Some thoughts on outcomes.
I've had the chance to work with students from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, who have attended colleges and universities from Dartmouth to Digipen, Montana State to Middlebury, and Yale to Yonsei.
Every admission decision is the result of an individual set of circumstances, a specific presentation of the data and the student story, and the priorities of a college and its admission readers. My idea of success in the college search is a final choice that reflects a thoughtful, evidence-based process, and a student's ownership of their identity, needs, wants and voice. This kind of choice usually generates true excitement about what lies ahead.
My first piece of advice is to approach the college search with a definition of success based on the factors over which you actually have control. My guidance seeks to equip students with a grasp of their personal values and priorities to define success on their own terms, and to give them access to pathways that are fulfilling and meaningful.
Because I come to this work with honesty, transparency, and a focus on helping the student reflect on their strengths and needs, I’m probably not the counselor for you if you are entering the conversation with significant limits based on rankings, prestige, or a predetermined list of institutions.
I also can't offer tricks or assured pathways to admission, and I believe that admission selectivity is not an indicator of educational quality. Sometimes a highly selective place is right for a student, and everything comes together to make that a reality. The students who are selected by those places usually stand out, in fact, because their record reflects choices made authentically and without concern for how they would look on an application.
In my experience, coming to the college search looking for the way into the "best" school is a recipe for frustration, family tension, and a disappointed student. I’ll offer a word to the wise: I believe that anyone making promises about outcomes, or offering “secrets” to admission should be assessed with healthy skepticism.
If you're interested in the search for a place your student will thrive, informed by who they really are and want to be, let's talk.