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Reasons to Hire a College Admissions Advisor

Reasons to Hire a College Admissions Advisor

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 the process of college admissions is helpful in determining what is best for the student and what is 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 educational values and factors they may not have explored independently and generally feel more confident and in control as a result.

For high school students and their families, applying to college now is very different than when their parents did it. The number of high school graduates and the percentage that now go on to college have increased significantly. At the same time, 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. While that focus is important, 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 early and during the search process rather than during the application process itself. 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 work closely with students to help them explore their educational and career goals and identify what they value and find comfortable and appealing in college environments. 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 regularly 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 then 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.