These days, it seems everybody is attempting to hop on the college counseling bandwagon.
Some of you are lucky enough to attend a small, private school, with a committed full-time college counselor. You probably get lots of 1:1 time with a seasoned expert on a regular basis. Perhaps you think to yourself, “Why would I look any farther than my prep school’s campus for a college counselor?”
And that’s totally awesome. But what about the rest of us? Are we expected to proceed into the black ether of college admissions with nary a guide, save the Internet?
Never fear––the free market is here!
In addition to their flagship services in SAT and ACT test prep, Princeton Review has rolled out a new program called CollegeWise, based mainly on webinars but with a growing number of onsite college admissions and financial aid “experts.”
Now Khan Academy, the video lecture-based education website founded by a MIT grad and former hedge fund analyst, is offering their own brand of entirely free college admissions guidance.
Here’s a screenshot of the new Khan Academy college admissions hub:
These modules have some really rich content, from a rough guide to metrics for comparing the financial aid policies of various institutions to personal narratives of real students’ application and admissions processes. I heartily recommend it as a first-stop along the “I’d like to go to college but I don’t even know what I don’t know” expressway.
But unfortunately, this resource is severely limited. The problem with Khan Academy (and this applies to their videos on mathematics and economics, too) is that the student must be incredibly motivated to glean its full effect. It’s comparable to using Gillian Michaels VHS tapes to whip yourself into shape; for most students (like most would-be fitness models), they’re going to need a little more personal guidance. A real-life expert. A coach.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s absolutely wonderful what Khan Academy is doing. They’re trying to provide high-quality info and guidance regarding one of the most important steps in a young person’s life––at literally no cost. That alone is commendable.
I have no qualms recommending Khan Academy for quick answers and/or basic information regarding college admissions, financial aid, and related topics. But in order to gain a more personalized, interactive, results-driven approach to your or your child’s college application process, I strongly recommend consulting one of the following incredible Portland area independent college counselors:
In addition, check out the Higher Education Consultants Association’s (HECA) blog for helpful articles and in-depth features on lesser-known colleges.