About College Match

The secrets to finding and getting in to the right college.

College Match is the college placement firm that provides a strategic coaching approach to college admission that results in higher percentage of successful admissions, scholarships and awards for students. College Match provides private education planning services to families and students considering college and graduate programs. For more information, please go to www.collegematchus.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Truth About College Admission: What Do Colleges REALLY Look For?

What are colleges and universities really looking for in admission?

FIrst, you should know that colleges are selfish—first they must meet institutional needs. What really matters to colleges isn’t what you think and it changes. It is a "what's-in-it-for-me?" approach to admission on behalf of colleges.

Here is what colleges often look for:

-high class rank (GPA), test scores (SAT/ACT) to improve their image
-academic success in specific areas to further their mission and improve their image; strong academic symbols help, preferably at the state or national levels
-developing leaders to improve their reputations; strong extra-curricular leadership helps; state or national level
-winning sports teams--you might help if you are recruited to play for the college's team
-money to grow their nest-egg (endowment); meaning for example, that you do not require financial aid.

Image enhancement is a pre-occupation with colleges and universities. They worry about being relevant and thriving in the long term. How does this effect the applicant? Applicants who get in do so because they further the aims and goals of a particular college or university--in other words, they help enhance the college's image.

Some advice to college applicants: there is more to admission than your GPA/SAT's. While colleges need this information, they will often go far beyond grades and test scores in making their final admission determinations. You should think about what you bring to colleges that will help them achieve their goals. Extra-curriculars are key; I would say nearly 50% of the total admission picture

Colleges are looking for individual experts and NOT looking for well-rounded generalists. Find something you care about and excel at the state or national competition level.

Athletics is often one of the top routes to admission. Another thing to consider is that most top tier schools do not offer scholarship money to athletes-- they just just admit the person. Be sure to take an active role in the recruiting process. You should start by giving coaches at your colleges a resume and cover letter and possibly a video of your skills and competitive play.

For more information about how to stand out from the pack in the admission process, please review our college consulting services: http://www.collegematchus.com/services.html

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Demonstrating Points of Difference

Students are individuals. But, unfortunately, colleges can’t admit everyone who looks worthy. Students have to communicate what it is about them that will be of possible value to a specific college. This means managing effectively not just data like grades and test scores, but taking time to cultivate depth in particular area such as a hobby or activity outside of class. Say, for example, that a high school junior volunteers in community soup kitchen and also has penchant for designing and building architectural-model houses. It would be best to begin to unify the disparate and unrelated activities into one symbol, such as the creation of actual homes in the community for low-income residents.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why Bother Planning for College Admission?

While 30 percent of adults in the U.S. hold a bachelors degree, today 65 percent of all high school seniors are applying to four-year colleges, both illustrating the cultural and economic necessity of higher education and further compounding the college admission challenge. And many students and their families are ill prepared for the process of college application, let alone planning.

A unique approach to college counseling based on student history and identity, strategic communication throughout the application process, careful analysis of target schools’ applicant pool and current study body, and specific admission needs and goals. Robin Mamlet, former Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Stanford, recently noted that the applicants offered admittance displayed talents and academic excitement that fit perfectly into the Stanford community. With so many students applying for college today, admissions offices increasingly use this criterion in the final cut: Who are the students who would fit best and benefit most from what their schools offer. Unfortunately, this is an area frequently overlooked or under-examined by many applicants today.

Starting the planning process earlier and using an education consultant to develop a communications strategy, a student's chances for admission to a college of his or her choice can be improved dramatically - in some cases by as much as 50 percent. It is more important than ever to understand each student’s strengths, weaknesses and passions in order to apply to the appropriate range of colleges.