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A CRITICAL BUSINESS ISSUE: EDUCATION
After home buying, education is the number one cost facing employees. Whether it’s putting a child in a day school, researching colleges, or applying to continuing education programs, employees spend a significant amount of time and energy and money focusing on education-related issues.
Increasingly, companies are turning to experts to help alleviate employee concerns and save time while on the job. Companies can manage employee time and productivity by making education advice available to employees in the workplace. This approach benefits employers by improving the performance of top employees by allowing them to focus on the critical tasks of business at-hand.
Specifically, companies may offer employees access to educational consulting services that help employees and their families:
•Determine the best possible college options for employees’ college bound children
•Finance college; identify sources of merit-based and need-based aid for education
•Identify their children’s qualities, talents and skills that matter most to colleges
•Navigate the high school, college, and or graduate school admission process
•Deliver applications that will offer the best chance of admission to a school of choice
Below is a list of College Match US’s complete work/life benefit based on “life stages”.
COLLEGE MATCH’S CORPORATE BENEFIT PROGRAM
College Match US’s Corporate Benefit Program (CBP) provides companies and employees with full life-cycle assistance including workshops, one-on-one counseling. The Strategic College Matching™ process and tools used by our education experts provide the necessary guidance and coaching to improve time management, lower stress levels of employees and their family members, and help reduce education costs through merit-based aid and financial advising.
The following graphic illustrates the stages of College Match US’s Corporate Benefit Program:
LIFE STAGE WORKSHOPS AND / OR INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING
K – 6th Grade College Investment (Saving)
K – 12th Grade Learning Disabilities and Academic Success
6th Grade – 12th Grade Keys to Success – Excelling in School
6th Grade – 12th Grade Activities and Academics – What Matters to Colleges
6th Grade -12th Grade Developing Leadership Qualities in School
6th Grade -12th Grade Reading and Writing Skills
6th Grade – 12th Grade Math Skills
7th Grade – 8th Grade Selecting the Right High School
7th Grade – 9th Grade Discovering Your Child’s Academic Talent/Passions
9th Grade – 11th Grade Improving Academic Performance for High School Students
9th Grade – 11th Grade Developing Extra-curricular Activities for College Admission
10th Grade -11th Grade Preparing a List of Colleges
11th Grade – 12th Grade College Application Workshop; individual guidance
11th Grade – 12th Grade Paying for College: Financial Aid and Merit Aid
College Freshman Get What You Put In: Performance Skills in College
College Sophomore Study Abroad: Why, Where and How
College Junior Internships and Graduate School
College Senior Resume and Interviewing for Jobs
Parents/Employees Degree Completion Programs, MBA / MA / PhD
THE COLLEGE MATCH TEAM
College Match US’s staff consists of former Ivy League and top liberal arts college admissions officers, counselors and admission strategists, a certified financial aid advisor, college and high school entrance exam tests tutors, MBA admissions advisor and life coach, performing arts advisors (dance, music, theater), writing instructor/ essay coach.
For more information or to schedule a meeting to further review the many benefits of our Corporate Benefit Program, such as case studies and testimonials, please contact David Montesano: david@collegematchus – (206) 799-4986.
A Princeton Review poll indicates nearly half of all students’ greatest worry is finding the best match for college. Recent college admission rates show both parents and students more than a little concerned over getting into the right college. These are valid concerns. The right college affects:
• A student’s choices and path in life
• The quality of their social network and career connections
In our global society, change is the only constant; the best strategy for change is an education that offers numerous and high quality options towards a career or graduate school.
Some important facts to understand about college:
• College is the second largest investment after buying a home
• It’s an investment with high returns–on average about 2 million over a lifetime
• Decisions about where to go are not always wise: 1 in 3 students transfer and only half finish in four years
• College counselor/student ratios are 300:1 at public schools and 200:1 among private schools
• Each year, 100,000 new high school students compete for places; college admission has never been more difficult
While grades and test scores matter, they don’t guarantee admission. More crucial to success is that students demonstrate their value to each college. In 2007, 93% of College Match clients were accepted to their first choice school (chances without using our service are about 51%); the average merit award was $17,366.
