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Parent of a high school sophomore or junior? There are two things you should do today to help your child begin the college search
Jack Delehey (Vanderbilt '14) is a college admissions expert and author (Lessons for Our Younger Brothers, 2018) originally from Concord, MA and now resides in Denver, CO. It is his goal to pass on his college admission knowledge, strategies, and unique perspective to high school students in a young, fun, relatable, older-brother type manner.

The college application process is often confusing and stressful. But it just doesn't have to be that way! If you are interested in gaining clarity, peace of mind, and a detailed step-by-step program to help your child through the college application process, reach out and request a free strategy session today.

- BLOG -

Written by Jack Delehey on November 25th, 2022

Are you the parent of a sophomore or junior in high school? Do you have that feeling that you should help your child begin the college planning process soon…but you don’t know where to begin?

Written by Jack Delehey on December 02nd, 2022

A unique video from me today but an important one, not just for me but I hope for your high schooler as well. I hope you enjoy...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 04th, 2022

That’s real, actual, school-provided data.

To say the college admissions landscape has changed in the last 20 years is an understatement.

Want to know how your high schooler can still have a fighting chance at acceptance?...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 11th, 2022

I truly enjoy helping high schoolers become the best version of themselves possible. And student success emails like this, which I received this week make it all worthwhile.

Congratulations to Alex on admission into his dream college, The Citadel...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 18th, 2022

I received a text from one of my students this week.

She was accepted to Loyola Chicago. And received $88,000 in addition to the acceptance!

Want to know how scholarships work? Want to maximize the chance that your child receives a scholarship like this in their acceptance package? If so, it’s a 3-step process...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 21st, 2022

I’m pretty sure I get asked more about writing “The College Essay” than any other college topic.

It makes sense. After all, it is, typically the 3rd most important factor in college admissions, and most families have a grasp on #1 and #2 (HS Grades, Standardized Testing).

But here’s the secret: Writing a standout, killer college essay actually isn’t that hard…as long as you understand what admissions is looking for in your child’s 650 words!

I’ll give you a hint right now: the more fun your high schooler has writing the essay, the better it will serve its purpose. Seriously! Say goodbye to the middle-school style 5-paragraph essay. This isn’t the time for it...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 21st, 2022

The Delehey College Consulting extends its congratulations to Class of 2022!

Written by Jack Delehey on October 28th, 2022

It’s crunch time for my seniors! As each of them finalizes their early window applications this week, I wanted to let parents know why the early window of applications (Early Decision - previously discussed, but also Early Action) are tremendously beneficial.

If your high schooler can be on top of things and have their applications finalized already, strongly encourage them to submit early...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 30th, 2022

These days, seniors can get bogged down in the nuances of their application.

“Should I put a semicolon here or a period?”

“Should I list this activity #7 or #8 on my Common App?”

Don’t get me wrong – these questions are important.

But we’re talking about decisions that maybe could increase your chances of acceptance by 1% or 2%.

How about decisions that can, with one click of a button, increase your chances by 500%?

These decisions are what I call “College Cheat Codes” and I discuss them in detail in this 12-minute video...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 07th, 2022

Having seen over 160 families now go through my College Confidence Program in the last 12 years, I can confidently say there is one single factor that is far and away more important than any other.

Written by Jack Delehey on October 14th, 2022

Ever wonder why sometimes teenagers seem self-motivated, proactive, and willing to put in the work to see the results?

But then sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get them to stop all their TikToking, sit down, and have one focused college planning session with you?

Well, when it comes to motivation, teenagers need a WHY and a WHEN. (Trust me, it wasn’t that long ago, I was a 17-year old)...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 09th, 2022

Previously written on 9/24/2021
Parents often ask me (in regards to college preparation), “What can my child do right now?”

So I’ve decided I’m going to answer that. Starting with the most important, HS Juniors, and working backwards (Sophomores, then Freshman) over the next couple of weeks...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 16th, 2022

Previously written on 01/08/2021
This time of year, I get a lot of questions about building a college list. Freshman and sophomores want to know where to start. Juniors want to know how to really get deep into their school list creation. And seniors want to finalize their list, making sure they have an appropriate Safety/Probable/Target/Reach balance before pressing submit on their applications...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 23rd, 2022

Remember the Stanley family?

If you’ve followed along with my newsletter, you’ve seen me highlight their progress intermittently over the last two years after joining start-to-finish College Confidence Program:
Well I’ve got to admit: yesterday I shed a tear. Jameson, whom I’ve worked with since January 2021, wrote to me from his college dorm (University of Denver) for the first time since arriving on campus...

