College Guy Rant for Seniors

Hey Class of 2017 (and their proud parents)! Here’s an early June College Guy Rant (or a really late May one - you choose!)

Congratulations, felicitations and mazel tov for your impending graduation. Ya done good, and there are exciting times ahead!

This will be brief. In addition to conveying my best wishes, I’d like to ask once more that you fill me in (if you haven’t already) about the results of your college application adventure. Where will you be next fall? For those of you taking a gap year I’d love to hear about your plan for that as well.

Stay tuned for an upcoming rant I send every summer to graduates called “22 tips for college success". It’s worth reading. I’ll also include an open invitation to each of you to take advantage of the College Guy’s “free lunch” offer, with an appropriate explanation.  (And yes, there’s a catch, as in: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch…”)

If you’re planning on taking the Federal Stafford student loan you need to complete “loan counseling” on line at the Department of Education web site. You should have received instructions for doing so from your college. This is easy to do, but if anyone needs some handholding or butt kicking to get it done, give me a holler and I’ll walk you thorough it. That’s why I’m here!

Here’s a fascinating article from today’s New York Times which confirms what I’ve said many times in these rants: college admissions is a game based on business principals, and it’s to your advantage to understand this.

In a nutshell it’s about how certain liberal arts colleges have adopted a (somewhat unethical) practice of communicating after May 1st with accepted students who have not sent in deposits (indicating, obviously, they’ve decided to attend another school) offering them the promise of more financial or merit aid if they were to choose them as their school. This is blatantly an attempt to  “poach” students away from other schools, and the article is fun to read to witness the ethical contortions some admissions Deans go through to justify it.

Anyway, while the revelation doesn’t surprise me it is the first time I’ve seen widespread acknowledgment of it, and I’d like to ask whether any of you may have had such a correspondence from a college you were accepted at, but did not choose, in the past several weeks. I’d be very curious to hear of it.

Speaking of business, I am one, and I’m currently accepting students on to my caseload from the class of 2018 and 2019 and would appreciate any/all referrals you send my way. If you refer your younger friends (and parents of highschool students) to my web page (, they can read recent “College Guy Rants” to have an idea of what I’m about. If you've found my College Guy Rants useful (perhaps even entertaining!) over the past two years, consider that you could be doing your younger colleagues a favor by sharing their email addresses with me so that they’ll receive future newsletters. Remember these are totally free, no salesman will visit their homes and they’re always sent “blind cc”.

On that note, I’ve listed beneath my signature a random assortment of recent articles you may find of interest.

For now, learn which side of that mortarboard the ribbon goes on and fill out those roommate questionnaires. If you write that you like to listen to Dylan and the Grateful Dead and follow the New York Yankees, you’re likely to get a “mini me” roommate version of moi. 

What’s not to like??

Auf wiedersehen,


Gary L. Canter
College Placement Services
210 St. John Street
Portland, Maine 04102
(207) 772-9711

College Placement Services provides high school students and their families
assistance with all aspects of the college search, selection, application
and financial aid process.