A blog about college, admissions practices, financial aid procedures, and more!

Know the Real Deal

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

After watching so many misconceptions about the admissions process get passed around from parent to parent and even be inflated in the media, I am tempted to change the name of my practice to "THE REAL DEAL."  

Only someone who has actually worked as an Admissions Officer (not someone who gave tours for the office as an undergraduate and claims to have worked "in admissions") truly knows what goes on behind closed doors in admissions committee meetings.  Only someone deep on the inside knows how the college or university's goals play out in the committee's decisions.  There is a lot of misinformation out there.  Do not believe what your friends and neighbors tell you about the process or what a longtime teacher or guidance counselor in your school district says.  Ask an expert.  Get the real deal.

Dr. Felix Quoted in the Washington Post

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

To see what Dr. Felix says about transferring to a new college or university, Click Here

About Transferring

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thinking about transferring to another school?  Here's how to think about it:


To How Many Schools Should I Apply?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

To How Many Colleges Should a Person Apply?

I was talking to a high school senior last April who told me he had applied to 17 colleges and universities.  I told him if he had consulted with me, I would have advised him that 17 is far too many.  I then asked him, "Who let you do that?!"  He admitted that others had advised him to trim his list, but he did not listen to them. 

Part of “Adam’s” rationale was that the schools to which he was applying had very low admission rates (including all 8 Ivies), and, given the “lottery-like" nature of getting in to those schools, he’d have a better chance if he bought more lottery tickets.  His goal was to get into an Ivy League school, not to pick a college that would be right for him.  In addition, he was rejected by the school to which he had applied Early Decision, an experience that left him feeling vulnerable and unsure of his chances of being admitted to other similar schools.

Adam claimed that, after completing the first five applications, the rest were easy, to which his good friend standing nearby interjected, “No, it wasn't.  Don’t you remember?!  You were going crazy right before the deadline.  You were really stressed out.”  Not to mention that his parents shelled out about $1,300 in application fees.  His decision took a very large financial and emotional toll on him and his family.

In the end, Adam was rejected by 14 schools and admitted to three: his state university, another nearby state university, and one of the Ivies.  Deep down, he was disappointed by the outcome, but felt he could not express that to others since, after all, he'd accomplished his goal of being admitted to an Ivy League school (though not the one he actually liked).   

I do not recommend Adam's philosophy or strategy.  Students should think hard about which colleges will give them what they want, need and deserve.  Where will they thrive?  This is not about what sticker your Mother puts on her car or some misguided competition with your friends.  It is about being in a place for four years where you will grow the most academically, socially, and personally.  

Five to eight target schools is sufficient if they are carefully chosen.  1-3 "reach" schools, 2-3 "on-target" schools and 1-3"very likely" schools.  

And, for heaven's sake, don't apply to School X if you wouldn't go there if admitted.  As a client recently told me, "If I only get into X, I'll probably take a gap year and reapply."  We eliminated School X from his list.  

This article offers five ways to think about the question:  

"5 Steps to Choose How Many College Applications to Send":  


Holistic Admissions

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dave Berry of College Confidential writes about holistic admissions:  http://www.collegeconfidential.com/admit/holistic-college-admissions/

Keeping up with financial aid, admissions, and colleges

Friday, May 29, 2015

If there is one thing we can count on, it's that what we learned even a few years ago about financial aid practices, college admissions procedures, and even what individual colleges are looking for will have changed by now.

That's why I constantly monitor the practices and procedures that will impact my clients, and why I visit numerous college campuses, and have meetings with the admissions and financial aid staffs of colleges and universities everywhere.  There is no better way to spot trends or keep up with the many moving and changing parts of admissions and financial aid processes!