Yesterday was ‘National Decision Day’ for the Class of 2018.  The college admissions offers received in the past several weeks were weighed by the families we serve, usually in close consultation with us, and when the dust settled at sunset yesterday, all YCC students were proudly enrolled at one of their top choices.

A full list of where these students were accepted can be found at the end of this email.  The list is remarkable for both its breadth and its depth – many schools on the list offered multiple acceptances to students served by Your College Concierge.

These successes are taking place during a time when the competition for spots at competitive universities is fiercer than ever.  Early data confirms what anecdotal reports suggested: though overall college enrollment continues to be down from its 2011 peak, the more competitive (more widely known) schools continue to be deluged by applicants and they rejected legions of qualified students — many of whom would have been admitted just a decade ago.

This trend shouldn’t surprise – especially as college admissions becomes far less regional. Technology has given students access to schools that they may have never considered (and vice versa) — not just in the U.S, but across the globe.

Yet despite increasingly sophisticated technology, college admissions — which includes not just who gets in, but what price they’ll pay (list vs. net) –remains a very ‘personal’ process, managed by real people who are moved by emotion and subtleties that are not reflected in scores, GPA or class rank.

What separates two seemingly identical students on paper are intangibles such as the student’s demonstrated interest in a school, expressed career aspirations, potential contributions on campus, and their ability to move the needle on the school’s competitiveness.

In nearly every case that I was involved in, the students who received the best results (admissions and financial awards) were those whose families were able to have a targeted admissions strategy that effectively and sufficiently demonstrate three things (not necessarily in equal measure): Need, Value AND Desire.

In a crowded field, the importance of niche positioning when it comes to Admissions cannot be underestimated.   What I mean is that instead of defensively submitting more applications to ‘cover your bases’, even if  technology makes it enticing to do so,  it’s far more efficient to build a targeted list of 8-10 schools that you know in advance will consider the value in your student (be it academically, socially or even geographically), be capable of meeting your student’s demonstrated financial need, and meet your student’s academic, social and aspirational desires. This requires a little inside information.

Guidance and guidance counselors’ role in helping students get into and stand out in a crowded college admissions pipeline is crucial .  That said, too many of our counselors are overburdened by huge caseloads. In many schools, counselors and counseling budgets are the first cut. As a result, public school counselors say that on average, they can devote only 22% of their time on college counseling. 850,000 students simply have no counselor at all.

Which is a shame… because guidance matters a lot.  Post Secondary education is a crucial engine for success. 99% of job openings created post-recession were filled by applicants who had at least some college or post-secondary training.

Guidance creates the conditions for success for all young people. Yet the significance of college counseling is still under-recognized by too many.

**What We’re Doing to Change This! **

We’ve spent the last few years developing programs that give families easier access to individualized guidance earlier and more often… and their counselors the information, training and tools to scale their support and manage a large caseload.

If you’re a concerned parent, counselor or administrator who is frustrated by the limitations of the current system, disappointed by your National Decision Day results, or worried about next years, Jill and I will be discussing the following on our May coaching call:
–  how to close the #collegeguidancegap;
– what you can do today to make sure that your student(s) are getting what they deserve
– ​​​​​​​actions to take (and in what order to take them) to make sure you see the results you hope for next Decision Day,
-and how to make the summer months count for college

 We’d love for you to participate. To reserve a seat, simply click here and register:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6431753086334298882​​​​​​​

Now, Congratulations to Your College Concierge seniors and their families.  You all worked hard, and you deserve all the credit. It’s been an honor to work with you! Best wishes for your continued success in higher education at the following schools:

American University * Babson College *Boston College* Boston University*Brandeis University* Brown University*Case Western Reserve* Christopher Newport University Columbia University*Cornell University*Davidson College *Drexel University*
Duke University *Emory University*Flagler College*Florida Institute of Technology Florida International University* Florida State University* Fordham University*
George Mason University * Georgia Tech*Goucher College*
​​​​​​​Harvard University* Harvey Mudd College* Hofstra University*
Indiana University*Lehigh University* Louisiana State University*
Loyola University – Chicago * Loyola University – Maryland* Loyola University – New Orleans* Marist College * Massachusetts Institute of Technology*
New York University* North Carolina A&T * Northeastern University*
Northwestern University* Nova Southeastern University* Oberlin College
​​​​​​​Oglethorpe University* Ohio State University* Ohio Wesleyan University*
Penn State University * Purdue University* Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute*
Rice University* Rochester Institute of Technology* Rollins College*
Ithaca College*Rutgers University* Seton Hall University* Stanford University
​​​​​​​Stetson University* Syracuse University* Temple University* Tufts University*
Tulane University * United States Military Academy* University of Alabama*
University of Arizona* University of California Berkeley * University of California San Diego* UC Santa Barbara* University of Central Florida*
University of Chicago* University of Delaware* University of Denver
​​​​​​​University of Florida* University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign*
University of Mary Washington * University of Maryland* University of Maryland Baltimore County* University of Miami * University of Michigan*
University of Mississippi* University of Missouri* University of North Carolina * University of North Florida* University of Notre Dame* University of Oklahoma* University of Pittsburgh* University of Rochester* University of Southern California* University of Tampa* University of Vermont* University of Virginia*
University of Wisconsin* Vanderbilt University* Washington University in St. Louis
​​​​​​​Williams College * Yale University


Peter & Jill Ratzan

P.S. If you’re a member, don’t forget to log into the online academy​​​​​​​ to review materials from last month on financial aid maximization and/or check out the 18 questions to maximize your guidance experience.

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