Register today for Dr. Skarlis’ Continuing Education Course “Finding The Right College At The Right Price” – at Shenendahowa High School on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 6:30 pm – 8 pm.  Dr. Skarlis will discuss how to begin the college search, maximizing scholarships and financial aid, the most important factors admissions officers consider when admitting applicants, the SAT/ACT and more.  Course cost:  $15.  Click below to register!


Spending Money To Save Money?

by College Advisor NY on January 1, 2017

Why investing in a college advisor can LOWER your stress level…and your cost.

By Deb Coco

There is an old adage stating “you must spend money to make money.”  In the world of college admissions it’s really no different.  Investing in a qualified college advisor before embarking on this process will all but guarantee you a lower bill – and a better fit – in the end.

College costs garner a sentence or two in most of my blogs.  We’ve just completed another admissions cycle and once again, we are bowled over by the leap in tuition prices – as admissions counselors we ask ourselves “when will the madness end?!”  There are now dozens of colleges costing more than $70,000 A YEAR.  You read that right.  So a four-year education is beginning to creep up on the $300,000 mark.  That’s the cost of a lovely home.  Most families, however, have more than one child, so multiply that by two or three and it’s extremely frightening, and completely unnecessary to pay that much.  In fact, it’s not just the cost of college that has made things difficult, the entire admissions process has become increasingly complex

At The College Advisor of New York, our goal is to provide our families with peace of mind.  Every year, this process becomes more complicated and this year took it to a new level.  We saw multiple changes this admissions cycle that, if you were in the dark, could have been the difference between a fat acceptance envelope and a flat-out rejection.

What changed?  Well for starters, this cycle became significantly more competitive.  Some schools saw their application numbers TRIPLE . . .so if your child had convinced themselves they wouldn’t be able to go on unless they were admitted to Villanova and you applied in their Early Action pool, you probably made a huge mistake right out of the gate.  We would have steered you in the right direction and advised your child based on their statistics and our inside knowledge, not on what your neighbor told you they’d heard from their sister-in-law.

Another game changer . . .the SAT underwent a significant overhaul for this year and many students saw their scores increase significantly.  Seems great, right?  Well, because the SAT was reformulated and thus re-normed, the resulting higher scores were simply a case of  “score inflation” and most colleges – especially selective ones – treated the results accordingly.  How did this play out for students submitting these scores?  By working with a college consultant, you’d have known how the old SAT was being weighed in comparison with the new SAT and we’d have advised you accordingly.  Inside knowledge of the SAT vs. the ACT along with s strong test prep tutor takes the smoke and mirrors out of what, for many, is the most stressful part of this process.

Another factor contributing to major amounts of confusion this year was the change in the financial aid deadlines.  This forced applicants and their parents to be ready with their paperwork at the same time as the Early Action deadlines.  If you were unprepared it was unbelievably stressful.  Our families were not only aware, but prepared and on time with the necessary forms.

Last but not least, was the advent of a new application format – the Coalition Application.  This threw a monkey wrench into an already complicated and layered process and forced families to question if the schools on their student’s list took:   A. The Common Application, B. The Coalition Application or C. the school’s own application.  Yes, it’s that crazy.  Most college advisors were able to guide their students through this maze of application madness.

Confused?  Many people are and with good reason.  However if you work with a college admissions consultant your child won’t be left taking tests unnecessarily, using the wrong application or applying to a college that is clearly either not for them or out of their target range.  More importantly, parents will have financial peace of mind because we understand the “ins and outs” of the financial aid process better than just about anyone in the country.  Making a mistake calculating your EFC can be costly, and with four-year costs ranging from $100,000 to almost $300,000, investing in a college admissions consultant is a smart choice.


Beauty Is, Very Often, Only Skin Deep

November 1, 2016

By Deb Coco What is it that makes a college or university desirable?  Is it rankings?  Graduate school placement? Athletic programs?  Depending on whom you ask, the answer can be quite different.  However, the one constant, year in and year out, is that a handful of “brand name schools” will be coveted by students and […]

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The Bottom Line: Why College VALUE and PRICE are suddenly bigger than prestige

January 22, 2016

It’s one of the things that make working in the world of college admissions so interesting; each year is different.  It seems that no two admissions cycles are the same and when we gathered as coaches to reflect on what was unique to this past year, a common thread was woven through each of our […]

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College Parenting

August 27, 2015

The Truth About Helicopter Parenting We’ve all heard the term “helicopter parent” and as college admissions consultants, we are all too familiar with the term and the type. The tell-tale signs start right from our first meeting; parents who won’t let their child get a word in edgewise and who dominate each conversation or workshop […]

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Make your list and check it twice

June 16, 2015

As a college admissions counselor, one of the most exciting points in our process is the meeting with a student when they receive their school list. This meeting is a milestone. It means that this student has completed a series of sessions with us based on a number of assessments aimed at the best college […]

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You’re a Rising Senior… What Happens Now?

April 24, 2015

It’s a busy time in the world of college admissions. It is DECISION TIME for seniors. The acceptance letters are in, financial aid offers on the table, and families are considering all their options. It’s exciting and stressful but ultimately it’s the first step towards a child’s independence. What makes it even more exciting for […]

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Dr. Skarlis on the Investment Show

April 3, 2015

Dr. Dean Skarlis will discuss college financial aid, college admissions, and related topics on Talk 1300 Radio.  Listen online at! Dr. Dean Skarlis on the Investment Show with Sandy Family Saturday, April 4 at 9:00AM Talk 1300 Radio hosted by Ken Leonard

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Choose the Right College – At the Right Price!

March 25, 2015

Join Dean Skarlis, President of the College Advisor of New York, to discuss college admissions and financial strategy. Dr. Skarlis will be sharing his insight on how to find the right fit college, and how not to empty your bank account doing so! Parents of high school sophomores and juniors are encouraged to attend. Tuesday, March […]

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Join Dr. Dean Skarlis on Finding the Right College at the Right Price

March 24, 2015

Dr. Dean Skarlis of The College Advisor of New York will outline the steps you need to find a best fit college. Some of the topics he will cover are: the top five factors colleges look for in applicants; the financial aid process and strategies to reduce college costs; rankings/schmankings: understanding why “fit” is critical;  […]

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