By Deb Coco
I don’t believe we have posted one blog without stating that the landscape of college admissions is changing. At our staff meeting last month, we had a round table discussion to wrap up the 2014 admissions season. We all put our two cents in and we all have different experiences to discuss based on the students we worked with, but the one prevailing theme was this . . .all bets are now off. What do we mean? As one counselor stated “I used to be able to predict with much more accuracy which students would be accepted to which schools; now I cannot do that. I can’t guarantee a family that their student will absolutely get in when they ask me point blank.”
The structure of acceptances has changed dramatically. Now, more than ever, we believe that finding the right college admissions assistance is imperative. At the College Advisor of New York, we tell families in our first meeting that we are committed to finding the “right fit” and we work extremely hard to achieve that. Our students complete assessments and questionnaires with pointed and thought provoking questions that get to the bottom of who they are as a student and lifelong learner. We all learn differently and what works for one student (a small class with individual instruction vs. a large lecture hall – college vs. university? ) does not work for another. Our process whittles down all the options so that the campuses our families visit are accurate representations of where we feel kids will flourish. This is a huge time and money saver because let’s face it – everything about college is expensive, including visiting them!
It is our belief, and our success rate bears this out, that by engaging in our process, admissions success will improve dramatically. The national average for admissions is 64%; at the College Advisor of New York, we can boast a 91% acceptance rate. Our graduation rate is just as impressive; the national average lies around 52% and ours is 88%. So although many bets are off, working with us as your college consultant will greatly increase your student’s ability to get admitted and graduate from college.
Our year end client surveys are beginning to come back to us, and we are thrilled by the difference we have made for our families. We “helped make the process manageable”; “you challenged us to look at schools we might not have known about with wonderful results”; “you saved us time and money”; “we got a note in our daughter’s acceptance stating her essay was top notch!” . . . and the list goes on. As counselors, we can’t ask for more. It is our goal to not only help our clients through this process but our hope is that they actually enjoy it. Our students are asked to dig a little more deeply and explore more options than the average high school student. Do they complain? Sometimes . Does it pay off? Ask about our transfer rate. That is our low statistic.
So, the take away from the staff meeting was that we can’t promise our families that we can get their child into the school of their choice. Don’t trust a counselor who does. However, we can GREATLY increase your chances and, in the process, add some self discovery and give you peace of mind. That we can guarantee.