March 2006 Newsletter
With the college admission season approaching, we’re looking for a way to get a story in the magazine that in some way addresses the ordeal that getting into a good school has become. The kids are losing sleep, the parents are shelling out good money for consultants and the colleges are wringing their hands trying to figure out how de-pressurize the process. What (if anything) is being done to ease the pain of getting into college?
Writer for People Magazine
I have witnessed all too often the pressure students experience when they apply to highly selective colleges: pressure from their parents, their peers, but mostly pressure they inflict upon themselves. Some students handle this fine, others have minor meltdowns, and some suffer from severe anxiety attacks.
It’s almost a right of passage that adolescents will experience some level of stress in the college admissions process. However, the high achieving junior in high school truly believes that his or her entire future is dependent upon being admitted to a highly selective college and consequently experiences an inordinate amount of stress.
As an independent college counselor, I do a considerable amount of “hand-holding” while counseling my students on colleges they should be considering. In between this I am encouraging them to take the most challenging high school courses while excelling in those courses. On a daily basis they are aware of how they must impress their teachers and guidance counselor who will eventually write their letters of recommendation and complete their evaluations. They must also find the time to study for AP exams, SAT’s / ACT’s to achieve the highest scores possible. Outside of the classroom, these same students put additional pressure on themselves to excel in their most significant extracurricular activities. While all this is taking place, they must take time out from their hectic schedules to visit colleges, impress interviewers and write extraordinary activity sheets and powerful personal statements.
Is it that these highly selective colleges have become the instigators in making the admissions process an ever so stressful and almost terrifying ordeal for so many students? Perhaps, but to somewhat alleviate that pressure and help make the college admissions process not the stressful “ordeal” it currently is, students and their parents need to begin the process early. With the help of an experienced independent college counselor, students can be advised as to what they should be doing and when they should be doing it.
After a former student of Ivy Coach was accepted at Williams College, her parents admitted that because of the independent college counseling that she received, her family was “saved” from becoming dysfunctional during this exceptionally stressful time.
Independent college counselors can be valuable specialists, and can certainly ease the “pain” for some of these “stressed-out” kids. If an individual hires a CPA to calculate taxes, hires an attorney to write a will, and hires a tutor to help raise SAT scores, then why not hire an independent college counselor to help a family through the ever so stressful college admissions process? A student only has one shot at this; there is only one time in the student’s life that he or she will be applying to colleges. If done right the first time, the student will never have any regrets.
Good luck with your article and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.