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Colleges That Change Lives – Again.

I wrote a piece for the Century City Patch about tonight’s college fair at the Universal Hilton.  The Colleges That Change Lives is a group of 40 colleges, mostly lesser-known, all very small (under about 2,000 students each) liberal arts colleges, selected by the late Loren Pope, former education editor of the New York Times.

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Agnes Scott College admissions officer (and alumna) Alvanita Negron speaks with students at last night’s college fair.

Pope was frustrated that well-known colleges and universities who reject more students than they accept get all of the attention, but in reality, there are fewer than 100 colleges and universities in that category – out of more than two thousand four year colleges in the United States.  The message seems to be that the more students you reject, the more students should want to apply to your school.

CTCL is dedicated to getting out the message that students can – and do – receive excellent educations at colleges whose names you may never have heard.  Tonight’s college fair will give students and parents the opportunity to meet admissions officers – many of whom are alumni of the colleges they represent – and learn more about these lesser-known schools.

I attended last night’s college fair with a client and her mother, and was so gratified to watch this student speak to several of the admissions officers.  I saw her face light up as she spoke to the representative from Ursinus College, who had been a psychology major, as she intends to be.  She felt strong connections to several colleges by the time we left, and she was upbeat and excited about beginning the application process this fall.

Part of the reason that the college admissions process has become so stressful is that we put heavy expectations on students to apply to well-known, competitive colleges.  If we focus instead on finding the colleges that will truly be a good fit, I think the anxiety level will be reduced.  Check out the Colleges That Change Lives.  You can also check out my thoughts on some California colleges I’ve visited in the past few years here.  Yes, Stanford and Berkeley are on the list, but so are a few dozen other schools that could be just right for you!

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