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On November 11, Marshall hosted a “Ready to Launch” event to talk about what to expect out of a high school experience. A good portion of that discussion featured our Director of College Counseling, Katie Voller-Berdan. Katie works with students starting in grade 10, developing a relationship with them that spans several years — allowing a much more personalized experience senior year. Katie also represents Marshall nationally, serving on several state and national boards for college counselors.

She discussed trends in college admissions with parents at Ready to Launch, information she also shares with other parent groups during evening sessions held throughout the school year. Among the biggest trend, she said, was the rising volume of applications received by competitive colleges. This is made possible (and sometimes encouraged) by the use of the Common Application. This trend means there are more applications for fewer spots, and makes it even more important for students to know themselves and target “the right school.”

Katie also shared some tips on how students can increase their chances of getting recognized by their first-choice college.

Minnesota Public Radio did a piece this week on college admissions, featuring a writer at the New York Times and the director of college counseling at the Blake School in Minneapolis. In their conversation, they covered many of the same observations shared by Katie a few weeks ago. Good to know they are on the same page as our expert!

Unfortunately, it seems that for most students the college admissions process is not a good one. In a recent survey done by Public Agenda and reported in a New York Times story last March, it was revealed that most people think poorly of their college counselor, saying that most made them feel “like I was just another face in the crowd.” An even larger group, two-thirds, felt that their counselors were unable to help students decide what college was right for them.

I cannot imagine a more apt term than “counseling” to describe what is needed during this very stressful time in a young person’s life.