Written by Jack Delehey on August 19th, 2022

Welp, It’s that time of year. The time of year when students go back to school…and it seems this word “college” affects all high schoolers…not just seniors, but 11th, 10th, and 9th graders.

But have no fear. You, as a subscriber to this newsletter, do not have to fear the phrase “college planning”...you can tackle it head-on. In the notes below, I am going to answer the following question for students in each of the four grades of high school:

What ONE THING should my high schooler do today to progress their college planning, given their grade (9, 10, 11, or 12)?...

Written by Jack Delehey on August 26th, 2022

The internet has, to some extent, evened the playing field when it comes to college admissions. Any high schooler (or parent of a high schooler) can access detailed, pertinent college planning information these days. And much of that information is entirely free.

But a typical complaint I hear from families who reach out to me is the following:

There’s just SO MUCH information out there. I don’t know how to sift through it!

So let me try to help. Below are my five favorite, 100% free, resources out there on the internet today. I have heavily vetted, tested, and re-tested each of one of them personally. Hopefully this can help you get over that too much information hurdle and start helping your high schooler plan for college today...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 02nd, 2022

Meet Bella. Bella is a rockstar student of mine from (Senior, Richardson, TX). She’s 3rd in her class (out of over 500), has stellar test scores and puts in tremendous effort into her college planning. She really is exceptional to say the least!

But even Bella didn’t quite know how to really help herself stand out from the crowd of students all playing the same college admissions game.

If Bella…the 3rd ranked student in her entire class feels this way, it’s safe to say many high schoolers across the country feel stress, confusion, and anxiety when things like “passion projects” and “standing out in the admissions game” are brought up...

Written by Jack Delehey on July 29th, 2022

3 years ago, test-optional was a rare term reserved for a small list of colleges across the country (think: the Wake Forests of the world, whose test-optional policies date way back to 2008!)

In 2020, a global pandemic hit, sending colleges into a panic. High schoolers across the country were having their ACTs and SATs canceled…straight up canceled! What to do?

Well, you likely know by now: nearly every school across the country made an unprecedented change: announcing they were going test-optional...

Written by Jack Delehey on August 05th, 2022

So your child is an athlete. Or an incredible trombone player. Or excels on a theater stage.

You’ve thought to yourself, “I wonder if my child can use this skill to help them get into college eventually.”

The short answer to your question is: Yes, they may be able to use this talent to improve their college admissions chances.

The longer answer to your question is when it comes to recruiting (athletic or other), I’ve seen the following hold true time and time again.

For the majority of high schoolers (95%+)...

Written by Jack Delehey on August 05th, 2022

Previously written on 10/21/2021
That screenshot is taken from my private DCC Community and was posted just a couple of days ago. Nicole joined the College Confidence Program as a HS junior last month. One month in, she’s experiencing real, tangible changes in her life already...

Written by Jack Delehey on July 08th, 2022

Previously written on 10/16/2020
This time of year I get a lot of questions from high school seniors and parents about Early Decision. Applying ED has become the norm, particularly when applying to top-30 uber-competitive universities.

The crazy thing is, ED hasn't even been around forever. Once upon a time, there was only one application pool...

Written by Jack Delehey on July 15th, 2022

Previously written on 12/03/2021
If you have a senior in HS out there, one who is working hard this time of year to submit his many college applications, there’s a chance you’ve heard tale that, after submitting an application, the job isn’t 100% complete. Why is that?

Because, for many schools, high school seniors may have to complete an interview with a representative from the school (likely an alum)...

Written by Jack Delehey on July 22nd, 2022

Previously written on 09/17/2021
Last weekend I had a pretty cool moment. I was back in Nashville for a wedding and decided to go on a run through Vanderbilt’s campus. A lot has changed since I graduated in 2014, but a lot seemed to be just as I left it. Nearly at the end of my run, I decided to run by my former sophomore dorm...and look who I found outside...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 17th, 2022

Previously written on 11/06/2020
This week, a parent asked me a question I had never heard before:

"What is the most common question you get asked?" (referring to me).

Hmmm.

The question caught me off guard for a second. My head is typically deep in college admissions data, trends, and best practices, so I had to shift gears for a second.

Once I did, however, the answer was glaringly obvious...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 24th, 2022

Previously written on 12/11/2020
Last week, a thoughtful parent asked me the following question:

“My son’s high school only offers a handful of AP classes. I see other high schools offer many more. Will my son be at a disadvantage when he applies to college because he can’t take the same quantity of high-level APs?”

