2016 Summary: Parry College Counseling

It’s been an exciting year for Parry College Counseling and my awesome group of seniors! This year I worked with a total of 23 long-term seniors as part of my package programs. This group of students mostly attend Seattle Public Schools (Garfield, Ballard, Roosevelt in particular), with a few Bellevue and other suburban students in the mix as well. And I’ve expanded beyond just the Seattle area, working with students remotely from Alaska to eastern Washington.

This year I’ve had the pleasure of working with students from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and family situations, including pro-bono students needing full financial support to attend college, first-generation students, underrepresented minority students, seniors from single parent households, and everything in between.

I also worked with 40 additional students on an hourly basis, assisting them with tasks such as essay brainstorming and editing, interview coaching, college list development, and transfer admission preparation.

Below are the acceptances my seniors have received so far through either early action, early decision, or rolling admission. The majority of admission decisions will come back in March. I’m also excited to share that my seniors have received a total of over $2.2 million dollars in scholarships so far!

Harvey Mudd College, Muhlenberg College, Tulane University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Santa Clara University, University of Portland, Boise State University, Beloit College, Trinity University (Texas), Sierra Nevada College, Marquette University, Loyola Marymount University, University of San Francisco, University of Denver, Regis University, Carroll College, Montana State University, Pacific Lutheran University, Willamette University, University of Arizona, Colorado State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Butler University, Kent State University, Whitworth University, Washington State University, Goucher College, Arizona State University, Alaska Southeast University, Western Washington University, College of Wooster, Linfield College, Oregon State University, College of Idaho, Coe College, Gonzaga University, Misericordia University, Seattle University, University of Redlands, Lewis & Clark College, Fordham University, Chapman University

Thanks for following along on this journey. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2017!

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Happy Decision Day!

For seniors across the country and around the globe, May 1st means Decision Day. After years of hard work and trying to demonstrate worthiness, May 1st is the day when the power switches over to the students’ hands. The Decision can be exciting and liberating! For many students (and now young adults!), it marks the first major decision they make to chart their own course into the future. But it can also paralyze some students and families. In a time when nearly 1/3 of college students will transfer institutions during their college career, making the right decision the first time around is very important. Aside from the emotional well-being aspect, an unplanned transfer has major implications on financing and a student’s degree completion timeline.

On the college side, May 1st marks the day when colleges know how popular they are this time around. It is the day that helps determine yield, or the percentage of students who were admitted to the university and accepted the offer of admission. Yield has been increasingly difficult to pinpoint in recent years as students apply to more and more colleges. When a large number of students submit double digit applications (facilitated by the CommonApp), yield rates drop significantly. Some colleges will be pleased with the results, admitting and yielding the perfect and desired class size. Other colleges will have to resort to the wait list to fill the freshman class (always good news for those still on the wait list!). And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are always a handful of colleges who become unexpectedly popular, who overfill the class. They are probably left with the most challenging problem as they need to reallocate resources for additional classroom space, freshman / entry-level professors, orientation sessions, etc. These colleges typically need to balance things out the following year by admitting fewer students than normal.

I don’t envy students and parents on this day, nor do I remember the day fondly from the admissions side of the table. In a world with imperfect information and the inability to know exactly what’s on the horizon (both on the student and college end), making the decision requires reflection on ideals, goals and remembering the “gut feeling” you had while wandering around on campus. I’m of the opinion that students can be happy at a number of different colleges if they make the most of the experience and come in with a positive attitude, but research and reflection before making the decision is crucial.

Here are a few additional perspectives regarding decision day and finding your fit.

1) Forbes – Four Steps to a Wise Choice

2) Washington Post – Inefficiency of College Applications