Podcast: Joy Meserve: Leading with Joy

In today’s episode, join me as I sit down with Joy Meserve, CEO and founder of Leading with Joy. We delve into her transformative journey from corporate PR to pioneering STEM education, exploring insights on joyful leadership and navigating career shifts. From parenting parallels to practical college prep tips, Joy shares candid wisdom and actionable […]

Join me in today’s episode as I delve into the intricacies of college waitlists. I’ll discuss the purpose behind waitlists and offer actionable advice for waitlisted students on navigating their current acceptances while strategically positioning themselves for potential waitlist admissions. Tune in! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:00 They had the raw talent and stats to probably get […]

Podcast: Joanna Graham: Expertise, Authenticity, and Purpose

In today’s episode, I chat with Joanna Graham, one of Signet’s Senior Admissions Consultants, to discuss the significance of expertise, authenticity, and purpose in shaping students’ paths, highlighting the transformative power of education. Join us for insights into career navigation and the impact of self-discovery on students’ aspirations. TRANSCRIPT Joanna Graham: 0:00 I love this work. […]

Podcast: Van Tran: Embracing the Pivot

In today’s episode, I sit down with Van Tran, co-founder of API Rising, and delve into the intersection of art and technology, her pivotal career transitions in corporations, and the importance of trusting oneself in navigating diverse career paths. Join us for a conversation that inspires embracing purpose-driven career pivots and making a meaningful impact. […]

Podcast: Emmaline Cook: Learning for the Sake of Learning

In today’s episode, Signet’s Account Manager Emmaline shares her remarkable journey—from unconventional high school experiences and the complexities of college admissions to a surprising detour into dance during a transformative gap year. Her story is a testament to self-discovery, resilience, and the pursuit of authentic fulfillment. Tune in! Access Signet’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Planning […]

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Planning Course

  ACCESS THE COURSE NOW   Parents know that summer activity planning is important for college admissions. But don’t stress – with the right steps and timely planning, you can make the most of how your teen invests their time in the summer, and strategically choose the right thing for them! Signet Education’s 40-minute Summer […]

Podcast: Dr. Neha Pathak and Dr. Joyce Varughese: Education and the Children of Immigrants

In today’s episode, I engage in a compelling conversation with two dear friends and accomplished professionals, Dr. Neha Pathak and Dr. Joyce Varughese, on navigating the pressures of college and societal expectations. They offer insightful advice for the next generation, urging a pursuit of passion over predefined paths. Join us as they candidly discuss the […]

Podcast: Let’s get tactical: How to Plan your Summer

Welcome back to the podcast! After a refreshing holiday break, join me as I share valuable insights on making your student’s summer meaningful. Let’s kick off the year together! Access Signet’s Guide to Summer Planning here. Explore various summer programs and exciting opportunities from Pathways to Science, Teenlife, and College Match Point. TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: Hello, and welcome back […]

Podcast: Let’s Get Tactical: Early Results Are Coming Out

Early results are here! Dive into my latest episode to understand how to decode acceptances, denials, and deferrals, and learn why these decisions don’t define your journey. Join me as we navigate the highs and lows of early applications, helping you support your child through this pivotal moment! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: We want to remember, […]

Podcast: Jay Rosner: Bias in Testing and College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Jay Rosner to explore the realm of standardized testing, discuss fairness in education, and dissect the recent legal battles over affirmative action in college admissions. TRANSCRIPT Jay Rosner: 0:00 It just so happens that the SAT on the math side particularly has a disparity consistent disparity over decades against […]

Podcast: Sheila Tactical: Now That Early Apps Are Done

In this episode, I talk about what to do now that early college applications are behind us. Uncover essential post-early-admission steps and strategic insights to navigate your next move. Don’t miss this expert advice on the college admissions journey! TRANSCRIPT Sheila Akbar: 0:00 Once you have a clearer idea of what are the things you need […]

Podcast: Chris LaTempa: Recruited Athletes & College Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Chris LaTempa, a seasoned college counseling expert with a wealth of knowledge in the intricate world of college athletic recruiting. If you have a child considering college athletics, this episode is a MUST LISTEN! TRANSCRIPT Chris LaTempa: 0:00 It is a common error for student athletes to sit back […]

