NEWSLETTER – Edition 15


There was a lot of chatter this past week about college admissions. More specifically: about acceptance rates at some of the nation’s most selective schools – Harvard (3.4%), Princeton (4%), Yale (4.6%), Brown (5.4%). To present the Harvard statistic another way: 1,968 students were accepted out of the 57,435 students that applied.

My own daughter navigated the college admissions process just a year ago. Despite visiting a dozen of the more selective schools as well as having the résumé, grades and test scores these schools demand, she applied to just one such school. When I spoke with my daughter about this year’s acceptance numbers, she quickly admitted that she didn’t apply to additional selective schools because of this very thing. In her mind, her senior year of high school was to be one of the best years of her life. And quite honestly, she didn’t want the stress of the admissions process (from submitting applications all the way through waiting to hear of acceptances) to taint what should otherwise be a wonderful year. She was making an active choice to BE HAPPY!

If you’re the parent of a high school junior, the stress of college admissions is probably starting to creep in. Once the seniors in this present class start accepting their college offers, all eyes will be on the junior class and their plans for the future. And quickly, the conversations will turn to: Standardized tests. Grades. Resumes. In-state. Out-of-state. Applications. Deadlines. Supplemental requirements. Tuition. Other fees. Scholarships. When? Where? How?

That’s where I come in. I view my role as one of reducing stress for your student – and for you. My job is to help you navigate the admissions process. Since I develop a plan designed specifically for your student, I am able to sort out all the unnecessary steps and excessive information. I keep you focused on the aspects that really matter. It’s why I am constantly learning. And it’s also why I am committed to sharing with you each week through my newsletter. Here you’ll find the latest news from colleges, the biggest resource you may have missed, and a glimpse at what I’m doing at SCOUT to help students find and fund their ideal college experiences. Thanks for joining me!   


In 2018, Yale Professor Laurie Santos introduced a new course, “Psychology and the Good Life.” The goal of the course was to address the growing mental health needs of students on campus. Specifically, the class presented students with scientifically validated strategies for living a more satisfying life. It also examined what psychological science shows about how to be happier, how to feel less stressed, and how to flourish more. It was an immediate success. Shortly thereafter, Santos’ work was transformed into an online course and has become the most popular one in Yale’s history. This online course, The Science of Well-Being, is offered free through the platform Coursera. Find the details HERE. Plus, Santos has also created a podcast series called The Happiness Lab. You can find HERE or on iTunes. There is lots of great content to explore, but I think my favorites are found in the “Coronavirus Bonus” section. Check it out and let me know what you think!


I’ve mentioned before that SMU has the incredible Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Back in 2018, my son was privileged to hear Shawn Achor speak about his research into happiness and positive psychology. Achor presented his evidence that changing one’s mindset about stress can alter the physical effects of stress. It’s a concept he has also shared in his TED Talk, which you can find HERE. My favorite points are his suggestions for creating positive change towards happiness. You’ve probably heard some of these before – expressing gratitude, journaling, exercise, meditation, initiating random acts of kindness. The 12-minute TED Talk is definitely worth a listen!


SOPHOMORES & JUNIORS: Reduce stress. Choose happiness. Work with me. Let’s have some fun and enjoy the process of college admissions. I would love to help your student find and fund the ideal college! My approach is individualized for your student and designed to keep all of you focused on the aspects that matter to your specific situation. Use the button below to connect with me and let’s get started today! 

8TH AND 9TH GRADERS: Starting early is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. Now is the perfect time to build academic, personal development, and extracurricular strategies that will help you achieve college and life goals. Plus, getting started now allows us to identify scholarships, internships, and summer programs. My goal is to help you plan for a variety of aspects so that your student is positioned to make the most of high school opportunities and then poised to find and fund his/her ideal college experience. If you want to learn more about the Road Map Session, use the button below to set-up a no-cost / no-obligation call with me.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Did you listen to the Shawn Achor TED Talk? Perhaps, like me, you can’t get enough of his ideas. Although he has written several books, my favorite is The Happiness Advantage. Beyond the deeper dive into the benefits of a positive frame of mind, I love a couple of specific points: focusing on small goals promotes feelings of control (and less stress!), relationships are more important to creating happiness than any other factor (which is why I love building a relationship with your family as we navigate college admissions), and happiness is infectious (and who doesn’t love that?!). 

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