College Match, which has been featured in Newsweek, Seattle Magazine and GreatSchools.net, helps students appeal to the college of their dreams.
• We develop key “proof points” that communicate each student’s value through each application to each college
• College Match takes a holistic, yet strategic, approach to working with students: Our consultants work one-on-one with students to discover their unique skills and abilities so that colleges will value each admission application
• We have a unique process that implements special tools to highlight the qualities that College Match’s applicants offer
College Match offers a 20 minute presentation called, “Navigating the College Admission Maze” students and parents have found quite useful. We have been very successful in presenting at high school “college nights” or other relevant discussions on college admissions topics.
We would be pleased to share with you how College Match can help your student achieve their educational and life goals.
College Match US
COLLEGE MATCH’S LATEST COLLEGE ADMISSION TRENDS
Challenges and opportunities abound this year for college applicants…here are just a few of the trends that College Match spotted this year:
1. Rise of SAT Subject Tests: among students applying to selective colleges this year there has been increased number taking the SAT Subject Tests; on average students take 2-3 Subject Tests.
2. De-emphasis on college board testing at some top colleges. A small but growing number of top liberal arts colleges have made the SAT 1 optional. While this list increases each year, we found a couple more that were of interest to our clients including, Knox, Lewis and Clark and Mt. Holyoke colleges, among longstanding holdouts, Bowdoin and Bates in Maine.
3. Merit scholarships become standard feature of some liberal arts colleges. High quality, yet slightly less selective colleges such as, Allegheny and Lewis and Clark, routinely offer top students modest scholarships to help offset the cost of attendance (versus other State or less expensive regional, private colleges).
4. Party schools take on a serious tone. Colleges like USC and NYU once known more for their partying ways than “nerdy” academics now boast students with top grades and SAT’s and extracurricular accomplishments. Instead of accepting lower academic achievers with high social ability, these places have become so sought after that the average grades and test scores to gain entrance are now more likely to favor the honor student who’s spent significant time in the library and laboratory.
5. “Information Age” makes applying easier but also more competitive. The rise of Common Application use and Internet research in general has created a huge increase in college application numbers; some colleges, like Occidental, have seen applications increase by as much as 185% over the past nine years (www.oxy.edu). Similarly, the average number of colleges applied to has increased according to the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), to an average of 12 colleges.
6. West Coast colleges bask in the spotlight. The rise of West Coast colleges can now be measured in terms of both the quality and quantity of applicants. West Coast universities and liberal arts colleges now feature more prominently in the admission picture and often overlap increasingly with Ivy League and Little Ivy (Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams) applications. (“West Coast Ivies” include: Caltech, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Occidental, Pomona, Reed, Scripps, Stanford, USC, and Whitman (schools in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (and drawn from US News “Best Colleges”)
7. New, “holistic” approach to admission for top research universities. University of Washington recently announced it would employ 20 more Admission officers to consider an applicant’s essay and extracurricular involvements and special circumstances and talents. This approach has been practiced successfully in the past by mainly private colleges.
8. Extracurricular involvement comprises nearly 50% of the admission decision at selective colleges: once the initial hurdles have been cleared–SAT and GPA–then extracurricular activities matter most including but not limited to, depth of involvement, leadership and national-level competition. Superior extracurricular accomplishment has become one of the main hallmarks of admission to a selective college.
Dave Montesano is director of college planning at College Match US and can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 1-877-658-4400.
Applying to college is a two way street…students have needs and so do colleges.
More often than not college applicants are not aware about what colleges really want in an applicant until it’s too late and their application has been denied. One way to find out what a college is looking for is to interview current students. While on a college visit, a student can basically conduct his or her own survey by asking a minimum of 10 students what they like, and more importantly, what they dislike, about a particular college. Similarities among the dislike(s) may be important. For example, if everyone is saying that a college is too career oriented, a student who is less interested in a career may have an edge. This “qualitative interview” approach can yield interesting results for students looking to find out more about the unmet needs at colleges. Based on these weaknesses, students can figure out how to best position their applications to meet these unearthed needs.