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College Counseling Expert Articles

The CollegeCareer Decision

When I started The Learning Consultants around the turn of the century…. literally… 2002… the “college” decision was tangentially part of the career discussion.  But it definitely was not at the forefront.  The college experience, “fit” for certain colleges, and other subjective college issues (big v. small, city v. rural, fraternities-no fraternities) dominated the discussion. […]

The College Essay: Marketing your child for college admission

Having helped students with their college essays for the last decade, I know the following with certainty: 1.) English class college admission essays are generally not effective 2.) Most parents do not know what makes college admission essays effective but many – in an effort to help – provide guidance to their confused child 3.) […]


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College Counseling during the Post-Pandemic Year

The Learning Consultants has been immersed in meeting with college admissions officials during this post-pandemic year. We are here to provide top college counseling, as always, but we are certain that the need for college counseling is more abundant this year than ever. Most importantly, despite the various noise around the expense of college (which […]

Despite Covid, The College Process Goes On

For many adults, the pandemic has had the weird effect of both changing everything while also delaying major changes.  The former requires no explanation.  The latter requires clarification.  While our day to day lives have had massive change, many adults have delayed moving/changing jobs/marrying.  Those processes don’t necessarily need to happen now and, for many, […]

Rampant Cheating In Online School: Another reason why the “tests” will be a major admissions factor

“Yes, we know.”  So said an admissions official from an elite college on a podcast related to admissions during Covid. The question was: ” are you aware of grade inflation, particularly when cheating has become so rampant in online school?” The official followed up by noting that “in the past, standardized tests have been one […]

Creating the gap year plan

“That was the best decision I ever made.”  “Daniella” said when I recently reconnected with her.  Several years ago, she was a student at The Williams School.  She did not get accepted to any college that she was really excited about and her parents contacted me because they knew my deep experience in crafting gap […]

College planning during the Coronavirus: Anti-fragility During a Black Swan Event

It’s too bad that there are so few alive from the Greatest Generation.  Those folks endured The Great Depression and World War II. They embodied Nassim Taleb’s notion of anti-fragility.   Some things are fragile, breaking when hit with a force.  Some things are robust, staying intact when hit with the same force.  And, some things […]

The Gap Year During College: At least have a plan

While I am a perpetual optimist, experience has taught me to adapt my optimism to forces beyond my control.  I will no longer drive during a snow storm.  I will take precautions if forecasters suggest that hurricanes may hit and I will take seriously notions like the pandemic will stop colleges from opening in the […]

Coronavirus Decisions for High School Seniors

We have a new service designed to help high school seniors. The Coronavirus College-Gap Year Decision Uncertainty has dampened the excitement of heading to college for most high school seniors.  The Learning Consultants has developed a process for leading our clients through the difficult decisions they will face. For most, the gap year – something […]

College… and career….and financial counseling

In the not so old days when we provided college counseling to our Connecticut clients, most parents were focused on “fit” based on socialization, class size, campus, clubs and other factors primarily related to the 4-year experience at the college, as if the post-college career outcome was not particularly important. The Great Recession marked a […]

As Thanksgiving approaches, give thanks for college

Right now, The Learning Consultants is immersed in college counseling for our Connecticut seniors who are finishing their early action and early decision applications and taking on college counseling clients for those juniors who are kicking off the going to college transition. As a parent, you are likely stressed.  But the stress also comes from […]

Is college worth the cost?

This issue is addressed in a recent article in Forbes The resounding answer: “yes”. Some key points: “But could their skepticism about college be right? Not based on earnings. The national arbiter of the data on the value of college degrees is Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown […]

Test-optional: Not so fast…

“Wesleyan was a leader among selective institutions in making standardized testing optional for applicants in 2014. The change allows students more control in how they present themselves to the admission committee and is intended to improve access for underserved communities, students of color, and first-generation scholars who may not have access to standardized test preparation […]

College: The number 1 filter for employers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-8uhMBl6vI  The wishful thinking nonsense of some leads to terrible counsel for others.  “It doesn’t matter where you go to college” must be one of the most ignorant statements spouted off by either well meaning adults who take singular examples, such as their own success, to set forth a general theory or bitter adults who […]

Are You a Bargain Shopper?  

