Most parents feel ill-prepared to guide their students through the ever-changing college admissions process. The process is much more competitive and complicated than it was when parents were applying. Even when parents have excellent, open communication with their teenager – which we all know to be the exception, not the rule – it is virtually impossible for those who are not in the business of college admissions to understand all they need to know.
If your student is lucky enough to attend a high school with a counselor devoted to assisting students with the college admissions process, parents and students should recognize that these counselors are extremely busy. Very few schools have the number of counselors that they really need. As a result, school counselors are overworked, overseeing the sending of official transcripts, reports, and recommendations to their students’ prospective colleges. This leaves little time to provide individualized admissions guidance to students.
As a result, many families turn to college admissions consultants. At Selective College Consulting, our professionals spend the time necessary to support students in every step of the process.
At SCC, our clients benefit from our team approach. Each SCC student is assigned a Client Manager. The Client Manager serves as a liaison between the student and the rest of SCC’s team. Most correspondence and periodic updates will come to students and their families from their Client Manager. The Client Manager is also the first person the student or parents should call or email with questions. The Client Manager, however, is just one of the team members working with students in our program.
As students progress through SCC’s program, from Guided Self Analysis meetings, to putting together a college list, to writing essays, to preparing for interviews, they get individualized attention from several members of our team. We want to make sure that many members of our team get to know each student. Why is that important? First, multiple editors will be reading each student’s essay. This is vital. Think about when you read the same thing over and over. It becomes difficult to concentrate and easy to miss little details, like a punctuation error, or a typo. By making sure that several different sets of eyes look at each essay, we ensure that small errors, which can make applicants look careless, are caught before the final draft.
Another component of SCC’s service, which is enhanced by our team approach, is the college choice process. As multiple team members work with each student, they are able to better discern and contribute their input about which colleges might be a good fit for that student. It is always helpful to get multiple viewpoints in this process. After completing a college preference inventory to determine the student’s environmental preferences, SCC team members meet with the student and parents to discuss a college list. It is important for both the student and the parents (who are often the ones ultimately writing the tuition checks) to hear why SCC has recommended particular schools.
Again, in the interview process, the team approach is a big plus. Each student begins by watching an interview tutorial. After that, one of our team members, often the Client Manager, will conduct a Q&A meeting with the student, giving the student an opportunity to practice some of the interview skills learned in the tutorial. Following the Q&A, the student will have an off-site meeting with one of our team members that he or she has not previously met. This meeting is a mock interview, conducted under the same conditions as an actual college interview. It is important that the student meet with an unfamiliar team member at this point, as we are simulating a meeting with a stranger. After the interview, the team member will provide feedback on the student’s interview performance. At that point, most of our students are looking forward to that first, real college interview!
As the student moves from high school to college, he or she will be expected to deal with adults as fellow adults. This is a detour from how many high school students have related to adults up to this point. Our team’s goal is to give the student many opportunities to interact with a variety of adults so that they are comfortable having mature conversations with the adults that they will come across in the college application process and beyond.