Wanna be on TV?

Here’s your chance to get a free trip to Chicago in early September and appear on an Emmy-winning talk show with your slacker son or daughter:

Know a College Senior Who Can’t Seem To Graduate?!

Are you the parent of a “Super Senior”? Is your son/daughter currently on their 5th, 6th, or even 7th year trying to get a BA? Is he/she constantly changing majors/taking time off? Worse of all, is he/she doing it on your dime? Contact daytime5@deepdish.tv

Should be a fun, life-changing episode. Please let me know if you’re selected.

College Essentials You Won’t Find at Bed, Bath and Beyond

Here’s a summer rerun originally posted on the HuffPo. Readers pointed out some must-brings that I left out. Please see the bottom of the list.

1. A decent mattress.
Forget the memory foam topper, feather bed and bed bug protector. Face it, no matter how many bedding enhancers you invest in, that saggy, smelly dorm cot will just never be comfortable. Instead, just spring for a brand new mattress, which will cost $89 compared to the $400+ needed to alter the yucky one in the dorm. But remember to get Twin XL. Even though kids manage to fit into normal-sized beds at home, the colleges have conspired with BB & B to scare you about the dire consequences of too-short sheets and force you to purchase all new bedding.

2. A pitch pipe
A capella competition is so fierce these days that your son or daughter will want to practice on the way to class.

3. Unlimited text plan
If your child has been sending 10,000 a day, he or she will now send 20,000. If you have a girl, you will be the lucky recipient. If you have a boy, look forward to one-word responses to your cheery questions, such as Yaaa.

4. Parking Permit
Much cheaper than a car. Can be bartered for free rides from all the students who have brought vehicles to campus but have nowhere to park.

5. Settlers of Catan
College students spend so much time playing this board game (a Germanic combination of Monopoly and Risk, but with sheep) that you will wish they would go back to playing video games.

6. “Find my iPhone” App
The most essential possession of them all. Just be sure that your kids know not to harrass the residents if the phone is located in a crack house.

7. Hot Pink Hair Dye
College students like to show their individuality, by going for the ombre-all-over/look… like everybody else.

8. Fake ID
Although highly fraudulent, it’s at the top of most students’ checklist, even above the shower caddy.

9. This phone number
To deal with the consequences of #8, the phone number of a local attorney.

10. A subscription to the Wall Street Journal
So students can keep track of all their high school friends who have dropped out of college after receiving seed money from angel investors.

Practical additions from HuffPo readers:

1. A dress up box – “Have two sons in college and
they always seem to be going to themed parties, so the
equivalent of the dress up box from nursery school would have
been a good thing to take.”

How could I have forgotten this? One of CJ’s first purchases was a Sponge Bob costume.

2. Rackraisers (for the daring) – “They appear to be out of stock everyplace I googled, but they raise the beds up to 25″ off the ground”

3. “Mosquito repellent if your child is heading east (it was a warm winter there). And as part of my new campaign to make the kid pay for more of his own stuff, I’m renting him out (only on weekends) to sleep in your son or daughter’s room — he’s a bit messy, but I can guarantee that his mosquito magnetism is so severe, that the annoying pests will never bite your child because they’ll be so happy biting mine.”

4. Insurance – “My son dropped his new MacPro off his loft bed in December, as he was packing to come home for break.”

Hmm…Maybe the Rackraiser comes with insurance.

Waitlist Donor Bank

As we speak, a senior girl in Virginia lies awake, trying to decide between Bowdoin and Vanderbilt before the deadline at midnight. Which will she choose? And…who will get her place in the school she turns down?

Until I come up with killer new material, here is a rerun of a popular waitlist-related post:


Recently, the Neurotic Parent received the following comments from readers:

I have a niece who got into Middlebury off the waitlist and gave up her slot at Hamilton and her brother got into Emerson off the waitlist, which opens up a slot at Northeastern.  How long do you think it will be before you know who got their spots?


It was actually our Oberlin-bound DGC (Dylan-Ginsberg Clone) who happily gave up his Vassar space for the Santa Barbara girl.