It is a great question, one that I have been asked many times, in fact. Your time is valuable, so I’m going to provide two answers. The short answer will allow you to close this newsletter if you are pressed for time. The longer answer will be available for you, should you have interest in the nuances...

Written by Jack Delehey on July 01st, 2022

Previously written on 08/20/2021
Last week, a parent asked me a question on a strategy session call that stopped me in my tracks for a second:

“What is the #1 trait, in your opinion, that separates prepared families from the rest when it comes to the college search?”

I had to take a second. Immediately my brain went to families that proactively book college visits, families that actually have a list in the first place, families that give the process the appropriate amount of time to happen naturally...

Written by Jack Delehey on May 27th, 2022

Summer is right around the corner. This time of year, I receive a flood of inquiries all more or less asking the following:

“What should my high schooler do over the summer?”

This blog will answer that question...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 03rd, 2022

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I am going to step to the side and let Larry Cheung, Founder of Tigerway Prep take over my newsletter.  

The goal here is to introduce you, my readers, to supplementary insight, beyond my expertise. Larry and I have thoroughly reviewed 2022 admissions data…and I am happy to introduce his conclusions right here in this blog! At the end, if you enjoyed this newsletter takeover, shoot me a reply and let me know? Would you like me to do more of these?

I trust Larry & his expertise tremendously. I hope it is beneficial to you...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 10th, 2022

Previously written in 6/11/2021
It’s June. And that means school’s out for the summer (it’s impossible for me to write that without singing it). It was not that long ago I, too, was a high school junior (about to be a senior). I know what it’s like. You’ve just completed what, for most, is the most rigorous, time consuming year of high school...and all you want to do is take the next 8 weeks to rest...

Written by Jack Delehey on April 29th, 2022

As springtime rolls around, I often receive the following question from parents eager to help their high schooler (usually 10th or 11th grade) start the college planning process:

"Where do I even go to start?"

I am fortunate over the last 12 years to have had parents who are devoted and caring enough to even ask this question. Many, many high school students across the US are left to fend for themselves when it comes to the college search. As a teenager, having a parent willing to work through the college process alongside them is tremendously beneficial...

Written by Jack Delehey on May 13th, 2022

Previously written on 4/30/2021
Below are the four most important characteristics in college admissions, listed in order of importance:
  • High school grades and the rigor of classes taken
  • Standardized test scores (in a global pandemic this became optional unanimously across the country, which certainly added a nuance to college admissions)
  • The college essay or, more specifically, the Common App Personal Statement & any supplemental essays required
  • ​Your story - you will hear this called “extracurriculars,” “leadership activities,” “background” or any combination...but I call it “your story.” It’s one thing to have a life outside of grades, yet it’s quite another to know how to explain this life succinctly and confidently in a college application. Extracurriculars and leadership activities don’t just tell themselves, you need to know how to present them! Thus, “your story...”

Written by Jack Delehey on May 20th, 2022

My newsletter subscribers (aka you!) are the best. THE BEST.

Want to see the definition of immediate results? Well it happened last week.

If you recall, last week’s newsletter was about high school study habits, including my 50/10 on/off method.

At the end I said the following:

If, after reading this, you convince your high schooler to try the 50/10 tactic, snap a photo of them completing the challenge. Email the photo to me and I’ll gift you the following, should you be interested:
  • I’ll mail one of Cal Newport’s books of your choosing to your house free of charge, they’re on me, just write to me and tell me which one you want
Not soon after I sent out that challenge, I received this email...

Written by Jack Delehey on April 8th, 2022

Previously written on 4/23/2021.

It’s deposit time. For high school seniors, in the next 8 days you will have to make one of the more influential decisions of your life up to this point: where you’ll (likely, unless you get off a waitlist) attend college for the next four years.

For some seniors, this decision is easy. Perhaps they’ve already made their choice, placed their deposit, and bought their back-of-the-car sticker to prove it.

But for others, the decision may be a difficult one, as they weigh the pros and cons of 2, 3, 4, or more schools...
Time for you to meet these rockstar students of mine!..

Originally Recorded on March 04, 2022

Jack Delehey interviews SAT guru & Tigerway Prep Founder, Larry Cheung. To learn more about Larry, go to: Tigerwayprep.com

Written by Jack Delehey on April 22nd, 2022

The acceptances are rolling in for my seniors. And so are the happy faces.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had seniors gain acceptance, and commit to, the following schools:
  • University of Michigan (21.9% out of state acceptance)
  • ​Georgia Tech (17% acceptance rate)
  • ​UT-Austin (32% acceptance rate)
  • ​Tulane (11.1% acceptance rate)

Written by Jack Delehey on March 11th, 2022

This time of year, I often get emails from frantic high schoolers and parents (juniors & sophomores typically) trying to figure out what schools to visit on spring break. This then comes with the secondary question of, “I don’t want to just visit all Reach schools…how do I balance my visits to see a wide range of schools?”

