Working With A College Consultant Can Make All The Difference
Finding and applying to the right schools can seem daunting. Where do I start? How do I know what schools will be the right fit? What type of activities will make my application stand out? Don’t stress. We can help.
At Signature College Counseling, we guide students and families along the entire school search and admissions journey – from the college search, application assistance and essay guidance to interview prep, financial aid assessment and final school selection.
Whether you are just starting high school or are a rising senior, we will help you find colleges that are the right match for you – academically, socially and financially – and assist you with the admissions process.
Our consultants have worked with 600 families and counting and invite you to read what they have to say about their experiences. Every student receives personalized attention as we are committed to them finding the colleges that suit them best. We can work with you in person, through Zoom, over the phone and through email.
Here is one example of a student from Warwick, New York who we helped find and attend her top choice. Her name has been changed to maintain her privacy.
A Signature College Counseling Warwick, NY Success Story
Jackie, from Warwick, New York, is a quieter, respectful and lovely young lady who had a passion for journalism and communications and wanted to be sure she would attend a college that provided a rich environment to fulfill her career dream. Jackie was very involved with her varsity tennis team throughout all four years of high school and took the time to give back to her community with a variety of volunteer activities. She also thoroughly enjoyed participating in the high school drama performances and took vocal and piano lessons through most of her life. Her parents brought up Jackie and her sister to embrace a solid work ethic and, although their financial standing was very solid and money was no issue, they always made sure they had jobs throughout the year. Jackie worked at the famous, and quite delicious, Bellvale Creamery as well as the cinema. Prior to being able to work at a formal establishment, she was dog sitting and babysitting, always earning a paycheck to understand the value of money.
Eliciting Desirable School Features
Jackie had a solid 3.7 unweighted GPA for her core courses (numeric grade of 91). She took challenging courses, including AP, college dual enrollment and honors. She scored a 31 on her ACT, which was a benefit rounding out her academic credentials. She wanted to be in or near a city, but would consider a college with a town that supported the college. She also wanted a smaller to mid-sized school so she would be able to have that interaction and personal relationship with her professors and not be overwhelmed by class sizes that were in the hundreds. She desired a school that would offer a balance between her social and academic environment, with a friendly and down to earth atmosphere, where the students were motivated and scholarly. She also was focused on staying within driving distance from home, so essentially the northeast was our playground. Finances were not an issue, although if she could get some merit funds awarded, all the better (this family was not going to qualify for financial aid).
Starting the College Search
When I began my research for schools for Jackie, I enveloped myself picturing her at the campuses for those colleges that I was considering. Strong communications/journalism programs were a must and so my top choices for Jackie included:
Ithaca with its Park School of Communications
Syracuse with its Newhouse School of Public Communications (which is one of the top communications programs in the country)
American University with its School of Communications (which is known for its journalism program
I also added George Washington University, University of Miami with its School of Communication (pushing the envelope with distance) and Boston University (also known for its College of Communication with an exceptional journalism program).
The All Important College Campus Visits
As Jackie began to visit schools, she never wavered from her love of journalism. She visited the more urban schools – Boston University and George Washington – and learned that kind of environment wasn’t for her. So, those schools were taken off of the list. One of her first campus visits was to American and she fell in love. American is an interesting school from an acceptance rate standpoint. For regular decision applicants, the acceptance rate is 29%, but if you apply early decision (the option where you are bound to attend if you get accepted), the rate is 81%. That is a huge difference! Jackie was seriously considering applying early decision, but needed to visit American a couple more times prior to making that her final choice.
The End Result
In the end, Jackie did apply to American University early decision. I knew she would get accepted and, in fact, she did, receiving her acceptance prior to the Christmas holiday break. She was set and I could not have been more excited for her! She has been so happy at American University enjoying the access and exploration of DC, but still having a campus to call home.
If you are looking for help with the college search and admissions process, our consultants are ready to help. Call or email us today to learn more.