Four Factors to Consider When Scheduling Your Spring Campus Visits

Visiting college campuses is often the first step students take in taking the abstract concept of college and translating it to the real world. These initial visits serve as an introduction to college life and an opportunity for students to start building the framework they will use to make important decisions later in the process. […]

2024 College Admissions Trends and Predictions

In 2023, our team continued to prioritize post-pandemic travel, visiting campuses all throughout the US, Europe, Canada and the UK, deepening our relationships and knowledge, and taking the temperature of the higher education world during what continues to be an intensely disruptive time in college admissions, and on college and university campuses.  We have loved […]

“The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”: Timely Advice for High School Seniors

Okay, first, if you teens don’t know who Tom Petty is, ask your parents. They have so  much to teach you about great music.  Most seniors in high school have now submitted all of their applications, and all of that frantic adrenaline pushing you through late night edits of last-minute supplements is just simmering beneath […]

Living Our 2024 Theme: Four Ways I Commit to “Cultivating Our Garden” This Year

Living Our 2024 Theme: Four Ways I Commit to “Cultivating Our Garden” This Year Each year at McMillan Education we collectively embrace a theme to inspire our work with our students. In 2022 we adopted the Fish Philosophy, where we brought to our work the same fun-loving, fish-flinging passion the happy fishmongers do at the […]

University of Edinburgh

Consisting of 45,000 students, The University of Edinburgh comprises a pair of urban campuses in the heart of Scotland’s major city, a historic pearl with a Royal Mile lined with tartan shops and pubs that culminates at the Edinburgh Castle, which crests a hill and dominates the Old Town. A hipper vibe balances the traditional […]

Visiting the University of Glasgow: “Changing History Since 1451”

On a crisp afternoon in early November, my colleague Amy Christie and I visited the University of Glasgow, the 2023 Scottish University of the Year that is ranked the number two university in Scotland. Located in the heart of the historic part of town, Glasgow’s campus was teeming with students from all around the world. […]

Exploring Universities in Dublin

Ireland’s major cities are smaller and easier to navigate than many of the world’s other major cities, yet they are also vibrant and culturally sophisticated.  A walk through Dublin will combine ancient history with thriving commerce and cultural liveliness, and yet you will not see a high-rise building anywhere in the city. The major universities […]

University of St. Andrews

Town of St. Andrews:  24K population University: 10,000 students (8K undergraduates) 40% of students from outside of UK, draws from 140 countries Approx. 1,000 Americans 180 and growing clubs & “societies” More than 50 sports offered, at least 3 different levels (competitive, which requires tryouts, to recreational), big part of social life Guaranteed housing for […]

Mythbusters and Hidden Gems: Going to a Good College

I always chuckle when I suggest a college name to a family and someone responds, “I’ve never heard of that.” Um, yeah. That’s why you need me. I’m a professional educational consultant. I know about more colleges than the average Joe. Fear not, for behold: I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall […]

Summer 2024 Enrichment – How to Combine Exploration, Growth – and some Fun!

We think it’s wisest for students interested in applying to the US, for both their own personal growth and  the development of their candidacy, to explore new enrichment opportunities or extracurricular passions during the summer. American universities value students who demonstrate initiative, curiosity, leadership, and risk taking, and these types of opportunities can consist of […]

Explore Your Passions Through Arts, Athletics, and Extracurriculars

Share Your Story Engaging in the school application process is exciting, but can also feel like an intensive process. Beyond the academic discoveries on your visits, you will also want/need to explore all those things that make schools so special, including the arts, athletics, and special programs and opportunities. Students do not need to be […]

Writing Authentic Essays: Avoiding the Chat GPT Dark Side

Time for some trivia! Who said, “It’s against my programming to impersonate a deity”? If you answered C3PO, the beloved droid from the Star Wars movies, you’re right! For those of us who grew up in the 80’s, we loved immersing ourselves in the world of robot comrades, where machines fought alongside our heroes and […]

Why American Students Should Consider Pursuing a Full Undergraduate Degree Abroad

“Happy Birthday, Study Abroad! – Packing for One Year vs. Four” While the year 2023 will go down in history for many memorable events both notorious and noteworthy, you may not know that 2023 also marks the 100th anniversary of the first fully accredited study abroad program at a U.S. university! And, did you know […]

Write on: Organize your Essay Writing Early!

American universities love essays. Our College Planning Chair and Chief Outreach Officer for Student and Family Engagement Peter Olrich shares a video with tips for identifying and organizing all the essay writing you’ll need to do as part of your application process.  Even when applying through the Common Application, there are many additional college-specific essays […]

SCOTUS Race-Conscious Admissions Ruling’s Impact on College and Independent School Admissions

Yesterday, as expected, SCOTUS struck down existing race-based admissions policies, deeming “many universities have for too long wrongly concluded that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned, but the color of their skin.” The historical and cultural impact of yesterday’s decision can neither be understated nor fully […]

Don’t Forget to Read this Summer. Your Brain Depends on It!

Read. Read. Read. It’s advice given ad infinitum to children from preschool all the way through high school. There are well documented reasons that back up this recommendation, some of which I mention below. But now that summer is upon us, it’s a great opportunity to set aside some time each day – say 15-20 […]

What You Need to Know: 2022 College Trends and Predictions for 2023

In 2022, our team of 18 college counselors loved getting back on the road, zigzagging across the country to revisit campuses throughout the U.S., as well as many universities in Europe, Canada and the UK, that had been available to us only via video touring during COVID restrictions. Right now we are enjoying the the […]

The Joy is in the Planning

What I love about camping isn’t just the camping itself, it’s the lead up. It’s selecting the site, expertly crafting the cooler friendly grocery list, and in my case, it’s also climbing into the stifling attic to sweat it out, while carefully handing down each camping necessity to my husband, standing at the base of […]

Thinking About a Gap Year?

The real adventure of any gap year is facing a vast array of choices, making a bold move in one direction at a time, and then getting real-world feedback in the form of joys and sorrows, beautiful sunsets and missed travel connections. The lessons from this adventure, lived and repeated each day, are what make […]

We Are Pleased to Offer You A Place On Our Waitlist

After weeks of waiting, March 10 finally arrives and throngs of aspiring independent school candidates learn their fate. Predictably, there is elation for the admitted, and sorrow for the denied. But for a select few there is, “We are pleased to offer you a place on our waitlist.” For the aspirants who receive an invitation […]

Tips for those contemplating a college transfer

In the world of admissions, “to everything – turn, turn, turn; there is a season – turn, turn, turn.” Right now, many colleges are in the midst of the transfer season when applications from students who are enrolled at other colleges start to be submitted prior to the most prevalent deadline of March 1st. Here […]

London Calling! Top Ten Reasons to Cross the Pond for College

Depending on how helplessly you have succumbed to your Netflix binge of The Crown, somewhere between The Queen’s flirtation with horse expert Porchie and Princess Margaret’s sizzling encounter with photographer Tony you may find yourself longing for a visit to jolly olde England. Americans have always been enchanted with red phone booths, kilts, The Beatles, […]