How to Apply to College During COVID-19, According to 5 Experts


The virtual world still allows for several ways to get to know colleges according to Jenn Curtis, an educational consultant and author in Orange County, CA. . .“Students can take virtual tours that are posted on schools’ websites and also via virtual tour websites like Lots of colleges and universities are also offering live guided virtual tours and even including  Q + As with Deans of Admission. There are also many virtual college fairs going on right now, which are often free. Participating in them allows students to listen to roundtables on topics of interest to them, learn about major and minor opportunities, and ask questions of admission officers. Another easy approach is to identify the student’s regional admission officer, which can be done in the Admission section of a college’s website, and email that individual with specific questions about the school. Many students are intimidated by that approach at first, but answering questions about the school is what admission officers are there for!”

How Much Should You Pay A Tutor for Your Child? It All Depends


By Jennifer Parris

Tutors typically teach for 60-90 minute blocks once or twice a week depending on a child’s age, the grade they’re in, and the subject being taught. You can receive anything from homework help to study prep in subjects that are challenging to your child, and will have the opportunity to dictate the course of study with the tutor (whether that's to help your child understand critical concepts or ace that upcoming English exam).

...“Tutoring should be a last resort,” advises Muchnick. “Before investing in a tutor, ask your child/teen and yourself, has your child exhausted all of their other options for help before hiring a tutor?” You can find out if your child’s school has any support services — such as the teacher, peer tutors, or even tutoring sessions — before turning to a tutor for help.

New book, The Parent Compass, helps guide parents toward healthier relationships with their teens


By Linda Hubbard

When the Operation Varsity Blues scandal erupted in 2019, Menlo Park resident Cindy Muchnick‘s phone 'started exploding,' she recalls. 

That wasn’t surprising given that she’s an expert in the college admission process, having run a private study skills and college counseling business for over 15 years in Southern California before moving north in 2018. Since closing her private educational practice in 2011, she’s focused on public speaking to student, parent, school and business groups on a variety of education-related topics.

Along the way, she met education consultant Jenn Curtis. "We talked while the scandal was still unfolding and decided we needed to do something to re-educate parents and help get them back on track," Cindy says.


The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness & Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World

Publishers Weekly

In an earnest and instructive guide, educational consultants Muchnick and Curtis offer strategies to help parents navigate their kids’ challenging adolescent years. The authors include anecdotes, input from experts, and their own observations as parents themselves (Muchnick is a mother of four, and Curtis of two) while warning parents to avoid overbearing parenting styles and to mind how social media and academic competitiveness place pressure on teens’ emotional health. . .

Book Talk

Palo Alto Weekly

Menlo Park author Cynthia Clumeck, a graduate of Stanford University who is an expert in the college admission process, is set to release her latest book, The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen's Wellness and Academic Journey in Today's Competitive World in September. She and co-author Jenn Curtis, who owns an educational consulting company in Orange County, wrote the book to help parents understand their appropriate role in navigating a competitive academic environment that has resulted in overparenting and even fraud and bribery. . .

Family Night: 17 Ways to Have Fun Without Screens

"Try a 'disconnection diet': Cindy Muchnick, Educational Consultant, Co-Author of The Parent Compass.

“'Get your family to try a 'disconnection diet' or a mini-vacation from technology. Start small with an hour, then grow to a half-day, full-day, weekend, or even a month. Can you give up tech for Lent or another special occasion? Maybe make it a family competition, but define what is included in your tech diet...'”

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Trade Schools Might Be A Better Option Than Colleges. Here's Why.

Verizon Media

By Justin Chan

Ultimately, trade schools can provide the necessary space for many who are trying to figure out a career that works best for them, said Cindy Muchnick, a former high school teacher and co-author of The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness and Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World.

“Students can blossom at different times. Some cruise though high school ready to tackle college, while others need more time to marinate and grow," she told In The Know. "A generation ago, a high school graduate who attended a trade year might have been perceived as a student that did poorly in school or was not mature enough to leave home and go to college. Attending a trade school, though, offers teens time to learn a craft, some time to decompress from the pressures of a traditional academic or school classroom.”

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When SAT/ACT Scores Still Matter

Gannett//Gatehouse Media: College Prep Guide 2020

By Melissa Erickson

As colleges across the country announce they are no longer requiring SAT and ACTscores or de-emphasizing their role for admission, students and parents wonder why they should bother with these standardized tests.

"The standardized test landscape is on the precipice of significant change," said educational consultant Jenn Curtis, owner of FutureWise Consulting and Co-Author of The Parent Compass: Navigating your Teen's Wellness and Academic Journey in Today's Competitive World, available mid-September. . .

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Don’t focus on college rankings lists, which are misleading and easily manipulated by colleges

LA Times

By Cindy Muchnick and Jenn Curtis

When the college admissions scandal news broke, we called one another in extreme concern, lamenting the crazy circus that our beloved profession has become as a result of a hyper-competitive college admissions landscape coupled with inappropriate parenting madness.

But alongside our shock, echoed by so many around the country, at overreaching parents who resorted to fraud and bribery to help their kids get into college, something more important — more positive — emerged from our conversation.

How to Help Kids Speak Up for Themselves in School

By Larry Bernstein

If you could simply wave a magic wand, what traits would you wish your child to possess? Confidence? Responsibility? Perseverance? Any of these would prove useful in life, but each of these is especially important because they enable a person to self-advocate, which is essential for independence. So when should a child be able to self-advocate?

...The ability to self-advocate needs to be developed. "Self-advocacy is a learned skill, and it takes time," says Jenn Curtis MSW, an educational consultant and co-author of a forthcoming book on appropriately parenting kids through the competitive landscape of college admissions. . .

Why Are Parents Still Behaving Badly?

By Cynthia Muchnick, MA, and Jenn Curtis, MSW

“A classmate’s mom got her two kids into [insert any Ivy League school name here.] I don’t actually know her, but I was told that she personally coached her kids and was super on top of the whole college admissions process." Wait, did we just read that correctly? A classmate’s mom got her kids into college? What?

This anonymous comment, posted to an online parenting message board just days after the recent sentencing of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, forces us all to ask ourselves: Have we learned nothing from Operation Varsity Blues?

Considering the tremendous pressures placed on families due to Covid-19 school interruptions and modifications, one would think that — now more than ever — parents would want to prioritize their kids’ well being, not pile more stress onto their already stressed-out teens. But, in fact, the case is unfortunately quite the opposite. . .

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© 2020 by Cynthia Muchnick and Jenn Curtis

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