The article below (originally written in 2021) should help you a) create a balanced school list and b) keep track of that balanced school list in an easy-to-read-visual form. Hope it helps...

Written by Jack Delehey on March 18th, 2022

About a month ago I wrote to you and presented a radical idea: If you have a HS junior, they should lock in their teachers’ letters of recommendation now. Yes, now, in the winter of their junior year. 

What I will go into here is something I’ve preached for awhile: my coaching style is no-fluff, no-bs. I’m an open book.

So I want you to know that when I give advice in my newsletter, I’m giving the exact same advice to my current students and parents. The only difference is they’re getting a lot more of that advice, a lot more consistently, and with a personalized approach, tailored for every student...

Written by Jack Delehey on April 01st, 2022

Previously written on 4/9/2021.

This time of year is busy for all high schoolers.

Seniors: Decision time. In terms of college admissions, you are either accepted, rejected, waitlisted, or perhaps some combination of all three at this point. Now it’s time to make a decision before the May 1 deposit deadline.

Juniors: Quite truly, the junior spring portion of my program is called “The most difficult and rewarding 12 weeks” and I stand by it. You have SATs/ACTs, you have after school activities/sports, you are asking teachers for recommendation letters, and oh, by the way, you have this thing called high school academics. It’s a lot.

Sophomores: This is when the first whisperings of “college” begin...and it can be overwhelming. A lot of questions are running through your head. “What academic area do I want to focus in?” “What classes should I choose?” “Is AP Lit going to be too hard next year?” “Am I going to make the varsity team?” are just a few of the many questions I hear...

Written by Jack Delehey on February 18th, 2022

I originally wrote this post 13 months ago. It’s that time of year again. And the same insight applies. In fact, it may even be more important now that standardized test scores seem to be dropping in importance with at least some schools (mostly the California schools).

If you have a high school junior, read below! (And then relay the information onto them)...

Written by Jack Delehey on February 25th, 2022

Meet Madison. 

Madison is a rockstar student of mine from Florida. It wasn’t too long ago, she and her parents weren’t super confident when it came to planning for college. Madison is an A-student who does well with standardized testing…so two boxes were checked…but what more could they do to stand out? And how should they go about building their first school list...

Written by Jack Delehey on March 4th, 2022

You’ve met Jameson before, a current senior at Hershey HS in Pennsylvania, and someone I’ve highlighted in this newsletter multiple times. When I started working with Jameson, he was an HS junior with no real plan when it came to thinking about college.
That was 398 days ago...

Written by Jack Delehey on January 28th, 2022

Remember Brian, one of my high school seniors? I highlighted him last week.

Brief reminder: After working diligently with me for the last year, Brian was accepted to his top-choice school, The University of Virginia, in December...

Written by Jack Delehey on February 4th, 2022

Question: What’s worse than studying for the SAT?

Answer: Studying for the SAT…then 6 months in, realizing you actually prefer the ACT…then studying for the ACT.

It wasn’t that long ago I was a high school. I remember it well. Studying for one standardized test was bad enough. After all, I had sports to do, video games to play, and friends to hang out with...

Written by Jack Delehey on February 11th, 2022

When Bianca and her mother, Ruth, reached out to me 15 months ago, Bianca’s older brother had just been rejected from his top school choices. They were stressed out and didn’t have a plan…and didn’t want to see Bianca end up in a similar position a year later.

15 months later (and after joining the DCC Program), I have some exciting news to share...

Written by Jack Delehey on December 14th, 2021

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I am going to step to the side and let Larry Cheung, Founder of Tigerway Prep take over my newsletter.

The goal here is to introduce you, my readers, to supplementary insight, beyond my expertise. Test prep is certainly one of those areas...

Written by Jack Delehey on January 14th, 2022

I want to introduce you to my grandfather, Chuck. 

Chuck is truly one of the most thoughtful, caring people I know. When a newcomer enters the room, he is the first person to get up from his chair and make sure the individual feels welcome, whether via personal introductions, a glass of water, or a hefty portion of my grandmother’s delicious cooking...

Written by Jack Delehey on January 21st, 2022

Time for a proud college coach moment here. When a student gets into their top-choice school, after months of hard work & dedication…they get a shout out to my entire email list.

