College Counseling for Connecticut Parents: 5 Tips On What to Avoid in The College Admissions Process

By College Counseling

“Dina told me that she hated [college]…”  Lynn noted as she relayed the thoughts of her friend who had referred The Learning Consultants for college counseling to her.  Lynn’s son attended Old Saybrook High School in Old Saybrook, Connecticut with Dina’s son who was a couple years older and quite different than Lynn’s son.

I explained why Dina’s subjective opinion was a data point but not sufficient for Lynn to dismiss the college which generally fit her son.

Tip 1: View any advice from parents with older children as mere data points in the college process and know that those data points might have no validity. 

My guidance counselor told me not to apply to [prestigious college] because I’ll never get in.  Ted, a student who attends a prep school in New Haven County relayed.

Ok… here I have to be careful.  There are plenty of excellent guidance counselors and many who are counselors at prep schools.  But… I have observed that guidance counselors – particularly at prep schools – seem to convince their students (customers) that their first choice college should be something lower than what they express.  To be clear, providing college admissions reality is a valuable service.  But the whole disappointed customer issue has me creating…

Tip 2: You decide where to apply, not your guidance counselor and

Tip 3: It’s ok to risk getting rejected

“The tour guide was amazing….” Lydia, a student from Old Saybrook High School,  noted as she relayed how the tour guide was funny, engaging, and, took a personal interest in her.  “I think I will apply there ED.”

Both Lydia and her mom were surprised because the school was a reasonable fit but had never been on the ED consideration list.

I’ve seen this pattern the other way just as much: “the tour guide was horrible so I am not applying…”

Tip 4: Do not overestimate the tour guide’s influence

and the connecting thought

Tip 5: Colleges are businesses with marketing departments, as such do not judge the college by its marketing efforts