Ian Fisher guest hosted this week’s episode of “Getting In: A College Coach Conversation”. This week’s uniquely-styled episode focused on just one topic—college access—bringing in three diverse guests to present three different perspectives.

Community Based Organizations

First, Kara Courtois, former admissions officer at Barnard College, joined Ian to discuss Community Based Organizations (CBOs). As Kara shared in the segment, community based organizations “fill a community need. They are educationally based, with a goal in mind to further educate…and help high school students prepare for college, usually providing test prep, career planning, high school planning.” Kara provided insight into her role as the admissions liaison to the Higher Education Opportunity Program during her time at Barnard and the many ways in which CBOs overlap with college admissions offices and processes.

Applying as an International Student

In the next segment, Amanda Kraus, Executive Director and Founder of Row New York, joined Ian. Amanda shared her unique insights as not just the employee, but the creator, of a Community Based Organization. Amanda founded Row New York in “an effort to make the sport of rowing, paired with top-notch academic support, accessible to young people.” She explained the many ways in which her organization supports students before, during, and after the college application process.

Financial Aid FAQs

In the third and final segment, college finance expert Tara Piantanida-Kelly provided prospective on the many ways in which the high cost of college can be defrayed for low-income families. In what may come as a surprise to many listeners, Tara shared how private schools can, in fact, be less expensive and more financially responsible for low-income families than public schools! Tune in to hear her tips and tricks.  


Written by Abigail Anderson
Abigail Anderson is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Abigail received her bachelor’s in sociology from Colby College. Prior to joining College Coach, Abigail worked as a senior admissions officer at Reed College and Emma Willard School. Visit our website to learn more about Abigail Anderson.