  When it comes to an expensive purchase like college tuition, most parents are!  After hosting informational meetings this month, a recurring theme of concern was the high cost of college attendance and the availability of scholarships to offset this cost.   Can you get a worthwhile education for half the cost?  Or in retail […]

Perfect Fit, Right Fit, or One Size Fits All

  I am a bit of a romantic in that I like to think that there are perfect “ones” out there- the perfect match, the perfect house, the perfect outfit, the perfect shoes, and the perfect job.  This romanticism is not unique to me, there are several websites from Zillow.com to Match.com that promote and […]

Career Counseling as part of College Counseling

After the financial restructuring of last decade our career counseling services grew (and grew and grew).  Having now seen the challenges that twentysomethings face post-college graduation, my work mission has made me realize the connection between high school to college to career success in a deeper way. Now I feel the pain of my twentysomething clients […]

Key Questions Answered

Kathleen Brigham Uberuaga, Director of The Learning Consultants Group, Rye, NY, fielded compelling questions this winter from parents of college-bound high school Juniors.  Five questions, their contexts, answers, and explanations are organized below.   Are colleges reviewing the FAFSA documents of students applying Early Decision during the early application cycle or along with all regular […]

Opening College Doors with the Power of Story

“Once Upon a Time”, “In a Galaxy Far, Far Away”, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”: Had your brain been monitored during the processing of these words, it would have lit up with blood flow.  Science teaches us that our brains are hardwired to love stories.  And a great […]

Preparing for College-Your New 100-Hour Hobby

Just as Junior year begins, high-schoolers should plan on devoting an extra 100 hours over the next 12 months to launching themselves into the exciting arena of college applications. Just as any teenager with obligations knows, putting aside specific hours for measurable tasks is the best way to attain goals.  It would stand to reason […]

Activities Section of the College Application: A Critical Piece of the Pie

Let’s imagine your college application is like a pizza pie.  It has separate pieces with different toppings, connected to a whole presentation on a platter.  Although each piece will be consumed separately, the overall impression of the pizza is a result of the consistency and distinctiveness of the recipe and its lasting taste.  The activities […]

First-Generation Students and the Art of Self-Promotion

In my career as a college counselor and community college instructor, I have witnessed the valuable qualities of first-generation students.  I think it would be a worthwhile exercise to categorize these admirable characteristics and explore their values.  In so doing, my hope is that I can help first- generation students gain self-confidence, parents expand their […]

Supplemental Essays:  Finishing Strong

Filling out college applications is a lot like running a marathon.  It tests your training, perseverance, and endurance; that is the whole point.  Too many high school students treat the supplementary parts of the application as a cool-down exercise instead of the elimination round of final laps where only the strongest runners finish ahead of […]

Financial Aid in a Flash

Flash cards are effective tools for helping one learn and retain detailed information.  And when it comes to understanding financial aid and the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid), I found the idea of sorting together bits of information optimal for helping Connecticut families grasp key concepts. ____________________________________________   FLASHCARD NUMBER 1 What is […]

 Finding the Path to Self-Discovery: Using Shakespeare as Your College Guide

As a mother of four teenagers and a college consultant in Madison, CT, it is important to me, personally and professionally, to teach students and their families how to confidently narrow their college search.  William Shakespeare wrote, “to thine own self be true.” A modern-day version of this sentiment translates to- “Just be yourself!”  But […]

College Admissions Counselors: The Young and the Restless

The “Young and the Restless” is not only the title of one of the longest running daytime television soap operas but is also an apt way to describe college admissions counselors. This crucial population of professionals is young, averaging around 26 years old. This group is also restless, responsible for recruiting and selecting an impressive […]

Color Samples and the College Search

Color Samples and the College Search While gazing at the wall of color samples at the paint store, I became overwhelmed by choices. I took a deep breath and stepped back. After gaining a broader perspective, I realized that the assortment was arranged in a meaningful manner by theme and category. Within its order, I […]