own deadlines). And students need to re-do the application every year that they’re in college.

3. Figure Out How Much Free Aid You Have Available

Throughout your high school and college career, you should be regularly applying for scholarships and grants that you are eligible for, outside of what becomes available to you when you fill out the FAFSA the year you are applying to colleges. These will often have their own eligibility requirements and application procedures – often involving some sort of essay or final project/presentation.

Around the time that you start hearing back from colleges as to whether you’ve been accepted, they will also send you the information on the results of your financial aid applications – detailing what you will or won’t be awarded. Remember that some schools have their own application, outside of the FAFSA, so pay attention to each individual college’s requirements and deadlines.

Once you know how much free aid you’re getting, you’ll have a much better idea of how much more you’ll be paying for college.

But that doesn’t mean that you should stop applying for scholarships. Keep searching around for that free money just sitting there for the taking, even as the end of the academic year approaches. Scholarship deadlines go throughout the year.

4. Think About How Much Savings Are Available

Here’s where your past saving habits will come to light: sorting out exactly how much cash you or your family has stacked up specifically to put toward college. How much of your savings can you dedicate to college expenses? Have you contributed to a state-sponsored 529 tuition savings plan?

Figure out how much you need to pay upfront and where that money will come from – then figure out when the next payments will be due for the remainder of the first academic year.

5. Calculate the Income That is Available to Pay for College Every Year

Understanding your short-term costs are essential, but it’s also important to get a full-length blueprint for all two to four years of your costs. Can any income be set aside right now for next year? How much money will you have to save in the next calendar year in order to be financially ready for the next payment?

Wrapping your mind around what you’ll need for the next four years may not be a pleasant experience, but you will thank yourself later if you plan well early on.

6. Decide How Much in Federal Student Loans You Will Need – If Any

After you have scrounged up as much savings and free money (government-backed or from the private sector) to pay for college, you can determine if you will need to take out one or more loans to cover the difference.

Taking out a loan isn’t anyone’s first choice – but it may mean the difference between going or not going to school at all. Luckily, for families with financial need, the government provides subsidized loans at a very discounted interest rate – including PLUS loans for parents.

Going the federal loan route will certainly get you the best rates outside of getting a personal loan from a family member.

7. If Necessary, Explore Private Student Loan Options

Every student’s and every family’s situation is different – so if federal student loans, grants, scholarships, and savings can’t cover all of your costs, then you might have to turn to a private student loan. Private student loans can have higher interest rates than federal loans, so just be aware that you will be shouldering a lot more debt this way. It will likely take many years to fully pay it off, possibly with higher monthly payments.

Make sure you only go to private student loan providers after exhausting all other options – and shop around for the absolute best rate if it comes to that.


Help your students get started on the College Essay

Does this scene sound familiar? Your student is sitting down, staring at a fresh sheet of paper, pencil poised in hand, but not writing anything. It can happen for an AP Language paper or a college essay. The students say they feel stuck; they call it writer’s block.


Many of Wow’s college essay and creative writing students have shared a version of this story with our coaches before starting the writing process.


No matter what the writing task may be, when students feel stuck, they often doubt their basic writing skills. That makes getting started feel even harder. The student feels trapped; their parent feel helpless. Anxiety can creep into the home, school, and you can probably feel the stress in your offices! As a result, students sometimes tend to avoid writing the first draft by continually searching for “better” topics. This won’t work.


When this happens with your students, it’s okay to give yourself permission to take a step back. First and foremost, it’s important for you to understand that writing skills and topic are not the culprits here.  These students are not really stuck; they’ve just jumped the gun. They are unprepared to write a first draft because they’ve skipped important beginning steps in the writing process.


Find the Real Starting Line


The famous author Flannery O’Connor said that, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Writing is a great tool for exploring ideas and clarifying thoughts. This is true with any kind of writing project, and it’s especially true for the college essay.


Admissions readers want to see stories that are personal and reveal meaningful traits and characteristics about the writer, your student. They want to know something unique about each applicant.


To do that, students need to take the time to clarify their own feelings about the story they want to write. At Wow, we usually assign two or three brief writing exercises before tackling the first draft to give students low-stakes opportunities to gather details, organize their thoughts, and warm up their minds. After all, this is a thinking task, even more than it is a writing task. You don’t need to do all of that. But you can certainly help get your students started and on the right track.


Here’s a writing exercise you can give to any student who is feeling stuck:


  • Set a timer for 10 minutes
  • Think of the story you want to tell your best friend
  • Write down any detail about that story that comes to mind.
  • While writing, keep your mind open to physical details (what you saw, heard, touched) as well as emotional details (what you were thinking and feeling).
  • You don’t need to write in chronological order or even use complete sentences. It’s okay to be messy. Just write down every detail that comes to mind as fast as you can think of them until the timer runs out.


