College search is the foundation of the college admissions process. I continue to say that you can get every other piece of the process right but if you don’t work through your college search in great depth to discover the best college matches, the rest of the process will be meaningless. There is no such thing as a bad college but there is such a thing as a bad college match. A child heading off to a college where they will not thrive can result in tens of thousands of lost dollars. It can also take an emotional toll that will affect them for a long time to come.”
~ Elizabeth Levine, Founder, Signature College Counseling

Main Image for Signature College Counseling College Search Plan Page

The College Search Questionnaire

Beginning the college search with a student and their family is like seeing 100 puzzle pieces on the floor, all turned over so no part of the picture is seen. It’s a mystery waiting to be uncovered! We begin by working through our College Search Questionnaire, that has over 50 touch points, where we discuss the family’s and student’s needs and desires, in great depth. We discover the learning environment that works best for them. Are they an independent learner or will interacting with their professors help them enjoy and succeed? What are their geographic preferences? Does religion play a role? What are the student body characteristics they are looking for? Are they playing Division I, II or III athletics or are they looking for athletic opportunities on the club or intramural level? What are their interests? What do they like and what do they dislike? What is at the top of their list and what is inconsequential? These, amongst many other pieces, helps turn the puzzle pieces over to begin the process of putting it together to form a picture of their future.

We Focus on the Student & Family

Although the focus is always on the student, this is a family decision as well. The family is an integral part of the equation where a parent many times can know a student better than they know themselves and gaining their insight is key to a successful journey.

Finding a Financial Fit is an Important Piece of the Search Process

Our college search plan includes an assessment of the family’s financial aid profile, so we all understand what the family’s financial needs are and where the family stands through the eyes of the college. This is an integral part of the college search process since every school is not created equal. Some are more generous than others. Matching the financial needs of the student and family with the right colleges is crucial. We never want to be in a position where a student has their heart set on a school they have been accepted to, only to find out that the family can’t afford to send them there or, even worse, the student will be straddled with excessive debt that puts them in a precarious financial position when they begin their life after college.

The Evolving “College Search Packet”

After gathering all of this information, we compile the student’s College Search Packet, which provides a vast amount of information for their select list of colleges and their college search journey. We meet to walk through the packet, where we provide an overview of each school and why we made these selections along with valuable information to help them through their search for their right match colleges.

Once we have identified their initial set of colleges, we continue to manage their application process and move onto essay guidance, interview prep, and financial aid assistance.

Looking for more information or want to get started?
Call (845) 551-6946 or click here to contact Signature College Counseling.