I've been in college admissions as an admissions officer, I've worked on the high school side, I've been an independent consultant, and I own an educational consulting company. So what have I learned that I think is always pervasive and always important, for college admissions?
There's a school for everyone. I know that sounds cheesy, but there is a school for everyone, really. You do not have to go to one of the top 15 schools. You don't have to go to something that's ranked in US News & World Report. There are so many schools for you to choose from, that I believe after 20 years in this business, that everyone lands on their feet, somewhere. They may transfer in later, but they always find the right place for them to excel.
I encourage you, students, to not think of one school, or two schools, or three schools that you can go to. Think about a variety. Think about seven, 12, maybe 15 that you would love to go to. There is a place for you to thrive. So again, in 20 years of this, I honestly believe that if you follow the procedure correctly: plan for your future, get good grades, work on your scores, choose authentic activities that interest you most. you'll have a great college admissions process.