It’s not like when we applied to college. The college admissions process has become increasing complex and competitive. The personal attention and guidance of a professional who knows colleges and college admissions are helpful in determining what is best for the student and realistic from a competitive admissions standpoint. While families can complete the process on their own, the learning curve is steep and time is often limited. Families who work with professional guidance are able to gain a deeper understanding of what colleges are looking for and to consider factors they may not have otherwise explored and generally feel more confident and in control as a result.
Colleges are increasingly using enrollment management strategies to help determine to whom to offer admissions. Examples include buying ACT and SAT scores for 42 cents each to identify students to market to and relying on algorithms that predict who is likely to enroll. Students are being subjected to aggressive marketing campaigns by colleges that seek to attract the most qualified, talented and broad range of applicants, often from across the country and abroad, from which to select their first-year class. No wonder that students and their parents (and guidance counselors and college admissions officers) are feeling stressed!
Too often students and their parents approach the college search process with an external focus on schools. A critical earlier focus should be inward on the student as an individual with particular interests, preferences, attributes and inclinations and with his or her own evolving academic and admissions profile. Similarly, the family unit is a system with certain values, financial considerations and goals. College affordability should be considered during the search process rather than the application process. I work with all of you to encourage exploration and consideration of those critical elements that should be a part of your collective process.
I help students identify what they value and find comfortable and appealing in college environments and explore their educational and possible career goals. Before considering particular colleges, we explore different curricular options and academic structures. Building on my assessment of the student’s academic and admissions profile and the preferences that have been articulated, I then make recommendations of colleges that are reasonable from a competitive admissions standpoint.
Applications to colleges are most effective and successful when students have first reflected on themselves as learners, researched and visited colleges to determine those that present the best “fit” for them, and then developed authentic, comprehensive and targeted applications that reflect and articulate that knowledge. I work with all of you on all of these facets.
As a knowledge based consultant, I visit colleges and meet with admissions officers to learn about their educational programs and institutional priorities. I understand that each college not only has its own climate and culture but also its own admissions practices and definitions of terms. I work hard to master those distinctions and share them with you. I also know colleges that may not be on your radar and that are “hidden gems.”
As a process based consultant, I support students and their parents with much empathy and understanding of all the work associated with the process of exploration and the development of applications. In fact, my natural inclination to serve as a resource makes me particularly well suited to supporting students and their parents with college planning and researching and applying to colleges. I have two goals for my clients. One goal is that my clients will receive offers of admissions from a number of colleges. After colleges have rendered their admissions decisions, students get to make their acceptance decisions. My second goal is that my clients will know not only where and when but why. My clients’ capacity to understand and articulate why they have decided to attend specific colleges, which will have evolved through our work together, will contribute not only to the success of their applications but also to their successful transition and engagement in college.