This exercise works because it removes the pressure that’s often associated with writing a “draft.” The time limit is important. The feeling of racing against the clock help to turn off the second-guessing and self-editing parts of our brain is real, and, when that happens, it’s amazing to see what kinds of details students come up with.


Whatever is on the page when the timer goes off, your teen will have spent 10 minutes refreshing their memory about the story they want to tell, and they’ll have a stockpile of details that they can draw from when they write their first draft.


Would you like more tips like these?


Get a free book for yourself – and for every parent in your school!


Feel free to email me with questions? We offer free training webinars for counselors, too. Meanwhile, we probe deeper and answer all 5 of those questions in our book. To show you how much we appreciate the work you do, we’d like to give you a free electronic copy of How to Write an Effective College Application Essay: The Inside Scoop for Parents. You’ll find out how to get free books for every parent in your school when you click on the book link.


Joe Kane is Senior Writing Coach at Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communication company staffed by experts who understand the writing process inside and out. Since 2009, Wow has been leading the industry with our unique approach to communicating any message effectively. The Wow Method helps business and nonprofit leaders create better blogs, manage social media, develop websites and create other communication materials. It also helps students write college application essays, grad school personal statements and resumes that get results. If it involves words, Wow can help.


8 Strategies you can Share with your Students and their Parents to Maximize College Financial Aid Eligibility

Maximizing college financial aid eligibility for your child can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. From lowering your “assessable assets” to considering Roth IRAs for summer jobs, here are eight effective college financial aid strategies for getting the most aid out of the FAFSA for your child.

1. Roll custodial accounts like UTMA/UTGA accounts into 529s. This will lower Effective Family Contribution (EFC), since custodial accounts are treated as student assets, while 529s are treated as parental assets. Student assets are included in the EFC formula at 20% to 25%, while parental assets are included at only 5.6%.  For purposes of maximizing financial aid, you probably want to avoid custodial accounts altogether.

2. Spend down children’s assets for college expenses ahead of parental assets.  Since children’s assets count against you more in the financial aid formula than parental assets, prioritize spending assets held in the children’s name.

3. Maximize saving in retirement accounts like 401ks and IRAs.  Unlike your taxable brokerage accounts, IRAs, 401ks and other qualified accounts aren’t counted towards EFC.

4. Pay debt to reduce parent assets.  Paying off credit card debt or non-home mortgage debt lowers the FAFSA’s “assessable assets” and results in a lower Effective Family Contribution (EFC).

5. Be skeptical of advice to convert liquid assets into annuity/insurance assets.  Since annuity and insurance assets aren’t assessable assets under the FAFSA, some product providers and insurance agents recommend a college financial aid strategy of converting cash or brokerage assets into annuities and insurance assets.  However, it’s possible these conversions could cost you more in fees than the 5.64% decrease in EFC.  Moreover, converting liquid assets into illiquid assets without increasing the rate of return is seldom a good idea.  You don’t want to get into a situation where you’ve fundamentally changed your asset allocation and paid a large amount of fees to try and game the FAFSA, but then your child ends up not going to college anyways.

6. Consider Roth IRAs for summer jobs.  If children are getting earned income through part-time employment and/or summer jobs, consider redirecting college savings from assessable assets like 529s to non-assessable Roth IRA assets.  Roth IRAs are fantastic savings vehicles for college, regardless if they are opened by the parent or the child.  You’ll have more investment options in the Roth IRA than a 529 account, and distributions from a Roth IRA used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty.  Moreover, distributions from Roth IRAs are principal first, so you can withdraw the original contributions from the Roth IRA to pay for other expenses without subject to taxation or an early withdrawal penalty.

7. For parents going through a divorce, structure the divorce settlement with student aid in mind. Consider the custodial parent receiving non-assessable property (home) assets over assessable alimony income for financial aid purposes.  Another financial aid strategy would be to consider delaying alimony until after FAFSA assessment years.

8. Coordinate grandparent college contributions.  Encourage grandparents to redirect their gifts to college bound grandchildren to the parents of the college student, which avoids the gifts becoming assessable income.  The grandparents could also just deposit assets in a 529, which is assessed at a much lower rate than direct gifts, or buy non-cash items for the student.