Without further ado…

Congratulations to Brian & Olivia, two of my hardest working HS seniors, on their Early Decision acceptance to their top choice schools..

Written by Jack Delehey on November 12th, 2021

Do you remember one of my all-star students, Molly?

I highlighted Molly back in May, as she was working to finalize her school list. I used her school list as an example of the importance of keeping organized when it comes to assessing future schools.

Well, I have a major update for you all.

Written by Jack Delehey on November 19th, 2021

Meet the Bailey family (Birmingham, AL). Gus (the tallest one, far left) started working with me this past summer. His mother, Beth (pictured far right), initially reached out because she identified a sticking point with her son in regards to next steps, college planning, and thinking about the future in general...

Written by Jack Delehey on December 3rd, 2021

If you have a senior in HS out there, one who is working hard this time of year to submit his many college applications, there’s a chance you’ve heard tale that, after submitting an application, the job isn’t 100% complete. Why is that?

Because, for many schools, high school seniors may have to complete an interview with a representative from the school (likely an alum)...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 8th, 2021

This time of year, I get a lot of questions about building a college list. Freshman and sophomores want to know where to start. Juniors want to know how to really get deep into their school list creation. And seniors want to finalize their list, making sure they have an appropriate Safety/Probable/Target/Reach balance before pressing submit on their applications...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 29th, 2021

Remember the Stanley family? I may have been squinting far too much for this photo to be posted on the internet, but it was a great moment nonetheless. After I said goodbye, I had a brief moment of reflection on just how much our relationship has grown over this past year...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 5th, 2021

As we head into holiday season, I’ve decide to write a couple of blogs that will all fall under this category:

“What, as a parent, can I possibly casually bring up with my high school child while I have their undivided attention, when they are home, at the kitchen table, with nowhere to run because it’s holiday season?”

I’ve written a few of these in the past and parents seem to have enjoyed them a lot. So here goes round 1...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 17th 2021

Last weekend I had a pretty cool moment. I was back in Nashville for a wedding and decided to go on a run through Vanderbilt’s campus. A lot has changed since I graduated in 2014, but a lot seemed to be just as I left it. Nearly at the end of my run, I decided to run by my former sophomore dorm...and look who I found outside...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 24th 2021

Parents often ask me (in regards to college preparation), “What can my child do right now?”

So I’ve decided I’m going to answer that. Starting with the most important, HS Juniors, and working backwards (Sophomores, then Freshman) over the next couple of weeks...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 1st, 2021

That screenshot is taken from my private DCC Community and was posted just a couple of days ago. Nicole joined the College Confidence Program as a HS junior last month. One month in, she’s experiencing real, tangible changes in her life already...

Written by Jack Delehey on August 20th 2021

Last week, a parent asked me a question on a strategy session call that stopped me in my tracks for a second:
“What is the #1 trait, in your opinion, that separates prepared families from the rest when it comes to the college search?”

I had to take a second. Immediately my brain went to families that proactively book college visits, families that actually have a list in the first place, families that give the process the appropriate amount of time to happen naturally...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 3rd 2021

Behram starts junior year next week. And, for the last several months, has been experiencing a growing stress: thinking about college.

For most high school freshmen and sophomores, college feels like it’s in the distant future. In Covid times with remote learning, this feeling was compounded, as high schoolers weren’t surrounded by older peers talking about college...

Written by Jack Delehey on September 10th 2021

Meet the Stanley family (Hershey, PA).
You may recognize the oldest brother, Jameson from my blog a few months back:

High school goes by quick. Jameson is already a senior and he’s cruising through the Delehey College Confidence Program.

His younger brother, Judd, is already a junior. His freshman year was cut short due to Covid and his sophomore year basically didn’t exist due to Covid. Now here he is as a HS junior and college is right around the corner...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 11th 2021

It’s June. And that means school’s out for the summer (it’s impossible for me to write that without singing it). It was not that long ago I, too, was a high school junior (about to be a senior). I know what it’s like. You’ve just completed what, for most, is the most rigorous, time consuming year of high school...and all you want to do is take the next 8 weeks to rest...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 18th 2021

Meet Anna Kate and her mother, Chanin. I had the opportunity to meet these two, along with Anna Kate’s father, a couple of weeks back. What really impressed me with Anna Kate was how much work she had already put in to set up a strong foundation for her college planning process. What I really want is to ensure that hard work doesn’t go to waste!...

