My mother earned her college degree when she was about 40; she was the first woman to get a bachelor’s degree from Union College in New York.  Even at a young age I realized how important that moment was for all of us.

I remember going to her graduation and being confused because the ceremony was called a commencement exercise and I didn’t understand why, since I knew “commence” meant to begin and yet here we all were celebrating her graduation.  This use of the word “commencement” rattled around in my mind until, years later, I realized that graduation from school meant a commencement of life.  When I finally connected the dots I realized how good a term it was.

And year after year, I get to celebrate my students’ commencements as they get ready to finish high school and go off to college.

My first piece of good news (via text) was from a Flint Hill student “Good morning! I’ve been meaning to give you the news for a while! I GOT INTO YALE! Thank you so much for all your help throughout the process! I could not be happier:)”.  (710 Verbal 770 Math).

My St John’s student is torn between St. Andrew’s, McGill, Penn State, and Wisconsin; just a few of the schools she’s been accepted to.  Where to go? Where to go?

HK from Alexandria got a 1250 (640 Verbal 610 Math) and that helped her get acceptances at Florida State, Elon, and JMU.

EJ nailed the SAT with a 640 Verbal 740 Math and now he is waiting to hear from UCLA, VATech, USC, and Michigan after gaining acceptance at Morehouse and UMD.

A 680 Verbal 620 Math helped CS snag a seat at JMU.  Still waiting to hear from seven more schools.

Hard to know which, the 27 ACT, the 1280 SAT, or the 3.8 GPA, helped the most in getting AD scholarships to Loyola MD, Catholic U., and Pace.  Still waiting to hear from Villanova and VATech.

Flip a coin: was it the 1520 SAT or the 33 ACT that helped get LB a seat at Michigan.  Now he’s waiting to hear from UVA.

CT has picked Indiana University as his home next fall.  (580 Verbal 650 Math).

MQ has been resting on his laurels after getting into VATech early decision.  (670 Verbal 760 Math)

Frank emailed me this news about Sam:

Hi Kate

Thanks for asking about Sam.  The application process went well.  Sam got accepted into almost every school he applied to including the ones he cared about most.  His favorites were Penn State, Florida State, U of Florida, U of South Carolina, and Clemson.  He got into them all except Clemson, [. . . ] he wasn’t bothered by the rejection.  Also, by the time he heard from Clemson, he had already gotten into and fallen in love with Florida State.  We were both surprised that he got into U of Florida, but […].  He really likes Florida State which appears to be a good fit for him.  He’s excited to attend there.  Thanks.  Take care.


If you are a student of Inspiring, we would love to hear about your “commencement”.  Where did you get into school.  How did our program help you?  Text Kate at 703-203-5796 or email us at