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When I recently met with the younger sister of a former student for the first time, she was especially enthusiastic about our school selection program, through which we guide applicants in deep study of their top-choice schools. Why? Well, it turns out that spending the time to get to know each school:

  • Allows an applicant to make best-fit choices for their school list
  • Provides an applicant with content for highly effective “Why this campus?” supplemental essays and interview responses

As the admissions landscape remains disrupted due to the pandemic and changes in standardized testing policy, one thing remains certain:

Top colleges love to knowand not in any superficial or cliché mannerwhat you love about them.

If an applicant starts the application process by really digging into what specific colleges have to offer (most especially in one’s chosen course of study), takes detailed notes, and then communicates this in-depth knowledge to each school, this person’s chances at admissions will increase.

Every year, we work with two kinds of admissions students:

  • Those who bring a school list to us in the fall
  • Those who work on school selection with us in the spring and summer

Every year, students in the second group are admitted to more schools and/or receive more merit aid than the first group of students.

In today’s admissions journey, deep and careful preparation makes all the difference!

To give you a few more details, the Blue Stars Admissions Consulting school selection program helps students identify the schools that are the best fit for them socially, academically, and professionally based on their short-term and long-term goals.

This process involves understanding:

  • Who the student is. To start the program, Dr. M engages with student and parent in a 1.5-hour exploratory conversation and writes a report. She then puts together a team to create a provisional list based on this comprehensive interview. Each student’s counselor continues to engage in conversation, showing even more personalized selections as the process continues. We use a variety of methods to get to know the student and their wants and needs. These tools include self-discovery exercises; college readiness inventories; personalized major map; career map; and suggested activities based upon student’s self reported interests, abilities, and values.
  • What college options are out there? Overview of the classifications of colleges and universities and what to look for in comparing options.
  • What options are right for me? We provide students with detailed information about each potential school in which they are interested, including application specifics for each.

In educating themselves more about colleges beyond the superficial, students can make a more educated decision as to which colleges are truly right for them and fit into their long-term goals.

In our years of experience in college admissions, we have seen the great benefit this program has had for our students. We believe so strongly in the program we dedicated a full webinar on it which you can watch here.

Ready to help your child increase their admissions chances by gaining deep knowledge of their dream schools?

About the Author: Amy Morgenstern

Dr. Amy Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, is the founder and CEO of Blue Stars Admissions Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice.

Free Workbook for Students

Blue Stars College Planning Foundations Workbook

Start today! Go through these strategic exercises to help you sketch out your plans for all four years of high school.

  • Learn key traits important to top colleges.
  • Write your first personal narrative
  • Branch out, exploring interests and defining activities.
  • Set goals and create your 4-year college planning timeline.

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Resources to help teens and their families navigate the college admission process



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