College Admissions Expert Elizabeth Levine: Cover All of Your Bases When Asking Yourself “What do I want (and need) out of my college experience?”

07 Jun 2019 | 05:00

    As my seniors have all decided where they will attend this Fall, my juniors are deep into deciphering which colleges are for them. This is the first in a set of blogs that I will be posting on what to consider when looking for those “right fit” schools during that ever so important college search, the foundation of the college admissions process.
    There are categories of questions that students already know they need to consider, like how far away from home do they want to be, or ways to reduce the financial cost. There is one that is a tricky subject, so let me get right to it: How do you, or your child, handle academic pressure? Students who have always been ambitious, high-achieving, and fast learners in high school don't always want to have four years of that kind of burden. Or, may not be even be able to manage it. It's one thing when you can go home after school, be embraced by parents, and have plenty of opportunities to meet with guidance counselors. College life goes by quicker, students need to be independent, and need to keep up.
    I call this the “fish bowl” theory. While you (the student) were the big fish in a small pond (high school), the drop to become a small fish in a big fish bowl can be disconcerting, may cause grades to drop significantly, and increase doubts that the student can make it. If you choose a school that attracts other high-achievers, just think of all that competition. Is that the way you want to spend the next four years? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. It's just worth noting as part of your college search.
    Email me at liz@signaturecollegecounseling if you would like my extensive checklist of questions to ask in the college search process so you won't leave anything to chance.
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    Elizabeth Levine
    Signature College Counseling is an Orange County, Hudson Valley based company
    that works one on one with students and their families in navigating the admissions process so you attend the college that is right for you.
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