Podcast: Jaime Smith: Transfer & Homeschool Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with educational consultant Jamie Smith to explore transfer admissions. Join us as we unravel the opportunities and challenges for non-traditional students, from transfers to homeschoolers. Get ready for insights into the evolving higher education landscape and its impact on admissions. Don’t miss this conversation about fostering diversity on campuses […]

Podcast: Annie Tulkin: Accessible College

In this episode, Annie Tulkin, the founder of Accessible College, and I discuss the world of college transition support for students with disabilities. Don’t miss this insightful conversation that sheds light on the path to college success for all students. Follow Annie Tulkin on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, and visit her website here. Connect with me on LinkedIn and become a […]

Podcast: Don’t Force It: An Intentional Approach to College Admissions

Join me as we dive deep into the college admissions process and explore the three essential phases that set students up for success. We’ll uncover the importance of building a solid foundation, strategic preparation, and crafting a compelling narrative. Discover how an intentional approach can transform the college journey into a rewarding experience. TRANSCRIPT Sheila […]

Podcast: Hanna Stotland: Educational Crisis Management & Admissions

In today’s episode, I sit down with Educational Crisis Manager, Hannah Stotland. She works with students to recover their academic records and reapply to programs after major incidents, like medical leaves, ethics code violations, or family emergencies. Her message is clear: there is hope, but it will take your hard work. Bio Hanna Stotland flunked […]

Podcast: Sharon Genicoff: Personal Branding in College Admissions

In this episode, I sit down with high school college counselor Sharon Genicoff to explore the art of crafting an authentic personal brand for your college applications. Our conversation empowers students to present their unique qualities in a meaningful way, ensuring their college applications stand out and reflect their genuine selves. Tune in for invaluable […]

Podcast: Alberto Naviera: STEM tutoring

In today’s episode, I speak with one of Signet’s Principal Tutors, Alberto Naviera. We discuss Alberto’s unique approach to STEM tutoring, his empathetic connections with students, and how he empowers them to conquer the challenges of learning science. Tune in to learn more about how we meet students where they are at Signet! TRANSCRIPT Sheila […]

Procrastination? Or Fear in Disguise?

Procrastination? Fear or Disguise.

Here’s a look into the future: It’s Spring of 2024. The school year is rolling on. Homework and activities have piled up. And you realize you’re behind—again.    You thought this time would be different, but the days slipped away, “have to’s” piled up, and your hope of being purposeful and intentional got swallowed by […]

Podcast: Bob Schaeffer: Fairtest.org

Today I sit down with longtime friend, Bob Schaeffer. Bob is an incredible source of knowledge around how the testing landscape has changed in the last several decades and the work that he and his team at FairTest do is invaluable. Tune in to hear about the test optional movement in college admissions and more!   TRANSCRIPT […]

Signet Admissions Results

Since we started helping students in 2005 get into their dream schools, our team of former admissions officers, writing coaches, and research analysts have helped students with hundreds of personal statements, supplemental essays, activity lists, and resumes. On top of that, we’ve given our students advice on which schools to target, how best to frame […]

The Anatomy of a Good College Essay

The Anatomy of a Good Essay

If you’ve been following Signet for any period of time or reading through their provided resources, you’ve probably already heard a lot of talk about the college admissions essay.  It’s not just a big checkbox on the admissions to-do list.  It offers a chance to encapsulate your journey in life thus far.  The opportunity for […]

Riding the Winds of Change: How to Sail Through Transition

Riding the Winds of Change How to Sail Through Transition   It’s summer. Your kid is a teenager. That means you’re facing a whole lot of change. We don’t even need to know what age or year your child is currently in to know they’re facing some whopping transitions in the year ahead. All you […]

Podcast: Andrea West: The Power of Reflection in College Admissions

Today, I talk with Signet’s Director of Operations and senior academic coach, Andrea West about the benefits of combining traditional college admissions consulting with coaching. Coaching can not only improve a student’s academic performance, but it can also shift them into more of a growth mindset and self-knowledge, two things which are vitally important in […]

