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Should You Postpone College? Plus College Visits and Financial Aid Appeals

summer college visits
Lauren Randle

Written by Lauren Randleon February 16th, 2017

I learned firsthand about the world of highly selective admissions as a former assistant director of admissions at Georgetown University. I traveled the United States, in and out of high schools and auditoriums, to eagerly educate students and their families about the application process, and then painstakingly reviewed thousands upon thousands of applications to fill our class. I reviewed applications for all four of Georgetown’s colleges (Georgetown College, McDonough School of Business, Walsh School of Foreign Service, and School of Nursing & Health Studies), and chaired the admissions committee for the School of Foreign Service. I experienced the nuances of the recruitment process as the admissions liaison to the Georgetown women’s soccer team, and also understood the significance of the admissions interview as the co-coordinator for Georgetown’s alumni interviewing process. I left admissions to pursue a master of education degree at the University of Virginia to broaden my knowledge of student development theories and current trends in higher education. There I decided that it was time to work more directly with students and families at the high school level, where my support and encouragement would have a more personal impact. That desire led me across the globe to Hong Kong, where I worked at a competitive international high school helping students with their college applications to the world's best universities. My international experience offered me the opportunity to work with extraordinary students and see extraordinary places.
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Ian Fisher stepped in to host last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Conversation to address three important (and sometimes difficult) topics for families. If you are worried about whether college is the immediate right next step for your child, need help planning college visits, or are facing a financial aid award that just isn’t cutting it… this is the episode for you!

Should We Postpone College?

Former Swarthmore admissions officer, Kennon Dick, joined Ian for the first segment to tackle the difficult topic of assessing a student’s fit for college immediately after high school graduation. One of the most important distinctions to consider is the difference between “not right for college” and “not yet right for college”—where does your student fall? Kennon helps listeners understand how resilience and grit might factor into success in college, and Ian identifies the value of “strategic failures and strategic successes.” Tune in for wise advice on transforming an obstacle into an opportunity.

When Should We Visit Colleges?

College Coach colleague, Karen Spencer, appeared for an “Office Hours” discussion on college visits. Karen helped current seniors figure out if, when, and why they may still want to consider visiting campuses. Then she helped sophomore and juniors think about developing a “flavor profile” of their preferred college (tune in to the full segment to understand what that means!). Ian rounded out the conversation to help families think about logistics when planning their visit itineraries.

Can We Appeal Our Financial Aid Award?

For the last segment, financial aid expert, Shannon Vasconcelos, weighed in on financial aid appeals. If you didn’t realize that appealing a financial aid offer was even possible, this is a must-listen segment for you! Shannon spelled out many special considerations that might be taken into account that could deliver more award money to families. But how, and when, should a family appeal a financial aid award? Dollars are in the details! Tune in to the full segment for some savvy advice. Also mark your calendar for the episode on February 23rd which highlights merit scholarship negotiation (which is not necessarily the same process as a financial aid appeal!). Our next episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation will help parents think about how they can best support their student through the admissions process, and give an in depth investigation into the National Merit Scholarship program – is it all it’s cracked up to be? Tune in to find out! Getting-In-CTA

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