In all of your years working with students, what were some of the most unexpected admissions successes you witnessed?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

In all of your years working with students, what were some of the most unexpected admissions successes you witnessed?

Jill Greenbaum
Founder, Independent College Counselor Major In You

From chaos and confusion to the right fit and a great scholarhip...

A high school junior came to me clutching a paper with the names of 21 schools written on it. The list included the university his father attended, where he went to special summer camps, and big names schools that sounded impressive.  After coaching with me he found the right match, applied early decision, was accepted and received a scholarship for $30,000 per year.  From complete confusion to the right school with a great scholarship-awesome!

Christopher Kaiser
Associate Dean Seton Hall University

Successes all around…...

Throughout my 16+ years working in Higher Education, I have certainly seen countless successes.  At each commencement I marvel at the students who walk across the dais and receive their diplomas.  It is a great accomplishment and very gratifying for me, especially knowing all the hard work they put into getting their education and degree.  Some students with whom I personally worked through some of their lowest points in their academic career, recognizing this, find me wherever I may be and take time to thank me.  It is encouraging and always one of the best pick-me-ups.  So, if you ever need a pick me up, go to a college graduation and watch what happens.

John Frahlich
Counseling Department Chair Hudson High School

Not all students follow a traditional path...

An unexpected student success that I vividly remember involves an intelligent and articulate young lady who struggled through school. She seemed to be her own worst enemy and her self-defeating behaviors caused her to be in danger of failing most classes. She aspired to attend college but was not a good fit for high school. She was on the verge of dropping out when we proposed a paradoxical approach- graduate in three years. Many staff balked at the idea but she rose to the challenge, proved naysayers wrong, started college in a two year program and is now completing a graduate degree!

Esther Walling
College Counselor Thomas Jefferson High School

Always better than a pay raise...

I had a young lady who was qualified in every respect for application to UCLA, except her legal status. That worried her to no end. The day I intimated she "got in" was one of the most outstanding moments of my career.  You've never seen eyes get so big and begin watering out of excitement and happiness, nor received the tightest hugs and jumping up and down. Later, I got a phone call from this same young woman about completing her classes at UCLA a quarter early. In the midst of her celebration and wearing her sash from UCLA, she presented me with a birthday cake. I LOVE MY JOB!

Stephanie Meade
Owner The Collegiate Edge

It’s never too late to finish strong!...

Some students who struggled in 9th and 10th grades, or got serious about school a little late in the game have had some surprisingly happy college stories. One student with a gpa below 3.0 was admitted to 3 private colleges in Florida this spring with yearly scholarships of 10, 21, and 24 thousand dollars respectively. Another with a learning disability was accepted to 12 colleges, and almost had a breakdown because it was so difficult to choose just one! Both of these students brought their grades up, built thoughtfully researched college lists, and wrote honest essays about their academic challenges.

Jeannie Borin
Founder & President College Connections

Our students’ successes warms my heart...

One is a very special girl with a heart of gold. Her numbers (GPA/test scores) were slightly above average, but her creativity, resume, compelling essays and the way she applied her learned knowledge soared. She, in fact, inspired me. She is at her first choice school, accepted at many, and thriving. A boy comes to mind that dealt with and overcame a cancer diagnosis, but stayed the course. His grades suffered and he was academically behind his peers. However, his application document was pristine. He discussed overcoming adversity in the most profound way. He is excelling at his first choice college and will be a junior this fall.

Jolyn Brand
Owner & CEO Brand College Consulting

Hard work and prep proves worthwhile on SAT...

One student, Michael, got a great score on the Math portion of the SAT but his Reading and Writing scores weren't so stellar. I created a personalized tutoring plan for him over the next six weeks to focus on his weaknesses. The College Board report stated that students with his scores should expect an increase of 16 points. But we were thrilled to find out that his scores increased a whopping 190 points!

Janet Rosier
President Janet Rosier's Educational Resources

The reason I do this: accomplishments that bring me joy...

A few years ago I worked with a wonderful young lady who, for various reasons, had not been successful in high school. After some persuasion, she went to a college that was not her first choice, but one where she had a chance to grow as a student. After two years at this college she had blossomed-- she had developed study skills, excellent grades and had the chance to become a leader. Having gained new skills, accomplishments and confidence, she transferred to a very competitive college where she is both very successful and happy.  

Joanna Shultz
Director of College Counseling The Ellis School in Pittsburgh, PA

Student accepted for all the right reasons!...

Several years ago, my student applied to an ultra-selective liberal arts college.  She didn’t have a 4.0 average, and her SAT scores were average at best, but she was not a mediocre student.   Her English and history teachers called her a “brilliant thinker” and all agreed that she was an extraordinary person and leader.  During her senior year, she and her younger brother raised over $80,000.00 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation!  She was accepted to her college and became its student council president!  (They told me, though, not to count of them admitting a student with those numbers again!)

Craig Meister
President Tactical College Consulting

Give maximum effort and work hard to the very end...

The maxim, “Where there is a will, there is a way” certainly applies to college admissions. I’ve supported students of all achievement levels, and the one characteristic that unites all those students who meet with admissions success is that they subscribe to the above truism. The will to work and achieve always wins out in the end. Whether the student who only started and finished his Dartmouth application on New Year’s Eve and still got in or the student who transferred from an average state university to Georgetown, to those with focus and perseverance happy endings happen all the time.