The Secret to Earning Acceptances to Great Colleges! 


Students’ Educational GoalsWe’ve been in the college planning and admissions business for about 25 years now, and we are so passionate about helping students with their educational goals and helping them earn acceptances to great colleges, year after year. And with all of our experience of working with students of different backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, perspectives, ideologies, etc, you start noticing patterns and trends of success.
What is it about those students who are successful year after year, are able to get things done, get results, and have great outcomes, including college admissions results? What is it about these students’ character, mindset, and abilities that allow them to move their lives forward and get the results they desire?It comes down to a lot of different attributes, but in many respects, we can boil down the success mindset to two simple words. That’s it. We can distill 25 years of wisdom and experience into two simple words that distinguish successful students from the lesser-performing students.


Growth mindset.

That’s it. This is the big, distinguishing difference between successful students who are able to achieve the outcomes they desire, including college admissions, and those who fall short of their desired goals.

Now what does a growth mindset mean for students? It means a lot of different things in relation to how students are unlocking their full potential to grow to the best of their abilities in their educational pursuits and earn acceptances to their dream colleges.

Let’s break it down for you!

Growth Mindset for Students

First, students who have a growth mindset are passionate, curious, intellectually driven students who are always looking to grow in meaningful and enriching ways. They foster a love for learning and are intrinsically motivated to learn, driven by their desire to better themselves, and make a positive, meaningful impact in the world.

Second, students with a growth mindset are more creative and innovative. They like building and developing new and exciting things from designing computer applications, playing musical instruments, building robots or rockets, pursuing an exciting internship or research position, or developing their critical thinking and oratory skills through speech and debate, mock trial, or model united nations, for instance. They grow in meaningful, authentic, and enriching ways through clubs and organizations that they join and do really fun, cool, and exciting growth-minded “things”.

Next, growth-minded students are also not afraid of making mistakes, and they see mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve. They have a resilient character and know that school can sometimes be challenging with new concepts, skills, and ideas being developed and presented regularly. For growth minded students, they view these challenges not as insurmountable obstacles, but as opportunities to grow and learn. Even momentary failures are great lessons for students to eventually succeed in their pursuits. They understand that failure is not a reflection of their abilities, but rather a stepping stone towards improvement.

Being growth-minded in the college planning and admissions process is so crucially important that without a growth mindset, students aren’t developing new skills, taking part in new experiences and activities, and engaging the learning process in exciting and authentic ways.

In essence, students are “stuck” in their comfort zone where growth and development doesn’t happen. The problem with the comfort zone is this goes against everything that college admission officers want from students.

Student’s Educational JourneyCollege admission officers want nothing more than vibrantcuriousintellectually drivenengaging, and growth-minded students.

To help create a growth mindset for students, below are five goals that can help students unlock their full potential:

1. Always think of life, including a student’s educational journey, as a growth process where students are growing in unique, authentic, impactful, and meaningful ways through enrichment opportunities that happen both inside and outside of the classroom.

2. Students should view challenges as opportunities to grow and learn, and to sometimes fail forward to a successful outcome. Challenges are nothing more than learning opportunities that students can embrace and learn from!

3. Always know that the brain is a malleable “muscle” and has plasticity to it, meaning it can change and grow! Research has found that the brain has neural growth through stimulation and positive enforcement through learning new concepts or skills. So, students should understand that brain growth and new neural connections are constantly growing through learning new and exciting things that they take part in.

4. Students should always set goals. It is through setting incremental, achievable goals through both academic and extracurricular involvement that attainability of growth and progress occurs. Students should design their lives and be intentional and purposeful about their actions that are thought out and anchored and propelled through regular goals they set for themselves.

Goal Setting for Students5. Students should embrace the word “yet” when thinking of new skills, activities, or subject matter. For instance, if a student states, “I’m not a math person,” they should simply add the word “yet” to the end of the sentence and state instead, “I’m not a math person yet.” This new shift in thought and word usage opens up growth and learning instead of keeping a fixed framework where growth and learning doesn’t occur.


We hope the above goals will help with developing a growth mindset in your educational pursuits. The important point is to always celebrate growth in any way. For instance, when a student accomplishes a task, wins a competition, learns a new skill, etc., these are times where positive reinforcement of growth should occur. This reinforces more of the same growth behavior and actions.

We hope you enjoyed this blog article about the importance of having a growth mindset in a student’s educational journey.

Lastly, if you would like to get on the waitlist for our soon-to-be released Ultimate College Admissions Group Coaching Program, please click here!

We will be training students on college planning and admission strategies and helping them to grow to their fullest potential in their educational pursuits!

To Your Success,

Drs. Jeff and Brian Haig

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