At Signature College Counseling, we assist students with every step of the college search and admissions journey:
• Identifying the schools that are the best match – academically, socially, and financially
• The entire application process
• Essay guidance
• Financial aid
• Career assessment
• Interview preparation
• Final school selection
Our experienced team works with students and families throughout the Hudson Valley – in person, through Zoom, over the phone and through email. Every Signature student receives individualized attention so that they find the colleges that suit them best and are set up for the best opportunity for success throughout their college admissions journey.
Below is one example of a student we helped who is thriving at his top college choice. His name has been changed to maintain his privacy.
A Signature College Counseling Dutchess County Success Story
Eric, from Beacon, NY, came to me the summer before his senior year after doing an extensive amount of research on college counselors in the Hudson Valley region (yes, all on his own!) and I was fortunate that he and his family decided to work with me in helping him through his college admissions journey.
Putting Together a Profile for College Search Purposes
Eric was born in Guatemala and was adopted by his two United States born parents when he was an infant. He is an above average student, 3.5 GPA (90 unweighted average in his core subjects) who is such a likable young man, diligent, articulate and expressive about his thoughts on what he wanted in his college experience. A very pleasant young man who also was open to suggestions and intent on participating in his process wholeheartedly. His family is Christian and they participate in their church. Having a love for science, his goal was to attend medical school to become a doctor. Before coming to me he had visited Boston University and fell in love with it. Although I never state where a student should and should not apply to, I knew that Boston University was a far stretch for Eric as far as his ability to gain acceptance, since Boston University has continued to increase in their selectivity for the students they accept.
Identifying the Activities College Admissions Counselors Like to See
Eric was active on many levels outside of his academics. He earned the position of tennis team captain in his senior year after participating as a singles player throughout high school. Early on in high school, he participated on the high school soccer team, but from an athletic standpoint, he chose to concentrate his efforts on tennis after his freshman year. He also flourished, and gained so much fulfillment, being a religious education instructor at his church, participating every week throughout high school. He organized and founded his school’s recycling project as well, and was elected Vice President and, earlier on, Treasurer for his student government. Eric also had a job throughout most of his high school years as a laborer for a maintenance, repair, and landscaping company, as well as assisting with administrative work. Eric is a hard-working young man who kept himself very busy!
Our Counseling Considered Cost, Environment, and Proximity
Cost was a factor in selecting colleges to be placed on his list. I knew his family was going to qualify for financial aid since their Expected Family Contribution was in the low $20,000’s. He had a generous grandmother who was a very prevalent part of his life and wanted to be sure his choices would not be limited. This allowed us to be somewhat open to cost, with the idea that he could get financial help, whether through merit or financial aid. Eric was looking for a diverse and down to earth environment with a student body that was ambitious and involved. He knew he wanted to attend a school with a true sense of community where the students stayed on campus and there were a lot of weekend activities. He was open to an environment other than being in a completely rural area. He also wanted to stay within a 4-6 hour radius of where he lived.
Creating a List of Potential Colleges
Based on all of the information I gathered in my discussions with Eric and his family, I put a series of schools on his list that I felt matched him well, also taking into consideration that he was from Hispanic heritage that may benefit and provide him an edge with college acceptances. I included some NY State schools on his list (Binghamton, Albany), some religiously affiliated schools (Siena, Fairfield, Sacred Heart), as well as more difficult schools for Eric, such as University of Rochester, known for their liberal arts education with strong programs in the sciences, Boston University and George Washington University, a completely urban school located in the center of DC. I also selected a few mid-range schools – Syracuse University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Mass Amherst.
Assisting with the College Application Process
The Signature College Counseling team worked with Eric on his essays, assisted him in the completion and submission of his applications, and prepared him for his interview with University of Rochester. Then, we anxiously awaited his admissions responses.
The End Result
In the end, Eric got accepted to all of his schools, other than University of Rochester, including Boston University for their spring term. After much thought and deliberation, and revisiting a subset of the colleges to which he was accepted, Eric chose to attend Siena because of its welcoming atmosphere, closer proximity to home and very generous financial aid offer. This is where he is today and thriving, which is no surprise to me. Visit the Siena College website, click here.
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.