Written by Jack Delehey on July 23rd 2021

Meet Gabrielle (right). Gabrielle is an all-star student at Providence Catholic School in San Antonio. Her mother and father (pictured, left) reached out to me because all three of them were struggling beginning the college search. Gabrielle is smart, hard working and cares about her collegiate future...but there are over 3,700 schools listed on CollegeBoard’s website...how do you even begin narrowing down schools that could possibly be a fit?...

Written by Jack Delehey on May 14th 2021

Some parts of the college planning process apply to every single student. For example:
  • ​Every HS student signs up for the SATs in the exact same manner (Collegeboard’s online sign up)
  • ​Early Decision deadlines are in November of a student’s senior year of HS for every single school and every single student
  • ​Deposit Day is on or near May 1 for every single school and every single student
  • ​If using The Common App to submit college applications, students must write, and submit The Common App Personal Statement (the most important essay a student will write in their HS career). This is the case for every single school (on The Common App) and every single student...

Written by Jack Delehey on May 28th 2021

My first webinar “7 Steps To Your Dream College” is in the books!

I wanted to take a second here and thank each of the 242 members who registered and showed up for the live webinar. Truly an incredible turnout for my first one ever.

I received a flood of emails after from grateful parents who took the tips to heart. Here are just a few (names/details redacted):...

Written by Jack Delehey on June 4th 2021

Meet Piper. You know when you meet someone and can just immediately get that sense they are such a true, genuine, caring person? Well that’s Piper. And I was fortunate enough to meet with her and her mother, Kim, just last week...

Written by Jack Delehey on Apr 23rd 2021

It’s deposit time. For high school seniors, in the next 8 days you will have to make one of the more influential decisions of your life up to this point: where you’ll (likely, unless you get off a waitlist) attend college for the next four years.

For some seniors, this decision is easy. Perhaps they’ve already made their choice, placed their deposit, and bought their back-of-the-car sticker to prove it.

But for others, the decision may be a difficult one, as they weigh the pros and cons of 2, 3, 4, or more schools...

Written by Jack Delehey on Apr 30th 2021

Below are the four most important characteristics in college admissions, listed in order of importance:
  • High school grades and the rigor of classes taken
  • Standardized test scores (in a global pandemic this became optional unanimously across the country, which certainly added a nuance to college admissions)
  • The college essay or, more specifically, the Common App Personal Statement & any supplemental essays required
  • Your story - you will hear this called “extracurriculars,” “leadership activities,” “background” or any combination...but I call it “your story.” It’s one thing to have a life outside of grades, yet it’s quite another to know how to explain this life succinctly and confidently in a college application. Extracurriculars and leadership activities don’t just tell themselves, you need to know how to present them! Thus, “your story.”...

Written by Jack Delehey on May 7th 2021

Meet Lily. Lily is a hardworking, enthusiastic high schooler who excels in the classroom and on the volleyball court.

Lily and her mother reached out a couple of months back because to quote their initial survey, they were in need of a “systematic search, doing the right things at the right time...so she can make a wise decision that will be a great fit for her.”...

Written by Jack Delehey on Apr 2nd 2021

Waitlist notifications went out to high school seniors as early as last week.

If you are a high school senior (or the parent of one...or a parent who might know a parent of one...), here is my one tip:

Now is not the time to take a week or two, be sad, and then decide how to deal with your waitlist notification.

Every day counts in the waitlist process.

Three seniors, in particular this year, understood that. They reached out immediately this week after being waitlisted, and are already 5 days into my waitlist program...5 days into proactively demonstrating interest...and 5 days ahead of their waitlisted peers...

Written by Jack Delehey on Apr 9th 2021

This time of year is busy for all high schoolers.

Seniors: Decision time. In terms of college admissions, you are either accepted, rejected, waitlisted, or perhaps some combination of all three at this point. Now it’s time to make a decision before the May 1 deposit deadline.

Juniors: Quite truly, the junior spring portion of my program is called “The most difficult and rewarding 12 weeks” and I stand by it. You have SATs/ACTs, you have after school activities/sports, you are asking teachers for recommendation letters, and oh, by the way, you have this thing called high school academics. It’s a lot.

Sophomores: This is when the first whisperings of “college” begin...and it can be overwhelming. A lot of questions are running through your head. “What academic area do I want to focus in?” “What classes should I choose?” “Is AP Lit going to be too hard next year?” “Am I going to make the varsity team?” are just a few of the many questions I hear...

Written by Jack Delehey on Apr 16th 2021

Meet Cliff (left), Eva (2nd from left) and Fanny (right, HS Sophomore). Also included in the picture are Eva’s younger sister and a very cute puppy.

