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College Talk Blog

When do they actually decide where to go?

This month many parents are as nervous as their teens about where the teen will be accepted and where they might choose to go to college. The most frequent question I am asked is about when the student should decide. The answer is simple but frustrating. Students decide where to go after all of their colleges have given them a decision on their admission application.

Parents are often happy with some early admission decisions that have arrived and want the student to decide early. However students want to know all their options even when they are pretty sure that they will actually attend one of the first acceptances they received.

What do college counselors and advisors do?

A parent recently related a wonderful story about explaining the benefit of private college counseling services. When he said he had to leave the gym early to meet with his son's college counselor, his friend said to him, "you know there are counselors in high schools that do that for free right?" After he described to his friend what his son's private college counselor does, his friend asked for my business card.

One of my greatest joys in life is being able to provide individual college counseling and advising services to students and their parents.

What's College Admission Counseling?

I have lost count of the number of dad's who have asked: "what is college admission counseling and why does my kid need it?" Although both mom's and dad's bring their teens to me to help them get in to college, it is often dad's who are more skeptical of the need for what I do.

I totally understand why a parent-aged person would wonder why college advising is helpful or even necessary. When that parent applied to college, it was easier, cheaper and more straight-forward than it is for their kids to do the same thing.

Use Your Holidays Wisely to Meet Deadlines

Regular admission deadlines for the fall 2019 entering freshman class are near. Some are in December while others are in early January. Students should not put off getting their applications and essays completed. It is critical to avoid turning in applications that fail to show a student off to his best advantage. Even the best high school senior writers fail to deliver their best essays when they write in haste with little time to edit. Parents can help by being sympathetic and patient encouragers as well as essay readers who give constructive critiques. Like many things that are unfamiliar, starting college applications is the hardest part of the process. Once students get past that point, they usually do very well.

Gutsy Tales Off the Rails

About five years ago, a colleague in the National Speakers Association asked me why I do what I do. I gave him the answers most educators would give. He said, "that's not an explanation of why you are so passionate. What is the REAL reason you do what you do?" It took a moment, but I started to get what he was asking. He wanted to know what sparked my passion to serve students and parents in the college process. I confess that I was not sure myself.

Sometimes, you have to dig deep to figure out why you do what you do.