Why I Love Helping Teens and Parents Find the Right Colleges


I can still remember the day that my first student got into college. It was in the fall of 1997 and I was the Assistant to the Director of College Counseling at Brooklyn Friends School in NYC. Since I had worked in the admissions office in college and had always taken a keen interest in it as well as done a lot of research about college admissions when I was in high school, I loved my job, and I really liked this kid. After he and I had worked on his essay and I had stayed with him to finish his application on a Friday afternoon in my office six weeks earlier, here he was now, casually walking up to me on a Monday morning and simply saying: “I got in.”

There are no better words for me to hear from a student. “I got in” symbolizes so much for a teenager and their parents. For me, it means that I presented them with a balanced college list and that they got into one of the several schools that they applied to. Sure, I’d like to hear “I got in'' as much as possible, but that’s not reality. Very few kids get into every place they apply, and I can make the argument that they shouldn’t. In the college application process, success is not about your kid getting in everywhere; it’s about the journey to ultimately having the right choices.

So how do you get there? How do you get to success in the college admissions process? 

Here are the five steps for students (parents, please share and discuss with your kids):

  • Self-awareness

Know who you are and what’s important to you

  • Exploration 

Research colleges, majors, and careers and do not get stuck on thinking that there’s only one way to win. 

  • Self-advocacy

Taking the initiative to communicate with college counselors, college admissions offices, interviewers, recommendation writers, etc about why certain colleges are ideal for your growth.

  • Execution

Do the work. Get strong grades, write strong essays. Submit your applications well in advance of the deadlines. 

  • Decision-making 

Should you apply to a certain program at a certain school? What are the admissions chances of getting in? What are their requirements? Should you apply Early Decision or Early Action?

Each of these plays a key role for teens and parents in college admissions. If you want to know how we can help, please schedule a time for us to connect. Someone from our team will outline exactly what we do to help you and your child to be successful with college admissions.

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