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5 Questions About the College Application Process


What can a college counselor do that I can’t?

 Good counselors know about schools you don’t.  Most have worked in college admissions offices and know the ins and outs of the college admissions process. 


How important are the SATs?

 The SATs have had staying power for a reason.  Colleges know their mean score for students and use it as a metric to rank themselves against other colleges.  An SAT score can keep a student out of a school, but it will never be the thing that gets them into a highly selective school.  Colleges look for well-rounded students that are active in their schools and communities.


Should I contribute to the college to which my child is applying?

 For a gift to make a difference, the family needs to have a relationship with the college.  If a parent is an alumni, start donating when the child is in middle or elementary school.  Don’t wait until they are in their senior year to write a check.


I have influential friends.  Should I have them write letters of recommendation?

 For a recommendation to be worthwhile, your child should have a personal relationship with the writer.  Don’t overwhelm the admissions office with recommendation letters.  It is better to have fewer letters of quality; too many letters can make an applicant look desperate.


Should I hire an independent college counselor?

 High school college counselors can be a good resource depending on your needs.  They are responsible for hundreds of applicants and may be limited on time.  If your child will need more attention, consider hiring an independent coach who can help with all aspects of the application process.


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