Cliff, Eva, and Fanny reached out a few weeks back because, as the world begins to return to a somewhat more normal state, that inevitable “college” word started to creep up in day to day conversations.

And after an entire year of attending high school remotely, all three wanted to make sure they didn’t fall behind when it came to college planning...

Written by Jack Delehey on Mar 17th 2021

It's that time of year again. For many high school seniors anxiously awaiting college decisions (that are scheduled to arrive on April 1...but in recent years have started arriving as early as mid-March), they believe there are two buckets: Acceptance and Rejection.

However, more frequently (and likely even MORE frequently in a global pandemic year, if you want my prediction) students are experiencing a 3rd bucket, often referred to as "college admissions purgatory"...

Written by Jack Delehey on Mar 19th 2021

As you can probably tell right from this photo, Jameson is a fun, happy high school student. Even on our introductory Zoom call, I could tell he comes from a loving, supportive family.

On the surface, Jameson’s got it all going for him. However, for the last several months, there was something nagging at him...college.

The more I asked, the more I realized it wasn’t college, or even thinking about his collegiate future that was stressful...it was the fact that he just didn’t know how to get the ball rolling with the process...

Written by Jack Delehey on Mar 26th 2021

As with most industries in 2020, the college planning industry was altered in many ways. The most significant change in 2020 was the nationwide use of the following term:

Test Optional

What does “test optional” mean and how does this ultimately affect you and your child? I’ll dive into it in the blog below.

Before I do, a quick note, if you don’t mind passing along to any parents of high school seniors out there (I would very much appreciate it!):...

Written by Jack Delehey on Feb 19th 2021

Meet Michael (back row), a current junior at West Milford HS in New Jersey and his mother, Nancy (front right).

Nancy reached out to me a few weeks ago with two specific obstacles she felt her son was facing when it came to the college search process:

1) A lack of direction
2) A lack of motivation--something I’ve seen a lot that has only been exacerbated with Covid-19

Let’s break it down:...

Written by Jack Delehey on Feb 26th 2021

When it rains, it pours I guess? Or, if it’s anything like it’s been out here in Colorado, when it snows, it blizzards (if that’s a phrase)?

Regardless of the phrasing, the outcome is crystal clear: After several months of working with each other, discussing upcoming college admissions trends, and multiple interviews (round 1, round 2), we’re making it official: Tigerway Prep (Boston based, services provided nationwide) is now a preferred partner of Delehey College Consulting...

Written by Jack Delehey on Mar 5th 2021

Spring vibes are just around the corner. Soon, we’ll be trading in our winter jackets and hats for light windbreakers sunglasses.

For my students, particularly my juniors, this time of year marks a transition as well. Just as we all transition our clothing, my high school juniors transition their school lists from “unlimited exploration” mode to “let’s start getting down to a manageable number of schools to consider.”...

Written by Jack Delehey on January 29th, 2021

Alyah (middle) is a current sophomore at Broad Run High School in Northern VA. On her left and right are her two incredible parents, Jackie and Adnan.

Jackie reached out a couple of weeks ago to see if I might be able to help them navigate the college search process. Here’s what she said when asked about her ideal college search from a parent perspective...

Written by Jack Delehey on February 5th, 2021

On December 18th, only six weeks ago, I sent out a newsletter titled “SAT Subject Tests - What they are; why your child may (or may not) need to take them.”

At the end of the blog, I wrote the following:

“In summary: SAT Subject Tests are still a thing. Talk to me in 10 years and they may be extinct. But for now, in 2020, they are still very much a thing and should be accounted for...

Written by Jack Delehey on February 12th, 2021

A note from DCC Founder, Jack Delehey…

You could say I started Delehey College Consulting in 2010...helping myself get through the college search process, grinding away at college applications in a frazzled state...far from what I teach my students to endure today.

You could also say I started DCC in 2011 when I first discovered there were methods to improve a student’s chances of getting off the waitlist at any college in the US….and then tested these methods with several high school seniors (3 of 3 got off the waitlist that year)...

Written by Jack Delehey on January 8th, 2021

The holiday season is behind us and, for most juniors, this comes with a realization: 365 days from now, their college applications will all likely be submitted!

For some, this is exciting.

For others, this may be daunting.

Regardless of which camp you fall in (perhaps, even, you are in one camp and your high school junior is in another), I want to help you get organized in one important area...

Written by Jack Delehey on January 15th, 2021

Meet Erik Mitchell, a sophomore at the University of Denver.

Erik is currently loving life out in the great state of Colorado, thriving at the University of Denver, and couldn’t be happier with his college choice.

