Building the University of You

The Question I’m Dying to Ask My Almost 17-Year-Old Self

March 29, 1982 “Tom, when are you the most ‘you’?” The question hangs in the air as I sit silently between my parents on an orange-leather sofa in the office of someone who calls himself a “college planner”. My silence isn’t due to a lack of understanding. I’m just gauging the potential benefits of an honest response with the costs of what quickly could become an incredibly uncomfortable conversation. Just days before my seventeenth birthday, the words I’m about to…

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“So, where are you headed next year?” How to Choose the Right College in 15 Hours or Less

National Decision Day for high school seniors is May 1st, a mere 15 hours from now. Most students have made their decision, but many are left with a difficult decision and the stress that accompanies it. My work as a college planner is incredibly rewarding for many reasons, and helping young minds make this very decision is a responsibility I take very seriously. Over the years I’ve repeated my mantra of “Delay the decision” not because I want students to avoid making…

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Beyond Basketball: What the #1 Seeds Have to Offer off the Court

So Kentucky is the #1 overall seed in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. That’s no surprise if you’ve been even a casual follower of college hoops. Coach John Calipari has created a new brand of college basketball, wherein he convinces the most talented high school players in the country to don the jerseys of a fine university for about six months before putting on a flat-brimmed hat with the name of the NBA team that drafts them in the…

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Shopping for Pants with Gary Anderson: Why Fit Is the Only Thing That Matters

On a Tuesday morning just before he skipped town for Corvallis and the Oregon State job, Gary Anderson stopped at West Towne Mall to buy a pair of pants. I spotted him in the back racks of Eddie Bauer, where we were both hunting for a good deal on some wrinkle-free khakis. Surprisingly, he didn’t have a speck of UW apparel on his back. Out of respect for his time, I chose not to engage him in chit chat. But…

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Paying for College: How to get the dialogue started

After paying a batch of monthly bills last night, my wife and I sat down to go through our budget. After reviewing the day-to-day numbers, she asked me to pull up our investments and within 20 minutes we knew exactly what we have in all our retirement accounts and how much is put away for our boys’ college education. We located a few online calculators, plugged in the numbers, ran a few different scenarios for rate of return, and were…

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