I spent all of last week in Oregon, visiting colleges that are small, under 1,500 students, and huge, over 20,000, and everywhere in between. When I visit colleges, I take pictures, talk to students, and write up my impressions of each school.
I’m leaving tonight for North Carolina, where I’ll visit the schools you’ve heard of, like Duke, UNC and Wake Forest. But I’ll also be seeing a few you probably don’t know about: Guilford College, Davidson College, and High Point University.
As I visit colleges, I’m thinking about students I’m working with, and about the academic and social atmosphere at each college. I’m thinking about fit. I’m thinking about not only which colleges are more likely to send your son or daughter am acceptance letter, but possibly the even nicer letter – “You’ve earned our top scholarship!”
As an independent college counselor, my role is to bring a different perspective to your son’s or daughter’s college search. With over 2,200 four-year colleges in the U.S., I’ve just scratched the surface, having visited over 50 colleges this calendar year (so far). To me, success for my clients is not just getting in, but getting into the right place. I want to hear from each student after their first year, their second, and after they graduate, that making the choice to go to that school was the best decision of their life. Getting a feel for their personality, and visiting to see the many different personalities of colleges, helps me help them make that choice.
I’m an Associate member of IECA, the Independent Educational Consultants’ Association. Their Executive Director wrote this piece a few years ago to help explain how travelling makes independent counselors do our jobs better.