David Flores Wilson, CFP®, CFA, CDFA®, CCFC is a New York City-based CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner & Wealth Advisor at Watts Capital.  He can be reached at (917) 843-4366 and

Finding your student’s best fit college – How the Myers-Briggs type indicator can help

With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, creating a short list of just 8-10 schools can be quite a challenge. The task is not made easier by the fact that schools vary greatly from one another. Size, location, choice of majors, internship opportunities, selectivity, campus vibe, available activities and diversity are only a few of the factors that high school seniors must carefully consider when creating their list of best fit colleges.

Simply diving into the college selection process with google searches and college guidebooks is not the best way to build a college list. A student must first have a clear understanding of his or her personal preferences and then apply those preferences to their college search.

In my experience as a college admissions consultant, most students do not initially know what they want in a college. They are inevitably limited in their experiences and still growing as young adults. The most effective tool I have found to aid students in understanding their personal preferences is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is the world’s most widely used personality assessment. Many parents have encountered it as part of an on-the-job workshop. Businesses use the MBTI for team-building and to provide staff with information that can be used in effective problem-solving and decision-making. As a certified MBTI practitioner, I use the MBTI to provide students working with The College Spy  a framework for understanding their core preferences as they relate to the large and small decisions that are part of the college selection process. This framework helps them rigorously analyze their options and make intentional choices that best fit their unique personality, priorities and values.

The MBTI helps students understand the following four aspects of their personality and how these aspects affect their behavior.

•    Where they prefer to direct their focus (outward or inward?)
•    How they prefer to take in information (step-by step or big picture?)
•    How they prefer to make decisions (using thoughts or feelings?)
•    How they prefer to organize their world (planned and orderly or flexible and spontaneous?)

The MBTI does not label students and it does not assess their skills and abilities. It simply helps students understand what they prefer. When we take away the pressures and expectations of a student’s environment (homework, friendships, rules at home and school) what would the student naturally do?

The value of the MBTI lies in the discussion that follows the assessment. Students learn how their personality type influences behaviors and, importantly for college planning, guides his or her decision making. As we continue to work together to find a best fit college (and get in!), the results of the MBTI are likely to become useful in understanding the student’s choices. MBTI results are also useful in discussions regarding learning styles, choosing classes, choosing a major, job satisfaction, dealing with stress and addressing conflict.

Michelle McAnaney is the founder of  The College Spy, a full service independent educational consulting firm that assists students and families across the US and internationally with the college selection and application process. Prior to founding The College Spy, Michelle was a counselor and educator for more than 15 years, including serving as the Director of Guidance at two high schools, an adjunct college professor and a GED tutor. Michelle holds a master’s degree in school counseling and a bachelor’s degree in human development. She recently completed UC Irvine’s certificate program in educational consulting and is a MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Certified Practitioner and a NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner. Michelle visits over 40 colleges each year so that she has first-hand knowledge of the colleges and universities her clients will be considering. You can find her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

 The College Spy offers all students (whether or not you are a College Spy client) the opportunity to take the MBTI. After taking the MBTI online, students will receive a report explaining their results and meet with Michelle McAnaney, founder of The College Spy, by phone or video conference to learn how the results relate to their college planning. The cost is $75. To learn more about how the MBTI can help your student, click HERE or contact The College Spy at 1-800-207-4305 /

Interview with Harvard’s new President, Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Bacow

I just interviewed Harvard’s incoming President Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Bacow for a cover story for one of my hometown weekly newspapers in suburban Detroit; he grew up in Pontiac, MI. The piece will be published in the coming month, just before he takes over the helm of the most prestigious university in the U.S. (July 1). He is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most accomplished, respected, and insightful higher education leaders, having held senior roles at MIT, Tufts, and Harvard.

I met Dr. Bacow seven years ago at his cousin’s son’s bar mitzvah. There was a Motown band, and he and his wife, Adele, were dancing the night away, celebrating their young cousin. He was warm, kind and exceptionally humble for someone so accomplished.

Dr. Bacow has a compelling personal story; the son of immigrant parents – his father a Jewish refugee from Eastern Europe, his mother a Holocaust survivor. Bacow has long been devoted to education’s vital role in enabling pursuit of the American dream.  It has inspired him to work to create similar opportunities for others from all walks of life.

I was – and still am – impressed with his commitment toward expanding access and opportunity for students of talent and promise.  At Tufts, he presided over a doubling of the university’s annual budget for financial aid, the replacement of loans with grants for undergraduates from low-income families, and the introduction of a loan repayment assistance program helping graduates pursue careers in public service and the nonprofits.   He also served on President Obama’s advisory committee on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

During my interview, I asked Dr. Bacow a few key questions that parents ask us, and I think his answers will interest you. Dr. Bacow is funny, too. When I asked him what advice he’d give to parent who thinks their child is Harvard material, he joked, “Admissions is way above my pay grade.”

