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Monday, August 10, 2015

How Many Advisers Does a College Applicant Need?

When I started working in admission, my dean told me that I shouldn't reveal what I do for a living at social gatherings. If I did, anyone with a college-bound student in the vicinity would spend the next hour quizzing me on admission practices. For a long time, I'd give vague answers to the "what do you do?" inquiries and it worked like a charm. But you know who gives advice when experts don't? People who aren't experts. There was a point when I changed my mind and was happy to tell people what I do and ecstatic when they pulled me aside to ask a few questions related to the college search.

With the application cycle starting again, another round of helpful advisers are about to emerge. The uncle who went to a school on your list, the neighbor who sent a student off to college a few years ago, and the friend of a friend who applied when they were in high school...they all step up to offer advice.

It's wonderful to get advice. In fact, I think it's foolish not to seek out a few trusted advisers as you navigate the college admission process. I hope you will be selective about who you allow on your team. Too many people chiming in can sometimes make you forget that your voice is the voice that we want to hear in your application.