Interview with a College Counselor: Keith

June 26, 2014

College counselors can be one of the biggest resources during your college application process. You should try to learn as much as you can from them, and consult as many as possible - after all, it is their job to help students in their college application process. Our intern Lisette interviewed her college counselor to get insight into the application process. Here is what she found!

My college counselor has worked with about 1,500 students and every year it is a new experience. One year he had a student apply to 41 schools! Keith advises to apply to 5-7 schools that the you have visited and are whole-heartedly interested in attending. By visiting schools, students can see if they can picture themselves there. He believes it is wise to start visiting schools during your junior year of high school and the summer before senior year.  If the student cannot physically visit the school, he or she should do a virtual tour, he says. 

Keith explained that when admission counselors are selecting which students to admit, the student’s grades and strengths of schedule matter for about half of the decision. Selective schools want to see if the student took the most challenging courses available and received high grades in those classes. The other fifty percent is split between standardized test scores and everything else such as extracurricular activities, recommendations letters, and so on. Many students do not value the importance of volunteering and the weight it has on a college application. But beyond how it affects your application, Keith says: “Volunteering is giving a piece of yourself to someone else and realizing that the whole world does not revolve around you. It’s a maturation process.” Lastly, Keith advises that students should get their applications done early. Students should not rush on something important like a college application; instead, they should take the time to have a quality application done on time.



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I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring PhD students/teacher.
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I'm a current senior at MIT who is passionate about using mechanical engineering to better healthcare and biotech.
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An inquisitive girl who is always pushing herself to achieve the near impossible.

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