These comments reflect a new trend that is unfolding for students who are admitted to their dream colleges from waitlists.  Mere acceptance was once cause enough for celebration.  But now many waitlist recipients feel a need to know the identity of the anonymous donors who made it possible for them to enroll at their reach schools.

With this in mind, the Neurotic Parent Institute has started a new foundation, Waitlist Donor Trace.  Using cutting-edge research methods, we will locate the girl or boy who gave your child the gift of matriculation.  And for a nominal fee, you can receive periodic updates about how your donor is faring at the better school that let him or her in at the last moment.

We are also starting a Waitlist Donor Bank.  Top students can now be proactive in giving a lucky girl or boy their hand-me-down acceptances.

So, if you are someone like Mr. 2400, CJ’s friend who just achieved a perfect score on the SAT, here’s a simple strategy that could potentially touch the lives of thousands of students all over the world:  Apply to eighteen colleges.  You will probably be accepted at sixteen.  Send in deposits to every college that accepts you.  Then, when you get the call from Harvard or Princeton, you can provide places to sixteen lucky waitlist recipients.  Not only do you get to go to a prestigious school, but you can also help other human beings in limbo, like the Middlebury and Emerson kids mentioned above.

This act of selflessness will take much less effort than going to Namibia to work with the baboons, and will give you the incomparable satisfaction of having made a difference in the life of an eleventh grader who has had to overcome the misfortune of having been born in 1995 or 1996.

Why Your Brilliant Child Didn’t Get into the Ivies

Late last week, decisions from top colleges were delivered electronically to stressed-out high school seniors. By early evening, more than 90% of those who had applied to the eight Ivy League schools plus their partners-in-prestige, Stanford and MIT, had received a gently worded “Good luck elsewhere.” Or, even worse, “waitlist status,” which means sending a deposit check to a fourth choice institution, procuring a letter of recommendation from Nelson Mandela and spending the summer in limbo. These new Ivy rejects are far from slackers. They’re incredible kids with impressive resumes — 2,350+ SATs, straight As in their 16 APs, debate champions, flute soloists and MVPs. Parents who have been dreaming of an Ivy education for their kids since conception are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what went wrong. So, why didn’t your child get in?

1. She’s a girl. Fact: Female applicants are, plain and simple, better students. (I’m not sexist — check the statistics!) And girls are more apt to take ownership of the “process.” They require less adult help, making their applications seem more authentic… and heightening the competition.

2. Your child is a BWRK (bright, well-rounded kid). These days, colleges want a well-rounded class instead. Lopsided kids are beloved… Renaissance children? Not so much. It’s a lot easier for an admissions officer to convince the rest of the committee to admit a trapeze artist than a yearbook editor.

3. Your child’s application stinks of privilege. You had the best of intentions when you sent your son or daughter to Oxford last July to read the classics. But guess what? The colleges, who eventually are happy to accept your $200,000, aren’t thrilled about $11,000 summer programs, even the life-changing ones. Outward Bound now looks dubious as well — it used to be about achieving clarity through eating bark, but now could be a euphemism for “troubled teen.” And forget those service opportunities in Central America — the whole isthmus is now frowned upon.

4. A lame essay. Admissions officers are sick of reading essays about the challenges of building a latrine in Guatemala (see above) or how “I found the people of (insert name of developing country) to be exactly the same as in my home town of Greenwich, CT.”

5. Not enough leadership. Although team players are in demand in the real world, colleges seek those with a Machiavellian spirit. Colleges are also fans of “rigor,” but they are averse to “robots” who studied so hard that they’re now boring and obedient.

6. Not enough research experience. If I were a college professor, the last thing I would want is a messy, smelly high school student hanging around my lab. But the kids who get to do this win out.

7. The whole process is random and arbitrary. The admissions people, who say they consider each applicant “holistically” and pay no attention to who needs financial aid, are actually sitting in a room eating pizza and throwing darts. So find solace in the fact that they’ve rejected your brilliant child for no good reason at all. What now? Send in your deposit to a great non-Ivy (there are many) and never look back. And if your own alma mater dissed your kid, you can take out your anger by burning your sweatshirts and tearing the license plate holder off your car.

