Applying to College

Elsa Heydenreich Clark, Immaculate Heart High School

Elsa Heydenreich Clark is the Director of College Counseling at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California, a private Catholic college preparatory school for 555 young women in grades 9 through 12.  A graduate of the University of Southern California, Clark also holds a Master of Science in School Counseling from California State University, Los Angeles.

Since 1988, Clark has counseled juniors and seniors at Immaculate Heart, a unique institution with a storied history in Los Angeles. Founded in 1906, today the school ‘s student body includes many who are the daughters and granddaughters of graduates. It is also known for its diversity, reflecting the demographics of the Los Angeles population — two-thirds of those attending are students of color and many are first generation.

NACAC's List of Colleges Still Accepting Applications Available May 3

NACAC's annual Space Availability Survey, a searchable list of colleges still accepting applications for Fall 2012 freshman and transfer students, will be available to the public begging Thursday, May 3 through Friday, June 29 on NACAC’s website. Colleges’ listings also will include information about the availability of institutional financial aid and housing. Counselors, students, and families are encouraged to check the results periodically. NACAC anticipates that many colleges will complete the survey after the initial deadline and will update their listings as space availability changes. In 2011, 370 colleges listed either freshman and/or transfer space availability.  

Things We Love: A Video to Help You Get Over Not Getting In

Whether or not you got into your first choice school, check out this video from Allison Singh, author of Getting Over Not Getting In - A College Rejection Guide. While we haven't seen her book, we love the video. It perfectly demonstrates one of our mantras -- it's not where you go to school, it's what you do once you get there and beyond.

Tre Hadrick, Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy

This month's Counselor of the Month is actually not a high school college counselor. Ernest "Tre" Hadrick, III, is a guidance counselor at Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy, a middle school in Norristown, Pennsylvania. But one of his priorities is encouraging the students at Eisenhower -- many of whom would be the first in their families to attend college -- to strive for a college education.  Such students have a different timetable for the college application process -- they must be extremely purposeful as early as middle school. And in Tre Hadrick, they have a lot of what is needed to achieve the goal of a college education -- a mentor.

Roger J. Thompson, University of Oregon

Roger J. Thompson, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management at University of Oregon, joins us this month to answer our questions about admissions and the state's flagship public university.

Founded in 1876, University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges, including Arts and Sciences, Architecture, Business, Education, Journalism and Communication, Music and Dance, and an Honors College. Located on 295 acres in the Willamette Valley, between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the Eugene campus hosts about 20,600 undergraduates.

Fun facts:

Who fares best in applying to college?

Earlier this week, a student from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California, wrote a column for with a refrain familiar to many—a lament for the more carefree days before the pressure and stress of preparing to apply to college seemed to take over her life. "It seems like everything I do, sign up for, and participate in is because it somehow will look good on my college application. I volunteer for just about as much as I can muster. I am trying to find my ‘angle’…" Dearborn wrote. Alice Kleeman, who heads the College and Career Center at Menlo-Atherton High School in neighboring Atherton, California, was struck by the column and emailed us her thoughts. We couldn't have said it better, so we wanted to share her response with you: "It makes me sad when students believe that to be admitted to college they must try to become someone other than who they truly are.

Admission: Rescinded

We received the following message from a dean of admission we know: It's only March and we'll be rescinding our first admission. Children: do not lie. Students -- and parents -- don't forget that all offers of admission to college are conditional. Colleges may rescind admission for a number of reasons -- if a student enrolls and makes a deposit at more than one college;  if there is a significant change in senior year grades;  if there is a lapse in judgment or integrity such as cheating or suspension for alcohol use. And admission can be rescinded for lying, for misrepresenting any facts or work in the application -- grades, test scores, essays, a change in personal circumstances, extracurricular activities, a disciplinary matter. In signing the application, students certify that every piece of information and material in the application is the students' own work product and pledge they have upheld the highest standards of honesty, character, and moral and ethical principles.  In signing, you are saying, “This is who I am and what I stand for and I stand by it.” That’s something to be taken very seriously as a matter of personal honor. Colleges require it, and rightly expect it. This is a big deal. "The notion of integrity is the most important value we reflect on when we think about students attending the university," says Kirk Brennan, Director of Admission at University of Southern California.

College Admission Named Best College Counseling Blog

Thank you to for including College Admission as one of their "Best College Counseling Blogs." From their post: These blogs are the cream of the crop. They provide comprehensive information on virtually every aspect of the college admissions process. From financial aid to testing tips to sanity savers, chances are you can find what you need here. Each also offers a collection of resources that provide in-depth coverage on almost every aspect of selecting a school and applying for college.

We're honored...


A "Nearly Perfect Parent Response"

Last week, an email showed up in our mailbox from a high school college counselor with the following subject line: "a nearly perfect parent response." Just as students need to understand what their responsibilities are in navigating the road to college, it's also important for parents to have sign posts and sound bites that help define their role in the application process. Here's what putting your student in the driver's seat looks like from one counselor's perspective:

"A"* was excited to hear that you will be her College Counselor over the next year.  "We"* are excited for her as we embark on this adventure together.  I realize that” together” entails stepping back and supporting "A" as you work to advise and guide her through the college process.  I realize it’s been 40+ years since I was submitting applications & doing auditions for college---but at the risk of sounding “out-dated” I recall it being a much simpler process. 

*Names have been redacted