Just a few years ago, the scene was slightly different…

Written by Jack Delehey on January 22nd, 2021

Here is how a typical high school student approaches their teacher recommendation letters:

* They don’t even think about them until the summer between their junior and senior year. But, it’s summer. So they stop thinking about them and go about their summer.

Written by Jack Delehey on December 11th, 2020

Last week, a thoughtful parent asked me the following question:

“My son’s high school only offers a handful of AP classes. I see other high schools offer many more. Will my son be at a disadvantage when he applies to college because he can’t take the same quantity of high-level APs?”

It is a great question, one that I have been asked many times, in fact. Your time is valuable, so I’m going to provide two answers. The short answer will allow you to close this newsletter if you are pressed for time. The longer answer will be available for you, should you have interest in the nuances...

Written by Jack Delehey on December 18th, 2020

Last week, a thoughtful parent asked me the following question:

“My son’s high school only offers a handful of AP classes. I see other high schools offer many more. Will my son be at a disadvantage when he applies to college because he can’t take the same quantity of high-level APs?”

It is a great question, one that I have been asked many times, in fact. Your time is valuable, so I’m going to provide two answers. The short answer will allow you to close this newsletter if you are pressed for time. The longer answer will be available for you, should you have interest in the nuances...

Written by Jack Delehey on December 31st, 2020

Meet Sophie Jacques, Junior at Orono HS (Long Lake, MN)

Last week, Sophie and her mother, Karen, reached out because they didn’t have a clear plan of attack when it came to the upcoming college search.

When asked on my intro survey to describe their college search feelings, they responded:

“We need action steps. (Sophie) is feeling overwhelmed.”

Let’s break it down...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 20th, 2020

This week, I had the honor to complete a two-way interview with Larry Cheung, Founder of Tigerway Prep.


Tigerway Prep is a Boston-based standardized test preparation group. While based in Boston, Larry and his team works with students across the United States (these days virtually) to drastically improve high school students’ standardized test scores...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 27th, 2020

Meet Molly and Brent--two incredibly loving, supportive parents I've had the opportunity to get to know over the last...well...29 years.

That's right, typically on these "get to know _____" messages, I introduce you to hard-working, devoted parents and students I've had the opportunity to work with.

Today I get to introduce you to my parents...

Written by Jack Delehey on December 3rd, 2020

Meet Robert Shapiro, a student at Boston College.

Last year, Robert reached out because he was struggling with his school work. He was overwhelmed and under-slept, with no real method to change his situation.

Robert reached out as an undergraduate in college, but here’s the thing: he could have reached out much sooner, as early as his freshman year of high school...

Written by Jack Delehey on October 16th, 2020

This time of year I get a lot of questions from high school seniors and parents about Early Decision. Applying ED has become the norm, particularly when applying to top-30 uber-competitive universities.

The crazy thing is, ED hasn't even been around forever. Once upon a time, there was only one application pool...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 6th, 2020

This week, a parent asked me a question I had never heard before:

"What is the most common question you get asked?" (referring to me).

Hmmm.

The question caught me off guard for a second. My head is typically deep in college admissions data, trends, and best practices, so I had to shift gears for a second.

Once I did, however, the answer was glaringly obvious...

Written by Jack Delehey on November 13th, 2020

Meet Mike S. - he's the father of Alex, a current freshman at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Last year, Alex (Chicago, IL) was a senior in high school and Mike was (and still is) a dedicated father who was slightly stressed because he didn't know how best to help his son navigate the college application & admission process...

Written by Jack Delehey on December 14th, 2019

For most of the world, December marks “holiday season.” For me (and maybe for you), “holiday season” takes a back seat to “application season.”
January 1 is the Regular Decision due date for most elite colleges. So for many high school seniors, in addition to the stress that comes with final tests & projects before winter break, comes the significant stress of looming regular decision deadlines...

Written by Jack Delehey on Febuary 20th, 2020

Yes, it may be a little early for this post, but I've already had several juniors reach out to me regarding "The College Essay", more accurate called “The Personal Statement” on the Common Application. So I've decided to post here my thoughts on it. The Personal Statement is widely considered the 3rd most important portion of your application...

Written by Jack Delehey on March 2nd, 2020

Over the next 30 days, hundreds of thousands of eager to-be college students will get that dreaded email notification:

“Thank you for applying to our _________ University. While your credentials are truly outstanding, at this point, we are not able to grant you admission. We do, however, recognize your achievements and think you could be a valuable addition to our community. Therefore we have chosen to place you on the waitlist for the time being...
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