Posts Tagged ‘college search’

Who Cares about College Rankings?

November 8, 2018

Quite frankly, I am sick of college rankings. If it isn’t U.S. News, it’s Forbes, Money or endless other publications ranking what they consider the best colleges and universities.  The college rankings can tell us anything from the most connected schools to the best value universities. These college rankings measure different attributes that may or may not be important to a family when they are considering schools for their child. Often they are more confusing than helpful.

Many college rankings are oversimplified and downright unfair. They can be the result of professors, students, or even the universities themselves answering questionnaires that have been sent to them by a magazine or newspaper.  Many times college administrators are asked to evaluate colleges with which they have no knowledge, not just their own school.

Rankings often lead to misleading conclusions. Some colleges will spend money to improve something that will help their ranking, but may not benefit the students at all. Many use college rankings in their marketing materials.  These rankings often ignore factors that are of concern to prospective students.  Too frequently, they contain the same schools over and over.

As a private college counselor, I pay very little attention to these rankings because I want my students to consider colleges that are right for them. The highest ranked schools may not be the best fit or a college where they will have a successful academic and social experience. That to me is what is far more important than any ranking.

 

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Look for the College Fit, Not the Ranking

April 4, 2018

For many high school juniors, college planning has begun. This, of course, includes the college search. College Direction suggests that students put rankings at the bottom of their considerations and concentrate on researching schools that are a good fit for them. This fit should includes academic, financial and social as well. Rankings just add to the hype surrounding college admissions and rarely have little to do with the educational experience a student will receive. When College Direction is researching schools for a student, we are much more concerned with the undergraduate experience and the four-year graduation rates at different schools. To find colleges with the best fit, students should do some self-reflection and write down a list of qualities they consider important when choosing a school. The colleges they choose to explore more completely should have as many of these qualities as possible.

 

 

 

Why Hire a College Admissions Consultant?

August 18, 2017

Here are nine reasons why your family could benefit from using a college admissions consultant:

  1. They are experts in the college admission process and visit colleges and universities extensively every year to determine the unique qualities in each school.
  2. They help students with the college search and are not just interested in brand name schools, but want to find colleges that fit your student’s academic, personal and financial needs.
  3. They do not have an emotional attachment to your child and this allows them to provide unbiased, professional advice.
  4. They get to know students on a personal basis which enables them to help students become stronger college applicants.
  5. They help provide direction for students on their applications and essays. This assures students that they are adhering to deadlines set by their high school and colleges.
  6. They assist students and families in finding schools that are affordable. They also provide information on financial aid and scholarships.
  7. They are not limited in the number of hours they can work with students. This allows them to be available when students need them, with the answers they need.
  8. They want to help students find colleges that are committed to seeing their students graduate in four years, rather than the usual five, six or more. This can save parents a considerable amount of money.
  9. They are members of professional organizations like the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and Independent Educational Consultants (IECA). College admission consultants attend state and national conferences to continue their professional development.

Most college admission consultants charge affordable fees and are very generous with their time. Many families believe that hiring an independent educational consultant is the best investment they have made.

How to Find a School for the Best College Experience

July 10, 2013

Some people have very little to brag about except where they went to college. It is what you do with your college experience that makes a difference.

As rising high school seniors are building their college lists, it is important to consider schools where your college experience will make a difference. 

Too many students consider prestigious colleges and universities where it is difficult to set themselves apart.  The school might have a big name, but is it a good fit academically and socially?  Other students do not think beyond the local state university and forget that large schools do not always provide a meaningful experience.  It is a lot more difficult to get involved in activities and get to Imageknow your professors as mentors who can be helpful in your college experience and career path.

The more I visit colleges, the more I realize how different each college experience can be.  In addition to a degree, what other skills are students gaining?

Are the colleges or universities you are looking at places where you will have the interaction with professors that will make a difference?  Are you looking at schools that provide many opportunities to get involved and gain some leadership experience?  Are there internships in which most students participate. 

While some schools have immediate name recognition, it is important for students to find the colleges and universities that fit them academically and personally.  Only then will your college experience make a difference.

What do the super bowl and college admissions have in common?

January 31, 2013

Is it a stretch to see a commonality between the super bowl and college admissions?  Maybe not as much as you think.

High school juniors are just beginning the college planning process.  They are choosing the dates when they will take the SAT and ACT, sighing up for a test prep course, and researching colleges that might be of interest.  Many are already feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Students are involved in their school work, extracurricular activities, sports, and community service.  They know that college admissions continues to get more competitive every year.  They also know that it will take more that a strong GPA and high test scores to get into many colleges.

Going through the college admissions process is a team effort:  students, parents, high school counselors, teachers, and perhaps a private college counselor, all working together to make the college outcome a good one.

Students could learn some important lessons from the Super Bowl teams as they get ready for their big day.  Both need some good strategies, a supportive team, and the ability to keep their eyes on the goal at the end.  For the Super Bowl players, it a win and Imagethe famous ring.  For high school students, it is getting into a college that is the right fit for them.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-berk/college-admission-tips_b_2567266.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Colleges for students with learning disabilities

August 27, 2012

Many students with learning disabilities have struggled throughout their education to be successful.  Some have been in schools that provided the support they needed, but others have found very little help.  School is not always fun for students with learning disabilities.  Many students have faced years of frustration.

When these same students begin to think about college, some are afraid to even consider the subject.  Since school has always been difficult for them, they aren’t sure they want to experience more academic challenges and possible failure.

Colleges understand that many students with learning disabilities are very bright, but they simply need to have a college education adapted to their learning styles.  However, it is up to the individual student to research schools and determine which ones actually do provide the support services that will allow them to succeed.  Often times a private college counselor has the expertise to help families find the right schools.

Some colleges and universities indicate they do provide support services for students with learning disabilities, but these vary a great deal from school to school.  Before compiling a college list, make sure you have checked out each school carefully.

http://www.thecollegesolution.com/college-admissions-and-learning-disablities

College Admissions: Don’t Limit Yourself in Your College Search

May 29, 2012

Too many high school juniors only consider colleges and universities they have heard of when they begin their college search.  Surprisingly, many students choose schools because their friends are going there.  Other students choose colleges impulsively and for the wrong reasons.  It is important to consider what criteria you are looking for in a college experience.  Then look for schools that seem like a good fit.  If you live on the West coast, you should not limit yourself to colleges in California, Oregon, or Colorado.  Likewise, if you live on the East coast, look at some schools in Illinois, Washington, and Arizona.  Colleges look for applicants who will provide geographic diversity. In fact, geographic diversity is a factor that might give you an edge in the college admissions process.  Check out this article for some schools that might be good choices for you.

http://www.golocalprov.com/lifestyle/college-admissions-10-western-colleges-worth-summer-road-trip/