Are Colleges Out of Touch and Out of Reach?

“The gap in lifetime earnings between college grad is bigger than ever. While real cost has increased, the return has never been higher.  We need to do a better job of explaining this to students and their families, and explain the degree to which financial aid is available. At Harvard, if total income is $65,000 or less, family, pays nothing to attend. About 20 percent of the students at Harvard come from families that meet that test.”


Advice to Students Who Want to Get into Harvard

“Study hard. Have the courage to find your passion and then pursue it. There are many great universities. I never applied to Harvard (undergrad). All great universities are looking to attract students who are willing to push themselves and try and be true to themselves in what they do.”


What Would You Say to Parent Who Asks If You Can Get a Child into Harvard?

“I would say relax a little bit. Kids feel too much pressure from their parents. It’s not a feather in their cap. It’s about their child, not about them.


“Where a kid goes to college is not a grade on their parenting skills. They should help their son or daughter achieve what they want to achieve and find a place which is good for them You can get a good education almost anywhere as long as you make the big decisions right.”


How to Select the Right College


Bacow poses four basic questions for college-bound students to consider.


  • Do they want big or small?
  • Urban or rural?
  • To Get on an Airplane to get there?
  • Do they want to wear flip flops in January?


“Beyond that, you can be happy almost any place. Kids can find their niche within any school because there are great teachers everywhere.”


What are Your Thoughts on Rising tuition and Decreasing Government Funding?

“When I was at Tufts, I testified at the Massachusetts statehouse for increased funding to the University of Massachusetts. Costs have gone up in Michigan because the state has withdrawn support for universities, shifting the costs to students and families. That’s shortsighted. I hope to be an advocate for that. I am worried about state support and federal support.”


Would you like more tips like these?


Get a free book for yourself – and for every parent in your school!


Feel free to email me with questions? We offer free training webinars for counselors, too. Meanwhile, we probe deeper and answer all 5 of those questions in our book. To show you how much we appreciate the work you do, we’d like to give you a free electronic copy of How to Write an Effective College Application Essay: The Inside Scoop for Parents. You’ll find out how to get free books for every parent in your school when you click on the book link.


Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop. Wow’s team of professional writers and teachers understand the writing process inside and out. The Wow Method has been used by students to write application essays and resumes; by business owners to create blogs, websites and other communication materials; and by English teachers to improve student writing skills. If it involves words, we can help. Email

Better sleep can impact your students in many positive ways

A well rested student is a happier, more productive student. Lack of sleep can result in many negative consequences which can include lack of focus, irritability, use of drugs etc. Tuck has published several guides that can help students who may be having trouble sleeping.

These include:

Depression and Sleep Disorders –

Troubled sleep, insomnia, and oversleeping are classic symptoms of clinical depression. While not all depressed people have sleep disorders, many do. When evaluating patients for depression, doctors typically ask about sleep patterns as part of the diagnosis.

Problematically, sleep problems worsen mood and can cause depression themselves, creating a vicious cycle.

This guide discusses what is depression, the cyclical relationship between depression and sleep, changes in REM sleep, types of sleep disorders, treatment for depression-related sleep disorders, tips for getting better sleep with depression, and additional resources available

Guide to Anxiety and Sleep –

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is a reaction to stress. Its key markers are feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes such as elevated blood pressure.

Just like physical pain, in and of itself anxiety is not a bad thing: it signals that something is wrong. Temporary anxiety is normal and can count as healthy, because it draws our attention to causes of stress that might need correcting. But anxiety disorders–the excessive and chronic reactions to stress–are mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders are, in other words, worry that sticks way past its usefulness to us; it does not go away and often gets worse with time.

This guide gets at the link between anxiety and sleep and covers several anxiety disorders that interfere with sleep and which can be alleviated with sleep: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); social anxiety; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); phobias; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and panic disorder. It offers solutions to the sleep deprived anxiety sufferers, from treatment options, through online forums, tips regarding healthy sleep hygiene and banishing anxious thoughts, to medical associations that can help.

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep –

Extreme highs, extreme lows, and the sleep problems that go with it are commonplace for the over 3 million Americans living with bipolar disorder.

Unfortunately, poor quality sleep just makes it harder to cope with the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and in some cases can trigger an episode.

Learning how to sleep better while living with bipolar disorder is key to managing symptoms and reducing their impact on daily life

This guide answers the question of what is Bipolar disorder, discusses how it affects sleep and how to sleep better if you have it, and provides a list of additional resources available to your students that may have this disorder.



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