TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Stephen Friedfeld

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Stephen Friedfeld is the co-founder of EqualApp. Stephen was an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Cornell University for four years and an Associate Dean at Princeton University for six years. He also worked as an independent college consultant for four years.

Posted June 3, 2019, 4:33 p.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
7 Tips on Getting Letters of Recommendation for College

If you’re a rising senior, it is extremely important to make getting letters of recommendation a top priority. How many will you need? Whom should you ask and when? What should they say about you? Typically, most large public institutions don’t require any letters. Admissions decisions are based on students’ grades, standardized test scores, essays, and extracurricular activities. But for most private colleges and universities, you’ll likely need one to three. The more selective the college, the more letters you’ll need. 7 Tips for Getting Letters of Recommendation: 1. Your school (or guidance) counselor will write your primary letter of ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 3:07 p.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
Parents of Rising Freshmen: Start the College Admissions Process Now

It’s never too early for you and your child to start thinking about college admissions. In reality, most freshmen and sophomores consider college to be far off, and don’t get serious until it’s too late. But the right time to start seriously thinking about college is now. Download What can you and your child do to get a head start in the college admissions process? Prepare your class schedule in advance. Even as early as freshman year (or eighth grade), college-bound students should think strategically about the classes that they want to take in their junior and senior years. If ...

Posted March 18, 2014, 4:27 p.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
Young woman looking confused at post-it notes on a glass wall.

The college application essay – what should you write about? More importantly, what should you not write about? Did you just break up with someone you were dating? Colleges don’t want to know about it. Are you a waiter who spit in a rude customer’s food? There’s no need to tell colleges about that either. Is George Washington the greatest president in your opinion? Please don’t choose this topic. Take a look at the examples above. Why are these potentially bad topics? There’s a risk when you talk about boyfriends and girlfriends in your college essay. Are admissions officers really ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 10:42 a.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
The 6 Best Topics For Your College Application Essay

With college admissions as competitive as it is today, the college essay can mean the difference between an acceptance or rejection letter. Admissions officers are increasingly turning to the essay as a means of evaluating students. Many applicants fail to take advantage of the application essay—they choose the wrong question, write about an inappropriate topic, or just fail to put together a compelling essay. So, what should applicants write about? Here, we breakdown the six questions from this year’s Common Application, an online application accepted by more than 450 colleges and universities. (Even colleges that don’t accept the Common App ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 3:28 p.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
10 Summer Activities That Look Good on College Applications

Does your child plan to catch some rays and chill in flip-flops this summer? While summer vacation offers a great respite from school, the activities your child chooses to participate in can actually help with college admissions. How an applicant spends his or her time during break can tell admission officers a lot about your child. Here are ten fun activities to help keep your child busy this summer that’ll guarantee a fun and productive break. 1. Start a blog There are many popular sites that make blogging easy, such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogspot and Xanga. Before starting a blog, ...