Help Selecting Schools

I work in tandem with parents and college counselors to help students compile a list of schools that offer what they are looking for at a price they can afford. I assist them in:

  • defining the qualities of the college or university they would like to attend
  • accurately assessing their strengths and weaknesses as an applicant
  • figuring out what if anything they can do to build on or increase their strengths and minimize their weaknesses prior to the application deadline
  • researching schools and programs that best match their desires, abilities and budgets

Make no mistake: creating a great list of schools to apply to is the most important step in the college application process. Everything you have done to make yourself college-worthy will matter only to those schools, because they will be the only schools to see your application. So make sure those schools matter to you.

I’ve seen far too many students waste time filling out applications to schools they either don’t want to attend (but are goaded into applying to for one reason or another) or have virtually no chance of getting into, even with the most arresting essays in the world. This diverts precious time and energy from the applications that really matter, potentially jeopardizing their chances of attending the universities that suit them best.

Spending the time up front making a strong, realistic, yet ambitious list will ensure that your child has appealing choices in April. I can help!


There is a wealth of information online to help you with your college selection process. But I’m going to make an old-school recommendation: buy a book. The Best 380 Colleges, 2016 Edition, by the Princeton Review, is a phone-book-size tome with comprehensive, up-to-date information on pretty much every school you’re apt to apply to. It makes it easy to compare schools and discover schools you might otherwise have overlooked. True story: While driving between East Coast colleges while I was a high school junior, my mom and I found ourselves stuck in a traffic jam on I-95 outside of Providence. It was pouring rain. “Isn’t Brown in Providence?” she said. I checked my book. Yes. We inched off the highway and tooled around the campus in the car. I ran up to the admissions office and grabbed an application minutes before it closed. A year later I returned as a freshman.

“If you wish to be a writer, write.”


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