6 Ways to Pay for College…Other than Becoming a Porn Star

Congrats to the all the seniors who finally have results. Readers have reported their kids’ acceptances to Harvard, Stanford, U-T Austin, Michigan, NYU, Evergreen, Northeastern, Wesleyan, Emory, BU, USC and even across the pond at St. Andrews and Oxford. And those are just the earlies and the ones who bothered to notify us.

Of course, for many students, getting into college is a piece of cake compared to paying for college. Some schools now charge $60,000 a year. And although most offer generous scholarships and financial aid packages, members of the middle class often find themselves in a FAFSA-resistant grey area.

One 18-year freshman has figured out a way to pay her tuition without going into debt. Instead of getting a loan or working as a barista, she is acting in adult films. The feminist/republican/libertarian/women studies major (never before have all those words been strung together) claimed that if her top-ten college had offered “…. the proper financial resources, I wouldn’t have done porn.” She finds porn empowering, she says, even though she was choked, kicked around, held down and spat upon in the very first scene she shot.

Belle Knox, the freshman porn star (no mere actors, everybody is a “star” in porn), created her stage name by combining the Beauty and the Beast Disney character with the alleged murderer Amanda Knox. After a classmate recognized “Belle” and word spread on campus, she chose to go public and now is the number-one googled teen on the internet, with more searches than the Pope or Justin Bieber. She has a publicist, 50,000 twitter followers, a paid internship at PornHub and a new line of sex toys, including molded replicas of her vagina. As a result of her self-launched media circus, she has had to endure hateful tweet-threats and public judgments about her decision. (Much of the hate evolved from the revelation that she was offered a full scholarship to Vanderbilt, which negated the logic about needing to do porn to pay tuition.)

But, never mind: Belle is on her way to a orgasmic full-ride for her tuition, and maybe even enough for law school, if the admissions committees forget to Google her.

Of course, the XXX world is not for everyone – in fact, there are still some old school feminists around who are disgusted by all this and long for the days of protesting swimsuit competitions in beauty contests. Even the new breed of “sex positive” feminists, who proudly call themselves sluts, prefer escorting and pole dancing because its easier to keep those off resumes and future country club applications. But for Belle, the toothpaste is now out of the tube and the vagina molds will live on in cyber perpetuity.

Luckily, not every student has to resort to porn. There are options that don’t require defending oneself to the ladies on the View. For the more modest, here are some other high-paying alternatives:

1) HAND MODEL – Belle has said that she earns ~$2000 per porn video, which sounds ridiculously low for exposure to all that dubious saliva…and beyond. Instead, she might think about a less exhausting hand modeling gig involving dazzling rings or classy tennis bracelets, paying up $10k a day. Bonus: unlimited no-chip manicures.

2) PENNY STOCK SALES - This worked for the Wolf. More regulated now, and the last of the Quaaludes have expired, so it’s all legal.

3) FREELANCE CEMETERY PLOT BROKER – Hot new field: Substantial profits in the resale/flipping of grave sites. Boomers are aging fast and are happy to do business with perky teens.

4) NATIONAL ENQUIRER TIPSTER -  Hang out with celebs. Earn up to $50,000 for sharing info about twerks and other indiscretions. That’s right, nearly a year’s tuition for just one hot tip.

5) FASHION BLOGGER/IT GIRL – Belle would need a makeover and design counseling for this alternative, but cutting edge fashion blogs have become goldmines for many young women. Leads to the app and the book deal…and this is a book your parents can proudly display on the coffee table.

6) SAT TUTOR – $1100 a session to travel to the Hamptons, arguably less than a porn scene, but with a much lower risk of chlamydia.

Disclaimer: The Neurotic Parent normally doesn’t cover tabloid stories. But today’s post, albeit juicy and sensational, relates to the politics of financial aid, plus current dialogs in sociology, economics, neo-feminism as well as crotch replica marketing. And with some luck, it will result in increased traffic to this site, as well as more book sales. I hereby promise to donate a portion of the profits to media-hungry sex workers.