Celebrating our 2023 College Admissions

We have the privilege of working with the most amazing and talented students and talented staff, and we’re just so proud, we have to shout it from the rooftops! In the past year alone, our students have received acceptance letters from over 90 of our nation’s top-rated colleges and universities. This is an incredible achievement, […]

Capturing Your Story

The school year is coming to a close, and you’re getting excited about summer and all its possibilities.  But nagging there in the back of your mind is this little thought that won’t leave you alone.  Your college essay.  You can put it off or pretend it’s not there, but eventually, you’ll have to face […]

Podcast Bonus Episode: Tools for Academic Skill-Building and Accountability

Jay Bacrania: Skills for High School Success

Towards the end of my conversation with Jay, our CEO, last week, we started getting really tactical around various tools that can help build students’ awareness of their challenges and move them towards solutions. In this episode, we talk through calendars, digital distractions, time management, and a tool for examining how non-academic factors impact academic […]

Planning a Summer that Serves

Planning a Summer that Serves

Summer is on its way, and if you’re the parent of a high schooler, you’re probably starting to think about what they’re going to be spending all that free time doing.  How do you give them the freedom they need to refresh and avoid burnout, but also keep them challenged, mentally engaged and building a […]

The Weight of the Waitlist

The Weight of the Waitlist

If your child has been put on the waitlist for their college of choice, you know the ache of watching them struggle under the weight of it.  The feeling of being in limbo can be hard to bear, and it’s difficult to know what to do next. Although the waitlist isn’t a closed door, it […]

To Test or Not To Test?

To Test or Not To Test

One of the less visible changes that the 2020 pandemic brought us was the shift to “test optional” policies at many schools across the US.  Nearly 2,000 schools have now instituted this policy based not only on the lack of ability to test during lockdown, but on research showing standardized test scores do not offer […]

Podcast: How to Navigate the Waitlist

With all the college decisions that came out in the last week of March, I’m getting so many questions about how to navigate the waitlist. In this episode, I talk about what the waitlist is used for, how waitlist use has increased recently, and what students who are waitlisted should do to both move forward […]

[Podcast Trailer] Don’t Force It: How to Get Into College Without Losing Yourself In The Process

For all the stressed-out parents trying to help their teenagers navigate the complicated world of college admissions. Each episode offers insightful and in-depth conversations with admissions experts and professional educators with practical advice for getting through the process without losing sight of yourself, your kid, or your sanity. From building a strong academic and extracurricular […]

Making the Most of Your College Visits

Making the Most of Your College Visits

College visits can be daunting and stressful, but with the right approach and preparation, they can offer the building blocks for deep connection and foundational memories for you and your family. Here are a few tips to keep your college visits fun and intentional:   1. LIST WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW. Have you ever […]

Make Your College Application Stand Out

Make Your College Application Stand Out

Who are college admissions officers? And how can students ensure their applications stand out? Discover three helpful guidelines for making a good impression.

Preparing to Write the College Essay

Preparing to Write the College Essay

Preparing to write your college essay? Learn what makes a great college essay, how to write one from brainstorming to final draft, and helpful quick tips.

Write Your Perfect College Essay

The college essay (or personal statement) is an important component of a college application. Discover Signet’s 8-step approach to writing the perfect essay.

College Admissions

College admissions is one of the most important parts of the high school experience. It can also be a significant source of stress for students and their parents—especially as they try to keep up with the many other demands of high school.   First things first: take a deep breath. The journey you’re about to take […]

High School Road Map for Sophomores and Juniors

The most successful high school students have a road map that takes them from the beginning of freshman year through high school graduation. Learn how sophomores and juniors can plan their road maps.

SAT, ACT, or go ‘Test Optional?’

SAT vs ACT vs Test Optional

We receive many questions from families about whether their students should take the SAT, ACT, or go test optional. Here’s how to make the right decision.

Summer: The Time for College Applications

Get on Track with College Applications This Summer

Summer is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time for students to get on track with college applications. Get Signet’s college application checklist.