What Harvard (and other Ivy League schools) Consider in an Applicant

June 21, 2018

By Andrew Henrotin College admissions is not perfect nor an exact science. Some students who are denied admission to top colleges are quite capable, while some of those admitted might be better off somewhere else. Regardless, reputable institutions do everything possible to make the best admissions decisions for each student. Harvard College evaluates each applicant […]

Who NOT to Listen To during the College Application Process

June 15, 2018

By Susan Packer Davis I have been advising students and parents about college applications and essays for nearly forty years.  One of the most important pieces of advice I always give them is to place imaginary ear muffs over their ears as I help them navigate college and university admissions.  It is never a good […]

Last-Minute Summer Planning

June 8, 2018

By Chen Liu The admission results of summer programs are all released now. Do you get rejected by that popular program every Bay Area kid is talking about? When your friends are discussing what they are doing this summer, you realize that it’s too late to sign up for any summer programs…What’s your backup plan? […]

Deciding Between Schools with Your Gut Feeling and Heart

June 1, 2018

By Justin Wang This is the season when hopefully, students will have a number of schools accepting them.  So how does one pick between schools? Should it be the biggest name school you got a “yes”?  Should it be the one with the prettiest campus? Or should it be the one where more of my […]

Tesla Tour Factory

May 25, 2018

By Vi Le In the summer of 2016, my students and I had the opportunity to experience a factory tour at Tesla, located down the street from the ThinkTank Fremont Center. Three rising seniors pursuing STEM field were chosen in this special opportunity: Justin Wan, who is interested in mechanical and aerospace engineering, Andy Jiang, […]

The Mindshift of a Transfer Student: How Not To Make the Same Mistakes Twice

May 18, 2018

By Will Miller This blog topic is intended to reach students who are seeking admission transfers to the institutions that previously rejected them. However, I also recommend it to current high school students and their parents, particularly in 10th and 11th grades. You didn’t get into your dream school after completing twelfth grade. So instead […]

Why Do I Need My Consultant?

May 11, 2018

By Samuel Fung I have a Geometry test to study for tomorrow. Basketball practice ran late. My friends are going to hang out and get boba. I can handle this myself. Every student is busy, and the competition for much coveted spots at universities only gets tougher each year. It is no wonder that students […]

Your Major is Not Your Destiny

May 4, 2018

by Justin Wang Many students applying to undergraduate programs agonize over what major to pick.  They worry about whether they’ll be trapped in a field of study that they’re not sure they will like.  Or that they’re compelled to select a major under pressure or influence from their parents. “Why do you want to study […]

How to Choose Extracurricular Activities

April 27, 2018

By Susan Packer Davis How should a student go about finding the right extracurricular activities? My answer is simple: A student should do what s/he loves to do – and then expand that passion into a meaningful and significant activity or project that will be about more than him or her, something for the greater […]

Writing: How to Make It Better

April 20, 2018

By Susan Packer Davis At the start of each and every school year, my mother, Sonya Packer, a professor in the Speech Department at UCLA for thirty years, would receive a note in her box from the Chancellor, imploring all the professors at UCLA to do whatever they could to raise the level of writing […]